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.”
During the American Civil War, Florida secedes from the Union.
Florida joined the Confederate States of America at the beginning of the Civil War, as third of the original seven states to secede from the Union, following Lincoln’s 1860 election. With the smallest population, nearly half of them slaves, Florida could only send 15,000 troops to the Confederate States Army. Its chief importance was in food-supply to the south, and support for blockade-runners, with its long coastline full of inlets, hard to patrol.
On the outbreak of war, the Confederates seized many of the state’s army camps, though the Union retained control of the main seaports. But there was little fighting in Florida, the only major conflict being the Battle of Olustee near Lake City in February 1864. However, wartime conditions made it easier for slaves to escape, and many of them became useful informers to Union commanders. As southern morale suffered, deserters from both sides took refuge in Florida, often attacking Confederate units and looting farms. Tallahassee became the second-last Confederate state capital to fall to the Union army. In May 1865, Federal control was re-established, slavery abolished, and the state governor John Milton shot himself, rather than submit to Union occupation.
The Battle of Chaffin’s Farm takes place during the American Civil War
The Battle of Chaffin’s Farm and New Market Heights, also known as Laurel Hill and combats at Forts Harrison, Johnson, and Gilmer, was fought in Virginia on September 29–30, 1864, as part of the Siege of Petersburg in the American Civil War. From the very beginning of the war, Confederate engineers and slave laborers constructed permanent defenses around Richmond. By 1864, they had created a system anchored south of the capital on the James River at Chaffin’s Farm, a large open area at Chaffin’s Bluff, both named for a local landowner. This outer line was supported by an intermediate and inner system of fortifications much closer to the capital. In July and August 1864, these lines were tested by Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in offensives designed to attack simultaneously north and south of the James. The fighting around Chaffin’s Farm cost the nation nearly 5,000 casualties.