Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the End of the Civil War

By Diane Haddad

McLean House, Appomattox, Va.

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War.

The fighting didn’t immediately stop. Unaware of the surrender or of President Lincoln’s assassination April 14, Union Ge. James H. Wilson and his “Raiders” took Columbus, Ga., in a battle April 16. Confederate soldiers defeated Col. Theodore H. Barrett’s Union troops at the Battle of Palmito Ranch outside Brownsville, Texas, May 12.

General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered to Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman April 26 at Bennett Place, a farm in Durham, NC. Other surrenders followed, the last one being Capt. James Iredell Waddell’s surrender of the ship Shenandoah Nov. 6.

President Andrew Johnson formally declared the war over Aug. 20, 1865.

In the May/June 2015 Family Tree Magazine, now mailing to subscribers, you’ll find a guide to locating Southern ancestors, black and white, who were uprooted during the social and economic upheaval following the war.

You can get started tracing a Civil War soldier with these tips from

And research Civil War-era ancestors with help from these Family Tree Shop resources: