In war, the act of surrendering to the enemy upon stipulated terms. Among the most remarkable capitulations recorded in history are those which took place during the last ten years: of Vicksburg, July 4, 1863, when 27,000 confederates, under Gen. Pemberton, surrendered to Gen. Grant; of Appomattox Court House, April 9, 1865, when Gen. Lee, with 28,000 confederates, surrendered to Gen. Grant; of Raleigh, April 26, 1865, when the confederate force under Gen. J. E. Johnston, upward of 30,000 strong, surrendered to Gen. Sherman; of Sedan, Sept. 2, 1870, when Napoleon III., with 83,000 men, 70 mitrailleuses, 400 field pieces, and 150 fortress guns, surrendered to the Germans; of Metz, Oct. 27, 1870, when the French under Marshal Bazaine, 173,000 men, 66 mitrailleuses, 541 cannon, and 53 cades, surrendered to the Germans. II. A reduction into heads or articles; in German constitutional history, applied to a contract which the German electoral princes entered into with the German emperor, before he was raised to the imperial dignity. The first of these capitulations was exacted from Charles V. in 1519, by the German princes who feared that the king of Spain would not respect the limitations put upon him by the constitution of the German empire.
They accordingly drew up a capitulation, reciting the privileges they demanded, to the observance of which Charles V. was compelled to swear. The last of these imperial capitulations was sworn to by the emperor Francis II., July 5, 1792.