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How Fighting EndsA History of Surrender$
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Holger Afflerbach and Hew Strachan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199693627

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693627.001.0001

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Robert E. Lee, the Army of Northern Virginia, and Confederate Surrender

Robert E. Lee, the Army of Northern Virginia, and Confederate Surrender

(p.239) 14 Robert E. Lee, the Army of Northern Virginia, and Confederate Surrender
How Fighting Ends

Joseph T. Glatthaar

Oxford University Press

This chapter employs the Army of Northern Virginia as a test case to study how soldiers lose faith in the favourable outcome of the war. Glatthaar examines the external and internal wartime strains that pressured and ultimately eroded support among soldiers, many of whom had served for three or four years, for continuing the fight. Undermanned and under-resourced, the Army's limited margin for error deteriorated over four years of war, cutting into the very fabric of the Confederate society and its war effort. Staggering casualties, widespread food and supply shortages, concern for loved ones at home, and continual, demanding service at the front compounded. Intense and sustained Union pressure created fissures in every aspect of Confederate life, placing the army on a downward spiral and ultimately bringing down the Army of Northern Virginia and the Confederacy.

Keywords:   Robert E. Lee, Army of Northern Virginia, Home Front, morale, manpower, supplies

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