Prelude to the Final Campaign in Virginia: March 1865

“I now feel like ending the matter.” –Ulysses S. Grant

Both Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant waited anxiously for spring in 1865, and for the same reason. Warmer weather meant dry roads, and dry roads meant armies could move quickly again. Lee knew that with the advent of spring he would have to evacuate his lines of fortifications defending Richmond and Petersburg, abandoning the Confederate capital to the Yankees, and seek a battle of decision elsewhere. Grant knew this as well, and he wanted to make sure that Lee did not elude his grasp.

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