March 9, 1864 - President Lincoln appoints Gen. Grant to command all of the armies of the United States. Gen. William T. Sherman succeeds Grant as commander in the west.
May 1864 - Grant and Lee in Virginia
May 4, 1864 - The beginning of a massive,
coordinated campaign involving all the Union Armies. In Virginia, Grant with an
Army of 120,000 begins advancing toward Richmond to engage Lee's Army of
Northern Virginia, now numbering 64,000, beginning a war of attrition that will
include major battles at:
In the west, Sherman, with 100,000 men begins an advance toward Atlanta to engage Joseph E. Johnston's 60,000 strong Army of Tennessee.
June 1864 - Cold Harbor, Siege of Petersburg
June 1-3, 1864 - Cold Harbor Virginia
Petersburg Siege (June 1864-April 1865)
June 15, 1864 - Union forces miss an opportunity to capture Petersburg and cut off the Confederate rail lines. As a result, a nine-month siege of Petersburg begins with Grant's forces surrounding Lee.
July 1864 - Sherman in Atlanta; The Crater in Virginia
July 20-28, 1864 - Atlanta Campaign
July 22, 1864 - Atlanta
July 30, 1864 - The Crater (Petersburg, VA)
Photo at left: The 13-inch Union mortar nicknamed "Dictator" mounted on a
railroad flatcar at Petersburg. Its 200-pound shells had a range of over 2 miles.
August 21, 1864 - Weldon Railroad
Aug 29, 1864 - In the grim summer of 1864, with the War Between The States in its fourth year, and seemingly at a stalemate, it seemed unlikely that Lincoln would be re-elected. Democrats nominate George B. McClellan for president to run against Republican incumbent Abraham Lincoln.
September 1864 - Fall of Atlanta
Sept 2, 1864 - Union General Sherman's Army forces Hood to abandon Atlanta, the munitions center of the Confederacy. "Atlanta is ours, and fairly won," Sherman telegraphs Lincoln. The victory greatly helps President Lincoln's bid for re-election and boosts Northern morale. Sherman remained in Atlanta, resting his war-worn men and accumulating supplies, for nearly two-and-a-half months.
September 30, 1864 - 2nd Fort Harrison
September - October 1864 - The Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
September 19, 1864 - Third Winchester - Gen. Philip Sheridan, placed in command of Union forces around Washington, is ordered to clear Gen. Jubal Early's Confederate forces from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. Sheridan's cavalry, after weeks of sparring and suffering a loss of over 5,000 men, eventually manages to overrun the Confederate position at Winchester.
September 22, 1864 - Fisher's Hill - Gen. Jubal Early regroups his army on Fisher's Hill, a strong defensive position near Strasburg, that blocks a further Union advance in the Shenandoah Valley. Sheridan sends a large force along the unprotected base of Little North Mountain and attacks. By nightfall, Early's troops are again routed and pursued to Staunton. Sheridan then turns northward to Winchester, burning crops the entire way to deprive the South of vital food supplies.
October 1 - Vaughan Road
November 1864 - Sherman's March to the Sea
Nov 8, 1864 - Abraham Lincoln is re-elected president, defeating Democrat George B. McClellan. Lincoln carries all but three states with 55 percent of the popular vote and 212 of 233 electoral votes. "I earnestly believe that the consequences of this day's work will be to the lasting advantage, if not the very salvation, of the country," Lincoln tells supporters.
Nov 15, 1864 - After destroying Atlanta's warehouses and railroad facilities, Sherman, unable to corner General John B. Hood, gets permission from Grant to sow destruction from Atlanta to the Atlantic Ocean. "I can make Georgia howl!" Sherman boasts. His army of 62,000 men begins a March to the Sea, moving virtually unopposed, in four columns across Georgia. His men cut a path 300 miles in length and 60 miles wide as they passed through Georgia. They left a trail of burned mills and railway stations, emptied barns and corn cribs, ransacked homes and vacant chicken coops, dead cattle and burned grain stocks, destroyed bridges and torn up railroads. Even courthouses were burned.
December 1864 - Hood defeated at Nashville, Sherman reaches Savannah
Dec 15-16, 1864 - Nashville
December 13, 1864 - Fort McAllister
Dec 21, 1864 - Sherman reaches Savannah, leaving behind a 300 mile long path of destruction 60 miles wide all the way from Atlanta. Sherman then telegraphs Lincoln, offering him Savannah as a Christmas present.
Next in Sherman's sights are the Carolinas...
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