Let's face it, the South was done after the North defeated Lee. As in, they had literally no hope.With the loss at Gettysburg, combined with the surrender of Vicksburg, morale sank... but the Southern armies recovered. They were able to mount successful defenses in much of 1864, but it was the disaster the Army of Tennessee experienced from Chatanooga until Franklin and Nashville that really did the CSA in.
After that point, not only was it just a matter of time, but they would have to be on the defensive for the rest of the war. And you cannot ever win a war if you are consistently on the defensive.
Because he was a really good captain (or officer maybe, not sure what he was) in the Texan revolution. He served in the Mexican war as well I believe.Gen. Bragg was likely the worst commanding general of a major CSA army thru the war, and he had Jeff. Davis' confidence for far too long.
You cannot blame Bragg for poor leadership, because he didn't have a great deal to work with, since the South had been cut in half by Union forces (preventing troops from Texas being able to fight on the "front").
But seriously, it wasn't his fault. What was he supposed to do? The war was lost before less strategic areas in Tennessee were invaded.When he allowed Missionary Ridge to collapse...
Actually, no.which was arguable the most easily won... but lost battle of the war, the campaign in and around Atlanta was pretty much a sure thing for the USA. Then, John Hood was eventually given command of an army he had never truly been a part of, and led them to ruin, leaving Sherman free to drive on Savannah.
Southerners burnt most of Atlanta to the ground before Sherman got there. Given, Sherman burnt everything but churches and hospitals, but the Southerners burnt their own town.
Not that Atlanta was remotely large. Not nearly as big as Charleston or New Orleans. But it was strategic in terms of the railway.
But, they still had no hope of preventing Sherman's march.
Many of the "Yankee scum" weren't Yankees at all, but rather were freed slaves that Sherman had help him in his march.After the fall of Savannah, huge numbers of southern soldiers from Savannah and Charleston desserted to protect their family and homes from yankee scum burning and attacking civilians.
Which doesn't mean Sherman wasn't an asshole--he was--but there were others assisting in the the Northern ravaging of Georgia.
The South would have still lost. The turning point was when Lee was defeated. And Picket's charge: the worst military plan ever invented.If the USA would have lost at Chatanooga and been forced to either surrender or retreat into Kentucky, it would have spared Georgia and the war would have been much harder fought throughout the end of 1864 and into 1865, with the outcome we know today likely not happening.
So by that time, the Federalists would have still beat the Confederates.
But you see, by this time Lincoln had already made the war about slavery.The South could have shifted more troops and far greater nnumbers of supplies and food into the Petersburg and Richmond areas if they would have fallen under siege, and no retreat would have been necessary when it occurred, and likely CSA offensive opperations might have resumed. On top of that, Longstreets failed campaign into Kentucky after the Battle of Chickamauga would likely not have happened, with him likely remaining with the Army of Northern Virginia. Georgia militia units would have been able to either get mustered into CSA service or been able to perform coastal duty at home, keeping their morale high. The additional troops shuffled north might have been able to allow the army under Beauregard to attack and likely defeat Butler on the James River, thereby threatening the flank of the Army of the Potomac, and would have been far different.
The South didn't care about Lincoln, they cared about Northern opinion. And many Northerners were not only loath to be drafted into the Federalist army, but they supported the South.
There were anti-Union and anti-draft riots in Baltimore, New York, and Boston. Lincoln had to go in disguise to the White House for his inauguration because the people in Maryland would have killed him.
A very large number of northerners supported the right of the South to secede, and did not support a war for the Union.
So the South was often trying to appeal to these states. Not make enemies with them. They tried to find a common enemy of Lincoln within Northerners.
However, when Lincoln made the war about slavery after Gettysburg. The war might as well have ended there, because Northerners supported the right of the South to secede, and many of them may have been anti-Unionists, but they certainly didn't support slavery.
So, smart bit of propaganda on Lincoln's part. Gettysburg brought support from Northerners toward the Union--because of slavery being made the issue.