April 1865

So many important things happened in April 1865. Ranging from sieges to surrenders, and from battles to riots . The most important to the Union was the multiple  surrenders that took place that month. April 1865 was not a good time for the Confederates at all , at this point in the war they had absolutly no hope at all. They knew that they were a conquered people.

APRIL 1st: The battle of Five Forks Virginia began (Saylor’s Creek).  This battle was part of the final campaign  between the Northern and Southern armies. The Commanders were General Phil Sheridan for the North and George Pickett for the South.  The South suffered over 2,950 casualties at the hands of Sheridan’s Cavalry, whereas the Union suffered only 830 dead, wounded, and missing.

An interesting fact about this battle is that during the beginning of it two of the  major generals from both the North and South were not present on the battlefield.At the beginning of the battle

Sheridan was not even awake.  He awoke to the sound of cannon and soon after rode to the field on his horse Rienzi (named after a skirmish at Rienzi Mississippi) just in time to rally his troops after they had been pushed back by the Confederate onslaught.

Pickett, at the beginning of the battle was two miles away attending a Shad fry with some of his fellow officers. By the time he arrived on the field the battle was over. He was too late to offer any assistance.

APRIL 2nd: Bread riots break out in Richmond. Those still in Richmond in 1865 included government officials, women, and children. Food at an affordable price was very scarce. A barrel of flour sold for up to four hundred dollars at the end of the war in Richmond.

Women, ravished by hunger rushed on to the streets of Richmond and began looting stores. The group quickly degenerated into a mob. They broke store windows with bricks, stones, and sticks. They looted the stores taking bread, shoes, cloth, and they even took slabs of beef from the arsenal. Jefferson Davis stood atop an over-turned wagon. He had ordered the Richmond Home Guard to come and assist in regaining control of the mob. Davis threw his change at the mob and said that was all he had also. Even with bayonets in their faces the rabble did not disperse. Davis told them they had five minutes to disband or the militia would fire on them. They stood for a few minutes and then realized  that he was serious they left.

To be continued…

Published in: on April 14, 2010 at 12:14 am  Comments Off on April 1865  
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