Other Events in 1865

January 15

     Fort Fisher, North Carolina fell to the Union in a combined land and sea assault. This gave the Union control of Port Fear R. Wilmington, closing the last Confederate sea port.

February 6

     General Robert E. Lee was given complete command of the Confederate armies by the Confederate Congress. Confederate President Jefferson Davis had previously commanded all the armies.

February 17

     Columbia, South Carolina was burned when General William Tecumseh Sherman's forces began to enter. The fire originated with the burning of bales of cotton, and spreading as strong winds carried the burning cotton across the city.

March 2

     General Lee requested a conference with General Grant to discuss how to work things out between the North and the South. President Lincoln refused the request, requiring Confederate surrender before these type of negotiations could begin.

March 3

     The Freedman's Bureau was created by Congress to aid the free, but poor blacks from the South.

March 4

     President Lincoln was inaugurated for his second term of office. Andrew Johnson replaced Hannibal Hamlin as Vice President.

March 13

     Jefferson Davis signed a bill forcing slaves into military duty in the Confederate Army.

March 25

     Petersburg, Virginia, General Lee attempted to break through the Union line laying siege to the city, at the lines weakest point Ft. Stedman. The confederate forces were beaten back, and losses were heavy on both sides.

April 1

     The battle of Five Forks, outside of Petersburg, General Philip H. Sheridan took over 5000 Confederate prisoners under the command of General George E. Pickett.

April 2

     General Lee recommended an evacuation of Richmond to Confederate President Davis. During the night Davis and his cabinet relocated to Danville. The Confederate Army began evacuating Petersburg as well.

April 3

     Union forces occupy Petersburg. The Union also blocked Lees forces as they moved South.

April 9

     General Lee surrendered to General Grant at the Appomattox Court House, Virginia.

April 14

     President Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth while attending a play at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C..

April 15

     President Lincoln died, and Andrew Johnson was sworn I as the 17th president of the United States.

April 26

     General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered the Army of Tennessee to General Sherman.

April 26

     John Wilkes Booth, hunted for the assassination of President Lincoln, was cornered in a barn near Fort Royal, Virginia. The barn was set on fire, and Booth was killed.

April 27

     The steam ship Sultana exploded on the Mississippi River killing 1700 of its 2300 passengers. It was the worst ship disaster in United States History. 2134 of the 2300 passengers were Union soldiers recently released from Confederate prison camps.

May 5

     The first train robbery occurred at North Bend Ohio.

May 10

     Jefferson Davis was captured at Irwinville, Georgia.

July 7

     The convicted co-conspirators of the Lincoln Assassination were executed. One of the four, Mary Surratt was the first woman executed in United States' History.

November 10

     Henry Wirz was executed for war crimes occurring during the Civil War.

November 18

     Samuel Clemens' story of a frog jumping contest, "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog," was printed under the name of Mark Twain. Later the story was called "The Celebrated Frog of Calaveras County."

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The text was written by Troy Drew. Timeline created by sources from The encyclopedia of American Facts and Dates (Tenth Edition), Gorton Carruth 1997, and from the Timeline created for the Library of Congress Selected Civil War Photographs Collection.

These materials were prepared as part of a class assignment for The Seminar in Famous Trials course at the University of Missouri-K.C. School of Law. The use of any sound or images in the trials sites is in furtherance of the educational mission of the Seminar.