150 Years Ago: The Civil War Effectively Ended

Today marks the 150th anniversary of Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. Lee’s surrender effectively marks the end of the American Civil War. It wasn’t really the end of fighting, but the loss of Lee and his army would have made it clear that the Confederacy had no chance of even suing for peace. It would be a while before all the Confederate forces surrendered, but after this the war rapidly wound down.

Unfortunately, the Union was unable to find the strength to force the former Confederate states to make lasting reforms, so it would take another 100 years for the descendants of former slaves to even achieve de jure equality (many would claim that de facto equality still hasn’t happened) across the whole country.