What was the act that essentially ended the Civil War? 

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There were several events that a person could point to that ended the Civil War. I will share a few for you to consider.

The defeats at Gettysburg and Vicksburg were crushing defeats for the South. These battles turned the war in favor of the Union. After the battle at Gettysburg, the South would not go on the offensive again. Gettysburg was the best chance for the South to win a decisive victory and get needed help from Europe. After the battle at Vicksburg, the South was divided geographically and had lost control of the Mississippi River. These battles were decisive battles in the Civil War.

The events during Sherman’s March to the Sea also had a big impact on ending the Civil War. The Union waged total war on the South at this time. The Union destroyed everything in its path as it moved from Atlanta to Savannah. This continued after Sherman’s army moved northeast from Savannah. This kind of warfare devastated the South and its morale.

The events at Appomattox Court House ended the war. Here, General Lee surrendered, and the war came to an end. There are several events to consider when looking at what truly ended the Civil War.

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