155 years ago today Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to United States General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia, ending the American Civil War.
Lee had held the trenches at Petersburg for 10 months before he had abandoned his untenable position and marched his army west in an attempt to shake the federals and hopefully get reenforced by another confederate army marching north through North Carolina.
But it wasn’t meant to be.
Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was, by this time, hollowed out by desertions and in no shape to take on the much larger federal army pursing them. Knowing this, Lee did the honorable thing and surrendered his army to Grant at Appomattox. The contest had been decided.
With Lee’s surrender the Civil War was effectively over and the Confederacy was no more.