The Battle of Appomattox Court House page includes history articles, photo galleries, maps, and other recommended links for this 1865 Civil War battle in Virginia. "[3], Many of Lee's officers, including Longstreet, agreed that surrendering the army was the only option left. The Army of the Potomac, led by Ulysses S. Grant, sought to cut off Lee's retreat and was able to cut his supply line at Appomattox. I resolved to mark it by some token of recognition, which could be no other than a salute of arms. It was the final engagement of Confederate General in Chief, Robert E. Lee, and his Army of Northern Virginia before it surrendered to the Union Army of the Potomac under the Commanding General of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant. As Ulysses S. Grant begins to cut off Robert E. Lee’s supply lines the tension grows between them. [9] Ord's troops began advancing against Gordon's corps while the Union II Corps began moving against Lt. Gen. James Longstreet's corps to the northeast. [5], Following the minor battles of Cumberland Church and High Bridge, on April 7, General Grant sent a note to Lee suggesting that it was time to surrender the Army of Northern Virginia. Upon hearing it Lee finally stated the inevitable: "Then there is nothing left for me to do but to go and see General Grant, and I would rather die a thousand deaths. [15] Suddenly overcome with sadness, Grant found it hard to get to the point of the meeting, and instead the two generals briefly discussed their only previous encounter, during the Mexican–American War. The Battle of Cumberland Church was fought on April 7, 1865, between the Union Army's II Corps of the Army of the Potomac and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the Appomattox Campaign of the American Civil War. Grant received Lee's first letter on the morning of April 9 as he was traveling to meet Sheridan. Lee successfully blocked a Union attempt to prevent him from crossing the Appomattox River at High Bridge—but not without casualties. Many people died in this battle. Who won? At Morrisville Station, Union troops shelled the town and attacked its train station to prevent the departure of a rebel train carrying supplies a… 2. During the fall of 1865, Timothy O’Sullivan photographed the McLean House while members of the McLean family sat on the porch. Battle of Appomattox Court House: Official Records and Battle Description Firsthand accounts of the historic surrender fill this Appomattox website. Sheridan deployed his three divisions of cavalry along a low ridge to the southwest of Appomattox Court House. While General George Meade (who was not present at the meeting) reportedly shouted that "it's all over" upon hearing the surrender was signed, roughly 175,000 Confederates remained in the field, but were mostly starving and disillusioned. However, a sizable portion of his fatiguing troops were cut off from the rest of the army at Sailor’s Creek on April 6. The courthouse, (Appomattox Courthouse), was where Robert E. Lee surrendered to Grant. Upon hearing about Lee's surrender, General Nathan Bedford Forrest, "The Wizard of the Saddle", also surrendered, reading his farewell address on May 9, 1865 at Gainesville, Alabama. Gen. and Brevet Maj. Gen. George Armstrong Custer captured and burned three supply trains waiting for Lee's army at the Appomattox Station. The Union had more than three times as many troops as compared to the combatants fielded by the Confederate Army. However, Gordon saw thousands of Union troops quickly approaching and sent word to Lee that his position was hopeless unless the infantry supported them. When word reached Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. … Smaller Confederate armies continued to fight throughout the Deep South and west of the Mississippi River. [21][29] Just as Porter Alexander had predicted, as news spread of Lee's surrender other Confederate commanders realized that the strength of the Confederacy was gone, and decided to lay down their own arms. This page was last edited on 3 October 2020, at 23:11. Union forces won a decisive victory at the Battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865, forcing Lee to evacuate Petersburg and Richmond. Harried mercilessly by Federal troops and continually cut off from turning south to reach Gen. Joseph Johnston's army in North Carolina, General Robert E. Lee headed west along the Appomattox River, The officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against the Government of the United States until properly exchanged, and each company or regimental commander sign a like parole for the men of their commands. His weakened army reached Farmville on April 7, but the Confederate troops were unable to eat much before Union troops entered their view. [8] Gordon's troops charged through the Union lines and took the ridge, but as they reached the crest they saw the entire Union XXIV Corps in line of battle with the Union V Corps to their right. Gordon stated that Chamberlain "called his troops into line, and as my men marched in front of them, the veterans in blue gave a soldierly salute to the vanquished heroes. "The Confederates were now our countrymen, and we did not want to exult over their downfall", he said. I am at this writing about four miles West of Walker's Church and will push forward to the front for the purpose of meeting you. The surrender took place in the Appomattox Court House on 9 April 1865. Lee briefly moved northward to Cumberland Church before retreating to the west. [3], Lee's first objective was to reassemble and supply his men at Amelia Courthouse. The armies under the command of Lieutenant General and General in Chief Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885) laid siege to Petersburg, south of Richmond, intending to cut the two cities' supply lines and force the Confederates to evacuate. Two Confederate divisions fought the VI Corps along the creek. The battle of Appomattox was won by the Union army led by General Ulysses S. Grant. [23] The same day a six-man commission gathered to discuss a formal ceremony of surrender, even though no Confederate officer wished to go through with such an event. However, on the morning of April 8 a battalion of the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry was detached from Stoneman's Raid into North Carolina and southwestern Virginia and had made a demonstration to within three miles of Lynchburg, giving the appearance of being the vanguard of a much larger force. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Our Battle of Appomattox Station page includes battle maps, history articles, photos, and more on this 1865 Civil War battle. Numbers played a role in the Union’s win. As such, the Army of Northern Virginia was forced to remain at Amelia Court House until April 5, buying time for Union troops to close in. In a return note, Lee refused the request, but asked Grant what terms he had in mind. Lee determined that he would be unable to proceed southwest and into North Carolina as planned. Women in mourning among the ruins in a burned section of Richmond, Virginia, April 1865. Notice sent to me on this road where you wish the interview to take place. The following day, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman’s cavalry captured Raleigh and pursued Confederate forces under General Joseph E. Johnston west from the state capital. But no one can deny that it was enduringly appealing and slow to die. "[34], During the Civil War Centennial, the United States Post Office issued five postage stamps commemorating the 100th anniversaries of famous battles, as they occurred over a four-year period, beginning with the Battle of Fort Sumter Centennial issue of 1961. Lee hoped to break through the cavalry before infantry arrived. That day Lee lost eight generals and some 8,000 men. The Battle of Appomattox started with a Union campaign in the summer of 1864 that was intended to cut Richmond off from supply lines and reinforcements from the south. The fight occurred on 9 April 1865 in the morning. Gen. Edward Porter Alexander, who predicted that if Lee surrendered then "every other Confederate army will follow suit". Despite this new threat, Lee apparently decided to try for Lynchburg anyway. The next day Grant's army achieved a decisive breakthrough, effectively ending the Petersburg siege. Battle of Five Forks, (1 April 1865), one of the final major engagements of the American Civil War (1861–65). [6] On April 8, Union cavalry under Brig. Lee never forgot Grant's magnanimity during the surrender, and for the rest of his life would not tolerate an unkind word about Grant in his presence. Early on April 9, the remnants of John Brown Gordon's corps and Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry formed line of battle at Appomattox Court House. I do not understand what Wikipedia is Read more about it! Civil War (order of battles and who won them) study guide by nicoleejaneem includes 21 questions covering vocabulary, terms and more. Union Army General Ulysses S. Grant began advancing his troops President Jefferson Davis met with his Confederate Cabinet for the last time on May 5, 1865 in Washington, Georgia, and officially dissolved the Confederate government. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Gen. George Armstrong Custer successfully led some of the cavalry against the Confederate supply trains at the nearby Appomattox Station. Thereafter, he ordered night marches to outpace Federal soldiers and compensate for the day lost at Amelia Court House. [30] Davis and his wife Varina, along with their escort, were captured by Union forces on May 10 at Irwinville, Georgia.[31]. Gen. Philip Sheridan's charge during the Battle of Five Forks, Virginia, during the Appomattox campaign, April 1, 1865; colour lithograph by Kurz & Allison. On our part not a sound of trumpet more, nor roll of drum; not a cheer, nor word nor whisper of vain-glorying, nor motion of man standing again at the order, but an awed stillness rather, and breath-holding, as if it were the passing of the dead! Harried mercilessly by Federal troops and continually cut off from turning south to reach Gen. Joseph Johnston's army in North Carolina, General Robert E. Lee headed west along the Appomattox River, On April 10, Lee gave his farewell address to his army. Appomattox Court House The Battle of Appomattox Court House contributed greatly to the end of the Civil War. Papers of the Military Historical Society of Massachussets, the Shenandoah Campaigns of 1862 and 1864 and the Appomattox Campaign, 1865. Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the U.S. Confederate States presidential election of 1861, Commanding General of the United States Army, 1865–1869, United States presidential election, 1868, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Battle_of_Appomattox_Court_House&oldid=981704015, Battles of the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War, Union victories of the American Civil War, Battles of the American Civil War in Virginia, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2019, Articles needing additional references from April 2019, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. When Lee departed from Amelia Court House, he saw that Grant’s army was marching parallel to his movements west along the Appomattox River. With an army of 55,000 to 58,000 men, Lee’s primary focus was on resupplying his soldiers at Amelia Court House along the Richmond and Danville Railroad. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Federal soldiers at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, photograph by Timothy H. O'Sullivan, April 1865. Read the correspondence exchanged by Lee and Grant during the days leading to surrender. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee was still being chased by Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman. North- Ulysses S. Grant South- Robert Lee How many casualties were there? The Confederate capital fell to the Union XXV Corps, composed of black troops. [13] Lee received the reply within an hour and dispatched an aide, Charles Marshall, to find a suitable location for the occasion. Lee commanded an army of nearly 27,000 soldiers, which paled in comparison to Grant’s force of some 63,000 troops, but he still intended to force his way through Union lines. [18] In addition to his terms, Grant also allowed the defeated men to take home their horses and mules to carry out the spring planting, and provided Lee with a supply of food rations for his starving army; Lee said it would have a very happy effect among the men and do much toward reconciling the country. [3] The army then headed west to Appomattox Station, where another supply train awaited him. Marshall scrutinized Appomattox Court House, a small village of roughly twenty buildings that served as a waystation for travelers on the Richmond-Lynchburg Stage Road. [16] It was the first time the two men had seen each other face-to-face in almost two decades. Grant agreed to let Lee choose the meeting place at which they would discuss terms, so his aide chose the home of Wilmer McLean, a retired Virginia militia officer. The Battle of Appomattox Court House, fought in Appomattox County, Virginia, on the morning of April 9, 1865, was one of the last battles of the American Civil War (1861–1865). When he realized that the cavalry was now backed up by two corps of federal infantry, he had no choice but to surrender with his further avenue of retreat and escape now cut off. My main reason, however, was one for which I sought no authority nor asked forgiveness. It took place on April 9, 1865, making it one of the American Civil War’s last battles. After a weeklong flight westward from Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee briefly engaged Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant before surrendering to the Union at Appomattox Court House. Play this game to review Other. Appomattox Court House, Battle of Kids learn about Robert E. Lee's Surrender at Appomattox; the event that led to the end of the American Civil War. Union infantry and cavalry forces under Gen. Philip Sheridan pursued and cut off the Confederates' retreat at the central Virginia village of Appomattox Court House. The signing of the surrender documents occurred in the parlor of the house owned by Wilmer McLean on the afternoon of April 9. On April 1, 1865, Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan's cavalry turned Lee's flank at the Battle of Five Forks. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? [24] Marvel points out that Chamberlain in fact did not command the federal surrender detail (but only one of the brigades in General Joseph J. Bartlett's division) and that he did not mention any "salute" in his contemporary letters, but only in his memoirs written many decades later when most other eyewitnesses had already died. Food and supplies were critical to further westward advancement and their timely arrival even more so. History >> Civil War On April 9, 1865 General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, Virginia. Appomattox, Virginia Why was the battle important? Korn, Jerry, and the Editors of Time-Life Books. The only notable officer opposed to surrender was Longstreet's chief of artillery, Brig. Lee’s failure at Fort Stedman and a spectacular defeat at Five Forks on April 1 forced Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia to evacuate Richmond and Petersburg on the night of April 2, 1865. Lee was thus surprised and disheartened at the absence of rations upon his arrival at Amelia Court House on April 4. [13], Grant's response was remarkable in that it let the defeated Lee choose the place of his surrender. The war would not be officially declared won for the Union until August 20, 1866. His plan was to link up with Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's Army of Tennessee in North Carolina and go on the offensive after establishing defenses on the Roanoke River in southwest Virginia. No one knows for certain how the myth was born. The Battle of Shiloh commemorative stamp was issued in 1962, the Battle of Gettysburg in 1963, the Battle of the Wilderness in 1964, and the Appomattox Centennial commemorative stamp in 1965. Brigadier General (brevet Major General) Joshua L. Chamberlain was the Union officer selected to lead the ceremony. Cherokee Chief and General Stand Watie, in command of 1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles, surrendered the last sizeable organized Confederate force on June 23, 1865[32] in Choctaw County, Oklahoma. "I at once sent word, however, to have it stopped", he said. "[7] The Union infantry was close, but the only unit near enough to support Sheridan's cavalry was Maj. Gen. John Gibbon's XXIV Corps of the Army of the James. Colonel Charles Venable of Lee's staff rode in at this time and asked for an assessment, and Gordon gave him a reply he knew Lee did not want to hear: "Tell General Lee I have fought my corps to a frazzle, and I fear I can do nothing unless I am heavily supported by Longstreet's corps." Grant is said to have arrived a half hour later. Battle of Appomattox Court House The expectation was validated when, at 2:00 A.M. on the morning of April 9th, Lee ordered General Gordon's 2nd Corps to move into line of battle west of Appomattox Court House. On the afternoon of April 8, 1865, four supply trains a… Painting of the Battle of Palmito Ranch, the last battle of the U.S. Civil War. Quizlet flashcards, … [14] Marshall rejected the first house he saw as too dilapidated, instead settling on the 1848 brick home of Wilmer McLean. [17], The terms were as generous as Lee could hope for; his men would not be imprisoned or prosecuted for treason. While at Cumberland Church he received a letter from Grant demanding his surrender. In the spring of 1865, Confederate States Army Gen. Robert E. Lee (1807–1870), waited for an opportunity to leave the Petersburg lines, aware that the position was untenable, but Union troops made the first move. [4] The delay prevented Lee from reaching the Appomattox station until late afternoon on April 8, allowing Sheridan to reach the station ahead of the Southerners that evening, where he captured Lee's supplies and obstructed his path. At 8:00 a.m., Lee rode out to meet Grant, accompanied by three of his aides. The Confederates attacked but were driven back, and soon after the Union cavalry cut through the right of the Confederate lines. After weathering nearly 10 months of starvation and desertions, Lee resolved to abandon the cities altogether and regroup in North Carolina with Gen. Joseph E. Johnston. After several hours of correspondence between Grant and Lee, a cease-fire was enacted and Grant received Lee's request to discuss surrender terms. This event triggered a series of subsequent surrenders across the South, in North Carolina, Alabama and finally Shreveport, Louisiana, for the Trans-Mississippi Theater in the West by June, signaling the end of the four-year-long war. One copy to be given to an officer designated by me, the other to be retained by such officer or officers as you may designate. The final campaign for Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederate States, began when the Union Army of the Potomac crossed the James River in June 1864. As Ulysses S. Grant would put it years later, like many other stories, it would be very good if it was only true. ; Eicher, Longstreet, p. 631; Lee and staff 15; Longstreet’s corps 14,833 (including 5000 attached from, Richmond-Petersburg Campaign (Siege of Petersburg), Eastern Theater of the American Civil War, Appomattox Campaign Union order of battle, Appomattox campaign Confederate order of battle, Learn how and when to remove this template message, Washington, D.C., in the American Civil War, Commemoration of the American Civil War on postage stamps, "Update to the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission, Commonwealth of Virginia", "Andrew Johnson: "Proclamation 131—Rewards for the Arrest of Jefferson Davis and Others," May 2, 1865", "Complete Set, 1961-65 Civil War Centennial Series", "The Appomattox Campaign; March 29 – April 9, 1865", List of Union Civil War monuments and memorials, List of memorials to the Grand Army of the Republic, List of Confederate monuments and memorials, Removal of Confederate monuments and memorials. Lee's cavalry saw these Union forces and immediately withdrew and rode off towards Lynchburg. The lengthy Union siege of Confederate-held Petersburg in Virginia was brought to a close in what has been called the "Waterloo of the Confederacy." That evening Union Brig. Union cavalry destroyed a significant number of Confederate wagons at Paineville, Virginia, an action that made a swift arrival at Farmville more imperative than ever. 1. Parker replied, "Sir, we are all Americans." The next line, held by Brig. Grant, suffering from a throbbing headache, stated that "It looks as if Lee still means to fight. Commander James Iredell Waddell in command of the CSS Shenandoah, a commerce raider of the Confederate States Navy, was the last to surrender when he lowered the Confederate flag in Liverpool and surrendered his vessel to the British government on November 6, 1865 (Waddell was halfway around the world in the Pacific when he learned the war had ended). Grant soon visited the Confederate army, and then he and Lee sat on the McLean home's porch and met with visitors such as Longstreet and George Pickett before the two men left for their capitals.[22]. Unanticipated was the arrival of Union cavalry coming from the south under Gen. Philip H. Sheridan’s command. [28] The Appomattox Roster lists approximately 26,300 men who surrendered. On April 8 Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia paused its march a mile from the small village of Appomattox Court House. The war would not be officially declared won for the Union until August 20, 1866. The Battle of Appomattox Court House, fought on the morning of April 9, 1865, was the final engagement of Confederate States Army General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia before it surrendered to the Union Army under Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, and one of the last battles of the American Civil War. [27] General Longstreet's account was 28,356 officers and men were “surrendered and paroled”. The Battle of Appomattox occurred on the morning of April 9, 1865, and led to the surrender of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia General Robert E. Lee. North Who were the generals? He decided to alter his strategy and march west with haste toward Farmville, Virginia, where he would receive rations from the South Side Railroad. He is expected to graduate from the University of Chicago in 2021 with bachelor’s degrees in English language and literature and political... Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendering to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, April 9, 1865; wood engraving based on an illustration by Alfred R. Waud, 1887. [citation needed], En route to the station, on April 6 at Sailor's Creek, nearly one fourth of the retreating Confederate army was cut off by Sheridan's cavalry and elements of the II and VI Corps. There were several more small battles after Lee's surrender. The Battle of Appomattox Court House, fought in Appomattox County, Virginia, on the morning of April 9, 1865, was one of the last battles of the American Civil War (1861–1865). The engagement resulted in a victory for the Union Army of Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, after which Lee’s forces surrendered. Lee, having abandoned the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, after the nine-and-a-half-month Siege of Petersburg and Richmond, retreated west, hoping to join his army with the remaining Confederate forces in North Carolina, the Army of Tennessee under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston. The Confederate march thereafter was long and brutal. [35], The Civil War Trust (a division of the American Battlefield Trust) and its partners have acquired and preserved 512 acres (2.07 km2) of the battlefield.[36]. Confederate General Longstreet spoke well of Grant, saying he was grateful to Grant for a cheerful greeting and providing him a cigar at Appomattox, as well as later efforts by Grant to get Longstreet a pardon and appointing him to a federal position in New Orleans after Grant became president. Davis, p. 387; Calkins, p. 175, states Lee and Marshall left the McLean House "some time after 3:00 in the afternoon". In late 1864, Gen. William T. Sherman's army began a march with an unknown destination, laying waste to about 20% of the farms in Georgia in his "March to the Sea". Lee launched a last-ditch attack to break through the Union forces to his front, assuming the Union force consisted entirely of lightly armed cavalry. [25] Confederate General John Brown Gordon, in command of the Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia, did recall there was a salute and he cherished Chamberlain's act of saluting his surrendered army, calling Chamberlain "one of the knightliest soldiers of the Federal army." [citation needed], At dawn on April 9, 1865, the Confederate Second Corps under Maj. Gen. John B. Gordon attacked Sheridan's cavalry and quickly forced back the first line under Brevet Brig. [citation needed], With his supplies at Appomattox destroyed, Lee now looked west, to the railway at Lynchburg, where more supplies awaited him. Gordon at the head of the column, riding with heavy spirit and downcast face, catches the sound of shifting arms, looks up, and, taking the meaning, wheels superbly, making with himself and his horse one uplifted figure, with profound salutation as he drops the point of his sword to the boot toe; then facing to his own command, gives word for his successive brigades to pass us with the same position of the manual,—honor answering honor. This will not embrace the side-arms of the officers, nor their private horses or baggage. At the surrender ceremonies, about 28,000 Confederate soldiers passed by and stacked their arms. [10] After a truce was arranged Custer was escorted through the lines to meet Longstreet. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. Many of these were scattered throughout the South in garrisons or guerrilla bands while the rest were concentrated in three major Confederate commands. 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