The Day – April 2

The Day – April 2

Holidays and observances

The Day – USA: April 2

National Ferret Day
National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day
National Reconciliation Day
National April Fools’ Day
National Assyrian New Year
National Boomer Bonus Day
National Edible Book Day
National Fossil Fools Day
International Fun at Work Day
International Tatting Day
National Lupus Alert DayNational Atheist’s Day
National Love for our Children Day
National Poetry and the Creative Mind Day
National Reading is Funny Day
National St. Stupid Day
National US Air Force Academy Day

The Day in US History: April 2

Ulysses S. Grant’s Army Attacks Confederate Lines at Petersburg

I think it is absolutely necessary that we should abandon our position tonight…Telegram from Robert E. Lee, in Petersburg, to Jefferson Davis, in Richmond, April 2, 1865. 1

Petersburg, Va., General view
Petersburg, Virginia,
Timothy H. O’Sullivan, photographer, circa 1865.
Selected Civil War Photographs

At approximately 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 2, 1865, Ulysses S. Grant’s army attacked Confederate lines at Petersburg, Virginia. By mid-afternoon, Confederate troops had begun to evacuate the town. The Union victory ensured the fall of Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, located just twenty-five miles north of Petersburg.

President Jefferson Davis received word of the events in Petersburg while attending services at St. Paul’s Church in Richmond. He abandoned the capital late that night on a train bound for Danville, Virginia.

Richmond, meanwhile, burned, as fires set by fleeing Confederates and looters raged out of control. Davis was eventually captured by Union soldiers, but not until May 10, 1865. 2

Ruins of bridge
Ruins of Richmond and Danville Railroad Bridge, Richmond, Virginia, circa 1865.
Selected Civil War Photographs

Richmond, VA 1865
Street in the Burned District, Richmond, Virginia, 1865.
Selected Civil War Photographs

1. Telegram from Robert E. Lee, in Petersburg, to Jefferson Davis, in Richmond, April 2, 1865, quoted in The Civil War Day By Day: An Almanac, 1861-1865, E.B. Long with Barbara Long (1971; reprint, New York: Da Capo Press, 1971), 663. (Return to text)

2. Ibid., 663, 664. (Return to text)

The Day in History – April 2-External Links

The Day’s Weather in History
The Day in Earthquake History
This Day in Naval History
The Day’s Document from the National Archives
The Day’s Events, Births & Deaths –Wikipedia
The Day in History by AP
On this Day -1950 to 2005 – The Day’s Story–BBC
On This Day: The New York Times
This Day in History –History.com
The Day in Canadian History – Canada Channel
History of Britain that took place On This Day
Russia in History –Russiapedia