March 9 – General Ulysses S. Grant is given command of all of the armies of the United States by President Lincoln. President Lincoln appoints General Grant to command all of the armies of the United States. General William T. Sherman takes over Grant’s Army of the West.
May 4 – The Union Army begin a massive coordinated campaign. Grant and his 120,000 soldiers advance towards Richmond to engage General Lee‘s Army of Northern Virginia, which has been whittled down to 64,000 men. Thus begins a war of attrition (whoever is left standing). Meanwhile, in the West, Sherman’s troops advance towards Atlanta to fight Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee.
May 8-12 – Battle at Spotsylvania.
June 1-3 – Battle at Cold Harbor: Grant’s forces suffer a high number of casualties during a raid on the Rebel fort.
June 15 – After Union forces fail to capture St-Petersburg, and cut off the Confederate rail lines, Grant’s troops begins a nine month siege on Lee’s army.
July 20 – General William T. Sherman’s Army of the West fights against General John B. Hood’s Rebels in Atlanta.
August 29 – George B. McClellan is nominated as Democratic candidate. He is set to run against Republican incumbent Abraham Lincoln in the upcoming presidential election.
September 2 – Sherman takes Atlanta. This victory by the Army of the West plays a key role in Lincoln’s campaign for re-election.
October 19 – Cavalry General Philip H. Sheridan’s Union forces defeat Jubal Early’s troops in the Shenandoah Valley.
November 8 – Abraham Lincoln is re-elected President.
November 15 – Sherman continues his campaign against the Rebels in Atlanta, destroying the city’s warehouses and railroad facilities, then with the approval of president Lincoln and General Grant, he and his Army of the West undertake a March to the Sea.
December 15/16 – General George H. Thomas and 55,000 Federals, which includes “Negro troops”, defeat John B. Hood’s Confederate Army of Tennessee at Nashville.
December 21 – Sherman’s forces leave nothing unscathed as they continue their March through Georgia, he takes Savannah, which he then offers to Lincoln as a “Christmas present”.