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and concentration, reached a new and more substantial base of future operations, and a safe resting place as well. As bearing on the fortunes of Grant's army, and upon the final result, he had interposed a compact army of over sixty thousand men between Lee and the Confederacy of the South-west, and given to Grant all the advantages of those inner lines of movement which the Confederate armies had hitherto enjoyed. The moral effect of the march through the heart of the Confederacy, without serious opposition, was incalculable. It carried panic and stimulated clamor everywhere. The Confederate Cabinet confessed the folly of having urged Hood to disaster in Tennessee, by reinstating Johnston in command of all the forces he could gather to operate against Sherman and keep him from marching to Grant's aid at Petersburg. And right nobly did Johnston struggle. Uniting everything he could find in the shape of armed man and military utensil, he formed a junction with Hardee after his escape from Savannah, and the two were thereafter to retard Sherman's northern movement all they could.
Grant had wisely prepared for just such an emergency, by ordering the capture of Fort Fisher and Wilmington, and the use of the latter as a base from which Schofield (called eastward from Nashville) was to push an army of twenty thousand men to Goldsboro, to meet Sherman, should he decide to come north by land. And now the great problem was uppermost as to how Sherman should move; whether by land or water. Grant's first impressions were, that he should speedily and directly proceed to his aid by water. But speed was found to be out of the question, owing to scarcity of transports. To come tardily would be to give Lee time to escape from Petersburg, for he certainly would not remain, knowing that Grant was in receipt of such a large reinforcement. Besides, Johnston had now gotten together an army of fifty thousand men in the Carolinas. He was therefore a formidable menace on Grant in his Petersburg entrenchments, and at the same time a stand
ing invitation to Lee to abandon Petersburg and Richmond and join him. To destroy Lee's army, and not to dislodge it, was, more than ever, Grant's aim.
All things considered, it was determined that Sherman should move northward by land, and hold Johnston to an object, at the same time doing all the damage possible to railroads and supplies. He was to start on January 15th, 1865, moving his cavalry and Slocum's corps toward Augusta. Blair's Seventeenth was sent by water to demonstrate on Charleston. Rains prevented the land movement till February ist. Grover's division of the Nineteenth came, in the meantime, to Savannah to relieve all of Sherman's forces there. All the Confederate militia, from sixteen to sixty, were called out, and the negroes were ordered to fell trees and interpose every obstacle possible to the Federal march. The deep, sullen rivers, the wide, impenetrable swamps, the thickly timbered spaces, near the sea coast, threw the line of march far inland, and made it necessarily circuitous, slow and dangerous. Wheeler's cavalry was vigilant, and turned up at every river crossing, backed by infantry detachments. Their efforts were, however, of no avail against the confident battalions from the fields of At'anta and Chattanooga.
The Edisto and Congaree were crossed, Orangeburg was reached, and Columbia seized by a brilliant manœuvre.
This sealed the fate of Charleston and Fort Sumpter. The retreating Confederates fired the cotton bales and public stores in Columbia and Charleston, and these cities were well nigh consumed. Between the injury they themselves inflicted in their wild haste and that brought about to bridges, railroads, manufactories of warlike supplies, public stores, etc., by the victorious Federals, the whole country was a waste from Savannah to the Roanoke, and from the Alleghenies to the sea. With a wide sweep to the west the Yadkin was crossed. Then, by a hurried march, Fayetteville, on the Cape Fear, was reached by March
nith. Here he concentrated, and rested for three days. He had all the while been marching in the face of considerable opposition. It was a campaign now, and not a peaceful march, as that through Georgia had been. Each step forced back the detached battalions of Johnston, and helped him to concentrate. And again, the whole spirit of motion had changed. He was now actively co-operating with Grant. Each must consider the fortune of the other in every step now taken. They must keep Johnston and Lee apart. They must be ready to spring to each other's aid if occasion demanded. Johnston's army was a conglomerate of many commands, and not less than fifty thousand men. Hardee was in it from Savannah, Beauregard from Columbia, Cheatham from Tennessee, Bragg and Hoke from Wilmington, Hampton from Richmond, Wheeler from Atlanta. It was now prepared to throw itself across Sherman's track.
When Sherman started from Fayetteville for Goldsboro, Johnston was at Smithfield. Sherman demonstrated with Slocum's corps toward Averysborough, while he marched Howard direct toward Goldsboro. Johnston fell on to Slocum at Bentonsville, who resisted the attack till reinforced. Johnston then dropped back to Smithfield, leaving his killed and wounded behind. He had made desperate battle with Slocum's command, and occasioned a Federal loss of sixteen hundred and forty-three killed, wounded and missing, while his own was two thousand, sixteen hundred of whom became prisoners. Sherman now pushed rapidly to Goldsboro, reaching it on March 23d, forming a junction there with Schofield and Terry, and finding much needed food and rest. On March 27th he started for City Point, whither he had been called to a conference with Grant and the President. After this the co-operation of the two armies was close. The grand circle had been made, and nearly all the vitality of the Confederacy was within reach of the Federal armies.
Stoneman was coming in from the west upon Lynchburg. Thomas was co-operating with Canby in his attack upon Mobile, which fell on April 9th, with a loss of two hundred guns and four thousand prisoners. Wilson, with his cavalry corps, was raiding Alabama and working untold injury to railroads and public stores. Every army was now in the position designated by the Lieutenant General, and on March 24th he issued to Meade the order which was to swing the Army of the Potomac
west of Petersburg and compel its evacuation as well as that of Richmond.
The duty of Sherman was no to watch Johnston closely. He was lying at Smithfield not far from Goldsboro. It was equally Johnston's duty to watch Sherman, and keep himself where Lee could reach him. There the two armies rested till the result of
Grant's movement became CEN. STONEMAX.
known. We have already learned what that result was. Too much praise cannot be given Sherman for his spendid northern march of four hundred miles, his crossing of seven deep difficult rivers, his arrival at the place, and almost at the time designated, and his holding of Johnston, with fifty thousand men at Smithfield while Grant was giving the finishing blows to Lee's army of Northern Virginia. The Lieutenant-General's knowledge of men was equal to the grandeur of his plans and the irresistible vigor of his combinations and movements.
HE surrender of Lee's army at Appomattox, April 9th,
1865, was the signal for the surrender of all the other armed forces of the great rebellion. It would take a little time for the news to reach all the Confederate commands, and there would yet be some hesitation, some movements in a spirit of sheer desperation, some chaffering about terms, but the war ended there, and peace was assured. Grant reached Washington on April 13th, and at once set about reducing the military expenses of the government. His grand work, his victory, was for the good of the nation, and now he would prove that “ Peace hath her victories no less renowned than war."
On consultation with the President and Secretary of War, an announcement was made to the country April 13th, to stop all drafting and recruiting in the loyal states; to curtail all purchases of muniments and supplies and reduce the military establishment; to reduce the number of officers to the actual needs of the service; to remove all military restrictions on trade and commerce, so far as may be consistent with public safety.
This was the country's written guarantee that peace was sure, the official proclamation which fixed and crowned the grand results of four years of sacrifice. A yearning nation now broke out into rejoicing. From sea to sea there went up one voice of jubilation and thanksgiving, and all the land burst into glorious illumination. Ecstacy never reached sublimer heights nor assumed more impressive forms. The next day, April 14th, it was announced that Grant would be present at