|Dashed lines represent Confederate campaigns, solid lines represent Union campaigns|
The tactic that was developed is called "total war," which involves intentionally pillaging and destroying all of the supplies and infrastructure in an area so that the opposing army loses the ability and the will to fight. This method of total war has been frowned upon by many as destructive and excessive, but in my opinion, it was necessary and justified. By destroying the crops, railroads, cities, and towns, the Confederate army loses its ability to support itself, and it's ability to effectively fight a war. Not only were the union armies preventing the Confederates from having the resources, but they were taking them for themselves. Sherman's advance through the south can be summarized in this quote; "After leaving Atlanta in ruins, Sherman's soldiers cut a nearly 300-mile-long path of destruction across Georgia. The Union troops destroyed bridges, factories, and railroad lines. They seized and slaughtered livestock. Grain that had recently been harvested for the Confederate troops went to Union soldiers instead." The method of destroying railroads became known as "Sherman's Neckties" and involved heating and then bending railroad tracks so that they became unusable.
|The railroad tracks are bend out of shape.|
This violent and crippling form of war obliterated the Confederate army's ability to fight. This gruesome form of war was acknowledged by Sherman himself, saying; “War is cruelty, There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.” This means that war will always be terrible, but if the war is more terrible, the opposing army will lose the will and ability to fight, and surrender. The method of total war definitively resulted in a quicker end to the war, and helped cause the Confederate surrender.
The Confederate surrender had a myriad of impacts on people throughout the now re-United States of America. The Union soldiers present at the site of the surrender were excited, but also reflective on the hundreds of thousands of lives lost, and the hard fought war. Ulysses S. Grant was full of respect for his opposing general, Robert E. Lee. Back in Washington, there were massive celebrations, and many people were ecstatic for the long-awaited news. The soldiers of both sides were emotionally ravaged, and tired both physically and mentally tired beyond any reasonable measure. President Lincoln was relieved, as well as exhausted after finally having the weight of the Civil war lifted off of his chest. For the southern men, they were honored to have served under a general as honorable, and intelligent as Lee, and they understood that they were now needed to help rebuild the south. However, the end of the civil war was tainted by the horrific assassination of President Lincoln. The Lincoln supporters were outraged at the conspiracy and murder of their beloved President. The conspirators were apprehended and hung for their crimes against the country, and the feelings of the American people were now fully converted into mourning. The citizens of America were devastated by the loss of their president, and appreciative of all that he accomplished for them while he was in office.
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