Friday Apr 30, 2021

037 - The Confederacy's "Greatest" Surrender - The Bennett Place

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About this episode: 

It was a Tuesday, April 11, 1865 - only two days after Robert E. Lee had surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia.  Down in North Carolina, with Major General William T. Sherman’s relentless blue wave only some 30 miles to the southeast of Raleigh, NC, Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston’s men of the Army of Tennessee began to march in and through the Old North State’s capital.  Women, lining both sides of Raleigh’s Fayetteville Street, greeted them.  They handed out meat, bread and tobacco.  On the western edge of town, a favorite place for soldiers to linger as they poured westward - at St. Mary’s, a school for women - where dozens of young ladies doled out food, water and encouragement.  Before them, Johnston’s ragtag force acted soldierly but, one of the young ladies, unable to mask the reality of what she was witnessing, gasped, “My God! Is this the funeral procession of the Southern Confederacy?”  Indeed, it was, for Johnston and Sherman’s men were on the final stretch of road that would lead to a rustic dwelling near Durham’s Station - the Bennett Place.  There in the North Carolina Piedmont region was the humblest of stages for the surrender of the last major Confederate army and, numerically speaking, the largest surrender of the great and terrible American Civil War.  Here, the story of those last days.  

 

Some Characters Mentioned In This Episode: 

Zebulon Vance

David L. Swain

George Stoneman

Smith D. Atkins

John A. Logan

William H. Battle

 

For Further Reading - May We Suggest:

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This Astounding Close: The Road to Bennett Place by Mark L. Bradley

 

Get The Guide:

Want to learn more about the Civil War? A great place to start is Fred's guide, The Civil War: A History of the War between the States from Workman Publishing. The guide is in its 9th printing.

 

Producer: Dan Irving

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