North America 1866: French withdrawal from Mexico

Political map of North America & the Caribbean on 22 Jan 1866 (Closing the Frontier: French withdrawal from Mexico), showing the following events: Assassination of Abraham Lincoln; Confederacy dissolved; Johnson’s May 9 Declaration; Last Confederate forces surrender; French capture Chihuahua; Napoleon III declares victory in Mexico.

The defeat of the Confederacy allowed the United States to pressure the French to end their intervention in Mexico. Napoleon III, already wary of the mounting financial costs and intractable Mexican resistance, declared victory in 1866 and proceeded to withdraw his forces. With its French backers gone, the Mexican Empire collapsed over the following year.

Main Events

14 Apr 1865 Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

United States President Abraham Lincoln was shot by actor John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre, Washington DC, dying several hours later. The shooting was meant to be one of several executive assassinations, but none of the other targets were wikipedia

5 May 1865 Confederacy dissolved

Jefferson Davis met with his cabinet for last time at Washington, Georgia, and officially dissolved the Confederate wikipedia

9 May 1865 Johnson’s May 9 Declaration

The United States President Andrew Johnson declared that armed resistance in the American Civil War was “virtually” at an end and that nations or ships still harboring fugitives would be denied entry into US ports. Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured the following day, although it would not be until 20 August 1866 that Johnson would formally proclaim the end of the wikipedia

23 Jun 1865 Last Confederate forces surrender

Cherokee Brigadier General Stand Watie surrendered with the Confederate Indians at Fort Towson, Indian wikipedia

15 Aug 1865 French capture Chihuahua

French and Mexican Imperial troops captured the city of Chihuahua, temporary capital of the Mexican wikipedia

22 Jan 1866 Napoleon III declares victory in Mexico

The end of the Civil War freed the United States Army to begin shipping weapons and supplies to the Mexican Republic on a previously unseen scale. Preferring good relations with the United States over continued intervention, French Emperor Napoleon III declared the Mexican intervention a success and began planning for his wikipedia