After the fall of Atlanta, which had contributed to Lincoln's
victory, Sherman's troops made their destructive march through Georgia. Hood had
failed to draw Sherman back by invading Union-held Tennessee, and after the
battle of Franklin (Nov. 30) Hood's army was almost completely annihilated by
Thomas at Nashville (Dec. 15-16, 1864). Sherman presented Lincoln with the
Christmas gift of Savannah, Ga., and then moved north through the Carolinas.
Farragut's victory at Mobile Bay (Aug. 5, 1864) had effectively closed that
port, and on Jan. 15, 1865, Wilmington, N.C., was also cut off (see Fort Fisher
After Sheridan's victory at Five Forks (Apr. 1), the Petersburg lines were breached and the Confederates evacuated Richmond (Apr. 3). With his retreat blocked by Sheridan, Lee, wisely giving up the futile contest, surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse (see under Appomattox ) on Apr. 9, 1865. The surviving Confederate armies also yielded when they heard of Lee's capitulation, thus ending the conflict that resulted in over 600,000 casualties.
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