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May 1, 2015

Civil War Daybook – Epilogue

Filed under: Civil War Daybook — Lori Williamson @ 9:00 am

Thank you to all of the readers and subscribers of the Civil War Daybook blog. As the sesquicentennial of the Civil War comes to an end and soldiers begin returning home, this will be our final post. We at the Minnesota Historical Society are extremely grateful for your appreciation of Minnesota’s Civil War history, and hope you have enjoyed the collections featured in this blog.

For more information about Minnesota and the Civil War please see:

The conclusion of the American Civil War comes in a series of Confederate surrenders throughout the spring and summer of 1865. Some of the most notable events include:

  • April 9, 1865 General Lee surrenders the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox in VirginiaApril 15, 1865 US President Lincoln dies
  • April 26, 1865 General Johnston surrenders his armies at Bennett Place in North Carolina
  • May 9, 1865 US President Andrew Johnson declares the armed resistance “virtually” ended
  • May 10, 1865 Confederate President Jefferson Davis is captured at Washington, Georgia
  • June 23, 1865 the last Confederate general to surrender, Cherokee Brigadier General Stand Watie, surrenders at Fort Towson
  • August 20, 1866 US President Andrew Johnson signs a proclamation of peace – Proclamation 157 – Declaring that Peace, Order, Tranquility, and Civil Authority Now Exists in and Throughout the Whole of the United States of America, August 20, 1866.

Between July and September, 1865, the majority of Minnesota’s soldiers were discharged at Fort Snelling. To learn more about veterans’ homecoming experience, don’t miss Civil War Weekend at the Fort, August 15-16, 2015.

If you’re curious about what happened in the lives of some of the regular contributors to this blog after their discharge, check out the post-war biographies below.

James Madison Bowler (3rd Minnesota Regiment) remained in the army after the conclusion of the Civil War (much to the frustration of his wife, Elizabeth) until he was mustered out in April, 1866. When he returned to Minnesota he held a number of different jobs, including farming and railroad construction, eventually settling in Saint Paul. He served as a representative in the Minnesota Legislature in 1878, and was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in 1896 and 1898. James Bowler died in 1916, and is buried in Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis.

Dr. Ebenezer Mattocks Brewer (2nd and 7th Minnesota Regiments) was mustered out of service in August, 1865, and returned to Saint Paul to establish a medical practice. He served as the Saint Paul city physician and health officer from 1867-1871 and 1874-1880, and was the Ramsey County deputy coroner in 1870 and physician from 1874-1882. He moved to Faribault, Minnesota, in 1882 where he continued his practice until his retirement in 1900. Ebenezer Brewer is buried in the Oakland Cemetery in Saint Paul.

Thomas Davidson Christie (1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery) was discharged in 1865 and surveyed land for the Winona and St. Peter Railroad Company near Winona, Minnesota. He began attended Beloit College in Wisconsin in 1868, receiving a Master of Arts degree in 1874. He graduated from Andover Seminary in Massachusetts in 1877 and was ordained as a minister. In 1877 he and his family traveled to Turkey and did missionary work until 1920, when they returned to the United States. Thomas Christie died in 1921 in Pasadena, California.

Charles Goddard (1st Minnesota Regiment) was mustered out of service with his regiment in May, 1864, and returned to his hometown of Winona, Minnesota. He suffered from the pain of the wound he received at the Battle of Gettysburg, as well as mental trauma of what we might now call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Goddard moved from job to job after his discharge and died of tuberculosis in 1868 at the age of 23. He is buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Winona, where Mathew Marvin (also of the 1st Minnesota) was the caretaker.

Matthew Marvin (1st Minnesota Regiment) was officially mustered out of service with his regiment in 1864 while he was in Chicago, still recovering from the wound he received at Gettysburg. Marvin returned to his family home in St. Charles, Illinois, to complete his recovery. In 1871 he moved with his wife Angie to Winona, Minnesota, and in 1873 he was appointed as the caretaker of Woodlawn Cemetery. He died in 1903, and is buried in Woodlawn. His daughter, Mabel Marvin, gave a reading at the dedication of the First Minnesota monument at Gettysburg on the 50th anniversary of the battle.

Thomas Montgomery (7th Minnesota Regiment, 76th, 67th, and 65th U.S. Colored Regiments) was discharged from service in 1867 and settled in Saint Peter, Minnesota, with his wife Sarah. He was appointed to the state Board of Equalization in 1887 and moved to Saint Paul, where he served as alderman. He also served in numerous positions within the Masonic orders. Thomas Montgomery died in 1907 and is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Saint Paul.

Finally, we invite you to join us in April, 2017 for the launch of the World War I Daybook blog, which will begin on the centennial of the United States’ declaration of war against Germany.

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