The Civil War Ends
From VOA Learning English, this is The Making of a Nation. I'm Kelly Jean Kelly.
Abraham Lincoln did not live to see the final surrender of the armies of the Confederacy. A Confederate sympathizershot the president at Ford's Theatre in Washington on April 14, 1865.
By that time, however, the American Civil War was over.
One by one, the remaining armies surrendered. The soldiers began returning home.General Robert E. Lee surrendered in early April, bringing an end to four years of fighting. Several other Confederate armies were still in the field. But they were too small and too weak to continue the fight.
Late in May, 150,000 Union soldiers, representing every one of the Union armies, came to Washington. They came to take part in a victory march through the city.
The soldiers marched proudly past the new president, Andrew Johnson, and other government leaders.For two days, the soldiers marched past the White House. Many of the men had fought at Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg and Appomattox. Sherman's western army was there from battles at Shiloh and Atlanta.
Finally, the last group of soldiers passed the White House. The grand parade was over. The battle flags were put away, and the marching bands fell silent. The war was ended. Now, people could look about them and count the cost of the war.
Four years of bloody fighting had saved the Union of states. The northern victory had decided that states could not leave the Union. And it had put to rest the great problem of slavery, which had troubled the nation for so many years.
The war cost the North over 3 billion dollars. The war was almost as costly to the Confederates. Most of the war was fought in the southern states. And most of the war damage was there.But the costs were great. More than 600,000 men of the North and South lost their lives. Hundreds of thousands more were wounded. Many had lost their arms or legs.
Some towns and cities -- including Atlanta -- were completely destroyed. The damage outside the populated areas was almost as great. Union armies had marched across the South, leaving behind them widespread destruction. Farm houses and buildings had been burned; animals and crops seized or destroyed.
I'm Christopher Cruise.There was also the question of the four million former slaves. They were free now. But they needed jobs and training. Once again, the American people debated the best plan for moving the country forward.
And I'm Kelly Jean Kelly.
This is The Making of a Nation from VOA Learning English.
Frank Beardsley wrote this story. George Grow was the editor.
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