Conquest of Virginia and End of Civil War

In this article, we are going to review how with the conquest of Virginia, there came the end of the American civil war.

 The time period from 1864-1865 witnessed the Conquest of Virginia and end of civil war. In the early period of the 1864, Abraham Lincoln appointed Ulysses S. Grant as the commander of all Union armies. Grant made his headquarters with the Army of the Potomac, and put Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman in command of most of the western armies. He understood the concept of total war and believed, along with Lincoln and Sherman, that only the utter defeat of Confederate forces and their economic base would bring an end to the war.

This civil war battle which led to the conquest of Virginia was total war not in terms of killing civilians but in terms of destroying the basic infrastructure like homes, farms, and railroads. A synchronized strategy was developed by the Grant in order to strike at the entire Confederacy from multiple directions.

The orders were passed and Generals George Meade and Benjamin Butler were directed to progress against Lee near Richmond, General Franz Sigel and attack the Shenandoah Valley. Another army General Sherman was supposed to take control of the Atlanta and march towards the Atlantic Ocean.  Generals George Crook and William W. Averell were ordered to function against railroad supply lines in West Virginia, and Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks was to capture Mobile, Alabama.

American civil war end with conquest of Virginia finally came when  a commander named as General Philip Sheridan who was very much aggressive to triumph in the Valley Campaigns of 1864 was appointed by the Ulysses S. Grant.

During the early period of civil war battles which also marked the final decisive defeat at the Battle of Cedar Creek, Sheridan marched ahead to damage the agricultural base of the Shenandoah Valley, which was same war strategy as of Sherman which he later used in Georgia. The army marched with to an unknown place laying waste to about twenty percent of the agricultural farm lands in the state of Georgia then reaching the Atlantic Ocean at Savannah, Georgia in December 1864. Thousands of freed slaves followed the army; however there were no major civil war battles witnessed along the March. Sherman turned north through South Carolina and North Carolina to approach the Confederate Virginia lines from the south, increasing the pressure on Lee's army.

By this time, the Lee's army had gone quite weak because of the absconding and fatalities and it was now much smaller than Grant's army. Then on April 1, the Union forces faced a decisive win at the Battle of Five Forks. This resulted in forcing Lee to abandon Petersburg and Richmond. Thus the Confederate capital fell to the Union XXV Corps, which comprised of black troops. The remaining Confederate units fled west and after a defeat at Sayler's Creek, it became clear to Robert E. Lee that continued fighting against the United States was both tactically and logistically impossible which finally made a way for American civil war end with conquest of Virginia.