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US Civil War

When did the American Civil War actually come to an end?

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July 03, 2009 2:12AM

Although it has been taught that the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia between General Robert E. Lee and General Ulysses Grant on April 9, 1865 ended the American Civil War, there were still active Confederate forces in the field across the country. Certainly Lee capitulating triggered the beginning of the end for the Confederacy, but the war was not over. General Joe Johnston maintained a force of 25-30,000 soldiers in Greensboro, North Carolina until April 26, 1865, when he surrendered his immediate army along with all active Confederate soldiers throughout the southeast (NC, SC, GA, and FL) totaling nearly 90,000 soldiers. This made the surrender at the Bennett Farm in now Durham, North Carolina the largest surrender of the entire war, and perhaps more significant than the surrender at Appomattox. Three more surrenders followed in Alabama, Louisiana, and the Oklahoma territory where General Stand Watie surrendered his regiment made up of American Cherokee Indians. The final surrender of the war came when a Confederate naval vessel, the C.S.S. Shenandoah, lowered her flags to British authorities in England. Thus, the final end of the American Civil War. Hostilities continued throughout the country for another 10 years with a time known as Reconstruction.