Discussion When was the “official” end of the war?


Aug 15, 2017
I think what you're trying to get at is unlike most wars, whether they are declared wars or "police actions", there is usually a treaty that officially ends the armed conflict. As the CSA government disintegrated without signing or declaring any suchvend, and its armed forces surrendered piecemeal, there is no traditional end.

Since the USA refused to recognize the CSA it raises the question of, if Jeff Davis and the Confederate peace commissioners had accepted reality and agree to end the war on terms Lincoln would accept how would the surrender document have been worded? "As representatives of the states engaged in rebellion"?
Yes, that was pretty much my point. Lincoln was very careful not to recognize the Confeds as a nation or to refer to it that way and no war was ever declared. It's an interesting subject, full of legal entanglements.
The US history books never have focused on the "official" end of World War II either.

December 31, 1946 – U.S. President Truman officially declares an end to hostilities with Presidential Proclamation no. 2715, 61 Stat 1048.

That's one day away from 1947.

Only throwing out some factoids.

:smile coffee:

Just a minor correction. According to the Truman Library the Proclamation no. was 2714.

John S. Carter

Sergeant Major
Mar 15, 2017
Very interesting comments here. I think it is safe to say that May 13th 1865 was the “end of hostilities” and therefore a Fair date to put as the end of the war. November 11 1918 is regularly regarded as the end of WWI even though it was merely the end of hostilities.
Like the Post.There are other wars in resent history which you could place in this same category,Korean War [referred to as Korean Conflict },and Vietnam.Militaryly one can state that with with the ceasing of military hostilities that would end the conflict,but then what of the official end of the war by the government which directed the war from the off set?Jefferson escaped Richmond leaving no note of official surrender of his government .even after capture there was no mention of surrender on his part it just went from military conquest to a war of policial control of the South which ended,as some would say,the South won by regaining control of its authority in the state governments while the North became more Southern in acceptance of Southern state politics Former Union and Confederate would romanticize their war ,creating myths about the battles.The cause of the war would be silenced with new causes, The winner of the war was the Democratic party ,for they now had gained one whole section of the country,THE SOLID SOUTH and held it till 1964 when it went REPUBLICAN ,Ironic, the party of Lincoln is now the party of the South.


Sergeant Major
Forum Host
Thread Medic
Jul 23, 2017
Southwest Missouri
This also explains why anyone who has served in the military since August 2, 1990 'is' a Gulf War veteran .... regardless of the fact hostilities in Operation Desert Storm concluded on July 31, 1991. "Officially" that conflict has never ended, although it could be argued hostilities never resumed on a 'war' scale until after 9/11.

A modern and extreme example of the OP.

Sep 28, 2013
Southwest Mississippi
This also explains why anyone who has served in the military since August 2, 1990 'is' a Gulf War veteran ....

Our Veterans can explain this much better than myself.

The same confusion applies to some families of our Vietnam War Vets.
Was it February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975 ? Or did vet status start August 5, 1964 ?

Some say Vietnam Vet status began on July 8, 1959.

Very confusing for civilians that are only concerned about about proper honors for their loved ones.
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