Civil War

2302 WORDS

Civil War
The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the events surrounding the end
of the American Civil War. This war was a war of epic proportion. Never before
and not since have so many Americans died in battle. The American Civil War was
truly tragic in terms of human life. In this document, I will speak mainly
around those involved on the battlefield in the closing days of the conflict.

Also, reference will be made to the leading men behind the Union and Confederate
forces. The war was beginning to end by January of 1865. By then, Federal
(Federal was another name given to the Union Army) armies were spread throughout
the Confederacy and the Confederate Army had shrunk extremely in size. In the
year before, the North had lost an enormous amount of lives, but had more than
enough to lose in comparison to the South. General Grant became known as the
"Butcher" (Grant, Ulysses S., Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant, New

York: Charles L. Webster & Co.,1894) and many wanted to see him removed. But

Lincoln stood firm with his General, and the war continued. This paper will
follow the happenings and events between the winter of 1864-65 and the surrender
of The Confederate States of America. All of this will most certainly illustrate
that April 9, 1865 was indeed the end of a tragedy. CUTTING OFF THE SOUTH In

September of 1864, General William T. Sherman and his army cleared the city of

Atlanta of its civilian population then rested ever so briefly. It was from
there that General Sherman and his army began its famous "march to the
sea". The march covered a distance of 400 miles and was 60 miles wide on
the way. For 32 days no news of him reached the North. He had cut himself off
from his base of supplies, and his men lived on what ever they could get from
the country through which they passed. On their route, the army destroyed
anything and everything that they could not use but was presumed usable to the
enemy. In view of this destruction, it is understandable that Sherman quoted
"war is hell" (Sherman, William T., Memoirs of General William T.

Sherman. Westport, Conn.:Greenwood Press, 1972). Finally, on December 20,

Sherman's men reached the city of Savannah and from there Sherman telegraphed to

President Lincoln: "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of

Savannah, with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, and also about 25,000
bales of cotton" (Sherman, William T., Memoirs of General William T.

Sherman. Westport, Conn.:Greenwood Press, 1972). Grant had decided that the only
way to win and finish the war would be to crunch with numbers. He knew that the

Federal forces held more than a modest advantage in terms of men and supplies.

This in mind, Grant directed Sherman to turn around now and start heading back
toward Virginia. He immediately started making preparations to provide
assistance to Sherman on the journey. General John M. Schofield and his men were
to detach from the Army of the Cumberland, which had just embarrassingly
defeated the Confederates at Nashville, and proceed toward North Carolina. His
final destination was to be Goldsboro, which was roughly half the distance
between Savannah and Richmond. This is where he and his 20,000 troops would meet

Sherman and his 50,000 troops. Sherman began the move north in mid-January of

1865. The only hope of Confederate resistance would be supplied by General P.G.T.

Beauregard. He was scraping together an army with every resource he could lay
his hands on, but at best would only be able to muster about 30,000 men. This by
obvious mathematics would be no challenge to the combined forces of Schofield
and Sherman, let alone Sherman. Sherman's plan was to march through South

Carolina all the while confusing the enemy. His men would march in two ranks:

One would travel northwest to give the impression of a press against Augusta and
the other would march northeast toward Charleston. However the one true
objective would be Columbia. Sherman's force arrived in Columbia on February 16.

The city was burned to the ground and great controversy was to arise. The

Confederates claimed that Sherman's men set the fires "deliberately,
systematically, and atrociously". However, Sherman claimed that the fires
were burning when they arrived. The fires had been set to cotton bales by

Confederate Calvary to prevent the Federal Army from getting them and the high
winds quickly spread the fire. The controversy would be short

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