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The American Civil War
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But Sherman's force pushed on and finally met up with Schofield in Goldsboro on March 23rd.
THE END IS PLANNED
Sherman immediately left Goldsboro to travel up to City Point and meet Grant to discuss plans of attack. When he arrived there, he found not only Grant, but also Admiral David Porter waiting to meet with President Lincoln. So on the morning of the March 28th, General Grant, General Sherman, and Admiral Porter all met with Lincoln on the river boat "River Queen" to discuss a strategy against General Lee and General Johnston of the Confederate Army. Several times Lincoln asked "can't this last battle be avoided?" (Angle and Miers, Tragic Years, II) but both Generals expected the Rebels (Rebs or Rebels were a name given to Confederate soldiers) to put up at least one more fight. It had to be decided how to handle the Rebels in regard to the upcoming surrender (all were sure of a surrender). Lincoln made his intentions very clear: "I am full of the bloodshed. You need to defeat the opposing armies and get the men composing those armies back to their homes to work on their farms and in their shops." (Sherman, William T., Memoirs of General William T. Sherman. Westport, Conn.:Greenwood Press, 1972) The meeting lasted for a number of hours and near its end, Lincoln made his orders clear: "Let them once surrender and reach their homes, they won't take up arms again. They will at once be guaranteed all their rights as citizens of a common country. I want no one punished, treat them liberally all around. We want those people to return to their allegiance to the Union and submit to the laws." (Porter, David D., Campaigning with Grant. New York: The Century Co., 1897) Well with all of the formalities outlined, the Generals and Admiral knew what needed to be done. Sherman returned to Goldsboro by steamer; Grant and Porter left by train back north. Sherman's course would be to continue north with Schofield's men and meet Grant in Richmond. However, this would never happen as Lee would surrender to Grant before Sherman could ever get
THE PUSH FOR THE END
General Grant returned back to his troops who were in the process of besieging Petersburg and Richmond. These battles had been going on for months. On March 24, before the meeting with President Lincoln, Grant drew up a new plan for a flanking movement against the Confederates right below Petersburg. It would be the first large scale operation to take place this year and would begin five days later. Two days after Grant made preparations to move again, Lee had already assessed the situation and informed President Davis that Richmond and Petersburg were doomed.