The Confederate Armies Surrender
II Corp and Anderson's Corp
Commanded by Lieutenant General Richard Stoddert Ewell
Surrendered on Thursday, 6th April
Saylor's ( Sailor's) Creek ( Harper's Farm, Hillsman Farm, Lockett Farm, Deatonsville)
At Sailor's Creek nearly one fourth of the retreating Confederate army was cut off by General Philip Henry Sheridan's Cavalry, and elements of the II and VI Corps. After the battle most of the Confederate troops surrendered, including Ewell and Brigadier Generals Seth Maxwell Barton, Montgomery Dent Corse, Dudley M. Dubose, Eppa Hunton, Joseph Brevard Kershaw, Custis Lee, James Philip Simms. The casualties were 1,000 killed 1,800 missing and 6,000 captured.
This battle is considered by many the death knell of the Confederate army. Lee upon seeing the survivors streaming along the road exclaimed 'My God, has the army dissolved.'
The Army of Northern Virginia
Commanded by General Robert Edward Lee
Surrendered on Sunday, 9th April
With the failure of Major General John B Gordon's attack early in the morning to break through Federal lines at the Battle of Appomattox Court House, Virginia, 9 April, the army was now surrounded. At 0830 Lee rides through the armies lines with a courier and a couple of staff officers and requested a meeting with General Ulysses S. Grant to discus surrendering the army. Shortly after noon Grant's reply arrived and Lee rode into Appomattox to await Grant's arrival.
One of Lee's aides selected the home of Wilmer McLean, who had moved to what he thought was a quieter area to live after being in Manassas, Virginia, at the 1st Battle of Manassas, 21 July 1861. Here Lee waited in the parlor until about 1330 when Grant arrived with his staff. After exchanging greets and small talk Lee brought up the reason for their meeting. Grant wrote out surrender terms himself in an order book and handed it to Lee to review. After reading and excepting the terms an aide wrote a letter of acceptance. Some time after 1500 the surrender was signed.
Riding slowly back to his lines Lee was swarmed by his adorning troops who in 'a burst of salutations greeted him....the road was packed by standing troops as he approached, the men with hats off, heads and hearts bowed down.....the shock was most severe' of the surrender and many implored him to stay and fight on.
Over the next three days the Army of Northern Virginia marched from their camps, cavalry, artillery and then the infantry, to lay down their arms before marching home, in total 28,356 men.
Commanding by Brigadier General St John R. Liddell
Surrendered Sunday, 9th April ( just 6 hours after the Army of Northern Virginia)
A column of 13,000 Federal, under General Edward R. S. Canby, were sent to capture Fort Blakely. A cavalry brigade column overran an outpost of Confederate infantry at Blakeley on the afternoon of 1st April. The next day, April 2, heavy skirmishing commenced as the infantry and light artillery moved into position opposite the Blakely fortifications cutting the fort off.
Federal troops attacked simultaneously the three miles of Blakely breastworks at 1730 in the afternoon of 9 April. The strength of the attackers at the time was 16,000 they breached the earthworks compelling Blakely’s the Confederates to capitulate. They captured some 3,400 soldiers with about 250 having died in the battle, and some 200 escaped via the waterways.
The capture of the fort recorded in Harper’s Weekly, 27 May, as “Probably the last charge of this war, it was as gallant as any on record.”
Commanded by Colonel John Singleton Mosby
Surrendered in 21, April
A 125 square mile triangle of northern Virginia encompassing parts of Fauquier and Loudoun counties was under the control of Mosby's 43rd Virginia Cavalry, also known as the 'Partisan Rangers' or 'Mosby's Rangers.' Known as the 'Gray Ghost' by the Federal forces ' Mosby's Rangers' operated in the rear of the Federal forces keeping his unit intact until the end of the war.
After Appomattox Mosby agreed a truce and secured his parole only through the personnel intervention of Ulysses S. Grant. So he surrendered and disbanded his men at Millwood, V. A. (After the war he even joined the Republican party and in 1878 he was appointed U.S. consulate to Hong Kong.)
The Army of Tennessee
Commanded by General Joseph Eggleston Johnston
Surrendered on Wednesday, 26th April
Following the strategic defeat the army had suffered at Bentonville, North Carolina, 21 March, the army retired before Major General William T Sherman's forces, about twice their numbers.
At Goldsborough on 24 March the Federal army swelled to 80,000 men when Major General John M. Schofield's force joined with that of Sherman. When Sherman resumed his march northwards on 10 April Johnston followed him having no illusions about being able to stop him on his march through North Carolina.
While en route the Johnston learned of the evacuation of Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia, and of the Army of Northern Virginia's surrender at Appomattox, Virginia. This brought to an end the hope of joining the two Confederate armies together to defeat first one then the other of their opponents.
On arriving near Raleigh, North Carolina, Johnston first attempted to have North Carolina Governor Zebulon Baird Vance broach surrender terms to Sherman. A task that he refused. On 12 April he went to Greensborough to meet with Confederate States President Jefferson Finis Davis from whom he obtained permission to open a peace initiative.
Sherman was immediately receptive to peace negotiations and so on 17 April he met with Johnston near Durham Station, North Carolina. During the two day conference, at the home of James Bennett, terms were agreed that were acceptable to both Generals. But after submitting them to Washington for approval they were quickly rejected.
Johnston was informed that unless more widely acceptable terms were reached a four day Armistice would end on 26 April 1865. So once again the two army Commanders met at the James Bennett home and thrashed out an agreement that gave the same terms that the Army of Northern Virginia had accepted. This was acceptable to the Washington government and on 3 May the Army of Tennessee, 29,924, laid down its arms.
Department of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana
Commanded by Lieutenant General Richard Taylor
Surrendered on Thursday, 4th May
Richard Taylor, son of former United States President Zachary Taylor, commanded the administrative entity called the Department of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana and under his command were some 10-12,000 Troops.
By the end of April 1865 Mobile, Alabama had fallen and news had reached Taylor of the meeting between Johnston and Sherman with this in mind Taylor agreed to meet with Major General Edward R. S. Canby for a conference a few miles north of Mobile, Alabama. On the 30 April both officers agreed a 48 hours' truce, terminable after 48 hours' notice by either party. The two parties now retired Canby to Mobile, Alabama and Taylor to Meridian, Mississippi.
Two days later Taylor elected to surrender, which he did on 4 May at Citronelle, Alabama, some 40 miles north of Mobile, Alabama. Under the terms Taylor retained control of the railway and river steamers to help transport his men as near as possible to their homes. He stayed at Meridian until all had been paroled and the last man sent on his way then he went to Mobile there joining Canby, who took him, by boat, to his home in New Orleans, Louisiana. (These forces included that of Nathan Bedford Forrest who's troops surrendered on 9th May at Gainesville, Ala.)
Later he grew to regret not having tried a guerrilla warfare as he was to say 'At the time, no doubts as to the propriety of my course entered my mind but such have since crept in.'
Confederate District of the Gulf
Commanded by Major General Dabney H. Maury
Surrendered Friday, 5th May
With the fall of Spanish Fort and then that of Fort Blakely on 9 April, both defended the approaches to Mobile, Maury, on the 12 April, began to withdraw his troops, which he declared an open city. His intention was of trying to join the remains of the Army of Tennessee, then in North Carolina. He withdrew his men to Meridian, Mississippi. Hearing of Johnston's surrender to Sherman on April 26 prevented this option. At Meridian he became a Divisional Commander under Richard Taylor. While there he awaited word on the negotiations to surrender the troops of the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana, under Taylor. He surrendered the Mobile's garrison of 4,000+ troops, along with those sent him by Taylor, on 5 May at Citronelle, Alabama. And on the 8 May after an emotive last address they surrender their arms. 'We shall lay down the arms which we have borne for four years to defend our rights-to win our liberties. We have borne them with honor, and we only now surrender to the overwhelming power of the enemy, which has rendered further resistance hopeless and mischievous to our own people and cause. But we shall never forget the noble comrades who have stood shoulder to shoulder with us until now, the noble dead who have been martyred, the noble Southern women who have been wronged and are unavenged, or the noble principles for which we have fought.'
Georgia State and Militia Troops
Commanded by Governor Joseph E. Brown
Surrendered Sunday, 7th May
Georgia had supplied over 100,000 troops to the Confederate armies but also maintained their own troops within the State and with collapse all around him of Confederate forces Governor Brown surrenders these State and Militia troops to General James H. Wilson.
Department of South Georgia and Florida
Commanded by Major General Samuel Jones
Surrendered Wednesday, 10 May
Having commanded the District of South Carolina from March 4, 1864,until January, 1865, 'Sam' Jones appointed to the command of South Georgia and Florida, with his headquarters at Pensacola. Newly appointed to the command he had the unenviable task of immediately ordering the heavy guns and ammunition sent to Mobile, with other supplies to Montgomery, to destroy all boats, including gunboats. Also to destroy all machinery, this included the sawmills, be they in public or private hands, that might be useful to the Federals forces.
On the night of the 9 May all troops, except the cavalry who stayed behind to set fire to everything, marched out and on the 10th the General surrendered approximately 8,000 troops. He did this to Brigadier General Edward M. McCook at Tallahassee, the only Confederate state capital east of the Mississippi that was not captured by military action.
Northern Sub-District of Arkansas
Commanded by Brigadier General Meriwether Jeff Thompson
Surrendered on Thursday, 11 May
On hearing of the surrender of other Confederate forces Thompson, nicknamed the "Swamp Fox", a native Virginian with a strong military tradition, surrendered the 7,454 men that were under his command at the time at Jacksonport, Arkansas to Major General Grenville Mellen Dodge.
Confederate Forces North Georgia
Commanded by Brigadier General William T. Wofford
Surrendered on Friday, 12 May
Wofford arranges with Brigadier General Henry M. Judah for the surrender of some 3000 to 4000 Confederate soldiers, most of whom were Georgians.
Negotiations, and the surrender, were conducted at Kingston, GA. Wofford's headquarters were at the McCravey - Johnson home on Church St. with Judah's headquarters at Spring Bank, the home of the Rev. Charles Wallace Howard, 2 miles north of Kingston.
After the surrender rations were supplied to the Confederate soldiers by the Federal forces.
Trans Mississippi Department
Commanded by Lieutenant General Edmund Kirby Smith
Surrendered on Friday, 2nd June (although Friday, 26th May is usually termed the surrender date)
After the surrenders of the Armies of Northern Virginia and Tennessee in April Edmund Kirby Smith continued to resist claiming both Lee and Johnston were prisoners of war and decrying Confederate deserters of the cause.
By early May with no regular Confederate forces remaining in the field Smith received official proposals that the surrender of his Department be negotiated. Due to this his army, of some 20,000, started to desert so on 18 May Kirby Smith left by stagecoach for Huston with plans to rally the remnants of his troops but while on his way there the last of the Army dissolved.
It was on 26 May at New Orleans that Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner met with Federal officers to discus the surrender of the Department, and surrendered his part of the Trans-Mississippi Department to Federal General Peter Osterhaus.
When Kirby Smith reached Huston on 27 May and learned that basically he had no Army. With reluctance he, accompanied General John Magruder, officially accepted the surrender terms on board the Federal Steamer 'Fort Jackson' in Galveston harbor on 2 June, handing over their swords to General Edward R. S. Canby.
Commanded by Brigadier General Stand Watie
Surrendered on Friday, 23th June
With the fall of Richmond, and the surrender of the Confederate Armies in the East, the Confederate Indians made plans to make their peace with the Federal Government. On 15 June the Chiefs convened a Grand Council at which they passed resolutions calling for emissaries to sue for peace.
The largest Indian force was Commanded by Stand Waite, who was also a Chief of the Cherokee Nation, who up to now had been unwilling to admit defeat even though by now Taylor and Kirby Smith had also surrendered.
Some weeks earlier Lieutenant Colonel Asa C. Matthews had been negotiate peace with the Indians. So on 23 June Stand Waite rode into Doaksville, near Fort Towson in Indian Territory and surrendered his Battalion of Creek, Seminole, Cherokee and Osage Indians.
Die-hard, disillusioned, and unreconstructed Southerners
Not all the troops surrendered nor the people accepted rule by the Union and its estimated that as many 40,000 left the South immediately or emigrated over the next few years.
Not all of the Trans-Mississippi Departments troops went home as some 2,000 went into Mexico, many went on their own or in small groups. One party numbered 300 was led by Lieutenant General Edmund Kirby Smith mounted on a mule, wearing a calico shirt, sporting silk kerchief, and wearing a revolver strapped to his hip and a shotgun on his saddle.
In July Major General Joseph Orville "Jo" Shelby slowly approached the northern banks of Rio Grande leading a group of several hundred Confederates, including remnants of his Iron Cavalry Brigade of Missouri, and crossed into Mexico.
Brazilian Emperor Dom Pedro II, who had supported the Confederacy, invited all who wanted to to emigrate to Brazil and it is believed that from 1866 for the next few years as many as 20,000 did this. (The decedents of them hold four meetings a year to celebrate their Confederate ancestry, this is held outside the city of Americans, in the state of San Paolo.)
As well as those who went to Mexico and Brazil still others took up offers of a new beginning and emigrated to Honduras and Venezuela, where they were valued for their agricultural expertise.
A verse added to the angry post-war Confederate anthem "The Unreconstructed Rebel" commemorates the defiance of these men:
"I won't be reconstructed, I'm better now than then.
And for a Carpetbagger I do not give a damn.
So it's forward to the frontier, soon as I can go.
I'll fix me up a weapon and start for Mexico."
It should be noted that the Confederate States of America were never formally surrendered. While the States, Armies, forts, and some of the warships of the Confederacy surrendered over a period of time, and the President of the Confederate States captured and made a prisoner-of-war, at no time was the Confederacy surrendered.
Even today some 2,000 Brazilians attend the annual festa of the Fraternidade Descendência Americana, the brotherhood of Confederate descendants in Brazil, near the town of Americana, in the State of São Paulo, which was settled by Southern defectors 150 years ago. The public-address system plays Confederate battle songs, they fly Rebel banners, dress in period costume and you can even purchase Confederate $1 bills, the Confederados are celebrating there ancestors.