Sunday, April 26, 2015

Johnston-Sherman 150: Durham, North Carolina, 1865-2015

On April 26, 1865 in Durham, North Carolina at the Bennett Place, the near end of the American Civil War came when Joseph E. Johnston, the highest ranking general of the Confederacy still in command of field forces (Robert E. Lee surrendered to U. S. Grant in Virginia on April 9, 1865), negotiated a final agreement with Union Major General William Tecumseh "Cump" Sherman, that led to the disbanding of all remaining Confederate troops left in the East (from North Carolina south to Florida) -- upwards of 100,000 men, many of them far-flung. 

This was eleven days after the death by assassination of US President Abraham Lincoln. 

From North Carolina, CS President Jefferson Davis, hoping to keep the war going, fled and was later captured in Georgia. 

All that remained to surrender were in the "Western" Confederacy or on the high seas. 
Johnston's decision to negotiate terms 150 years ago was a great act as an American -- as was Sherman's decision to work with him. 

If Johnston had heeded Jefferson Davis, the war would have degenerated universally into a bloody guerrilla war and may have dragged on for another year or so, with the same end result only adding more death and destruction.
Sometimes generals are wiser than politicians.

Today's Rune: Gateway.  


Barbara Bruederlin said...

I am woefully uninformed about anything more than the basics of this particular part of history. Quite fascinating, especially when viewed from what could have been.

jodi said...

Erik-I will be flying into Raleigh/Durham in June for a girls week at Atlantic Beach!