The end•Losses at Gettysburg and Vicksburg in July, 1863 had merely been the signals to the Confederacy that their struggle was not going to end well.
The end• As 1863 became 1864 and then 1865, those signals became alarm bells, as Union troops, under the leadership of Grant in the East and Sherman in the West, moved relentlessly toward Richmond.
The end• Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia had been pursued tirelessly by Grant and the Union Army of the Potomac, primarily in and around Petersburg, VA, just to the south of the Confederate capital at Richmond.
The end• With no supplies and needing to be able to move, Lee abandoned Petersburg on April 2, 1865, and Union troops marched into Richmond on April 3.
The end•As Lee continued his retreat west, away from Richmond, he fought small skirmishes and battles against the Union troops.
The end• His hope was to unite with General Joseph E. Johnston’s troops somewhere in North Carolina and, hopefully, raise some kind of stand against the advancing Union army.
The end• However, he was never able to realize this hope and decided that he could not subject his men to any more fighting and, facing the possibility of being surrounded, Lee sent a message to General Grant asking for terms of surrender.
The end• Some in Lee’s army wanted to continue on and fight a guerilla war, which would mean a series of hit-and-run attacks and surprise raids against Union forces.
The end• Lee believed that this would bring more devastation to his country, Virginia, then he could bare and decided to meet General Grant at Appomattox Court House, VA.
surrender• They met in the farm house of long-time Virginia resident, Wilmer McLean, who had owned a home in Manassas in July, 1861 and left to get
surrender•Lee arrived wearing his best dress uniform, cleaned and pressed, as Grant arrived wearing a dirty private’s uniform.
surrender•Grant’s terms for surrender were quite generous, given what had happened between the two sides for the four previous years.
surrender• Confederate soldiers would be allowed to keep their horses and mules and would not be punished as traitors, as long as the obeyed the laws where they lived.
surrender• Union soldiers fired their guns and artillery salutes when news of the surrender reached them, but Grant quickly ended this, knowing the now former Confederates were part of the Union again.
surrender• On April 9, 1865, 3 days short of the 4 th anniversary of the attack on Fort Sumter, the Civil War was over and the country now had to figure out how to bring everyone back together.