The USA, President Andrew Johnson declares the American Civil War over.
The highest-ranking Confederate general, Robert E Lee, surrendered to his opposing number, Ulysses S Grant. The Confederate capital in Richmond, Virginia, had been taken, and the Confederate president, Jefferson Davis, was on the run. The American Civil War was won – but it was far from over.
The war came at a terrible human cost. The marvels of the industrial revolution – the railroads, the telegraph and the assembly lines – all contributed to making it the bloodiest war in terms of American lives lost to date.
But the war also came at a high financial price, and arguably changed American economic policy forever. By the middle of 1861, the year fighting began, the government’s spending was $1.5m a day, notes economic historian John Steele Gordon in Barron’s. By the end of the war, spending had risen to $3.5m a day.
It was only on 20 August 1866 that President Andrew Johnson could finally and officially declare the American Civil War over: “Order, tranquillity, and civil authority now exists in and throughout the whole of the United States of America.”