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 Posted: Mon May 13th, 2013 10:22 am
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Texas Defender
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  What event brought about the actual end of the Civil War? Different people have different opinions regarding that question. Most people (Especially those who have not seriously studied the war) would say that the war ended when General Lee surrendered the ANV at Appomattox Courthouse on 09 April 1865. However, other significant events took place after that date, and there are a number of different answers that might be given to the question.

  For example, there was the surrender of General J.E. Johnston's army to General Sherman in NC on 26 April. Then there was the capture of Jefferson Davis in GA on 10 May. Various CSA departments surrendered on different dates in May, ending with the surrender of General Kirby Smith's Army of the Trans-Mississippi on 26 May (Effective on 02 June).

  The last CSA general to surrender was the Cherokee, Stand Watie. He gave up in Indian Territory on 23 June. His was the last active CSA force on land.

  The last CSA surrender of any kind took place in Liverpool, England when the captain of the commerce raider CSS SHENANDOAH surrendered his ship to the British on 06 November.

   Officially, the U.S. Government fixed the formal date of the end of the war as 20 August 1866. On that date, President Andrew Johnson declared that the: "Insurrection" was at an end.

  My personal opinion is that a different event can be regarded as the actual end of the war. On this date in 1865, the last actual land battle took place at Palmito Ranch, near Brownsville, TX.

PALMITO RANCH, BATTLE OF | The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas State Historica

  The battle took place because a Union colonel, Theodore Barrett, ordered his men to occupy Brownsville, in spite of the fact that negotiations between higher ups on both sides were then taking place. The Union troops never got there, and suffered badly in the battle before pulling back. A truce was arranged a few days later, after which CSA units in TX were disbanded.

  Since this event was the last battle where organized units of Union and CSA troops engaged in combat, I choose to regard it as the actual end of the Civil War.

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