After marching through Georgia, Sherman convinced Grant to let him drive up from Savannah tearing up South Carolina. The Confederate general Joseph Johnston tried to intercept Sherman before he could link up with Grant, but Johnson’s forces were torn to pieces after John Bell Hood’s invasion of Tennessee and the disastrous battles at Franklin and Nashville.
Though Davis wished strongly to continue the war, Johnston sent a courier to the Union troops encamped at Morrisville Station, with a message to General Sherman, offering a meeting between the lines to discuss a truce…
The first day’s discussion (April 17) was intensified by the telegram Sherman handed to Johnston, informing of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. They met the following day, April 18, and signed terms of surrender.
With the fall of Fort Fisher and thus Wilmington in late January 1865, the Confederacy had no open ports. The armies could not be resupplied. The Union had achieved a version of their Anaconda Plan.
(source on that)
That top map I found over at Hal Jespersen’s Cartography:
This page offers over 200 maps I have created for American Civil War battle articles in Wikipedia, almost always for articles I wrote myself. They are available to anyone to use or publish under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, which means that if you use them—either modified or unmodified—you must abide by the terms of that license and attribute the images to me with the text “Map by Hal Jespersen, http://www.cwmaps.com.” It is not necessary for you to contact me in advance for permission to use the maps under these terms, although I always enjoy hearing about how my maps are used.
The best Civil War book I’ve read recently by the way is Vicksburg, 1863 by Winston Groom, who wrote the novel Forrest Gump. The book functions as a history of the Civil War in the West, where Grant with the help of the Navy bored down until the Mississippi from New Orleans up was under Union control, Vicksburg last to fall. Then he moved East to finish the job. Groom gives a very readable account of the difficult to follow campaign, much of it conducted in shifting swamp. I’ve been meaning to write a review but here is a short one: real good.