General Ulysses S. Grant and his lieutenants, Phil Sheridan and David Hunter, would bring “hard war” to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia—the breadbasket of the Confederacy—in an effort to deprive the Confederate army of needed supplies but to also convince the citizens of the Shenandoah Valley that the Union forces would no longer tolerate their support of the Confederate army. With support from President Lincoln, who had changed his attitude on how to fight the war, Grant initiated a campaign within a campaign in the spring and summer of 1864. Grant determined first to destroy the Confederate army of General Jubal Early in the Shenandoah Valley and then to bring the war to the residents of the Valley by destroying their ability to supply the Confederate forces elsewhere in Virginia and to convince them that continuing the conflict was an exercise in futility. In 1864, Sheridan finally brought the Confederate army in the Shenandoah Valley, and along with it, the Valley civilians, to its knees.
Taylor, Lewis A. II
"A Change in Tactics: Hard War in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the Valley Campaign of 1864,"
Saber and Scroll: Vol. 2
, Article 7.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.apus.edu/saberandscroll/vol2/iss1/7
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