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Past Civil War Events
There remains a haunting stillness over the grounds around Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Maryland, where 3,650 Union and Confederate soldiers perished on the deadliest day—September 17, 1862—in American history.
After four of the bloodiest years of warfare in its history, peace finally had come to the United States in May 1865. For two glorious days, Washington, D.C., residents watched as the mighty Union armies that had compelled the surrender of the Confederacy’s main forces marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in triumph. “The rebels,” Ulysses S. Grant proclaimed a few weeks earlier, “are our countrymen again.”
By the time of Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, the land and people of western Missouri had suffered as much as any during the Civil War. The 1863 edict known as “Order No. 11”—forcing the evacuation of all non-rural residents of three western counties including Jackson—and the Federal army that carried it out had depopulated those counties, devastated homes and farms, and left deep scars.
For Abraham Lincoln, the road to the future always began in the past – with the Founding Fathers, who inspired him to take up public life, showed him how to win arguments, and laid out his nation’s principles.
On the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s death, historian Richard Brookhiser delivers an illuminating new look at our 16th and arguably greatest president.
On the morning of May 3, 1863, on the cusp of one of the most remarkable tactical battlefield victories in American military history, Gen. Robert E. Lee rode to a crossroads clearing in Virginia known as Chancellorsville amid the cheers of his high-spirited Confederate troops.
With the end of the Civil War in sight as he delivered his second inaugural address in March 1865, Abraham Lincoln eloquently implored his divided countrymen “to bind up the nation’s wounds” and “do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace.”
But the chaos of war was not yet ended. The South was reeling from Sherman’s destructive March to the Sea. Entire cities, including the Confederate capital of Richmond, were being overrun. Forty-one days after being sworn in for a second term, Lincoln was felled by an assassin’s bullet.