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 Posted: Sat May 7th, 2011 01:07 am
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Texas Defender
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BHR62 and Mark-

  Since opinions are being expressed here about what caused the demise of the Confederacy, I'll put forth a different one.

  First of all, the Confederacy did not have to achieve a victory over the north in order to achieve its objectives. It only had to survive. A draw was as good as a win.

  In my view, the arrival of General Grant in the east by itself did not mean that the Confederacy was doomed. In fact, I believe that there was hope for the Confederacy to survive until November of 1864, when Mr. Lincoln was re-elected.

  Mr. Lincoln did not think he would be re-elected in the summer before the election. I believe that he won because the northern public was energized by General Sherman's capture of Atlanta. The re-election of Mr. Lincoln showed that the northern people were determined to finish the thing, whatever the cost. At that point, the Confederacy was doomed.

  One may quibble and say that Sherman was able to make the March because he convinced Grant that he could do it, and Lincoln went along with what was then thought to be a risky scheme. So in that way, Grant could be given some credit for backing Sherman. But it was the March that ensured Mr. Lincoln's re-election, and that signalled the end. I believe that without the March, Lincoln could well have lost the election, and the war might very well have ended differently. But we are dealing with: "What ifs" here, and not facts, so opinions are all that we have.

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