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The American Civil War:

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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 proportions and never before, had so many American citizens died in battle. The American Civil war proved itself to be truly tragic in terms of the loss of human life. In this paper, I will discuss those involved on the battlefield in the closing days of the conflict, referencing both men leading Union and Confederate forces. Also, I 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 this necessary tragedy.

Cutting off The South

In September of 1864, General T. Sherman and his army cleared the city of Atlanta of its civilian population. And without much time to rest, they began their famous "march to the sea". The march itself covered a distance of 40 miles and was 60 miles wide on the way. For 32 days, no news of General Sherman reached the north. He had cut his troops and himself off from their base of supplies, and they lived on whatever they could get from the areas through which they passed. On their route, the army destroyed anything and everything they could not use but was presumed usable by the enemy. In view of this destruction, it is understandable that Sherman quoted "war as hell" . 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 a as a Christmas present the city o f Savannah, with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, and also about 25,000 bales of cotton" .

Meanwhile, the popular Ulysses S. Grant had decided that the only way to win and finish the war would be to crunch number. He knew that the Federal forces held more than a modest advantage I terms of men and supplies. With this in mind, Grant directed Sherman to turn around now and start heading back towards 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 Confederate forces at Nashville, and proceed towards 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 troops that numbered near 50,000.

Sherman began the move north in mid-January 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, obviously, would be no challenge to the combined forces of Sherman and Schofield, 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 with one traveling to give the impression of a press against Augusta, while the other would march northeast towards Charleston. However, the one and only true objective would be Columbia.

Sherman's forces arrived in Columbia on February 16. The city was burned to the ground and a 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 the Confederate Calvary to prevent the Federal (Union) Army from getting them and the high winds quickly spread the fire. The controversy, however, was short lived since no proof was ever presented that incriminated General Sherman and his forces. So, wit Columbia, Augusta, and Charleston all fallen, Sherman would continue his drive north towards Goldsboro. On the way, his progress was not stalled by Confederate forces, as one would presume to think, but rather by runaway salves. The slaves were attaching themselves to the Union formations and by the time the force entered North Carolina, they numbered in the thousands. Regardless, Sherman's forces pushed on and finally met with Schofield in Goldsboro on March 23rd.

The End is planned

Sherman immediately left Goldsboro to travel up to City Point and met Grant to discuss plans of attack. When he arrived there, he found not only Grant, but also Admiral Davis Porter waiting to meet with President Lincoln. So, on the morning of the March 28th, General Grant, General Sherman, and Admiral Porter all met with Lincoln on the river boat "River queen" to discuss a strategy against General Lee and General Johnston of the Confederate Army. Several times President Lincoln asked "can't this last battle be avoided?" But both Generals expected the Rebels (a common name given to confederate

soldiers) to put up at least one more fight. It had to be decided how to handle the handle the rebels in regards to the upcoming surrender (all were sure of a surrender). The meeting

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