The Confederate army thought they could end the war by taking Washington DC and regain power after the collapse of the Lincoln government. The battle of Antietam began with the invading Confederate army of 50,000 led by General Lee came up against the Union army of 87,000, led by General George McClellan. It was the battle with the biggest bloodshed of all the Civil War battles. After a staggering 24,000 lives lost between the Union and the Confederates, the Confederate army decided to withdraw, leaving it a Union victory. The next major battle in the Civil War was the capture of Vicksburg, in 1863. The Union army came under control of Vicksburg after a long fight with the Confederates. The north then went on to gain command of the entire Mississippi River. This isolated Texas off from the other Confederate states and affected the South's transport system. The leadership and skills shown by General Grant in the capture of Vicksburg brought national attention.
Within the same month, the Battle of Gettysburg was fought after the surrender of Vicksburg. The battle of Gettysburg was the South's last real chance to win the war. Poor decisions by General Lee lead the Confederate army to abandon the original plan, causing the Confederates to be fighting defensively for the remainder of the battle. The events following the end on the Civil War was the establishment of the