Quick Facts About Surrender at Bennett Place
Date: April 17 – 26, 1865
Location: Bennett Place near Hillsborough, North Carolina
Principal Union commander(s): Major General William T. Sherman, Major General John Schofield
Principal Confederate commander(s): General Joseph E. Johnston
Bennett Place was the 325-acre farm of James and Nancy Bennitt located near Hillsborough, North Carolina.
James and Nancy Bennitt lost two sons and a son-in-law to the war.
The Surrender at Bennett Place ended the Carolinas Campaign and the Civil War in the East.
Union Major General William T. Sherman and Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston met at Bennett Place three times: April 17, April 18, and April 26, 1865.
William T. Sherman and Joseph E. Johnston did not know until the day of their first meeting that President Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated.
The original surrender agreement that generals Sherman and Johnston signed on April 18, 1865 included political and military terms.
Union officials refused to approve the original surrender agreement that generals Sherman and Johnston signed on April 18, 1865 because it extended beyond military terms.
When Jefferson Davis learned that Union officials had rejected the original agreement that generals Sherman and Johnston signed on April 18, 1865, he ordered Johnston to dissolve his command and melt into the countryside to engage in guerilla warfare.
General Joseph E. Johnston ignored Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ order to dissolve his command and melt into the countryside to engage in guerilla warfare. Instead, he met with Major General William T. Sherman again on April 26 to negotiate a new armistice.
When negotiations between Major General William T. Sherman and General Joseph E. Johnston reached an impasse on April 26, 1865, Union Major General John Schofield suggested a compromise that resolved their differences.
On April 26, 1865, Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston signed an agreement that surrendered 89,270 soldiers under his command in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida.
The surrender at Bennett Place was the largest surrender by either side during the Civil War.
The surrender at Bennett Place ended hostilities in the East, but it did not end the Civil War.
After the surrender at Bennett Place, the Confederacy still had several more forces in the field.
On May 4, 1865, General Richard Taylor surrendered the Confederate forces in the Department of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana.
On May 10, 1865, Union soldiers captured Jefferson Davis.
On May 26, 1865, General Kirby Smith surrendered his Trans-Mississippi command.
On June 19, 1865, representatives of the Five Nations of Southern Indians (who were fighting for the Confederacy) surrendered to Lieutenant Colonel Asa Mathews at Doaksville, in the Choctaw Nation.
On June 23, 1865, Brigadier General Stand Watie surrendered his battalion of Cherokee soldiers, making him the last Confederate general to lay down his sword.
On August 20, 1866, over one year later, President Andrew Johnson signed a Proclamation—Declaring that Peace, Order, Tranquillity [sic], and Civil Authority Now Exists in and Throughout the Whole of the United States of America.