1864

January 19

Arkansas, a Union slave state, adopts a new antislavery constitution

February 3–14

General William Tecumseh Sherman captures Meridian, Mississippi, and begins his policy of “total warfare,” destroying anything that could be used to aid the Confederacy

March 10

Grant is named commander of all the Union armies

April 12

Confederate soldiers under General Nathan Bedford Forrest capture Fort Pillow in Tennessee and slaughter hundreds of black soldiers in the aftermath

May 3

Grant, commanding 120,000 troops, begins his campaign to take the Confederate capital of Richmond

May 4

Sherman begins his march toward Atlanta with an army of 110,000 men

May 5–6

The Battle of the Wilderness ends in a draw between Grant and Lee

May 8–12

The Battle of Spotsylvania, Virginia, ends in a draw

May 15

General Jubal Early puts the brakes on a Union offensive by defeating Federal troops entering the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia

June 1–3

The Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia, results in a victory for Lee

June 7

The Republican Party nominates Lincoln for a second term as president despite growing public dissatisfaction with the way Lincoln has handled the war

June 15–18

Grant assaults Petersburg, Virginia, but is repelled by Lee; Grant lays siege to the city

June 27

The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia, results in a Confederate victory over Sherman

July 14

General Early reaches the outskirts of Washington, D.C.; Early withdraws from the region when the Washington garrison receives reinforcements.

July 17

Jefferson Davis replaces Joseph Johnston who, with John B. Hood, was attempting to halt Sherman's assault on Atlanta

July 20–28

Hood attempts a direct assault on Sherman's army, resulting in high casualties

August 5

Mobile, Alabama, falls to Union admiral David Farragut, after the Battle of Mobile Bay

September 2

Sherman captures Atlanta

September 19–October 19

Union general Philip Sheridan drives Early from Virginia's Shenandoah Valley

October 13

Maryland adopts a new state constitution that abolishes slavery

October 23

30,000 men are engaged in the Battle of Westport, the greatest battle in Missouri; it is a Confederate defeat

October 25

Union cavalry defeat a Confederate force in Kansas during the Battle of Mine Creek

October 31

Nevada is admitted to the Union as the thirty-sixth state

November 8

Lincoln, buoyed by recent Union victories, is elected to a second term as president

November 16

Sherman begins his March to the Sea

November 30

The Battle of Franklin, Tennessee, proves a costly victory for Hood's Army of the Tennessee

December 15–17

The Battle of Nashville gives General George Thomas a solid Union victory

December 22

Sherman marches unopposed into Savannah, Georgia

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