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The End of the Civil War


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The Civil War ended with the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse.

Published in: Education
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The End of the Civil War

  1. 1. In 1864, after his successes in the West, General Grant replaced General Meade as the commander of the Union Army. Grant decided that no matter the cost he would finally capture Richmond, the Confederate capital. Grant began fighting Lee in Virginia in 1864. He continued to fight even though he wasn’t getting closer to Richmond. Grant knew that Lee had a harder time replacing his troops than he did. While Grant battled Lee, he sent General William T. Sherman with the task of capturing Atlanta. Sherman was told to destroy anything he felt would help the Confederacy, such as food, farms, weapons, railroads, and fields. The idea of fighting and destroying more than just armies, but targeting people, resources, and attempting to demoralize them is called total war.
  2. 2. Grant took the Union Army in the East and began to pursue Lee. His 115,000 men fought Lee’s 64,000 at the Battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Courthouse, and Cold Harbor. Grant was going to continue to throw soldiers at Lee until he surrendered. At the Battle of the Wilderness, men fought in blinding smoke, with men burning to death after fires started from all the weapons fire. At Cold Harbor, men had begun to pin their names to their bodies to be identified. Grant continued to push forward, and at one point lost 50,000 men in 30 days.
  3. 3. William Tecumseh Sherman led another army toward Atlanta. He laid siege to Atlanta, finally forcing Confederate General John Hood to leave with his men. On the shores of Alabama, David Farragut led the Union Navy at Mobile Bay. He helped secure the ports east of the Mississippi so that the Confederates could not use them.
  4. 4. Lincoln had to run for President again in 1864. Confederates hoped he would lose, and that the new President might not want to continue the war. Lincoln was elected by a vote of 212 to 21 in the electoral college. He decided that his victory meant that the people were behind him. He supported Congress as they voted to end slavery forever by passing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in 1865. Slavery was now illegal in the United States forever.
  5. 5. In the middle of 1864, General Sherman reached Atlanta and set it on fire. After making sure Atlanta would no longer be a problem, Sherman marched his men from Atlanta to the Atlantic Ocean, destroying anything the Confederates used to continue to fight. Sherman’s success helped to get Abraham Lincoln reelected in 1864. After reaching the sea, Sherman marched to help General Grant end the war.
  6. 6. In April of 1865, Grant and his forces captured Richmond. General Lee soon realized he was surrounded and agreed to surrender to Grant. The two men met at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia. Grant told Lee his men must surrender their weapons and leave peacefully. The surrender marked the end of the war, and the process of reconstructing the country could begin.
  7. 7. In all, over 260,000 Confederate and 360,000 Union troops died during the war. Another 500,000 were wounded. Slavery was now dead in the United States, but questions about the future of freed slaves remained. The nation was to be reunited, but it would take a long time before the country was truly whole again. It would take another century for African Americans to truly take their place as equals in the United States.