June 1865

2 JUN

Confederates surrendered their last remaining seaport at Galveston, Texas. This was the last naval act of the war. Of 471 ships and 2,455 guns in active service during the war, only 29 vessels and 210 guns were active by December.

General Edmund Kirby Smith approved the 26 May agreement made on his behalf by Lieutenant General Simon B. Buckner surrendering his forces under the same terms granted to General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox. Some Confederates, including part of Jo Shelby’s command, refused to surrender and fled to Mexico, headed West, or just went home.

President Andrew Johnson lifted all military restrictions on trade in the U.S. except on contraband of war.

6 JUN

Pro-U.S. voters in Missouri approved a new state constitution abolishing slavery.

President Johnson offered amnesty to all prisoners of war who took an oath that they never voluntarily fought against the U.S. voluntarily. Prisoners taking the oath were released.

13 JUN

President Johnson named provisional governors for Alabama and Florida under the terms of his “North Carolina Proclamation.” Johnson appointed William L. Sharkey as provisional governor of Mississippi. The governors would assemble state conventions of loyal citizens to amend their state constitutions, set up loyal state governments, and meet the presidential requirements for readmission to the U.S. Johnson moved to continue Abraham Lincoln’s policies while Congress was in recess until December.

Johnson also declared Tennessee restored to the U.S. and all citizens free from federal disabilities or disqualifications. Tennessee voters had approved a new constitution and elected a new, loyal state government.

17 JUN

President Johnson appointed James Johnson as provisional governor of Georgia and Andrew J. Hamilton as provisional governor of Texas.

23 JUN

President Johnson declared an end to the Federal blockade of southern ports, which had been in effect since April 1861.

Cherokee leader Brigadier General Stand Watie surrendered the Confederate Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, and Osage Battalion to Lieutenant Colonel Asa Matthews at Doaksville near Fort Towson in the Indian Territory. This represented the last formal submission of any sizable body of Confederate troops. While Confederate forces west of the Mississippi had been largely dispersed after the Battle of Westport last October, Watie’s men had continued guerrilla attacks in Arkansas and the Indian Territory.

29 JUN

In Washington, the military commission trying the eight alleged conspirators in President Lincoln’s assassination (Samuel Mudd, Michael O’Laughlin, Lewis Paine, Edman “Ned” Spangler, Samuel Arnold, David Herold, George Atzerodt, and Mary Suratt) went into closed quarters to decide upon their judgment.

30 JUN

President Johnson appointed Benjamin F. Perry as provisional governor of South Carolina.

In Washington, the military commission found seven of the eight defendants guilty of “treasonable conspiracy.” Edman Spangler was found guilty of a lesser charge of aiding and abetting John Wilkes Booth during his escape from Ford’s Theatre. He was sentenced to six years of hard labor at Dry Tortugas, Florida.

Samuel Mudd, Samuel Arnold, and Michael O’Laughlin received life sentences at Dry Tortugas. Lewis Paine, George Atzerodt, David Herold, and Mary Suratt received the death penalty. Many protested executing Mrs. Suratt, but to no avail. President Johnson approved the sentences on 5 July, and the four sentenced to death were hanged two days later. Mrs. Suratt became the first woman to be executed in U.S. history.

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Last Updated: 11/22/2014

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2 thoughts on “June 1865

  1. […] The Legacy of the Civil War: May and June […]

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  2. […] The Legacy of the Civil War: May and June […]

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