Chapter

Robert E. Lee, the Army of Northern Virginia, and Confederate Surrender

Joseph T. Glatthaar

in How Fighting Ends

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693627
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741258 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693627.003.0016
Robert E. Lee, the Army of Northern Virginia, and Confederate Surrender

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This chapter employs the Army of Northern Virginia as a test case to study how soldiers lose faith in the favourable outcome of the war. Glatthaar examines the external and internal wartime strains that pressured and ultimately eroded support among soldiers, many of whom had served for three or four years, for continuing the fight. Undermanned and under-resourced, the Army's limited margin for error deteriorated over four years of war, cutting into the very fabric of the Confederate society and its war effort. Staggering casualties, widespread food and supply shortages, concern for loved ones at home, and continual, demanding service at the front compounded. Intense and sustained Union pressure created fissures in every aspect of Confederate life, placing the army on a downward spiral and ultimately bringing down the Army of Northern Virginia and the Confederacy.

Keywords: Robert E. Lee; Army of Northern Virginia; Home Front; morale; manpower; supplies

Chapter.  9402 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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