In a meeting which are thought to be marking the final of the Civil War, Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of Confederate forces west of the Mississippi, indicators the surrender terms given by Union negotiators. With Smith’s surrender, the ultimate Confederate army ceased to exist, bringing a formal end to the bloodiest four years in U.S. history.
The American Civil War began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate shore batteries below General Pierre G.T. Beauregard opened fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Bay. During 34 hours, 50 Confederate guns and mortars launched greater than 4,000 rounds at the poorly supplied fort, and on April 13 U.S. Major Robert Anderson, commander of the Union garrison, surrendered. Two days later, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to assist quell the Southern “insurrection.” Four lengthy years later, the Confederacy was defeated at the full total expense of 620,000 Union and Confederate dead.