On Sunday May 20th I went to Naper Settlement's Civil War Days. I saw all sorts of reeanactors and met with "President Lincoln" and "General Grant" We got a view of the battle in Grant's headquarters. Headquarters for a civil war general could be something as rudimentary as a tent and that was good for us because it was hot out. The participants cut no corners they use real cannon (safely fired of course) and are in full dress uniform, just like their counterparts some a hundred and sixty years ago.
One thing I really learned about the war that I hadn't thought of before is that there was no "enemy" or bad guy. We were a nation confused as to what our identity as Americans was but that was the thing, we were all Americans. Of course no matter what side you were on you had ideological differences but they all had a cause and they all faught valiently for it no matter their moral justifucations or personal feelings. A perfect example of this is Robert E. Lee he hated the idea of the Union dissolving and he also didn't like slavery but in the end he chose to fight for his home state of Virginia, I personally believe he should have stayed in Union blue given his feelings but you can't control history no matter how hard you try.
George McClellan had numerable opportunities to end the war before 1865 but he was too cautious. Lincoln was furious. The Union had vast resources that were wasted because most of Lincoln's generals were inept and pompous. War is hell no matter what century you're in and that's why Lincoln wanted to end the war as fast as possible. Unfortunatley it lasted way too long.