Surrender at Citronelle, Alabama

May 4, 1865

Citronelle, Alabama

Confederate Lieutenant General Richard Taylor, son of former President Zachary Taylor, who surrendered his troops at Citronelle. (Library of Congress)

At the war’s end, Confederate Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor, son of former U.S. president Zachary Taylor, held command the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana, with some 12,000 troops at his disposal. With the closing of April 1865, knowing full well that all hope was lost for the Confederacy, Gen. Taylor agreed to meet with Union Maj. Gen. E.R.S. Canby for a conference a few miles north of Mobile, Alabama. After learning of the surrender of Lt. Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army near Appomattox, Virginia, Canby and Taylor established a truce on April 29th. Two days after the initial truce was established, Taylor received additional news which told of Maj. Gen. Johnston's surrender to Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman in North Carolina, and of President Jefferson Davis's capture in Georgia. With pressure to broker a favorable peace for his army, Taylor elected to surrender rather than initiate a campaign of guerilla warfare, and on the 4th of May at Citronelle, Alabama, Taylor surrendered the last Confederate Army east of the Mississippi. Under the terms of surrender, officers retained their sidearms, and mounted men their horses; all other property and equipment, however, was to be turned over to the Federals. Confederate soldiers under Taylor’s command were paroled, began their long and sad journey’s home, and the war east of the Mississippi was finally over.


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