It is somewhat difficult to settle on a date for the end of the American Civil War (or the War of the Rebellion as it was denominated by the United States War Department or the War of Northern Aggression as denominated by many Confederates).  Lee surrendered to Grant on April 9, 1865.  Johnston surrendered to Sherman on April 26.  The last recognized battle was that of Palmito Ranch, fought on May 12 and 13, 1865.  Kirby Smith surrendered on June 2 on board the U.S.S. Fort Jackson, pursuant to terms negotiated with General Edward Canby on May 26.  Cherokee Chief Stand Watie surrendered on June 23. On August 20, President Andrew Johnson executed at proclamation Declaring that Peace, Order, Tranquillity, and Civil Authority Now Exists in and Throughout the Whole of the United States of America.  The last Confederate ship to surrender was the C.S.S. Shenandoah on November 6. But many date the actual end of the war to this date in 1865, when President Andrew Johnson issued executive orders and a proclamation which declared The Belligerent Rights of the Rebels at an End. See http://www.nytimes.com/1865/05/10/news/important-proclamations-belligerent-rights-rebels-end-all-nations-warned-against.html.

For today’s writing, Walt Whitman’s poem Reconciliation:

 

WORD over all, beautiful as the sky!
Beautiful that war, and all its deeds of carnage, must in time be utterly lost;
That the hands of the sisters Death and Night, incessantly softly wash again, and ever again, this soil’d world:
… For my enemy is dead—a man divine as myself is dead;
I look where he lies, white-faced and still, in the coffin—I draw near;
I bend down, and touch lightly with my lips the white face in the coffin.