The American Civil War ended with General Robert E. Lee surrendering to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House. This was on April 9, 1865. The war did not end right at that moment as some Confederate units fought on, but this was the end of major hostilities.
The war did not end as the result of any one battle. Instead, it ended because the North had slowly strangled the South. The North had won battle after battle and had destroyed any real chance that the South had of fighting back. As this happened, it became more and more clear that the South would have to surrender. At Appomattox, Lee’s army was trapped and he bowed to the inevitable rather than fighting and causing more loss of life.