Anniversary: America marks sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War

Interior view of parlor with Colonial-era decor, fireplace, desk and chairs

Interior view of the reconstructed McLean House, currently located within the Appomattox Court House National Historic Park, in Virginia—the location of the official surrender of the Confederate Army of Robert E. Lee. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

THURSDAY, APRIL 9: The Civil War sesquicentennial has been garnering national attention since 2011, and on April 9, 2015, a major milestone is reached: the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War. On this date in 1865—Palm Sunday, that year—General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses Grant. The final cannon had been fired; the “might scourge,” as Lincoln called it, had come to an end.

Did you know? General George Armstrong Custer received the flag of truce at the Appomattox Court House. The original Truce Flag is exhibited at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park. (From NPS.gov.)

Since 2011, several states and major historical organizations have been reporting coverage and composing stories for the Civil War’s sesquicentennial. From the state of Ohio to the Smithsonian to History.com, innumerable resources, interactive tools, apps and more have brought the significant milestone to the national spotlight. (The Washington Post has been publishing a series of chapters, complete with photos and videos, to cover the Sesquicentennial.) To preserve significant sites of the Civil War for generations to come, History is collecting donations for Give 150, which directly benefits the Civil War Trust and the National Park Foundation.

HISTORIC SNAPSHOT:
APPOMATTOX COURT HOUSE, 1865

Preserved in Boston today is the famed Appomattox Court House—the site where Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert Lincoln and approximately 15 Union soldiers gathered for the official surrender of the Confederates. (The Boston Globe reported on this site and milestone.) On this date 150 years ago, the soldiers, generals and people of America, all exhausted from war, experienced the end of a fight that had torn the nation in two. With the presentation of terms of surrender, at the Appomattox Court House, the Civil War ended.