Appomattox Court House: Lee’s Surrender

General Lee's final battle began on March 25, 1865. General Grant’s forces counterattacked a week later, forcing Lee to pull back. The Confederate Army was heavily outnumbered by the enemy and low on supplies. Lee led a series of brave night marches, hoping to reach supply trains and join Maj. Gen. Johnston’s army in North Carolina.

On April 9, 1865, the Union army had trapped the Confederate army near Appomattox Court House. Rather than destroy his army and sacrifice the lives of his soldiers, Confederate general Robert E. Lee decided to surrender the Army of Northern Virginia to Union general Ulysses S. Grant. Three days later, a formal ceremony marked the disbanding of Lee's army and the parole of his men, ending the war in Virginia. The conditions of the Grant-Lee agreement served as a model for the rest of the surrenders that followed.

Lee’s formal surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House brought the war in Virginia to an end. Lee’s was the most significant surrender of the Civil War. Several other Confederate commanders had to surrender before President Andrew Johnson could officially proclaim an end to the Civil War in 1866.

Source: Appomattox Court House: Lee’s Surrender
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