FEBRUARY 23-25, 1865: In December the hips of the powerful Federal Navy, now in such numbers that they could attack anywhere along the coast when needed had made it possible for Sherman to march to the sea with confidence, since they gave him any part of the coast he chose as abase.
Now, Dahlgren's warships provided the general with unlimited logistic support, rapid reinforcement and the defensive line of their massed guns to fall back on if he were defeated. Easy and speeding his progress to the North, the fleet, therefore, helped to bring the war more quickly to an end.
From Savannah to Wilmington the whole Southern seacoast--with its irreplaceable defenses heavy coastal cannon that could not be moved, and superior means of communication--swiftly fell.
Although it was not clear to General Lee at the time--the accelerated speed with which soldiers were able to move inevitably forecast the frustration of his plan to send part of his veterans to join the Confederates in North Carolina in an attempt to crush Sherman while still holding the Petersburg-Richmond line with the remainder.
Just getting Worse and Worse. --Old B-R'er