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The American Civil War

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Robert Stinson

on 10 January 2013

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Transcript of The American Civil War

The American Civil War 1861-1865
Robert Stinson Background In the early to mid nineteenth century America was experiencing a tremendous growth, although there was a big economic difference between the Northern and Southern regions. While in the North, manufacturing and industry were well established, and agriculture was mostly limited to small scale farms, the South's economy was based on a system of large scale farming that depended on the labor of slaves to grow certain crops, especially cotton and tobacco. Growing abolitionist movements in the North and northern opposition to slavery's extension into the new western territories led many southerners to fear that the existence of slavery in America was in danger. More Background In 1854, U.S. Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act which overturned the Missouri Compromise's use of latitude as the boundary between slave and free territories and replacing it with the principle of popular sovereignty. Pro and anti slavery forces flooded into Kansas to influence the vote on whether it would become a slave state or free state leading to "Bleeding Kansas", while opposition of the act in the North led to the formation of the Republican party. And the final straw was the election of the Republican nominee, Abraham Lincoln, in 1860. Secession December 20, 1860
South Carolina secedes January 9 - 11, 1861
Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama secedes January 19 - February 1, 1861
Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas secede April 14, 1861 Fort Sumter falls to Confederate forces April 17 - June 8, 1861 Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee The South Creates a Government The Confederacy was formed during the Montgomery Convention of February 1861 by state delegations sent from seven of the United States. Following Lincoln’s inauguration, four additional border states were represented, and subsequently two states and two territories gained seats in the Confederate Congress with their Secessionist resolves. Their objective was to form a new country and sever their ties from the Union completely and did so by finalizing their Confederate Constitution on March 11, 1861. The South Seizes Fort Sumter On April 12, 1861 at 4:30 a.m. Confederate batteries opened fire on Fort Sumter and continued for 34 hours. Anderson did not return fire for the first two hours. The fort's supply of ammunition was not suited for an equal fight and Anderson lacked fuses for his exploding shells. At about 7:00 A.M., Union forces fired the first shot in defense of the fort.The firing continued all day, although much less rapidly since the Union aimed to conserve ammunition.On Saturday, April 13, Anderson surrendered the fort. Incredibly, no soldiers were killed in battle. 3 Notable Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee During the Civil War, Lee originally served as a senior military adviser to President Jefferson Davis. He soon emerged as a shrewd tactician and battlefield commander, winning numerous battles against larger Union armies, but both of his invasions of the North ended in defeat. Union General Ulysses S. Grant's campaigns bore down on Lee in 1864 and 1865, and despite inflicting heavy casualties, Lee was unable to force back Grant eventually surrendering to him at Appomattox Courthouse. 3 Notable Confederate Generals Stonewall Jackson Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson was a Confederate general during the American Civil War, and one of the best-known Confederate commanders after Robert E. Lee. His military career includes the Valley Campaign of 1862 and his service as a corps commander in the Army of Northern Virginia under Robert E. Lee. A Confederate marksman accidentally shot him at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863. The general survived with the loss of an arm to amputation, but died of complications from pneumonia eight days later. His death was a severe setback for the Confederacy, affecting not only its military prospects, but also the morale of its army and of the general public. 3 Notable Confederate Generals J. E. B. Stuart James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart was a U.S. Army officer from Virginia and a Confederate States Army general during the American Civil War. Stuart was a cavalry commander known for his mastery of reconnaissance and the use of cavalry in support of offensive operations. His serious work made him the trusted eyes and ears of Robert E. Lee's army and inspired Southern morale. When his home state of Virginia seceded, he served first under Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley, but then in increasingly important cavalry commands of the Army of Northern Virginia. He established a reputation as a audacious cavalry commander and at the Battle of Chancellorsville, he distinguished himself as a temporary commander of the wounded Stonewall Jackson's infantry corps. During the 1864 Overland Campaign, Union Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan's cavalry launched an offensive to defeat Stuart, who was mortally wounded at the Battle of Yellow Tavern. 3 Notable Union Generals Ulysses S. Grant In 1862, as a general Grant fought a series of battles and was promoted to major general after forcing the surrender of a large Confederate army and gaining control of Kentucky and most of Tennessee. He then led Union forces to victory after initial setbacks in the Battle of Shiloh, earning a reputation as an aggressive commander. In July 1863, after a long, complex campaign, Grant defeated five uncoordinated Confederate armies and seized Vicksburg. After another win at the Battle of Chattanooga in late 1863, President Abraham Lincoln made him lieutenant general and commander of all of the Union Armies. As commanding general of the army, Grant confronted Robert E. Lee in a series of very bloody battles in 1864 finally breaking through Lee's trenches, the Union Army captured Richmond in April 1865. Lee surrendered his depleted forces to Grant at Appomattox as the Confederacy collapsed. 3 Notable Union Generals William T. Sherman William Tecumseh Sherman served as a General in the Union Army during the American Civil War for which he received recognition for his outstanding command of military strategy as well as criticism for the harshness of the "scorched earth" policies that he implemented in conducting total war against the Confederate States. Sherman served under General Ulysses S. Grant in 1862 and 1863 during the campaigns that led to the fall of the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg and succeeded Grant as the Union commander in the western theater of the war. He proceeded to lead his troops to the capture of the city of Atlanta. Sherman's subsequent march through Georgia and the Carolinas further undermined the Confederacy's ability to continue fighting. He accepted the surrender of all the Confederate armies in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida in April 1865. 3 Notable Union Generals George Mcclellan George Brinton McClellan was a major general during the American Civil War. He organized the famous Army of the Potomac and served briefly as the general-in-chief of the Union Army. Early in the war, McClellan played an important role in raising a well-trained and organized army for the Union.
McClellan's Peninsula Campaign in 1862 ended in failure, with retreats from attacks by General Robert E. Lee's smaller Army of Northern Virginia and an unfulfilled plan to seize the Confederate capital of Richmond. His performance at the bloody Battle of Antietam blunted Lee's invasion of Maryland, but allowed Lee to eke out a precarious tactical draw and avoid destruction, despite being outnumbered. As a result, McClellan's leadership skills during battles were questioned by President Abraham Lincoln, who eventually removed him from command, first as general-in-chief, then from the Army of the Potomac. First Battle of Bull Run The Battle of Bull Run was fought in Virginia just miles from Washington DC, on July 21, 1861. Brigadier General Irvin McDowell, commander of the Union army in Northern Virginia, was commanded to attack Confederate forces led by Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard.
McDowell’s forces began by shelling the Confederates across Bull Run. Others crossed at Sudley Ford and slowly made their way to attack the Confederate left flank. At the same time as Beauregard sent small detachments to handle what he thought was only a distraction, he also sent a larger contingent to execute a flanking movement of his own on the Union left.
Fighting raged throughout the day as Confederate forces were driven back, despite impressive efforts to hold important high ground. Late in the afternoon, Confederate reinforcements extended the Confederate line and succeeded in breaking the Union right flank. At the battle’s climax Virginia cavalry under Colonel “Jeb” Stuart arrived on the field and charged into a confused mass of soldiers. The Federal retreat rapidly deteriorated as narrow bridges, overturned wagons, and heavy artillery fire added to the confusion. Although victorious, Confederate forces were too disorganized to pursue. The Battle of Bull Run convinced the Lincoln administration and the North that the Civil War would be a long and costly affair. Battle of Shiloh On the morning of April 6, 1862, 40,000 Confederate soldiers under the command of General Albert Johnston poured out of the nearby woods and struck a line of Union soldiers occupying ground near Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee River. The overpowering Confederate offensive drove the unprepared Federal forces from their camps and threatened to overwhelm Ulysses S. Grant’s entire command. Some Federals made determined stands and by afternoon had established a battle line. Repeated Rebel attacks failed, but massed artillery helped to turn the tide as Confederates surrounded the Union troops and captured, killed, or wounded most. During the first day’s attacks, General Johnston was mortally wounded and was replaced by P.G.T. Beauregard. By the next morning, the reinforced Federal army numbered about 40,000, outnumbering Beauregard’s army of less than 30,000. Grant’s counteroffensive overpowered the weakened Confederate forces and Beauregard’s army retired from the field. The two day battle at Shiloh produced more than 23,000 casualties and was the bloodiest battle in American history at its time. Battle of Antietam On September 17, 1862, Generals Robert E. Lee and George McClellan faced off near Antietam creek in Sharpsburg, Maryland, in the the first battle of the American Civil War to be fought on northern soil. Though McClellan failed to use his numerical superiority to crush Lee's army, he was able to stop the Confederate advance into the north. After many Union defeats, this victory provided Abraham Lincoln the political cover he needed to issue his Emancipation Proclamation. Though the result of the battle was undecided, it remains the bloodiest single day in American history, with more than 22,000 casualties. Battle of Chancellorsville Major General Joseph Hooker’s forces crossed the Rappahannock fords on April 30, 1863 placing his reorganized Army of the Potomac on Lee’s vulnerable flank. Rather than retreat before the Federal force, Lee chose to attack Hooker while he was still within the thick wilderness. Late on May 1, 1863, Jackson led 30,000 Confederates soldiers to the Union's right and from there conducted an attack on the exposed flank. The May 2, 1863 attack stunned the Union soldiers and threatened Hooker's position, but the victorious Confederate attack ended with the mortal wounding of Stonewall Jackson. On May 3, 1863, the Confederates resumed their offensive and drove Hooker’s larger army back to a new defensive line. Battle of Vicksburg In May and June of 1863, Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s armies converged on Vicksburg, investing the city and entrapping a Confederate army under Lt. Gen. John Pemberton. On July 4, Vicksburg surrendered after prolonged siege operations. This was the culmination of one of the most brilliant military campaigns of the war. With the loss of Pemberton’s army and this vital stronghold on the Mississippi, the Confederacy was effectively split in half. Grant's successes in the West boosted his reputation, leading ultimately to his appointment as General-in-Chief of the Union armies. Battle of Gettysburg Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee concentrated his army around Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, upon the approach of Union Gen. George G. Meade’s forces. On July 1, Confederates drove Union defenders through Gettysburg to Cemetery Hill. The next day Lee struck the flanks of the Union line resulting in severe fighting at Devil's Den, Little Round Top, the Wheatfield, Peach Orchard, Culp’s Hill and East Cemetery Hill. Southerners gained ground but failed to dislodge the Union host. On the morning of July 3rd, fighting raged at Culp’s Hill with the Union regaining its lost ground. That afternoon, after a massive artillery bombardment, Lee attacked the Union center on Cemetery Ridge and was repulsed with heavy losses in what is known as Pickett’s Charge. Lee's second invasion of the North had failed. Battle of Fredericksburg On November 14, Burnside, now in command of the Army of the Potomac, sent a corps to occupy the vicinity of Falmouth near Fredericksburg. The rest of the army soon followed. Lee reacted by entrenching his army on the heights behind the town. On December 11, Union engineers laid five pontoon bridges across the Rappahannock under fire. On the 12th, the Federal army crossed over, and on December 13, Burnside mounted a series of futile frontal assaults on Prospect Hill and Marye’s Heights that resulted in staggering casualties. Meade’s division, on the Union left flank, briefly penetrated Jackson’s line but was driven back by a counterattack. On December 15, Burnside called off the offensive and recrossed the river, ending the campaign. Sherman's March From November 15 until December 21, 1864, Union General William T. Sherman led some 60,000 soldiers on a 285-mile march from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia. The purpose of this “March to the Sea” was to frighten Georgia’s civilian population into abandoning the Confederate cause. Sherman’s soldiers did not destroy any of the towns in their path, but they stole food and livestock and burned the houses and barns of people who tried to fight back. After they lost Atlanta, the Confederate army headed west into Tennessee and Alabama, attacking Union supply lines as they went. Sherman was reluctant to set off on a wild goose chase across the South and so he split his troops into two groups. Major General George Thomas took some 60,000 men to meet the Confederates in Nashville, while Sherman took the remaining 62,000 on an offensive march Fall of Atlanta General Sherman’s troops captured Atlanta on September 2, 1864. This was an important triumph, because Atlanta was a railroad hub and the industrial center of the Confederacy: It had munitions factories, foundries and warehouses that kept the Confederate army supplied with food, weapons and other goods. It stood between the Union Army and two of its most prized targets: the Gulf of Mexico to the west and Charleston to the East. It was also a symbol of Confederate pride and strength, and its fall made Southerners doubt that they could win the war. Monitor vs. Merrimac On March 9, 1862 the Merrimack found a Union ship called the Monitor waiting for it. The Confederate ironclad carried more guns than the Monitor, but it was slow, clumsy, and prone to engine trouble. The Union Monitor was the faster and more maneuverable ironclad, but it lacked the Rebel vessel’s size and power. After four hours of fighting, neither ironclad seriously damaged the other in their one day of fighting. The first ironclad battle in history ended in a draw. The Merrimack had prevented McClellan from using the James River, the best route to Richmond. The Monitor had prevented the Confederates hopes of breaking the Union blockade. On May 11, 1862 the Merrimack was ordered to be blown up to be kept from Union hands. Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln surmised that if the slaves in the Southern states were freed, then the Confederacy could no longer use them as laborers to support the army in the field, thus hindering the effectiveness of the Confederate war effort. On September 22, 1862, following the Union victory at the Battle of Antietam, the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, this proclamation would go into effect three months later on January 1, 1863. The Emancipation had an immediate and profound effect on the course of the war. In addition to saving the Union, freeing the slaves now became an official war aim, garnering passionate reactions from both the North and the South. The Proclamation also allowed for African-Americans to join the Union’s armed forces, and by the end of the war nearly 200,000 would honorably serve.
Initially the Proclamation applied just to the states in rebellion, but it paved the way for the 13th Amendment, adopted on December 6, 1865, which officially abolished slavery in the United States. Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth president of the United States during one of the most consequential periods in American history, the Civil War. With firm conviction, Lincoln declared South Carolina's secession illegal and pledged to go to war to protect the federal union in 1861. During the four years of the American Civil War, the president steered the North to victory and authored the Emancipation Proclamation, which dealt a severe blow to the institution of slavery in the U.S. His brilliance was captured in the Gettysburg Address, in which he movingly related the ongoing Civil War to the founding principles of America, all in less than two minutes. Lincoln's assassination on 14 April 1865 removed his politically moderate influence from the national stage, giving way to a more radical form of Reconstruction. Jefferson Davis Jefferson Davis was the first and only president of the Confederate States of America. Davis was a moderate political leader who was never able to figure out how to defeat the better-equipped North. As president, he acted as his own Secretary of War and meddled constantly in southern military strategy. He held less power in the South than Lincoln did in the North, and the power he did have rapidly decreased as the Union Army captured large parts of the Confederacy. Davis's economic policies failed to provide the South with a stable currency or enough industry to succeed in the war. Towards the end of the war, Davis insisted on holding out until the bitter end, even when it was clear that the Confederacy had lost. Harriet Beacher Stowe Harriet Beecher Stowe was an abolitionist and novelist who wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin, one of the most influential books in American history. After the death of one of her children made her contemplate the pain slaves must endure when family members are sold away, she decided to write a book about slavery. With the publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin in 1852, she became a national celebrity, and went on to write several more books on the topic. The publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin brought the issue of slavery home to millions of Americans. It sold 500,000 copies in its first four years in print, a record in book sales. Contemporaries believed that much of the sectional strife following the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 was due to Stowe's influence. While Uncle Tom's Cabin did not start the war, it did bring into focus the severe brutality of slavery, and contributed to the divide growing between the North from the South during the 1850s. Robert Gould Shaw Robert Gould Shaw was the white colonel in charge of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, one of the first all-black units to fight for the Union during the Civil War. Shaw was initially less than thrilled with his assignment, but he warmed to his troops, who showed bravery and determination when confronting both Confederate bullets and the prevailing prejudice of the day. He was killed while storming a Confederate battery at Fort Wagner in Charleston on 18 July 1863. After Shaw's death at Fort Wagner, he was buried with his troops in a common grave, which the Confederates perceived as an insult. His death and burial, however, were championed by his family who understood the heartfelt respect Shaw had for his men and for the Union cause. Gettysburg Address The Gettysburg Address was a speech delivered by Abraham Lincoln, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863 at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Abraham Lincoln's address was just over two minutes and he highlighted the principles of human equality espoused by the Declaration of Independence and proclaimed the Civil War as a struggle for the preservation of the Union. William Lloyd Garrison For more than three decades, from the first issue of his weekly paper in 1831, until after the end of the Civil War in 1865 when the last issue was published, Garrison spoke out eloquently and passionately against slavery and for the rights of America's black inhabitants. Henry Clay Henry Clay was one of the most influential congressmen of the early 1800s, with a political career that spanned nearly fifty years. Born in the midst of the American Revolution, he devoted his professional energy to the preservation of the union of the states in the stormy years preceding the Civil War. He crafted several key compromises between the North and the South, for which he became known as "The Great Pacificator." But even his legendary statesmanship could not keep war from erupting nine years after his death. Dred Scott Dred Scott was a slave who chose to sue his master's widow for his freedom. In 1857, the case reached the United States Supreme Court. The Justices ruled against Scott. The Dred Scott case was a major event on the road to the Civil War. The Supreme Court's opinion, which stated flatly that blacks had "no rights which the white man was bound to respect" and rejected the right of any territory to ban slavery within its own borders, inflamed public opinion in the North, leading to a hardening of antislavery attitudes and a surge in popularity for the new antislavery Republican Party. Frederick Douglass Frederick Douglass was a runaway slave, a supporter of women's rights, and probably the most prominent abolitionist and human rights leader of the 1800's. Douglass favored the use of political tactics to work for abolition. During the Civil War, he advised President Lincoln to let former slaves fight for the North, and helped organize two black regiments in Massachusetts. Douglass worked zealously to make the war a direct confrontation with slavery. Roger B. Taney Roger B. Taney was the fifth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. In March 1857, Chief Justice Taney delivered the majority opinion of the Supreme Court in Dred Scott v. John Sandford. In one of the most infamous rulings ever handed down by the Court, Taney struck down the portion of the Missouri Compromise that prohibited slavery in federal territories and argued that the Constitution not only protected slavery, but also excluded blacks from citizenship. Conditions The Union and Confederate armies were haphazardly raised, badly organized, poorly trained, inadequately fed, clothed and housed, and almost wholly without comforts or proper medical care. They endured unnecessary hardships such as heavy woolen clothing in the summertime, or leaky tents or maggoty food. Amputations Amputations accounted for 75 percent of all operations performed by Civil War doctors. More arms and legs were chopped off in this war than in any other fought by this country. Three out of every four wounded soldiers were hit in the extremities, and at that time, amputation was the only proper medical treatment for a compound fracture or severe laceration of a limb. Surgery had not yet progressed to an understanding of antiseptic conditions. A doctor would use the same knife and saw all day, wiping his hands and instruments on his apron when they became too slimy. Ether and chloroform were commonly used as anesthetics, but supplies could not keep up with demand. There were over 29000 amputations during the war with more than 7000 of them being fatal Black Soldiers in the Union Of the 2 million soldiers who fought for the Union during the Civil War, about 180000 were African-American and of those 180,000, 40,000 were killed in battle. They were paid less than white soldiers and were given the most dangerous and least desirable missions, resulting in a higher percentage of colored soldiers being killed or injured. This did not stop the all-black troops from claiming major victories during their fight for freedom. The most celebrated unit during the Civil War was the 54th Massachusetts. They were involved in the Attack at Fort Wagner, and the Battle of Ulustee. The unit was recognized by Congress for their bravery, and William Carney, a member of the unit, became the first black American to receive the Medal of Honor. Battle of Fort Pillow In April 1864, the Union garrison at Fort Pillow, comprised 295 white Tennessee troops and 262 U.S. Colored Troops, all under the command of Major Lionel F. Booth were attacked by General Nathan Bedford Forrest with a cavalry division of approximately 2,500 men. Forrest surrounded Booth's force. The fort Rebel sharpshooters began firing into the fort killing Booth. Major William F. Bradford then took over command of the garrison. The Confederates launched a determined attack, occupying more locations around the fort, and Forrest demanded an unconditional surrender. Bradford asked for an hour for consultation, and Forrest granted twenty minutes. Bradford refused surrender and the Confederates renewed the attack, soon overran the fort, and drove the Federals down the river into a deadly crossfire. Casualties were high and only sixty-two of the U.S. Colored Troops survived the fight. This is one of the biggest engagements between colored troops and Confederate soldiers. John Clem John Clem ran away from home in early 1861 at the age of 9. He attempted to join up with an army regiment that rode through his Ohio town. Turned away, he tagged along after another unit and became its self-appointed drummer boy. Captured once and wounded twice, Clem continued to serve in the army for the remainder of the war, rising to the rank of lance sergeant though he was not 14 by the war’s end. He tried to get into West Point, but was rejected for lacking a formal primary education. After a direct appeal to President Grant, he was given a commission as second lieutenant of a unit of black soldiers. Clem made the military his career, retiring as a major general shortly before World War I. Battle of New Orleans Following the passage of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, near the mouth of the Mississippi River, on April 24, 1862, the Union occupation of New Orleans was inevitable. Union Flag-Officer David G. Farragut, with his squadron, continued up the Mississippi River and demanded the surrender of the City of New Orleans the next day. The city surrendered on April 28. On May 1, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Franklin Butler’s army began landing at New Orleans and occupying the city. New Orleans, considered an international city and the largest city in the Confederacy, had fallen. New Orleans was the gateway to the great river into the entire Deep South, and its capture divided the Confederacy in two. Drafts There was no general military draft in America until the Civil War. The Confederacy passed its first of 3 conscription acts 16 April 1862, and scarcely a year later the Union began conscripting men. Government officials plagued with manpower shortages regarded drafting as the only means of sustaining an effective army and hoped it would spur voluntary enlistments. Once called, a draftee had the opportunity to either pay a commutation fee of $300 to be exempt from a particular battle, or to hire a replacement that would exempt him from the entire war. Riots The drafts provoked nationwide disturbances that were most serious in New York City, where for four days there occurred large-scale, bloody riots. The riots had inflicted property damage of half a million to a million, and it has been estimated that total casualties ran as high as 1,000. Copperheads Copperhead, or as they were also known Peace Democrats, were a political party during the American Civil War. It was composed of any citizen in the North who opposed the war policy and wanted restoration of the Union through a negotiated settlement with the South. Nearly all Copperheads were Democrats, but most Northern Democrats were not Copperheads. Copperhead strength was mainly in the Midwest Desertion Desertion was common on both sides. It became more frequent later in the war when more of the soldiers were draftees rather than volunteers, and was more common among Confederate soldiers, especially as they received desperate letters from wives and families urging them to return home as Union armies penetrated further south. While it is impossible to know exactly how many soldiers deserted over the course of the conflict, Northern generals guessed that at least one soldier in five was absent from his regiment. At the war’s end, the Union estimated that nearly a quarter of a million men had been absent from their units sometime during the war. Estimates for Confederate armies range even higher, perhaps as many as one soldier in three deserted during the course of the war. Election of 1864 The 1864 election occurred during the Civil War and none of the states loyal to the Confederate States of America participated. Republicans loyal to Lincoln, in opposition to a group of Republican dissidents who nominated John C. Frémont, joined with a number of War Democrats to form the National Union Party. The new political party was formed to accommodate the War Democrats. On November 8, Lincoln won by over 400,000 popular votes and easily clinched an electoral majority. Several states allowed their citizens serving as soldiers in the field to cast ballots, a first in United States history. Soldiers in the Army gave Lincoln more than 70% of their votes. Lincoln's second term was ended just 6 weeks after inauguration by his assassination. Family Life The Civil War split families and friends. As men left for war, women had to step in to fill their place. Women took up roles as factory workers, clerks and school teachers. As the number of sick and wounded increased, women also took on the role as nurses. The Union army recruited about 2,500,000 men, while the Confederate army had about 1,250,000 men. This was a significant part of the population during the Civil War. Many families were left with only mothers and daughters to run the household and earn money to feed and clothe the family. Horace Greeley Horace Greeley is a writer and founder of the New York Tribune. In the years before the Civil War, Greeley opposed slavery, but also opposed abolitionist tactics. He wrote in opposition to the Mexican War, believing that it would benefit the slaveowners only. Appointed to fill a Congressional spot in 1848, but only served for three months. Some of his most forceful editorials were directed against the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act. He was especially keen on learning more about the Mormons and on July 13, he had the opportunity to interview Brigham Young. Greeley was an early member of the Republican Party and, after initially supporting another candidate, helped to secure the nomination for Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Greeley’s views on secession were the target of much criticism. He initially argued that the South should be allowed to secede. Later, however, he became a strong supporter of the war effort, but subjected Lincoln to searing criticism for refusing to free the slaves. Prisoner Exchange At the start of the Civil War, a formal exchange system for prisoners of war was not arranged because President Lincoln did not recognize the Confederacy as having wartime rights. However, after the defeat of Union forces at the 1st Battle of Bull Run, with a large number of Union prisoners held by the Confederacy, the U.S. Congress requested that Lincoln take measures to make an exchange. The first government-sanctioned exchanges took place in February 1862, but it was not until July 22 that a formal cartel detailing the exchange system was agreed to by the two governments. Under this agreement, all prisoners were to be released by either being exchanged or paroled within 10 days of capture. An equivalency table was devised in which a certain number of enlisted men could be exchanged for an officer. Excess prisoners who could not be exchanged were to be released on parole, which meant they could not perform any military service until they were officially notified that they had been exchanged. Women There were many women playing important roles in the Civil War, including nurses, spies, soldiers, abolitionists, civil rights advocates and promoters of women’s suffrage. Most women were engaged in supplying the troops with food, clothing, medical supplies, and even money through fund raising. Others, took to directly caring for the wounded, treating the sick and ensuring the health of the troops. There are over 400 documented cases of women who fought as soldiers in the civil war. Disguised as men, they fought alongside others for their cause. Appomattox Courthouse Harassed mercilessly by Federal troops and continually cut off from turning south, Lee headed west, eventually arriving in Appomattox County on April 8. Heading for the South Side Railroad at Appomattox Station, where food supplies awaited, the Confederates were cut off once again and nearly surrounded by Union troops near the small village of Appomattox Court House. Despite a final desperate attempt to escape, Lee’s army was trapped. General Lee surrendered his remaining troops to General Grant at the McLean House on the afternoon of April 9. The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln Shortly after 10 p.m. on April 14, 1865, actor John Wilkes Booth entered the presidential box at Ford's Theater in Washington D.C., and fatally shot President Abraham Lincoln. As Lincoln slumped forward in his seat, Booth leapt onto the stage and escaped through the back door. A doctor in the audience rushed over to examine the paralyzed president. Lincoln was then carried across the street to Petersen's Boarding House, where he died early the next morning. John Wilkes Booth Despite his success as an actor on the national stage, John Wilkes Booth will forever be known as the man who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. Booth, a native of Maryland, was a fierce Confederate sympathizer during the Civil War. Before the fateful night at Ford's Theater, he had conspired to kidnap Lincoln and hide him until all Confederate prisoners were released. On April 14, 1865, Booth entered the theater’s balcony, shot Lincoln at close range and immediately fled the scene. After a 12-day manhunt, Booth was tracked down and killed by Union soldiers. Effects of the Civil War The nation was reunited and the southern states were not allowed to secede. The South was also placed under military rule and divided into military districts. Southern states then had to apply for readmission to the Union. The Federal government proved itself supreme over the states. Essentially this was a war over states rights and federalism and the victor was the power of the national government. Slavery was effectively ended. While slavery was not officially outlawed until the passage of the 13th amendment, the slaves were set free upon the end of the war. Reconstruction began and industrialism began as a result of the increase in wartime production and the development of new technologies.
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