Robert E. Lee’s surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865 marked the end of the American Civil War, but it was just one of many times that officers and soldiers faced the reality of surrender. In fact, throughout the four years of the war, approximately one in four soldiers surrendered to the opposing army. In this episode, David Silkenat explains how looking at surrender as both an experience and a set of codes offers a new and insightful perspective on the Civil War and those who lived through it.
Dr. David Silkenat is Senior Lecturer in American History at the University of Edinburgh and author of three books, the most recent of which is Waving the White Flag: How Surrender Defined the American Civil War (UNC Press, 2019). He is also the cohost of The Whiskey Rebel podcast. You can follow David on twitter at @davidsilkenat.
The Road to Now is hosted and produced by Bob Crawford of The Avett Brothers and Dr. Benjamin Sawyer of Middle Tennessee State University. This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.