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April 9th 1865, Surrender of the Confederate forces at Appomattox


NewGoldDream

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Following the fall of Petersburg and Richmond, Lee's Army of North Virginia tried to join up with other Confederate forces in Virginia but were intercepted at Appomattox. Following a failed attempt to break out, Lee was forced to surrender. Subsequently, he and Grant finally met at the house of Wilmer McLean, who had ironically moved to Appomattox after the first battle of Bull Run had taken place on his Manassas VA plantation. In what seems to have been an occasion tinged with mutual respect, the terms of the surrender which were very generous to the Confederate forces were agreed and the war which had killed more than 630,000 soldiers, or 2% of the overall population, was ended.
 

Bill

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Ken Burns civil war documentary is very good, if you haven't seen it already
 

NewGoldDream

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Ken Burns civil war documentary is very good, if you haven't seen it already
I have, it was on again in recent weeks on PBS America and a lot of it shown the Sunday before last through the entire day. Have recorded most episodes. Saw it years back, and even as a youngster it was a tv experience that just stopped me in my tracks, perhaps the best documentary ever made.
 

owedtojoy

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Following the fall of Petersburg and Richmond, Lee's Army of North Virginia tried to join up with other Confederate forces in Virginia but were intercepted at Appomattox. Following a failed attempt to break out, Lee was forced to surrender. Subsequently, he and Grant finally met at the house of Wilmer McLean, who had ironically moved to Appomattox after the first battle of Bull Run had taken place on his Manassas VA plantation. In what seems to have been an occasion tinged with mutual respect, the terms of the surrender which were very generous to the Confederate forces were agreed and the war which had killed more than 630,000 soldiers, or 2% of the overall population, was ended.
The Irishman at Appomattox was General Philip Sheridan, the man Grant used to lead his strike force.

At Five Forks Va. on April 1st, Sheridan led an attack on right flank of Lee's army, broke it and turned the flank. The next day Lee ordered Richmond and its trenches evacuated and began a retreat to the west, hoping to be able to turn south and join with other Confederate forces.

But Sheridan (and Grant) had the killer instinct, and leading cavalry and infantry pursued Lee mercilessly until his forces reached Appomattox first. Lee, left with about 30,000 men against over twice that number, had no option but to surrender.

Sheridan went on to become Commanding General of the US Army, quite an achievement at the time for the son of Catholic Irish immigrants.

Sheridan was so pugnacious he was temporarily expelled from West Point for persistent fighting. The rumour was that he should have been expelled permanently, but the faculty decided that the country might someday need a man of his fighting temper.
 

Bill

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bought it on DVD, didn't really get into the one he did on WW2 as much, Gettysburg by Scott was also very good
 

Bill

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The Irishman at Appomattox was General Philip Sheridan, the man Grant used to lead his strike force.

At Five Forks Va. on April 1st, Sheridan led an attack on left flank of Lee's army, broke it and turned the flank. The next day Lee ordered Richmond and its trenches evacuated and began a retreat to the west, hoping to able to turn south and join with other Confederate forces.

But Sheridan (and Grant) had the killer instinct, and leading cavalry and infantry pursued Lee mercilessly until his forces reached Appomattox first. Lee, left with about 30,000 men against over twice that number, had no option but to surrender.

Sheridan went on to become Commanding General of the US Army, quite an achievement at the time for the son of Catholic Irish immigrants.

Sheridan was so pugnacious he was temporarily expelled from West Point for persistent fighting. The rumour was that he should have been expelled permanently, but the faculty decided that the country might someday need a man of his fighting temper.
Lincoln offered that position to Lee at the start of the war , but he refused saying he wouldn't raise his sword against Virginia, Lee was also in command of Union forces Harper's Ferry.
 
D

Dylan2010

Lincoln offered that position to Lee at the start of the war , but he refused saying he wouldn't raise his sword against Virginia.
Ita a pity other Americans didnt know where to draw the line.
 

NewGoldDream

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The Irishman at Appomattox was General Philip Sheridan, the man Grant used to lead his strike force.
Sheridan was a giant in the Civil War, though think he actually stood 5 foot 4 inches tall! Parents from Cavan afaik, he was very close to both Grant and Sherman, the two greatest names on the Union side, he seemed to share a lot of their ideas particularly Sherman's "scorched earth" policy. Outside of the Civil War he was instrumental in the creation of Yellowstone National Park, sadly he will be forever associated with his comment that the only good Indian he ever saw etc. etc. Perhaps one of the greatest Irish Americans, he was involved in some of the most brutal battles, at Stones River, Chickamauga and he was involved in the Overland Campaign, though he wasn't directly involved in the carnage at Wilderness, Spotsylvania or Cold Harbor afaik. After his death when his much younger widow was asked about the prospect of remarriage she said she would rather be the widow of Philip Sheridan than the wife of anyone living.

bought it on DVD, didn't really get into the one he did on WW2 as much, Gettysburg by Scott was also very good
Saw that recently and wasn't gone on it. Thought it was strange that they only showed Lee for a second and managed to depict Pickett's Charge whilst omitting poor Pickett altogether...though I appreciate that he was only one of a trio in command along with Pettigrew and Trimble. Would like to see other documentaries on the Civil War, sadly Burns set the bar way too high!
 

Bill

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Sheridan was a giant in the Civil War, though think he actually stood 5 foot 4 inches tall! Parents from Cavan afaik, he was very close to both Grant and Sherman, the two greatest names on the Union side, he seemed to share a lot of their ideas particularly Sherman's "scorched earth" policy. Outside of the Civil War he was instrumental in the creation of Yellowstone National Park, sadly he will be forever associated with his comment that the only good Indian he ever saw etc. etc. Perhaps one of the greatest Irish Americans, he was involved in some of the most brutal battles, at Stones River, Chickamauga and he was involved in the Overland Campaign, though he wasn't directly involved in the carnage at Wilderness, Spotsylvania or Cold Harbor afaik. After his death when his much younger widow was asked about the prospect of remarriage she said she would rather be the widow of Philip Sheridan than the wife of anyone living.



Saw that recently and wasn't gone on it. Thought it was strange that they only showed Lee for a second and managed to depict Pickett's Charge whilst omitting poor Pickett altogether...though I appreciate that he was only one of a trio in command along with Pettigrew and Trimble. Would like to see other documentaries on the Civil War, sadly Burns set the bar way too high!
The other series from PBS that they show on discovery every now and again is actually quite good , some of the contributing historians are interesting.
 

JohnD66

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Recently watched the whole lot again on youtube. Excellent for the most part. Also read, 'Battle Cry of Freedom' recently, which has to be a classic of popular history.

Edit, seems to have been taken down again from youtube though.
 

wombat

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Sheridan was a giant in the Civil War, though think he actually stood 5 foot 4 inches tall! Parents from Cavan afaik
The most senior Irishman to serve in the war was Patrick Clebourne from Ovens, Co. Cork who was a major general in the Confederate army and one of their most effective.
 

NewGoldDream

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The other series from PBS that they show on discovery every now and again is actually quite good , some of the contributing historians are interesting.
On the subject of the contributors, I find something very engaging about Shelby Foote in the Burns one, even if he was a bit fond of Nathan Forrest Bedford. Maybe a bit too anecdotal, but there is something kinda warm and attractive about the way he tells the stories, maybe it's the timbre or pitch of voice, or the droll delivery. He injects even the slightest stories with colour.

Shelby Foote - YouTube
 

owedtojoy

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The most senior Irishman to serve in the war was Patrick Clebourne from Ovens, Co. Cork who was a major general in the Confederate army and one of their most effective.
In terms of rank I think Cleburne and Sheridan were both Major-Generals so they were both equal in that sense.

However, Cleburne never held independent command as frequently as Sheridan did. He fluffed his big opportunity (at Jonesboro, in the Atlanta campaign). Despite his record, he was never promoted to corps commander, as many thought he should. That might have been due to his views on slavery, but might also be due to the opinion of his superiors that he was more suited to division command, where he excelled.

Sheridan held many independent commands and by the end of the war was the Union's foremost combat commander. Grant thought he was the best general produced on either side in the war, though few historians agree. I saw a poll of historians that ranked Sheridan sixth (after Grant, Lee, Sherman, Thomas and Jackson).
 
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Bill

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On the subject of the contributors, I find something very engaging about Shelby Foote in the Burns one, even if he was a bit fond of Nathan Forrest Bedford. Maybe a bit too anecdotal, but there is something kinda warm and attractive about the way he tells the stories, maybe it's the timbre or pitch of voice, or the droll delivery. He injects even the slightest stories with colour.

Shelby Foote - YouTube
Uncle torrence just got me a Union Divided, I'll let you know tomorrow if it's any good.
Next time I'm around that part of the world I really must take a few days to visit the different sites.
 

wombat

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In terms of rank I think Cleburne and Sheridan were both Major-Generals so they were both equal in that sense..
One was born in Cork, the other in Ohio (or N.Y.?)
 

JimComic

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In what seems to have been an occasion tinged with mutual respect, the terms of the surrender which were very generous to the Confederate forces were agreed and the war which had killed more than 630,000 soldiers, or 2% of the overall population, was ended.
war didn't quite end with the signing of lee's surrender at ACH as he commanded but one army of the confederacy but it did end soon after
 

wombat

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Sheridan held many independent commands and by the end of the war was the Union's foremost combat commander. Grant thought he was the best general produced on either side in the war, though few historians agree. I saw a poll of historians that ranked Sheridan sixth (after Grant, Lee, Sherman, Thomas and Jackson).
He was very aggressive, a bit like Sherman in his approach but I'm surprised that he would be considered that highly.
 

Bill

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Ita a pity other Americans didnt know where to draw the line.
"I , John Brown, am now quite certain that crimes of this guilty land can never be purged away but with blood"
Brown was a militant abolitionist , he was hung for leading the raid at Harpers Ferry.
 

enby

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I'm in the middle of Team of Rivals at the moment. McClellan's Peninsular Campaign is about to start.

What a fascinating time. I often wonder how different world history might have been had the Confederacy survived. Would "the North" with all of its industrial resources have become a Superpower in the 20th Century? Would either USA or CSA have been involved in either world war? How would CSA have dealt with the inevitable implosion of the institution of slavery? Would the likes of Texas have ultimately seceded from CSA or California from USA?
 
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