Last on Ken Burns list were: eighth, Chattanooga – Grant had left the west but Sherman was still there and the Union army against impossible odds was able to make it to the top of Missionary Ridge in a huge battle. This began the plan for the march to Atlanta and then to the sea.
I have been to Chattanooga and stood on top of that mountain, It seems an impossible feat, but the North did it. The South squandered a golden opportunity. It was freezing on top of that mountain the day we visited, January 1, 2010. I have never been so cold!!! The Confederates were sleeping on the ground with one thin blanket each. Brrrr – no wonder they lost that one.
Ninth, Petersburg. The Confederates set up defensive works there but the North dug a tunnel under southern lines and set off a huge explosion. The North failed to capitalize on this, and the South regrouped. The war settled into a bloody stalemate from the summer of 1864 to March of 65 when Richmond fell.
Tenth and last on the short list of places to visit is Appomattox Court House, Va. After Richmond, the Confederates began a retreat, but soon saw a sea of Union troops both in front and behind them, and it was at that point Lee realized the cause was hopeless. He agreed to meet Grant and the rest is history, as they say. A sad end to the most tragic time in our Nation’s life.
Even though some have tried to make Southerners into racists because we are proud of our forebears, we know that given their circumstances, they were fighting for what they believed was right So we honor them. And we take the hard-earned lessons of the past and we learn from them, that we might have a better United States of America, One Nation Under God.