Thursday, April 26, 2012

Learn Our History Today: April 26

On April 26, 1607, the first English colonists landed in Virginia, making landfall at Cape Henry. This became known as “the First Landing”. These colonists quickly moved inland and established the city of Jamestown, the New World’s first permanent settlement.

On April 26, the largest surrender of the Civil war took place at Bennett Place in North Carolina. On April 26, 1865, confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered 89,270 confederate soldiers to union General William Tecumseh Sherman. This effectively ended the fighting in Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia.

Also on April 26, 1865, union cavalry cornered John Wilkes Booth in a tobacco barn near Port Royal, Virginia. Booth was hiding in the barn along with David Herold, who was a fellow Lincoln Assassination conspirator. Upon noticing the cavalry, Herold promptly surrendered, leaving Booth alone in the barn. Unlike Herold, Booth refused to surrender saying, “I prefer to come out and fight”. Before Booth had a chance to fight however, he was shot in the neck through a crack in the barn wall. The Union men then carried him to the porch of the Garret Farm where he died about three hours after his wounding.

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