The American Civil War officially ended on April 9, 1865. On this day, Confederate General Robert E. Lee formally surrendered to Union leader Ulysses S. Grant.
Lee signed the surrender at Appomattox Court House in the afternoon wearing full ceremonial dress. Grant was gracious in his terms. Lee's men could go home immediately. They were allowed to retain possession of their side arms, and enlisted men who owned horses could keep them to assist in feeding their families over the winter. Grant also arranged for 25,000 rations to be given to the starving Confederate troops after learning that Lee's men had run out several days prior. Lee accepted these terms and gave a brief speech to his men the next day. Some Confederate troops remained in the field, but the war was officially declared over.