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American Civil War

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American Civil War
CivilWarUSAColl.png
Clockwise from top:
DateApril 12, 1861 – May 26, 1865[a]
(4 years and 44 days)[b][1][2]
Location
Result Union victory
Territorial
changes
Dissolution of the Confederate States of America
Belligerents
 United States (Union)  Confederate States (Confederacy)
Commanders and leaders
United States Abraham Lincoln X
United States Andrew Johnson
United States Ulysses S. Grant
and others...
Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis
Confederate States of America Robert E. Lee
and others...
Strength
2,200,000[c]
698,000 (peak)[3][4]
750,000–1,000,000[c][5]
360,000 (peak)[3][6]
Casualties and losses
  • 110,000+  / (DOW)
  • 230,000+ accident/disease deaths[7][8]
  • 25,000–30,000 died in Confederate prisons[3][7]

365,000+ total dead[9]

Total: 828,000+ casualties
  • 94,000+  / (DOW)[7]
  • 26,000–31,000 died in Union prisons[8]

290,000+ total dead

Total: 864,000+ casualties
  • 50,000 free civilians dead[10]
  • 80,000+ slaves dead (disease)[11]
  • Total: 616,222[12]–1,000,000+ dead[13][14]

The American Civil War (April 12, 1861 – May 26, 1865; also known by other names) was a civil war in the United States. It was fought between the Union[f] ("the North") and the Confederacy ("the South"), the latter formed by states that had seceded. The central cause of the war was the dispute over whether slavery would be permitted to expand into the western territories, leading to more slave states, or be prevented from doing so, which was widely believed would place slavery on a course of ultimate extinction.

Decades of political controversy over slavery were brought to a head by the victory in the 1860 U.S. presidential election of Abraham Lincoln, who opposed slavery's expansion into the western territories. An initial seven southern slave states responded to Lincoln's victory by seceding from the United States and, in February 1861, forming the Confederacy. The Confederacy seized U.S. forts and other federal assets within their borders. Led by Confederate President Jefferson Davis, the Confederacy asserted control over about a third of the U.S. population in eleven of the 34 U.S. states that then existed. Four years of intense combat, mostly in the South, ensued.

During 1861–1862 in the war's Western Theater, the Union made significant permanent gains—though in the war's Eastern Theater the conflict was inconclusive. The abolition of slavery became a war goal on January 1, 1863, when Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared all slaves in states in rebellion to be free, applying to more than 3.5 million of the 4 million enslaved people in the country. Former slaves who escaped from plantations or were liberated by the Union Army were recruited into the United States Colored Troops regiments of the Union Army. To the west, the Union destroyed the Confederate's river navy by the summer of 1862, then much of its western armies, and seized New Orleans. The successful 1863 Union siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River. In 1863, Confederate General Robert E. Lee's incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg. Western successes led to General Ulysses S. Grant's command of all Union armies in 1864. Inflicting an ever-tightening naval blockade of Confederate ports, the Union marshaled resources and manpower to attack the Confederacy from all directions. This led to the fall of Atlanta in 1864 to Union General William Tecumseh Sherman, followed by his march to the sea. The last significant battles raged around the ten-month Siege of Petersburg, gateway to the Confederate capital of Richmond. The Confederates abandoned Richmond, and on April 9, 1865, Lee surrendered to Grant following the Battle of Appomattox Court House, setting in motion the end of the war.

A wave of Confederate surrenders followed. On April 14, just five days after Lee's surrender, Lincoln was assassinated. As a practical matter, the war ended with the May 26 surrender of the Department of the Trans-Mississippi but the conclusion of the American Civil War lacks a clear and precise historical end date. Confederate ground forces continued surrendering past the May 26 surrender date until June 23. By the end of the war, much of the South's infrastructure was destroyed, especially its railroads. The Confederacy collapsed, slavery was abolished, and four million enslaved black people were freed. The war-torn nation then entered the Reconstruction era in an attempt to rebuild the country, bring the former Confederate states back into the United States, and grant civil rights to freed slaves.

The Civil War is one of the most extensively studied and written about episodes in U.S. history. It remains the subject of cultural and historiographical debate. Of particular interest is the persisting myth of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy. The American Civil War was among the first wars to use industrial warfare. Railroads, the telegraph, steamships, the ironclad warship, and mass-produced weapons were all widely used during the war. In total, the war left between 620,000 and 750,000 soldiers dead, along with an undetermined number of civilian casualties, making the Civil War the deadliest military conflict in American history.[g] The technology and brutality of the Civil War foreshadowed the coming World Wars.

Discover more about American Civil War related topics

Civil war

Civil war

A civil war or intrastate war is a war between organized groups within the same state . The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independence for a region, or to change government policies. The term is a calque of Latin bellum civile which was used to refer to the various civil wars of the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC.

Confederate States of America

Confederate States of America

The Confederate States of America (CSA), commonly referred to as the Confederate States or the Confederacy, was an unrecognized breakaway herrenvolk republic in the Southern United States that existed from February 8, 1861, to May 9, 1865. The Confederacy comprised U.S. states that declared secession and warred against the United States during the American Civil War: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

1860 United States presidential election

1860 United States presidential election

The 1860 United States presidential election was the 19th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 6, 1860. In a four-way contest, the Republican Party ticket of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin, absent from the ballot in ten slave states, won a national popular plurality, a popular majority in the North where states already had abolished slavery, and a national electoral majority comprising only Northern electoral votes. Lincoln's election thus served as the main catalyst of the American Civil War. This marked the first time that a Republican was elected president.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was an American lawyer, politician, and statesman who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in 1865. Lincoln led the Union through the American Civil War to defend the nation as a constitutional union and succeeded in abolishing slavery, bolstering the federal government, and modernizing the U.S. economy.

Emancipation Proclamation

Emancipation Proclamation

The Emancipation Proclamation, officially Proclamation 95, was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the Civil War. The Proclamation changed the legal status of more than 3.5 million enslaved African Americans in the secessionist Confederate states from enslaved to free. As soon as slaves escaped the control of their enslavers, either by fleeing to Union lines or through the advance of federal troops, they were permanently free. In addition, the Proclamation allowed for former slaves to "be received into the armed service of the United States".

Battle of Gettysburg

Battle of Gettysburg

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, by Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. In the battle, Union Major General George Meade's Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, halting Lee's invasion of the North. The battle involved the largest number of casualties of the entire war and is often described as the war's turning point due to the Union's decisive victory and concurrence with the Siege of Vicksburg.

Battle of Appomattox Court House

Battle of Appomattox Court House

The Battle of Appomattox Court House, fought in Appomattox County, Virginia, on the morning of April 9, 1865, was one of the last battles of the American Civil War (1861–1865). It was the final engagement of Confederate General in Chief, Robert E. Lee, and his Army of Northern Virginia before they surrendered to the Union Army of the Potomac under the Commanding General of the United States Army, Ulysses S. Grant.

Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, was assassinated by well-known stage actor John Wilkes Booth, while attending the play Our American Cousin at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. Shot in the head as he watched the play, Lincoln died the following day at 7:22 am in the Petersen House opposite the theater. He was the first president to be assassinated,. His funeral and burial were marked by an extended period of national mourning.

Conclusion of the American Civil War

Conclusion of the American Civil War

The conclusion of the American Civil War commenced with the articles of surrender agreement of the Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, at Appomattox Court House, by General Robert E. Lee and concluded with the surrender of the Shenandoah on November 6, 1865, bringing the hostilities of the American Civil War to a close. Legally, the war did not end until a proclamation by President Andrew Johnson on August 20, 1866, when he declared "that the said insurrection is at an end and that peace, order, tranquillity, and civil authority now exist in and throughout the whole of the United States of America."

Bibliography of the American Civil War

Bibliography of the American Civil War

The American Civil War bibliography comprises books that deal in large part with the American Civil War. There are over 60,000 books on the war, with more appearing each month. Authors James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier stated in 2012, "No event in American history has been so thoroughly studied, not merely by historians, but by tens of thousands of other Americans who have made the war their hobby. Perhaps a hundred thousand books have been published about the Civil War."

Historiographic issues about the American Civil War

Historiographic issues about the American Civil War

Historiography examines how the past has been viewed or interpreted. Historiographic issues about the American Civil War include the name of the war, the origins or causes of the war, and President Abraham Lincoln's views and goals regarding slavery.

Civilian casualties

Civilian casualties

Civilian casualties occur when civilians are killed or injured by non-civilians, mostly law enforcement officers, military personnel, rebel group forces, or terrorists. Under the law of war, it refers to civilians who perish or suffer wounds as a result of wartime acts. The term is generally applied to situations in which violence is committed in pursuit of political goals. During periods of armed conflict, there are structures, actors, and processes at a number of levels that affect the likelihood of violence against civilians.

Causes of secession

Status of the states, 1861 .mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}   Slave states that seceded before April 15, 1861    Slave states that seceded after April 15, 1861    Border Southern states that permitted slavery but did not secede (both KY and MO had dual competing Confederate and Unionist governments)    Union states that banned slavery    Territories
Status of the states, 1861
   Slave states that seceded before April 15, 1861
   Slave states that seceded after April 15, 1861
   Border Southern states that permitted slavery but did not secede (both KY and MO had dual competing Confederate and Unionist governments)
   Union states that banned slavery
   Territories

The causes behind Southern states' decision to secede were complex and have been historically controversial; most academic scholars identify slavery as the central cause of the war. The causes are further complicated by some historical revisionists who have tried to offer a variety of reasons for the war.[15] Slavery was the central source of escalating political tension in the 1850s.[16] The Republican Party was determined to prevent any spread of slavery to the territories, which, after they were admitted as states, would give the North greater representation in Congress and the Electoral College. Many Southern leaders had threatened secession if the Republican candidate, Lincoln, won the 1860 election. After Lincoln won, many Southern leaders felt that disunion was their only option, fearing that the loss of representation would hamper their ability to enact pro-slavery laws and policies.[17][18] In his second inaugural address, Lincoln said that "slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union, even by war; while the government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it."[19]

Slavery

Disagreements among states about the future of slavery were the main cause of disunion and the war that followed.[20][21] Slavery had been controversial during the framing of the Constitution, which, because of compromises, ended up with proslavery and antislavery features.[22] The issue of slavery had confounded the nation since its inception and increasingly separated the United States into a slaveholding South and a free North. The issue was exacerbated by the rapid territorial expansion of the country, which repeatedly brought to the fore the question of whether new territory should be slaveholding or free. The issue had dominated politics for decades leading up to the war. Key attempts to resolve the matter included the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850, but these only postponed the showdown over slavery that would lead to the Civil War.[23]

The motivations of the average person were not necessarily those of their faction;[24][25] some Northern soldiers were indifferent on the subject of slavery, but a general pattern can be established.[26] As the war dragged on, more and more Unionists came to support the abolition of slavery, whether on moral grounds or as a means to cripple the Confederacy.[27] Confederate soldiers fought the war primarily to protect a Southern society of which slavery was an integral part.[28][29] Opponents of slavery considered slavery an anachronistic evil incompatible with republicanism. The strategy of the anti-slavery forces was containment—to stop the expansion of slavery and thereby put it on a path to ultimate extinction.[30] The slaveholding interests in the South denounced this strategy as infringing upon their constitutional rights.[31] Southern whites believed that the emancipation of slaves would destroy the South's economy, because of the large amount of capital invested in slaves and fears of integrating the ex-slave black population.[32] In particular, many Southerners feared a repeat of the 1804 Haiti massacre (referred to at the time as "the horrors of Santo Domingo"),[33][34] in which former slaves systematically murdered most of what was left of the country's white population—including men, women, children, and even many sympathetic to abolition—after the successful slave revolt in Haiti. Historian Thomas Fleming points to the historical phrase "a disease in the public mind" used by critics of this idea and proposes it contributed to the segregation in the Jim Crow era following emancipation.[35] These fears were exacerbated by the 1859 attempt of John Brown to instigate an armed slave rebellion in the South.[36]

Abolitionists

Uncle Tom's Cabin, authored by Harriet Beecher Stowe and published in 1852, helped enlighten the public to slavery's evil and contributed to increased American opposition to it. According to legend, when Lincoln was introduced to her at the White House, his first words were, "So this is the little lady who started this Great War."[37]
Uncle Tom's Cabin, authored by Harriet Beecher Stowe and published in 1852, helped enlighten the public to slavery's evil and contributed to increased American opposition to it. According to legend, when Lincoln was introduced to her at the White House, his first words were, "So this is the little lady who started this Great War."[37]

The abolitionists—those advocating the end of slavery—were active in the decades leading up to the Civil War. They traced their philosophical roots back to Puritans, who believed that slavery was morally wrong. One of the early Puritan writings on this subject was The Selling of Joseph, by Samuel Sewall in 1700. In it, Sewall condemned slavery and the slave trade and refuted many of the era's typical justifications for slavery.[38][39]

The American Revolution and the cause of liberty added tremendous impetus to the abolitionist cause. Slavery, which had been around for thousands of years, was considered normal and was not a significant issue of public debate prior to the Revolution. The Revolution changed that and made it into an issue that had to be addressed. As a result, during and shortly after the Revolution, the Northern states quickly started outlawing slavery. Even in Southern states, laws were changed to limit slavery and facilitate manumission. The amount of indentured servitude dropped dramatically throughout the country. An Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves sailed through Congress with little opposition. President Thomas Jefferson supported it, and it went into effect on January 1, 1808, which was the first day that the Constitution (Article I, section 9, clause 1) permitted Congress to prohibit the importation of slaves. Benjamin Franklin and James Madison each helped found manumission societies. Influenced by the Revolution, many slave owners freed their slaves, but some, such as George Washington, did so only in their wills. The number of free black people as a proportion of the black population in the upper South increased from less than 1 percent to nearly 10 percent between 1790 and 1810 as a result of these actions.[40][41][42][43][44][45]

The establishment of the Northwest Territory as "free soil"—no slavery—by Manasseh Cutler and Rufus Putnam (who both came from Puritan New England) would also prove crucial. This territory (which became the states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and part of Minnesota) doubled the size of the United States.[46][47][39]

Frederick Douglass, a former slave, was a leading abolitionist
Frederick Douglass, a former slave, was a leading abolitionist

In the decades leading up to the Civil War, abolitionists, such as Theodore Parker, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and Frederick Douglass, repeatedly used the Puritan heritage of the country to bolster their cause. The most radical anti-slavery newspaper, The Liberator, invoked the Puritans and Puritan values over a thousand times. Parker, in urging New England congressmen to support the abolition of slavery, wrote, "The son of the Puritan . . . is sent to Congress to stand up for Truth and Right."[48][49] Literature served as a means to spread the message to common folks. Key works included Twelve Years a Slave, the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, American Slavery as It Is, and the most important: Uncle Tom's Cabin, the best-selling book of the 19th century aside from the Bible.[50][51][52]

A more unusual abolitionist than those named above was Hinton Rowan Helper, whose 1857 book, The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet It, "[e]ven more perhaps than Uncle Tom's Cabin ... fed the fires of sectional controversy leading up to the Civil War."[53] A Southerner and a virulent racist, Helper was nevertheless an abolitionist because he believed, and showed with statistics, that slavery "impeded the progress and prosperity of the South, ... dwindled our commerce, and other similar pursuits, into the most contemptible insignificance; sunk a large majority of our people in galling poverty and ignorance, ... [and] entailed upon us a humiliating dependence on the Free States...."[54]

By 1840 more than 15,000 people were members of abolitionist societies in the United States. Abolitionism in the United States became a popular expression of moralism, and led directly to the Civil War. In churches, conventions and newspapers, reformers promoted an absolute and immediate rejection of slavery.[55][56] Support for abolition among the religious was not universal though. As the war approached, even the main denominations split along political lines, forming rival Southern and Northern churches. For example, in 1845 the Baptists split into the Northern Baptists and Southern Baptists over the issue of slavery.[57][58]

Abolitionist sentiment was not strictly religious or moral in origin. The Whig Party became increasingly opposed to slavery because it saw it as inherently against the ideals of capitalism and the free market. Whig leader William H. Seward (who would serve as Lincoln's secretary of state) proclaimed that there was an "irrepressible conflict" between slavery and free labor, and that slavery had left the South backward and undeveloped.[59] As the Whig party dissolved in the 1850s, the mantle of abolition fell to its newly formed successor, the Republican Party.[60]

Territorial crisis

Manifest destiny heightened the conflict over slavery. Each new territory acquired had to face the thorny question of whether to allow or disallow the "peculiar institution".[61] Between 1803 and 1854, the United States achieved a vast expansion of territory through purchase, negotiation, and conquest. At first, the new states carved out of these territories entering the union were apportioned equally between slave and free states. Pro- and anti-slavery forces collided over the territories west of the Mississippi.[62]

The Mexican–American War and its aftermath was a key territorial event in the leadup to the war.[63] As the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo finalized the conquest of northern Mexico west to California in 1848, slaveholding interests looked forward to expanding into these lands and perhaps Cuba and Central America as well.[64][65] Prophetically, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that "Mexico will poison us", referring to the ensuing divisions around whether the newly conquered lands would end up slave or free.[66] Northern free-soil interests vigorously sought to curtail any further expansion of slave territory. The Compromise of 1850 over California balanced a free-soil state with a stronger federal fugitive slave law for a political settlement after four years of strife in the 1840s. But the states admitted following California were all free: Minnesota (1858), Oregon (1859), and Kansas (1861). In the Southern states, the question of the territorial expansion of slavery westward again became explosive.[67] Both the South and the North drew the same conclusion: "The power to decide the question of slavery for the territories was the power to determine the future of slavery itself."[68][69]

By 1860, four doctrines had emerged to answer the question of federal control in the territories, and they all claimed they were sanctioned by the Constitution, implicitly or explicitly.[70] The first of these theories, represented by the Constitutional Union Party, argued that the Missouri Compromise apportionment of territory north for free soil and south for slavery should become a constitutional mandate. The failed Crittenden Compromise of 1860 was an expression of this view.[71]

The second doctrine of congressional preeminence was championed by Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party. It insisted that the Constitution did not bind legislators to a policy of balance—that slavery could be excluded in a territory, as it was in the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, at the discretion of Congress.[72] Thus Congress could restrict human bondage, but never establish it. The ill-fated Wilmot Proviso announced this position in 1846.[73] The Proviso was a pivotal moment in national politics, as it was the first time slavery had become a major congressional issue based on sectionalism, instead of party lines. Its support by Northern Democrats and Whigs, and opposition by Southerners, was a dark omen of coming divisions.[74]

Senator Stephen A. Douglas proclaimed the third doctrine: territorial or "popular" sovereignty, which asserted that the settlers in a territory had the same rights as states in the Union to allow or disallow slavery as a purely local matter.[75] The Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 legislated this doctrine.[76] In the Kansas Territory, political conflict spawned "Bleeding Kansas", a five-year paramilitary conflict between pro- and anti-slavery supporters. The U.S. House of Representatives voted to admit Kansas as a free state in early 1860, but its admission did not pass the Senate until January 1861, after the departure of Southern senators.[77]

The fourth doctrine was advocated by Mississippi Senator (and soon to be Confederate President) Jefferson Davis.[78] It was one of state sovereignty ("states' rights"),[79] also known as the "Calhoun doctrine",[80] named after the South Carolinian political theorist and statesman John C. Calhoun.[81] Rejecting the arguments for federal authority or self-government, state sovereignty would empower states to promote the expansion of slavery as part of the federal union under the U.S. Constitution.[82] These four doctrines comprised the dominant ideologies presented to the American public on the matters of slavery, the territories, and the U.S. Constitution before the 1860 presidential election.[83]

States' rights

A long-running dispute over the origin of the Civil War is to what extent states' rights triggered the conflict. The consensus among historians is that the Civil War was not fought about states' rights.[84][85][86][87] But the issue is frequently referenced in popular accounts of the war and has much traction among Southerners. Southerners advocating secession argued that just as each state had decided to join the Union, a state had the right to secede—leave the Union—at any time. Northerners (including pro-slavery President Buchanan) rejected that notion as opposed to the will of the Founding Fathers, who said they were setting up a perpetual union.[88]

Historian James McPherson points out that even if Confederates genuinely fought over states' rights, it boiled down to states' right to slavery.[87] McPherson writes concerning states' rights and other non-slavery explanations:

While one or more of these interpretations remain popular among the Sons of Confederate Veterans and other Southern heritage groups, few professional historians now subscribe to them. Of all these interpretations, the states'-rights argument is perhaps the weakest. It fails to ask the question, states' rights for what purpose? States' rights, or sovereignty, was always more a means than an end, an instrument to achieve a certain goal more than a principle.[87]

States' rights was an ideology formulated and applied as a means of advancing slave state interests through federal authority.[89] As historian Thomas L. Krannawitter points out, the "Southern demand for federal slave protection represented a demand for an unprecedented expansion of Federal power."[90][91] Before the Civil War, the Southern states supported the use of federal powers to enforce and extend slavery, as with the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision.[92][93] The faction that pushed for secession often infringed on states' rights. Because of the overrepresentation of pro-slavery factions in the federal government, many Northerners, even non-abolitionists, feared the Slave Power conspiracy.[92][93] Some Northern states resisted the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act. Historian Eric Foner states that the act "could hardly have been designed to arouse greater opposition in the North. It overrode numerous state and local laws and legal procedures and 'commanded' individual citizens to assist, when called upon, in capturing runaways." He continues, "It certainly did not reveal, on the part of slaveholders, sensitivity to states' rights."[85] According to historian Paul Finkelman, "the southern states mostly complained that the northern states were asserting their states' rights and that the national government was not powerful enough to counter these northern claims."[86] The Confederate Constitution also "federally" required slavery to be legal in all Confederate states and claimed territories.[84][94]

Sectionalism

Sectionalism resulted from the different economies, social structure, customs, and political values of the North and South.[95][96] Regional tensions came to a head during the War of 1812, resulting in the Hartford Convention, which manifested Northern dissatisfaction with a foreign trade embargo that affected the industrial North disproportionately, the Three-Fifths Compromise, dilution of Northern power by new states, and a succession of Southern presidents. Sectionalism increased steadily between 1800 and 1860 as the North, which phased slavery out of existence, industrialized, urbanized, and built prosperous farms, while the deep South concentrated on plantation agriculture based on slave labor, together with subsistence agriculture for poor whites. In the 1840s and 1850s, the issue of accepting slavery (in the guise of rejecting slave-owning bishops and missionaries) split the nation's largest religious denominations (the Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian churches) into separate Northern and Southern denominations.[97]

Historians have debated whether economic differences between the mainly industrial North and the mainly agricultural South helped cause the war. Most historians now disagree with the economic determinism of historian Charles A. Beard in the 1920s, and emphasize that Northern and Southern economies were largely complementary. While socially different, the sections economically benefited each other.[98][99]

Protectionism

Owners of slaves preferred low-cost manual labor with no mechanization. Northern manufacturing interests supported tariffs and protectionism while Southern planters demanded free trade.[100] The Democrats in Congress, controlled by Southerners, wrote the tariff laws in the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s, and kept reducing rates so that the 1857 rates were the lowest since 1816. The Republicans called for an increase in tariffs in the 1860 election. The increases were only enacted in 1861 after Southerners resigned their seats in Congress.[101][102] The tariff issue was a Northern grievance. However, neo-Confederate writers have claimed it as a Southern grievance. In 1860–61 none of the groups that proposed compromises to head off secession raised the tariff issue.[103] Pamphleteers from the North and the South rarely mentioned the tariff.[104]

Nationalism and honor

Marais des Cygnes massacre of anti-slavery Kansans, May 19, 1858
Marais des Cygnes massacre of anti-slavery Kansans, May 19, 1858

Nationalism was a powerful force in the early 19th century, with famous spokesmen such as Andrew Jackson and Daniel Webster. While practically all Northerners supported the Union, Southerners were split between those loyal to the entirety of the United States (called "Southern Unionists") and those loyal primarily to the Southern region and then the Confederacy.[105]

Perceived insults to Southern collective honor included the enormous popularity of Uncle Tom's Cabin and abolitionist John Brown's attempt to incite a slave rebellion in 1859.[106][107]

While the South moved towards a Southern nationalism, leaders in the North were also becoming more nationally minded, and they rejected any notion of splitting the Union. The Republican national electoral platform of 1860 warned that Republicans regarded disunion as treason and would not tolerate it.[108] The South ignored the warnings; Southerners did not realize how ardently the North would fight to hold the Union together.[109]

Lincoln's election

Mathew Brady's Portrait of Abraham Lincoln, 1860
Mathew Brady's Portrait of Abraham Lincoln, 1860

The election of Abraham Lincoln in November 1860 was the final trigger for secession.[110] Southern leaders feared that Lincoln would stop the expansion of slavery and put it on a course toward extinction.[111] However, Lincoln would not be inaugurated until five months after the election, which gave the South time to secede and prepare for war in the winter and spring of 1861.[112]

According to Lincoln, the American people had shown that they had been successful in establishing and administering a republic, but a third challenge faced the nation: maintaining a republic based on the people's vote, in the face of an attempt to destroy it.[113]

Discover more about Causes of secession related topics

Origins of the American Civil War

Origins of the American Civil War

Historians who address the origins of the American Civil War today agree that the preservation of slavery in the United States was the principal aim of the 11 Southern states that declared their secession from the United States and united to form the Confederate States. However, while historians in the 21st century agree on the centrality of the conflict over slavery—it was not just "a cause" of the war but "the cause"—they disagree sharply on which aspects of this conflict were most important, and on the North’s reasons for refusing to allow the Southern states to secede. Proponents of the pseudo-historical Lost Cause ideology have denied that slavery was the principal cause of the secession, a view that has been disproven by the overwhelming historical evidence against it, notably the seceding states' own secession documents.

Republican Party (United States)

Republican Party (United States)

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States. The GOP was founded in 1854 by anti-slavery activists who opposed the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which allowed for the potential expansion of chattel slavery into the western territories. It has been the main political rival of the Democratic Party since the mid-1850s. Like them, the Republican Party is a big tent of competing and often opposing ideologies. Presently, the Republican Party contains prominent conservative, centrist, populist, and right-libertarian factions.

1860 United States presidential election

1860 United States presidential election

The 1860 United States presidential election was the 19th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 6, 1860. In a four-way contest, the Republican Party ticket of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin, absent from the ballot in ten slave states, won a national popular plurality, a popular majority in the North where states already had abolished slavery, and a national electoral majority comprising only Northern electoral votes. Lincoln's election thus served as the main catalyst of the American Civil War. This marked the first time that a Republican was elected president.

Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address

Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address

Abraham Lincoln delivered his second inaugural address on Saturday, March 4, 1865, during his second inauguration as President of the United States. At a time when victory over secessionists in the American Civil War was within days and slavery in all of the U.S. was near an end, Lincoln did not speak of happiness, but of sadness. Some see this speech as a defense of his pragmatic approach to Reconstruction, in which he sought to avoid harsh treatment of the defeated rebels by reminding his listeners of how wrong both sides had been in imagining what lay before them when the war began four years earlier. Lincoln balanced that rejection of triumphalism, however, with recognition of the unmistakable evil of slavery. The address is inscribed, along with the Gettysburg Address, in the Lincoln Memorial.

Constitution of the United States

Constitution of the United States

The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It superseded the Articles of Confederation, the nation's first constitution, in 1789. Originally comprising seven articles, it delineates the national frame and constraints of government. The Constitution's first three articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress ; the executive, consisting of the president and subordinate officers ; and the judicial, consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts. Article IV, Article V, and Article VI embody concepts of federalism, describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments, the states in relationship to the federal government, and the shared process of constitutional amendment. Article VII establishes the procedure subsequently used by the 13 states to ratify it. The Constitution of the United States is the oldest and longest-standing written and codified national constitution in force in the world today.

Missouri Compromise

Missouri Compromise

The Missouri Compromise was a federal legislation of the United States that balanced desires of northern states to prevent expansion of slavery in the country with those of southern states to expand it. It admitted Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state and declared a policy of prohibiting slavery in the remaining Louisiana Purchase lands north of the 36°30′ parallel. The 16th United States Congress passed the legislation on March 3, 1820, and President James Monroe signed it on March 6, 1820.

Compromise of 1850

Compromise of 1850

The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five separate bills passed by the United States Congress in September 1850 that temporarily defused tensions between slave and free states in the years leading up to the American Civil War. Designed by Whig senator Henry Clay and Democratic senator Stephen A. Douglas, with the support of President Millard Fillmore, the compromise centered on how to handle slavery in recently acquired territories from the Mexican–American War (1846–48).

Republicanism in the United States

Republicanism in the United States

The values and ideals of republicanism are foundational in the constitution and history of the United States. As the United States constitution prohibits granting titles of nobility, republicanism in this context does not refer to a political movement to abolish such a class, as it does in countries such as the UK, Australia, and the Netherlands. Instead, it refers to the core values that citizenry in a republic have, or ought to have.

Haitian Revolution

Haitian Revolution

The Haitian Revolution was a successful insurrection by self-liberated slaves against French colonial rule in Saint-Domingue, now the sovereign state of Haiti. The revolt began on 22 August 1791, and ended in 1804 with the former colony's independence. It involved black, biracial, French, Spanish, British, and Polish participants—with the ex-slave Toussaint Louverture emerging as Haiti's most prominent general. The revolution was the only slave uprising that led to the founding of a state which was both free from slavery and ruled by non-whites and former captives. It is now widely seen as a defining moment in the history of the Atlantic World.

John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry

John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry

John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry was an effort by abolitionist John Brown, from October 16 to 18, 1859, to initiate a slave revolt in Southern states by taking over the United States arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. It has been called the dress rehearsal for, or tragic prelude to, the Civil War.

John Brown (abolitionist)

John Brown (abolitionist)

John Brown was an American abolitionist leader. First reaching national prominence for his radical abolitionism and fighting in Bleeding Kansas, he was eventually captured and executed for a failed incitement of a slave rebellion at Harpers Ferry preceding the American Civil War.

Abolitionism in the United States

Abolitionism in the United States

In the United States, abolitionism, the movement that sought to end slavery in the country, was active from the late colonial era until the American Civil War, the end of which brought about the abolition of American slavery through the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Outbreak of the war

Secession crisis

The election of Lincoln provoked the legislature of South Carolina to call a state convention to consider secession. Before the war, South Carolina did more than any other Southern state to advance the notion that a state had the right to nullify federal laws, and even to secede from the United States. The convention unanimously voted to secede on December 20, 1860, and adopted a secession declaration. It argued for states' rights for slave owners in the South, but contained a complaint about states' rights in the North in the form of opposition to the Fugitive Slave Act, claiming that Northern states were not fulfilling their federal obligations under the Constitution. The "cotton states" of Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas followed suit, seceding in January and February 1861.[114]

The first published imprint of secession, a broadside issued by the Charleston Mercury, December 20, 1860
The first published imprint of secession, a broadside issued by the Charleston Mercury, December 20, 1860

Among the ordinances of secession passed by the individual states, those of three—Texas, Alabama, and Virginia—specifically mentioned the plight of the "slaveholding states" at the hands of Northern abolitionists. The rest make no mention of the slavery issue and are often brief announcements of the dissolution of ties by the legislatures.[115] However, at least four states—South Carolina,[116] Mississippi,[117] Georgia,[118] and Texas[119]—also passed lengthy and detailed explanations of their reasons for secession, all of which laid the blame squarely on the movement to abolish slavery and that movement's influence over the politics of the Northern states. The Southern states believed slaveholding was a constitutional right because of the Fugitive Slave Clause of the Constitution. These states agreed to form a new federal government, the Confederate States of America, on February 4, 1861.[120] They took control of federal forts and other properties within their boundaries with little resistance from outgoing President James Buchanan, whose term ended on March 4, 1861. Buchanan said that the Dred Scott decision was proof that the South had no reason for secession, and that the Union "was intended to be perpetual", but that "The power by force of arms to compel a State to remain in the Union" was not among the "enumerated powers granted to Congress".[121] One-quarter of the U.S. Army—the entire garrison in Texas—was surrendered in February 1861 to state forces by its commanding general, David E. Twiggs, who then joined the Confederacy.[122]

As Southerners resigned their seats in the Senate and the House, Republicans were able to pass projects that had been blocked by Southern senators before the war. These included the Morrill Tariff, land grant colleges (the Morrill Act), a Homestead Act, a transcontinental railroad (the Pacific Railroad Acts),[123] the National Bank Act, the authorization of United States Notes by the Legal Tender Act of 1862, and the ending of slavery in the District of Columbia. The Revenue Act of 1861 introduced the income tax to help finance the war.[124]

In December 1860, the Crittenden Compromise was proposed to re-establish the Missouri Compromise line by constitutionally banning slavery in territories to the north of the line while guaranteeing it to the south. The adoption of this compromise likely would have prevented the secession of the Southern states, but Lincoln and the Republicans rejected it.[125] Lincoln stated that any compromise that would extend slavery would in time bring down the Union.[126] A pre-war February Peace Conference of 1861 met in Washington, proposing a solution similar to that of the Crittenden compromise; it was rejected by Congress. The Republicans proposed an alternative compromise to not interfere with slavery where it existed but the South regarded it as insufficient. Nonetheless, the remaining eight slave states rejected pleas to join the Confederacy following a two-to-one no-vote in Virginia's First Secessionist Convention on April 4, 1861.[127]

On March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln was sworn in as president. In his inaugural address, he argued that the Constitution was a more perfect union than the earlier Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, that it was a binding contract, and called any secession "legally void".[128] He had no intent to invade Southern states, nor did he intend to end slavery where it existed, but said that he would use force to maintain possession of federal property,[128] including forts, arsenals, mints, and customhouses that had been seized by the Southern states.[129] The government would make no move to recover post offices, and if resisted, mail delivery would end at state lines. Where popular conditions did not allow peaceful enforcement of federal law, U.S. marshals and judges would be withdrawn. No mention was made of bullion lost from U.S. mints in Louisiana, Georgia, and North Carolina. He stated that it would be U.S. policy to only collect import duties at its ports; there could be no serious injury to the South to justify the armed revolution during his administration. His speech closed with a plea for restoration of the bonds of union, famously calling on "the mystic chords of memory" binding the two regions.[128]

The Davis government of the new Confederacy sent three delegates to Washington to negotiate a peace treaty with the United States of America. Lincoln rejected any negotiations with Confederate agents because he claimed the Confederacy was not a legitimate government, and that making any treaty with it would be tantamount to recognition of it as a sovereign government.[130] Lincoln instead attempted to negotiate directly with the governors of individual seceded states, whose administrations he continued to recognize.

Complicating Lincoln's attempts to defuse the crisis were the actions of the new Secretary of State, William Seward. Seward had been Lincoln's main rival for the Republican presidential nomination. Shocked and embittered by this defeat, Seward agreed to support Lincoln's candidacy only after he was guaranteed the executive office that was considered at that time to be the most powerful and important after the presidency itself. Even in the early stages of Lincoln's presidency Seward still held little regard for the new chief executive due to his perceived inexperience, and therefore Seward viewed himself as the de facto head of government or "prime minister" behind the throne of Lincoln. In this role, Seward attempted to engage in unauthorized and indirect negotiations that failed.[130] However, President Lincoln was determined to hold all remaining Union-occupied forts in the Confederacy: Fort Monroe in Virginia, Fort Pickens, Fort Jefferson and Fort Taylor in Florida, and Fort Sumter in South Carolina.[131]

Battle of Fort Sumter

The Battle of Fort Sumter, as depicted by Currier and Ives
The Battle of Fort Sumter, as depicted by Currier and Ives

The American Civil War began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces opened fire on the Union-held Fort Sumter. Fort Sumter is located in the middle of the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina.[132] Its status had been contentious for months. Outgoing President Buchanan had dithered in reinforcing the Union garrison in the harbor, which was under command of Major Robert Anderson. Anderson took matters into his own hands and on December 26, 1860, under the cover of darkness, sailed the garrison from the poorly placed Fort Moultrie to the stalwart island Fort Sumter.[133] Anderson's actions catapulted him to hero status in the North. An attempt to resupply the fort on January 9, 1861, failed and nearly started the war then and there. But an informal truce held.[134] On March 5, the newly sworn in Lincoln was informed that the Fort was running low on supplies.[135]

Fort Sumter proved to be one of the main challenges of the new Lincoln administration.[135] Back-channel dealing by Secretary of State Seward with the Confederates undermined Lincoln's decision-making; Seward wanted to pull out of the fort.[136] But a firm hand by Lincoln tamed Seward, and Seward became one of Lincoln's staunchest allies. Lincoln ultimately decided that holding the fort, which would require reinforcing it, was the only workable option. Thus, on April 6, Lincoln informed the Governor of South Carolina that a ship with food but no ammunition would attempt to supply the Fort. Historian McPherson describes this win-win approach as "the first sign of the mastery that would mark Lincoln's presidency"; the Union would win if it could resupply and hold onto the Fort, and the South would be the aggressor if it opened fire on an unarmed ship supplying starving men.[137] An April 9 Confederate cabinet meeting resulted in President Davis's ordering General P. G. T. Beauregard to take the Fort before supplies could reach it.[138]

At 4:30 am on April 12, Confederate forces fired the first of 4,000 shells at the Fort; it fell the next day. The loss of Fort Sumter lit a patriotic fire under the North.[139] On April 15, Lincoln called on the states to field 75,000 volunteer troops for 90 days; impassioned Union states met the quotas quickly.[140] On May 3, 1861, Lincoln called for an additional 42,000 volunteers for a period of three years.[141][142] Shortly after this, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and North Carolina seceded and joined the Confederacy. To reward Virginia, the Confederate capital was moved to Richmond.[143]

Attitude of the border states

US Secession map. The Union vs. the Confederacy.    Union states    Union territories not permitting slavery    Border Union states, permitting slavery (One of these states, West Virginia was created in 1863)    Confederate states    Union territories that permitted slavery (claimed by Confederacy) at the start of the war, but where slavery was outlawed by the U.S. in 1862
US Secession map. The Union vs. the Confederacy.
   Union states
   Union territories not permitting slavery
(One of these states, West Virginia was created in 1863)
   Confederate states
   Union territories that permitted slavery (claimed by Confederacy) at the start of the war, but where slavery was outlawed by the U.S. in 1862

Maryland, Delaware, Missouri, and Kentucky were slave states whose people had divided loyalties to Northern and Southern businesses and family members. Some men enlisted in the Union Army and others in the Confederate Army.[144] West Virginia separated from Virginia and was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863.[145]

Maryland's territory surrounded the United States' capital of Washington, D.C., and could cut it off from the North.[146] It had numerous anti-Lincoln officials who tolerated anti-army rioting in Baltimore and the burning of bridges, both aimed at hindering the passage of troops to the South. Maryland's legislature voted overwhelmingly (53–13) to stay in the Union, but also rejected hostilities with its southern neighbors, voting to close Maryland's rail lines to prevent them from being used for war.[147] Lincoln responded by establishing martial law and unilaterally suspending habeas corpus in Maryland, along with sending in militia units from the North.[148] Lincoln rapidly took control of Maryland and the District of Columbia by seizing many prominent figures, including arresting 1/3 of the members of the Maryland General Assembly on the day it reconvened.[147][149] All were held without trial, with Lincoln ignoring a ruling on June 1, 1861, by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, not speaking for the Court,[150] that only Congress (and not the president) could suspend habeas corpus (Ex parte Merryman). Federal troops imprisoned a prominent Baltimore newspaper editor, Frank Key Howard, Francis Scott Key's grandson, after he criticized Lincoln in an editorial for ignoring Taney's ruling.[151]

In Missouri, an elected convention on secession voted decisively to remain within the Union. When pro-Confederate Governor Claiborne F. Jackson called out the state militia, it was attacked by federal forces under General Nathaniel Lyon, who chased the governor and the rest of the State Guard to the southwestern corner of the state (see also: Missouri secession). In the resulting vacuum, the convention on secession reconvened and took power as the Unionist provisional government of Missouri.[152]

Kentucky did not secede; for a time, it declared itself neutral. When Confederate forces entered the state in September 1861, neutrality ended and the state reaffirmed its Union status while maintaining slavery. During a brief invasion by Confederate forces in 1861, Confederate sympathizers organized a secession convention, formed the shadow Confederate Government of Kentucky, inaugurated a governor, and gained recognition from the Confederacy. Its jurisdiction extended only as far as Confederate battle lines in the Commonwealth, and it went into exile after October 1862.[153]

After Virginia's secession, a Unionist government in Wheeling asked 48 counties to vote on an ordinance to create a new state on October 24, 1861. A voter turnout of 34 percent approved the statehood bill (96 percent approving).[154] Twenty-four secessionist counties were included in the new state,[155] and the ensuing guerrilla war engaged about 40,000 federal troops for much of the war.[156][157] Congress admitted West Virginia to the Union on June 20, 1863. West Virginia provided about 20,000–22,000 soldiers to both the Confederacy and the Union.[158]

A Unionist secession attempt occurred in East Tennessee, but was suppressed by the Confederacy, which arrested over 3,000 men suspected of being loyal to the Union. They were held without trial.[159]

Discover more about Outbreak of the war related topics

Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

The Fugitive Slave Act or Fugitive Slave Law was passed by the United States Congress on September 18, 1850, as part of the Compromise of 1850 between Southern interests in slavery and Northern Free-Soilers.

Mississippi in the American Civil War

Mississippi in the American Civil War

Mississippi was the second southern state to declare its secession from the United States, doing so on January 9, 1861. It joined with six other southern states to form the Confederacy on February 4, 1861. Mississippi's location along the lengthy Mississippi River made it strategically important to both the Union and the Confederacy; dozens of battles were fought in the state as armies repeatedly clashed near key towns and transportation nodes.

Florida in the American Civil War

Florida in the American Civil War

Florida participated in the American Civil War as a member of the Confederate States of America. It had been admitted to the United States as a slave state in 1845. In January 1861, Florida became the third Southern state to secede from the Union after the November 1860 presidential election victory of Abraham Lincoln. It was one of the initial seven slave states which formed the Confederacy on February 8, 1861, in advance of the American Civil War.

Alabama in the American Civil War

Alabama in the American Civil War

Alabama was central to the Civil War, with the secession convention at Montgomery, birthplace of the Confederacy, inviting other states to form a Southern Republic, during January–March 1861, and develop constitutions to legally run their own affairs. The 1861 Alabama Constitution granted citizenship to current U.S. residents, but prohibited import duties (tariffs) on foreign goods, limited a standing military, and as a final issue, opposed emancipation by any nation, but urged protection of African slaves, with trial by jury, and reserved the power to regulate or prohibit the African slave trade. The secession convention invited all slaveholding states to secede, but only 7 Cotton States of the Lower South formed the Confederacy with Alabama, while the majority of slave states were in the Union. Congress voted to protect the institution of slavery by passing the Corwin Amendment on March 4, 1861, but it was never ratified.

Broadside (printing)

Broadside (printing)

A broadside is a large sheet of paper printed on one side only. Historically in Europe, broadsides were used as posters, announcing events or proclamations, giving political views, commentary in the form of ballads, or simply advertisements. In Japan, Chromoxylographic broadsheets featuring artistic prints were common.

Charleston Mercury

Charleston Mercury

The Charleston Mercury was a secessionist newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina, founded by Henry L. Pinckney in 1819. He was its sole editor for fifteen years. It ceased publication with the Union Army occupation of Charleston. After the American Civil War, publication resumed in November 1866 before the paper closed permanently two years later in 1868.

Fugitive Slave Clause

Fugitive Slave Clause

The Fugitive Slave Clause in the United States Constitution, also known as either the Slave Clause or the Fugitives From Labor Clause, is Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3, which requires a "person held to service or labor" who flees to another state to be returned to their master in the state from which that person escaped. The enactment of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which abolished slavery except as a punishment for criminal acts, has made the clause mostly irrelevant.

Confederate States of America

Confederate States of America

The Confederate States of America (CSA), commonly referred to as the Confederate States or the Confederacy, was an unrecognized breakaway herrenvolk republic in the Southern United States that existed from February 8, 1861, to May 9, 1865. The Confederacy comprised U.S. states that declared secession and warred against the United States during the American Civil War: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

James Buchanan

James Buchanan

James Buchanan Jr. was an American lawyer, diplomat, and politician who served as the 15th president of the United States from 1857 to 1861. He previously served as secretary of state from 1845 to 1849 and represented Pennsylvania in both houses of the U.S. Congress. He was an advocate for states' rights, particularly regarding slavery, and minimized the role of the federal government preceding the Civil War. Buchanan was the last president born in the 18th century.

David E. Twiggs

David E. Twiggs

David Emanuel Twiggs, born in Georgia, was a career army officer, serving during the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, and Mexican–American War.

Morrill Tariff

Morrill Tariff

The Morrill Tariff was an increased import tariff in the United States that was adopted on March 2, 1861, during the administration of US President James Buchanan, a Democrat. It was the twelfth of the seventeen planks in the platform of the incoming Republican Party, which had not yet been inaugurated, and the tariff appealed to industrialists and factory workers as a way to foster rapid industrial growth.

Morrill Land-Grant Acts

Morrill Land-Grant Acts

The Morrill Land-Grant Acts are United States statutes that allowed for the creation of land-grant colleges in U.S. states using the proceeds from sales of federally-owned land, often obtained from indigenous tribes through treaty, cession, or seizure. The Morrill Act of 1862 was enacted during the American Civil War, and the Morrill Act of 1890 (the Agricultural College Act of 1890 expanded this model.

War

The Civil War was a contest marked by the ferocity and frequency of battle. Over four years, 237 named battles were fought, as were many more minor actions and skirmishes, which were often characterized by their bitter intensity and high casualties. In his book The American Civil War, British historian John Keegan writes that "The American Civil War was to prove one of the most ferocious wars ever fought". In many cases, without geographic objectives, the only target for each side was the enemy's soldier.[160]

Mobilization

As the first seven states began organizing a Confederacy in Montgomery, the entire U.S. army numbered 16,000. However, Northern governors had begun to mobilize their militias.[161] The Confederate Congress authorized the new nation up to 100,000 troops sent by governors as early as February. By May, Jefferson Davis was pushing for 100,000 soldiers for one year or the duration, and that was answered in kind by the U.S. Congress.[162][163][164]

In the first year of the war, both sides had far more volunteers than they could effectively train and equip. After the initial enthusiasm faded, reliance on the cohort of young men who came of age every year and wanted to join was not enough. Both sides used a draft law—conscription—as a device to encourage or force volunteering; relatively few were drafted and served. The Confederacy passed a draft law in April 1862 for young men aged 18 to 35; overseers of slaves, government officials, and clergymen were exempt.[165] The U.S. Congress followed in July, authorizing a militia draft within a state when it could not meet its quota with volunteers. European immigrants joined the Union Army in large numbers, including 177,000 born in Germany and 144,000 born in Ireland.[166]

Rioters attacking a building during the New York anti-draft riots of 1863
Rioters attacking a building during the New York anti-draft riots of 1863

When the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect in January 1863, ex-slaves were energetically recruited by the states and used to meet the state quotas. States and local communities offered higher and higher cash bonuses for white volunteers. Congress tightened the law in March 1863. Men selected in the draft could provide substitutes or, until mid-1864, pay commutation money. Many eligibles pooled their money to cover the cost of anyone drafted. Families used the substitute provision to select which man should go into the army and which should stay home. There was much evasion and overt resistance to the draft, especially in Catholic areas. The draft riot in New York City in July 1863 involved Irish immigrants who had been signed up as citizens to swell the vote of the city's Democratic political machine, not realizing it made them liable for the draft.[167] Of the 168,649 men procured for the Union through the draft, 117,986 were substitutes, leaving only 50,663 who had their services conscripted.[168]

In both the North and South, the draft laws were highly unpopular. In the North, some 120,000 men evaded conscription, many of them fleeing to Canada, and another 280,000 soldiers deserted during the war.[169] At least 100,000 Southerners deserted, or about 10 percent; Southern desertion was high because, according to one historian writing in 1991, the highly localized Southern identity meant that many Southern men had little investment in the outcome of the war, with individual soldiers caring more about the fate of their local area than any grand ideal.[170] In the North, "bounty jumpers" enlisted to get the generous bonus, deserted, then went back to a second recruiting station under a different name to sign up again for a second bonus; 141 were caught and executed.[171]

From a tiny frontier force in 1860, the Union and Confederate armies had grown into the "largest and most efficient armies in the world" within a few years. Some European observers at the time dismissed them as amateur and unprofessional,[172] but historian John Keegan concluded that each outmatched the French, Prussian, and Russian armies of the time, and without the Atlantic, would have threatened any of them with defeat.[173]

Prisoners

At the start of the Civil War, a system of paroles operated. Captives agreed not to fight until they were officially exchanged. Meanwhile, they were held in camps run by their army. They were paid, but they were not allowed to perform any military duties.[174] The system of exchanges collapsed in 1863 when the Confederacy refused to exchange black prisoners. After that, about 56,000 of the 409,000 POWs died in prisons during the war, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the conflict's fatalities.[175]

Women

Historian Elizabeth D. Leonard writes that, according to various estimates, between five hundred and one thousand women enlisted as soldiers on both sides of the war, disguised as men.[176]: 165, 310–311  Women also served as spies, resistance activists, nurses, and hospital personnel.[176]: 240  Women served on the Union hospital ship Red Rover and nursed Union and Confederate troops at field hospitals.[177]

Mary Edwards Walker, the only woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor, served in the Union Army and was given the medal for her efforts to treat the wounded during the war. Her name was deleted from the Army Medal of Honor Roll in 1917 (along with over 900 other Medal of Honor recipients); however, it was restored in 1977.[178][179]

Naval tactics

Clashes on the rivers were melees of ironclads, cottonclads, gunboats and rams, complicated by naval mines and fire rafts.
Clashes on the rivers were melees of ironclads, cottonclads, gunboats and rams, complicated by naval mines and fire rafts.
Battle between the USS Monitor and Merrimack
Battle between the USS Monitor and Merrimack

The small U.S. Navy of 1861 was rapidly enlarged to 6,000 officers and 45,000 sailors in 1865, with 671 vessels, having a tonnage of 510,396.[180][181] Its mission was to blockade Confederate ports, take control of the river system, defend against Confederate raiders on the high seas, and be ready for a possible war with the British Royal Navy.[182] Meanwhile, the main riverine war was fought in the West, where a series of major rivers gave access to the Confederate heartland. The U.S. Navy eventually gained control of the Red, Tennessee, Cumberland, Mississippi, and Ohio rivers. In the East, the Navy shelled Confederate forts and provided support for coastal army operations.[183]

The Civil War occurred during the early stages of the industrial revolution. Many naval innovations emerged during this time, most notably the advent of the ironclad warship. It began when the Confederacy, knowing they had to meet or match the Union's naval superiority, responded to the Union blockade by building or converting more than 130 vessels, including twenty-six ironclads and floating batteries.[184] Only half of these saw active service. Many were equipped with ram bows, creating "ram fever" among Union squadrons wherever they threatened. But in the face of overwhelming Union superiority and the Union's ironclad warships, they were unsuccessful.[185]

In addition to ocean-going warships coming up the Mississippi, the Union Navy used timberclads, tinclads, and armored gunboats. Shipyards at Cairo, Illinois, and St. Louis built new boats or modified steamboats for action.[186]

The Confederacy experimented with the submarine CSS Hunley, which did not work satisfactorily,[187] and with building an ironclad ship, CSS Virginia, which was based on rebuilding a sunken Union ship, Merrimack. On its first foray, on March 8, 1862, Virginia inflicted significant damage to the Union's wooden fleet, but the next day the first Union ironclad, USS Monitor, arrived to challenge it in the Chesapeake Bay. The resulting three-hour Battle of Hampton Roads was a draw, but it proved that ironclads were effective warships.[188] Not long after the battle, the Confederacy was forced to scuttle the Virginia to prevent its capture, while the Union built many copies of the Monitor. Lacking the technology and infrastructure to build effective warships, the Confederacy attempted to obtain warships from Great Britain. However, this failed, because Great Britain had no interest in selling warships to a nation that was at war with a stronger enemy, and doing so could sour relations with the U.S.[189]

Union blockade

General Scott's "Anaconda Plan" 1861. Tightening naval blockade, forcing rebels out of Missouri along the Mississippi River, Kentucky Unionists sit on the fence, idled cotton industry illustrated in Georgia.
General Scott's "Anaconda Plan" 1861. Tightening naval blockade, forcing rebels out of Missouri along the Mississippi River, Kentucky Unionists sit on the fence, idled cotton industry illustrated in Georgia.

By early 1861, General Winfield Scott had devised the Anaconda Plan to win the war with as little bloodshed as possible, which called for blockading the Confederacy and slowly suffocating the South to surrender.[190] Lincoln adopted parts of the plan, but chose to prosecute a more active vision of war.[191] In April 1861, Lincoln announced the Union blockade of all Southern ports; commercial ships could not get insurance and regular traffic ended. The South blundered in embargoing cotton exports in 1861 before the blockade was effective; by the time they realized the mistake, it was too late. "King Cotton" was dead, as the South could export less than 10 percent of its cotton. The blockade shut down the ten Confederate seaports with railheads that moved almost all the cotton, especially New Orleans, Mobile, and Charleston. By June 1861, warships were stationed off the principal Southern ports, and a year later nearly 300 ships were in service.[192]

Blockade runners

Gunline of nine Union ironclads. South Atlantic Blockading Squadron off Charleston. Continuous blockade of all major ports was sustained by North's overwhelming war production.
Gunline of nine Union ironclads. South Atlantic Blockading Squadron off Charleston. Continuous blockade of all major ports was sustained by North's overwhelming war production.

The Confederates began the war short on military supplies and in desperate need of large quantities of arms which the agrarian South could not provide. Arms manufactures in the industrial North were restricted by an arms embargo, keeping shipments of arms from going to the South, and ending all existing and future contracts. The Confederacy subsequently looked to foreign sources for their enormous military needs and sought out financiers and companies like S. Isaac, Campbell & Company and the London Armoury Company in Britain, who acted as purchasing agents for the Confederacy, connecting them with Britain's many arms manufactures, and ultimately becoming the Confederacy's main source of arms.[193][194]

To get the arms safely to the Confederacy, British investors built small, fast, steam-driven blockade runners that traded arms and supplies brought in from Britain through Bermuda, Cuba, and the Bahamas in return for high-priced cotton. Many of the ships were lightweight and designed for speed and could only carry a relatively small amount of cotton back to England.[195] When the Union Navy seized a blockade runner, the ship and cargo were condemned as a prize of war and sold, with the proceeds given to the Navy sailors; the captured crewmen were mostly British, and they were released.[196]

Economic impact

The Southern economy nearly collapsed during the war. There were multiple reasons for this: the severe deterioration of food supplies, especially in cities, the failure of Southern railroads, the loss of control of the main rivers, foraging by Northern armies, and the seizure of animals and crops by Confederate armies.[197] Most historians agree that the blockade was a major factor in ruining the Confederate economy; however, Wise argues that the blockade runners provided just enough of a lifeline to allow Lee to continue fighting for additional months, thanks to fresh supplies of 400,000 rifles, lead, blankets, and boots that the homefront economy could no longer supply.[197]

Surdam argues that the blockade was a powerful weapon that eventually ruined the Southern economy, at the cost of few lives in combat. Practically, the entire Confederate cotton crop was useless (although it was sold to Union traders), costing the Confederacy its main source of income. Critical imports were scarce and the coastal trade was largely ended as well.[198] The measure of the blockade's success was not the few ships that slipped through, but the thousands that never tried it. Merchant ships owned in Europe could not get insurance and were too slow to evade the blockade, so they stopped calling at Confederate ports.[199]

To fight an offensive war, the Confederacy purchased ships in Britain, converted them to warships, and raided American merchant ships in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Insurance rates skyrocketed and the American flag virtually disappeared from international waters. However, the same ships were reflagged with European flags and continued unmolested.[185] After the war ended, the U.S. government demanded that Britain compensate them for the damage done by the raiders outfitted in British ports. Britain acquiesced to their demand, paying the U.S. $15 million in 1871.[200]

Dinçaslan argues that another outcome of the blockade was oil's rise to prominence as a widely used and traded commodity. The already declining whale oil industry took a blow as many old whaling ships were used in blockade efforts such as the Stone Fleet, and Confederate raiders harassing Union whalers aggravated the situation. Oil products that had been treated mostly as lubricants, especially kerosene, started to replace whale oil used in lamps and essentially became a fuel commodity. This increased the importance of oil as a commodity, long before its eventual use as fuel for combustion engines.[201]

Diplomacy

Although the Confederacy hoped that Britain and France would join them against the Union, this was never likely, and so they instead tried to bring the British and French governments in as mediators.[202][203] The Union, under Lincoln and Secretary of State William H. Seward, worked to block this and threatened war if any country officially recognized the existence of the Confederate States of America. In 1861, Southerners voluntarily embargoed cotton shipments, hoping to start an economic depression in Europe that would force Britain to enter the war to get cotton, but this did not work. Worse, Europe turned to Egypt and India for cotton, which they found superior, hindering the South's recovery after the war.[204][205]

Cotton diplomacy proved a failure as Europe had a surplus of cotton, while the 1860–62 crop failures in Europe made the North's grain exports of critical importance. It also helped to turn European opinion further away from the Confederacy. It was said that "King Corn was more powerful than King Cotton", as U.S. grain went from a quarter of the British import trade to almost half.[204] Meanwhile, the war created employment for arms makers, ironworkers, and ships to transport weapons.[205]

Lincoln's administration initially failed to appeal to European public opinion. At first, diplomats explained that the United States was not committed to the ending of slavery, and instead repeated legalistic arguments about the unconstitutionality of secession. Confederate representatives, on the other hand, started off much more successful, by ignoring slavery and instead focusing on their struggle for liberty, their commitment to free trade, and the essential role of cotton in the European economy.[206] The European aristocracy was "absolutely gleeful in pronouncing the American debacle as proof that the entire experiment in popular government had failed. European government leaders welcomed the fragmentation of the ascendant American Republic."[206] However, there was still a European public with liberal sensibilities, that the U.S. sought to appeal to by building connections with the international press. As early as 1861, many Union diplomats such as Carl Schurz realized emphasizing the war against slavery was the Union's most effective moral asset in the struggle for public opinion in Europe. Seward was concerned that an overly radical case for reunification would distress the European merchants with cotton interests; even so, Seward supported a widespread campaign of public diplomacy.[206]

U.S. minister to Britain Charles Francis Adams proved particularly adept and convinced Britain not to openly challenge the Union blockade. The Confederacy purchased several warships from commercial shipbuilders in Britain (CSS Alabama, CSS Shenandoah, CSS Tennessee, CSS Tallahassee, CSS Florida, and some others). The most famous, the CSS Alabama, did considerable damage and led to serious postwar disputes. However, public opinion against slavery in Britain created a political liability for British politicians, where the anti-slavery movement was powerful.[207]

A December 1861 cartoon in Punch magazine in London ridicules American aggressiveness in the Trent Affair. John Bull, at right, warns Uncle Sam, "You do what's right, my son, or I'll blow you out of the water."
A December 1861 cartoon in Punch magazine in London ridicules American aggressiveness in the Trent Affair. John Bull, at right, warns Uncle Sam, "You do what's right, my son, or I'll blow you out of the water."

War loomed in late 1861 between the U.S. and Britain over the Trent affair, which began when U.S. Navy personnel boarded the British ship Trent and seized two Confederate diplomats. However, London and Washington were able to smooth over the problem after Lincoln released the two men.[208] Prince Albert had left his deathbed to issue diplomatic instructions to Lord Lyons during the Trent affair. His request was honored, and, as a result, the British response to the United States was toned down and helped avert the British becoming involved in the war.[209] In 1862, the British government considered mediating between the Union and Confederacy, though even such an offer would have risked war with the United States. British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston reportedly read Uncle Tom's Cabin three times when deciding on what his decision would be.[208]

The Union victory in the Battle of Antietam caused the British to delay this decision. The Emancipation Proclamation over time would reinforce the political liability of supporting the Confederacy. Realizing that Washington could not intervene in Mexico as long as the Confederacy controlled Texas, France invaded Mexico in 1861. Washington repeatedly protested France's violation of the Monroe Doctrine. Despite sympathy for the Confederacy, France's seizure of Mexico ultimately deterred it from war with the Union. Confederate offers late in the war to end slavery in return for diplomatic recognition were not seriously considered by London or Paris. After 1863, the Polish revolt against Russia further distracted the European powers and ensured that they would remain neutral.[210]

Russia supported the Union, largely because it believed that the U.S. served as a counterbalance to its geopolitical rival, the United Kingdom. In 1863, the Russian Navy's Baltic and Pacific fleets wintered in the American ports of New York and San Francisco, respectively.[211]

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List of American Civil War battles

List of American Civil War battles

Battles of the American Civil War were fought between April 12, 1861, and May 12–13, 1865 in 19 states, mostly Confederate, the District of Columbia, and six territories, as well as naval engagements. Virginia in particular was the site of many major and decisive battles. These battles would change the standing and historical memory of the United States.

Military leadership in the American Civil War

Military leadership in the American Civil War

Military leadership in the American Civil War was vested in both the political and the military structures of the belligerent powers. The overall military leadership of the United States during the Civil War was ultimately vested in the President of the United States as constitutional commander-in-chief, and in the political heads of the military departments he appointed. Most of the major Union wartime commanders had, however, previous regular army experience. A smaller number of military leaders originated from the United States Volunteers. Some of them derived from nations other than the United States.

John Keegan

John Keegan

Sir John Desmond Patrick Keegan was an English military historian, lecturer, author and journalist. He wrote many published works on the nature of combat between prehistory and the 21st century, covering land, air, maritime, intelligence warfare and the psychology of battle.

Conscription

Conscription

Conscription is the state-mandated enlistment of people in a national service, mainly a military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and it continues in some countries to the present day under various names. The modern system of near-universal national conscription for young men dates to the French Revolution in the 1790s, where it became the basis of a very large and powerful military. Most European nations later copied the system in peacetime, so that men at a certain age would serve 1–8 years on active duty and then transfer to the reserve force.

New York City draft riots

New York City draft riots

The New York City draft riots, sometimes referred to as the Manhattan draft riots and known at the time as Draft Week, were violent disturbances in Lower Manhattan, widely regarded as the culmination of white working-class discontent with new laws passed by Congress that year to draft men to fight in the ongoing American Civil War. The riots remain the largest civil and most racially charged urban disturbance in American history. According to Toby Joyce, the riot represented a "civil war" inside the Irish Catholic community, in that "mostly Irish American rioters confronted police, [while] soldiers, and pro-war politicians ... were also to a considerable extent from the local Irish immigrant community."

Emancipation Proclamation

Emancipation Proclamation

The Emancipation Proclamation, officially Proclamation 95, was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the Civil War. The Proclamation changed the legal status of more than 3.5 million enslaved African Americans in the secessionist Confederate states from enslaved to free. As soon as slaves escaped the control of their enslavers, either by fleeing to Union lines or through the advance of federal troops, they were permanently free. In addition, the Proclamation allowed for former slaves to "be received into the armed service of the United States".

Bounty jumper

Bounty jumper

Bounty jumpers were men who enlisted in the Union or Confederate army during the American Civil War only to collect a bounty and then leave. The Enrollment Act of 1863 instituted conscription but allowed individuals to pay a bounty to someone else to fight in their place. Bounty jumpers commonly enlisted numerous times in the army, collecting many bounties in the process.

American Civil War prison camps

American Civil War prison camps

Between 1861 and 1865, American Civil War prison camps were operated by the Union and the Confederacy to detain over 400,000 captured soldiers. From the start of the Civil War through to 1863 a parole exchange system saw most prisoners of war swapped relatively quickly. However, from 1863 this broke down following the Confederacy's refusal to treat black and white Union prisoners equally, leading to soaring numbers held on both sides.

Gender issues in the American Civil War

Gender issues in the American Civil War

During the American Civil War, sexual behavior, gender roles, and attitudes were affected by the conflict, especially by the absence of menfolk at home and the emergence of new roles for women such as nursing. The advent of photography and easier media distribution, for example, allowed for greater access to sexual material for the common soldier.

Elizabeth D. Leonard

Elizabeth D. Leonard

Elizabeth D. Leonard is an American historian and the John J. and Cornelia V. Gibson Professor of History at Colby College in Maine. Her areas of specialty include American women and the Civil War era.

Mary Edwards Walker

Mary Edwards Walker

Mary Edwards Walker, commonly referred to as Dr. Mary Walker, was an American abolitionist, prohibitionist, prisoner of war and surgeon. She is the only woman to ever receive the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor (MOH) is the United States Armed Forces' highest military decoration and is awarded to recognize American soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, guardians and coast guardsmen who have distinguished themselves by acts of valor. The medal is normally awarded by the president of the United States, but as it is presented "in the name of the United States Congress", it is sometimes referred to as the "Congressional Medal of Honor".

Eastern theater

County map of Civil War battles by theater and year
County map of Civil War battles by theater and year

The Eastern theater refers to the military operations east of the Appalachian Mountains, including the states of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, and the coastal fortifications and seaports of North Carolina.

Background

Army of the Potomac

Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan took command of the Union Army of the Potomac on July 26, 1861 (he was briefly general-in-chief of all the Union armies, but was subsequently relieved of that post in favor of Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck), and the war began in earnest in 1862. The 1862 Union strategy called for simultaneous advances along four axes:[212]

  1. McClellan would lead the main thrust in Virginia towards Richmond.
  2. Ohio forces would advance through Kentucky into Tennessee.
  3. The Missouri Department would drive south along the Mississippi River.
  4. The westernmost attack would originate from Kansas.
Army of Northern Virginia

The primary Confederate force in the Eastern theater was the Army of Northern Virginia. The Army originated as the (Confederate) Army of the Potomac, which was organized on June 20, 1861, from all operational forces in Northern Virginia. On July 20 and 21, the Army of the Shenandoah and forces from the District of Harpers Ferry were added. Units from the Army of the Northwest were merged into the Army of the Potomac between March 14 and May 17, 1862. The Army of the Potomac was renamed Army of Northern Virginia on March 14. The Army of the Peninsula was merged into it on April 12, 1862.

When Virginia declared its secession in April 1861, Robert E. Lee chose to follow his home state, despite his desire for the country to remain intact and an offer of a senior Union command.

Lee's biographer, Douglas S. Freeman, asserts that the army received its final name from Lee when he issued orders assuming command on June 1, 1862.[213] However, Freeman does admit that Lee corresponded with Brigadier General Joseph E. Johnston, his predecessor in army command, before that date and referred to Johnston's command as the Army of Northern Virginia. Part of the confusion results from the fact that Johnston commanded the Department of Northern Virginia (as of October 22, 1861) and the name Army of Northern Virginia can be seen as an informal consequence of its parent department's name. Jefferson Davis and Johnston did not adopt the name, but it is clear that the organization of units as of March 14 was the same organization that Lee received on June 1, and thus it is generally referred to today as the Army of Northern Virginia, even if that is correct only in retrospect.

On July 4 at Harper's Ferry, Colonel Thomas J. Jackson assigned Jeb Stuart to command all the cavalry companies of the Army of the Shenandoah. He eventually commanded the Army of Northern Virginia's cavalry.

Battles

"Stonewall" Jackson obtained his nickname at the Battle of Bull Run.
"Stonewall" Jackson obtained his nickname at the Battle of Bull Run.
George B. McClellan, a Union Army general and, later, governor of New Jersey
George B. McClellan, a Union Army general and, later, governor of New Jersey

In one of the first highly visible battles, in July 1861, a march by Union troops under the command of Maj. Gen. Irvin McDowell on the Confederate forces led by Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard near Washington was repulsed at the First Battle of Bull Run (also known as First Manassas).

The Union had the upper hand at first, nearly pushing confederate forces holding a defensive position into a rout, but Confederate reinforcements under Joseph E. Johnston arrived from the Shenandoah Valley by railroad, and the course of the battle quickly changed. A brigade of Virginians under the relatively unknown brigadier general from the Virginia Military Institute, Thomas J. Jackson, stood its ground, which resulted in Jackson receiving his famous nickname, "Stonewall".

Upon the strong urging of President Lincoln to begin offensive operations, McClellan attacked Virginia in the spring of 1862 by way of the peninsula between the York River and James River, southeast of Richmond. McClellan's army reached the gates of Richmond in the Peninsula Campaign.[214][215][216]

Also in the spring of 1862, in the Shenandoah Valley, Stonewall Jackson led his Valley Campaign. Employing audacity and rapid, unpredictable movements on interior lines, Jackson's 17,000 troops marched 646 miles (1,040 km) in 48 days and won several minor battles as they successfully engaged three Union armies (52,000 men), including those of Nathaniel P. Banks and John C. Fremont, preventing them from reinforcing the Union offensive against Richmond. The swiftness of Jackson's men earned them the nickname of "foot cavalry".

Johnston halted McClellan's advance at the Battle of Seven Pines, but he was wounded in the battle, and Robert E. Lee assumed his position of command. General Lee and top subordinates James Longstreet and Stonewall Jackson defeated McClellan in the Seven Days Battles and forced his retreat.[217]

The Northern Virginia Campaign, which included the Second Battle of Bull Run, ended in yet another victory for the South.[218] McClellan resisted General-in-Chief Halleck's orders to send reinforcements to John Pope's Union Army of Virginia, which made it easier for Lee's Confederates to defeat twice the number of combined enemy troops.

The Battle of Antietam, the Civil War's deadliest one-day fight
The Battle of Antietam, the Civil War's deadliest one-day fight

Emboldened by Second Bull Run, the Confederacy made its first invasion of the North with the Maryland Campaign. General Lee led 45,000 troops of the Army of Northern Virginia across the Potomac River into Maryland on September 5. Lincoln then restored Pope's troops to McClellan. McClellan and Lee fought at the Battle of Antietam near Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 17, 1862, the bloodiest single day in United States military history.[217][219] Lee's army, checked at last, returned to Virginia before McClellan could destroy it. Antietam is considered a Union victory because it halted Lee's invasion of the North and provided an opportunity for Lincoln to announce his Emancipation Proclamation.[220]

When the cautious McClellan failed to follow up on Antietam, he was replaced by Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside. Burnside was soon defeated at the Battle of Fredericksburg[221] on December 13, 1862, when more than 12,000 Union soldiers were killed or wounded during repeated futile frontal assaults against Marye's Heights.[222] After the battle, Burnside was replaced by Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker.[223]

Hooker, too, proved unable to defeat Lee's army; despite outnumbering the Confederates by more than two to one, his Chancellorsville Campaign proved ineffective and he was humiliated in the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863.[224] Chancellorsville is known as Lee's "perfect battle" because his risky decision to divide his army in the presence of a much larger enemy force resulted in a significant Confederate victory. Gen. Stonewall Jackson was shot in the arm by accidental friendly fire during the battle and subsequently died of complications.[225] Lee famously said: "He has lost his left arm, but I have lost my right arm."[226]

The fiercest fighting of the battle—and the second bloodiest day of the Civil War—occurred on May 3 as Lee launched multiple attacks against the Union position at Chancellorsville. That same day, John Sedgwick advanced across the Rappahannock River, defeated the small Confederate force at Marye's Heights in the Second Battle of Fredericksburg, and then moved to the west. The Confederates fought a successful delaying action at the Battle of Salem Church.[227]

Gen. Hooker was replaced by Maj. Gen. George Meade during Lee's second invasion of the North, in June. Meade defeated Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1 to 3, 1863).[228] This was the bloodiest battle of the war and has been called the war's turning point. Pickett's Charge on July 3 is often considered the high-water mark of the Confederacy because it signaled the collapse of serious Confederate threats of victory. Lee's army suffered 28,000 casualties (versus Meade's 23,000).[229]

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County (United States)

County (United States)

In the United States, a county or county equivalent is an administrative or political subdivision of a state that consists of a geographic region with specific boundaries and usually some level of governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 states, while Louisiana and Alaska have functionally equivalent subdivisions called parishes and boroughs, respectively. The specific governmental powers of counties vary widely between the states, with many providing some level of services to civil townships, municipalities, and unincorporated areas. Certain municipalities are in multiple counties; New York City is uniquely partitioned into five counties, referred to at the city government level as boroughs. Some municipalities have consolidated with their county government to form consolidated city-counties, or have been legally separated from counties altogether to form independent cities. Conversely, those counties in Connecticut, Rhode Island, eight of Massachusetts's 14 counties, and Alaska's Unorganized Borough have no government power, existing only as geographic distinctions.

Appalachian Mountains

Appalachian Mountains

The Appalachian Mountains, often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern to northeastern North America. The Appalachians first formed roughly 480 million years ago during the Ordovician Period. They once reached elevations similar to those of the Alps and the Rocky Mountains before experiencing natural erosion. The Appalachian chain is a barrier to east–west travel, as it forms a series of alternating ridgelines and valleys oriented in opposition to most highways and railroads running east–west.

Virginia

Virginia

Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. Its geography and climate are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay. The state's capital is Richmond. Its most-populous city is Virginia Beach, and Fairfax County is the state's most-populous political subdivision. Virginia's population in 2022 was over 8.68 million, with 35% living within in the Greater Washington metropolitan area.

Maryland

Maryland

Maryland is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It borders Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean to its east. With a total land area of 12,407 square miles (32,130 km2), Maryland is the 8th smallest state by land area, but with a population of over 6,177,200, it ranks as the 18th most populous state and the 5th most densely populated. Baltimore is the largest city in the state, and the capital is Annapolis. Among its occasional nicknames are Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State. It is named after Henrietta Maria, the French-born queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland, who was known then in England as Mary.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state spanning the Mid-Atlantic, Northeastern, Appalachian, and Great Lakes regions of the United States. Pennsylvania borders Delaware to its southeast, Maryland to its south, West Virginia to its southwest, Ohio to its west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to its northwest, New York state to its north, and the Delaware River and New Jersey to its east.

North Carolina

North Carolina

North Carolina is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States. The state is the 28th largest and 9th-most populous of the United States. It is bordered by Virginia to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Georgia and South Carolina to the south, and Tennessee to the west. In the 2020 census, the state had a population of 10,439,388. Raleigh is the state's capital and Charlotte is its largest city. The Charlotte metropolitan area, with a population of 2,595,027 in 2020, is the most-populous metropolitan area in North Carolina, the 21st-most populous in the United States, and the largest banking center in the nation after New York City. The Raleigh-Durham-Cary combined statistical area is the second-largest metropolitan area in the state and 32nd-most populous in the United States, with a population of 2,043,867 in 2020, and is home to the largest research park in the United States, Research Triangle Park.

George B. McClellan

George B. McClellan

George Brinton McClellan was an American soldier, Civil War Union general, civil engineer, railroad executive, and politician who served as the 24th governor of New Jersey. A graduate of West Point, McClellan served with distinction during the Mexican–American War (1846–1848), and later left the Army to serve as an executive and engineer on railroads until the outbreak of the American Civil War (1861–1865). Early in the conflict, McClellan was appointed to the rank of major general and played an important role in raising a well-trained and disciplined army, which would become the Army of the Potomac in the Eastern Theater; he served a brief period as Commanding General of the United States Army of the Union Army.

Army of the Potomac

Army of the Potomac

The Army of the Potomac was the principal Union Army in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War. It was created in July 1861 shortly after the First Battle of Bull Run and was disbanded in June 1865 following the surrender of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in April.

Henry Halleck

Henry Halleck

Henry Wager Halleck was a senior United States Army officer, scholar, and lawyer. A noted expert in military studies, he was known by a nickname that became derogatory: "Old Brains". He was an important participant in the admission of California as a state and became a successful lawyer and land developer. Halleck served as the General in Chief of the Armies of the United States from 1862 to 1864.

Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee

Robert Edward Lee was a Confederate general during the American Civil War, towards the end of which he was appointed the overall commander of the Confederate States Army. He led the Army of Northern Virginia—the Confederacy's most powerful army—from 1862 until its surrender in 1865, earning a reputation as a skilled tactician.

Army of Northern Virginia

Army of Northern Virginia

The Army of Northern Virginia was the primary military force of the Confederate States of America in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War. It was also the primary command structure of the Department of Northern Virginia. It was most often arrayed against the Union Army of the Potomac.

Army of the Peninsula

Army of the Peninsula

The Army of the Peninsula or Magruder's Army was a Confederate army early in the American Civil War.

Western theater

The Western theater refers to military operations between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River, including the states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Tennessee, as well as parts of Louisiana.[230]

Background

Army of the Tennessee and Army of the Cumberland

The primary Union forces in the Western theater were the Army of the Tennessee and the Army of the Cumberland, named for the two rivers, the Tennessee River and Cumberland River. After Meade's inconclusive fall campaign, Lincoln turned to the Western Theater for new leadership. At the same time, the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg surrendered, giving the Union control of the Mississippi River, permanently isolating the western Confederacy, and producing the new leader Lincoln needed, Ulysses S. Grant.[231]

Army of Tennessee

The primary Confederate force in the Western theater was the Army of Tennessee. The army was formed on November 20, 1862, when General Braxton Bragg renamed the former Army of Mississippi. While the Confederate forces had numerous successes in the Eastern Theater, they were defeated many times in the West.[230]

Battles

The Union's key strategist and tactician in the West was Ulysses S. Grant, who won victories at Forts Henry (February 6, 1862) and Donelson (February 11 to 16, 1862), earning him the nickname of "Unconditional Surrender" Grant, by which the Union seized control of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers.[232] Nathan Bedford Forrest rallied nearly 4,000 Confederate troops and led them to escape across the Cumberland. Nashville and central Tennessee thus fell to the Union, leading to attrition of local food supplies and livestock and a breakdown in social organization.

Leonidas Polk's invasion of Columbus ended Kentucky's policy of neutrality and turned it against the Confederacy. Grant used river transport and Andrew Foote's gunboats of the Western Flotilla to threaten the Confederacy's "Gibraltar of the West" at Columbus, Kentucky. Although rebuffed at Belmont, Grant cut off Columbus. The Confederates, lacking their gunboats, were forced to retreat and the Union took control of western Kentucky and opened Tennessee in March 1862.[233]

At the Battle of Shiloh, in Shiloh, Tennessee in April 1862, the Confederates made a surprise attack that pushed Union forces against the river as night fell. Overnight, the Navy landed additional reinforcements, and Grant counter-attacked. Grant and the Union won a decisive victory—the first battle with the high casualty rates that would repeat over and over.[234] The Confederates lost Albert Sidney Johnston, considered their finest general before the emergence of Lee.[235]

One of the early Union objectives in the war was the capture of the Mississippi River, to cut the Confederacy in half. The Mississippi River was opened to Union traffic to the southern border of Tennessee with the taking of Island No. 10 and New Madrid, Missouri, and then Memphis, Tennessee.[236]

In April 1862, the Union Navy captured New Orleans.[236] "The key to the river was New Orleans, the South's largest port [and] greatest industrial center."[237] U.S. Naval forces under Farragut ran past Confederate defenses south of New Orleans. Confederate forces abandoned the city, giving the Union a critical anchor in the deep South.[238] which allowed Union forces to begin moving up the Mississippi. Memphis fell to Union forces on June 6, 1862, and became a key base for further advances south along the Mississippi River. Only the fortress city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, prevented Union control of the entire river.[239]

By 1863, the Union controlled large portions of the Western Theater, especially areas surrounding the Mississippi River.
By 1863, the Union controlled large portions of the Western Theater, especially areas surrounding the Mississippi River.

Bragg's second invasion of Kentucky in the Confederate Heartland Offensive included initial successes such as Kirby Smith's triumph at the Battle of Richmond and the capture of the Kentucky capital of Frankfort on September 3, 1862.[240] However, the campaign ended with a meaningless victory over Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell at the Battle of Perryville. Bragg was forced to end his attempt at invading Kentucky and retreat due to lack of logistical support and lack of infantry recruits for the Confederacy in that state.[241]

Bragg was narrowly defeated by Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans at the Battle of Stones River in Tennessee, the culmination of the Stones River Campaign.[242]

Naval forces assisted Grant in the long, complex Vicksburg Campaign that resulted in the Confederates surrendering at the Battle of Vicksburg in July 1863, which cemented Union control of the Mississippi River and is considered one of the turning points of the war.[243]

The Battle of Chickamauga, the highest two-day losses
The Battle of Chickamauga, the highest two-day losses

The one clear Confederate victory in the West was the Battle of Chickamauga. After Rosecrans' successful Tullahoma Campaign, Bragg, reinforced by Lt. Gen. James Longstreet's corps (from Lee's army in the east), defeated Rosecrans, despite the heroic defensive stand of Maj. Gen. George Henry Thomas.

Rosecrans retreated to Chattanooga, which Bragg then besieged in the Chattanooga Campaign. Grant marched to the relief of Rosecrans and defeated Bragg at the Third Battle of Chattanooga,[244] eventually causing Longstreet to abandon his Knoxville Campaign and driving Confederate forces out of Tennessee and opening a route to Atlanta and the heart of the Confederacy.[245]

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Alabama

Alabama

Alabama is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered by Tennessee to the north; Georgia to the east; Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south; and Mississippi to the west. Alabama is the 30th largest by area and the 24th-most populous of the U.S. states.

Georgia (U.S. state)

Georgia (U.S. state)

Georgia is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee and North Carolina; to the northeast by South Carolina; to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean; to the south by Florida; and to the west by Alabama. Georgia is the 24th-largest state in area and 8th most populous of the 50 United States. Its 2020 population was 10,711,908, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Atlanta, a "beta(+)" global city, is both the state's capital and its largest city. The Atlanta metropolitan area, with a population of more than 6 million people in 2021, is the 8th most populous metropolitan area in the United States and contains about 57% of Georgia's entire population.

Florida

Florida

Florida is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico; Alabama to the northwest; Georgia to the north; the Bahamas and Atlantic Ocean to the east; and the Straits of Florida and Cuba to the south. It is the only state that borders both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. With a population exceeding 21 million, it is the third-most populous state in the nation as of 2020. It spans 65,758 square miles (170,310 km2), ranking 22nd in area among the 50 states. The Miami metropolitan area, anchored by the cities of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, is the state's largest metropolitan area with a population of 6.138 million, and the state's most-populous city is Jacksonville with a population of 949,611. Florida's other major population centers include Tampa Bay, Orlando, Cape Coral, and the state capital of Tallahassee.

Mississippi

Mississippi

Mississippi is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee; to the east by Alabama; to the south by the Gulf of Mexico; to the southwest by Louisiana; and to the northwest by Arkansas. Mississippi's western boundary is largely defined by the Mississippi River. Mississippi is the 32nd largest and 35th-most populous of the 50 U.S. states and has the lowest per-capita income in the United States. Jackson is both the state's capital and largest city. Greater Jackson is the state's most populous metropolitan area, with a population of 591,978 in 2020.

Kentucky

Kentucky

Kentucky, officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States and one of the states of the Upper South. It borders Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio to the north, West Virginia to the northeast, Virginia to the east, Tennessee to the south, and Missouri to the west. Its northern border is defined by the Ohio River. Its capital is Frankfort, and its two largest cities are Louisville and Lexington. Its population was approximately 4.5 million in 2020.

Louisiana

Louisiana

Louisiana is a state in the Deep South and South Central regions of the United States. It is the 20th-smallest by area and the 25th most populous of the 50 U.S. states. Louisiana is bordered by the state of Texas to the west, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. A large part of its eastern boundary is demarcated by the Mississippi River. Louisiana is the only U.S. state with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are equivalent to counties, making it one of only two U.S. states not subdivided into counties. The state's capital is Baton Rouge, and its largest city is New Orleans, with a population of roughly 383,000 people.

Army of the Tennessee

Army of the Tennessee

The Army of the Tennessee was a Union army in the Western Theater of the American Civil War, named for the Tennessee River.

Army of the Cumberland

Army of the Cumberland

The Army of the Cumberland was one of the principal Union armies in the Western Theater during the American Civil War. It was originally known as the Army of the Ohio.

Cumberland River

Cumberland River

The Cumberland River is a major waterway of the Southern United States. The 688-mile-long (1,107 km) river drains almost 18,000 square miles (47,000 km2) of southern Kentucky and north-central Tennessee. The river flows generally west from a source in the Appalachian Mountains to its confluence with the Ohio River near Paducah, Kentucky, and the mouth of the Tennessee River. Major tributaries include the Obey, Caney Fork, Stones, and Red rivers.

Army of Tennessee

Army of Tennessee

The Army of Tennessee was the principal Confederate army operating between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River during the American Civil War. It was formed in late 1862 and fought until the end of the war in 1865, participating in most of the significant battles in the Western Theater.

Braxton Bragg

Braxton Bragg

Braxton Bragg was an American army officer during the Second Seminole War and Mexican–American War and Confederate general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War, serving in the Western Theater. His most important role was as commander of the Army of Mississippi, later renamed the Army of Tennessee, from June 1862 until December 1863.

Army of Mississippi

Army of Mississippi

There were three formations known as the Army of Mississippi in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. This name is contrasted against Army of the Mississippi, which was a Union Army named for the Mississippi River, not the state of Mississippi.

Trans-Mississippi theater

Background

The Trans-Mississippi theater refers to military operations west of the Mississippi River, encompassing most of Missouri, Arkansas, most of Louisiana, and Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). The Trans-Mississippi District was formed by the Confederate Army to better coordinate Ben McCulloch's command of troops in Arkansas and Louisiana, Sterling Price's Missouri State Guard, as well as the portion of Earl Van Dorn's command that included the Indian Territory and excluded the Army of the West. The Union's command was the Trans-Mississippi Division, or the Military Division of West Mississippi.[246]

Battles

Nathaniel Lyon secured St. Louis docks and arsenal, led Union forces to expel Missouri Confederate forces and government.[247]
Nathaniel Lyon secured St. Louis docks and arsenal, led Union forces to expel Missouri Confederate forces and government.[247]

The first battle of the Trans-Mississippi theater was the Battle of Wilson's Creek (August 1861). The Confederates were driven from Missouri early in the war as a result of the Battle of Pea Ridge.[248]

Extensive guerrilla warfare characterized the trans-Mississippi region, as the Confederacy lacked the troops and the logistics to support regular armies that could challenge Union control.[249] Roving Confederate bands such as Quantrill's Raiders terrorized the countryside, striking both military installations and civilian settlements.[250] The "Sons of Liberty" and "Order of the American Knights" attacked pro-Union people, elected officeholders, and unarmed uniformed soldiers. These partisans could not be entirely driven out of the state of Missouri until an entire regular Union infantry division was engaged. By 1864, these violent activities harmed the nationwide anti-war movement organizing against the re-election of Lincoln. Missouri not only stayed in the Union but Lincoln took 70 percent of the vote for re-election.[251]

Numerous small-scale military actions south and west of Missouri sought to control Indian Territory and New Mexico Territory for the Union. The Battle of Glorieta Pass was the decisive battle of the New Mexico Campaign. The Union repulsed Confederate incursions into New Mexico in 1862, and the exiled Arizona government withdrew into Texas. In the Indian Territory, civil war broke out within tribes. About 12,000 Indian warriors fought for the Confederacy and smaller numbers for the Union.[252] The most prominent Cherokee was Brigadier General Stand Watie, the last Confederate general to surrender.[253]

After the fall of Vicksburg in July 1863, General Kirby Smith in Texas was informed by Jefferson Davis that he could expect no further help from east of the Mississippi River. Although he lacked resources to beat Union armies, he built up a formidable arsenal at Tyler, along with his own Kirby Smithdom economy, a virtual "independent fiefdom" in Texas, including railroad construction and international smuggling. The Union, in turn, did not directly engage him.[254] Its 1864 Red River Campaign to take Shreveport, Louisiana, was a failure and Texas remained in Confederate hands throughout the war.[255]

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Missouri State Guard

Missouri State Guard

The Missouri State Guard (MSG) was a military force established by the Missouri General Assembly on May 11, 1861. While not a formation of the Confederate States Army, the Missouri State Guard fought alongside Confederate troops and, at various times, served under Confederate officers.

Nathaniel Lyon

Nathaniel Lyon

Nathaniel Lyon was the first Union general to be killed in the American Civil War. He is noted for his actions in Missouri in 1861, at the beginning of the conflict, to forestall secret secessionist plans of the governor Claiborne Jackson.

Battle of Wilson's Creek

Battle of Wilson's Creek

The Battle of Wilson's Creek, also known as the Battle of Oak Hills, was the first major battle of the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the American Civil War. It was fought on August 10, 1861, near Springfield, Missouri. Missouri was officially a neutral state, but its governor, Claiborne Fox Jackson, supported the South and secretly collaborated with Confederate troops.

Battle of Pea Ridge

Battle of Pea Ridge

The Battle of Pea Ridge, also known as the Battle of Elkhorn Tavern, took place in the American Civil War near Leetown, northeast of Fayetteville, Arkansas. Federal forces, led by Brig. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, moved south from central Missouri, driving Confederate forces into northwestern Arkansas.

Guerrilla warfare

Guerrilla warfare

Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which small groups of combatants, such as paramilitary personnel, armed civilians, or irregulars, use military tactics including ambushes, sabotage, raids, petty warfare, hit-and-run tactics, and mobility, to fight a larger and less-mobile traditional military.

Quantrill's Raiders

Quantrill's Raiders

Quantrill's Raiders were the best-known of the pro-Confederate partisan guerrillas who fought in the American Civil War. Their leader was William Quantrill and they included Jesse James and his brother Frank.

Indian Territory in the American Civil War

Indian Territory in the American Civil War

During the American Civil War, most of what is now the U.S. state of Oklahoma was designated as the Indian Territory. It served as an unorganized region that had been set aside specifically for Native American tribes and was occupied mostly by tribes which had been removed from their ancestral lands in the Southeastern United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. As part of the Trans-Mississippi Theater, the Indian Territory was the scene of numerous skirmishes and seven officially recognized battles involving both Native American units allied with the Confederate States of America and Native Americans loyal to the United States government, as well as other Union and Confederate troops.

New Mexico Territory in the American Civil War

New Mexico Territory in the American Civil War

The New Mexico Territory, comprising what are today the U.S. states of New Mexico and Arizona as well as the southern portion of Nevada, played a small but significant role in the trans-Mississippi theater of the American Civil War. Despite its remoteness from the major battlefields of the east and its existence on the still sparsely populated and largely undeveloped American frontier, both Confederate and Union governments claimed ownership over the territory, and several important battles and military operations took place in the region.

Battle of Glorieta Pass

Battle of Glorieta Pass

The Battle of Glorieta Pass in the northern New Mexico Territory, was the decisive battle of the New Mexico campaign during the American Civil War. Dubbed the "Gettysburg of the West" by some authors, it was intended as the decisive blow by Confederate forces to break the Union possession of the West along the base of the Rocky Mountains. It was fought at Glorieta Pass in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in what is now New Mexico, and was an important event in the history of the New Mexico Territory in the American Civil War.

Battle

Battle

A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force commitment. An engagement with only limited commitment between the forces and without decisive results is sometimes called a skirmish.

Stand Watie

Stand Watie

Brigadier-General Stand Watie, also known as Standhope Uwatie, Tawkertawker, and Isaac S. Watie, was a Cherokee politician who served as the second principal chief of the Cherokee Nation from 1862 to 1866. The Cherokee Nation allied with the Confederate States during the American Civil War and he was the only Native American Confederate general officer of the war. Watie commanded Indian forces in the Trans-Mississippi Theater, made up mostly of Cherokee, Muskogee, and Seminole. He was the last Confederate States Army general to surrender.

Siege of Vicksburg

Siege of Vicksburg

The siege of Vicksburg was the final major military action in the Vicksburg campaign of the American Civil War. In a series of maneuvers, Union Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and his Army of the Tennessee crossed the Mississippi River and drove the Confederate Army of Mississippi, led by Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton, into the defensive lines surrounding the fortress city of Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Lower Seaboard theater

Background

The Lower Seaboard theater refers to military and naval operations that occurred near the coastal areas of the Southeast (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas) as well as the southern part of the Mississippi River (Port Hudson and south). Union Naval activities were dictated by the Anaconda Plan.[256]

Battles

One of the earliest battles of the war was fought at Port Royal Sound (November 1861), south of Charleston. Much of the war along the South Carolina coast concentrated on capturing Charleston. In attempting to capture Charleston, the Union military tried two approaches: by land over James or Morris Islands or through the harbor. However, the Confederates were able to drive back each Union attack. One of the most famous of the land attacks was the Second Battle of Fort Wagner, in which the 54th Massachusetts Infantry took part. The Union suffered a serious defeat in this battle, losing 1,515 soldiers while the Confederates lost only 174.[257] However, the 54th was hailed for its valor in that battle, which encouraged the general acceptance of the recruitment of African American soldiers into the Union Army, which reinforced the Union's numerical advantage.

Fort Pulaski on the Georgia coast was an early target for the Union navy. Following the capture of Port Royal, an expedition was organized with engineer troops under the command of Captain Quincy A. Gillmore, forcing a Confederate surrender. The Union army occupied the fort for the rest of the war after repairing it.[258]

In April 1862, a Union naval task force commanded by Commander David D. Porter attacked Forts Jackson and St. Philip, which guarded the river approach to New Orleans from the south. While part of the fleet bombarded the forts, other vessels forced a break in the obstructions in the river and enabled the rest of the fleet to steam upriver to the city. A Union army force commanded by Major General Benjamin Butler landed near the forts and forced their surrender. Butler's controversial command of New Orleans earned him the nickname "Beast".[259]

The following year, the Union Army of the Gulf commanded by Major General Nathaniel P. Banks laid siege to Port Hudson for nearly eight weeks, the longest siege in US military history. The Confederates attempted to defend with the Bayou Teche Campaign but surrendered after Vicksburg. These two surrenders gave the Union control over the entire Mississippi.[260]

Several small skirmishes were fought in Florida, but no major battles. The biggest was the Battle of Olustee in early 1864.

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Battle of Port Royal

Battle of Port Royal

The Battle of Port Royal was one of the earliest amphibious operations of the American Civil War, in which a United States Navy fleet and United States Army expeditionary force captured Port Royal Sound, South Carolina, between Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina, on November 7, 1861. The sound was guarded by two forts on opposite sides of the entrance, Fort Walker on Hilton Head Island to the south and Fort Beauregard on Phillip's Island to the north. A small force of four gunboats supported the forts, but did not materially affect the battle.

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is the largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina, the county seat of Charleston County, and the principal city in the Charleston–North Charleston metropolitan area. The city lies just south of the geographical midpoint of South Carolina's coastline on Charleston Harbor, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean formed by the confluence of the Ashley, Cooper, and Wando rivers. Charleston had a population of 150,277 at the 2020 census. The 2020 population of the Charleston metropolitan area, comprising Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties, was 799,636 residents, the third-largest in the state, 8th-largest in the Deep South and the 74th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States.

Second Battle of Fort Wagner

Second Battle of Fort Wagner

The Second Battle of Fort Wagner, also known as the Second Assault on Morris Island or the Battle of Fort Wagner, Morris Island, was fought on July 18, 1863, during the American Civil War. Union Army troops commanded by Brig. Gen. Quincy Gillmore launched an unsuccessful assault on the Confederate fortress of Fort Wagner, which protected Morris Island, south of Charleston Harbor. The battle came one week after the First Battle of Fort Wagner. Although a Confederate victory, the valor of the Black Union soldiers in the battle was hailed, which had long-term strategic benefits in encouraging more African-Americans to enlist allowing the Union to employ a manpower resource that the Confederacy could not emulate for the remainder of the war.

Quincy Adams Gillmore

Quincy Adams Gillmore

Quincy Adams Gillmore was an American civil engineer, author, and a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was noted for his actions in the Union victory at Fort Pulaski, where his modern rifled artillery readily pounded the fort's exterior stone walls, an action that essentially rendered stone fortifications obsolete. He earned an international reputation as an organizer of siege operations and helped revolutionize the use of naval gunnery.

David Dixon Porter

David Dixon Porter

David Dixon Porter was a United States Navy admiral and a member of one of the most distinguished families in the history of the U.S. Navy. Promoted as the second U.S. Navy officer ever to attain the rank of admiral, after his adoptive brother David G. Farragut, Porter helped improve the Navy as the Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy after significant service in the American Civil War.

Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip

Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip

The Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip was the decisive battle for possession of New Orleans in the American Civil War. The two Confederate forts on the Mississippi River south of the city were attacked by a Union Navy fleet. As long as the forts could keep the Federal forces from moving on the city, it was safe, but if they fell or were bypassed, there were no fall-back positions to impede the Union advance.

New Orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans is a consolidated city-parish located along the Mississippi River in the southeastern region of the U.S. state of Louisiana. With a population of 383,997 according to the 2020 U.S. census, it is the most populous city in Louisiana, third most populous city in the Deep South, and the twelfth-most populous city in the southeastern United States. Serving as a major port, New Orleans is considered an economic and commercial hub for the broader Gulf Coast region of the United States.

Army of the Gulf

Army of the Gulf

The Army of the Gulf was a Union Army that served in the general area of the Gulf states controlled by Union forces. It mainly saw action in Louisiana and Alabama.

Siege of Port Hudson

Siege of Port Hudson

The siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana, was the final engagement in the Union campaign to recapture the Mississippi River in the American Civil War.

Battle of Olustee

Battle of Olustee

The Battle of Olustee or Battle of Ocean Pond was fought in Baker County, Florida on February 20, 1864, during the American Civil War. It was the largest battle fought in Florida during the war.

Pacific Coast theater

The Pacific Coast theater refers to military operations on the Pacific Ocean and in the states and Territories west of the Continental Divide.[261]

Conquest of Virginia

At the beginning of 1864, Lincoln made Grant commander of all Union armies. Grant made his headquarters with the Army of the Potomac and put Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman in command of most of the western armies. Grant understood the concept of total war and believed, along with Lincoln and Sherman, that only the utter defeat of Confederate forces and their economic base would end the war.[262] This was total war not in killing civilians but rather in taking provisions and forage and destroying homes, farms, and railroads, that Grant said "would otherwise have gone to the support of secession and rebellion. This policy I believe exercised a material influence in hastening the end."[263] Grant devised a coordinated strategy that would strike at the entire Confederacy from multiple directions. Generals George Meade and Benjamin Butler were ordered to move against Lee near Richmond, General Franz Sigel (and later Philip Sheridan) were to attack the Shenandoah Valley, General Sherman was to capture Atlanta and march to the sea (the Atlantic Ocean), Generals George Crook and William W. Averell were to operate against railroad supply lines in West Virginia, and Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks was to capture Mobile, Alabama.[264]

Grant's Overland Campaign

These dead soldiers—from Ewell's May 1864 attack at Spotsylvania—delayed Grant's advance on Richmond in the Overland Campaign.
These dead soldiers—from Ewell's May 1864 attack at Spotsylvania—delayed Grant's advance on Richmond in the Overland Campaign.

Grant's army set out on the Overland Campaign intending to draw Lee into a defense of Richmond, where they would attempt to pin down and destroy the Confederate army. The Union army first attempted to maneuver past Lee and fought several battles, notably at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor. These battles resulted in heavy losses on both sides and forced Lee's Confederates to fall back repeatedly.[265] At the Battle of Yellow Tavern, the Confederates lost Jeb Stuart.[266]

An attempt to outflank Lee from the south failed under Butler, who was trapped inside the Bermuda Hundred river bend. Each battle resulted in setbacks for the Union that mirrored what they had suffered under prior generals, though, unlike those prior generals, Grant fought on rather than retreat. Grant was tenacious and kept pressing Lee's Army of Northern Virginia back to Richmond. While Lee was preparing for an attack on Richmond, Grant unexpectedly turned south to cross the James River and began the protracted Siege of Petersburg, where the two armies engaged in trench warfare for over nine months.[267]

Sheridan's Valley Campaign

Grant finally found a commander, General Philip Sheridan, aggressive enough to prevail in the Valley Campaigns of 1864. Sheridan was initially repelled at the Battle of New Market by former U.S. vice president and Confederate Gen. John C. Breckinridge. The Battle of New Market was the Confederacy's last major victory of the war and included a charge by teenage VMI cadets. After redoubling his efforts, Sheridan defeated Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early in a series of battles, including a final decisive defeat at the Battle of Cedar Creek. Sheridan then proceeded to destroy the agricultural base of the Shenandoah Valley, a strategy similar to the tactics Sherman later employed in Georgia.[268]

Sherman's March to the Sea

William ShermanUlysses GrantAbraham LincolnDavid PorterPainting of four men conferring in a ship's cabin, entitled "The Peacemakers".
The Peacemakers by George Peter Alexander Healy portrays Sherman, Grant, Lincoln, and Porter discussing plans for the last weeks of the Civil War aboard the steamer River Queen in March 1865. (Clickable image—use cursor to identify.)

Meanwhile, Sherman maneuvered from Chattanooga to Atlanta, defeating Confederate Generals Joseph E. Johnston and John Bell Hood along the way. The fall of Atlanta on September 2, 1864, guaranteed the reelection of Lincoln as president.[269] Hood left the Atlanta area to swing around and menace Sherman's supply lines and invade Tennessee in the Franklin–Nashville Campaign. Union Maj. Gen. John Schofield defeated Hood at the Battle of Franklin, and George H. Thomas dealt Hood a massive defeat at the Battle of Nashville, effectively destroying Hood's army.[270]

Leaving Atlanta, and his base of supplies, Sherman's army marched, with no destination set, laying waste to about 20 percent of the farms in Georgia in his "March to the Sea". He reached the Atlantic Ocean at Savannah, Georgia, in December 1864. Sherman's army was followed by thousands of freed slaves; there were no major battles along the march. Sherman turned north through South Carolina and North Carolina to approach the Confederate Virginia lines from the south, increasing the pressure on Lee's army.[271]

The Waterloo of the Confederacy

Lee's army, thinned by desertion and casualties, was now much smaller than Grant's. One last Confederate attempt to break the Union hold on Petersburg failed at the decisive Battle of Five Forks (sometimes called "the Waterloo of the Confederacy") on April 1. This meant that the Union now controlled the entire perimeter surrounding Richmond-Petersburg, completely cutting it off from the Confederacy. Realizing that the capital was now lost, Lee decided to evacuate his army. The Confederate capital fell to the Union XXV Corps, composed of black troops. The remaining Confederate units fled west after a defeat at Sayler's Creek.[272]

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George Meade

George Meade

George Gordon Meade was a United States Army Major General who commanded the Army of the Potomac during the American Civil War from 1863 to 1865. He fought in many of the key battles of the Eastern theater and defeated the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia led by General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Benjamin Butler

Benjamin Butler

Benjamin Franklin Butler was an American major general of the Union Army, politician, lawyer, and businessman from Massachusetts. Born in New Hampshire and raised in Lowell, Massachusetts, Butler is best known as a political major general of the Union Army during the American Civil War and for his leadership role in the impeachment of U.S. President Andrew Johnson. He was a colorful and often controversial figure on the national stage and on the Massachusetts political scene, serving five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and running several campaigns for governor before his election to that office in 1882.

Franz Sigel

Franz Sigel

Franz Sigel was a German American military officer, revolutionary and immigrant to the United States who was a teacher, newspaperman, politician, and served as a Union major general in the American Civil War. His ability to recruit German-speaking immigrants to the Union armies received the approval of President Abraham Lincoln, but he was strongly disliked by General-in-Chief Henry Halleck.

Philip Sheridan

Philip Sheridan

General of the Army Philip Henry Sheridan was a career United States Army officer and a Union general in the American Civil War. His career was noted for his rapid rise to major general and his close association with General-in-chief Ulysses S. Grant, who transferred Sheridan from command of an infantry division in the Western Theater to lead the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac in the East. In 1864, he defeated Confederate forces under General Jubal Early in the Shenandoah Valley and his destruction of the economic infrastructure of the Valley, called "The Burning" by residents, was one of the first uses of scorched-earth tactics in the war. In 1865, his cavalry pursued Gen. Robert E. Lee and was instrumental in forcing his surrender at Appomattox Courthouse.

George Crook

George Crook

George R. Crook was a career United States Army officer, most noted for his distinguished service during the American Civil War and the Indian Wars. During the 1880s, the Apache nicknamed Crook Nantan Lupan, which means "Grey Wolf."

Mobile, Alabama

Mobile, Alabama

Mobile is a city and the county seat of Mobile County, Alabama, United States. The population within the city limits was 187,041 at the 2020 census, down from 195,111 at the 2010 census. It is the fourth-most-populous city in Alabama, after Huntsville, Birmingham, and Montgomery.

Richard S. Ewell

Richard S. Ewell

Richard Stoddert Ewell was a career United States Army officer and a Confederate general during the American Civil War. He achieved fame as a senior commander under Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee and fought effectively through much of the war. Still, his legacy was clouded by controversies over his actions at the Battle of Gettysburg and the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House.

Overland Campaign

Overland Campaign

The Overland Campaign, also known as Grant's Overland Campaign and the Wilderness Campaign, was a series of battles fought in Virginia during May and June 1864, in the American Civil War. Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, general-in-chief of all Union armies, directed the actions of the Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. George G. Meade, and other forces against Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Although Grant suffered severe losses during the campaign, it was a strategic Union victory. It inflicted proportionately higher losses on Lee's army and maneuvered it into a siege at Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia, in just over eight weeks.

Battle of the Wilderness

Battle of the Wilderness

The Battle of the Wilderness was fought on May 5–7, 1864, during the American Civil War. It was the first battle of Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant's 1864 Virginia Overland Campaign against General Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. The fighting occurred in a wooded area near Locust Grove, Virginia, about 20 miles (32 km) west of Fredericksburg. Both armies suffered heavy casualties, nearly 29,000 in total, a harbinger of a war of attrition by Grant against Lee's army and, eventually, the Confederate capital, Richmond, Virginia. The battle was tactically inconclusive, as Grant disengaged and continued his offensive.

Battle of Spotsylvania Court House

Battle of Spotsylvania Court House

The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, sometimes more simply referred to as the Battle of Spotsylvania, was the second major battle in Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Maj. Gen. George G. Meade's 1864 Overland Campaign of the American Civil War. Following the bloody but inconclusive Battle of the Wilderness, Grant's army disengaged from Confederate General Robert E. Lee's army and moved to the southeast, attempting to lure Lee into battle under more favorable conditions. Elements of Lee's army beat the Union army to the critical crossroads of the Spotsylvania Court House in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and began entrenching. Fighting occurred on and off from May 8 through May 21, 1864, as Grant tried various schemes to break the Confederate line. In the end, the battle was tactically inconclusive, but both sides declared victory. The Confederacy declared victory because they were able to hold their defenses. The United States declared victory because the Federal offensive continued and Lee's army suffered losses that could not be replaced. With almost 32,000 casualties on both sides, Spotsylvania was the costliest battle of the campaign.

Battle of Cold Harbor

Battle of Cold Harbor

The Battle of Cold Harbor was fought during the American Civil War near Mechanicsville, Virginia, from May 31 to June 12, 1864, with the most significant fighting occurring on June 3. It was one of the final battles of Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's Overland Campaign, and is remembered as one of American history's bloodiest, most lopsided battles. Thousands of Union soldiers were killed or wounded in a hopeless frontal assault against the fortified positions of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's army.

Battle of Yellow Tavern

Battle of Yellow Tavern

The Battle of Yellow Tavern was fought on May 11, 1864, as part of the Overland Campaign of the American Civil War. Union cavalry under Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan was detached from Grant’s Army of the Potomac to conduct a raid on Richmond, Virginia, and challenged Confederate cavalry commander Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart. The Confederates were outnumbered, and Stuart was mortally wounded. However, Sheridan’s 'sideshow' did not achieve any of its other objectives, and had meanwhile deprived Grant’s army of key cavalry functions at Spotsylvania.

End of the War

This New York Times front page celebrated Lee's surrender, headlining how Grant let Confederate officers retain their sidearms and "paroled" the Confederate officers and men.[273]News of Lee's April 9 surrender reached this southern newspaper (Savannah, Georgia) on April 15—after the April 14 shooting of President Lincoln.[274] The article quotes Grant's terms of surrender.[274]
This New York Times front page celebrated Lee's surrender, headlining how Grant let Confederate officers retain their sidearms and "paroled" the Confederate officers and men.[273]
This New York Times front page celebrated Lee's surrender, headlining how Grant let Confederate officers retain their sidearms and "paroled" the Confederate officers and men.[273]News of Lee's April 9 surrender reached this southern newspaper (Savannah, Georgia) on April 15—after the April 14 shooting of President Lincoln.[274] The article quotes Grant's terms of surrender.[274]
News of Lee's April 9 surrender reached this southern newspaper (Savannah, Georgia) on April 15—after the April 14 shooting of President Lincoln.[274] The article quotes Grant's terms of surrender.[274]

Initially, Lee did not intend to surrender but planned to regroup at Appomattox Station, where supplies were to be waiting and then continue the war. Grant chased Lee and got in front of him so that when Lee's army reached the village of Appomattox Court House, they were surrounded. After an initial battle, Lee decided that the fight was now hopeless, and surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, 1865, at "Wilmer McLean's farmhouse, located less than 100 yards west of the county courthouse",[275] now known as the McLean House.[276] In an untraditional gesture and as a sign of Grant's respect and anticipation of peacefully restoring Confederate states to the Union, Lee was permitted to keep his sword and his horse, Traveller. His men were paroled, and a chain of Confederate surrenders began.[277]

On April 14, 1865, President Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer. Lincoln died early the next morning. Lincoln's vice president, Andrew Johnson, was unharmed, because his would-be assassin, George Atzerodt, lost his nerve, so Johnson was immediately sworn in as president. Meanwhile, Confederate forces across the South surrendered as news of Lee's surrender reached them.[278] On April 26, 1865, the same day Boston Corbett killed Booth at a tobacco barn, General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered nearly 90,000 troops of the Army of Tennessee to Major General William Tecumseh Sherman at Bennett Place near present-day Durham, North Carolina. It proved to be the largest surrender of Confederate forces. On May 4, all remaining Confederate forces in Alabama, Louisiana east of the Mississippi River, and Mississippi under Lieutenant General Richard Taylor surrendered.[279]

The Confederate president, Jefferson Davis, was captured at Irwinsville, Georgia on May 10, 1865.[280]

On May 13, 1865, the last land battle of the war was fought at the Battle of Palmito Ranch in Texas.[281][282][283]

On May 26, 1865, Confederate Lt. Gen. Simon B. Buckner, acting for General Edmund Kirby Smith, signed a military convention surrendering the Confederate trans-Mississippi Department forces.[284][285] This date is often cited by contemporaries and historians as the end date of the American Civil War.[1][2] On June 2, 1865, with most of his troops having already gone home, technically deserted, a reluctant Kirby Smith had little choice but to sign the official surrender document.[286][287] On June 23, 1865, Cherokee leader and Confederate Brig. Gen. Stand Watie became the last Confederate general to surrender his forces.[288][289]

On June 19, 1865, Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger announced General Order No. 3, bringing the Emancipation Proclamation into effect in Texas and freeing the last slaves of the Confederacy.[290] The anniversary of this date is now celebrated as Juneteenth.[291]

The naval portion of the war ended more slowly. It had begun on April 11, 1865, two days after Lee's surrender, when President Lincoln proclaimed that foreign nations had no further "claim or pretense" to deny equality of maritime rights and hospitalities to U.S. warships and, in effect, that rights extended to Confederate ships to use neutral ports as safe havens from U.S. warships should end.[292][293] Having no response to Lincoln's proclamation, President Andrew Johnson issued a similar proclamation dated May 10, 1865, more directly stating the premise that the war was almost at an end ("armed resistance...may be regarded as virtually at an end") and that insurgent cruisers still at sea and prepared to attack U.S. ships should not have rights to do so through use of safe foreign ports or waters and warned nations which continued to do so that their government vessels would be denied access to U.S. ports. He also "enjoined" U.S. officers to arrest the cruisers and their crews so "that they may be prevented from committing further depredations on commerce and that the persons on board of them may no longer enjoy impunity for their crimes".[294] England finally responded on June 6, 1865, by transmitting a June 2, 1865 letter from England's Foreign Secretary John Russell, 1st Earl Russell to the Lords of the Admiralty (United Kingdom) withdrawing rights to Confederate warships to enter British ports and waters but with exceptions for a limited time to allow a captain to enter a port to "divest his vessel of her warlike character" and for U.S. ships to be detained in British ports or waters to allow Confederate cruisers twenty-four hours to leave first.[295] U.S. Secretary of State William Seward welcomed the withdrawal of concessions to the Confederates but objected to the exceptions.[296] Finally, on October 18, 1865, Russell advised the Admiralty that the time specified in his June 2, 1865 message had elapsed and "all measures of a restrictive nature on vessels of war of the United States in British ports, harbors, and waters, are now to be considered as at an end".[297] Nonetheless, the final Confederate surrender was in Liverpool, England where James Iredell Waddell, the captain of the CSS Shenandoah, surrendered the cruiser to British authorities on November 6, 1865.[298]

Legally, the war did not end until August 20, 1866, when President Andrew Johnson issued a proclamation that declared "that the said insurrection is at an end and that peace, order, tranquillity, and civil authority now exist in and throughout the whole of the United States of America".[299][300][301]

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Conclusion of the American Civil War

Conclusion of the American Civil War

The conclusion of the American Civil War commenced with the articles of surrender agreement of the Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, at Appomattox Court House, by General Robert E. Lee and concluded with the surrender of the Shenandoah on November 6, 1865, bringing the hostilities of the American Civil War to a close. Legally, the war did not end until a proclamation by President Andrew Johnson on August 20, 1866, when he declared "that the said insurrection is at an end and that peace, order, tranquillity, and civil authority now exist in and throughout the whole of the United States of America."

Appomattox Station

Appomattox Station

Appomattox Station was located in the town of Appomattox, Virginia and was the site of the Battle of Appomattox Station on the day before General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the Civil War. That station was destroyed by fire in 1898 and its replacement by fire in 1923. The current railway station, built within a block of the original location, is the Appomattox Depot (1923), a contributing property to the Appomattox Historic District. The depot is now home to the Appomattox Visitor Information Center.

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

The Appomattox Court House National Historical Park is a preserved 19th-century village in Appomattox County, Virginia. The village is the site of the Battle of Appomattox Court House, and contains the McLean House, where the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia under Robert E. Lee to Union commander Ulysses S. Grant took place on April 9, 1865, an event widely symbolic of the end of the American Civil War. The village itself began as the community of Clover Hill, which was made the county seat of Appomattox County in the 1840s. The village of Appomattox Court House entered a stage of decline after it was bypassed by a railroad in 1854. In 1930, the United States War Department was authorized to erect a monument at the site, and in 1933 the War Department's holdings there was transferred to the National Park Service. The site was greatly enlarged in 1935, and a restoration of the McLean House was planned but was delayed by World War II. In 1949, the restored McLean House was reopened to the public. Several restored buildings, as well as a number of original 19th-century structures.

Battle of Appomattox Court House

Battle of Appomattox Court House

The Battle of Appomattox Court House, fought in Appomattox County, Virginia, on the morning of April 9, 1865, was one of the last battles of the American Civil War (1861–1865). It was the final engagement of Confederate General in Chief, Robert E. Lee, and his Army of Northern Virginia before they surrendered to the Union Army of the Potomac under the Commanding General of the United States Army, Ulysses S. Grant.

Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, was assassinated by well-known stage actor John Wilkes Booth, while attending the play Our American Cousin at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. Shot in the head as he watched the play, Lincoln died the following day at 7:22 am in the Petersen House opposite the theater. He was the first president to be assassinated,. His funeral and burial were marked by an extended period of national mourning.

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson was the 17th president of the United States, serving from 1865 to 1869. He assumed the presidency following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, as he was vice president at that time. Johnson was a Democrat who ran with Lincoln on the National Union Party ticket, coming to office as the Civil War concluded. He favored quick restoration of the seceded states to the Union without protection for the newly freed people who were formerly enslaved. This led to conflict with the Republican-dominated Congress, culminating in his impeachment by the House of Representatives in 1868. He was acquitted in the Senate by one vote.

George Atzerodt

George Atzerodt

George Andrew Atzerodt was a German American repairman, Confederate sympathizer, and conspirator with John Wilkes Booth in the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. He was assigned to assassinate Vice President Andrew Johnson, but lost his nerve and made no attempt. Atzerodt was tried by a military tribunal, sentenced to death for conspiracy, and hanged along with three other conspirators.

Boston Corbett

Boston Corbett

Thomas H. "Boston" Corbett was an American Union Army soldier who shot and killed U.S. president Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Corbett was initially arrested for disobeying orders, but was later released on the orders of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, who referred to Corbett as "the patriot" upon dismissing him. He was largely considered a hero by the media and the public.

Army of Tennessee

Army of Tennessee

The Army of Tennessee was the principal Confederate army operating between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River during the American Civil War. It was formed in late 1862 and fought until the end of the war in 1865, participating in most of the significant battles in the Western Theater.

Bennett Place

Bennett Place

Bennett Place is a former farm and homestead in Durham, North Carolina, which was the site of the last surrender of a major Confederate army in the American Civil War, when Joseph E. Johnston surrendered to William T. Sherman. The first meeting saw Sherman agreeing to certain political demands by the Confederates, which were promptly rejected by the Union cabinet in Washington. Another meeting had to be held to agree on military terms only, in line with Robert E. Lee’s recent surrender to Ulysses S. Grant. This effectively ended the war.

Jefferson Davis

Jefferson Davis

Jefferson F. Davis was an American politician who served as the first and only president of the Confederate States from 1861 to 1865. He represented Mississippi in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives as a member of the Democratic Party before the American Civil War. He had previously served as the United States Secretary of War from 1853 to 1857 under President Franklin Pierce.

Battle of Palmito Ranch

Battle of Palmito Ranch

The Battle of Palmito Ranch, also known as the Battle of Palmito Hill, is considered by some criteria as the final battle of the American Civil War. It was fought May 12 and 13, 1865, on the banks of the Rio Grande east of Brownsville, Texas, and a few miles from the seaport of Los Brazos de Santiago, at the southern tip of Texas. The battle took place more than a month after the general surrender of Confederate forces to Union forces at Appomattox Court House, which had since been communicated to both commanders at Palmito, and in the intervening weeks the Confederacy had collapsed entirely, so it could also be classified as a postwar action.

Union victory and aftermath

Explaining the Union victory

Map of Confederate territory losses year by year
Map of Confederate territory losses year by year

The causes of the war, the reasons for its outcome, and even the name of the war itself are subjects of lingering contention today. The North and West grew rich while the once-rich South became poor for a century. The national political power of the slaveowners and rich Southerners ended. Historians are less sure about the results of the postwar Reconstruction, especially regarding the second-class citizenship of the freedmen and their poverty.[302]

Historians have debated whether the Confederacy could have won the war. Most scholars, including James M. McPherson, argue that Confederate victory was at least possible.[303] McPherson argues that the North's advantage in population and resources made Northern victory likely but not guaranteed. He also argues that if the Confederacy had fought using unconventional tactics, it would have more easily been able to hold out long enough to exhaust the Union.[304]

Confederates did not need to invade and hold enemy territory to win but only needed to fight a defensive war to convince the North that the cost of winning was too high. The North needed to conquer and hold vast stretches of enemy territory and defeat Confederate armies to win.[304] Lincoln was not a military dictator and could continue to fight the war only as long as the American public supported a continuation of the war. The Confederacy sought to win independence by outlasting Lincoln; however, after Atlanta fell and Lincoln defeated McClellan in the election of 1864, all hope for a political victory for the South ended. At that point, Lincoln had secured the support of the Republicans, War Democrats, the border states, emancipated slaves, and the neutrality of Britain and France. By defeating the Democrats and McClellan, he also defeated the Copperheads, who had wanted a negotiated peace with the Confederate States of America.[305]

Comparison of Union and Confederacy, 1860–1864[306]
Year Union Confederacy
Population 1860 22,100,000 (71%) 9,100,000 (29%)
1864 28,800,000 (90%)[h] 3,000,000 (10%)[307]
Free 1860 21,700,000 (98%) 5,600,000 (62%)
Slave 1860 490,000 (2%) 3,550,000 (38%)
1864 negligible 1,900,000[i]
Soldiers 1860–64 2,100,000 (67%) 1,064,000 (33%)
Railroad miles 1860 21,800 (71%) 8,800 (29%)
1864 29,100 (98%)[308] negligible
Manufactures 1860 90% 10%
1864 98% 2%
Arms production 1860 97% 3%
1864 98% 2%
Cotton bales 1860 negligible 4,500,000
1864 300,000 negligible
Exports 1860 30% 70%
1864 98% 2%

Some scholars argue that the Union held an insurmountable long-term advantage over the Confederacy in industrial strength and population. Confederate actions, they argue, only delayed defeat.[309][310] Civil War historian Shelby Foote expressed this view succinctly: "I think that the North fought that war with one hand behind its back .... If there had been more Southern victories, and a lot more, the North simply would have brought that other hand out from behind its back. I don't think the South ever had a chance to win that War."[311]

A minority view among historians is that the Confederacy lost because, as E. Merton Coulter put it, "people did not will hard enough and long enough to win."[312][313] However, most historians reject the argument.[314] McPherson, after reading thousands of letters written by Confederate soldiers, found strong patriotism that continued to the end; they truly believed they were fighting for freedom and liberty. Even as the Confederacy was visibly collapsing in 1864–65, he says most Confederate soldiers were fighting hard.[315] Historian Gary Gallagher cites General Sherman, who in early 1864 commented, "The devils seem to have a determination that cannot but be admired." Despite their loss of slaves and wealth, with starvation looming, Sherman continued, "yet I see no sign of let-up—some few deserters—plenty tired of war, but the masses determined to fight it out."[316]

Also important were Lincoln's eloquence in rationalizing the national purpose and his skill in keeping the border states committed to the Union cause. The Emancipation Proclamation was an effective use of the President's war powers.[317] The Confederate government failed in its attempt to get Europe involved in the war militarily, particularly Great Britain and France. Southern leaders needed to get European powers to help break up the blockade the Union had created around the Southern ports and cities. Lincoln's naval blockade was 95% effective at stopping trade goods; as a result, imports and exports to the South declined significantly. The abundance of European cotton and Britain's hostility to the institution of slavery, along with Lincoln's Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico naval blockades, severely decreased any chance that either Britain or France would enter the war.[318]

Historian Don Doyle has argued that the Union victory had a major impact on the course of world history.[319] The Union victory energized popular democratic forces. A Confederate victory, on the other hand, would have meant a new birth of slavery, not freedom. Historian Fergus Bordewich, following Doyle, argues that:

The North's victory decisively proved the durability of democratic government. Confederate independence, on the other hand, would have established an American model for reactionary politics and race-based repression that would likely have cast an international shadow into the twentieth century and perhaps beyond."[320]

Scholars have debated what the effects of the war were on political and economic power in the South.[321] The prevailing view is that the southern planter elite retained its powerful position in the South.[321] However, a 2017 study challenges this, noting that while some Southern elites retained their economic status, the turmoil of the 1860s created greater opportunities for economic mobility in the South than in the North.[321]

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Origins of the American Civil War

Origins of the American Civil War

Historians who address the origins of the American Civil War today agree that the preservation of slavery in the United States was the principal aim of the 11 Southern states that declared their secession from the United States and united to form the Confederate States. However, while historians in the 21st century agree on the centrality of the conflict over slavery—it was not just "a cause" of the war but "the cause"—they disagree sharply on which aspects of this conflict were most important, and on the North’s reasons for refusing to allow the Southern states to secede. Proponents of the pseudo-historical Lost Cause ideology have denied that slavery was the principal cause of the secession, a view that has been disproven by the overwhelming historical evidence against it, notably the seceding states' own secession documents.

James M. McPherson

James M. McPherson

James Munro McPherson is an American Civil War historian and is the George Henry Davis '86 Professor Emeritus of United States History at Princeton University. He received the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. McPherson was the president of the American Historical Association in 2003.

Shelby Foote

Shelby Foote

Shelby Dade Foote Jr. was an American writer, historian and journalist. Although he primarily viewed himself as a novelist, he is now best known for his authorship of The Civil War: A Narrative, a three-volume history of the American Civil War.

E. Merton Coulter

E. Merton Coulter

Ellis Merton Coulter (1890–1981) was an American historian of the South, author, and a founding member of the Southern Historical Association. For four decades, he was a professor at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, where he was chair of the History Department for 18 years. He was editor of the Georgia Historical Quarterly for 50 years, and published 26 books on the American Civil War and Reconstruction.

Great Britain

Great Britain

Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the north-west coast of continental Europe. With an area of 209,331 km2 (80,823 sq mi), it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island and the ninth-largest island in the world. It is dominated by a maritime climate with narrow temperature differences between seasons. The 60% smaller island of Ireland is to the west—these islands, along with over 1,000 smaller surrounding islands and named substantial rocks, form the British Isles archipelago.

France

France

France, officially the French Republic, is a country located primarily in Western Europe. It also includes overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, giving it one of the largest discontiguous exclusive economic zones in the world. Its metropolitan area extends from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea; overseas territories include French Guiana in South America, Saint Pierre and Miquelon in the North Atlantic, the French West Indies, and many islands in Oceania and the Indian Ocean. Its eighteen integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 km2 (248,573 sq mi) and had a total population of over 68 million as of January 2023. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre; other major urban areas include Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Lille, Bordeaux, and Nice.

Casualties

One in thirteen veterans were amputees.Remains of both sides were reinterred.Andersonville National Cemetery, Georgia
One in thirteen veterans were amputees.
One in thirteen veterans were amputees.Remains of both sides were reinterred.Andersonville National Cemetery, Georgia
Remains of both sides were reinterred.

The war resulted in at least 1,030,000 casualties (3 percent of the population), including about 620,000 soldier deaths—two-thirds by disease—and 50,000 civilians.[10] Binghamton University historian J. David Hacker believes the number of soldier deaths was approximately 750,000, 20 percent higher than traditionally estimated, and possibly as high as 850,000.[322][13] A novel way of calculating casualties by looking at the deviation of the death rate of men of fighting age from the norm through analysis of census data found that at least 627,000 and at most 888,000 people, but most likely 761,000 people, died in the war.[323] As historian McPherson notes, the war's "cost in American lives was as great as in all of the nation's other wars combined through Vietnam."[324]

Based on 1860 census figures, 8 percent of all white men aged 13 to 43 died in the war, including 6 percent in the North and 18 percent in the South.[325][326] About 56,000 soldiers died in prison camps during the War.[327] An estimated 60,000 soldiers lost limbs in the war.[328]

Of the 359,528 Union army dead, amounting to 15 percent of the over two million who served:[7]

  • 110,070 were killed in action (67,000) or died of wounds (43,000).
  • 199,790 died of disease (75 percent was due to the war, the remainder would have occurred in civilian life anyway)
  • 24,866 died in Confederate prison camps
  • 9,058 were killed by accidents or drowning
  • 15,741 other/unknown deaths

In addition there were 4,523 deaths in the Navy (2,112 in battle) and 460 in the Marines (148 in battle).[8]

Black troops made up 10 percent of the Union death toll — 15 percent of Union deaths from disease and less than 3 percent of those killed in battle.[7] Losses among African Americans were high. In the last year and a half and from all reported casualties, approximately 20 percent of all African Americans enrolled in the military died during the Civil War. Notably, their mortality rate was significantly higher than that of white soldiers. While 15.2% of United States Volunteers and just 8.6% of white Regular Army troops died, 20.5% of United States Colored Troops died.[329]: 16 

The United States National Park Service uses the following figures in its official tally of war losses:[3]

Union: 853,838

  • 110,100 killed in action
  • 224,580 disease deaths
  • 275,154 wounded in action
  • 211,411 captured (including 30,192 who died as POWs)

Confederate: 914,660

  • 94,000 killed in action
  • 164,000 disease deaths
  • 194,026 wounded in action
  • 462,634 captured (including 31,000 who died as POWs)
Burying Union dead on the Antietam battlefield, 1862
Burying Union dead on the Antietam battlefield, 1862

While the figures of 360,000 army deaths for the Union and 260,000 for the Confederacy remained commonly cited, they are incomplete. In addition to many Confederate records being missing, partly as a result of Confederate widows not reporting deaths due to being ineligible for benefits, both armies only counted troops who died during their service and not the tens of thousands who died of wounds or diseases after being discharged. This often happened only a few days or weeks later. Francis Amasa Walker, superintendent of the 1870 census, used census and surgeon general data to estimate a minimum of 500,000 Union military deaths and 350,000 Confederate military deaths, for a total death toll of 850,000 soldiers. While Walker's estimates were originally dismissed because of the 1870 census's undercounting, it was later found that the census was only off by 6.5% and that the data Walker used would be roughly accurate.[13]

Analyzing the number of dead by using census data to calculate the deviation of the death rate of men of fighting age from the norm suggests that at least 627,000 and at most 888,000, but most likely 761,000 soldiers, died in the war.[323] This would break down to approximately 350,000 Confederate and 411,000 Union military deaths, going by the proportion of Union to Confederate battle losses.

Deaths among former slaves has proven much harder to estimate, due to the lack of reliable census data at the time, though they were known to be considerable, as former slaves were set free or escaped in massive numbers in an area where the Union army did not have sufficient shelter, doctors, or food for them. University of Connecticut Professor Jim Downs states that tens to hundreds of thousands of slaves died during the war from disease, starvation, or exposure and that if these deaths are counted in the war's total, the death toll would exceed 1 million.[330]

Losses were far higher than during the recent defeat of Mexico, which saw roughly thirteen thousand American deaths, including fewer than two thousand killed in battle, between 1846 and 1848. One reason for the high number of battle deaths during the war was the continued use of tactics similar to those of the Napoleonic Wars at the turn of the century, such as charging. With the advent of more accurate rifled barrels, Minié balls, and (near the end of the war for the Union army) repeating firearms such as the Spencer Repeating Rifle and the Henry Repeating Rifle, soldiers were mowed down when standing in lines in the open. This led to the adoption of trench warfare, a style of fighting that defined much of World War I.[331]

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Vietnam War

Vietnam War

The Vietnam War was a conflict in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. The north was supported by the Soviet Union, China, and other communist states, while the south was supported by the United States and other anti-communist allies. The war is widely considered to be a Cold War-era proxy war. It lasted almost 20 years, with direct U.S. involvement ending in 1973. The conflict also spilled over into neighboring states, exacerbating the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, which ended with all three countries becoming communist states by 1975.

American Civil War prison camps

American Civil War prison camps

Between 1861 and 1865, American Civil War prison camps were operated by the Union and the Confederacy to detain over 400,000 captured soldiers. From the start of the Civil War through to 1863 a parole exchange system saw most prisoners of war swapped relatively quickly. However, from 1863 this broke down following the Confederacy's refusal to treat black and white Union prisoners equally, leading to soaring numbers held on both sides.

United States Colored Troops

United States Colored Troops

United States Colored Troops (USCT) were Union Army regiments during the American Civil War that primarily comprised African American soldiers, although troops drawn from other ethnic minorities also served in USCT units. Recruited in response to a demand for recruits from Union Army commanders, by the end of the war in 1865 USCT regiments, which numbered 175 in total, constituted about one-tenth of the manpower of the army. Approximately 20% of USCT soldiers were killed in action or died of disease and other causes, a rate about 35% higher than that of white Union troops. Numerous USCT soldiers fought with distinction, with 16 receiving the Medal of Honor. The USCT regiments were precursors to the Buffalo Soldier units which fought in the American Indian Wars.

Battle of Antietam

Battle of Antietam

The Battle of Antietam, or Battle of Sharpsburg particularly in the Southern United States, was a battle of the American Civil War fought on September 17, 1862, between Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and Union Gen. George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac near Sharpsburg, Maryland, and Antietam Creek. Part of the Maryland Campaign, it was the first field army–level engagement in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War to take place on Union soil. It remains the bloodiest day in American history, with a combined tally of 22,727 dead, wounded, or missing. Although the Union army suffered heavier casualties than the Confederates, the battle was a major turning point in the Union's favor.

Francis Amasa Walker

Francis Amasa Walker

Francis Amasa Walker was an American economist, statistician, journalist, educator, academic administrator, and an officer in the Union Army.

Mexican–American War

Mexican–American War

The Mexican–American War, also known in the United States as the Mexican War and in Mexico as the Intervención estadounidense en México, was an armed conflict between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848. It followed the 1845 American annexation of Texas, which Mexico still considered its territory. Mexico refused to recognize the Treaties of Velasco, because they were signed by President Antonio López de Santa Anna while he was captured by the Texas Army during the 1836 Texas Revolution. The Republic of Texas was de facto an independent country, but most of its Anglo-American citizens wanted to be annexed by the United States.

Napoleonic Wars

Napoleonic Wars

The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of conflicts fought between the First French Empire under Napoleon (1804–1815), and a fluctuating array of European coalitions. The wars originated in political forces arising from the French Revolution (1789–1799) and from the French Revolutionary Wars (1792–1802), and produced a period of French domination of Continental Europe. There were seven Napoleonic Wars, five named after the coalitions that fought Napoleon, plus two named for their respective theatres: (i) the War of the Third Coalition (1803–1806), (ii) the War of the Fourth Coalition (1806–1807), (iii) the War of the Fifth Coalition (1809), (iv) the War of the Sixth Coalition (1813–1814), (v) the War of the Seventh Coalition (1815), (vi) the Peninsular War (1807–1814), and (vii) the French invasion of Russia (1812).

Charge (warfare)

Charge (warfare)

A charge is an offensive maneuver in battle in which combatants advance towards their enemy at their best speed in an attempt to engage in a decisive close combat. The charge is the dominant shock attack and has been the key tactic and decisive moment of many battles throughout history. Modern charges usually involve small groups of fireteams equipped with weapons with a high rate of fire and striking against individual defensive positions, instead of large groups of combatants charging another group or a fortified line.

Minié ball

Minié ball

The Minié ball or Minie ball, is a type of hollow-based bullet designed by Claude-Étienne Minié, inventor of the French Minié rifle, for muzzle-loading rifled muskets. It was invented in 1847 and came to prominence in the Crimean War and the American Civil War, where it was found to inflict significantly more serious wounds than earlier round musket balls. Both the American Springfield Model 1861 and the British Pattern 1853 Enfield rifled muskets, the most common weapons used during the American Civil War, used the Minié ball.

Spencer repeating rifle

Spencer repeating rifle

The Spencer repeating rifles and carbines were 19th-century American lever-action firearms invented by Christopher Spencer. The Spencer was the world's first military metallic-cartridge repeating rifle, and over 200,000 examples were manufactured in the United States by the Spencer Repeating Rifle Co. and Burnside Rifle Co. between 1860 and 1869. The Spencer repeating rifle was adopted by the Union Army, especially by the cavalry, during the American Civil War but did not replace the standard issue muzzle-loading rifled muskets in use at the time. Among the early users was George Armstrong Custer. The Spencer carbine was a shorter and lighter version designed for the cavalry.

Henry rifle

Henry rifle

The Henry repeating rifle is a lever-action tubular magazine rifle famed both for its use at the Battle of the Little Bighorn and being the basis for the iconic Winchester rifle of the American Wild West.

Trench warfare

Trench warfare

Trench warfare is the type of land warfare using occupied lines largely comprising military trenches, in which troops are well-protected from the enemy's small arms fire and are substantially sheltered from artillery. Trench warfare became archetypically associated with World War I (1914–1918), when the Race to the Sea rapidly expanded trench use on the Western Front starting in September 1914.

Emancipation

Abolition of slavery in the various states of the United States over time:  Abolition of slavery during or shortly after the American Revolution   The Northwest Ordinance, 1787   Gradual emancipation in New York (starting 1799, completed 1827) and New Jersey (starting 1804, completed by Thirteenth Amendment, 1865)   The Missouri Compromise, 1821   Effective abolition of slavery by Mexican or joint US/British authority   Abolition of slavery by Congressional action, 1861   Abolition of slavery by Congressional action, 1862   Emancipation Proclamation as originally issued, January 1, 1863   Subsequent operation of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863   Abolition of slavery by state action during the Civil War   Operation of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1864   Operation of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865   Thirteenth Amendment to the US constitution, December 18, 1865   Territory incorporated into the US after the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment
Abolition of slavery in the various states of the United States over time:
  Abolition of slavery during or shortly after the American Revolution
  The Northwest Ordinance, 1787
  Gradual emancipation in New York (starting 1799, completed 1827) and New Jersey (starting 1804, completed by Thirteenth Amendment, 1865)
  The Missouri Compromise, 1821
  Effective abolition of slavery by Mexican or joint US/British authority
  Abolition of slavery by Congressional action, 1861
  Abolition of slavery by Congressional action, 1862
  Emancipation Proclamation as originally issued, January 1, 1863
  Subsequent operation of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863
  Abolition of slavery by state action during the Civil War
  Operation of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1864
  Operation of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865
  Thirteenth Amendment to the US constitution, December 18, 1865
  Territory incorporated into the US after the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment

Abolishing slavery was not a Union war goal from the outset, but it quickly became one.[21] Lincoln's initial claims were that preserving the Union was the central goal of the war.[332] In contrast, the South saw itself as fighting to preserve slavery.[21] While not all Southerners saw themselves as fighting for slavery, most of the officers and over a third of the rank and file in Lee's army had close family ties to slavery. To Northerners, in contrast, the motivation was primarily to preserve the Union, not to abolish slavery.[333] However, as the war dragged on, and it became clear that slavery was central to the conflict, and that emancipation was (to quote from the Emancipation Proclamation) "a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing [the] rebellion," Lincoln and his cabinet made ending slavery a war goal, culminating in the Emancipation Proclamation.[21][334] Lincoln's decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation angered both Peace Democrats ("Copperheads") and War Democrats, but energized most Republicans.[334] By warning that free blacks would flood the North, Democrats made gains in the 1862 elections, but they did not gain control of Congress. The Republicans' counterargument that slavery was the mainstay of the enemy steadily gained support, with the Democrats losing decisively in the 1863 elections in the Northern state of Ohio when they tried to resurrect anti-black sentiment.[335]

Emancipation Proclamation

Slavery for the Confederacy's 3.5 million blacks effectively ended in each area when Union armies arrived; they were nearly all freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. The last Confederate slaves were freed on June 19, 1865, celebrated as the modern holiday of Juneteenth. Slaves in the border states and those located in some former Confederate territory occupied before the Emancipation Proclamation were freed by state action or (on December 6, 1865) by the Thirteenth Amendment.[336][337] The Emancipation Proclamation enabled African Americans, both free blacks and escaped slaves, to join the Union Army. About 190,000 volunteered, further enhancing the numerical advantage the Union armies enjoyed over the Confederates, who did not dare emulate the equivalent manpower source for fear of fundamentally undermining the legitimacy of slavery.[j]

During the Civil War, sentiment concerning slaves, enslavement and emancipation in the United States was divided. Lincoln's fears of making slavery a war issue were based on a harsh reality: abolition did not enjoy wide support in the west, the territories, and the border states.[339][340] In 1861, Lincoln worried that premature attempts at emancipation would mean the loss of the border states, and that "to lose Kentucky is nearly the same as to lose the whole game."[340] Copperheads and some War Democrats opposed emancipation, although the latter eventually accepted it as part of the total war needed to save the Union.[341]

At first, Lincoln reversed attempts at emancipation by Secretary of War Simon Cameron and Generals John C. Frémont (in Missouri) and David Hunter (in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida) to keep the loyalty of the border states and the War Democrats. Lincoln warned the border states that a more radical type of emancipation would happen if his plan of gradual compensated emancipation and voluntary colonization was rejected.[342] But compensated emancipation occurred only in the District of Columbia, where Congress had the power to enact it. When Lincoln told his cabinet about his proposed emancipation proclamation, which would apply to the states still in rebellion on January 1, 1863, Seward advised Lincoln to wait for a Union military victory before issuing it, as to do otherwise would seem like "our last shriek on the retreat".[343] Lincoln laid the groundwork for public support in an open letter published in response to Horace Greeley's "The Prayer of Twenty Millions".[344][345][346] He also laid the groundwork at a meeting at the White House with five African American representatives on August 14, 1862. Arranging for a reporter to be present, he urged his visitors to agree to the voluntary colonization of black people, apparently to make his forthcoming preliminary Emancipation Proclamation more palatable to racist white people.[347] A Union victory in the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862, provided Lincoln with an opportunity to issue the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, and the subsequent War Governors' Conference added support for the proclamation.[348]

Contrabands—fugitive slaves—cooks, laundresses, laborers, teamsters, railroad repair crews—fled to the Union Army, but were not officially freed until 1863 by the Emancipation Proclamation.In 1863, the Union army accepted Freedmen. Seen here are Black and White teen-aged soldiers.
Contrabands—fugitive slaves—cooks, laundresses, laborers, teamsters, railroad repair crews—fled to the Union Army, but were not officially freed until 1863 by the Emancipation Proclamation.
Contrabands—fugitive slaves—cooks, laundresses, laborers, teamsters, railroad repair crews—fled to the Union Army, but were not officially freed until 1863 by the Emancipation Proclamation.In 1863, the Union army accepted Freedmen. Seen here are Black and White teen-aged soldiers.
In 1863, the Union army accepted Freedmen. Seen here are Black and White teen-aged soldiers.

Lincoln issued his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862. It stated that the slaves in all states in rebellion on January 1, 1863, would be free. He issued his final Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, keeping his promise. In his letter to Albert G. Hodges, Lincoln explained his belief that "If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong .... And yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and feeling .... I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me."[349][k]

Lincoln's moderate approach succeeded in inducing the border states to remain in the Union and War Democrats to support the Union. The border states (Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, Delaware) and Union-controlled regions around New Orleans, Norfolk, and elsewhere, were not covered by the Emancipation Proclamation. Nor was Tennessee, which had come under Union control.[351] Missouri and Maryland abolished slavery on their own; Kentucky and Delaware did not.[352] Still, the proclamation did not enjoy universal support. It caused much unrest in what were then considered western states, where racist sentiments led to a great fear of abolition. There was some concern that the proclamation would lead to the secession of western states, and its issuance prompted the stationing of Union troops in Illinois in case of rebellion.[339]

Since the Emancipation Proclamation was based on the President's war powers, it applied only in territory held by Confederates at the time it was issued. However, the Proclamation became a symbol of the Union's growing commitment to add emancipation to the Union's definition of liberty.[353] The Emancipation Proclamation greatly reduced the Confederacy's hope of being recognized or otherwise aided by Britain or France.[354] By late 1864, Lincoln was playing a leading role in getting the House of Representatives to vote for the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which mandated the ending of chattel slavery.[355]

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Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee

Robert Edward Lee was a Confederate general during the American Civil War, towards the end of which he was appointed the overall commander of the Confederate States Army. He led the Army of Northern Virginia—the Confederacy's most powerful army—from 1862 until its surrender in 1865, earning a reputation as a skilled tactician.

Emancipation Proclamation

Emancipation Proclamation

The Emancipation Proclamation, officially Proclamation 95, was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the Civil War. The Proclamation changed the legal status of more than 3.5 million enslaved African Americans in the secessionist Confederate states from enslaved to free. As soon as slaves escaped the control of their enslavers, either by fleeing to Union lines or through the advance of federal troops, they were permanently free. In addition, the Proclamation allowed for former slaves to "be received into the armed service of the United States".

Juneteenth

Juneteenth

Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Deriving its name from combining "June" and "nineteenth", it is celebrated on the anniversary of General Order No. 3, issued by Major General Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865, proclaiming freedom for slaves in Texas. Originating in Galveston, Juneteenth has since been observed annually in various parts of the United States, often broadly celebrating African-American culture. The day was first recognized as a federal holiday in 2021, when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law after the efforts of Lula Briggs Galloway, Opal Lee, and others.

Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. The amendment was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, by the House of Representatives on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the required 27 of the then 36 states on December 6, 1865, and proclaimed on December 18. It was the first of the three Reconstruction Amendments adopted following the American Civil War.

Total war

Total war

Total war is a type of warfare that includes any and all civilian-associated resources and infrastructure as legitimate military targets, mobilizes all of the resources of society to fight the war, and gives priority to warfare over non-combatant needs.

Simon Cameron

Simon Cameron

Simon Cameron was an American businessman and politician who represented Pennsylvania in the United States Senate and served as United States Secretary of War under President Abraham Lincoln at the start of the American Civil War.

John C. Frémont

John C. Frémont

John Charles Frémont or Fremont was an American explorer, military officer, and politician. He was a United States senator from California and was the first Republican nominee for president of the U.S. in 1856 and founder of the California Republican Party when he was nominated. He lost the election to Democrat James Buchanan when the vote was split by Know Nothings.

David Hunter

David Hunter

David Hunter was an American military officer. He served as a Union general during the American Civil War. He achieved notability for his unauthorized 1862 order emancipating slaves in three Southern states, for his leadership of United States troops during the Valley Campaigns of 1864, and as the president of the military commission trying the conspirators involved with the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.

Back-to-Africa movement

Back-to-Africa movement

The back-to-Africa movement was based on the widespread belief among some European Americans in the 18th and 19th century United States that African Americans would want to return to the continent of Africa. In general, the political movement was an overwhelming failure; very few former slaves wanted to move to Africa. The small number of freed slaves who did settle in Africa—some under duress—initially faced brutal conditions, due to diseases to which they no longer had biological resistance. As the failure became known in the United States in the 1820s, it spawned and energized the abolitionist movement. In the 20th century, the Jamaican political activist and black nationalist Marcus Garvey, members of the Rastafari movement, and other African Americans supported the concept, but few actually left the United States.

District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act

District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act

An Act for the Release of certain Persons held to Service or Labor in the District of Columbia, 37th Cong., Sess. 2, ch. 54, 12 Stat. 376, known colloquially as the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act or simply Compensated Emancipation Act, was a law that ended slavery in the District of Columbia, while providing enslavers who remained loyal to the United States in the then-ongoing Civil War to petition for compensation. Although not written by him, the act was signed by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln on April 16, 1862. April 16 is now celebrated in the city as Emancipation Day.

Horace Greeley

Horace Greeley

Horace Greeley was an American newspaper editor and publisher who was the founder and editor of the New-York Tribune. Long active in politics, he served briefly as a congressman from New York, and was the unsuccessful candidate of the new Liberal Republican Party in the 1872 presidential election against incumbent President Ulysses S. Grant, who won by a landslide.

Battle of Antietam

Battle of Antietam

The Battle of Antietam, or Battle of Sharpsburg particularly in the Southern United States, was a battle of the American Civil War fought on September 17, 1862, between Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and Union Gen. George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac near Sharpsburg, Maryland, and Antietam Creek. Part of the Maryland Campaign, it was the first field army–level engagement in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War to take place on Union soil. It remains the bloodiest day in American history, with a combined tally of 22,727 dead, wounded, or missing. Although the Union army suffered heavier casualties than the Confederates, the battle was a major turning point in the Union's favor.

Reconstruction

Through the supervision of the Freedmen's Bureau, Northern teachers traveled into the South to provide education and training for the newly freed population.
Through the supervision of the Freedmen's Bureau, Northern teachers traveled into the South to provide education and training for the newly freed population.
Oath to defend the Constitution of the United States and, among other promises, to "abide by and faithfully support all acts of Congress passed during the . . . rebellion having reference to slaves . . . ", signed by former Confederate officer Samuel M. Kennard on June 27, 1865[356]
Oath to defend the Constitution of the United States and, among other promises, to "abide by and faithfully support all acts of Congress passed during the . . . rebellion having reference to slaves . . . ", signed by former Confederate officer Samuel M. Kennard on June 27, 1865[356]

The war had utterly devastated the South and posed serious questions of how the South would be re-integrated to the Union. The war destroyed much of the wealth that had existed in the South. All accumulated investment in Confederate bonds was forfeited; most banks and railroads were bankrupt. The income per person in the South dropped to less than 40 percent of that of the North, a condition that lasted until well into the 20th century. Southern influence in the federal government, previously considerable, was greatly diminished until the latter half of the 20th century.[357] Reconstruction began during the war, with the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, and it continued until 1877.[358] It comprised multiple complex methods to resolve the outstanding issues of the war's aftermath, the most important of which were the three "Reconstruction Amendments" to the Constitution: the 13th outlawing slavery (1865), the 14th guaranteeing citizenship to slaves (1868), and the 15th ensuring voting rights to slaves (1870). From the Union perspective, the goals of Reconstruction were to consolidate the Union victory on the battlefield by reuniting the Union, to guarantee a "republican form of government" for the ex-Confederate states, and to permanently end slavery—and prevent semi-slavery status.[359]

President Johnson took a lenient approach and saw the achievement of the main war goals as realized in 1865 when each ex-rebel state repudiated secession and ratified the Thirteenth Amendment. Radical Republicans demanded proof that Confederate nationalism was dead and that the slaves were truly free. They overrode Johnson's vetoes of civil rights legislation, and the House impeached him, although the Senate did not convict him. In 1868 and 1872, the Republican candidate Ulysses S. Grant won the presidency. In 1872, the "Liberal Republicans" argued that the war goals had been achieved and that Reconstruction should end. They chose Horace Greeley to head a presidential ticket in 1872 but were decisively defeated. In 1874, Democrats, primarily Southern, took control of Congress and opposed further reconstruction. The Compromise of 1877 closed with a national consensus, except perhaps on the part of former slaves, that the Civil War had finally ended.[360] With the withdrawal of federal troops, however, whites retook control of every Southern legislature, and the Jim Crow era of disenfranchisement and legal segregation was ushered in.[361]

The Civil War would have a huge impact on American politics in the years to come. Many veterans on both sides were subsequently elected to political office, including five U.S. Presidents: General Ulysses Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, and William McKinley.[362]

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Reconstruction era

Reconstruction era

The Reconstruction era was a period in American history following the American Civil War (1861–1865) and lasting until approximately the Compromise of 1877. During Reconstruction, attempts were made to rebuild the country after the bloody Civil War, bring the former Confederate states back into the United States, and to counteract the political, social, and economic legacies of slavery.

Freedmen's Bureau

Freedmen's Bureau

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, usually referred to as simply the Freedmen's Bureau, was an agency of early Reconstruction, assisting freedmen in the South. It was established on March 3, 1865, and operated briefly as a U.S. government agency, from 1865 to 1872, after the American Civil War, to direct "provisions, clothing, and fuel...for the immediate and temporary shelter and supply of destitute and suffering refugees and freedmen and their wives and children".

Reconstruction Amendments

Reconstruction Amendments

The Reconstruction Amendments, or the Civil War Amendments, are the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments to the United States Constitution, adopted between 1865 and 1870. The amendments were a part of the implementation of the Reconstruction of the American South which occurred after the war.

Radical Republicans

Radical Republicans

The Radical Republicans were a faction within the Republican Party originating from the party's founding in 1854—some six years before the Civil War—until the Compromise of 1877, which effectively ended Reconstruction. They called themselves "Radicals" because of their goal of immediate, complete, and permanent eradication of slavery in the United States. They were opposed during the war by the Moderate Republicans, and by the Democratic Party. Radicals led efforts after the war to establish civil rights for former slaves and fully implement emancipation. After unsuccessful measures in 1866 resulted in violence against former slaves in the rebel states, Radicals pushed the Fourteenth Amendment for statutory protections through Congress. They opposed allowing ex-Confederate officers to retake political power in the Southern U.S., and emphasized equality, civil rights and voting rights for the "freedmen", i.e., former slaves who had been freed during or after the Civil War by the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment.

Freedmen's Bureau bills

Freedmen's Bureau bills

The Freedmen's Bureau bills provided legislative authorization for the Freedmen's Bureau, which was set up by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln in 1865 as part of the United States Army. Following the original bill in 1865, subsequent bills sought to extend its authority and lifespan. Andrew Johnson tried to derail the bill's intention to aid freed slaves, until the Bureau was disbanded on account of rampant corruption during the first term of U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant.

Civil Rights Act of 1866

Civil Rights Act of 1866

The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was the first United States federal law to define citizenship and affirm that all citizens are equally protected by the law. It was mainly intended, in the wake of the American Civil War, to protect the civil rights of persons of African descent born in or brought to the United States.

Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

The impeachment of Andrew Johnson was initiated on February 24, 1868, when the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution to impeach Andrew Johnson, the 17th president of the United States, for "high crimes and misdemeanors". The alleged high crimes and misdemeanors were afterwards specified in eleven articles of impeachment adopted by the House on March 2 and 3, 1868. The primary charge against Johnson was that he had violated the Tenure of Office Act. Specifically, that he had acted to remove from office Edwin Stanton and to replace him with Brevet Major General Lorenzo Thomas as secretary of war ad interim. The Tenure of Office had been passed by Congress in March 1867 over Johnson's veto with the primary intent of protecting Stanton from being fired without the Senate's consent. Stanton often sided with the Radical Republican faction and did not have a good relationship with Johnson.

Liberal Republican Party (United States)

Liberal Republican Party (United States)

The Liberal Republican Party was an American political party that was organized in May 1872 to oppose the reelection of President Ulysses S. Grant and his Radical Republican supporters in the presidential election of 1872. The party emerged in Missouri under the leadership of Senator Carl Schurz and soon attracted other opponents of Grant; Liberal Republicans decried the scandals of the Grant administration and sought civil service reform. The party opposed Grant's Reconstruction policies, particularly the Enforcement Acts that destroyed the Ku Klux Klan. It lost in a landslide, and disappeared from the national stage after the 1872 election.

Horace Greeley 1872 presidential campaign

Horace Greeley 1872 presidential campaign

In 1872, Horace Greeley ran unsuccessfully for President of the United States. He served as the candidate of both the Democrats and the Liberal Republicans, in the 1872 election. In the run-up to the 1872 United States presidential election, major changes occurred in the United States. Specifically, the 15th Amendment gave African-Americans the right to vote for the first time, while the government cracked down on the Ku Klux Klan. In addition, the economy was still in good shape and President Ulysses S. Grant's corruption scandals for the most part were still not public knowledge. With this background, the incumbent U.S. President was able to decisively defeat Greeley.

Compromise of 1877

Compromise of 1877

The Compromise of 1877, also known as the Wormley Agreement or the Bargain of 1877, was an unwritten deal, informally arranged among members of the United States Congress, to settle the intensely disputed 1876 presidential election between Republican Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat Samuel J. Tilden. The Democrats agreed to the election of Hayes and in turn he withdrew the Army from the South, leaving the Democrats in control there. The Compromise itself secured Hayes's authority as a political fact, and the subsequent withdrawal of the last federal troops from the Southern United States, effectively ending the Reconstruction Era and forfeiting the Republican claims to the state governments in South Carolina, Florida and Louisiana.

Disfranchisement after the Reconstruction era

Disfranchisement after the Reconstruction era

Disfranchisement after the Reconstruction era in the United States, especially in the Southern United States, was based on a series of laws, new constitutions, and practices in the South that were deliberately used to prevent black citizens from registering to vote and voting. These measures were enacted by the former Confederate states at the turn of the 20th century. Efforts were made in Maryland, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. Their actions were designed to thwart the objective of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1870, which prohibited states from depriving voters of their voting rights on the basis of race. The laws were frequently written in ways to be ostensibly non-racial on paper, but were implemented in ways that purposely suppressed black voters. Beginning in the 1870s, white racists used violence by domestic terrorism groups, as well as fraud, to suppress black voters. After regaining control of the state legislatures, Southern Democrats were alarmed by a late 19th-century alliance between Republicans and Populists that cost them some elections. After achieving control of state legislatures, white bigots added to previous efforts and achieved widespread disfranchisement by law: from 1890 to 1908, Southern state legislatures passed new constitutions, constitutional amendments, and laws that made voter registration and voting more difficult, especially when administered by white staff in a discriminatory way. They succeeded in disenfranchising most of the black citizens, as well as many poor whites in the South, and voter rolls dropped dramatically in each state. The Republican Party was nearly eliminated in the region for decades, and the Southern Democrats established one-party control throughout the Southern United States.

Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison was an American lawyer and politician who served as the 23rd president of the United States from 1889 to 1893. He was a member of the Harrison family of Virginia—a grandson of the ninth president, William Henry Harrison, and a great-grandson of Benjamin Harrison V, a Founding Father.

Memory and historiography

Monument to the Grand Army of the Republic, a Union veteran organizationCherokee Confederates reunion in New Orleans, 1903
Monument to the Grand Army of the Republic, a Union veteran organization
Monument to the Grand Army of the Republic, a Union veteran organizationCherokee Confederates reunion in New Orleans, 1903
Cherokee Confederates reunion in New Orleans, 1903

The Civil War is one of the central events in American collective memory. There are innumerable statues, commemorations, books, and archival collections. The memory includes the home front, military affairs, the treatment of soldiers, both living and dead, in the war's aftermath, depictions of the war in literature and art, evaluations of heroes and villains, and considerations of the moral and political lessons of the war.[363] The last theme includes moral evaluations of racism and slavery, heroism in combat and heroism behind the lines, and issues of democracy and minority rights, as well as the notion of an "Empire of Liberty" influencing the world.[364]

Professional historians have paid much more attention to the causes of the war than to the war itself. Military history has largely developed outside academia, leading to a proliferation of studies by non-scholars who nevertheless are familiar with the primary sources and pay close attention to battles and campaigns and who write for the general public. Bruce Catton and Shelby Foote are among the best known.[365][366] Practically every major figure in the war, both North and South, has had a serious biographical study.[367]

Lost Cause

The memory of the war in the white South crystallized in the myth of the "Lost Cause": that the Confederate cause was just and heroic. The myth shaped regional identity and race relations for generations.[368] Alan T. Nolan notes that the Lost Cause was expressly a rationalization, a cover-up to vindicate the name and fame of those in rebellion. Some claims revolve around the insignificance of slavery as a cause of the war; some appeals highlight cultural differences between North and South; the military conflict by Confederate actors is idealized; in any case, secession was said to be lawful.[369] Nolan argues that the adoption of the Lost Cause perspective facilitated the reunification of the North and the South while excusing the "virulent racism" of the 19th century, sacrificing black American progress to white man's reunification. He also deems the Lost Cause "a caricature of the truth. This caricature wholly misrepresents and distorts the facts of the matter" in every instance.[370] The Lost Cause myth was formalized by Charles A. Beard and Mary R. Beard, whose The Rise of American Civilization (1927) spawned "Beardian historiography". The Beards downplayed slavery, abolitionism, and issues of morality. Though this interpretation was abandoned by the Beards in the 1940s, and by historians generally by the 1950s, Beardian themes still echo among Lost Cause writers.[371][372]

Battlefield preservation

Beginning in 1961 the U.S. Post Office released commemorative stamps for five famous battles, each issued on the 100th anniversary of the respective battle.
Beginning in 1961 the U.S. Post Office released commemorative stamps for five famous battles, each issued on the 100th anniversary of the respective battle.

The first efforts at Civil War battlefield preservation and memorialization came during the war itself with the establishment of National Cemeteries at Gettysburg, Mill Springs and Chattanooga. Soldiers began erecting markers on battlefields beginning with the First Battle of Bull Run in July 1861, but the oldest surviving monument is the Hazen Brigade Monument near Murfreesboro, Tennessee, built in the summer of 1863 by soldiers in Union Col. William B. Hazen's brigade to mark the spot where they buried their dead following the Battle of Stones River.[373] In the 1890s, the United States government established five Civil War battlefield parks under the jurisdiction of the War Department, beginning with the creation of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park in Tennessee and the Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland in 1890. The Shiloh National Military Park was established in 1894, followed by the Gettysburg National Military Park in 1895 and Vicksburg National Military Park in 1899. In 1933, these five parks and other national monuments were transferred to the jurisdiction of the National Park Service.[374] Chief among modern efforts to preserve Civil War sites has been the American Battlefield Trust, with more than 130 battlefields in 24 states.[375][376] The five major Civil War battlefield parks operated by the National Park Service (Gettysburg, Antietam, Shiloh, Chickamauga/Chattanooga and Vicksburg) had a combined 3.1 million visitors in 2018, down 70% from 10.2 million in 1970.[377]

Civil War commemoration

Top: Grand Army of the Republic (Union)Bottom: United Confederate Veterans
Top: Grand Army of the Republic (Union)Bottom: United Confederate Veterans
Top: Grand Army of the Republic (Union)
Bottom: United Confederate Veterans

The American Civil War has been commemorated in many capacities, ranging from the reenactment of battles to statues and memorial halls erected, to films being produced, to stamps and coins with Civil War themes being issued, all of which helped to shape public memory. These commemorations occurred in greater numbers on the 100th and 150th anniversaries of the war.[378] Hollywood's take on the war has been especially influential in shaping public memory, as in such film classics as The Birth of a Nation (1915), Gone with the Wind (1939), and Lincoln (2012). Ken Burns's PBS television series The Civil War (1990) is especially well-remembered, though criticized for its historical inaccuracy.[379][380]

Technological significance

Numerous technological innovations during the Civil War had a great impact on 19th-century science. The Civil War was one of the earliest examples of an "industrial war", in which technological might is used to achieve military supremacy in a war.[381] New inventions, such as the train and telegraph, delivered soldiers, supplies and messages at a time when horses were considered to be the fastest way to travel.[382][383] It was also in this war that aerial warfare, in the form of reconnaissance balloons, was first used.[384] It saw the first action involving steam-powered ironclad warships in naval warfare history.[385] Repeating firearms such as the Henry rifle, Spencer rifle, Colt revolving rifle, Triplett & Scott carbine and others, first appeared during the Civil War; they were a revolutionary invention that would soon replace muzzle-loading and single-shot firearms in warfare. The war also saw the first appearances of rapid-firing weapons and machine guns such as the Agar gun and the Gatling gun.[386]

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Grand Army of the Republic

Grand Army of the Republic

The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a fraternal organization composed of veterans of the Union Army, Union Navy, and the Marines who served in the American Civil War. It was founded in 1866 in Decatur, Illinois, and grew to include hundreds of "posts" across the North and West. It was dissolved in 1956 at the death of its last member.

Cherokee in the American Civil War

Cherokee in the American Civil War

The Cherokee in the American Civil War were active in the Trans-Mississippi and Western Theaters. In the east, Confederate Cherokees led by William Holland Thomas hindered Union forces trying to use the Appalachian mountain passes of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Out west, Confederate Cherokee Stand Watie led primarily Native Confederate forces in the Indian Territory, in what is now the state of Oklahoma. The Cherokee partnered with the Confederacy in order to get funds, as well as ultimately full recognition as a sovereign, independent state.

Empire of Liberty

Empire of Liberty

The Empire of Liberty is a theme developed first by Thomas Jefferson to identify the responsibility of the United States to spread freedom across the world. Jefferson saw the mission of the U.S. in terms of setting an example, expansion into western North America, and by intervention abroad. Major exponents of the theme have been James Monroe, Andrew Jackson and James K. Polk, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson (Wilsonianism), Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.

Bruce Catton

Bruce Catton

Charles Bruce Catton was an American historian and journalist, known best for his books concerning the American Civil War. Known as a narrative historian, Catton specialized in popular history, featuring interesting characters and historical vignettes, in addition to the basic facts, dates, and analyses. His books were researched well and included footnotes. He won a Pulitzer Prize during 1954 for A Stillness at Appomattox, his study of the final campaign of the war in Virginia.

Charles A. Beard

Charles A. Beard

Charles Austin Beard (1874–1948) was an American historian and professor, who wrote primarily during the first half of the 20th century. A history professor at Columbia University, Beard's influence is primarily due to his publications in the fields of history and political science. His works included a radical re-evaluation of the Founding Fathers of the United States, whom he believed to be more motivated by economics than by philosophical principles. Beard's most influential book, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States (1913), has been the subject of great controversy ever since its publication. While it has been frequently criticized for its methodology and conclusions, it was responsible for a wide-ranging reinterpretation of early American history.

Commemorative stamp

Commemorative stamp

A commemorative stamp is a postage stamp, often issued on a significant date such as an anniversary, to honor or commemorate a place, event, person, or object. The subject of the commemorative stamp is usually spelled out in print, unlike definitive stamps which normally depict the subject along with the denomination and country name only. Many postal services issue several commemorative stamps each year, sometimes holding first day of issue ceremonies at locations connected with the subjects. Commemorative stamps can be used alongside ordinary stamps. Unlike definitive stamps that are often reprinted and sold over a prolonged period of time for general usage, commemorative stamps are usually printed in limited quantities and sold for a much shorter period of time, usually, until supplies run out.

American Civil War battlefield preservation

American Civil War battlefield preservation

The practice of preserving the battlefields of the American Civil War for historical and memorial reasons has been developed over more than 150 years in the United States. Even during the American Civil War active duty soldiers on both sides of the conflict began erecting impromptu battlefield monuments to their recently fallen comrades. Since these initial attempts at preservation and commemoration, important Civil War battle sites have been preserved by various groups and many are now in the care of the National Park Service and overseen by the American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP). Of approximately 10,500 acts of aggression that occurred between the United States and the Confederacy 384 have been identified in a 1993 federal report as being principle to the conflict. From these a select few have been chosen based on their historical significance, accessibility, and preservability to be federally curated. Beyond sites run by the U.S. Federal government many secondary battle sites across the United States are maintained and operated by state governments and private historical groups.

First Battle of Bull Run

First Battle of Bull Run

The First Battle of Bull Run, called the Battle of First Manassas by Confederate forces, was the first major battle of the American Civil War. The battle was fought on July 21, 1861, in Prince William County, Virginia, just north of the city of Manassas and about thirty miles west-southwest of Washington, D.C. The Union Army was slow in positioning themselves, allowing Confederate reinforcements time to arrive by rail. Each side had about 18,000 poorly trained and poorly led troops. The battle was a Confederate victory and was followed by a disorganized post-battle retreat of the Union forces.

Hazen Brigade Monument

Hazen Brigade Monument

The Hazen Brigade Monument at Stones River National Battlefield, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is the oldest American Civil War monument remaining in its original battlefield location.

Battle of Stones River

Battle of Stones River

The Battle of Stones River, also known as the Second Battle of Murfreesboro, was a battle fought from December 31, 1862, to January 2, 1863, in Middle Tennessee, as the culmination of the Stones River Campaign in the Western Theater of the American Civil War. Of the major battles of the war, Stones River had the highest percentage of casualties on both sides. The battle ended in Union victory after the Confederate army's withdrawal on January 3, largely due to a series of tactical miscalculations by Confederate General Braxton Bragg, but the victory was costly for the Union army. Nevertheless, it was an important victory for the Union because it provided a much-needed boost in morale after the Union's recent defeat at Fredericksburg and also reinforced President Abraham Lincoln's foundation for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, which ultimately discouraged European powers from intervening on the Confederacy's behalf.

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, located in northern Georgia and southeastern Tennessee, preserves the sites of two major battles of the American Civil War: the Battle of Chickamauga and the Siege of Chattanooga. A detailed history of the park's development was provided by the National Park Service in 1998.

Antietam National Battlefield

Antietam National Battlefield

Antietam National Battlefield is a National Park Service-protected area along Antietam Creek in Sharpsburg, Washington County, northwestern Maryland. It commemorates the American Civil War Battle of Antietam that occurred on September 17, 1862.

In works of culture and art

The Civil War is one of the most studied events in American history, and the collection of cultural works around it is enormous.[387] This section gives an abbreviated overview of the most notable works.

Literature

Film

Music

Video games

Discover more about In works of culture and art related topics

O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! My Captain!

"O Captain! My Captain!" is an extended metaphor poem written by Walt Whitman in 1865 about the death of U.S. president Abraham Lincoln. Well received upon publication, the poem was Whitman's first to be anthologized and the most popular during his lifetime. Together with "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd", "Hush'd Be the Camps To-day", and "This Dust was Once the Man", it is one of four poems written by Whitman about the death of Lincoln.

Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War

Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War

Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866) is the first book of poetry published by the American author Herman Melville. The volume is dedicated "To the Memory of the Three Hundred Thousand Who in the War For the Maintenance of the Union Fell Devotedly Under the Flag of Their Fathers" and its 72 poems deal with the battles and personalities of the American Civil War and their aftermath. Also included are Notes and a Supplement in prose in which Melville sets forth his thoughts on how the Post-war Reconstruction should be carried out.

Herman Melville

Herman Melville

Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period. Among his best-known works are Moby-Dick (1851); Typee (1846), a romanticized account of his experiences in Polynesia; and Billy Budd, Sailor, a posthumously published novella. Although his reputation was not high at the time of his death, the 1919 centennial of his birth was the starting point of a Melville revival, and Moby-Dick grew to be considered one of the great American novels.

Jefferson Davis

Jefferson Davis

Jefferson F. Davis was an American politician who served as the first and only president of the Confederate States from 1861 to 1865. He represented Mississippi in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives as a member of the Democratic Party before the American Civil War. He had previously served as the United States Secretary of War from 1853 to 1857 under President Franklin Pierce.

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. He was praised as the "greatest humorist the United States has produced", and William Faulkner called him "the father of American literature". His novels include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), the latter of which has often been called the "Great American Novel". Twain also wrote A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889) and Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894), and co-wrote The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today (1873) with Charles Dudley Warner.

Jules Verne

Jules Verne

Jules Gabriel Verne was a French novelist, poet, and playwright. His collaboration with the publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel led to the creation of the Voyages extraordinaires, a series of bestselling adventure novels including Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas (1870), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1872). His novels, always well documented, are generally set in the second half of the 19th century, taking into account the technological advances of the time.

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

"An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" (1890) is a short story by the American writer and Civil War veteran Ambrose Bierce. Described as "one of the most famous and frequently anthologized stories in American literature", it was originally published by The San Francisco Examiner on July 13, 1890, and was first collected in Bierce's book Tales of Soldiers and Civilians (1891). The story, which is set during the American Civil War, is known for its irregular time sequence and twist ending. Bierce's abandonment of strict linear narration in favor of the internal mind of the protagonist is an early example of the stream of consciousness narrative mode.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce was an American short story writer, journalist, poet, and American Civil War veteran. His book The Devil's Dictionary was named as one of "The 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature" by the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration. His story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" has been described as "one of the most famous and frequently anthologized stories in American literature", and his book Tales of Soldiers and Civilians was named by the Grolier Club as one of the 100 most influential American books printed before 1900.

Gone with the Wind (novel)

Gone with the Wind (novel)

Gone with the Wind is a novel by American writer Margaret Mitchell, first published in 1936. The story is set in Clayton County and Atlanta, both in Georgia, during the American Civil War and Reconstruction Era. It depicts the struggles of young Scarlett O'Hara, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner, who must use every means at her disposal to claw her way out of poverty following Sherman's destructive "March to the Sea". This historical novel features a coming-of-age story, with the title taken from the poem "Non Sum Qualis eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae", written by Ernest Dowson.

Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell was an American novelist and journalist. Mitchell wrote only one novel, published during her lifetime, the American Civil War-era novel Gone with the Wind, for which she won the National Book Award for Fiction for Most Distinguished Novel of 1936 and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1937. Long after her death, a collection of Mitchell's girlhood writings and a novella she wrote as a teenager, titled Lost Laysen, were published. A collection of newspaper articles written by Mitchell for The Atlanta Journal was republished in book form.

North and South (trilogy)

North and South (trilogy)

North and South is a 1980s trilogy of best-selling novels by John Jakes which take place before, during, and after the American Civil War. The saga tells the story of the enduring friendship between Orry Main of South Carolina and George Hazard of Pennsylvania, who become best friends while attending the United States Military Academy at West Point but later find themselves and their families on opposite sides of the war. The slave-owning Mains are rural gentleman planters while the big-city Hazards live by manufacturing and industry, their differences reflecting the real divisions between North and South which ultimately led to war.

John Jakes

John Jakes

John William Jakes was an American writer, best known for historical and speculative fiction. His American Civil War trilogy, North and South, has sold millions of copies worldwide. He was also the author of The Kent Family Chronicles. Jakes used the pen name Jay Scotland among others.

Source: "American Civil War", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, March 14th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Civil_War.

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See also
References

Notes

  1. ^ See also Conclusion of the American Civil War and American Civil War#End of the War
  2. ^ Last shot fired by CSS Shenandoah in the Pacific Ocean June 22, 1865.
  3. ^ a b Total number that served
  4. ^ 211,411 Union soldiers were captured, and 30,218 died in prison. The ones who died have been excluded to prevent double-counting of casualties.
  5. ^ 462,634 Confederate soldiers were captured and 25,976 died in prison. The ones who died have been excluded to prevent double-counting of casualties.
  6. ^ Including the states that remained loyal to it, both the non-slave states and the border states (Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware) where slavery was legal. Nevertheless, Missouri and Kentucky were given full state delegations in the Confederate Congress for the duration of the war.
  7. ^ Assuming Union and Confederate casualties are counted together – more Americans were killed in World War II than in either the Union or Confederate Armies if their casualty totals are counted separately.
  8. ^ "Union population 1864" aggregates 1860 population, average annual immigration 1855–1864, and population governed formerly by CSA per Kenneth Martis source. Contrabands and after the Emancipation Proclamation freedmen, migrating into Union control on the coasts and to the advancing armies, and natural increase are excluded.
  9. ^ "Slave 1864, CSA" aggregates 1860 slave census of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Texas. It omits losses from contraband and after the Emancipation Proclamation, freedmen migrating to the Union controlled coastal ports and those joining advancing Union armies, especially in the Mississippi Valley.
  10. ^ In spite of the South's shortage of soldiers, most Southern leaders—until 1865—opposed enlisting slaves. They used them as laborers to support the war effort. As Howell Cobb said, "If slaves will make good soldiers our whole theory of slavery is wrong." Confederate generals Patrick Cleburne and Robert E. Lee argued in favor of arming blacks late in the war, and Jefferson Davis was eventually persuaded to support plans for arming slaves to avoid military defeat. The Confederacy surrendered at Appomattox before this plan could be implemented.[338]
  11. ^ In late March 1864 Lincoln met with Governor Bramlette, Archibald Dixon, and Albert G. Hodges, to discuss recruitment of African American soldiers in the state of Kentucky. In a letter dated April 4, 1864, Lincoln summarized his stance on slavery, at Hodges' request.[350]

Citations

  1. ^ a b Blair, William A. (2015). "Finding the Ending of America's Civil War". The American Historical Review. Oxford University Press. 120 (5): 1753–1766. doi:10.1093/ahr/120.5.1753. JSTOR 43697075. Retrieved July 29, 2022. Pennsylvania State University Professor William A. Blair wrote at pages 313-314: "the sheer weight of scholarship has leaned toward portraying the surrenders of the Confederate armies as the end of the war."; The New York Times: "END OF THE REBELLION.; THE LAST REBEL ARMY DISBANDS. Kirby Smith Surrenders the Land and Naval Forces Under His Command. The Confederate Flag Disappears from the Continent. THE ERA OF PEACE BEGINS. Military Prisoners During the War to be Discharged. Deserters to be Released from Confinement. [OFFICIAL.] FROM SECRETARY STANTON TO GEN. DIX". The New York Times. United States Department of War. May 29, 1865. Retrieved July 29, 2022.; United States Civil War Centennial Commission Robertson, James I. Jr. (1963). The Civil War. Washington, D.C.: Civil War Centennial Commission. OCLC 299955768. At page 31, Professor James I. Robertson Jr. of Virginia Tech University and Executive Director of the U. S. Civil War Centennial Commission wrote, "Lee’s surrender left Johnston with no place to go. On April 26, near Durham, N. C., the Army of Tennessee laid down its arms before Sherman’s forces. With the surrender of isolated forces in the Trans-Mississippi West on May 4, 11, and 26, the most costly war in American history came to an end."
  2. ^ a b Among the many other contemporary sources and later historians citing May 26, 1865, the date that the surrender of the last significant Confederate force in the trans-Mississippi department was agreed upon, or citing simply the surrender of the Confederate armies, as the end date for the American Civil War hostilities are George Templeton Strong, who was a prominent New York lawyer; a founder, treasurer, and member of the Executive Committee of United States Sanitary Commission throughout the war; and a diarist. A diary excerpt is published in Gienapp, William E., ed. The Civil War and Reconstruction: A Documentary Collection. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2001, pp. 313-314 ISBN 978-0-393-97555-0. A footnote in Gienapp shows the excerpt was taken from an edited version of the diaries by Allan Nevins and Milton Halsey Thomas, eds., The Diary of George Templeton Strong, vol. 2 (New York: The McMillan Company), pp. 600-601, which differs from the volume and page numbers of the original diaries; the actual diary is shown at https://digitalcollections.nyhistory.org/islandora/object/nyhs%3A55249 Archived November 16, 2022, at the Wayback Machine, the page in Strong's original handwriting is shown at that web page, it is Volume 4, pages 124-125: diary entries for May 23 (continued)-June 7, 1865 of the original diaries; Horace Greeley, The American Conflict: A History of the Great Rebellion in the United States, 1860-'65. Volume II. Hartford: O. D. Case & Company, 1866. OCLC 936872302. Page 757: "Though the war on land ceased, and the Confederate flag utterly disappeared from this continent with the collapse and dispersion of Kirby Smith's command...."; John William Draper, History of the American Civil War. [1] Volume 3. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1870. OCLC 830251756. Retrievfootnoed July 28, 2022. Page 618: "On the 26th of the same month General Kirby Smith surrendered his entire command west of the Mississippi to General Canby. With this, all military opposition to the government ended."; Jefferson Davis. The Rise And Fall Of The Confederate Government. Volume II. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1881. OCLC 1249017603. Page 630: “With General E. K. Smith's surrender the Confederate flag no longer floated on the land; Page 663: “When the Confederate soldiers laid down their arms and went home, all hostilities against the power of the Government of the United States ceased.”; Ulysses S. Grant Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant. Volume 2. [2] New York: Charles L. Webster & Company, 1886. OCLC 255136538. Page 522: "General E. Kirby Smith surrendered the trans-Mississippi department on the 26th of May, leaving no other Confederate army at liberty to continue the war."; Frederick H. Dyer A compendium of the War of the Rebellion. [3] Des Moines, IA: Dyer Publishing Co., 1908. OCLC 8697590. Full entry on last Table of Contents page (unnumbered on download): "Alphabetical Index of Campaigns, Battles, Engagements, Actions, Combats, Sieges, Skirmishes, Reconnaissances, Scouts and Other Military Events Connected with the "War of the Rebellion" During the Period of Actual Hostilities, From April 12, 1861, to May 26, 1865"; Nathaniel W. Stephenson, The Day of the Confederacy, A Chronicle of the Embattled South, Volume 30 in The Chronicles Of America Series. [4] New Haven: Yale University Press; Toronto: Glasgow, Brook & Co.; London: Oxford University Press, 1919. Page 202: "The surrender of the forces of the Trans-Mississippi on May 26, 1865, brought the war to a definite conclusion."; Bruce Catton. The Centennial History of the Civil War. Vol. 3, Never Call Retreat. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1965. p. 445. "and on May 26 he [E. Kirby Smith] surrendered and the war was over"; and Gary W. Gallagher, Stephen D. Engle, Robert K. Krick & Joseph T. Glatthaar, forward by James M. McPherson. The American Civil War: This Mighty Scourge of War. New York: Osprey Publishing, Ltd., 2003 ISBN 978-1-84176-736-9. Page 308: "By 26 May, General Edward Kirby Smith had surrendered the Rebel forces in the trans-Mississippi west. The war was over."
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Facts". National Park Service.
  4. ^ "Size of the Union Army in the American Civil War" Archived April 16, 2017, at the Wayback Machine: Of which 131,000 were in the Navy and Marines, 140,000 were garrison troops and home defense militia, and 427,000 were in the field army.
  5. ^ Long 1971, p. 705.
  6. ^ "The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies; Series 4 – Volume 2" Archived July 25, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, United States War Dept., 1900.
  7. ^ a b c d e Fox, William F. Regimental losses in the American Civil War Archived May 25, 2017, at the Wayback Machine (1889).
  8. ^ a b c d "DCAS Reports – Principal Wars, 1775 – 1991". dcas.dmdc.osd.mil.
  9. ^ Chambers & Anderson 1999, p. 849.
  10. ^ a b Nofi, Al (June 13, 2001). "Statistics on the War's Costs". Louisiana State University. Archived from the original on July 11, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2007.
  11. ^ James Downs, "Colorblindness in the demographic death toll of the Civil War" Archived January 19, 2018, at the Wayback Machine. Oxford University Press blog, April 13, 2012. "The rough 19th century estimate was that 60,000 former slaves died from the epidemic, but doctors treating black patients often claimed that they were unable to keep accurate records due to demands on their time and the lack of manpower and resources. The surviving records only include the number of black patients whom doctors encountered; tens of thousands of other slaves had no contact with army doctors, leaving no records of their deaths." 60,000 documented plus 'tens of thousands' undocumented gives a minimum of 80,000 slave deaths.
  12. ^ Toward a Social History of the American Civil War Exploratory Essays, Cambridge University Press, 1990, p. 4.
  13. ^ a b c Hacker, J. David (September 20, 2011). "Recounting the Dead". The New York Times. Associated Press. Archived from the original on September 25, 2011. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
  14. ^ James Downs, "Colorblindness in the demographic death toll of the Civil War" Archived January 19, 2018, at the Wayback Machine. Oxford University Press blog, April 13, 2012. "An 2 April 2012 New York Times article, 'New Estimate Raises Civil War Death Toll', reports that a new study ratchets up the death toll from an estimated 650,000 to a staggering 850,000 people. As horrific as this new number is, it fails to reflect the mortality of former slaves during the war. If former slaves were included in this figure, the Civil War death toll would likely be over a million casualties ...".
  15. ^ James C. Bradford, A Companion to American Military History (2010), vol. 1, p. 101.
  16. ^ "[I]n 1854, the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act ... overturned the policy of containment [of slavery] and effectively unlocked the gates of the Western territories (including both the old Louisiana Purchase lands and the Mexican Cession) to the legal expansion of slavery...."Guelzo, Allen C., Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas, Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press (2009), p. 80.
  17. ^ Freehling, William W. (October 1, 2008). The Road to Disunion: Volume II: Secessionists Triumphant, 1854–1861. Oxford University Press. pp. 9–24. ISBN 978-0-19-983991-9. Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress: 1789-1988. Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers. pp. 111–115. ISBN 978-0-02-920170-1. and Foner, Eric (October 2, 1980). Politics and Ideology in the Age of the Civil War. Oxford University Press. pp. 18–20, 21–24. ISBN 978-0-19-972708-7.
  18. ^ Coates, Ta-Nehisi (June 22, 2015). "What This Cruel War Was Over". The Atlantic. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  19. ^ White, Ronald C. Jr. (November 7, 2006). Lincoln's Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural. Simon and Schuster. p. 81. ISBN 978-0-7432-9962-6.
  20. ^ Gallagher, Gary (February 21, 2011). Remembering the Civil War (Speech). Sesquicentennial of the Start of the Civil War. Miller Center of Public Affairs UV: C-Span. Retrieved August 29, 2017. Issues related to the institution of slavery precipitated secession.... It was not states' rights, it was not the tariff. It was not unhappiness with manners and customs that led to secession and eventually to war. It was a cluster of issues profoundly dividing the nation along a fault line delineated by the institution of slavery.
  21. ^ a b c d McPherson 1988, pp. vii–viii.
  22. ^ Dougherty, Keith L.; Heckelman, Jac C. (2008). "Voting on slavery at the Constitutional Convention". Public Choice. 136 (3–4): 293. doi:10.1007/s11127-008-9297-7. S2CID 14103553.
  23. ^ McPherson 1988, pp. 7–8.
  24. ^ McPherson, James M. (March 1, 1994). What They Fought For 1861–1865. Louisiana State University Press. p. 62. ISBN 978-0-8071-1904-4.
  25. ^ McPherson, James M. (April 3, 1997). For Cause and Comrades. Oxford University Press. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-19-509023-9.
  26. ^ Gallagher, Gary (February 21, 2011). Remembering the Civil War (Speech). Sesquicentennial of the Start of the Civil War. Miller Center of Public Affairs UV: C-Span. Retrieved August 29, 2017. The loyal citizenry initially gave very little thought to emancipation in their quest to save the union.... Most loyal citizens, though profoundly prejudice[d] by 21st century standards[,] embraced emancipation as a tool to punish slaveholders, weaken the Confederacy, and protect the Union from future internal strife. A minority of the white populous invoked moral grounds to attack slavery, though their arguments carried far less weight than those presenting emancipation as a military measure necessary to defeat the rebels and restore the Union.
  27. ^ "Union Soldiers Condemn Slavery". SHEC: Resources for Teachers. The City University of New York Graduate Center. Retrieved February 2, 2023.
  28. ^ Eskridge, Larry (January 29, 2011). "After 150 years, we still ask: Why 'this cruel war'?". Canton Daily Ledger. Canton, Illinois. Archived from the original on February 1, 2011. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
  29. ^ Kuriwaki, Shiro; Huff, Connor; Hall, Andrew B. (2019). "Wealth, Slaveownership, and Fighting for the Confederacy: An Empirical Study of the American Civil War". American Political Science Review. 113 (3): 658–673. doi:10.1017/S0003055419000170. ISSN 0003-0554.
  30. ^ Weeks 2013, p. 240.
  31. ^ Olsen 2002, p. 237.
  32. ^ Chadwick, French Ensor (1906). Causes of the civil war, 1859–1861. p. 8 – via Internet Archive.
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  35. ^ Fleming, Thomas (2014). A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War. ISBN 978-0-306-82295-7.
  36. ^ McPherson 1988, p. 210.
  37. ^ , "Harriet Beecher Stowe: The Little Lady Who Started the Civil War Archived October 10, 2020, at the Wayback Machine". New England Historical Society. Retrieved October 6, 2020.
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  40. ^ Ketcham, Ralph, James Madison: A Biography, pp. 625–6, American Political Biography Press, Newtown, Connecticut, 1971. ISBN 0-945707-33-9.
  41. ^ "Benjamin Franklin Petitions Congress". National Archives and Records Administration. August 15, 2016.
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  43. ^ John Paul Kaminski (1995). A Necessary Evil?: Slavery and the Debate Over the Constitution. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 256. ISBN 978-0-945612-33-9.
  44. ^ Painter, Nell Irvin (2007). Creating Black Americans: African-American History and Its Meanings, 1619 to the Present. p. 72.
  45. ^ Wilson, Black Codes (1965), p. 15. "By 1775, inspired by those 'self-evident' truths which were to be expressed by the Declaration of Independence, a considerable number of colonists felt that the time had come to end slavery and give the free Negroes some fruits of liberty. This sentiment, added to economic considerations, led to the immediate or gradual abolition of slavery in six northern states, while there was a swelling flood of private manumissions in the South. Little actual gain was made by the free Negro even in this period, and by the turn of the century, the downward trend had begun again. Thereafter the only important change in that trend before the Civil War was that after 1831 the decline in the status of the free Negro became more precipitate."
  46. ^ Hubbard, Robert Ernest. General Rufus Putnam: George Washington's Chief Military Engineer and the "Father of Ohio," pp. 1–4, 105–6, McFarland & Company, Inc., Jefferson, North Carolina, 2020. ISBN 978-1-4766-7862-7.
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  381. ^ Bailey, Thomas and David Kennedy: The American Pageant, p. 434. 1987
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  383. ^ William Rattle Plum, The Military Telegraph During the Civil War in the United States, ed. Christopher H. Sterling(New York: Arno Press, 1974) vol. 1:63.
  384. ^ Buckley, John (May 9, 2006). Air Power in the Age of Total War. Routledge. p. 6,24. ISBN 978-1-135-36275-1.
  385. ^ Sondhaus, Naval Warfare 1815–1914 p. 77.
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  387. ^ Hutchison, Coleman (2015). A History of American Civil War Literature. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-316-43241-9.

Bibliography

Further reading
External links