Question of the Week: 3/16-3/22/2020

As the Civil War campaigns and situation pointed toward an ending to the conflict in 1865, what was the key moment in March of that year?

8 Responses to Question of the Week: 3/16-3/22/2020

  1. I would have to pick two, with the battles of Fort Stedman and Bentonville. The two battles would have indicated to Lee and Johnston respectively their inability to continue any real offensive operations.

  2. I agree with Eric. Not only did the failed Ft. Stedman attack represent Lee’s last realistic chance to launch an offensive attack, but 6th Corps Union troops were able to capture Confederate skirmish lines that day from which they would launch the April 2nd breakthrough attack.

  3. The complete collapse of the CSA’s infrastructure and resulting high desertion rate are factors worth mentioning.

  4. I will echo the suggestion of Fort Stedman—not only did it cost Lee men that he could not afford to lose, but it enabled Grant to close up on his lines so that the assault one week later almost could not fail.

  5. I’ll go with the series of movements, battles, and skirmishes that resulted in the battle of Dinwiddie Courthouse. While DCH is often described as a Confederate victory, it was somewhat of a Pyrrhic one. Those actions represented the last offensive attempts of any kind by RE Lee’s army, and it set the stage for the Battle of Five Forks. Those Union actions in the last week of March 1865 contributed significantly to what is known as ‘the Appomattox Campaign’.

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