This Day in the Civil War

Wednesday April 9 1862
PECULIAR PHILOSOPHICAL PROBLEM POSED

The Senate of the Confederate States of America today took up the subject of conscription, the involuntary induction of men into military service. On the one hand it was unquestionably needed in order to raise manpower for the army. On the other hand, though, the preservation of individual liberties had been one of the most important reasons given for many states to leave the Union. The draft would eventually be passed.



Thursday, April 9 1863
SKIRMISHING SUPPRESSED SEVERELY

Nothing of any great noteworthiness occurred today. Aside from minor hostilities at Franklin, Tenn., Sedalia, Mo., Blount’s Mills, N.C., and Berwick Bay, La., peace prevailed upon the land. This distressing trend would not continue long...



Saturday, April 9 1864
MEADE MANDATE MADE MANDATORY

A wedding between Robert E. Lee and Gen. George Meade is a most unsettling prospect...but that was what Meade’s orders today consisted of, at least by a Biblical allusion. Writing from Culpeper Court House, Va., Grant sent the following instruction to the head of the Army of the Potomac: “Wherever Lee goes, there will you go also.



Sunday, April 9 1865
SURRENDER!

Robert E. Lee today met with Ulysses S. Grant this day, at Appomattox Station, Va. The historic encounter took place in the parlor of one Wilmer McLean. Mr. McLean’s former residence in Manassas had been damaged in the battle of the same name. Resolving to get his family away from such danger, he had picked up and moved to the most harmless, out-of-the-way place he could find. The war came to him for its ending as it had for its beginning, and the surrender papers were signed on his table by the head of the Army of Northern Virginia. A Confederate soldier later wrote that men came “to their officers with tears streaming from their eyes, and asked what it all meant, and would, at that moment, I know, have rather died the night before than see the sun rise on such a day as this.”

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