The Date the Event Occurred
April 1, 1865
Explanation of the Event
There was only one major city left in the southern empire and that was Richmond, which was the Confederate capital. Richmond would be the final act of the Civil War drama that began four years earlier and had resulted in so many lives being lost. If Richmond was to fall, it would be with a fight as the South was not ready to give up their jewel of the Confederacy. This was what the rebels wanted the Union to believe when in actuality the Confederates already had set up a new capital just 100 miles up the road.
Robert E. Lee positioned his army of VA in the city of Richmond, VA and Washington, D.C. were less than 100 miles apart yet the four years of the Civil War neither side came even close to capturing each other's cities. In March 1865, the Army of Northern VA, under General Lee, was dug-in at Petersburg less than 50 miles away from the city of Richmond awaiting the Union advances. Two weeks later Union troops began to break through the Confederate defenses. General Lee sent a message to President Jefferson Davis in Richmond, that he would be better off abandoning the city, as it could no longer be defended.