On 26 April 1865, the Confederate forces commanded by Joseph E. Johnston surrendered to General William T Sherman. It was the largest surrender of the war, totaling 89,270 troops, encompassing all of the confederate forces in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. Two days before, Johnston had received orders from Jefferson Davis that he should disband his troops, reunite in the mountains, and then send the cavalry to rescue Jefferson Davis and the Confederate leaders and help them flee south, perhaps to Cuba.
From the Arkansas causes of secession, the first two items: The people of the northern States have organized a political party, purely sectional in its character; the central and controlling idea of which is hostility to the institution of African slavery, as it exists in the southern States, and that party has elected a President and Vice President of the United States, pledged to administer the government upon principles inconsistent with the rights, and subversive of the interests of the people of the southern States.
From the Texas declaration of causes, right after the preamble: Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated States to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings.
Louisiana didn’t publish a causes of secession document, but they did send a secession commissioner named George Williamson to Texas. Williamson explained: History affords no example of a people who changed their government for more just or substantial reasons. Louisiana looks to the formation of a Southern confederacy to preserve the blessings of African slavery, and of the free institutions of the founders of the Federal Union, bequeathed to their posterity.
On 22 April 1820, Thomas Jefferson had written to John Holmes, predicting that the Missouri Appeasement would eventually lead to the destruction of the USA: …I considered it at once as the knell of the Union. It is hushed indeed for the moment. But this is a reprieve only, not a final sentence. A geographical line, coinciding with a marked principle, moral and political, once conceived and held up to the angry passions of men, will never be obliterated; and every new irritation will mark it deeper and deeper.
On 21 April 1865, Mosby’s Raiders disbanded without formally surrendering. John Mosby was a Confederate leader nicknamed “The Gray Ghost” for his hit-and-run raids on US facilities. His Raiders or Rangers were a group of guerrilla secessionists who did not wear uniforms, just one or more items of gray clothing. They would attack without warning, retreat as soon as battle turned against them, and destroy rail lines and bridges before disappearing back into the civilian population.
Georgia were to the point when setting out why they were declaring secession: The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slaveholding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery.
On 17 April 1861, the Virginia Secession Convention approved the wording of the state’s ordinance of secession, which seeks to repeal the US Constitution completely and make Virginia a sovereign state: AN ORDINANCE To Repeal the ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, by the State of Virginia, and to resume all the rights and powers granted under said Constitution: The people of Virginia, in their ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, adopted by them in Convention, on the 25th day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eight-eight, having declared that the powers granted them under the said Constitution were derived from the people of the United States, and might be resumed whensoever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression, and the Federal Government having perverted said powers, not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern slaveholding States.
On 18 April 1864, US forces sent a train out from Camden, Arkansas to capture bushels of corn discovered west of the town. The train was under the command of Colonel John Williams and escorted by around 1,100 troops from the first black unit of the Union army, the First Kansas Colored Infantry, composed primarily of ex-slaves. On the way back, the train was intercepted by around 3,600 Confederates. The first two attacks were fought off successfully, but after the third attack US forces retreated to Camden.
On 17 April 2004, the remains of the crew of the H.L. Hunley were laid to rest at Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, South Carolina. The Hunley was a Confederate submarine, the first submarine to sink an enemy ship. It was privately constructed by inventor Horace Lawson Hunley, and delivered to the Confederate navy. During preparations for its first test dive in Charleston, one of the crew accidentally stepped on a control lever and the sub dived with its hatches open.