Civil War ends on April 9 and news reaches Olympia on April 11, 1865.

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 1/01/1999
  • Essay 2061
On Tuesday about 5 p.m., April 11, 1865, Olympia receives news by telegraph from Marysville, California, that on the afternoon of April 9, 1865, Robert E. Lee (1807-1870), Commander of the Confederate Army, surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), Commander of the Union Army.

Joy Unbounded

“Immediately all business [in Olympia] was suspended and every one joined heartily to celebrate the great event. The enthusiasm was ‘irrepressible;’ bon-fires glared; cannons roared; fire-works were set off; the illuminated fronts of buildings reflected the pervading feelings of owners or occupants, and the one sentiment that universally prevailed was joy unbounded” (Pacific Tribune).

The next day, on April 12, the Seattle Weekly Gazette issued an extra with the headline “Glorious News!!! LEE SURRENDERS TO GRANT.”

Sources: Washington Standard (Olympia), April 15, 1865, p. 2; Washington Democrat (Olympia), April 15, 1865, p. 2; The Pacific Tribune (Olympia), April 15, 1865, p 2.

Related Topics:   Civil War in Washington | War & Peace

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