Category Archives: ’64

December ’64

1864 The Confederate Army of Tennessee–its ranks and officer corps vastly thinned by the failed assaults the previous afternoon at Franklin, Tenn.–headed to Nashville behind a fleeing Union army on Dec. 1. The Confederate commander, Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood, … Continue reading

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November ’64

1864 November–Nov. 8, specifically–offered the Confederacy its last best chance of survival. The date was that of the presidential election, which pitted Union Maj. Gen. George McClellan, nominee of the Peace Democrats, against incumbent Abraham Lincoln. The height of the … Continue reading

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October ’64

1864 Confederate war-making strategies, particularly west of the Appalachians, became increasingly wild gambles in October. The undermanned aims of these gambits were all the same: to stave off Union drives that, if successful, would produce inexorable Dixie defeat. Lt. Gen. … Continue reading

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September ’64

1864 A comparatively quiet military act that would profoundly affect Union politics occurred on the month’s first day. The Confederates gave up Atlanta. Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, ordered by General-in-Chief U. S. Grant to press Georgia’s defenders as hard … Continue reading

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August ’64

1864 It was getting late in the war, and both sides knew it. What they didn’t know yet was who would win. An exhausted North could sue for a negotiated peace and allow the continued existence of the Confederacy, or … Continue reading

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July ’64

1864 U. S. Grant’s mammoth June crossing of the James River and his descent into Robert E. Lee’s backyard at Petersburg transformed the war in eastern Virginia into a trench stalemate in July–and shifted the focus to other fronts. In … Continue reading

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June ’64

1864 On June 1, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant stepped down onto the threshold of his lowest point as the Union’s new general-in-chief. The place was specific and had a name Grant never forgot or wanted to be reminded of. … Continue reading

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May ’64

1864 New Union general-in-chief U. S. Grant’s much-anticipated campaign to try to end America’s three-year-old civil war got rolling on May 3. That night, Confederate scouts reported thick columns of Federals moving past campfires around Culpeper, Va., heading south toward … Continue reading

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April ’64

1864 The war for perpetuation or abolition of slavery was more important to the republic’s image than the death of the Confederacy itself, and in April that struggle continued to intensify. On the 4th, President Abraham Lincoln, wrestling with how … Continue reading

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March ’64

1864 On an evening in the first week of March, the desk clerk of Willard’s Hotel in Washington, D.C. was overwhelmed with business. He hurriedly informed the pair standing before him, a short and nondescript soldier and a 13-year-old boy, … Continue reading

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