For the rebellious Confederate States of America, the fortunes of war had taken a nosedive. Savannah had fallen. So had Atlanta and Nashville. With the defeat at Fort Fisher on the North Carolina coast, the port of Wilmington was embattled. Petersburg was under siege. The Shenandoah Valley was in ruins. The Union controlled the Mississippi River. Rebel soldiers were deserting by the hundreds.
The entire article is in the February 19 edition.