By John F. Grabowski
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Extra resources for Abraham Lincoln: Civil War President (Famous Figures of the Civil War Era)
Lee decided that the time was right for another assault on the North. Perhaps a major city like Baltimore could be eventually be captured. As Lee continued moving north, Abe put General George G. Meade in charge of Union forces. On July 1, 1863, the two sides met on the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It was the turning point of the entire war. July 3 was the worst day of fighting. Fourteen thousand men under Southern General George Pickett advanced against the center of the Union troops.
It was being fought, he said, to preserve the nation that had been created in 1776. The government was based on certain ideas and principles. A main one was that all men had the right to freedom. The war was a test to see if that kind of government could survive. ” In the meantime, Union forces had been making progress on the Western front. Troops led by Ulysses S. Grant won significant victories, including an important one at Vicksburg, Mississippi. The victory gave the North complete control of the Mississippi River.
It had the effect of splitting the Confederacy in two. Abe was becoming more impressed with Grant’s leadership. In March of 1864, he made Grant general in chief of all Union armies. 61 62 ABRAHAM LINCOLN Together, the two men worked on a plan to bring an end to the conflict. The “Grand Plan” called for putting pressure on the two major Confederate armies. If necessary, the Union army would attack them throughout the entire summer. It was decided that Grant would lead his troops to Virginia. He would try to push Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia back toward the Southern capital of Richmond.