Historical Tidbits

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  • Palm Sunday, April 9, 1965

    This day, General Lee surrendered his Army of North Virginia to General Grant at Appomattox, Virginia.  Most people consider this event to be the end of the Civil War, but other Confederate armies remained in the field and major battles were yet to be fought.

    Simultaneously with the Appomattox surrender, the last major sieges of the Civil War were beginning at Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely near Mobile. The White Oak Boys (Co. E., 94th Illinois Volunteer Infantry) were at Mobile and were assigned control of the Confederate prisoners after the capitulation of Spanish Fort.

    On April 17, Kate Wright of White Oak wrote to her future husband, George Kirkpatrick, who was stationed at Spanish Fort near Mobile.  She commented on the assassination of President Lincoln and expressed her hope that his replacement will treat the leaders of the Confederacy unmercifully.  On April 28, George responded to Kate that the White Oak Boys were “thunder-struck” by the assassination and hoping to be mustered out soon.

    Note:  As best we can determine, the last Civil War soldier to die from White Oak was John Harley.  Harley died on April 2 in Nashville, one week prior to Appomattox.  Harley’s family traveled to Nashville to bring him home for burial in Denman Cemetery.