The End of the WarGo Back
In an attempt to turn the tide of war, Confederate general Sterling Price planned an invasion of Missouri for September and October of 1864. His objective was to capture St. Louis and its stores of arms and equipment. He thought it might also divert Union troops, reducing some of the pressure the Confederate armies were suffering. Ill-conceived, badly executed, and poorly supplied, the expedition failed miserably and marked the end of major combat in the state.
By the end of 1864 the demise of the Confederacy seemed inevitable. A year earlier, General Ulysses S. Grant, appointed commander of all Union armies, devised a strategy to cripple the Confederacy by launching coordinated campaigns to keep the Confederate armies under constant pressure. Bloody, protracted battles crushed Confederate spirits and depleted manpower and supplies. General William T. Sherman cut a swath of destruction through the heart of the South, burning Atlanta to the ground and continuing on to Savannah. The Union victory boosted morale in the North and poised Lincoln for re-election. The Union's political victory would prove to be the final blow to the Confederacy.
The end of the war did not bring healing. Missouri's internal divisions remained through the Confederate surrender, the emancipation of all slaves, and the ensuing struggle for political power.