Chapter 15-5 Decisive Battle . The Tides Turn .
After the North\'s victory in the battle of Antietam in 1862 the war again had been going bad for the Union. Once again bad leader ship so McClellan was replaced by General Burnside. In December 1862, Burnside led 120,000 right toward Richmond but Lee had 75,000 block there path in Fredericksburg, Virginia. General Burnside had ordered his men to charge the Union suffered 13,000 casualties and the Confederates suffered about 5,000. After Lincoln had replaced Burnside with General Hooker. In May 1863, Hookers army was destroyed by an army half it’s size. But this victory for the South had a terrible cost during the battle Stonewall Jackson was shot and wounded a few days later Jackson had died.
In June 1863, Lee marched his troops a crossed Maryland into Pennsylvania and was pursued by General George Meade which was the new General of the Union.
On July 1, Confederates encountered a part of Meade’s troops in the quiet town of Gettysburg. Shot were fire from both sides then more troops had joined in the fight for both sides. The Southerners had pushed the Northerners back through Gettysburg the next day the North had over 85,000 soldiers and the South had about 75,000. The Confederates center was nearly a mile away from the Union center with was on Cemetery Ridge. On July 3, an all out attack on the Union army was given General George E. Pickett charged with about 15,000 towards Cemetery Ridge. A few hundred Confederates made it to the Union lines but they were quickly driven back about 7,500 Confederates died or were wounded. The Confederates had about 28,000 casualties and the Union had over 23,000 casualties.
In November 1863, 15,000 people gather on the battlefield of Gettysburg to honor the soldiers that had died. Lincoln had gave his famous Gettysburg Address speech.
“We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died
in vain-this nation ,under God, shall have a new birth of
freedom-and the government of the people, by the people,
for the people , shall not perish from earth.”
Vicksburg was one of the last cities on the Mississippi River to belong to the South. In May 1863 General Grant had a siege on Vicksburg. Grants man fire at Vicksburg day after day for six weeks. The 30,000 Confederates had surrendered a couple days later the last stronghold Port Hudson had surrendered so the entire Mississippi was in the control of the Union. After Lee’s defeat at Gettysburg and having control of the Mississippi the Union finally has the upper hand.
General Grant was the kind of leader Lincoln had been looking for the entire war. In 1864 Lincoln gave Grant control all the Union forces and Grant decided that they need to attack Richmond. Grant’s army attacked the Confederates in many battles in northern Virginia in the spring of 1864. Grant kept attacking even though Grant was unable to break through Lee’s troops. In seven weeks of fighting Grant has lost 55,000 men while Lee had lost 35,000. The two armies battled in Petersburg a railroad center south of Richmond. In June Grant had put a siege on Petersburg the same thing Grant did to Vicksburg. When Grant was sieging Petersburg another Union General William Sherman advanced toward Atlanta. The South couldn’t stop Sherman\'s troops and the Union marched right into Atlanta in September of 1864. After capturing Atlanta Lincoln’s reelection campaign had taken a boost . In November General Sherman ordered Atlanta burn. Sherman troops destroyed railroads, burned buildings, took crops, and sized livestock on their way to the Atlantic Ocean.
In March 1865 Grant’s troops were still waited out side of Petersburg. Grant’s army was extending east to west of Petersburg it was only a matter I time till Grant’s army would capture the city. Lincoln had said in his second Inaugural Address “ With malice toward none; with charity for all;… let us together…bind up the nations wounds.” Lincoln was asking Americans to forgive and forget. On April 2, Grant’s men had broke through the Confederates lines and Richmond was in Union control. Lee’s army retreated to Appomattox . On April 9, 1865, Lee had been cut off by Union soldiers Grant offered that Lee gave up there weapons and leave in peace. So Lee did as Grant ask and rode way.
The Civil War was the bloodiest conflict the United states has ever fought. About 657,000 men died 260,000 being Confederates, over 360,000 Union, and 37,000 African Americans. Half a million men were wounded or disfigured.