U.S. Civil War Time Line
1861 - 1865

1861    1862    1863    1864    1865

January 1865 -Fort Fisher, North Carolina

After Admiral David D. Porter's squadron of warships had subjected Fort Fisher to a terrific bombardment, General Alfred H. Terry's troops took it by storm on January 15, and Wilmington, North Carolina, the last resort of the blockade-runners, was sealed off.

January 1865 -- The Fall of the Confederacy.

Transportation problems and successful blockades caused severe shortages of food and supplies in the South. Starving soldiers began to desert Lee's forces, and although President Jefferson Davis approved the arming of slaves as a means of augmenting the shrinking army, the measure was never put into effect.

February 1865 -- Sherman Marches through North and South Carolina.

Union General Sherman moved from Georgia through South Carolina, destroying almost everything in his path.

February 1865 -- A Chance for Reconciliation Is Lost.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis agreed to send delegates to a peace conference with President Lincoln and Secretary of State William Seward, but insisted on Lincoln's recognition of the South's independence as a prerequisite. Lincoln refused, and the conference never occurred.

April 1865 -- Fallen Richmond.

On March 25, General Lee attacked General Grant's forces near Petersburg, but was defeated -- attacking and losing again on April 1. On April 2, Lee evacuated Richmond, the Confederate capital, and headed west to join with other forces.

The Defenses of Washington -- 1865

The Lincoln administration was determined to make the capital safe from attack by ringing the city with a chain of forts manned by substantial garrisons of artillerists and other troops.

April 1865 -- Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse.

General Lee's troops were soon surrounded, and on April 7, Grant called upon Lee to surrender. On April 9, the two commanders met at Appomattox Courthouse, and agreed on the terms of surrender. Lee's men were sent home on parole -- soldiers with their horses, and officers with their side arms. All other equipment was surrendered.

April 1865 -- The Assassination of President Lincoln.

On April 14, as President Lincoln was watching a performance of "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., he was shot by John Wilkes Booth, an actor from Maryland obsessed with avenging the Confederate defeat. Lincoln died the next morning. Booth escaped to Virginia. Eleven days later, cornered in a burning barn, Booth was fatally shot by a Union soldier. Nine other people were involved in the assassination; four were hanged, four imprisoned, and one acquitted.

April-May 1865 -- Final Surrenders among Remaining Confederate Troops.

Remaining Confederate troops were defeated between the end of April and the end of May. Jefferson Davis was captured in Georgia on May 10.

August - November 1865

The Execution of Captain Henry Wirz -- November 1865

The notorious superintendent of the Confederate prison at Andersonville, Georgia, was tried by a military commission presided over by General Lew Wallace from August 23 to October 24, 1865, and was hanged in the yard of the Old Capitol Prison on November 10.