With the Civil War ending, so ended the Confederate prison at Andersonville, known as Fort Sumter. Built in early 1864, by late February it was receiving 400 new prisoners a day. By June, 26,000 were penned in an area designed to hold 10,000. Ultimately around 45,000 captured US soldiers were sent to Andersonville. Of those, almost 13,000 died from disease, malnutrition, or exposure.
On 29 April 1861, Maryland’s legislature voted 53-13 against convening a secessionist convention. However, they also voted not to reopen rail links with the north, and requested that Lincoln remove federal troops from the state. Lincoln responded by giving the army limited authority to suspend habeas corpus. When the state militia demolished several railroad bridges, Militia Lieutenant John Merryman was arrested, charged with treason, and placed in custody. Chief Supreme Court Justice Taney issued a ruling in Ex parte Merryman stating that the President could not authorize the suspension of habeas corpus, but Merryman remained in custody, with Lincoln explaining that he had been authorized because Congress had been out of session at the time, and an invasion or rebellion could have taken place.
28 April marks the birth of Hiram Ulysses Grant, better known as Ulysses S Grant, Commanding General of US forces at the end of the Civil War. Following Lincoln’s assassination, Andrew Johnson became President. Grant was dissatisfied with Johnson’s approach to postwar reconstruction, which did not include giving protection to the former slaves. Johnson even attempted to veto the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which passed only because of a two thirds majority in both houses overruling him.
On 28 April 1862, New Orleans surrendered to US forces. The following day, Flag Officer David G Farragut and 250 marines from the USS Hartford removed the flag of Louisiana from the City Hall and replaced it with the Stars and Stripes. The Confederacy had lost its largest port, and the Union had a starting point for supply lines.
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.