April 5, 1865: Grant Pushes West

Ulysses S. Grant was on the move on April 5, 1865. He had just received a dispatch from Phil Sheridan that Lee was stalled at Amelia Court House. “We can capture the Army of Northern Virginia if force enough can be thrown to this point and then advance upon it,” the cavalryman assured his chief.

Grant agreed. Lee’s army was melting away. He informed Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton that “we hear of the men going home generally without arms.” There was no time to waste. As he told Sherman, “Rebel Armies now are the only strategic points to strike at.”

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April 4, 1865: A Visit to Richmond, Trouble at Amelia Court House

On April 4, 1865, Abraham Lincoln visited Richmond, Virginia. Greeted by a throng of citizens, including many African Americans enjoying their freedom from slavery, Lincoln made his way to the Confederate White House, where he sat down in a chair he believed must have been used by Jefferson Davis and spoke to people while in Davis’s library.

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