The Civil War (1990) s01e07 Episode Script

Most Hallowed Ground (1864)

"i require able-bodied men with good horse and gun.
"i wish none but those who desire to be actively engaged.
"come on, boys, if you want a heap of fun and to kill some yankees.
" nathan bedford forrest.
bedford forrest's granddaughter lived here in memphis.
she recently died, and i got to know her, and she even let me swing the general's saber around my head once, which was a great treat, and i had thought a long time, and i called her and said, "i think the war produced two authentic geniuses.
"one of them was your grandfather, and the other was abraham lincoln.
" and there was a silence at the other end of the phone, and she said, "well, you know, in our family, we never thought much of mr.
lincoln.
" she didn't like my coupling her grandfather with abraham lincoln all these years later.
southerners are very strange about that war.
there was fighting all across the country-- at the sabine crossroads near the texas-louisiana border selling land, cotton, and slaves.
and down the red river, on the little blue in missouri, at poison spring and jenkins ferry in arkansas, and far out in indian territory.
by the summer of 1864, the union initiative had ground to a halt.
despite its powerful industrial machine, despite increasing hardships for the south, the north was losing control of the war.
as the casualty lists grew longer, opposition to the war increased.
with the presidential campaign looming, abraham lincoln now knew he would have to do something that had never been done before-- submit to a popular election during civil war and win it.
"the struggle within andwithout," an advisor told lincoln, "is for our national existence.
" at petersburg, robert e.
lee's entrenched army continued to resist ulysses s.
grant's two-month-old siege.
union troops were digging deep beneath the confederate lines.
north of atlanta, william tecumseh sherman would have to blast through an impenetrable system of trenches, breastworks, and parapets to take the city, if he ever got there.
that summer, in the sweltering mississippi heat, confederate general nathan bedford forrest would cement his reputation as the most terrifying cavalry commander of the war.
meanwhile, in the shenandoah valley, a diminutive union general, phil sheridan, would gleefully wreck every farm and village he could lay his hands on, while in richmond, jefferson davis struggled desperately to keep the idea of the confederacy alive.
at the end of the year, union quartermaster general montgomery meigs would lose a son and bring his grief to the doorstep of robert e.
lee.
by the summer of 1864, people could hardly remember that there had ever been a time without war, and many did not believe it would ever end.
[cannon fire] "dear mr.
president, "the tide is setting strongly against us.
"two special causes are assigned "to this great reaction in public sentiment-- "the want of military success at petersburg and atlanta "and the impression that we are fighting, not for union, but for the abolition of slavery.
" henry raymond, chairman, republican national committee.
the siege of petersburg went on.
morale had never been lower.
"we should never have wars like this again," one union soldier said.
in less than 6 months, from the wilderness to spotsylvania, cold harbor to petersburg, grant had nearly destroyed his army.
"the people are wild for peace," a newspaper reported.
"lincoln's re-election is an impossibility.
" nevertheless, 140,000 soldiers re-enlisted in the union army.
pride and patriotism had much to do with it, and a desire to see the thing through, but so did the promise of a month's furlough.
"3 more years of hell," wrote one soldier, "in exchange for 30 days of heaven--home.
" harper's weekly.
"the political campaign "which ends in the election of the 8th of november "decides the most important question in history.
"it has always been the fate of republics "to be destroyed by faction.
"that fear is now about to be confirmed or dissipated forever.
" the key, everyone knew, was atlanta.
if sherman could reach the railroad hub of the south, the war might end at last, but it was the stalemate in virginia that concerned lincoln now.
[cannon fire] "july 4, 1864, "the glorious fourth has come again, "and we have had quite a celebration "into petersburg to remindthemof the day.
"this day makes 4 fourth of julys "that i have passed in the army, "the first at camp clark, "the second at harrison's landing, "the third at gettysburg, and today at petersburg.
"i had a party of officers to dine with me.
"this was our bill of fare-- "stewed oysters, canned, roast turkey, canned, "bread pudding, tapioca pudding, "apple pie made in camp, "lemonade, cigars.
"tomorrow, if we march, hardtack and salt pork will be our fare.
" elisha hunt rhodes.
"the enemy throw a number of shells daily into petersburg, "but they do little damage.
"the women and children seem not to mind them at all.
"on one street yesterday where such a number of shells burst "that i would have considered it a warm place in the field, "women were passing about with little concern, "dodging around the corner when they heard a shell coming "or putting their heads out of their windows "to see what damage they had done.
"a lady yesterday sent wardlaw and myself some ice cream and cakes.
" harry hammond.
[bugle sounding] to relieve the pressure on petersburg, lee sent 10,000 men north to push union troops out of the shenandoah and harass washington itself.
in charge of the southern forces was a ruthless confederate general named jubal early.
early attacked fort stevens, on the outskirts of washington, terrifying the city, despite the 74 forts that now made it the most heavily fortified city on earth.
[cannon fire] federal troops, including elisha hunt rhodes, were hastily brought up from petersburg to protect the capital.
"july 12, 1864.
"we marched in line of battle into a peach orchard "in front of fort stevens, and here the fight began.
"for a short time it was warm work, "but as the president and many ladies were looking at us, "every man tried to do his best.
"without our help, the small force in the forts "would have been overpowered.
"jubal early should have attacked early in the morning, but early was late!" meanwhile, to stop william tecumseh sherman's advance on atlanta, nathan bedford forrest was also on the move.
you're asking about the most man in the world, in some ways.
forrest was a natural genius.
someone said that he was born to be a soldier the way john keats was born to be a poet.
he had some basic principles that, when you translate them, they fit right into the army manual.
when he said, "get there first with the most men," he's saying, "take the interior lines and bring superior force to bear.
" he had some very simple things.
he used to say, "hit them on the end" and he used to say, "keep up the skeer.
" and these are all good military principles expressed in forrest's own way.
and he was able to look at a piece of ground and see how to use it.
he had a marvelous sense of topography.
he could see the key to a position and know where to hit.
forrest, william tecumseh sherman later said, "was the most remarkable man our civil war produced on either side.
" he was the son of an illiterate blacksmith.
he made himself a millionaire in 1861, he enlisted as a private, then quit to raise and equip an entire cavalry battalion out of his own pocket.
he had become lieutenant general, the only man on either side to rise so far.
he was the most feared cavalry commander of the war, the "wizard of the saddle," wounded 4 times in battle and famous for having horses shot out from under him.
he's the most colorful man in the war.
he killed more men than any other general officer ever has, had more horses shot out from under him than any other officer ever had.
he had 30 horses shot from under him and he killed 31 men in hand-to-hand combat, and he said, "i was a horse ahead at the end.
" he was a master of the lightning raid and an expert at winning against long odds.
he fought his battles, he said, "by ear," and he could anticipate an enemy's movements with uncanny precision.
he was only surprised in battle once.
it was a place called parker's crossroads up in tennessee.
he was on a raid, and he was closing in on an opponent and fixing to finish him off by a force that he did not suspect was within many miles.
everybody was terribly upset, and they said, "general, what shall we do?" and he said, "split in two and charge both ways," and did and got out.
in june 1864, in an attempt to cut off sherman's supplies at brice's crossroads near tupelo, mississippi, forrest outdid even himself.
the union army coming to stop him was nearly 3 times as strong as his, but forrest was unimpressed.
factoring in the mud-clogged roads and the blazing mid-june sun, he predicted the union cavalry would arrive well ahead of the union infantry, giving him time to whip it on his own terms.
it all happened exactly as he said.
[cannon fire] no army, it seemed, could stop him.
forrest was free to slash at sherman's forces, slowing his approach to atlanta.
"forrest must be hunted down and killed "if it cost 10,000 lives and bankrupts that federal treasury.
" william tecumseh sherman.
"who shall revive the withered hopes "that bloomed at the opening of grant's campaign? "all are tired of this damnable tragedy.
"each hour is but sinking us deeper into bankruptcy and desolation.
" new yorkworld.
the summer of 1864 was the north's darkest hour.
grant's losses had been appalling.
his army was stalled in front of petersburg, his grand strategy apparently come to nothing.
franz sigel's army had been routed in the shenandoah.
ben butler was bottled up in a loop of the james river called the bermuda hundred.
even william tecumseh sherman was stalled outside atlanta.
"mr.
lincoln is already beaten.
"he cannot be re-elected, and we must have another ticket.
" horace greeley.
no nation had ever held an election in the midst of a civil war.
no president since andrew jackson had won a second term.
long after lincoln was nominated, politicians in his own party still hoped to reconvene and pick another nominee.
even lincoln believed his re-election unlikely.
"we cannot have free government without elections, "and if the rebellion could force us "to forego or postpone a national election, "it might fairly be claimed to have already conquered and ruined us.
" abraham lincoln.
"after 4 years of failure to restore the union "by the experiment of war, "we demand that immediate effort be made "for a cessation of hostilities at the earliest practicable moment.
" democratic national platform.
the democrats wanted an end to the war, with or without victory.
their nominee was general george mcclellan, whose ambition had not shrunk since lincoln removed him from command.
"mcclellan was our first commander, "and as such, he was almost worshipped by his soldiers.
"the political friends of general mcclellan "well understood that fact, "and it was a very crafty thing for them to nominate him as their candidate for the presidency.
" the south rejoiced at mcclellan's nomination.
"the first ray of real light," vice-president alexander stephens said, "since the war began.
" the south exploited antiwar feeling in the north.
the confederate government sent money to support the union peace movement and painted lincoln as the candidate of war.
the campaign was ugly.
democrats charged that the real goal of old abe's war was miscegenation, a new word for the "blending of white and black.
" republicans charged democrats with treason.
the 1864 presidential election had become a referendum on the war itself.
all the word from all republicans, even on the most local level, indicated that lincoln couldn't possibly win.
the fortunes of war had turned too badly, too sour for the union.
at one really poignant moment, lincoln sat in the privacy of his office contemplating the fact that he probably wasn't going to be re-elected and that mcclellan, of all people, would replace him as president.
"this morning, as for some days past, "it seems exceedingly probable that this administration "will not be re-elected.
"then it will be my duty "to so cooperate with the president-elect "as to save the union "between the election and the inauguration "as he will have secured his election on such ground that he cannotpossibly save it afterward.
" pressured to drop emancipation as a condition of peace with the south, lincoln refused.
"the proclamation had promised freedom," lincoln said, "and the promise being made, must be kept.
" "i should be damned in time and in eternity "if i were to return to slavery the black warriors who have fought for the union.
" attention! fire! [gunshot] "spy johnson, shot near coffin.
" even before bull run, stolen secrets and intricate codes streamed between washington and richmond.
allan pinkerton ran the northern secret service, while confederate major william norris had a spy network that extended as far north as montreal.
in 1864, several southern agents even invaded vermont.
spies were everywhere.
"women who come before the public are in a bad box now.
"all manner of things, they say, come over the border "under the huge hoops now worn, "so they are ruthlessly torn off.
"not legs but arms are looked for under hoops and, sad to say, found.
" mary chesnut.
rose o'neal greenhow, a washington widow, ran a confederate spy ring just a few blocks from the white house.
much of her information came from an infatuated suitor, senator henry wilson, chairman of the military affairs committee.
imprisonment failed to stop belle boyd from coaxing secrets out of union officers in washington and passing them on in code to richmond inside rubber balls that she tossed from her cell window to a shadowy agent she knew only as "c.
h.
" her admirers called her "la belle rebelle.
" slaves and former slaves made especially good union operatives, guiding northern troops through swamps and forests and reporting on their masters.
"after all," one union officer said, "they had been spies all their lives.
" one northern agent, a black servant named mary elizabeth bowser, even worked inside the confederate white house.
[drum beating slowly] in november of 1863, a southern courier, sam davis, was sentenced to death at pulaski, tennessee, for spying.
on the scaffold, davis' bravery proved so moving that the commanding general was unable to give the order of execution.
davis finally gave it himself.
[gallows trap door opens] [cannon fire] "july 21st, thursday, in front of petersburg.
"the mine which general burnside is making "causes a good deal of talk "and is generally much laughed at.
"it is an affair of his own entirely and has nothing to do with the regular siege.
" for a month, a regiment of pennsylvania coal miners worked to dig a 500-foot tunnel beneath the confederate lines and pack it with 4 tons of gunpowder.
burnside's idea was to blow a hole in the petersburg defenses, then rush through to take the town.
above ground, not far from the tunnel, the unsuspecting confederate commander was general william mahone, a veteran of almost every major battle fought by the army of northern virginia.
at dawn on july 30, union sappers lit the fuse.
a great crater was torn in the earth [explosion] 30 feet deep, 70 feet wide, 250 feet long.
[explosion] the stunned confederates fell back.
then the plan began to fall apart.
a precious hour went by before the union assault force got started, and when it did, 3 divisions stormed downintothe great hole, their commander, general james h.
ledlie, did not even watch the battle, huddling instead in a bombproof shelter with a bottle of rum.
once inside the crater, the union soldiers found there was no way up the sheer 30-foot wall of the pit, and no one had thought to provide ladders.
general mahone ordered his men back to the rim to pour fire down upon them.
scores of black troops were killed when they tried to surrender at the crater, bayoneted or clubbed by confederates shouting, "take the white man! kill the nigger!" [bugle sounding] "it was the saddest affair "i have ever witnessed in the war.
"such opportunity for carrying fortifications i have never seen and do not expect again to have.
" ulysses s.
grant.
general ledlie was dismissed from the service.
burnside was granted extended leave and never recalled to duty.
"july 30, 1864.
"the work and expectations of almost two months "have been blasted.
"the first temporary success had elated everyone so much "that we already had imagined ourselves in petersburg, "but 15 minutes changed it all "and plunged everyone into a feeling of despair "almost of ever accomplishing anything.
"few officers can be found this evening "who have not drowned their sorrows in the flowing bowl.
" washington roebling.
"the day has been so excessively hot "that i am almost melted.
"the thermometer in the wardroom "stands at 90 degrees, "while on deck the weather is very pleasant, "a fair breeze blowing from the east.
"everything is dirty, everything smells bad, "everybody is demoralized.
"how are you, ironclad? "a man who would stay in an ironclad from choice "is a candidate for the insane asylum, "and he who stays from compulsion is an object of pity.
fresh leaks are breaking out every day.
" robert b.
ely.
for two full years now, union troops had occupied fort pulaski at the entrance to savannah harbor, blocking confederate supplies and waiting patiently for a union army to come and seize the city itself.
to fill the time, the men played baseball, fast becoming the national pastime, south as well as north.
[bat hits ball] but 300 miles away, sherman was stuck in the hills of north georgia.
"the enemy must have at least 50 miles of connected trenches," he wrote.
"the whole country is one vast fort.
" "i think the damned old cuss of a preacher "lied likedixie, "for he said that god has fought all our battles "and won our victories.
"now, if he had done all that, why is it not in the papers and why has he not been promoted?" sergeant albinus fell.
"is it possible that god will bless a people "as wicked as our soldier? "i fear not.
"one unceasing tide of blasphemy and wickedness, coarseness and obscenity.
" orville c.
bumpass.
men bet on anything-- boxing matches, horse races, baseball games, and cockfights.
in union camps, victorious birds named "grant" and "bill sherman" fought losers called "beauregard," "jeff davis," and "bob lee.
" "the boys would frequently have a louse race.
"the lice were placed in plates.
"and the first that crawled off was the winner.
"there was one fellow named dornin, "who was winning all the money.
"we could not understand it.
"if a fellow happened to catch a fierce-looking louse, "he would call on dornin for a race.
"dornin would come and always win the stake.
"at last we found out dornin's trick-- he always heated the plate.
" sam watkins.
"rutland, vermont.
dear edward, "it will be hard to have all my sons go, "but if it is right, i've nothing to say.
"as you value your good name, "your peace of mind, "and happiness here and hereafter, "do keep aloof from card playing, "for imperceptibly you will be led, i fear, to gambling.
your devoted mother.
" there were in all 450 brothels in washington, d.
c.
, known to steady customers as "fort sumter," "madame russell's bake oven," and "headquarters, u.
s.
a.
" men called a trip there "going down the line.
" "i had a good time in washington-- "lager beer and a horse and buggy, "and in the evening, horizontal refreshments, "or in plainer words, riding a dutch gal.
had a good time generally, i tell you.
" private eli veazie.
"in the city of new orleans, "we could see signs of smothered hate and prejudice "to both our color and present character as union soldiers, "but for once in his life, "your humble correspondent walked fearlessly and boldly "through the streets of a southern city, "and he did this "without being required to take off his cap at every step "or to give all the sidewalks "to those lordly princes of the sunny south, "the planters' sons.
"oh, chivalry! "how hast thou lost thy potent power and charms? "by what means, pray tell me, hast thou so degenerated "as to lose the respect and admiration even of the sable sons of africa?" that summer, congress finally passed legislation giving black soldiers equal pay with whites.
on august 5, 1864, union admiral david farragut led 18 ships storming past 3 forts to engage the confederate fleet guarding mobile bay.
farragut suffered from vertigo so intense he ordered himself lashed to the rigging of his flagship.
when a mine sank the lead vessel and the captains of the other ships hesitated, "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" and rammed and shelled the rebel fleet into submission.
it was the first good news for the union, and lincoln, all year.
"in camp.
near atlanta.
"dear companion, "i seat myself one time more in life "to drop you a few lines.
"i am wore out marching.
"we have been running from one place to another "for 5 days.
i must close, for it is a very bad place to write.
" benjamin franklin jackson.
back in alabama, benjamin franklin jackson's wife martha awoke with a start.
a mourning dove was sitting on her windowsill.
she took it as a sign her husband had been killed and began to weep silently so that her family would not hear her grief and think her superstitious.
her husbandhadbeen fatally wounded that morning in battle with sherman's men.
[cannon fire] "mine eyes have beheld the promised land.
"the domes and spires of atlanta are glittering "in the sunlight before us and only 8 miles distant.
" finally, sherman was at atlanta.
for more than two months, confederate general joseph johnston had kept his army intact, dodging sherman's superior force and looking for the right moment to attack.
the opportunity never came.
an increasingly frustrated jefferson davis now removed the popular johnston.
his troops were stunned.
"the news came like a flash of lightning, "staggering and blinding everyone.
"farewell, old fellow! we privates loved you because you made us love ourselves.
" sam watkins.
joseph johnston's replacement was 33-year-old john bell hood of texas.
his arm had been mangled at gettysburg, and he'd lost a leg at chickamauga, but his recklessness remained intact.
his men called him "old wooden head.
" "hood is a bold fighter.
i am doubtful as to other qualities necessary.
" robert e.
lee.
sherman was delighted with hood, sure he would be attacked at last.
many of his units were now armed with henry repeating rifles, capable of firing 15 shots without being reloaded.
outgunned rebels complained the yankees could now load on a sunday and keep shooting all week.
to cut off atlanta's rail links with richmond, sherman sent 35-year-old general james mcpherson's army east of the city.
mcpherson was a special favorite of sherman's-- handsome, warm-hearted, intelligent.
"if he lives," sherman predicted, "he'll outdistance grant and myself.
" northern papers cheered the union advance and daily predicted atlanta's fall.
but on july 22nd, hood rushed to counter the new union threat.
the battle of atlanta had begun.
[bugle plays] it raged all afternoon, the lines forming, falling back, reforming, attacking again.
at 2:00, general mcpherson himself went to inspect the imperiled union position and rode right into a band of rebel skirmishers.
ordered to surrender, mcpherson raised his hat politely, turned his horse about, and raced for the union lines.
[gunshots] the rebels shot him in the back.
sherman covered the body of his young friend with an american flag and wept.
"sherman had the rare faculty "of remaining calm under great responsibilities "and scenes of great excitement.
"at such times, his eccentricities disappeared.
"his mind seemed never so clear, his confidence never so strong, "his spirit never so inspiring "in the crisis of some fierce struggle, "like that of the day when mcpherson fell in front of atlanta.
" general jacob d.
cox.
[cannon fire] crying "mcpherson and revenge, boys, mcpherson and revenge," the union army smashed down on the rebels.
in less than 30 minutes, hood was forced to withdraw.
at ezra church, west of the city, hood again tried to rout sherman's army.
again he failed.
1/3 of his army was gone-- 20,000 men, and hood fell back into atlanta.
"i cannot describe it.
"i remember i went in the rear of the building, "and there i saw a pile of arms and legs "rotting and decomposing.
"i have no recollection in my whole life of ever seeing anything that i remember with more horror.
" sam watkins.
behind their ramparts, the confederates waited for sherman to attack.
"the yankee gents can't get their men to charge our works," a texan said, but sherman saw no need to be so rash.
he sealed off the city's supplies and waited.
[cannon fire] federal guns began shelling the heavily fortified confederate trenches and the city beyond.
"saturday, august 21st.
"another week of anxiety and suspense has passed, "and the fate of atlanta is still undecided.
"it is said that about 20 lives had been destroyed "by these terrible missiles "since the enemy began to throw them into the city.
"it is like living in the midst of a pestilence.
no one can tell, but he may be the next victim.
" outside atlanta, things were no better.
"the enemy hold us by an inferior force," sherman admitted as the siege dragged on.
"we are more besieged than they.
" "both grant and sherman," george templeton strong predicted from new york, "are on the eve of disaster.
" [cornet playing] south of the city every evening for a month during the siege, a georgia sharpshooter played his cornet so beautifully that men on both sides stopped to listen.
finally, on august 31st, george mcclellan was nominated for president, sherman hurled most of his army against the macon & western railroad in one more attempt to break hood's grip.
it worked.
on september 1, 1864, hood abandoned atlanta.
sherman's troops marched in the next day.
"atlanta is ours and fairly won.
" "september 3, 1864.
"glorious news this morning-- atlanta taken at last.
"it is, coming at this political crisis, the greatest event of the war.
" george templeton strong.
"dear general sherman, "i feel you have accomplished the most gigantic undertaking "given to any general in this war "and with a skill and ability "that will be acknowledged in history as unsurpassed, if not unequalled.
" u.
s.
grant.
in sherman's honor, grant ordered a 100-gun salute fired into the confederate works at petersburg.
[gunfire] "atlanta is gone.
"that agony is over.
there is no hope, but we will try to have no fear.
" mary chesnut.
to avenge sherman's victories in georgia, 6 confederate agents slipped into new york city armed with phosphorous, intent upon burning down the city's most fashionable hotels.
they managed to light 10 fires and set p.
t.
barnum's museum ablaze.
firemen put everything out.
all but one of the confederates got away.
"the people of the north can't be rolling in wealth and comfort," the captured man said before he was hanged, "while we at the south are bearing all the hardship and privations.
" from the front, on his wedding anniversary, robert e.
lee wrote home to his wife in richmond.
"dear mary, "do you recollect what a happy day "33 years ago this was? "how many hopes and pleasures it gave birth to? "god has been very merciful and kind to us, "and how thankless and sinful i have been.
"i pray that he may continue his mercies and blessings to us "and give us a little peace and rest together in this world.
" "that man haupt "has built a bridge across the potomac creek "about 400 feet long and nearly 100 feet tall "over which loaded trains are running every hour, and there is nothing in it but beanpoles and cornstalks.
" abraham lincoln.
near petersburg, the union camp at city point on the james river suddenly found itself one of the world's busiest seaports, with bakeries, barracks, warehouses, a 200-acre tent hospital, more than a mile of wharves, and a new 70-mile railroad built by herman haupt in record time to bring supplies and fresh troops right up to the union trenches.
"not merely profusion but extravagance," a visitor wrote, "soldiers provided with everything.
" an industrial machine of unparalleled power now kept the war supplies streaming to the front.
in cleveland, ohio, when the war began, when the war ended, there were 21, employing 3,000 men and turning out 60,000 tons of steel a year.
by then, the cold spring foundry opposite west point on the hudson was producing 7,000 artillery projectiles a week and the military telegraph system was carrying over 3,300 messages a day along 15,000 miles of wire.
"the world has seen its iron age, "its silver age, its golden age, "and its bronze age.
this is the age of shoddy.
" for shrewd northern businessmen, there were quick profits in army contracts.
philip armour gave up gold mining to strike it rich packing pork for the army.
samuel colt of hartford told his men to "run the armory night and day with double sets of hands.
" jay cooke sold war bonds, raised more than $400 million for the union, and got rich on the commissions.
unscrupulous contractors sold the war department rusty rifles, boats that leaked, caps that melted in the rain.
when one manufacturer was asked why the soles of the shoes he supplied fell off after a few minutes' marching, he explained they had been meant for the cavalry.
"you can sell almost anything to the government at almost any price you've got the guts to ask.
" i think that the north fought that war with one hand behind its back.
at the same time the war was going on, the homestead act was being passed.
all these marvelous inventions were going on.
in the spring of '64, the harvard-yale boat races were going on, and not a man in either crew ever volunteered for the army or the navy.
they didn't need them.
i think that if it had been more southern successes the north simply would have brought that other arm out from behind its back.
i don't think the south ever had a chance to win that war.
out west, bloody bill anderson, a confederate guerrilla who rode with union scalps tied to his bridle, led 30 men into centralia, missouri, killed 24 unarmed federal soldiers, then ambushed 116 more.
on october 26th, anderson himself was ambushed and killed, but one of his close lieutenants, jesse james, got away.
nathan bedford forrest's men surrounded fort pillow, held by a unit of tennessee unionists and black troops, and demanded its surrender.
when the union commander refused, the fort was overrun.
as many as 300 soldiers, most of them black, were killed, many after they surrendered.
"it is hoped that these facts will demonstrate "to the northern people that negro soldiers cannot cope with southerners.
" nathan bedford forrest.
"i said,don't shoot me, "and one of them said, go out and hold my horse.
"i made a step or two, and he said, "turn around.
i will hold my horse and shoot you, too.
i no sooner turned around than he shot me in the face.
" [gunshot] "i fell down as if i was dead.
he shot me again and hit my arm, not my head.
" [gunshot] "i laid there until i could hear him no more, "and then i started back.
"i got back about sunup "and wandered about until a gunboat came along, and i came up on that with about 10 others.
" private george shaw, company b, 6th u.
s.
heavy artillery.
in retaliation for fort pillow, grant ended the system under which prisoners had always been exchanged until the south agreed to recognize "no distinction whatever between white and colored prisoners.
" davis and lee refused.
north and south, prisons soon bulged with unexchanged prisoners.
already inadequate prison camps became nightmares.
the worst was the confederate prison near andersonville, georgia.
meant to hold a maximum of 10,000 northern prisoners, by august 1864, it had 33,000-- the fifth largest city in the confederacy.
its commandant, a german-swiss immigrant named henry wirz, forbade prisoners to build shelters.
most lived in holes scratched in the ground covered by a blanket.
the daily ration was a teaspoon of salt, 3 tablespoons of beans, and half a pint of cornmeal.
a foul creek called sweet water branch served as both drinking water and sewer.
"1/3 of the original enclosure was swampy, "a mud of liquid filth, voidings from the thousands, "seething with maggots in full activity.
"death at the hand of the guards, "though murder in cold blood, was merciful "beside the systematic, studied, absolute murder inside by slow death.
" in one year, 13,000 men died at andersonville and were buried in mass graves.
"can those be men? "are they not really corpses? "they lay there, most of them, quite still, "but with a horrible look in their eyes.
"the dead there are not to be pitied "as much as some of the living that have come from there-- if they can be called living.
" walt whitman.
"when i was taken prisoner, i weighed 165 pounds, "and when i came out, i weighed 96 pounds and was considered stout compared withsomei saw.
" "my heart aches for these poor wretches, "yankees though they are, "and i am afraid god will suffer some terrible retribution "to fall upon us for letting such things happen.
"if the yankees should ever come to southwest georgia "and go to anderson and see the graves there, god have mercy on the land!" with sherman's victory at atlanta, lincoln's chances of re-election were improving.
and now came more bad news for the confederacy.
phil sheridan and 45,000 men were on the loose in the shenandoah.
"the whole country "from the blue ridge to the north mountains "has been made untenable for a rebel army.
"i have destroyed over 2,000 barns "filled with wheat, hay, and farming implements "and over 70 mills.
"tomorrow i will continue the destruction.
"when this is completed, "the valley will have but little in it for man or beast.
" general phil sheridan.
he was sent there to clear it out once and for all.
his instructions were to strip it so clean that a crow flying across it would have to carry his own provender, and he came close to doing it.
no union officer was fonder of fighting than sheridan.
none, save sherman, was so relentless.
his orders were to follow jubal early "to the death.
" before dawn on october 18th, jubal early tried one last time to destroy sheridan's army by attacking at cedar creek, while sheridan himself was asleep at winchester 20 miles away.
at first it seemed early had succeeded.
union forces were driven from their camps.
sheridan mounted his great black horse rienzi and galloped through his retreating men, urging them to turn back.
they stopped and began to chant his name.
"god damn you!" sheridan shouted.
"don't cheer me.
fight!" the union lines reformed and won back the field.
[cannon fire] early fled, and the shenandoah was closed forever to the confederacy.
"general sheridan, when this particular war began, "i thought a cavalryman should be at least 6'4" high, "but i have changed my mind.
5'4" will do in a pinch.
" abraham lincoln.
at petersburg, grant fired a second 100-gun volley into the enemy works.
[gunfire] "dear nat, i think well of the president.
"he has a face like a hoosier michelangelo, "so awful ugly it becomes beautiful, "with its strange mouth, its deep-cut, crisscross lines, "and its doughnut complexion.
"i do not dwell on the supposed failures "of his government.
"he has shown an almost supernatural tact "in keeping the ship afloat at all.
i more and more rely upon his idiomatic western genius.
" walt whitman.
[star-spangled bannerplays] harper's weekly.
"abraham lincoln "and andrew johnson "have been elected by enormous "and universal majorities "in almost all the states.
"this result is the proclamation of the american people "that they are not conquered.
"this is what they confirm "by the re-election of mr.
lincoln.
"in himself, he is unimportant, "but as the representative "of the feeling and purpose of the american people, he is the most important fact in the world.
" "i give thanks to the almighty "for this evidence of the people's resolution.
"this contest has demonstrated to the world "that a people's government can sustain a national election in the midst of a great civil war.
" sherman's and sheridan's victories had changed the odds.
lincoln carried 55% of the popular vote.
only 3 states--kentucky, delaware, and new jersey-- went to george mcclellan.
virtually all of the general's old command, the union army of the potomac, voted for abraham lincoln.
"that grand old army performed many heroic acts, "but never in its history did it do a more devoted service than vote for abraham lincoln.
" "not the fall of richmond, nor wilmington, "nor charleston, nor savannah, nor mobile, "nor all combined can save the enemy "from the constant and exhaustive drain "of blood and treasure which must continue "until he shall discover that no peace is attainable unless based on the recognition of our indefeasible rights.
" president jefferson davis.
if it hadn't begun before, the lost cause was born with his words.
as davis spoke at richmond, his audience could hear grant's guns at petersburg, just 20 miles away.
more and more, it was becoming a confederacy of the mind.
it was a realization that defeat was foreordained.
miss chesnut, for instance, said, "it's like in a greek tragedy, "where you know what the outcome is bound to be, and we're living a greek tragedy.
" and things began to close in on them more and more.
there was scarcely a family that hadn't lost someone.
there were-- disruption of society.
the blockade was working.
they couldn't get very simple things like needles to sew with-- very simple things.
and the discouragement began to settle in more and more with the realization that they were not going to win that war.
their political leaders did everything they could, especially jefferson davis, to assure them that this was the second american revolution, and if they would stand fast, they way their forefathers had, victory was unquestionably gonna come, but the realization came more and more that it was not gonna come, especially that they were not gonna get foreign recognition, without which we wouldn't have won the first revolution, and all those things closed in on them.
in the north, the reservoir of men seemed bottomless.
whole units, like the 3rd massachusetts volunteers, had still never heard a shot fired in anger.
lincoln now issued a proclamation making the last thursday in november a national day of thanksgiving.
in the trenches at petersburg, 120,000 turkey and chicken dinners were served to grant's huge army.
only yards away, the confederates had no feast, but held their fire all day out of respect for the union holiday.
lincoln called for more men to finish the war.
the south had no more men to spare.
and william tecumseh sherman had begun his march to the sea.
"we lay in grim repose "and expected the renewal of the mortal conflict.
"the conviction everywhere prevailed captain james f.
j.
caldwell.
on the night of november 25th at the winter garden theater on broadway, shakespeare's julius caesaropened.
3 brothers had the starring roles-- edwin, junius, and john wilkes booth.
at one point in shakespeare's play, cassius speaks of the assassination of caesar.
"how many ages hence "shall this our lofty scene be acted over, in states unborn and accents yet unknown?" "captain clapp, 77th new york.
wounded at petersburg.
" "captain smith, 77th new york.
wounded at wilderness.
" "captain taylor, 61st pennsylvania.
wounded at spotsylvania.
" "captain orr, 77th new york.
lost arm at cedar creek.
" "captain defoe.
eye shot out at spotsylvania.
" "major ellis, 49th new york.
died of wound at spotsylvania.
" "captain hickmott, 49th new york.
killed at wilderness.
" "lieutenant lyon, 77th new york.
killed at spotsylvania.
" "lieutenant belding, 77th new york.
killed at cedar creek.
" "union officers.
all killed in battle.
" "it really looks as if it would never end.
" "the most inspiring sight "is the flock of buzzards constantly hovering over us "and waiting for their feast.
"those birds are at least impartial because they eat both sides alike.
" "the same, i suppose, is true of worms.
" washington roebling.
by the spring of 1864, union dead completely filled the military cemeteries of washington and alexandria.
secretary of war stanton ordered the quartermaster general, montgomery meigs, to choose a new site.
meigs was a georgian who had served under lee in the peacetime army, but he had developed an intense hatred for all his fellow southerners who fought against the union he still served.
without hesitation, he picked the grounds of robert e.
lee's home at arlington for the new army cemetery, and ordered that the union dead be laid to rest within a few feet of the front door of the man he blamed for their deaths so that no one could ever again live in the house.
in october, meigs' own son john was killed by confederate guerrillas in the shenandoah and buried in mrs.
lee's rose garden.
at one point that year, the union army was sending back 2,000 wounded, maimed, and dying men a week to washington.
now the men grant was sending to fight robert e.
lee were being buried in lee's own front yard.
and that yard became arlington national cemetery, the union's most hallowed ground.