Yesterday marked the 150th anniversary of the surrender of Confederate General Joseph Johnston to Union General William Sherman. While history focuses on Lee’s surrender at Appomattox as the end of the Civil War, Johnston’s surrender at Bennett Place was significantly larger and demonstrates the lack of a definitive end to the war.Read More
Now that the 150th anniversary of Appomattox has passed, the Civil War sesquicentennial is over, right? Not quite.
Most Americans consider Appomattox the end of the war; that was certainly what I was taught in school when I was younger. However, Robert E. Lee’s surrender is only the beginning of the end. When Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox he surrendered only the men under his command, not the entire military force of the Confederate States of America.Read More
The Battle of Sailor’s Creek, many will argue, was a final death knell for Lee’s army. In the day’s engagements Lee lost about a quarter to one-third of his army (depending on which casualty report you look at), 8,800 men out of the roughly 30,000 effectives he had that morning. Of these casualties, around 7,700 were captured or surrendered—one of the largest surrenders without terms during the war. Among this number was almost the entire corps of Richard Ewell—3,400 of his 3,600 men were among the dead and captured. Ewell himself was taken prisoner, along with seven other Confederate generals: Joseph B. Kershaw, Montgomery Corse, Eppa Hunton, Dudley M. DuBose, James P. Smith, Seth Barton, and Robert E. Lee’s son, George Washington Custis Lee. Anderson’s corps lost around 2,600 out of 6,300 and Gordon’s casualties numbered at 2,000.Read More