South Carolina, long the hotbed of Southern separatism, seceded first.
It called a special convention, which voted unanimously on December 20, 1860, to withdraw the state from the Union
By the time Lincoln took office, six other states from the lower South—Mississippi (January 9, 1861), Florida (January 10), Alabama (January 11), Georgia (January 19), Louisiana (January 26), and Texas (February 1)—had seceded.
In February 1861, representatives of the seven seceded states met at Montgomery, Alabama, and announced the formation of a new nation: the Confederate States of America.
The response from the North was confused and indecisive. President James Buchanan told Congress in December 1860 that no state had the right to secede from the Union but suggested that the federal government had no authority to stop a state if it did.
The seceding states immediately seized the federal property—forts, arsenals, government offices—within their boundaries
Confederate guns on shore fired at the vessel—the first shots between North and South— and turned it back.
Still, neither section was yet ready to concede that war had begun.
And in Washington, efforts began once more to forge a compromise.
Gradually, compromise forces gathered behind a proposal first submitted by Senator John J. Crittenden of Kentucky and known as the Crittenden Compromise.
It called for several constitutional amendments, which would guarantee the permanent existence of slavery in the slave states and would satisfy Southern demands on such issues as fugitive slaves and slavery in the District of Columbia.
And so nothing had been resolved when Abraham Lincoln arrived in Washington for his inauguration—sneaking into the city in disguise on a night train to avoid assassination as he passed through the slave state of Maryland.
In his inaugural address, which dealt directly with the secession crisis, Lincoln laid down several basic principles.
Since the Union was older than the Constitution, no state could leave it. Acts of force or violence to support secession were insurrectionary.
And the government would “hold, occupy, and possess” federal property in the seceded states—a clear reference to Fort Sumter.
Conditions at Fort Sumter were deteriorating quickly.
Union forces were running short of supplies; unless they received fresh provisions, the fort would have to be evacuated.
Lincoln believed that if he surrendered Sumter, his commitment to maintaining the Union would no longer be credible.
So he sent a relief expedition to the fort, carefully informing the South Carolina authorities that there would be no attempt to send troops or munitions unless the supply ships met with resistance.
The new Confederate government now faced a dilemma.
Permitting the expedition to land would seem to be a tame submission to federal authority.
Firing on the ships or the fort would seem (to the North at least) to be aggression.
But Confederate leaders finally decided that to appear cowardly would be worse than to appear belligerent, and they ordered General P. G. T. Beauregard, commander of Confederate forces at Charleston, to take the island, by force if necessary.
As the southern states began to secede, Abraham Lincoln spoke of American liberty: “It was not the mere matter of the separation of the Colonies from the motherland; but that sentiment in the Declaration of Independence which gave liberty, not alone to the people of this country, but, I hope, to the world, for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weight would be lifted from the shoulders of all men. This is a sentiment embodied in the Declaration of Independence. Now, my friends, can this country be saved upon that basis? If it can, I will consider myself one of the happiest men in the world, if I can help to save it. If it cannot be saved, upon that principle, it will be truly awful.”
Almost immediately, Lincoln began mobilizing the North for war.
And equally promptly, four more slave states seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy
People in both regions had come to believe that two distinct and incompatible civilizations had developed in the United States and that those civilizations were incapable of living together in peace.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, speaking for much of the North, said at the time: “I do not see how a barbarous community and a civilized community can constitute one state.”
And a slave owner, expressing the sentiments of much of the South, said shortly after the election of Lincoln: “These [Northern] people hate us, annoy us, and would have us assassinated by our slaves if they dared. They are a different people from us, whether better or worse, and there is no love between us. Why then continue together?”
That the North and the South had come to believe these things helped lead to secession and war.
Whether these things were actually true—whether the North and the South were really as different and incompatible as they thought—is another question, one that the preparations for and conduct of the war help to answer.
As the war began, only one thing was clear: all the important material advantages lay with the North.
Its population was more than twice as large as that of the South (and nearly four times as large as the non slave population of the South), so the Union had a much greater manpower reserve for both its armies and its workforce.
The North had an advanced industrial system and was able by 1862 to manufacture almost all its own war materials.
The South had almost no industry at all and, despite impressive efforts to increase its manufacturing capacity, had to rely on imports from Europe throughout the war.
In addition, the North had a much better transportation system than did the South and, in particular, more and better railroads: twice as much trackage as the Confederacy and a much better integrated system of lines.
During the war, moreover, the already inferior Confederate railroad system steadily deteriorated and by the beginning of 1864 had almost collapsed.
But in the beginning the North’s material advantages were not as decisive as they appear in retrospect.
The South was, for the most part, fighting a defensive war on its own land
The Northern armies, on the other hand, were fighting mostly within the South, with long lines of communications, amid hostile local populations, and with access only to the South’s own inadequate transportation system.
The commitment of the white population of the South to the war was, with limited exceptions, clear and firm.
In the North, opinion about the war was divided and support for it remained shaky until near the end.
A major Southern victory at any one of several crucial moments might have proved decisive by breaking the North’s will to continue the struggle.
Finally, many Southerners believed that the dependence of the English and French textile industries on American cotton would require those nations to intervene on the side of the Confederacy.
With Southern forces now gone from Congress, the Republican Party could exercise virtually unchallenged authority.
During the war, it enacted an aggressively nationalistic program to promote economic development, particularly in the West.
The Homestead Act of 1862 permitted any citizen or prospective citizen to claim 160 acres of public land and to purchase it for a small fee after living on it for five years.
The Morrill Land Grant Act of the same year transferred substantial public acreage to the state governments, which were to sell the land and use the proceeds to finance public education.
This act led to the creation of many new state colleges and universities, the so-called land-grant institutions.
Congress also moved to complete the dream of a transcontinental railroad. It created two new federally chartered corporations: the Union Pacific Railroad Company, which was to build westward from Omaha, and the Central Pacific, which was to build eastward from California, settling the pre-war conflict over the location of the line.
The two projects were to meet in the middle and complete the link.
The government provided free public lands and generous loans to the companies.
The National Bank Acts of 1863–1864 created a new national banking system.
Existing or newly formed banks could join the system if they had enough capital
More difficult than promoting economic growth was fi - nancing the war. The government tried to do so in three ways: by levying taxes, issuing paper currency, and borrowing.
Congress levied new taxes on almost all goods and services; and in 1861 the government levied an income tax for the first time, with rates that eventually rose to 10 percent on incomes above $5,000.
But taxation raised only a small proportion of the funds necessary for financing the war,
At least equally controversial was the printing of paper currency, or “greenbacks.”
The new currency was backed not by gold or silver, but simply by the good faith and credit of the government (much like today’s currency).
The value of the greenbacks fluctuate according to the fortunes of the Northern armies.
Early in 1864, with the war effort bogged down, a greenback dollar was worth only 39 percent of a gold dollar.
Even at the close of the war, it was worth only 67 percent of a gold dollar.
Because of the difficulty of making purchases with this uncertain currency, the government used greenbacks sparingly.
The Treasury issued only $450 million worth of paper currency—a small proportion of the cost of the war but enough to produce significant inflation.
By far the largest source of financing for the war was loans from the American people.
In previous wars, the government had sold bonds only to banks and to a few wealthy investors.
Now, however, the Treasury persuaded ordinary citizens to buy over $400 million worth of bonds
Over 2 million men served in the Union armed forces during the course of the Civil War.
But at the beginning of 1861, the regular army of the United States consisted of only 16,000 troops, many of them stationed in the West to protect white settlers from Indians.
So the Union, like the Confederacy, had to raise its army mostly from scratch.
This voluntary system of recruitment produced adequate forces only briefly.
After the first flush of enthusiasm for the war, enlistments declined.
By March 1863, Congress was forced to pass a national draft law.
Virtually all young adult males were eligible to be drafted; but a man could escape service by hiring someone to go in his place or by paying the government a fee of $300.
Only about 46,000 men were ever actually conscripted, but the draft greatly increased voluntary enlistments.
Opposition to the law was widespread, particularly among laborers, immigrants, and Democrats opposed to the war
When Abraham Lincoln arrived in Washington early in 1861, many politicians—noting his lack of national experience and his folksy, unpretentious manner—considered him a minor politician from the prairies, a man whom the real leaders of his party would easily control.
But the new president moved quickly to establish his own authority
He assembled a cabinet representing every faction of the Republican Party and every segment of Northern opinion—men of exceptional prestige and influence and in some cases arrogance, several of whom believed that they, not Lincoln, should be president. Lincoln moved boldly as well to use the war powers of the presidency, ignoring what he considered inconvenient parts of the Constitution
He sent troops into battle without asking Congress for a declaration of war
He increased the size of the regular army without receiving legislative authority to do so.
He unilaterally proclaimed a naval blockade of the South
Lincoln defied all efforts to curb his authority to suppress opposition
Repression was not the only tool the North used to strengthen support for the war.
In addition to arresting “disloyal” Northerners, Lincoln’s administration used new tools of persuasion to build popular opinion in favor of the war.
In addition to pro-war pamphlets, posters, speeches, and songs, the war mobilized a significant corps of photographers— organized by the renowned Mathew Brady, one of the first important photographers in American history—to take pictures of the war
The Union Party nominated Lincoln for another term as president and Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, a War Democrat who had opposed his state’s decision to secede, for the vice presidency.
Conservatives favored a slower, more gradual, and, they believed, less disruptive process for ending slavery.
In the beginning, at least, they had the support of the president
In 1861, Congress passed the Confiscation Act, which declared that all slaves used for “insurrectionary” purposes
As the war progressed, much of the North seemed slow to accept emancipation as a central war aim; nothing less would justify the enormous sacrifices of the struggle, many Northerners believed
On September 22, 1862, after the Union victory at the Battle of Antietam, the president announced his intention to use his war powers to issue an executive order freeing all slaves in the Confederacy.
And on January 1, 1863, he formally signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared forever free slaves in all areas of the Confederacy except those already under Union control: Tennessee, western Virginia, and southern Louisiana.
The proclamation did not apply to the border slave states, which had never seceded from the Union and therefore were not subject to the president’s war powers
The immediate effect of the proclamation was limited since it applied only to slaves still under Confederate control
But the document was of great importance nevertheless, because it clearly and irrevocably established that the war was being fought not only to preserve the Union but also to eliminate slavery.
Eventually, as federal armies occupied much of the South, the proclamation became a practical reality and led directly to the freeing of thousands of slaves.
Even in areas not directly affected by the proclamation, the antislavery impulse gained strength.
The U.S. government’s tentative measures against slavery were not, at first, a major factor in the liberation of slaves
Many slaves were taken from their plantations and put to work building defenses and other chores.
Once transported to the front, many of them found ways to escape across Northern lines, where they were treated as “contraband”—goods seized from people who had no right to them. They could not be returned to their masters.
By 1862, the Union army often penetrated deep into the Confederacy.
Almost everywhere they went, escaped slaves, often whole families, flocked to join them by the thousands.
Some of them joined the Union army, others simply stayed with the troops until they could find their way to free states.
When the Union captured New Orleans and much of southern Louisiana, slaves refused to work for their former masters, even though the Union occupiers had not made any provisions for liberating African Americans
The final step came in 1865, when Congress approved and the necessary states ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery as an institution in all parts of the United States.
After more than two centuries, legalized slavery fi nally ceased to exist in the United States.
About 186,000 emancipated African Americans served as soldiers, sailors, and laborers for the Union forces, joining a significant number of free blacks from the North
In the first months of the war, African Americans were largely excluded from the military.
A few black regiments eventually took shape in some of the Union-occupied areas of the Confederacy, mainly because they were a ready source of manpower in these defeated regions.
But once Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, black enlistment increased rapidly and the Union military began actively to recruit African American soldiers and sailors in both the North and, where possible, the South. Some of these men were organized into fighting units.
The best known was probably the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Infantry
Most black soldiers, however, were assigned menial tasks behind the lines, such as digging trenches and transporting water.
Even though fewer African Americans than whites died in combat, the black mortality rate was higher than the rate for white soldiers because so many died of disease from working long, arduous hours in unsanitary conditions.
Conditions for blacks and whites were unequal in other ways as well.
African American soldiers were paid a third less than were white soldiers
Black fighting men captured by the Confederates were, unlike white prisoners, not returned to the North in exchange for Southern soldiers being returned to the South.
They were sent back to their masters (if they were escaped slaves) or often executed.
In 1864, Confederate soldiers killed more than 260 African Americans after capturing them in Tennessee.
The Civil War did not, as some historians used to claim, transform the North from an agrarian to an industrial society.
Industrialization was already far advanced when the war began, and in some areas, the war retarded growth—by cutting manufacturers off from their Southern markets and sources of raw material, and by diverting labor and resources to military purposes.
On the whole, however, the war sped the economic development of the North.
That was in part a result of the political dominance of the Republican Party and its promotion of nationalistic economic legislation
Coal production increased by nearly 20 percent during the war. Railroad facilities improved—mainly through the adoption of a standard gauge (track width) on new lines.
The loss of farm labor to the military forced many farmers to increase the mechanization of agriculture.
The war was a difficult experience for many American workers.
For industrial workers, there was a substantial loss of purchasing power, as prices in the North rose by more than 70 percent during the war, while wages rose only about 40 percent
It was also because the increasing mechanization of production eliminated the jobs of many skilled workers.
One result of these changes was a substantial increase in union membership in many industries and the creation of several national unions, for coal miners, railroad engineers, and others—organizations bitterly opposed and rigorously suppressed by employers.
Responding not only to the needs of employers for additional labor but to their own, often desperate, need for money, women found themselves, by either choice or necessity, thrust into new and often unfamiliar roles during the war
Above all, women entered nursing, a field previously dominated by men.
The U.S. Sanitary Commission, an organization of civilian volunteers led by social reformer Dorothea Dix, mobilized large numbers of female nurses to serve in fi eld hospitals.
By the end of the war, women were the dominant force in nursing; by 1900, nursing had become an almost entirely female profession.
Female nurses not only cared for patients but also performed other tasks considered appropriate for women: cooking, cleaning, and laundering.
Female nurses encountered considerable resistance from male doctors, many of whom considered women too weak for medical work and who, in any case, thought it inappropriate that women were taking care of men who were strangers to them
But not all women who worked for the commission were content with a purely maternal role; some challenged the dominance of men in the organization and even stood up against doctors whom they considered incompetent, increasing the resentment felt toward them by many men.
In the end, though, the work of female nurses was so indispensable to the military that the complaints of male doctors were irrelevant.
Nurses, and many other women, found the war a liberating experience
Some women, especially those who had been committed to feminist causes earlier, came to see the war as an opportunity to win support for their own goals.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, who together founded the National Woman’s Loyal League in 1863, worked simultaneously for the abolition of slavery and the awarding of suffrage to women
Whatever nursing may have done for the status of women, it had an enormous impact on the medical profession and on the treatment of wounded soldiers during the war
The Confederate constitution was largely identical to the Constitution of the United States, but with several significant exceptions: it explicitly acknowledged the sovereignty of the individual states
Davis was, in the end, an unsuccessful president
There were no formal political parties in the Confederacy, but its congressional and popular politics were rife with dissension nevertheless.
Some white Southerners (and of course most African Americans who were aware of the course of events) opposed secession and war.
Many white people in poorer “backcountry” and “upcountry” regions, where slavery was limited, refused to recognize the new Confederate government or to serve in the Southern army; some worked or even fought for the Union.
Most white Southerners supported the war; but as in the North, many were openly critical of the government and the military, particularly as the tide of battle turned against the South and the Confederate economy decayed.
Financing the Confederate war effort was a monumental and ultimately impossible task.
It involved creating a national revenue system in a society unaccustomed to significant tax burdens.
It depended on a small and unstable banking system that had little capital to lend.
The Confederate congress tried at first not to tax the people directly but to requisition funds from the individual states.
Most of the states, however, were also unwilling to tax their citizens and paid their shares, when they paid them at all, with bonds or notes of dubious worth.
In 1863, the Congress enacted an income tax—which planters could pay “in-kind” (as a percentage of their produce)
As a result, the Confederacy had to pay for the war through the least stable, most destructive form of financing: paper currency, which it began issuing in 1861.
By 1864, the Confederacy had issued the staggering total of $1.5 billion in paper money, more than twice what the Union had produced.
The Confederacy did not establish a uniform currency system; the national government, states, cities, and private banks all issued their own notes, producing widespread chaos and confusion.
The result was a disastrous inflation, far worse than anything the North experienced.
Prices in the North rose 80 percent in the course of the war; in the South they rose 9,000 percent, with devastating effects on the South’s morale.
Like the United States, the Confederacy first raised a military by calling for volunteer
Northerners made: “It’s a rich man’s war but a poor man’s fight.” Many more white Southerners were exempted from military service than were Northerner
The greatest sources of division in the South, however, were differences of opinion over the doctrine of states’ rights
States’ rights had become such a cult among many white Southerners that they resisted all efforts to exert national authority, even those necessary to win the war
The Confederate government did make substantial strides in centralizing power in the South.
By the end of the war, the Confederate bureaucracy was larger than its counterpart in Washington
The government impressed slaves, often over the objections of their owners, to work as laborers on military projects.
The Confederacy seized control of the railroads and shipping; it imposed regulations on the industry; it limited corporate profits.
States’ rights sentiment was a significant handicap, but the South nevertheless took important steps in the direction of centralization—becoming in the process increasingly like the region whose institutions it was fighting to escape.
The war had a devastating effect on the economy of the South. It cut off Southern planters and producers from the markets in the North on which they had depended; it made the sale of cotton overseas much more difficult; it robbed farms and industries that did not have large slave populations of a male workforce, leaving some of them unable to function effectively.
While in the North production of all goods, agricultural and industrial, increased somewhat during the war, in the South production declined by more than a third.
Most of all, perhaps, the fighting itself wreaked havoc on the Southern economy.
Almost all the major battles of the war occurred within the Confederacy; both armies spent most of their time on Southern soil.
As a result of the savage fighting, the South’s already inadequate railroad system was nearly destroyed; much of its most valuable farmland and many of its most successful plantations were ruined by Union troops
Once the Northern naval blockade became effective in 1862, the South experienced massive shortages of almost everything.
The region was overwhelmingly agricultural, but since it had concentrated so single-mindedly on producing cotton and other export crops, it did not grow enough food to meet its own needs.
And despite the efforts of women and slaves to keep farms functioning, the departure of white male workers seriously diminished the region’s ability to keep up
Large numbers of doctors were conscripted to serve the needs of the military, leaving many communities without any medical care.
Blacksmiths, carpenters, and other craftsmen were similarly in short supply.
As the war continued, the shortages, the inflation, and the suffering created increasing instability in Southern society.
There were major food riots, some led by women, in Georgia, North Carolina, and Alabama in 1863, as well as a large demonstration in Richmond that quickly turned violent.
Resistance to conscription, food impressment, and taxation increased throughout the Confederacy, as did hoarding and black-market commerce.
Despite the economic woes of the South, the war transformed Confederate society in many of the same ways that it was changing the society of the Union.
The changes were particularly significant for Southern women.
Because so many men left the farms and plantations to fight, the task of keeping families together and maintaining agricultural production fell increasingly to women.
Slave Owners' wives often became responsible for managing large slave workforces; the wives of modest farmers learned to plow fields and harvest crops.
The long-range results of the war for Southern women are more difficult to measure but equally profound
Even before emancipation, the war had far-reaching effects on the lives of slaves. Confederate leaders, who were more terrified of slave revolts during the war than they had been in peacetime, enforced slave codes and other regulations with particular severity.
Even so, many slaves— especially those near the front—found ways to escape their masters and cross behind Union lines in search of freedom.
The most important Union military commander was Abraham Lincoln, whose previous military experience consisted only of brief service in his state militia during the Black Hawk War.
Lincoln was a successful commander in chief because he realized that numbers and resources were on his side and because he took advantage of the North’s material advantages
Not until March 1864 did Lincoln finally find a general he trusted to command the war effort: Ulysses S. Grant, who shared Lincoln’s belief in making enemy armies and resources, not enemy territory, the target of military efforts.
Lincoln gave Grant a relatively free hand, but the general always submitted at least the broad outlines of his plans to the president for advance approval.
Southern command arrangements centered on President Davis, who, unlike Lincoln, was a trained professional soldier.
Davis named General Robert E. Lee as his principal military adviser.
At the beginning of the war, the ruling classes of England and France, the two nations whose support was most crucial to both sides, were generally sympathetic to the Confederacy, for several reasons.
The two nations imported much Southern cotton for their textile industries; they were eager to weaken the United States, an increasingly powerful commercial rival
But France was unwilling to take sides in the conflict unless England did so first.
And in England, the government was reluctant to act because there was powerful popular support for the Union.
Later, as the supply of American cotton began to diminish, both England and France managed to keep some of their mills open by importing cotton from Egypt, India, and other sources.
Equally important, English workers, the people most seriously threatened by the cotton shortage, did not clamor to have the blockade broken.
Even most of the 500,000 English textile workers thrown out of jobs as a result of mill closings continued to support the North.
In the end, therefore, no European nation offered diplomatic recognition to the Confederacy or intervened in the war.
No nation wanted to antagonize the United States unless the Confederacy seemed likely to win, and the South never came close enough to victory to convince its potential allies to support it.
Great Britain declared itself neutral as soon as the fighting began, followed by France and other nations.
The Union government was furious: neutrality implied that the two sides to the conflict had equal stature.
Except for Texas, which joined the Confederacy, all the western states and territories remained officially loyal to the Union
Not long after the war began, Confederate agents tried to negotiate alliances with the Five Civilized Tribes living in Indian Territory (later Oklahoma), in hopes of recruiting their support against Union forces in the West.
The Indians themselves were divided. Some wanted to support the South, both because they resented the way the U.S. government had treated them and because some tribal leaders were themselves slaveholders.
But other Indians supported the North out of general hostility to slavery
One result of these divisions was a civil war within Indian Territory.
Another was that Indian regiments fought for both the Union and the Confederacy during the war.
But the tribes themselves never formally allied themselves with either side.
The Union and the Confederacy fought their first major battle of the war in northern Virginia.
A Union army of over 30,000 men under the command of General Irvin McDowell was stationed just outside Washington
The two armies were now approximately the same size. On July 21, in the First Battle of Bull Run, or First Battle of Manassas, McDowell almost succeeded in dispersing the Confederate forces
The Confederates, as disorganized by victory as the Union forces were by defeat, and short of supplies and transportation, did not pursue.
The battle was a severe blow to Union morale and to President Lincoln’s confi - dence in his officers.
It also dispelled the illusion that the war would be a brief one.
Elsewhere in 1861, Union forces were achieving some small but significant victories.
Union operations were being directed in 1862 by George B. McClellan, commander of the Army of the Potomac and the most controversial general of the war. McClellan was a superb trainer of men, but he often appeared reluctant to commit his troops to battle.
Opportunities for important engagements came and went, and McClellan seemed never to take advantage of them—claiming always that his preparations were not yet complete or that the moment was not right.
In the brilliant Valley campaign of May 4–June 9, 1862, Jackson defeated two separate Union forces and slipped away before McDowell could catch him.
With a combined force of 85,000 to face McClellan’s 100,000, Lee launched a new offensive, known as the Battle of the Seven Days (June 25–July 1).
Lee wanted to cut McClellan off from his base on the York River and then destroy the isolated Union army.
In November, Lincoln finally removed McClellan from command for good.
McClellan’s replacement, Ambrose E. Burnside, was a short-lived mediocrity.
The conflict might have ended quickly by destroying the Confederacy’s morale. But no such decisive victory occurred in the first two years of the war.
Many Northerners blamed the military stalemate on timid or incompetent Union generals, and there was some truth to that view.
But the more important reason for the drawn-out conflict was that it was not a traditional war of tactics and military strategy.
It was, even if the leaders of both sides were not yet fully aware of it, a war of attrition.
Winning or losing battles here and there would not determine the outcome of the war.
What would bring the war to a conclusion was the steady destruction of the resources that were necessary for victory
With the federal blockade growing tighter and tighter, the Confederacy found it difficult to secure food
At the beginning of 1863, General Joseph Hooker was in command of the still formidable Army of the Potomac, whose 120,000 troops remained north of the Rappahannock, opposite Fredericksburg.
But despite his reputation as a fighter (his popular nickname was “Fighting Joe”), Hooker showed little resolve as he launched his own campaign in the spring
While the Union forces were suffering repeated frustrations in the East, they were continuing to achieve important victories in the West.
In the spring of 1863, Ulysses S. Grant was driving at Vicksburg, Mississippi, one of the Confederacy’s two remaining strongholds on the southern Mississippi River.
Before the end of 1863, there was a third important turning point, this one in Tennessee
The reinforced Union army drove the Confederates back into Georgia. Northern troops then occupied most of eastern Tennessee.
Union forces had now achieved a second important objective: control of the Tennessee River.
Four of the eleven Confederate states were now effectively cut off from the Southern nation.
No longer could the Confederacy hope to win independence through a decisive military victory.
They could hope to win only by holding on and exhausting the Northern will to fight.
By the beginning of 1864, Ulysses S. Grant had become general in chief of all the Union armies.
At long last, President Lincoln had found a commander whom he could rely on to pursue the war doggedly and tenaciously
The North’s overwhelming advantage in troops and material resources to overwhelm the South.
He was not afraid to absorb massive casualties as long as he was inflicting similar casualties on his opponents.
There, on April 9, he surrendered what was left of his forces.
Nine days later, near Durham, North Carolina, Johnston surrendered to Sherman.
In military terms, at least, the long war was now effectively over, even though Jefferson Davis refused to accept defeat.
He fled south from Richmond and was finally captured in Georgia.