Question of the Week: 4/9-4/15/18

In your opinion, what was the most remarkable thing about the campaign or surrender at Appomattox?

22 Responses to Question of the Week: 4/9-4/15/18

  1. After the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of killed and mutilated Union soilders the degree of respect shown to Robert E. Lee was nothing but class and I believe had Lincoln not been shot POSSIBLY could have helped the country heal

  2. “Phoned it in” this week, lol, j/k, love you guys AND women who are a part of this blog, it is a A+ blog too me. I have alot of possible ?’s of the week though if you ladies and men want, it has to burn you out to continually come up with a great question of the week week after week after year after year. What do you ladies and men think about possibly having the consumers of the blog submit questions of the week and then you can pick from those that were submitted. It would get the consumers of this blog more involved while at the same time possibly taking off stress from you ladies and men of having to think of a question of the week continuously. Just a thought I love this blog more than anything as you men and ladies know you guys do a great job and I thoroughly enjoy it, and Monday mornings it is my number one go-to even before I check the news. So just throwing out a jestion I love your site I’m glad more women are involved that’s good to see, different points of view, and I want to thank you all for your hard work I really enjoy this site

  3. The dignity, respect, and compassion shown on both sides from the leading generals to the soldiers in the ranks. Most civil wars end with hatred and thirst for revenge. A distinctly American outcome.

  4. That many of the Union soldiers viewed Lee with admiration and respect. For example:

    “I turned about, and there behind me, riding between my two lines, appeared a commanding form, superbly mounted, richly accoutered, of imposing bearing, noble countenance, with expression of deep sadness overmastered by deeper strength. It is none other than Robert E. Lee! … I sat immovable, with a certain awe and admiration.” ~ Union General Joshua Chamberlain at Appomattox.

  5. That the winners did not write the history book, particularly in popular opinion. The losing commander who dragged the war on well past the point where it could be won is (until just recently) consistently deified as a hero while the winning commander who reunited the country is unjustly vilified as a butcher. With the exception of the 150th anniversary commemoration, I have not seen many programs that actually celebrate what happened at Appomattox. I would like to see less mourning the death of the Confederacy as the backdrop for most Appomattox talks, tours, articles, events, etc.

  6. Most impressive in my view, is the foresight, statesmanship and generosity shown to the confederates by the victors. President Lincoln, who was assured of victory by the time he brought Generals Grant and Sherman onboard a U.S. steamer for a conference, directed Gen. Grant to “Let ’em up easy.” He wanted no part of what we call today, “show trials.” The rebel army was composed, almost entirely, of small yeoman farmers, and Lincoln knew that they could get a fall crop in the ground if they got home unencumbered. Grant, an agrarian himself knew they’d need their sidearms. He gave the whole Army of Northern Virginia rations to travel on, and at Lee’s request allowed every man who brought a horse to the army to take a horse home. He accorded General Lee and his subordinates all honors of war that he’d denied at Fort Donelson.

    1. Disagree with the implication of the last sentence. Donelson ended a battle; Appomattox ended the war. Honoring the enemy during a war is in no way appropriate but is at the end of a war. Furthermore, Grant’s offer of financial assistance to Buckner is a far cry from dishonoring the opposition.

  7. The Appomattox Campaign itself. Grant, Sheridan, Ord, Gibbon, Custer and their troops performed brilliantly. Grant et. al. don’t get enough credit for this achievement. Sure, Lee’s army was depleted by April 1865. But the Army of the Potomac likewise was a shadow of its former self. And the Army of Northern Virginia was still filled with incredibly brave – and deadly – men. Only one other campaign during the CW – Vicksburg – tops Appomattox for my money.

    P.S. I agree with Edward S. about the losers writing the history of the CW – until recently. Finally, historians are giving Grant his due, both as military commander and president.

  8. To me, it is remarkable how far the Confederates were able to get from Richmond/Petersburg in the immediate aftermath of the Union breakthrough there. One of the great “what ifs”, again to me, is what might have happened if the Confederates had been successful in defending their supply trains which Custer ultimately interdicted at Appomattox Station? What might have transpired if Lee’s army had been able to resupply?

  9. As a fan of odd things in general, I think it is amazing that the McLean family was host to the beginning as well as the end of this war. That, and what Fast Eddy said.

    1. Miss Meg despite my obsession with a civil war in the roughly 400 books I’ve bought I’m much more educated on the western theater and that’s what I’m writing about my other addiction when I’m not doing anything Civil War is Turner Classic Movies, specifically the Noir and Western genres although after 25 years I pretty much know all of them. My other hobby is walking my hundred and twenty five pound lab who’s so protective of me he’s involved in legal situations that I can’t comment on at this point, LOL. So I guess between the Civil War, Turner Classic Movies, and my dogs I guess that’s why I’m single probably not really a fun guy today I assume. But my point is the only fast Eddie I know was Paul Newman playing The Hustler working for George C Scott and playing Fats Domino who was played by Jackie Gleason other than that I don’t know if a study so you’ll have to educate me please. Thank you for your time God bless have a beautiful day young lady

      1. Thank-you, I call Daniel T. Davis “Danny Boy”, lol, I have a habit of giving everyone a nickname, I guess that’s my stick in life LOL. Do you have a email on here Miss Meg? I have a rather embarrassing question I would like to get your opinion on although I think Danny Boys settled that already but I feel the more pinions the better so I’d like to send you a private email but obviously I don’t want your personal email I was wondering if you had one on here young lady? Also I really enjoy what you bring to the table you bring something totally different than all the other authors on this site and it’s very exciting to read and I’m glad he CW is going out of their way to look for more women to get diverse opinions I applaud them and I applaud you ladies that have worked so hard to get to this point

  10. I think the most remarkable thing is that so many believe Appomattox was the end of it all and there the war was tied in a knot and finished. So few know about Bennett Place, Citronelle, Chalk Bluff and Galveston. I’ve sent the numbers from Appendix A of Dunkerly’s ‘To the Bitter End’ to hundreds of CW buffs just these last couple days. To those that say these numbers were insignificant I ask if they think it was significant to the soldiers and their families of nearly 200,000 that surrendered after Appomattox.

    1. Great point mister Lafleur, I must admit for all the hundreds of civil war books I’ve read and I’m writing about I know very little about the situations you were marked pain. I’m glad you brought them up it’s forced me to go back through my books and study what exactly happened after Appomattox and Bennett Place everything else was kind of blown off by everyone including myself unfortunately, so great Point Sir

  11. General Lee and most of the remaining elements of the Army of Northern Virginia could have been annihilated. Grant often showed great compassion for the Confederate soldier.

  12. There is a rapidity and a ruthlessness in Grant’s direction of this last campaign that seems remarkable to me, as well as in the conduct of many of his generals when responding to orders to relentlessly press the Confederates until they collapsed. Three major generals (Warren, William Hays, and William Birney) were relieved of their commands for failing to show sufficient drive between 1 and 9 April. Army Corps were shuffled from Meade’s command to Sheridan’s in order to mass troops for the movement below and ahead of the ANVA. Southwest of Appomattox Court House two Army commanders, Ord and Sheridan, were on the field yet did not quibble over seniority, ‘sharing’ command; one commanding the infantry and the other the cavalry but each cooperating to close the last escape route.

    Even Meade’s “following” Army Corps, under Humphreys and Wright, pitched into the Confederate rear guard time and again as they cooperated with the cavalry to win a sharp victory at Sailors Creek; then stayed in contact with the Confederates by seizing the low wagon bridge at High Bridge in order to maintain the pursuit.

    Grant seems to have finally worked out a method for spurring his ‘army group’ to accomplish great things, and had finally emplaced a team of generals ruthless enough to implement his intent.

    1. I think what you have presented here is a result of Lincoln wining re-election. Lincoln no longer had to worry about angering Congressmen, Senators, or Governors, when it came to command appointments. Grant now had a free hand to put in who HE wanted, and the results showed.

  13. David:

    Great post.

    Grant had been thwarted by sluggish Union commanders the year before when he brilliantly maneuvered the Army of the Potomac around Lee’s army to the James River. In 1865, he was determined this would not happen again. During the Appomattox Campaign, Grant finally found generals who shared his fighting spirit – keep up the pressure, never let the enemy catch his breath.

    Joe: I respectfully disagree. Lee’s surrender in Virginia was, for all intents and purposes, the end of the war. The Army of Northern Virginia was the only Rebel force that had even the slimmest chance stopping the Union juggernaut. Once Lee surrendered, virtually everyone in the South knew the jig was up.


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