THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN, 1863. - After the defeat at Fredericksburg, Burnside was removed, and General Hooker put in command of the Army of the Potomac. "Fighting Joe," as Hooker was called, led his army of 130,000 men against Lee and Jackson, and after a stubborn fight at Chancellorsville (May 1-4, 1863) was beaten and fell back. [1] In June Lee once more took the offensive, rushed down the Shenandoah valley to the Potomac River, crossed Maryland, and entered Pennsylvania with the Army of the Potomac in hot pursuit. On reaching Maryland General Hooker was removed and General Meade put in command.

On the hills at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the two armies met, and there (July 1-3) Lee attacked Meade. The struggle was desperate. About one fourth of the men engaged were killed or wounded. But the splendid valor of the Union army prevailed, and Lee was beaten and forced to return to Virginia, where he remained unmolested till the spring of 1864. [2] The battle of Gettysburg ended Lee's plan for carrying the war into the North, and from the losses on that field his army never fully recovered. [3]

VICKSBURG, 1863. - In January, 1863, the Confederates held the Mississippi River only from Vicksburg to Port Hudson. The capture of these two towns would complete the opening of the river. Grant, therefore, determined to capture Vicksburg. The town stands on the top of a bluff which rises straight and steep from the river, and had been so strongly fortified on the land side that to take it seemed impossible. Grant, having failed in a direct advance through Mississippi, cut a canal across a bend in the river, on the west bank, hoping to divert the waters and get a passage by the town. This, too, failed; and he then decided to cross below Vicksburg and attack by land. To aid him, Admiral Porter ran his gunboats past the town on a night in April and carried the army across the river. Landing on the east bank, Grant won a victory at Port Gibson, and hearing that J. E. Johnston was coming to help Pemberton, pushed in between them, beat Johnston, and turning against Pemberton drove him into Vicksburg. After a siege of seven weeks, in which Vicksburg suffered severely from bombardment and famine, Pemberton surrendered the town and army July 4, 1863.

In less than a week (July 9) Port Hudson surrendered, the Mississippi was opened from source to mouth, and the Confederacy was cut in two.

CHICKAMAUGA, 1863. - While Grant was besieging Vicksburg, Rosecrans forced a Confederate army under Bragg to quit its position south of Murfreesboro, and then to leave Chattanooga and retire into northern Georgia. There Bragg was reënforced, and he then attacked Rosecrans in the Chickamauga valley (September 19 and 20, 1863), where was fought one of the most desperate battles of the war. The Union right wing was driven from the field, but the left wing under General Thomas held the enemy in check and saved the army from rout. By his firmness Thomas won the name of "the Rock of Chickamauga."

CHATTANOOGA. - Rosecrans now went back to Chattanooga. Bragg followed, and, taking position on the hills and mountains which surround the town on the east and south, shut in the Union army and besieged it. Hooker was sent from Virginia with more troops, Sherman [4] brought an army from Vicksburg, Rosecrans was replaced by Thomas, and Grant was put in command of all. Then matters changed. The troops under Thomas (November 23) seized some low hills at the foot of Missionary Ridge, east of Chattanooga. Hooker (November 24) carried the Confederate works on Lookout Mountain, southwest of the town, in a fight often called "the Battle above the Clouds." Sherman (November 24 and 25) attacked the northern end of Missionary Ridge. Thomas (November 25) thereupon carried the heights of Missionary Ridge, and drove off the enemy. Bragg retreated to Dalton in northwestern Georgia, where the command of his army was given to General J. E. Johnston.

THE PLAN OF CAMPAIGN, 1864. - The Confederates had now but two great armies left. One under Lee was lying quietly behind the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers, protecting Richmond; the other under J. E. Johnston [5] was at Dalton, Georgia. The two generals chosen to lead the Union armies against these forces were Grant and Sherman. Grant (now lieutenant general arid in command of all the armies) with the Army of the Potomac was to drive Lee back and take Richmond. Sherman with the forces under Thomas, McPherson, and Schofield was to attack Johnston and enter Georgia. The Union soldiers outnumbered the Confederates.

MARCHING THROUGH GEORGIA. - On May 4, 1864, accordingly, Sherman moved forward against Johnston, flanked him out of Dalton, and drove him, step by step, through the mountains to Atlanta. Johnston's retreat forced Sherman to weaken his army by leaving guards in the rear to protect the railroads on which he depended for supplies; Johnston intended to attack when he could fight on equal terms. But his retreat displeased Davis, and at Atlanta he was replaced by General Hood, who was expected to fight at once.

In July Hood made three furious attacks, was repulsed, and in September left Atlanta and started northward. His purpose was to draw Sherman out of Georgia, but Sherman sent Thomas with part of the army into Tennessee, and after following Hood for a while, [6] turned back to Atlanta.

After partly burning the town, Sherman started for the seacoast in November, tearing up the railroads, burning bridges, and living on the country as he went. [7] In December Fort McAllister was taken and Savannah occupied.

GRANT AND LEE IN VIRGINIA, 1864. - On the same day in May, 1864, on which Sherman set out to attack Johnston in Georgia, the Army of the Potomac began the campaign in Virginia. General Meade was in command; but Grant, as commander in chief of all the Union armies, directed the campaign in person. Crossing the Rapidan, the army entered the Wilderness, a stretch of country covered with dense woods of oak and pine and thick undergrowth. Lee attacked, and for several days the fighting was almost incessant. But Grant pushed on to Spottsylvania Court House and to Cold Harbor, where bloody battles were fought; and then went south of Richmond and besieged Petersburg. [8]

EARLY'S RAID, 1864. - Lee now sought to divert Grant by an attack on Washington, and sent General Early down the Shenandoah valley. Early crossed the Potomac, entered Maryland, won a battle at the Monocacy River, and actually threatened the defenses of Washington, but was forced to retreat. [9]

To stop these attacks Grant sent Sheridan [10] into the valley, where he defeated Early at Winchester and at Fishers Hill and again at Cedar Creek. It was during this last battle that Sheridan made his famous ride from Winchester. [11]

THE SITUATION EARLY IN 1865. - By 1865, Union fleets and armies had seized many Confederate strongholds on the coast. In the West, Thomas had destroyed Hood's army in the great battle of Nashville (December, 1864). In the East, Grant was steadily pressing the siege of Petersburg and Richmond, and Sherman was making ready to advance northward from Savannah. The cause of the Confederacy was so desperate that in February, 1865, Alexander H. Stephens, Vice President of the Confederate States, was sent to meet Lincoln and Secretary Seward and discuss terms of peace. Lincoln demanded three things: the disbanding of the Confederate armies, the submission of the seceded states to the rule of Congress, and the abolition of slavery. The terms were not accepted, and the war went on.

SHERMAN MARCHES NORTHWARD, 1865. - After resting for a month at Savannah, Sherman started northward through South Carolina, (February 17) entered Columbia, the capital of the state, and forced the Confederates to evacuate Charleston. To oppose him, a new army was organized and put under the command of Johnston. But Sherman pressed on, entered North Carolina, and reached Goldsboro in safety.

THE SURRENDER OF LEE, 1865. - Early in April, Lee found himself unable to hold Richmond and Petersburg any longer. He retreated westward. Grant followed, and on April 9, 1865, Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House, seventy-five miles west of Richmond. [12]

FALL OF THE CONFEDERACY. - The Confederacy then went rapidly to pieces. Johnston surrendered to Sherman near Raleigh on April 26; Jefferson Davis was captured at Irwinville, Georgia, on May 10, and the war on land was over. [13]

REFLECTION OF LINCOLN. - While the war was raging, the time again came to elect a President and Vice President. The Republicans nominated Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. The Democrats selected General McClellan and George H. Pendleton. Lincoln and Johnson were elected and on March 4, 1865, were inaugurated.

DEATH OF LINCOLN. - On the night of April 14, the fourth anniversary of the day on which Anderson marched out of Fort Sumter, while Lincoln was seated with his wife and some friends in a box at Ford's Theater in Washington, he was shot by an actor who had stolen up behind him. [14] The next morning he died, and Andrew Johnson became President.


1. In 1863, Lee repulsed an advance by Hooker's army, and invaded Pennsylvania, but was defeated by Meade at Gettysburg.

2. In the West, Grant took Vicksburg, and the Mississippi was opened to the sea. The Confederates defeated Rosecrans at Chickamauga, but were defeated by Grant and other generals at Chattanooga.

3. In 1864, Grant moved across Virginia, after much hard fighting, and besieged Petersburg and Richmond, and Sherman marched across Georgia to Savannah.

4. In 1865, Sherman marched northward into North Carolina, and Grant forced Lee to leave Richmond and surrender.

5. In 1864, Lincoln was reëlected.

6. In April, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated and Johnson became President.


[1] Jackson was mortally wounded by a volley from his own men, who mistook him and his escort for Union cavalry, in the dusk of evening of the second day at Chancellorsville. His last words were: "Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees."

[2] Read "The Third Day at Gettysburg" in Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol. III, pp. 369-385. The field of Gettysburg is now a national park dotted with monuments erected in memory of the dead, and marking the positions of the regiments and spots where desperate fighting occurred. Near by is a national cemetery in which are interred several thousand Union soldiers. Read President Lincoln's beautiful Gettysburg Address.

[3] With the exception of a small body of regulars, the Union armies were composed of volunteers. When it became apparent that the war would not end in a few months, Congress passed a Draft Act: whenever a congressional district failed to furnish the required number of volunteers, the names of able-bodied men not already in the army were to be put into a box, and enough names to complete the number were to be drawn out by a blindfolded man. In July, 1863, when this was done in New York city, a riot broke out and for several days the city was mob-ruled. Negroes were killed, property was destroyed, and the rioters were not put down till troops were sent by the government.

[4] William Tecumseh Sherman was born in Ohio in 1820, graduated from West Point, and served in the Seminole and Mexican wars. He became a banker in San Francisco, then a lawyer in Kansas, in 1860 superintendent of a military school in Louisiana, and then president of a street car company in St. Louis. In 1861 he was appointed colonel in the regular army. He fought at Bull Run, was made brigadier general of volunteers, and was transferred to the West, where he rose rapidly. After the war, Grant was made general of the army, and Sherman lieutenant general; and when Grant became President, Sherman was promoted to the rank of general. He was retired in 1884 and died in 1891 at New York.

[5] Joseph Eggleston Johnston was born in Virginia in 1807, graduated from West Point, and served in the Black Hawk, Seminole, and Mexican wars. When the Civil War opened, he joined the Confederacy, was made a major general, and with Beauregard commanded at the first battle of Bull Run. Johnston was next put in charge of the operations against McClellan (1862); but was wounded at Fair Oaks and succeeded by Lee. In 1863 he was sent to relieve Vicksburg, but failed. In 1864 he was put in command of Bragg's army after its defeat, and so became opposed to Sherman.

[6] Early in October Hood had reached Dallas on his way to Tennessee. From Dallas he sent a division to capture a garrison and depots at Allatoona, commanded by General Corse. Sherman, who was following Hood, communicated with Corse from the top of Kenesaw Mountain by signals; and Corse, though greatly outnumbered, held the fort and drove off the enemy. On this incident was founded the popular hymn Hold the Fort, for I am Coming.

[7] To destroy the railroads so they could not be quickly rebuilt, the rails, heated red-hot in fires made of burning ties, were twisted around trees or telegraph poles. Stations, machine shops, cotton bales, cotton gins and presses were burned. Along the line of march, a strip of country sixty miles wide was made desolate.

[8] While the siege of Petersburg was under way, a tunnel was dug and a mine exploded under a Confederate work called Elliott's Salient (July 30, 1864). As soon as the mass of flying earth, men, guns, and carriages had settled, a body of Union troops moved forward through the break thus made in the enemy's line. But the assault was badly managed. The Confederates rallied, and the Union forces were driven back into the crater made by the explosion, where many were killed and 1400 captured.

[9] On October 19, 1864, St. Albans, a town in Vermont near the Canadian border, was raided by Confederates from Canada. They seized all the horses they could find, robbed the banks, and escaped. A little later the people of Detroit were excited by a rumor that their city was to be raided on October 30. Great preparations for defense were made; but no enemy came.

[10] Philip H. Sheridan was born at Albany, New York, in 1831, graduated from West Point, and was in Missouri when the war opened. In 1862 he was given a command in the cavalry, fought in the West, and before the year closed was made a brigadier and then major general for gallantry in action. At Chattanooga he led the charge up Missionary Ridge. After the war he became lieutenant general and then general of the army, and died in 1888.

[11] Sheridan had spent the night at Winchester, and as he rode toward his camp at Cedar Creek, he met such a crowd of wagons, fugitives, and wounded men that he was forced to take to the fields. At Newtown, the streets were so crowded he could not pass through them. Riding around the village, he met Captain McKinley (afterward President), who, says Sheridan, "spread the news of my return through the motley throng there." Between Newtown and Middletown he met "the only troops in the presence of and resisting the enemy.... Jumping my horse over the line of rails, I rode to the crest of the elevation and ... the men rose up from behind their barricade with cheers of recognition." When he rode to another part of the field, "a line of regimental flags rose up out of the ground, as it seemed, to welcome me." With these flags was Colonel Hayes (afterward President). Hurrying to another place, he came upon some divisions marching to the front. When the men "saw me, they began cheering and took up the double-quick to the front." Crossing the pike, he rode, hat in hand, "along the entire line of infantry," shouting, "We are all right.... Never mind, boys, we'll whip them yet. We shall sleep in our quarters to-night." And they did. Read Sheridan's Ride by T. Buchanan Read.

[12] Read Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol. IV, pp. 729-746.

[13] On the flight of Davis from Richmond, read Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol. IV, pp. 762-767; or the Century Magazine, November, 1883.

[14] After firing the shot, the assassin waved his pistol and shouted "Sic semper tyrannis" - "Thus be it ever to tyrants" (the motto of the state of Virginia) and jumped from the box to the stage. But his spur caught in an American flag which draped the box, and he fell and broke his leg. Limping off the stage, he fled from the theater, mounted a horse in waiting, and escaped to Virginia. There he was found hidden in a barn and shot. The body of the Martyr President was borne from Washington to Springfield, by the route he took when coming to his first inauguration in 1861. Read Walt Whitman's poem My Captain.