AFTER Chancellorsville the South thought that all was won, and a movement was set on foot to attack
Washington. Lee marched north with an army that, though only half fed, was full of enthusiasm, and
on July 1 took up his position at Gettysburg, where he was faced by the Federal army under General
Meade. The battle lasted three days, and the slaughter was terrific; in spite of the desperate
determination of the Confederates, the day ended in a victory for the Union.
Lee was driven back, and forced to retreat into Virginia. The invasion was at an end. The victory,
though brilliant, was not followed up, perhaps because of the heavy losses of the Union army; but it
was the turning-point of the war. Washington was never again in such danger; the
Confede-  rates had lost the one great opportunity of attack since Bull Run.
Deep national thankfulness was felt at this, the first great victory for the North. The battle-field
was only a few miles from the capital, and many of the citizens and the most prominent men of the
town assembled to perform a service for the dead who had fallen there. Lincoln was called upon to
speak. He had not prepared anything, but the short speech which he gave made a deep impression upon
all who heard it, and puts into very noble words the thoughts that were always present to his mind.
"Fourscore and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth a new nation upon this continent,
conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are
engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so
dedicated, can long endure. We meet to dedicate a portion of it as a final resting-place of those
who here gave their lives that the nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we
should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow
 The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our power to add
or detract. The world will take little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never
forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished
work that they have thus far so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be dedicated here to the
great task remaining before us: that from these honoured dead we take increased devotion for the
cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that
these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall, under God, have a new birth of
freedom, and that the government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish
from the earth."
In words like these, Lincoln inspired the people of the North to see the greatness of the cause for
which they were fighting; they were fighting for liberty, for a free government of free men, for a
United America that might be to the world a pattern of such a free government. If the South won, if
America were a house divided for ever against itself, one half would have slavery; if
 the North won, and America were a whole again, slavery was gone; the Declaration of Independence,
proclaiming the equal rights of all men to life and liberty, would be for the first time fully
And encouragement came at last. On the Fourth of July, on Independence Day, Grant telegraphed to
Lincoln the news of the capture of Vicksburg. In the beginning of May Grant had defeated Pemberton,
the Confederate general, and shut him up in the town with his great army. After an unsuccessful
assault in the end of May, he sat down patiently before the town, prepared to wear out its
resistance. After great sufferings, the famishing garrison surrendered; Pemberton and 30,000 men,
whom the South could but ill spare, were prisoners of war. Hundreds of cannon and thousands of
muskets fell into the victor's hands. Vicksburg was a position of importance, the key to the
Mississippi. Lincoln could now say, "The Father of Waters again goes unvexed to the sea."
The joy in the North over these two victories was intense. The drooping spirits began to rise again;
and as things went
 better, men turned with new confidence to the patient man whose courage had never failed him. With
renewed spirit the North set itself to the great task before it.
Lincoln now had men who were able to carry out great designs. By the end of 1863 things looked
hopeful. The army had a nucleus of veterans who had received the best possible training, and a set
of generals whose positions had been won not by political influence, but by hard work. Grant,
Sherman, and Sheridan were men of ability, experience, and power.
LINCOLN DISCUSSING THE PLAN OF CAMPAIGN WITH GENERAL GRANT.
The plan of campaign for 1864, drawn up, under Lincoln's advice, by Grant and Sherman, was masterly;
carried out magnificently, it led to the complete triumph of the North. It was the complete
development of Lincoln's earlier plans. Grant, with the army of the west, was to face Lee in
Virginia and drive him south; finally, to capture Richmond, the Confederate head-quarters, and force
Lee to yield. Sherman, marching south and east, was to carry the war into the heart of the
Confederacy; to follow General Johnson, push him to the sea, and capture him. "We intend," said
Sherman, "to fight Joseph Johnson till he is
 satisfied." Then Sherman, marching north, was to co-operate with Grant by cutting off Lee's retreat.
Meantime Sheridan was to deal with General Early in the Shenandoah Valley, west and south of
By May 1864 Grant crossed the Potomac and entered the wild district, full of hills and woods and
undergrowth, known as the Wilderness, where the Union armies had suffered so many defeats. Grant saw
that the only thing was to wear the Southern army out by hard fighting; and he fought hard all
summer. He lost some thirty thousand men in the Wilderness. His policy was to bear so continuously
on the enemy that they, having fewer men, and less possibility of recruiting, must be worn out.
Slowly, with an immense loss of life on both sides, Grant forced Lee south.
Sherman meantime was fighting his way to Georgia. His task was as difficult as Grant's. The country
was wild, and well adapted for concealing the enemy. It was impossible for him to communicate with
the rest of the army.
After an expedition into Alabama, Sherman started on his "March to the Sea." Johnson disputed every
inch of, the way.
 There was incessant skirmishing, but Sherman advanced step by step.
While Sherman and Grant were thus slowly wearing down the resistance of the enemy, the Unionists
were once more encouraged by a brilliant naval success. In August Farragut came victorious out of a
terrific fight in Mobile Bay. Entering the harbour in spite of the line of mines, he "plucked
victory out of the very jaws of defeat."
Sherman was now besieging Atlanta, which he captured on September 1. About the same date Sheridan
defeated Early at Winchester in the Shenandoah Valley.
These successes decided the presidential election. Lincoln had been unanimously nominated as the
Republican candidate, "not," as he said, "because they have decided I am the greatest or best man in
America, but rather they have concluded that it is not wise to swap horses while crossing a river,
and have further concluded that I am not so poor a horse that they might not make a botch of it in
trying to swap." Against him the Democratic party, whose main principle was opposition to the war,
supported ex-General M'Clellan,
de-  claring "the war is a failure." The Democrats found their main supporters among those (and they were
fairly numerous) who disliked Lincoln's Emancipation proclamation.
Lincoln made no efforts to secure his re-election. He had been before the nation as President for
four years: his policy was tried, his opinions known. Even M'Clellan did not dare to propose to
abandon the Union. On that point the North was now united, and that being so the successes of
September made Lincoln's re-election practically certain. Out of 233 electoral votes Lincoln
received 212; he had a majority in every free State save one. The election was a complete triumph
for the President.
The noble words of the address which he delivered on taking up his duties for a second time mark the
spirit in which he celebrated that triumph. "With malice toward none; with charity for all; with
firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are
in: to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his
widow and his orphan—to do all that may achieve
 and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."
On November 16 Sherman marched on by Atlanta. By December he had reached Savannah and began to
bombard the city. It surrendered on December 21, and Sherman wrote to Lincoln: "I beg to present to
you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah." Leaving Savannah early in the New Year, 1865, the
army marched, ravaging, through South Carolina. Columbia was burned and Charleston captured. By
March, Sherman was in North Carolina and in communication with Grant. The net was ready to be drawn
round the Confederate army.
Grant meantime was bearing steadily on. The losses of the Union armies were enormous, and made the
President's tender heart bleed. Grant began to be hampered by the inferior quality of his troops,
and during the summer months matters seemed to be going ill with the North. In September, however,
Sheridan inflicted a series of defeats upon Early in the Shenandoah Valley, and on October 18
vanquished him decisively at Cedar Creek.
The remaining Confederate army, under
 Hood, was defeated at Nashville in the West, and now Lee's was the only army in the field. The
Confederacy was "surrounded by a band of fire." The sea was in the hands of the Union; the
Mississippi shut off any help from the coast. Sherman had harried Georgia and Carolina, destroying
their supplies; Sheridan had raided Virginia; Grant was at the gates of Richmond.
Through the whole summer of 1864 and the winter of 1865 Grant besieged Richmond. There were
indecisive engagements, but the armies did no more than "feel" each other. With the spring, however,
Grant took the offensive again. On March 31 Sheridan gained a brilliant victory at Five Forks, and
this enabled Grant to break Lee's lines. On April 3 the Stars and Stripes floated over Richmond. On
April 9 Lee and his army surrendered to Grant at Appomatox.
The war was at an end.
Lincoln had been with Grant's army during the closing days of March; he entered Richmond on April 3.
Everywhere the negroes saluted him as their liberator, kneeling on the ground before him and
clasping his knees: "May de Lawd bress and keep you, Massa Presidum Linkum."