November 9, 2014 / by admin / American History / No Comments

Their Last Full Measure: The Final Days of the Civil War

Their Last Full Measure: The Final Days of the Civil War

Language: English

Pages: 432

ISBN: 0306823608

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Dramatic developments unfolded during the first months of 1865 that brought America's bloody Civil War to a swift climax.

As the Confederacy crumbled under the Union army's relentless "hammering," Federal armies marched on the Rebels' remaining bastions in Alabama, the Carolinas, and Virginia. General William T. Sherman's battle-hardened army conducted a punitive campaign against the seat of the Rebellion, South Carolina, while General-in-Chief Ulysses S. Grant sought to break the months-long siege at Petersburg, defended by Robert E. Lee's starving Army of Northern Virginia. In Richmond, Confederate President Jefferson Davis struggled to hold together his unraveling nation while simultaneously sanctioning diplomatic overtures to bid for peace. Meanwhile, President Abraham Lincoln took steps to end slavery in the United States forever.

Their Last Full Measure relates these thrilling events, which followed one on the heels of another, from the battles ending the Petersburg siege and forcing Lee's surrender at Appomattox to the destruction of South Carolina's capital, the assassination of Lincoln, and the intensive manhunt for his killer. The fast-paced narrative braids the disparate events into a compelling account that includes powerful armies; leaders civil and military, flawed and splendid; and ordinary people, black and white, struggling to survive in the war's wreckage.

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blacks in the North were lobbying for voting rights, the repeal of the infamous “black laws” aimed at their suppression, and integration of street cars in Washington and Philadelphia. Just before debate began in the House the border states of Maryland and Missouri approved constitutions that, among other things, abolished slavery. Lincoln believed that border-state congressmen, such as Representative George Yeaman of Kentucky, defeated in the November election, could be courted and won over.

targeting the Confederate guns, concentrating on those defending the fort’s land side, near the Cape Fear River—the objective of Terry’s planned assault.73 The iron onslaught resumed at daylight January 15, and at 10 a.m. the entire squadron, including five former Confederate blockade-runners, moved within range and joined the bombardment. By noon all but one of the twenty Rebel guns on the targeted land face had been shattered or dismounted.74 Since December 25 Porter and his officers had

they labored stoically for hours in icy, waist-deep water. They corduroyed so many miles of roads that a Confederate prisoner told his captors, “If your army goes to hell, it will corduroy the road.”78 “I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it happen,” Hardee wrote of the crossing of southern South Carolina by Sherman’s army and its prodigious engineering feats.79 Sherman harbored “a species of contempt” for the scattered enemy forces facing him in South Carolina. Few Rebel units now dared

their forces with our foraging parties and skirmish lines wherever they dared offer resistance . . . and with the loss of less than sixty men.”154 Sherman believed that the South Carolina march surpassed the famous march through Georgia because it “will cure her pride and boasting,” he told his wife, Ellen, in a letter that included verses of Adjutant Byers’s lyrics to “Sherman’s March to the Sea.” “I think we are bringing matters to an issue. Johnston is restored to the Supreme Command [and]

did so “with a theatrical gesture.”18 Lincoln was heard instructing a marshal as he left the Senate chamber for his own swearing-in, “Do not let Johnson speak outside.” When Lincoln emerged from the Capitol onto a temporary platform erected on the building’s east side, a tremendous shout, prolonged and loud, arose from the surging ocean of humanity around the Capitol building. Just as Lincoln was about to speak, the sun appeared from behind the clouds that had concealed it all day. Some believed

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