The American Civil War essentially ended in the spring of 1865, with the surrender of Robert E. Lee and his troops, the last major Confederate army, to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, Va., on April 9, 1865. However, the last battle was fought at Palmito Ranch, Texas, on May 13, and the last confederate army ceased to exist when General Kirby Smith surrendered and signed the treaty on June 2.
The American Civil War, which began on April 12, 1861, ended after four years and resulted in the death of between 620,000 and 850,000 soldiers, 40,000 of whom were African-Americans. More Americans died in the Civil War than in any other war, including World War II. The bloodiest battle, with 51,000 casualties, was fought at Gettysburg, Pa.
The Civil War began when the Confederate States of America, formed by seven southern states that had seceded from the United States, attacked Union-held Fort Sumter in Charleston, S.C. President Abraham Lincoln called for volunteer soldiers to fight to preserve the Union.
In 1863, President Lincoln passed the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all slaves in the southern states. This was soon followed by the emancipation of all slaves, resulting in African-Americans joining the war effort. By the end of the war, 10 percent of the Union Army consisted of African-Americans.