Across the Confederacy, determination remained high through the winter of 1864 into the new yearyet ominous signs were everywhere. The peace conference had failed. Large areas were overrun, the armies could not stop Union advances, the economy was in shambles, and industry and infrastructure were crumbling. The Confederacy could not make, move, or maintain anything. No one knew what the future held but uncertainty.
Civilians and soldiers, generals and governors, resolved to fight to the bitter end.
Myths and misconceptions abound about those last days of the Confederacy. There would be no single surrender or treaty that brought the war to an end. Rather, the Confederacy collapsed, its government on the run, its cities occupied, its armies surrendering piecemeal.
Offering a fresh look at the various surrenders that ended the war, To the Bitter End: Appomattox, Bennett Place, and the Surrenders of the Confederacy by Robert M. Dunkerly brings to light little-known facts and covers often-overlooked events. Each surrenderstarting at Appomattox and continuing through Greensboro, Citronelle, and the Trans-Mississippiunfolded on its own course. Many involved confusing and chaotic twists and turns.
Misunderstandings plagued many of the negotiations. Communications were problematic. Discipline often broke down. Tempers flared. It was anything but a nice, neat ending to the war.
How did the war finally end? What was the status of former Confederate soldiers? Of slaves? How would everyone get home? Was there even a home to go to? As the surrenders unfolded, daunting questions remained.
Appomattox was just the beginning.
About the Author
Robert M. Dunkerly is a historian, award-winning author, and speaker who is actively involved in historic preservation and research. He works as a park ranger at Richmond National Battlefield Park. Among his several books are two in the ECW Series: To the Bitter End: Appomattox, Bennett Place, and the Surrenders of the Confederacy and No Turning Back: A Guide to the 1864 Overland Campaign.
Table of Contents
Author's Note v
Prologue: Valor Alone xi
Chapter 1 The Grueling Road West 1
Chapter 2 The Last Charge 13
Chapter 3 Mr. McLean's Parlor 21
Chapter 4 On the Stage Road 29
Chapter 5 Retreat Through Raleigh 39
Chapter 6 Mr. Bennett's Parlor 49
Chapter 7 Confusion and Unrest 55
Chapter 8 Descending Into Chaos 63
Chapter 9 The Fall of Mobile 73
Chapter 10 Mr. Magee's Parlor 83
Chapter 11 Under the Spreading Oak 93
Chapter 12 Chaos in the Trans-Mississippi 101
Chapter 13 Galveston Harbor 109
Chapter 14 The End in Arkansas 121
Chapter 15 The Nations Negotiate 129
Chapter 16 The Surrender and Memory 137
Appendix A The Surrenders at a Glance 147
Appendix B The USCTs in the Appomattox Campaign Christopher Bingham 149
Appendix G The Long Road Home from Appomattox Ernie K. Price 153
Appendix D The Last Act: The Surrender of the C.S.S. Shenandoah Christopher L. Kolakowski 157
Appendix E The Lost Generation Shannon Moeck 163
Afterword: "With Malice Toward None" Chris Mackowsh 167
Suggested Reading 170
About the Author 174
List of Maps
Maps Hal Jespersen
Appomattox Campaign 2
Appomattox Positions at the Time of the Flag of Truce 22
North Carolina Area of Operations 40
Confederate Camps 56
Escape Route of Jefferson Davis 64
Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana 74
Department of the Trans-Mississippi 102