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Which battle proved the most significant in the Union's eventual victory and why. Bull...

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xtreme69 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 29, 2009 at 2:55 PM via web

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Which battle proved the most significant in the Union's eventual victory and why.

Bull Run (1st Manassas) July 21, 1861
http://www.civilwarhome.com/1manassas.htm

The Battle of Pea Ridge, March 7-8, 1862
http://www.civilwarhome.com/pearidge.htm

The Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) September 17, 1862
http://www.civilwarhome.com/antietam.htm

The Siege of Vicksburg May 18-July 4, 1863
http://www.civilwarhome.com/siegeofvicksburg.htm

The Battle of Gettysburg July 1-3, 1863
http://www.civilwarhome.com/gettysburg.htm

The Battle of Chatanooga September 1863
http://www.civilwarhome.com/chattannoga.htm

The Battle of Fort Pillow April 12, 1864
http://www.civilwarhome.com/ftpillow.htm

which battle was most significant in the Union's victory and why. Determine which battle is important ?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 29, 2009 at 10:35 PM (Answer #1)

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This is pretty much of an opinion question as there can't be any objectively provable answer.

It seems to me that you could argue for many of these:

  • The Union victory at Vicksburg returned full use of the Mississippi to the Union and denied it to the Confederacy.  This greatly affected the abilities of the two sides to move freely North-South.
  • The victory at Gettysburg would mark the last time that the South was really on the offensive.  You can argue that an army fighting solely on the defensive is doomed and, therefore, you can argue that this doomed the Confederacy.
  • The victory at Chattanooga opened up the way to the Deep South and allowed Sherman to take Atlanta and then march to the sea.  It also allowed Grant to be taken from the West and moved to fight directly against Lee.

If I had to pick, I'd probably pick Chattanooga because the Sherman's action and the presence of Grant to fight against Lee were so important.

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