At War's End
Soon after becoming commander of the Union army in 1864, Grant implemented a strategy of coordinated strikes against the Confederacy on multiple fronts. Grant pressed Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia south toward Richmond. Union forces pinned down Lee’s troops at Petersburg, where the armies engaged in trench warfare for more than nine months. A decisive Union victory on April 1, 1865, at Five Forks, southwest of Petersburg, opened the way for Grant to completely encircle Lee. Lee had no choice but to abandon Petersburg. With his army in full retreat westward, Richmond also had to be evacuated. Federal troops entered the Confederate capital on April 3, 1865. Six days later, Lee surrendered his ill-equipped and exhausted army at Appomattox Court House, effectively ending the war.
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