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HOME > Biographical > The Life of Abraham Lincoln > CHAPTER XIII.
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Grant for his great work in the West was made Lieu-ten-ant Gen-er-al, and put in charge of all the for-ces of the Un-ion. He came East, and took the Ar-my of the Po-to-mac in-to his strong safe hands, and Pres-i-dent Lin-coln saw that he would fight to the end.
Then the Ar-my of the Po-to-mac un-der Grant and Meade made a move to-ward Rich-mond. It met Lee in dense woods known as “The Wil-der-ness,” and there, and in and a-bout Spott-syl-va-ni-a Court House, fought for 16 days. The Un-ion ar-my lost 37,000 men. Lee, who led the foe, lost vast hordes, still he would not give up. Grant saw that he must get near-er to Rich-mond and this he did in a qui-et way by send-ing off a part of his ar-my from his right and march-ing it a-round to the rear of his oth-er troops. Then he pushed it as far a-head as he could on his left. Though “out-flanked,” Lee would fall back in time to be a-gain twixt Grant’s troops and Rich-mond. With troops so well matched it was hard for ei-ther to win.
On June 3, 1864, Grant and his men were so near Rich-mond, at a place called Cold Har-bor, that the Un-ion for-ces made a strike at the works of the foe a-long the whole line. In one hours’ time near 6,000 Un-ion men met death.
When ten days had gone by a quick march to the left was made by Grant’s ar-my and they all got a-cross the James Riv-er. They tried to take Pe-ters-burg so that they could cut off one source of the stores sent to the foe, but they found the works too strong to be seized by storm. Then the Un-ion troops built trench-es close up to the foe’s works and staid there nine months.
On the 21st of June, Pres-i-dent Lin-coln rode out to the front. On his way back he had to pass some black troops who had fought well in the first charge on
 Pe-ters-burg. These men had been slaves, and Lin-coln was the good friend who had set them free. They crowd-ed round him with tears in their eyes, and gave cheers of joy. They laughed and cried, and pressed up to him to shake or kiss his hand, to touch his clothes, or the horse on which he rode. The scene moved Mr. Lin-coln to tears, and he could not trust him-self to speak.
There had been, through all the years of the war, fights on a small scale in the Val-ley of Vir-gin-ia, and each side had a chance to win from time to time.
At last Gen-er-al Sher-i-dan was put in charge of the Un-ion troops on that line, but held off from a great fight till Sept. 19, ’64, when he won at Win-ches-ter and three
 days lat-er at Fish-er’s Hill a-gainst the foe un-der Ear-ly. Sher-i-dan took all the stock from the Val-ley and burned barns full of grain, so the foe would not find food there, but still Ear-ly sent a part of his men af-ter the Un-ion troops, mov-ing so that his for-ces would not make a noise in the night on a lone-path till they got to a place where the Un-ion troops were sound a-sleep. The rest of his ar-my, Ear-ly kept by him to strike at Sher-i-dan’s force in front. The bat-tle of Ce-dar Creek came then twixt these two ar-mies. The foe won. Sher-i-dan was not there but heard the guns and rode
 up the Val-ley full speed, and with a shout to his men who had fled, “Come, boys, we’re go-ing back!” turned the tide and put down the Ear-ly troops. There were but few more fights, just there, for both sides had to go to Pe-ters-burg for the last scenes.
While the ar-my did its best in war work, the na-vy, too, or men of the sea, did brave deeds.
Ad-mir-al Far-ra-gut, who had done so much good work with his fleet from the North in the Spring of 1862, brought fame once more to him-self in his at-tack on Mo-bile in Au-gust, 1864. So that he might see and di-rect his fleet of i-ron-clads and ships of wood in the best
 way, Far-ra-gut went up in-to the main-top of the “Hart-ford,” and at last took the forts in Mo-bile Bay. He closed the port, though the town was kept in the hands of the foe till the war came to an end.
In De-cem-ber, 1864, when Con-gress met, the doom of the foe was in sight. Grant had Pe-ters-burg in his grip, and said he would “see the end of the job.”
With Lee’s ar-my at Rich-mond, the on-ly oth-er large force of the foe was led by John-ston in the south. Sher-man with a lar-ger force made a move a-gainst it, and af-ter much fight-ing John-ston took his stand at At-lan-ta. He had fought with much skill, but the South failed to see this, and put Gen. Hood in his place. Hood was rash, and Sher-man soon forced him to leave At-lan-ta. From At-lan-ta, Sher-man set out on his great “March through Geor-gi-a,” burn-ing At-lan-ta when he left, so that it might not a-gain be a ref-uge for the foe.
In the midst of all the strife, Lin-coln’s first term as Chief came to an end. It was asked by some, “What new man shall we put in Lin-coln’s place?” Names came up, but it was hard to find a new man who “knew the ropes.” Lin-coln, though worn with toil, had a
 great wish to keep his post, for he felt that he had not then done his full work. In his quaint way he said to his friends:
“It is-n’t safe to swap hor-ses when you are cross-ing a stream.”
In No-vem-ber, 1864, Lin-coln was once more the
 choice of the peo-ple. They told him that it was their wish that he should lead them, be their Chief for one more term, and take the chair on the fourth of March, 1865.
When that day came, A-bra-ham Lin-coln stood on the por-ti-co of the cap-i-tol and took the oath of off-ice. The cloud of war which hung o’er the first in-au-gu-ra-tion, was now a-bout to leave. As the gloom went by, bright-er days came, and the sun of a new e-ra shone out up-on the land.
The words which the Pres-i-dent said were few, but they will nev-er die. While Lin-coln’s “Get-tys-burg Speech” will ev-er be praised, far more must these last words dwell in the hearts of men, for they show the de-vo-tion and ten-der love of that great soul, poured out to bless his chil-dren ere he lay down to die.
The woes of Lee and his troops grew too hard for them to bear. Arms and food which had come to them
 from the South and oth-er pla-ces were now cut off. No more troops could join them and those who were on the ground were weak for lack of food. The great drama was soon to close.
Sher-man’s ar-my was in North Car-o-li-na. There were, too, “Boys in Blue” in Charles-ton and Wil-ming-ton, N. C. “Sher-i-dan’s Cav-al-ry” was en route from the Shen-an-do-ah to Pe-ters-burg. The last blow must come in a few weeks.
Lee knew that he and his men of the South must hold Five Forks at all risks. They put up strong breast works and did what they could to hold the land a-bout Pe-ters-burg.
Grant’s force was then twice as large as Lee’s. Do the best he might Lee found him-self out-num-bered at each tack and turn. The Un-ion men beat the foe and took hordes of them pris-on-ers at the great fight of Five Forks on A-pril 1, 1865. While
 this fight went on, some of the foe’s works at Pe-ters-burg were stormed and one by one they fell in-to the hands of Grant’s men. But still Lee, on A-pril 2, when night came on, held the line south of the Ap-po-mat-tox. His men were worn out, for their work had been hard and their food scarce.
As no news had come to Grant from Rich-mond, he rode out to a line where he thought he could get news and on his way a note was put in his hands from Gen. Weit-zel. It said, “Rich-mond is ours. The foe left in great haste and have set fire to the town.”
Then all a-long the line of the Un-ion troops came up a great cry; “Rich-mond is ours! Rich-mond is ours!”
But, if Lee had left, the “Boys in Blue” must make haste to catch him. He fled to the west with his starved and worn-out troops, but Grant gave close chase and Sher-i-dan “hung on his flanks.” Lee turned this way
 and that, and there were some more fights, but at length he had to give in. At a time when Sher-i-dan had his men drawn up, and the word “Charge” was al-most on his lips, a white flag was seen. The man who brought it had come from Lee who was at Ap-po-mat-tox Court House. Lee had sent to ask that there might not be a fight till he knew what Grant’s terms of peace were.
At last both great chiefs met to-geth-er in the small town of Ap-po-mat-tox at a plain farm house.
They shook hands and Lee asked Grant to write out his terms and said he would sign them. Grant drew up the terms and Lee signed them as he had said he
 would. Then the two great lead-ers shook hands a-gain and both rode off. This was on the 9th of A-pril, 1865.
In the south, John-ston, who led the foe there, could make no stand a-lone, so, at the end of 17 days, he gave up to Gen. Sher-man. Small sets of the foe, placed here and there, al-so gave up, and the four years of blood came to an end.
The ar-mies of the Un-ion had put down the “Great Re-bel-lion” and peace had come. So vast a war had ne’er been known in mod-ern times, and men more brave than those who fought on both sides could not be found in an-y land.

“Pres-i-dent Lin-coln in Rich-mond,” af-ter the “Con-fed-er-a-cy” fell to pie-ces, made a scene such as was ne’er be-fore known in all his-to-ry. There was none of the pomp and show such as a great chief in oth-er lands
 would have had who put down a brave foe and gained a great cause.
Lin-coln was at the “head-quar............
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