Desperation in the Confederacy

In March, Sherman's Army of the Mississippi left South Carolina and

Abraham Lincoln Union
Union major general Philip H. Sheridan sits in front of his tent with his staff. (Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.)

entered North Carolina. Meanwhile, Confederate defenses continued to crumble elsewhere in the South. Over in Virginia, Union troops under the direction of General Philip H. Sheridan (1831-1888) conducted a series of successful raids as they moved eastward to join Grant at Petersburg. In Alabama and Georgia, a young Union general named James H. Wilson (1837-1925) defeated Confederate cavalry forces led by the legendary Nathan Bedford Forrest (1821-1877) to take control of several important cities. And in North Carolina, Union forces captured the port city of Wilm ington, which had been the last remaining Confederate port open to blockade runners (supply ships that tried to carry provisions past the Union's naval blockade).

As Sherman's troops pushed through North Carolina, they were reinforced by twenty thousand troops under the command of John Schofield (1831-1906). The addition of Scho-field's men increased the size of Sherman's army to more than eighty thousand troops, far bigger than any Confederate army in the region. Confederate general Joseph E. Johnston

1807 Blokade

Union major general John M. Schofield.

(Photograph by Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.)

Union major general John M. Schofield.

(Photograph by Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.)

(1807-1891) tried to halt Sherman's progress with a force of twenty thousand troops. But the Union commander brushed him aside with ease as he continued his march for Petersburg.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment