Tuesday, April 1, 2014

#AtoZ #Blog Challenge: A is for Appomattox

It's April 1st! I'm so excited. I've made the preparations and am ready for the challenges ahead. This month I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. I have never done this blog challenge before but had heard about it. I decided to take the plunge and will be posting daily on historical topics and completing my normal posts. I am also participating in CampNaNoWriMo this month. I'll be writing the first draft of Field of Grace. Field of Grace is set to be released June 6th. 

Today is Tuesday and I usually post a topic about Irish history and I have a post for the the Express Yourself Weekly Blog Tour. I will be posting the next segment in our Irish History series in the next post but I will not be completing the Express Yourself this week. 

Alright. Here we go. 

A is for Appomattox

The United States Civil War was the bloodiest war in US History that left everlasting marks upon this country. The war started April 12, 1861. There were more than three million men who fought in the war and 620, 000 of them died. The bloodiest day of the entire conflict occurred at the battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862 where 12,401 Union and 10,318 Confederate soldiers were killed, missing or wounded. That is double the number of casualties that occurred on D-Day. You can read more interesting Civil War Facts by visiting this page

The Civil War ended on April 9, 1865 when the Confederate Army under the direction of General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Commander Ulysses S. Grant. 

Although General Robert E. Lee surrendered his troops it did not officially end the war. There were would be 14 more occasions where the Confederates would either lose a battle or surrender. 
    1. The Battle of Fort Blakely in Alabama - This battle occurred only a six hours after Lee surrendered. During the battle Confederate  Brigadier  General St. John Richardson Liddell was captured and he surrendered his men. Out of Lindell's 4,000 men, 3,400 were captured, 250 died and 200 ran away. 
    2. Battle of Columbus, Georgia (April 16) - General James H. Wilson's Raiders were unaware of Lee's surrender and the assassination of President Lincoln only a few days earlier. They marched from Alabama into Georgia where around midnight they destroyed most of the manufacturing in Columbus. 
    3. 43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry, aka: Mosby's Raiders, disbanded (April 21) - Mosby's Raiders were the elite special forces of the Confederate Army. General Robert E. Lee has commissioned Commander John Singleton Mosby to form a battalion that would use psychological and guerrilla warfare techniques to defeat Union strongholds. The battalion was formed on June 10, 1863 at Rector's Cross Roads near Rectortown, Virginia. The raiders never accepted surrender and had to be officially disbanded. 
    4. Surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston and his various armies (April 26) - General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered around 30,000 men who made up the Confederate troops in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. He surrendered his men to Major General William T. Sherman at Bennett Place,  Durham, North Carolina. It was the largest troop surrender in the Civil War. 
    5. Surrender of the Confederate departments of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana regiments (May 4) - Mobile, Alabama had fallen under Union control on April 12, 1865 but the Confederate troops in that area hadn't surrendered yet. Richard Taylor, the son of former US President Zachary Taylor, was the commander of the Confederate forces in Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana. He had received reports concerning Johnston's surrender and had agreed to meet with Major General Edward R. S. Canby of the Union. The two men conferenced north of Mobile and agreed to a 48 hour truce on April 30th. On May 4th, Taylor agreed to terms of surrender and handed all of the Confederate departments under his control to Union General Edward Canby on May 8, 1865. He was paroled three days later. 
    6. Surrender of the Confederate District of the Gulf (May 5) - The Confederate troops at in the Gulf of Mexico region of the United States was under the direction of General Dabney Herndon Maury. When he learned of Johnston's surrender he realized he had run out of options to win the war in the Gulf region. On May 5, he surrendered around 5, 000 men at  Citronelle, Alabama. It was the last of Confederate troops to surrender east of the Mississippi. 
    7. Confederate President Jefferson Davis Captured (May 10) - President Jefferson Davis had evacuated the Confederate capital in the early part of April. On May 5, he held a meeting with his cabinet in Washington, Georgia where he dissolved the Confederate Government. 

8) Surrender of the Confederate Department of Florida and South Georgia (May 10) -  Tallahassee, Florida was the only Confederate city not to be captured by the Union. Confederate Major General Samuel Jones surrendered his department to Brigadier General Edward M. McCook in the city. The Florida Confederate troops numbered around 8,000 men. 
9) Surrender of the Northern Sub-District of Arkansas (May 11)Confederate Brigadier General "Jeff" Meriwether Thompson commanded a the Thompson Brigade in Arkansas. After the collapse of the Confederate Army's forces east of the Mississippi, Lieutenant Colonel Charles W. Davis of the 51st Illinois Infantry went to Arkansas to meet with Thompson concerning terms of surrender. Thompson met with the Union commander on May 9 and requested he be granted two days to organize the men. Davis agreed to his terms. On May 11, the 7,500 Confederate soldiers organized at  Wittsburg and Jacksonport, Arkansas where Thompson and his officers surrendered their entire force to the Union. 
10) Surrender of Confederate forces of North Georgia (May 12) - Between 3000 to 4000 Confederate troops were surrendered to Union forces at Kingston, Georgia. 
11) Battle of Palmito Ranch near Brownsville, Texas (May 12–13) - Considered the last battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Palmito Ranch was fought twelve miles east of Brownsville, Texas. The Union Army had occupied Brownsville since November 2, 1863 and used it as a base of operations for military campaigns. In March, the Confederate and Union armies in South Texas had agreed to an gentleman's agreement. Neither army would attack the other without giving a written declaration of the attack. There was peace on both sides until May 11th, when Union Colonel Theodore H. Barrett of the 1st Missouri Colored Infantry ordered his lieutenant colonel, David Branson to attack the Confederate encampments at White and Palmito Ranches even though he knew it was in violation of orders from headquarters. He knew about Lee's surrender and that many of the Confederate forces had disbanded. He decided to proceed anyways. No one knows why he ordered the attack.  The Mexicans warned the Confederate troops of the attack with shots fired from across the river. The skirmish involved Caucasian, African American, Mexican and Native American troops. You can read more about the battle by pressing the title of this paragraph. The Confederates won the battle but surrendered their forces on June 2. 
12) Surrender of Kirby Smith (May 26) - Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith commanded the Trans-Mississippi Department after the fall of Vicksburg. He had tried to send in reinforcements to Vicksburg after the Battle of Mansfield and the Battle of Pleasant Hill but was unsuccessful. He surrendered  43,000 Confederate soldiers to Union Major General Edward Canby in Shreveport, Louisiana. 


  1. Very interesting! You've really done your research.

  2. America has a rich history and not all of it is nice. I like your theme, can't wait to see the rest.

    Brandon Ax: Writer's Storm

    1. Thank you, Brandon. I love to write about history and stories that aren't too often known about.

  3. Welcome to the A to Z! This is my third year and I love doing it. Keeps me focused on putting down words. Wow do you like your history! Well done and informative to read! Thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next...

    1. Thank you, Lisa. I'm so excited to do the A to Z Challenge I convinced my best friend to participate as well. It's going to be hard to keep my normal blog schedule, this and Camp NaNoWriMo but I know I can do it.

  4. Welcome to A to Z. It looks like you put a lot of thought, time and effort into your A post, I'll be interested in seeing what happens next :)


    1. Thank you. I love everything to do with history. I believe we can learn a lot from our ancestors.

  5. 3 million men fought in the Civil War? That's an incredible number. New follower. http://tonjasmusings.blogspot.com

    1. Yes and a third of the population fought in the war. It was a horrible time of our nation's history that I wouldn't want to see repeated.