Early in 1865, southern morale was so weakened that powerful Confederate leaders began seeking terms for peace. White southerners suffered from the debilitating effects of the war in numerous ways. Most obvious was the tens of thousands of families struck by the losses of fathers, brothers, sons, and husbands. Since the draft age was widened to those between the ages of seventeen and fifty, deaths spread across not one but many generations, from young men in their teens to those in their fifties. Aside from the dramatic loss of life, southerners also faced rapidly spiraling inflation that rendered Confederate currency nearly worthless. At the start of the war, many white southern families had converted their gold and other valuables into Confederate dollars to show their support for the southern war effort. Now with each passing month, the money was worth less and less, so that by 1865 not even southerners themselves valued Confederate currency. The South’s ability to import goods suffered from the closing of ports by the Union navy and the destruction of railroad lines and public buildings, and Sherman’s success in the Deep South meant that the internal movement of goods and routine patterns of trade were significantly disrupted. The Confederacy desperately sought relief, even in the form of peace with the Yankees.