The Surrender At Appomattox

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The Civil War was the deadliest conflict in United States history. Over 620,000 died in the Civil War. Most of the war took place in the South. All most all of the destruction and battles happened in the south also. The union hoped to cripple the south and its residents by destroying everything they came across. Their thought was if enough damage was done in the south then war would lose support. Many battles lead up to the battle of Appomattox. But probably the most influential and turning point of the war was the battle at Gettysburg. This battle lasted three days and killed at least 160,000 soldiers. After that the south started to fall apart. They lost Atlanta and Savanna to Sherman on his march to the see.

At the time of the last battle, Robert E. Lee’s army was starting to drop there weapons and go home. They had no food and there uniforms were worn and muddy. The faces of the soldiers said it all. They had a look of defeat. Since General Grant’s army was closing in on General Lee’s he used some evasive action and moved southwest to Danville. The retreat was cut off by union forces in a village near Jetersville. Then they changed direction and started to head west toward Lynchburg. The hoped to out run the union forces and then turn south, but Grants troops were close behind and closed in and the 8,000 soldiers in the back were captured. The loss of Lee’s 8,000 men greatly weakened his troops.

It also didn’t help that general Longstreet wouldn’t send his men into battle without the Calvary and his men were in the middle this greatly weaken the lines. Therefore on April 8th Lee tried one more desperate attack near Appomattox. Which lead to the defeat of his army. Once Lee realized there was no chance to escape Lee sent out Lt. Col. Charles Marshall to find a suitable place for the surrender to take place. So he went to the town of Appomattox and asked Wilmer McLean (once a supplier for the confederates) where he could find a suitable place for the surrender to happen. McLean knew he had the nicest place so he offered his parlor and Marshall accepted.

After Lee and Grant decided on the place Lee dressed up in his best uniform and was there 30 minutes before Grant was who was wearing a wrinkled and worn uniform with mud on it. When they got there they shook hands then sat down and got busy in settling the terms. General Lee wanted his men not to be arrested and be able to leave with there horses because most of the horses were there own.

Many events lead to the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse. The actual surrender did happen at the court house. After the war was over Abraham Lincoln was assonated. He once said that once the war was over he would not hold a grudge against the south. But since he was assonated his vice president Andrew Jackson became the president and the south wasn’t treated the same as I would have.

Surrender at Appomattox By Andrew Santella 2006 images%5Cappo5.jpg

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