The Northfield Historical Society will kick off Northfield History Month with “Toward a Lasting Peace: Sherman, Johnston and the ‘Astonishing Close,'” a 150th Anniversary Civil War presentation by retired history teacher Karl Fredrickson Thursday, May 28, at 6:30 p.m. at 408 Division Street.
After the surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865, two large armies remained and squared off against each other in North Carolina. They had just fought the last great battle of the Civil War at Bentonville. Although President Jefferson Davis would arrive on the scene to encourage his Confederate army to fight on, over the following nine days the opposing generals — Sherman and Johnston — would instead arrive at a lasting peace.
How did those on both sides respond to the events as they unfolded? Fredrickson will use the letters of soldiers and civilians to recreate the mood of those last days and to reflect together on how the events led to the reshaping of the Union. It was indeed, as Major Hitchcock wrote to his wife from Raleigh, an “astonishing close.”