AS SHERMAN AND HIS ARMY plunged ever deeper into the Carolinas, it became obvious that the Confederacy was close to defeat. Grant's and Sherman's giant pincer was closing around the Confederate armies; the Civil War was in its last grim days. Thoughts now began to turn to postwar America: what was going to happen to the defeated rebel states, their government officials, and their people, both slave and free? To consider these questions, the Union high command held a summit meeting. Present on board the "River Queen" anchored at City Point, Virginia on 27-28 March 1865 were the architects of the Union victory: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Admiral David Dixon Porter, and William Tecumseh Sherman.
For Sherman this must have been a particularly happy occasion. Any lingering doubts about his being a success were now gone. He was recognized as one of the nation's most prominent military men. If he thought about it that day, he must have re-