As December 1863 dawned, military fortune favored the North. George Meade’s maneuvers in Virginia threatened Lee’s smaller army. At Charlestown the Union bombardment against Fort Sumter had all but destroyed the military significance of that fortification.
At Chattanooga, Grant, Sherman, and Thomas had prevailed for the Union, and at Knoxville, Tennessee Union forces were still resisting Longstreet. In Texas Union General Nathaniel Banks had effectively closed all ports except Galveston and Sabine Pass to Confederate commerce.
In truth, many Southerners doubted if the day would come for foreign recognition of the Confederacy and f eared that the North’s resolve to continue the war would prevail, while in turn many Northerners questioned whether the sacrifices made were worth the effort of maintaining the Union. In truth, both sides were filled with uncertainty.