8 thoughts on “Event of the Year, 1865

  1. Rob Wick September 10, 2012 / 1:12 pm

    No question in my mind. The assassination of Lincoln. It forever stilled the possibility of what Lincoln could have brought to reconstruction and foisted the disaster that was Andrew Johnson on the nation.


  2. Noma September 10, 2012 / 1:42 pm

    Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, and how Grant handled it. It freed 4 million people, and set them on the road to citizenship. Made it possible for the South to come back into the Union, instead of having Confederate armies turn into marauding guerrilla bands

    But the assassination of Lincoln and the inauguration of Andrew Johnson have to be a close second. In the words of Ulysses S. Grant, the inauguration of Johnson “set reconstruction back, no telling how far,” and basically set the stage for 100 years of terrorism against African Americans and their sympathizers.

    One other way to put this would be the fact that Nathan Bedford Forrest did not die. “There will be no peace in the South as long as he is alive” which turned out to be 100 years.

  3. Al Mackey September 10, 2012 / 3:05 pm

    Lee surrenders to Grant.

  4. wgdavis September 10, 2012 / 3:12 pm

    Concur…the assassination of President Lincoln. This act had a profund and negative effect on reconstruction.

  5. Jerry Desko September 10, 2012 / 8:31 pm

    Initially I would say the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, however it is subordinate to the murder of President Lincoln.

  6. Greg Taylor September 11, 2012 / 7:36 am

    Lincoln’s assassination. It made him a martyr and secured his place in history. It had a profound effect on reconstruction. Who knows what would have happened had he lived and served out his second term. Lee’s surrender was inevitable. Lincoln’s assassination was not.

  7. Lyle Smith September 11, 2012 / 10:29 am

    I agree with all on Lincoln’s assassination and the end of the Confederacy.

    However, perhaps the formation of the Kuklux Clan and similar ex-Confederate groups should be mentioned. The ratification of the 13th Amendment was probably significant too.

  8. Sugel September 16, 2012 / 9:15 am

    April 2 — Selma. Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson, commanding three divisions of Union cavalry, about 13,500 men, led his men south from Gravelly Springs, Alabama, on March 22, 1865. Opposed by Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest, Wilson skillfully continued his march and eventually defeated him in a running battle at Ebenezer Church, on April 1. Continuing towards Selma, Wilson split his command into three columns. Although Selma was well-defended, the Union columns broke through the defenses at separate points forcing the Confederates to surrender the city, although many of the officers and men, including Forrest and Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor, escaped. Selma demonstrated that even Forrest, whom some had considered invincible, could not stop the unrelenting Union movements deep into the Southern Heartland.

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