The Library of Congress Illustrated Timeline of the Civil War
Margaret E. Wagner
AUGUST 1, 1864: The Confederate legislative act of February 17, 1864, which renewed President Davis’s authority to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, expires. Despite intensifying Union pressure and the growing influence of Southern peace societies, the Confederate Congress will never again give Davis the authority to suspend the writ.62 AUGUST 4, 1864: The London Times carries a dispatch from its Richmond-based correspondent, Francis Lawley, who has lately been impressed by the relative calm.
General: “I had never had the faith in him that I always desire to have in a general…. I like him for his bravery and untiring energy but he lacked caution and seemed to care nothing for the lives of his men.”108 JANUARY 29, 1865: The Confederate peace commissioners (see January 11, 1865) arrive under a flag of truce at Petersburg, Virginia, sparking celebrations among both Federals and Confederates hopeful that peace may be in the offing. The commissioners are escorted to General Grant’s.
Surrender ceremonies will take place on April 12—four years to the day from the Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter—but at this meeting the two military commanders agree on the terms of surrender, which comport with President Lincoln’s wishes, expressed at City Point (see March 27, 1865). After pledging not to take up arms until exchanged, officers and men will be allowed to return to their homes and officers will be allowed to keep their sidearms, their own personal baggage, and their horses.
Fire. Early in the encounter, the Federals seem poised to achieve a great victory. “The Yankees in such a superiority of numbers… poured forth such a destructive fire into our ranks that our men were becoming confused and began to fall back,” Lieutenant Richard Lewis, of the Fourth South Carolina Volunteers, later reported. “The gallant and noble General Barnard Bee dismounted his horse to rally the men, telling them as Carolinians they should never disgrace or dishonor their banner but die under.
May 1864, “and O, what a sight we there beheld! No less than three long trains filled, outside and in, with wounded. Nearly all seemed to be wounded in the head, face, and hands. I asked some one near why this was. They replied, because our men had fought behind breastworks [temporary chest-high fortifications]. There were ladies at the depot with baskets filled with edibles of all kinds, and buckets of milk, coffee, and lemonade; and I noticed many had wines,” Cumming added. “The ladies in.