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The Union’s 1865 Carolinas campaign brought hard war to the Confederacy’s civilian population, emancipated thousands of slaves, and helped bring the Civil War to a close. The campaign began in January 1865 when Union major general William Tecumseh Sherman and 60,000 soldiers marched north from Savannah, and it ended on April 26, 1865 with Confederate general Joseph Johnston’s surrender at Durham Station in North Carolina. The campaign employed unconventional tactics earlier used along Sherman’s March to the Sea (see Chapter 16) in order to inflict physical and psychological damage upon the enemy. To do so, seasoned Union soldiers tore up railroads, burned fields and homes, confiscated food and various supplies, took or killed livestock, raided countless Southern homes, shredded personal treasures, liberated enslaved African Americans, and taunted elite white women. Throughout the month and a half of active campaigning through the Carolinas, Sherman’s troops averaged 10 miles of marching daily and faced little military resistance from the Confederate army.
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