Zyndall
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"THIS DAY IN HISTORY": AUGUST 20
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The fighting of the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War between Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Potomac and Lee's Army of Northern Virginia was reported considerably more often in the newspapers than the battles of the Western Theater. Reporting of the Eastern Theater skirmishes largely dominated the newspapers as the Appomattox Campaign developed. Lee’s army fought a series of battles in the Appomattox Campaign against Grant that ultimately stretched thin his lines of defense. Lee's extended lines were mostly on small sections of thirty miles of strongholds around Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia. His troops ultimately became exhausted defending this line because they were too thinned out. Grant then took advantage of the situation and launched attacks on this thirty mile long poorly defended front. This ultimately led to the surrender of Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox. The Army of Northern Virginia surrendered on April 9 around noon followed by General St. John Richardson Liddell's troops some six hours later. Mosby's Raiders disbanded on April 21, General Joseph E. Johnston and his various armies surrendered on April 26, the Confederate departments of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana surrendered on May 4, and the Confederate District of the Gulf, commanded by Major General Dabney Herndon Maury, surrendered on May 5. Confederate President Dabney Herndon Maury was captured on May 10 and the Confederate Departments of Florida and South Georgia, commanded by Confederate Major General Samuel Jones, surrendered the same day. Thompson's Brigade surrendered on May 11, Confederate forces of North Georgia surrendered on May 12, and Kirby Smith surrendered on May 26 (officially signed June 2).  The last battle of the American Civil War was the Battle of Palmito Ranch in Texas on May 12 and 13. The last significant Confederate active force to surrender was the Confederate allied Cherokee Brigadier General Stand Watie and his Indian soldiers on June 23. The last Confederate surrender occurred on November 6, 1865, when the Confederate warship CSS Shenandoah surrendered at Liverpool, England. President Andrew Johnson formally declared the end of the war on August 20, 1866.
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