Synopsis by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
By the summer of 1864, the Union faced its darkest hour. Although its troops and resources far outnumbered those of the South, campaigns against Petersburg and Atlanta were bogged down. Northern protesters complained about Grant's massive losses and General George McClellan, once commander of the Union army, was nominated as the Democratic presidential candidate. Without a decisive victory, Republican Lincoln believed he would lose the election. The life of a soldier, meanwhile, continued as before. In lulls between battles, soldiers played cards and baseball; they gambled on cock fights and boxing matches; and they drank and visited houses of prostitution. Men continued to enlist and re-enlist, and during the summer, Congress passed legislation to give equal pay to African-American soldiers. Imprisoned soldiers faced severe conditions, none worse than those held at Andersonville prison in Georgia. The stalemate of the war ended on August 31 when Sherman successfully hurled his army against John Bell Hood's forces: on September 1, Union troops marched into Atlanta. This victory helped to assure Lincoln's re-election against McClellan in the fall.
war, battle [war], Confederate, slavery, soldier, Union-Army, victory, Civil-War [US]