The Confederacy had constructed itself into a credible nation. The armies it had raised had repulsed large Federal forces, but few could doubt that the full power of the North had yet been organized to move against Southern armies and Southern territories. Northerners hoped a Federal general would emerge to crack Southern military skills. That man turned out to be Ulysses S. Grant. In the first part of the year, another military star began to shine very brightly as well: Robert E. Lee.