Taylor Surrenders to Canby

May 8, 1865 – Federal forces accepted the paroles of Confederate soldiers from the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana, thus disbanding the last major Confederate force east of the Mississippi River.

Lieutenant General Richard Taylor, commanding the Confederate department from Meridian, Mississippi, had contacted Federal Major General Edward R.S. Canby and requested an armistice as soon as Taylor learned that Joseph E. Johnston had surrendered to William T. Sherman. On May 1, Canby informed Taylor that the original “Basis of Agreement” between Johnston and Sherman had been rejected, and hostilities would resume within 48 hours unless he surrendered based on the terms that Federal General-in-Chief Ulysses S. Grant had given to Confederate General-in-Chief Robert E. Lee at Appomattox.[1]

Gens Richard Taylor and E.R.S. Canby | Image Credits: Wikipedia.org

Gens Richard Taylor and E.R.S. Canby | Image Credits: Wikipedia.org

The next day, Taylor answered Canby’s notice by agreeing to surrender according to Grant’s terms to Lee. Canby informed Grant that Taylor had accepted the offer, and then made arrangements for negotiations.[2]

Taylor and Canby met on the 4th at Citronelle, Alabama on the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, some 20 miles north of Magee’s Farm and 40 miles north of Mobile. Taylor surrendered his military department based on the same terms that Grant had given Lee and Sherman had given Johnston in their second surrender negotiation: the Confederate soldiers would be paroled, officers would retain their sidearms, and Taylor could use the rail and waterways to transport his men back home.[3]

The official surrender took place on May 8 at Citronelle. Taylor expressed gratitude for Canby’s generous terms, and Taylor received his parole three days later. General Nathan Bedford Forrest, commanding Confederate cavalry under Taylor, considered fleeing to Mexico but decided to surrender with his men. On May 9, Forrest issued a farewell address to his command from Gainesville, Alabama:[4]

… That we are beaten is a self-evident fact, and any further resistance on our part would be justly regarded as the height of folly and rashness… Fully realizing and feeling that such is the case, it is your duty and mine to lay down our arms, submit to the ‘powers that be,’ and aid in restoring peace and establishing law and order throughout the land… Civil war, such as you have just passed through, naturally engenders feelings of animosity, hatred, and revenge. It is our duty to divest ourselves of all such feelings, and, so far as it is in our power to do so, to cultivate feelings toward those with whom we have so long contested and heretofore so widely but honestly differed… Obey the laws, preserve your honor, and the government to which you have surrendered can afford to be and will be magnanimous.[5]

This dissolved the Confederate Military Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana. Grant soon ordered Canby to prepare for a Federal expedition west of the Mississippi to confront the last major Confederate army still in the field.[6]

—–

[1] Foote, Shelby, The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume 3: Red River to Appomattox (Vintage Civil War Library, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Kindle Edition, 2011), Locations 21046-56; Korn, Jerry, Pursuit to Appomattox: The Last Battles (Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1983), p. 160

[2] Foote, Shelby, The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume 3: Red River to Appomattox (Vintage Civil War Library, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Kindle Edition, 2011), Locations 21046-56; Long, E.B. with Long, Barbara, The Civil War Day by Day (New York: Da Capo Press, Inc., 1971), p. 685

[3] Angle, Paul M., A Pictorial History of the Civil War Years (New York: Doubleday, 1967), p. 224; Foote, Shelby, The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume 3: Red River to Appomattox (Vintage Civil War Library, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Kindle Edition, 2011-01-26), Kindle Locations 21056-21066; Long, E.B. with Long, Barbara, The Civil War Day by Day (New York: Da Capo Press, Inc., 1971), p. 685

[4] Foote, Shelby, The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume 3: Red River to Appomattox (Vintage Civil War Library, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Kindle Edition, 2011), Locations 21085-21115; Korn, Jerry, Pursuit to Appomattox: The Last Battles (Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1983), p. 160; Long, E.B. with Long, Barbara, The Civil War Day by Day (New York: Da Capo Press, Inc., 1971), p. 686; Wikipedia-Richard Taylor

[5] Foote, Shelby, The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume 3: Red River to Appomattox (Vintage Civil War Library, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Kindle Edition, 2011), Kindle Locations 21085-21115

[6] Korn, Jerry, Pursuit to Appomattox: The Last Battles (Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1983), p. 160; Long, E.B. with Long, Barbara, The Civil War Day by Day (New York: Da Capo Press, Inc., 1971), p. 686

Advertisements

Tagged: , , , ,

3 thoughts on “Taylor Surrenders to Canby

  1. […] Richard Taylor surrendered all Confederate forces in Alabama and Mississippi to Federal General E.R.S. Canby at Citronelle, […]

    Like

  2. […] Richard Taylor surrendered all Confederate forces in Alabama and Mississippi to Federal General E.R.S. Canby at Citronelle, […]

    Like

  3. […] Richard Taylor surrendered all Confederate forces in Alabama and Mississippi to Federal General E.R.S. Canby at Citronelle, […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: