150 years ago today, the American Civil War officially ended.
In an event that is generally regarded as marking the end of the Civil War, Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of Confederate forces west of the Mississippi, signs the surrender terms offered by Union negotiators. With Smith’s surrender, the last 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 under 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 more 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 help quell the Southern “insurrection.” Four long years later, the Confederacy was defeated at the total cost of 620,000 Union and Confederate dead.
George Satayana wrote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
I sometimes wonder if we are not headed in this direction again. So many people are so very ignorant of history … and what’s going on around them today!
Also, from History and also on this day in 1774:
Parliament completes the Coercive Acts with the Quartering Act
On this day in 1774, the British Parliament renews the Quartering Act, allowing Redcoats to stay in private American homes if necessary. The Quartering Act, in conjunction with the Massachusetts Government Act, the Administration of Justice Act and the Boston Port Act, were known as the Coercive Acts.
News of 342 chests of tea dumped into Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773, in what was dubbed the Boston Tea Party, reached Britain in January 1774. Disgusted by the colonists’ action against private property, the British Parliament quickly decided upon the Coercive Acts as a means of reasserting British control over the colonies and punishing Boston.
As of May 20, 1774, the Massachusetts Government Act curtailed democracy in Massachusetts by altering the colonial charter of 1691 to reduce the power of elective officials and to increase that of the royal governor. [I refer the readers to debate about federal influence/interference over local law enforcement agencies.] On the same day, the passing of the Administration of Justice Act ensured that royal officials charged with capital crimes would not be tried in the colonies, but in Britain. On June 1, 1774, the Boston Port Act demanded payment for the destroyed tea before the port could reopen for any imports but food.
On June 2, 1774, Parliament completed its punishment by expanding the Quartering Act to allow soldiers to board in occupied private homes. In its original incarnation, the Quartering Act of 1765 had merely demanded that colonists provide barracks for British soldiers. In Boston, those barracks were on an isolated island in Boston Harbor. In 1766, the act expanded to include the housing of soldiers in public houses (hotels) and empty buildings. With Boston in an uproar, the British now demanded the ability to house the military among civilians, if necessary, to maintain order.
In the evening I will something watch a movie or an episode of some TV series or other. Right now I am slowly working my way through the Netflix series Revolution. It is, in many respects, absurd because of plot gaps etc. (Just how many times can people be shot or beaten over the head with a pipe? Why don’t men ever have to shave and they remain relatively clean-shaven? Why do they seem to have a never-ending supply of whiskey 15 years after the obliteration of power and the collapse of society? Why is everything so damn dirty? Doesn’t anyone clean anything?) In any event, there are some points that are common to “prepper” lit, the dystopian TEOTWAWKI scenarios that inevitably involve bad government actors swooping on the defenseless.
Still… Satayana was on to something.