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The Civil War Month by Month: Jun 1865

CW - 150

Civil War 150th anniversary

The Civil War 150th Anniversary

Interesting facts, links, and suggested books for each month of the Civil War.

June 1865

This Month's Events

  • 2 June. General E. Kirby Smith, commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department, surrenders.
  • 11 June. Among the prisoners released at Point Lookout is Thomas C. Dula, a musician of Co. K, 42nd N. C. Infantry. He will make it back to Wilkes County and he is remembered today -- as the man who killed Laura Foster and is still sung about: "Hang down your head, Tom Dooley."
  • 19 June. Union troops land in Galveston, Texas bringing the news that the war is over and the slaves free. The annual celebration of this date becomes known as Juneteenth.
  • 22 June. The Confederate cruiser Shenandoah attacks a fleet of whalers in the Bering Straits. This encounter brings her total of ships captured or destroyed to 38 and of men taken to more than 1,000; she has done more than 1 million dollars in damage in her 8 month career. The shot she fires across a whaler's bow is considered to be the last shot of the war. Her captain, James Iredell Waddell of North Carolina had seen a paper a few days earlier reporting Lee's surrender, but also printing a defiant statement from Jefferson Davis urging Confederates to keep fighting. Finally the British Navy is asked to track down the Shenandoah and convince her the war has ended. (See below)
  • 23 June. The surrender of General Stand Watie's Indian forces at Doaksville, Indian Territory marks the end of Confederate resistance on land.
  • 30 June. The remaining men of the 39th New York (they have suffered heavy casualties over the years) are waiting to be mustered out tomorrow. They are members of what is probably the army's most diverse regiment ever. The officers include Hungarians, Italians, and Germans. The rank and file includes English, Swiss, Croats, Bavarians, Cossacks, men formerly of Garibaldi's supporters in Italy, Sepoys from India, Algerians from the French Foreign Legion, Hungarians, Spanish and Portuguese. Most were soldiers of armies from all across Europe. They fly the Hungarian flag and are known as the Garibaldi Guard.
  • The final toll: roughly 2% of the population, an estimated 620,000 men, have lost their lives in the line of duty. There was also an unknown, but large number of civilian deaths, people killed by being caught in combat or by disease and starvation.
    For North Carolina, see North Carolina Civil War Death Study. an article on the North Carolina Civil War Sesquicentennial site.
  • Post Script: from This Day in North Carolina History
        On November 6, 1865, the CSS Shenandoah lowered the Confederate flag and James I. Waddell surrendered command of the vessel to British authorities in Liverpool. The surrender came a full six months after Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. In that time, Waddell, a native of Pittsboro, had led his men on the only circumnavigation of the world by a Confederate ship.
        The CSS Shenandoah was a Confederate raider, and as such, its objective was to destroy Union merchant ships. The Shenandoah captured thirty-eight Union vessels and took more than 1,000 prisoners of war while it was in commission. The crew did not know about Lee’s surrender until June 1865 because of slow communication. The Shenandoah captured twenty-five vessels between May 27 and June 28.
        Waddell received official word of the Confederate defeat while approaching San Francisco in August 1865. Directing his ship southward to avoid American retribution for unintentional acts of piracy, he rounded Cape Horn and sailed for England during the fall of 1865, where he surrendered in Liverpool.

This Month's Fiction

Adult Fiction

Young Adult Fiction

Children's Fiction

This Month's Non-Fiction

Adult Nonfiction

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