Realizing the end was near, Davis requested peace negotiations in a final attempt to save the South. Lincoln agreed, and delegations from both sides met at the Hampton Roads Conference in February 1865. No peace agreement was reached, however, because Lincoln was insistent on the South’s unconditional surrender, while Davis demanded full independence.
In April 1865, Ulysses S. Grant’s forces broke through Robert E. Lee’s defenses and forced the Confederates to retreat. The Confederate forces burned their capital city, Richmond, behind them as they retreated in order to render it useless to the Union armies. His men malnourished and heavily outgunned, Lee chose to surrender. Several days later, on April 9, 1865, Lee surrendered to Grant formally and unconditionally at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia. Grant accepted the surrender and provided the Southerners food for their march home. Jefferson Davis and other ranking Confederates, meanwhile, had been captured fleeing Virginia. The Civil War was over.