A Year In History: 1865

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In 1865, the American Civil War came to an end, President Lincoln was assassinated and the 13th amendment was ratified, abolishing slavery in the U.S. The Secret Service came into being, originally created to prevent widespread counterfeiting that plagued the financial system. Elsewhere in the world, rebels in the Dominican Republic forced out Spanish occupiers to restore their country’s independence, and in England, Lewis Carroll published “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”

April 9

Robert E. Lee surrenders

In the village of Appomattox Court House, Virginia, on April 9, 1865, Robert E. Lee surrenders his 28,000 Confederate troops to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the American Civil War. Forced to abandon the Confederate capital of Richmond, blocked from joining the surviving Confederate force in North Carolina, and harassed constantly by Union cavalry, Lee had […]

April 10

After surrendering to Union, General Lee gives final address to troops

One day after surrendering to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, Confederate General Robert E. Lee addresses his army for the last time. “After four years of arduous service, marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources. I need not tell the brave […]

April 23

“Panic has seized the country,” writes Confederate President Jefferson Davis

Confederate President Jefferson Davis writes to his wife, Varina, of the desperate situation facing the Confederates. “Panic has seized the country,” he wrote to his wife in Georgia. Davis was in Charlotte, North Carolina, on his flight away from Yankee troops. It was three weeks since Davis had fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, […]

May 10

Confederate President Jefferson Davis captured by Union forces

Jefferson Davis, president of the fallen Confederate government, is captured with his wife and entourage near Irwinville, Georgia, by a detachment of Union General James H. Wilson’s cavalry. On April 2, 1865, with the Confederate defeat at Petersburg, Virginia imminent, General Robert E. Lee informed President Davis that he could no longer protect Richmond and […]