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Thread: April 9th 1865, Surrender of the Confederate forces at Appomattox

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    Politics.ie Member NewGoldDream's Avatar
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    Default April 9th 1865, Surrender of the Confederate forces at Appomattox

    Following the fall of Petersburg and Richmond, Lee's Army of North Virginia tried to join up with other Confederate forces in Virginia but were intercepted at Appomattox. Following a failed attempt to break out, Lee was forced to surrender. Subsequently, he and Grant finally met at the house of Wilmer McLean, who had ironically moved to Appomattox after the first battle of Bull Run had taken place on his Manassas VA plantation. In what seems to have been an occasion tinged with mutual respect, the terms of the surrender which were very generous to the Confederate forces were agreed and the war which had killed more than 630,000 soldiers, or 2% of the overall population, was ended.

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    Ken Burns civil war documentary is very good, if you haven't seen it already

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    Politics.ie Member NewGoldDream's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    Ken Burns civil war documentary is very good, if you haven't seen it already
    I have, it was on again in recent weeks on PBS America and a lot of it shown the Sunday before last through the entire day. Have recorded most episodes. Saw it years back, and even as a youngster it was a tv experience that just stopped me in my tracks, perhaps the best documentary ever made.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NewGoldDream View Post
    Following the fall of Petersburg and Richmond, Lee's Army of North Virginia tried to join up with other Confederate forces in Virginia but were intercepted at Appomattox. Following a failed attempt to break out, Lee was forced to surrender. Subsequently, he and Grant finally met at the house of Wilmer McLean, who had ironically moved to Appomattox after the first battle of Bull Run had taken place on his Manassas VA plantation. In what seems to have been an occasion tinged with mutual respect, the terms of the surrender which were very generous to the Confederate forces were agreed and the war which had killed more than 630,000 soldiers, or 2% of the overall population, was ended.
    The Irishman at Appomattox was General Philip Sheridan, the man Grant used to lead his strike force.

    At Five Forks Va. on April 1st, Sheridan led an attack on right flank of Lee's army, broke it and turned the flank. The next day Lee ordered Richmond and its trenches evacuated and began a retreat to the west, hoping to be able to turn south and join with other Confederate forces.

    But Sheridan (and Grant) had the killer instinct, and leading cavalry and infantry pursued Lee mercilessly until his forces reached Appomattox first. Lee, left with about 30,000 men against over twice that number, had no option but to surrender.

    Sheridan went on to become Commanding General of the US Army, quite an achievement at the time for the son of Catholic Irish immigrants.

    Sheridan was so pugnacious he was temporarily expelled from West Point for persistent fighting. The rumour was that he should have been expelled permanently, but the faculty decided that the country might someday need a man of his fighting temper.
    "A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence" - David Hume

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    bought it on DVD, didn't really get into the one he did on WW2 as much, Gettysburg by Scott was also very good

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    Quote Originally Posted by owedtojoy View Post
    The Irishman at Appomattox was General Philip Sheridan, the man Grant used to lead his strike force.

    At Five Forks Va. on April 1st, Sheridan led an attack on left flank of Lee's army, broke it and turned the flank. The next day Lee ordered Richmond and its trenches evacuated and began a retreat to the west, hoping to able to turn south and join with other Confederate forces.

    But Sheridan (and Grant) had the killer instinct, and leading cavalry and infantry pursued Lee mercilessly until his forces reached Appomattox first. Lee, left with about 30,000 men against over twice that number, had no option but to surrender.

    Sheridan went on to become Commanding General of the US Army, quite an achievement at the time for the son of Catholic Irish immigrants.

    Sheridan was so pugnacious he was temporarily expelled from West Point for persistent fighting. The rumour was that he should have been expelled permanently, but the faculty decided that the country might someday need a man of his fighting temper.
    Lincoln offered that position to Lee at the start of the war , but he refused saying he wouldn't raise his sword against Virginia, Lee was also in command of Union forces Harper's Ferry.

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    the south will rise again
    i owe my allegiance only to the working class

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    Lincoln offered that position to Lee at the start of the war , but he refused saying he wouldn't raise his sword against Virginia.
    Ita a pity other Americans didnt know where to draw the line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by owedtojoy View Post
    The Irishman at Appomattox was General Philip Sheridan, the man Grant used to lead his strike force.
    Sheridan was a giant in the Civil War, though think he actually stood 5 foot 4 inches tall! Parents from Cavan afaik, he was very close to both Grant and Sherman, the two greatest names on the Union side, he seemed to share a lot of their ideas particularly Sherman's "scorched earth" policy. Outside of the Civil War he was instrumental in the creation of Yellowstone National Park, sadly he will be forever associated with his comment that the only good Indian he ever saw etc. etc. Perhaps one of the greatest Irish Americans, he was involved in some of the most brutal battles, at Stones River, Chickamauga and he was involved in the Overland Campaign, though he wasn't directly involved in the carnage at Wilderness, Spotsylvania or Cold Harbor afaik. After his death when his much younger widow was asked about the prospect of remarriage she said she would rather be the widow of Philip Sheridan than the wife of anyone living.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    bought it on DVD, didn't really get into the one he did on WW2 as much, Gettysburg by Scott was also very good
    Saw that recently and wasn't gone on it. Thought it was strange that they only showed Lee for a second and managed to depict Pickett's Charge whilst omitting poor Pickett altogether...though I appreciate that he was only one of a trio in command along with Pettigrew and Trimble. Would like to see other documentaries on the Civil War, sadly Burns set the bar way too high!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NewGoldDream View Post
    Sheridan was a giant in the Civil War, though think he actually stood 5 foot 4 inches tall! Parents from Cavan afaik, he was very close to both Grant and Sherman, the two greatest names on the Union side, he seemed to share a lot of their ideas particularly Sherman's "scorched earth" policy. Outside of the Civil War he was instrumental in the creation of Yellowstone National Park, sadly he will be forever associated with his comment that the only good Indian he ever saw etc. etc. Perhaps one of the greatest Irish Americans, he was involved in some of the most brutal battles, at Stones River, Chickamauga and he was involved in the Overland Campaign, though he wasn't directly involved in the carnage at Wilderness, Spotsylvania or Cold Harbor afaik. After his death when his much younger widow was asked about the prospect of remarriage she said she would rather be the widow of Philip Sheridan than the wife of anyone living.



    Saw that recently and wasn't gone on it. Thought it was strange that they only showed Lee for a second and managed to depict Pickett's Charge whilst omitting poor Pickett altogether...though I appreciate that he was only one of a trio in command along with Pettigrew and Trimble. Would like to see other documentaries on the Civil War, sadly Burns set the bar way too high!
    The other series from PBS that they show on discovery every now and again is actually quite good , some of the contributing historians are interesting.

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