Interestingly, the events that led up to the end of the American Civil War occurred around the area that our show takes place.

The Battle of Atlanta was fought just south east of Atlanta, Georgia and when it finally fell – it went with a mighty crash.

Then General Sherman’s March to the Sea destroyed everything and ripped out the heart of Dixie.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s army, thinned by desertion and casualties, was now much smaller than Grant’s. Union forces won a decisive victory at the Battle of Five Forks on April 1, forcing Lee to evacuate Petersburg and Richmond. The Confederate capital fell to the Union XXV Corps, composed of black troops. The remaining Confederate units fled west and after a defeat at Sayler’s Creek, it became clear to Robert E. Lee that continued fighting against the United States was both tactically and logistically impossible.

An Emotional Surrender

Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, 1865, at the McLean House in the village of Appomattox Court House.

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Like all surrenders, it was a moment filled with emotion.

In an untraditional gesture and as a sign of Grant’s respect and anticipation of peacefully restoring Confederate states to the Union, Lee was permitted to keep his sword and his horse, Traveller.

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Some argue that “the last death of the Civil War” was the Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln that took place just five days after Lee’s surrender on Good Friday, April 14, 1865.

President Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth, a Southern sympathizer. Lincoln died early the next morning, and Andrew Johnson became the president.

Meanwhile, Confederate forces across the South gave in as news of Lee’s surrender reached them.

President Johnson officially declared a virtual end to the insurrection on May 9, 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured the following day.

On June 23, 1865, Cherokee leader Stand Watie was the last Confederate General to surrender his forces.

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