Will Delaware Primary Be Newt’s Battle of Palmito Ranch?

Artist's rendering of Confederate victory at the Palmito Ranch, the final land engagement of the Civil War.

Most high school history textbooks mark the end of the American Civil as April 9, 1865, the day Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox Courthouse.

What few bother to note, however, is the chaos that followed as more than 100,000 Confederate soldiers remained on the battlefield.  Thousands would die as the war wrapped up.  The Confederate government’s legendary flight from Richmond ultimately led to the capture of C.S.A. President Jefferson Davis in Southern Georgia on May 10, 1865.   Three days later, near Brownsville, Texas, Confederate forces under the command of Col. John Ford defeated a Union force in the last significant land action of the Civil War.  It was called the Battle of Palmito Ranch.

On June 2, Confederate General Kirby Smith surrendered his 43,000 man army, the last major Confederate force still active.

Totally unaware that the war had ended, throughout the summer of 1865 a Confederate warship, the CSS Shenandoah, would continue to target and sink Union vessels in the Pacific Northwest.  Seven months after Lee’s surrender to Grant, the captain of the Shenandoah surrendered his ship to the British government.

Voters in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware will head to the polls in a few hours to cast their votes in a Presidential primary race that was essentially decided on April 10, when Rick Santorum bowed out.

Despite Santorum’s surrender, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have continued their battle for the Republican nomination.

Largely ignored, Gingrich has built an impressive organization in tiny Delaware and threatens to embarrass the presumptive nominee with an upset victory there.  Meanwhile, Ron Paul’s legions of supporters have focused themselves on capturing delegates to the Republican convention at various state conventions and caucuses, picking off vulnerable targets with some success.

Even if Gingrich does pull off a miracle tomorrow by winning Delaware and demonstrating continued support elsewhere, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee.

Ron Paul, regardless of the outcome in any future primary or caucus, seems guaranteed to carry his flag all the way to the Tampa convention.


  1. Pingback: Gingrich Confirms Delaware is Must Win Territory

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