Saturday, October 9, 2010
The Most Politically Important Events of the War.
At one point, widespread war-weariness in the North made a victory for Lincoln seem doubtful. However, Sherman's victory in Atlanta followed by the infamous march to the sea boosted Lincoln's popularity and helped him win re-election by a wide margin.
In the course of the march to the sea, Sherman cut himself off from his source of supplies, planning for his troops to live off the land. His dual forces cut a wide path as they passed through Georgia, destroying factories, bridges, railroads, and public buildings.
The fact that a Northern Force was able to move freely through the heart of the Confederacy was demoralizing in itself. This use of “total war” was totally demoralizing to the Confederates. As word of the march got around, the Confederates fearing for the safety of their homes and families abandoned the war effort in droves. The march to the sea was the final stage in the plan to cut off the Confederacy and deliver a blow to her heart. The march to the sea was the blow to the heart—at Appomattox soon after, the heart would stop beating.