Oops, I am tardy; June 23rd was the 147th anniversary of the surrender of the last Confederate force. Here is a quick review of the surrender dates of Confederate armies:
April 9, 1865: surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia by General Robert E. Lee
April 26, 1865: surrender of forces commanded by Joseph E. Johnston
May 4, 1865: surrender of Departments of Alabama, Mississippi, and east Louisiana by Lt. General Richard Taylor
May 26, 1865: surrender of the Trans-Mississippi Department by Lt. Gen. E. Kirby Smith
June 23, 1865: surrender of Indian tribes by Brigadier General Stand Watie near Fort Towson, Indian Territory. The Historical Marker Database includes photographs of the marker near the site of Watie’s surrender, and the News in History.com website has a transcription of an 1865 newspaper article about the surrender proceedings.
One of my pet peeves is the implication (often made by the national media) that the war ended with the surrender of Lee’s army. This is an Eastern-centric view of the war implying that Lee’s army embodied everything of importance. The surrender of Lee’s army started the process of surrenders by other Confederate armies, but the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia did not necessarily mean that the war’s end would be a quick or an inevitable process.
Well, I feel better now that I’ve vented about this…