Surrender of Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor
May 4, 1865 in Citronelle, Alabama
By the end of April 1865, Mobile, Alabama had fallen and news had reached Taylor of the meetings between Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman. Taylor agreed to meet Maj. Gen. E.R.S. Canby for a conference a few miles north of Mobile. On April 30th, the 2 officers established a truce, terminable after 48 hours' notice by either party, then partook of a "bountiful luncheon....with joyous poppings of champagne corks...the first agreeable explosive sounds," Taylor wrote, "I had heard for years." A band played "Hail Columbia" and a few bars of "Dixie."
The party seperated: Canby went to Mobile and Taylor to his headquarters at Meridian, Mississippi. Two days later, Taylor received news of Johnston's surrender, of Pres. Jefferson Davis' capture, and of Canby's insistence that the truce terminate. Taylor elected to surrender, which he did on May 4th at Cintonelle, Alabama, some 40 miles north of Mobile. This surrender included all existing Confederate forces east of the Mississippi River. "At the time, no doubts as to the propriety of my course entered my mind," Taylor later asserted, "but such have since crept in." He grew to regret not having tried a last-ditch guerrilla struggle.
Under the terms, officers retained their sidearms, mounted men their horses. All property and equipment was to be turned over to the Federals, but receipts were issued. The men were paroled. Taylor retained control of the railways and river steamers to transport the troops as near as possible to their homes. He stayed with several staff officers at Meridian until the last man was gone, then went to mobile, joining Canby, who took Taylor by boat to the latter's home in New Orleans.
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