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If southern armies could maintain the stalemate until November, a new president might try to negotiate an end to the war on southern terms. Remember McClellan was not favorably disposed to African American freedom. Yet, Sherman took Atlanta on September 1, 1864, Lincoln and the northern public had the victory needed, the president won the election and promised to prosecute the war for four more years. The Confederacy was finished. So if Sherman had been delayed three months before occupying a position to take Atlanta, the outcome of the election might have been different. Therefore, if Fort Henry had been built more carefully it would have delayed the Union army's capture of Nashville, and their subsequent advance into the Confederate heartland. Of course, Union engineering had everything to do with that advance and the successful campaigns that followed.
'''Why was the Confederacy unable to execute engineering operations comparable to the Union army?'''