But the death of the Merrimac was to follow close upon her birth; she was the portent of a few weeks only. For, during a short time past, there had been also rapidly building in a Connecticut yard the Northern marvel, the famous Monitor. When the ingenious Swede, John Ericsson, proposed his scheme for an impregnable floating battery, his hearers were divided between distrust and hope; but fortunately the President's favorable opinion secured the trial of the experiment. The work was zealously pushed, and the artisans actually went to sea with the craft in order to finish her as she made her voyage southward. It was well that such haste was made, for she came into Hampton Roads actually by the light of the burning Congress. On the next day, being Sunday, March 9, the Southern monster again steamed forth, intending this time to make the Minnesota her prey; but a little boat, that looked like a "cheese-box" afloat, pushed forward to interfere with this plan. Then occurred a duel which, in the annals of naval science, ranks as the most important engagement which ever took place. It did not actually result in the destruction of the Merrimac then and there, for, though much battered, she was able to make her way back to the friendly shelter of the Norfolk yard. But she was more than neutralized; it was evident that the Monitor was the better craft of the two, and that in a combat à outrance she would win. The significance of this day's work on the waters of Virginia cannot be exaggerated. By the armor-clad Merrimac and the Monitor there was accomplished in the course of an hour a revolution which differentiated the naval warfare of the past from that of the future by a chasm as great as that which separated the ancient Greek trireme from the flagship of Lord Nelson.
Edwin M. Stanton
Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman
For four long and bloody months, officers and men alike endured the heat and mud of what must have been one of the wettest seasons in the history of Georgia.
Lt. Col. William H. Martin jumped from the trenches waving a white handkerchief and shouting to the Northerners to come and get the wounded men.
By 1864 most of the men in the armies that struggled for Atlanta had become veterans, inured to the hardships of military life
Soldiers in both armies had no scruples about supplementing their rations with whatever could be taken from surrounding farms and homes.
Death of General Johnston
Map of the United States showing the Southern Confederacy, the Slave States that did not Secede, and the Territories.
With the news that the Southern troops had fired upon the flag at Fort Sumter, Grant's patriotism was aroused. Without delay he rejoined the army and at once took an active part in the preparations for war. First as colonel and then as brigadier-general, he led his troops. At last he had found a field of action in which he quickly developed his powers as a leader.
While suffering from a severe sick headache, General Grant received a note from Lee saying that the latter was now willing to consider terms of surrender. It was a remarkable occasion when the two eminent generals met on that Sunday morning, in what is known as the McLean house, standing in the little village of Appomattox Court House. Grant writes in his "Personal Memoirs": "I was without a sword, as I usually was when on horseback on the field, and wore a soldier's blouse for a coat, with the shoulder-straps of my `rank` to indicate to the army who I was.... General Lee was dressed in a full uniform which was entirely new, and was wearing a sword of considerable value—very likely the sword which had been presented by the State of Virginia.... In my rough travelling suit, the uniform of a private with the straps of a lieutenant-general, I must have contrasted very strangely with a man so handsomely dressed, six feet high and of faultless form.
The McLean House in Appomattox, Virginia is within the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park. Then owned by Wilmer McLean and his wife Virginia, the house near the end of the American Civil War served as the location of the surrender of the Confederate army of Robert E. Lee on April 9, 1865, after a nearby battle. [Wikipedia]
General R. E. Lee
Residence of General Lee in Richmond
Picket's Return after the battle of Gettysburg
Lee Leaving Appomattox Court House
So Lee fell back towards Lynchburg, but on April 9th, 1865, being entirely surrounded by Grant’s vast army, he and his few ragged men surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox Court-House. Lee had only eight thousand men, while Grant’s army numbered about two hundred thousand.
Johnny Reb and Billy Yank
Lee’s lines were so close to Grant’s at one point that the men would often call over to each other. The Federals called the Confederates Johnny Rebs, while the Confederate name for the Federals was Billy Yank.
Robert E. Lee, Lieut. of Engineers.
In 1829, when twenty-two years old, Robert entered the Engineer Corps of the United States, and thus became Lieutenant Lee.
It is the duty of these engineers in time of peace, to plan forts, to change the course of rivers which make sand-banks at wrong places, and to do other work of the same kind.
Washington & Lee University and College Chapel
In October, 1865, General Lee became President of Washington College, in Lexington, Virginia. Many other places of trust were offered him, but he chose to lead the young men of the South in the paths of peace and learning, as he had so nobly done in times of war.
General Lee's Coat of Arms
There was at Arlington a large yellow cat, called Tom Tita. All the family were fond of him, and Colonel Lee among the rest. This led him to write home about the cats he saw in his travels.
Stratford, the house in which Robert was born, is a fine old mansion, built in the shape of the letter H, and stands not far from the banks of the Potomac River and near the birthplace of Washington. Upon the roof were summer houses, where the band played, while the young folks walked in the grounds below, and enjoyed the cool air from the river and the sweet music of the band.