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Abstract

This article argues that the Confederacy in the American Civil War had one final chance to achieve a negotiated peace. This chance was in the summer of 1864. The North had an overwhelming logistical and strategic advantage over the Confederacy. However, this great advantage only mattered if the Northern populace realized that they were effectively winning the war. The North was growing tired of the war, and it was possible that the Confederacy might hold out long enough to negotiate peace. Ultimately this chance was undone by political infighting and Jefferson Davis replacing General Joseph E. Johnston with a less suitable commander. The result was that the Confederacy was forced into a series of battles that resulted in decisive victories for the North. These victories, in turn, secured Lincoln’s re-election and guaranteed that the war would continue with a Union victory.

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