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Lecture 7: Immortal Ranks
Transcript of Lecture 7: Immortal Ranks
Army of Northern Virginia safely entrenched to the front of Marye’s Heights—Union soldiers launch wave after wave of bloody assaults without ever penetrating the main line Fredericksburg! Lincoln, though opposed to slavery’s expansion, was not a abolitionist either
Potential consequences of freeing slaves?
Acting on his authority as Commander in Chief, Lincoln issued the Proclamation: all slaves in states or districts in rebellion against the United States on January 1, 1863, would be "thenceforward, and forever free."
Initiates call for black military enlistment Robert E. Lee moved northward into Maryland after defeating McClellan
McClellan in reinstated and halts Lee at Antietam Creek on September 17, 1862
Ultimately a military draw
One of the bloodiest days: approximately 22,000 dead or wounded Immortal ranks Technology revolutionized the conditions under which Civil War soldiers fought.
Smooth bore muskets, which at first served as the basic infantry weapon, gave way to the rifle, so named because of the grooves etched into the barrel to give a bullet spin.
The percussion cap rendered a rifle serviceable in wet weather.
More importantly, the new weapon had an effective range of 400 yards—five times greater than that of the old musket.
As a result, soldiers fought each other from greater distances and battles produced many more casualties.
Over 100 regiments on both sides suffered more than 50% casualties in a single battle. Technology & the Changing Face of Battle Pennsylvania 14th, at Falmouth, Virginia, late winter 1863. Antietam, the Bloodiest Day The Emancipation Proclamation Copperheads Peace Democrats who opposed the war
Named for the clipped copperhead pennies they often wore on their lapels
Clement Vallandigham was a major leader of the movement.
Sought to restore "the Federal Union as it was 40 years ago."
Ran for Governor of Ohio, calling for soldiers to desert.
Arrested and tried for disloyalty Rations and Camp Life The Camera & the Aftermaths Faith in the Field Uniforms and Attitudes The Birth of War Photography The Common Solider In the beginning of 1863 the Confederacy seemed to have a fair chance of ultimate success on the battlefield. But during this year two great campaigns would shape the outcome of the war in favor of the North.
One would see the final solution to the control of the Mississippi River.
A second, concurrent with the first, would break the back of any Confederate hopes for success by invasion of the North and recognition abroad. 1863: An Overview The President, not pleased with either Burnside’s string of failures or his ultimatum, replaced him with Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker.
No intention of repeating Burnside’s tragic frontal assault at Fredericksburg.
With 134,000 men, Hooker planned a bold double envelopment that would place strong Union forces on each of Lee’s flanks. He hoped to take advantage of his superior numbers to outmaneuver Lee.
He ordered three of his infantry corps to move secretly west up the Rappahannock and Rapidan and to ford the streams to outflank Lee to the north.
Meanwhile, two more corps, having conspicuously remained opposite Fredericksburg, were to strike across the old battlefield there to tie down Lee’s forces. Two more corps were held in reserve. The cavalry corps was to raid far behind Lee’s rear to divert him. Fighting Joe Hooker’s plan was superb, his execution faulty.
Stoneman’s diversion had failed to bother Lee. One of Brig. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart’s brigades kept Stoneman under surveillance while the main body of cavalry shadowed Hooker so effectively that the Southern commander knew every move the Union Army made.
Early on May 1, Hooker was sending his columns east, toward the back door to Fredericksburg. A less bold and resolute man than Lee would have retreated south.
On the morning of May 2, Lt. Gen. T.J. Jackson directed his corps on a march against the Federal left flank, which was reported to be “hanging in the air.”
Fighting was sporadic on other portions of the field throughout the day. At 5:20 pm, Jackson’s line surged forward in an attack that crushed the Union XI Corps.
On May 3, the Confederates attacked with both wings of the army and massed their artillery at Hazel Grove. This finally broke the Federal line at Chancellorsville. Chancellorsville Vicksburg “Vicksburg is the key,” Lincoln said. “The war can never be brought to a close until the key is in our pocket.”
Naval forces had already tried and failed to seize the town. In the fall of 1862, Lincoln assigned U. S. Grant and his Army of the Tennessee, at Memphis, the task of taking Vicksburg by land.
Last day of January 1863, Grant and 45,000 men reached Young’s Point, 20 miles above Vicksburg and on the other side of the river.
For 2 and a half months, Grant doggedly attempted to dig or cut or float his army through the tangled bayous and seize the bluffs. Nothing worked.
Grant tried to seize the town by force and was beaten back. Two more assaults failed before Grant settled in for a siege, resolved, he said, “to outcamp” the enemy. Desperate to relieve Vicksburg and receive foreign recognition, Lee devises a bold plan at the behest of Davis.
Lee decides to push north into Pennsylvania. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
1-3 July 1863 First Day at Gettysburg
by James Walker Union Line 1863 92,000 Union troops under Gen. George Meade
76,000 Confederates under Lee During the summer of 1863, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee proposed a daring invasion into Pennsylvania in hopes that it might force the Union to end the war.
It proved to be a turning point, but not the one Lee anticipated.
At Gettysburg, a series of battles like the one shown here--this one on the first day of the fighting--cost Lee more than half of his entire army and forced him to retreat back into Virginia.