By the beginning of 1865, the Confederacy was coming to an end. Atlanta had been overrun and Sherman was marching to the sea. Lincoln approved Sherman's plan against the advice of those around him. Sherman set fire to Atlanta, burning anything that could be of use to the opposition. With 62,000 men, he set off toward Savannah. While Sherman went south, the bulk of the Confederate army outside Virginia was destroyed at the battle of Franklin, Tenn. and by early January, Sherman turned northward into the Carolinas. In Virginia meanwhile, Lee's army was under-equipped and underfed. He called on the legislature to arm slaves promising them freedom after the war ended. They complied. On March 4, 1865, Lincoln was inaugurated for his second term. Grant's army was firmly entrenched outside Petersburg for some 9 months. Lee's army was dwindling with an ever increasing number of deserters and when the battle eventually came, it was only a matter of time until the Union won. Richmond was ...