Omega

Omega

The last Greek alphabet omega symbolizes the end of an event. Popular history described the Civil War ended on April 9, 1865 when Gen. Lee surrendered his Army to Gen. Grant at Appomattox Court House. But it wasn't quite satisfactory to the CW buffs, for there were still some more skirmishes and actions after April 9 and we shall examine the events here.

There were still three standing Confederate armies in the field: one commanded by Joe Johnston in North Carolina; the Trans-Mississippi army commanded Kirby Smith and another one commanded by Richard Taylor in the South. The war was far from over. What triggered the subsequent surrender of the rest of the force was because Grant offered generous terms and honorable out for the Confederates.

4/10, at Mobile, AL, Federal army under Edward Canby bombarded Ft. Huger and Ft. Tracy. The 5,000 Confederate defenders commanded by Dabney Maury put up with a vigorous defense. Fed. James Wilson's cavalry continued to penetrate and skirmish at Lowndesborough and Benton, AL. Sherman's army marched again toward Raleigh and skirmishing at Boonsville, Moccasin Swamp and Nahunta Station. 4/11, Union Stoneman's cavalry fought at Shallow Ford, western part of NC. There were skirmishes at St. Charles, AK, scouting activities in Winchester, VA, Timber Ridge, WV, and capturing two blockade-runners off Crystal River, FL.

The Walls of the Confederacy started crumbling down. 4/12, Maury evacuated Mobile, and Canby entered the surrendered city. James Wilson's cavalry occupied Montgomery, AL. Sherman renewed action at Swift Creek. Stoneman charged 3,000 Confederate defenders at Grant's Creek. A Union expedition was launched from Port Hudson to Jackson, LA, and the scouts were active in Tallahassa Mission; Dakota City, Neb.; Ft. Stanton, N.M. 4/13, Sherman entered Raleigh. In AL, they fought at Wetumpka. In Mobile, a Confederate torpedo sank a Union ship Ida. 4/14, Lincoln was shot. Fighting occurred in Sander's Farm, NC. Wilson skirmished on Columbus road, near Tuskegee, AL. Another Union ship was blown up in Mobile Bay. 4/15, Skirmishing broke out near Chapel Hill, NC.; at McKenzie's Creek, MO. Union scouts operated in Randolph, WV, Bath, VA. 4/16, Wilson captured Columbus, GA. Skirmishes took place at Crawford, AL. 4/17, Federal destroyed Confederate ironclad CSS Muscogee and Jackson.

4/18, Sherman and Johnston signed "Memorandum" in Durham Station, NC. Wilson fought at Pleasant Hill, GA. Skirmish broke out near Germantown, TN and at Taylorsville, KY. 4/19, Wilson skirmished near Barnesville, GA and Union expedition moved to Brownsville, MI and to Grand Caillou, LA. 4/20, Wilson occupied Macon, GA and skirmishes continued at Rocky Creek Bridge, AL. 4/21, Instead of surrendering, Gray Ghost John Singleton Mosby disbanded his Rangers at Millwood, VA, thus, preserving their honor of unconquered status. By 4/22, Union military activities started to wind down. Wilson's cavalry occupied Talladega, AL. Sporadic skirmishes still took places at Buzzard Roost, GA, Howard's Gap, NC, and Linn Creek, MO. 4/23, Wilson fought at Munford's Station, AL and Stoneman fought near Hendersonville, NC. 4/24, Skirmishes erupted near Boggy Depot, Indian Territories and near Miami, MO. 4/25; Union scouted Rodger's Plantation, AK.

4/26, Joe Johnston surrendered his army of 30,000 men to William T. Sherman. Union scouts probed Little Rock to Saline River, AK. 4/27, The overcrowded Sultana, carrying hundreds of paroled Federal soldiers home, exploded, drowning about 1900 men. Some said it was caused by a defective boiler and other said it was the work of a Confederate agent who put a bomb in the form of a piece of coal, the handy work of the Confederate Bomb Brothers, and mixed it with the real pile of coal. 4/28, Small groups of Confederate soldiers surrendered throughout the South. 4/29, There was a skirmish at Lyon County, KY. 4/30, Union operated near Brashear City, LA.

5/1, Confed. Pres. Davis continued his flight. 5/2, Confed. Sec. of the Navy Mallory resigned. 5/3, There was skirmishing on the Missouri River near Boonville. 5/4, Gen. Richard Taylor surrendered his Confederate Mississippi-Louisiana-Alabama force to Gen. Canby, including Forrest's cavalry. Skirmishes occurred near Lexington, MO and at Wetumpka, AL. 5/10, Federal force captured Pres. Davis near Irwinville, GA. Confed. Gen. Samuel Jones surrendered his command at Tallahassee, FL. Confed. guerilla Chief, William Clarke Quantrill was fatally wounded near Taylorsville, KY. 5/11, Gen. Jeff Thompson surrendered his famous brigade.

The last big-scale fight on land occurred on 5/12, in Palmito Ranch, on the bank of Rio Grande, Texas. Federal troops commanded by Col. Theodore Barrett, marched toward Brownsville and attacked Palmito Ranch. The Confederate troops commanded by Col. John Ford, defeated the Federal troops. 5/14, Skirmish occurred in Little Piney, MO. 5/20, Federal troops and Confederate guerrillas crashed in Blackwater, MO. 5/23: Grand Review of the army of the Potomac. There was a minor skirmish near Waynesville, MO. 5/24: Grand Review of Sherman's army. Federal fought Confederate guerrillas near Rocheport, MO. 5/26, At New Orleans, Lieut. Gen. Simon B. Buckner surrendered his part of the Trans-Mississippi Department to Federal Gen. Peter Osterhaus, representing Gen. Edward Canby. This was Buckner's second surrender. Buckner's first was to Gen. Grant in Ft. Donelson. 5/27, Minor skirmish was reported in Switzler's Mill, Chariton County, MO. 5/29, Federal operated in Texas against guerrillas and former Confederates escaping to Mexico. The war was really winding down in June. On 6/2, Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, with Gen. John Magruder by his side, officially accepted the surrender terms on board the Union Steamer Fort Jackson at Galveston harbor, and handed over their swords to the Union commander, Gen. Edward Canby. 6/3, The Confederate Navy in Red River officially surrendered. The last sizable Confederate land force to surrender was the Cherokee leader Gen. Stand Watie, who asked his Native American soldiers to laid down their arms at Doaksville near Ft. Towson, on 6/23/65. In July 1865, General Jo Shelby led a group of several hundred Confederates, including remnants of his Iron Cavalry Brigade of Missouri, slowly approached the northern banks of Rio Grande. These were the die-hard, disillusioned, unreconstructed Southerners seeking their new lives in a foreign land, Mexico.

The war was 99% over. But the Confederate still had one remaining resisting force carrying on the struggle. It was the famous Crusier C.S.S. Shenandoah.

C.S.S. Shenandoah, the former Sea King, the last fighting force of the Confederacy, captured 38 Union commerce ships and burned 32. Her skipper Lieutenant James Waddell took more than 1,000 prisoners, and unknowingly, fired the last shot of the Civil War on June 22, 1865. After a three-hour pursuit on Jerah Swift, a New Bedford fast bark, on the Bering Sea, Shenandoah fired a warning shot across the victim's bow with her 32-pounder Whitworth rifle cannon. June 28, 1865 was the last day of Shenandoah's naval operation. On August 2, 1865, she encountered a British bark Barracouta, Waddell found out from the Newspaper that the War was over. Waddell ordered his men to spike their guns. Waddell refused to surrender his ship to the Federal Authority and refused to be hunted down. Instead he ordered to sail to England and evaded the Federal hunters and thus, preserving his honor and dignity as well as fulfilling the duty assigned to him. He sailed around the world, touching five Oceans (Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, Indian and touching the rim of Antarctic Ocean by crossing Cape Horn and Cape of Good Hope) and reached England on November 5, 1865 and surrendered Shenandoah to the British Authority at Liverpool on November 6, 1865. Thus, the Civil War finally ended.

(Using several references, on couple of Civil War Day to Day books, and a few encyclopedia.) (2000)


Copyright (C), all rights reserved.

Author and Webmaster, Gordon Kwok
gordoncwrt@gmail.com
 
2000

First posted on March 2, 2001
Uploaded on current server: March 19, 2009
 
Comments