This day in history — April 9, 1865 – Lee Surrenders to Grant at Appomattox Court House

On April 9, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his approximately 28,000 troops to Union General Ulysses S. Grant in the front parlor of Wilmer McLean’s home in Appomattox Court House, Virginia, effectively ending the Civil War. Less than a week earlier, General Lee had abandoned the Confederate capital of Richmond and the city of Petersburg in Virginia, hoping to escape with the remnants of his Army of Northern Virginia, meet up with additional Confederate forces in North Carolina, and resume fighting. When Union forces cut off his final retreat, General Lee was forced to surrender.

Retreating from the Union Army’s Appomattox campaign, which began in late March 1865, the Army of Northern Virginia had stumbled through the Virginia countryside stripped of food and supplies. At one point, Union cavalry forces under General Philip Sheridan had outrun Lee’s army, blocking their retreat and taking 6000 prisoners at Sayler’s Creek. Desertions were mounting daily and by April 8 the Confederates were surrounded with no possibility of escape. On April 9, General Lee sent a message to General Grant announcing his willingness to surrender. Their afternoon meeting ended a war that had lasted four years and killed more than 600,000 Americans.

From the Equal Justice Initiative’s A History of Racial Injustice – 2018 Calendar.

“The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) is proud to present A History of Racial Injustice – 2018 Calendar.  America’s history of racial inequality continues to undermine fair treatment, equal justice, and opportunity for many Americans.  The genocide of Native people, the legacy of slavery and racial terror, and the legally supported abuse of racial minorities are not well understood.  EJI believes that a deeper engagement with our nation’s history of racial injustice is important to addressing present-day questions of social justice and equality.


About William Eric Waters, aka Easy Waters

Award-winning poet, playwright and writer. Author of three books of poetry, "Black Shadows and Through the White Looking Glass: Remembrance of Things Past and Present"; "Sometimes Blue Knights Wear Black Hats"; "The Black Feminine Mystique," and a novel, "Streets of Rage." All four books are available on
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