The Country Courthouse
Although sporadic fighting would continue west of the Mississippi until the end of May, the principal land campaign of the Civil War ended at Durham Station on April 26. However, an earlier event is traditionally considered the symbolic end of the Civil War. Following the collapse of Petersburg and the evacuation of Richmond, Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia desperately foraged for food and arrived at Appomattox Court House, about 25 miles east of Lynchburg, Virginia. Lee’s forces, which now stood at perhaps 9,000 effective troops, were surrounded by the Army of the Potomac under General George Meade.
After heavy skirmishing on the morning of April 9, Lee concluded that his was a lost cause. He met Ulysses S. Grant, who pressed him to surrender all the Confederate armies, which were nominally under his command. Lee refused to do that, but his surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, over which he had direct command, signaled the inevitable end of the war.