This battle occurred in May and June on 1863. This battle was the culmination of one of the most brilliant military campaigns of the war. Once Pemberton’s army was lost, the Confederacy war nearly split in half. Ulysses Grant’s success boosted his reputation and lead to his appointment as General-in-Chief of the Union army
Battles of Fort Wagner
These battles were fought on July 11th and 18th, 1863. General Quincy Gillmore sought to capture the Confederate fortifications on James and Morris Islands with the goal of establishing batteries to bombard Fort Sumter. Fort Wagner was defended by thirty-foot high sand and earth walls which were reinforced with palmetto logs on the first day of battle. Gillmore retreated and made preparations for a more substantial assault which would be heavily supported by artillery. During the second battle the Union was who opened fire first. As the afternoon progressed, several Union ironclads closed and continued the bombardment at close range. In deploying his men, Strong accorded Colonel Robert Gould Shaw's 54th Massachusetts the honor of leading the assault. One of the first regiments composed of African American troops, the 54th Massachusetts deployed in two lines of five companies each. They were followed by the remainder of Strong's brigade. As the end of the battle concluded Shaw raised his sword and encouraged an advance, while the Union was compressed to a small point. The assault on Fort Wagner brought great notoriety to the 54th Massachusetts and made a martyr of Shaw.
Chickamauga and Chattanooga
These battles occurred in September of 1863 and were known as the battles that destroyed the Confederacy. U.S. Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans' troops had maneuvered Gen. Braxton Bragg's Confederate troops out of Chattanooga without a fight by threatening his supply lines. In the summer of 1863 Major General William S. Rosecrans, commander of the Union's Army of the Cumberland, successfully forced Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee to retreat first from Middle Tennessee and then from Chattanooga. The federal forces occupied Chattanooga which led to elation in the north, and many shocked people in the south. The Confederates lost approximately 6,700 men to the Union's 5,000 casualties, but more importantly, the Confederates had lost a strategic transportation hub.
The Battle of the Wilderness
As soon as Lee detected that Grant had moved into the Wilderness, he set his own army in motion. The Army of Northern Virginia smashed into the Army of the Potomac broadside and launched the Battle of the Wilderness. It also launched a new kind of war — ceaseless war. For the next eleven months, the two armies were engaged almost continuously, and there were casualties practically every day. There were around 29,000 casualties.
The Battle of Spotsylvania
Grant set his army in motion on May 7 but discovered on May 8 that Lee had anticipated the move, so he barely won the race for the crossroads. Grant attacked, but Lee's men held on. Over the course of the next couple of days the Rebels built miles of blockades. Grant threw division after division against the Confederates over the next two weeks. He broke the Confederate line twice, but the Southerners managed to patch it enough to keep their army together. There were around 30,000 casualties.
This battle occurred on June 3rd, 1864. The Union army launched a massive attack on the Confederates at Cold Harbor, Virginia. The Union’s intention was to break apart the Confederate Army and open a pathway to Richmond. The battle itself lasted a little less than an hour but the Union lost about 7,000 of their soldiers.
Sherman’s March to the Sea
General William Sherman left Atlanta late in 1864 to head towards the Atlantic Ocean. He moved through cities such as Macon and Augusta, but ended up in Savannah. There were few troops to stop him and his forces on the way and they left destruction in their wake. Sherman presented Lincoln in Savannah and struck the heart of the Confederacy. His victory, along with those of the other Union commanders, was the beginning of the end for the Confederacy. This was a win for the Union and there were about 3,100 casualties.
The Battle of the Crater
After weeks of preparation, on July 30 the Federals exploded a mine in Burnside’s IX Corps sector beneath Pegram’s Salient, blowing a gap in the Confederate defenses of Petersburg. From the beginning things began to diminish rapidly for the Union attackers. Unit after unit of Union attackers charged into and around the crater, but the Confederates made a quick recovery as they launched counterattacks. In the end, the break was sealed off and the Federals were affected by many casualties. This may have been Grant’s best chance to end the Siege of Petersburg. Instead, the soldiers settled in for another eight months of trench warfare.
On November 8, 1864 Abraham Lincoln was reelected. With his re-election, any hope for a negotiated settlement with the Confederacy vanished. In 1864, Lincoln faced many problems, such as the war going on four years, and he had people in doubt about the Union not being able to defeat the Confederacy. The most important problem was the fact the election was going on through a war. This was the first time that had ever happened. Lincoln himself said, "We can not have free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forego, or postpone a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us." Five months after Lincoln's re-election, the collapse of the Confederacy was complete.
Surrender at Appomattox
On April 3, Richmond fell to Union troops as Robert E. Lee led his Army of Northern Virginia in retreat to the West pursued by Grant and the Army of the Potomac. A running battle ensued as each Army moved farther to the West in an effort to out flank, or prevent being out flanked by the enemy. Finally, on April 7, General Grant initiated a series of dispatches leading to a meeting between the two commanders. Lee’s army was exhausted and weak so they didn’t have much of a choice but to surrender his army to General Grant. After a series of notes between the two leaders, they agreed to meet on April 9, 1865, at the house of Wilmer McLean in the village of Appomattox Courthouse. The meeting lasted approximately two and a half hours and at its conclusion the bloodiest conflict in the nation's history neared its end.
A New Nation
Once the Civil war was finally over, everything still wasn’t settled. Everything that was started had now been destroyed by the war. When the war was ended, there was much to be done. The South had to rebuild houses, buildings, farms, and stores, while little of the North had been destroyed. The former slave owners now had to let blacks vote, run for office, and learn. The new country was beginning to reconstruct itself, but it was not easy. After the Civil War, it took over 100 years for blacks to have the same equal rights as whites. Three amendments to the U.S. Constitution helped blacks have the same opportunities as whites and have the same right to vote.
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the General of the Union army. Later on in his career he defeats the Confederate Army. He is said to be one of the most influential Generals of the Union.
Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee was the General of the Confederate army during the time of the Civil War. He won many battles throughout his career, but eventually was defeated because of the loss of his right-hand-man, “Stonewall” Jackson.
Stonewall Jackson was General of the Confederate side during the Civil War. He was said to have many outstanding plans for the Confederate Army. Unfortunately, he was accidentally shot by Pickett in the Battle of Chancellorsville.
George Pickett was one of the Generals of the Confederate Army during the Civil war. He is most commonly known for his contribution in the Battle of Gettysburg. Also, because of Pickett’s Charge.
This was a glorious assault of the Union Center that occurred on July 3, 1863. The assault was led by Confederate Major General George Pickett and a fresh group of troops because they had arrived at Gettysburg the night before and were fresh for battle. The Confederates had over 50% casualties while the Union had only 1,500 casualties total. General Lee rode up to meet his troops as they retreated and exclaimed that the failure "It was all my fault". When Lee, fearing a counterattack asked Pickett to take back his division, Pickett replied "General Lee, I have no division". Pickett would never forgive Lee for ordering the charge for the remainder of his life. The Confederates were forced to evacuate to Virginia and would never penetrate the north again for the remainder of the war which lasted another two years. Pickett's Charge will forever be regarded as one of the bravest assaults in military history.