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American Civil War
Transcript of American Civil War
First Battle of Bull Run
30,000 inexperienced Union Troops led by General Irvin McDowell attacked a smaller Confederate force led by General P.G.T. Beauregard.
The battle took place near a small river Bull Run and 5 miles from Manassas Junction.
At first the Union troops drove the Confederates back but strengthened by General Thomas Jackson the South held and unleashed a brutal counterattack.
Earned the nickname Stonewall Jackson at the 1st Battle of Bull Run.
He held like a "Stone Wall" and then led a vicious attack that broke Union Lines and sent the Federal Troops running back to D.C.
New Head of Union Forces
The loss at Bull Run led Abraham Lincoln to appoint General George B. McClellan to organize the new Federal Army known as the Army of the Potomac.
The loss made northerners realize that the war would not be as quick and easy as they had thought.
Lincoln as was forced to call for more enlistments.
War in the West
Major goal was to execute the second half of the Anaconda Plan and control the Mississippi River.
This would effectively cut the confederacy in half and keep Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana from supplying the other Confederate States.
General Ulysses S. Grant led the Federal forces to several early key victories that established him as a hero.
Merrimack (Renamed the Virginia)- SOUTH
The Virginia threatened the break the North's blockade.
On March 9 the two ships fought to no conclusion.
Battle of Shiloh
General Grant and 40,000 Federal Troops headed to attack Corinth Mississippi- Important Railroad Junction.
They camped 20 Miles north of their objective.
Confederates led by P.G.T. Beauregard and Albert Sidney Johnston attacked first.
Shiloh took place over two days and cost more than 23,000 casualties between the North and South.
The Battle resulted in a narrow Union Victory.
Capture of New Orleans
David Farragut (A Southerner that remained loyal to the Union) captured the city of New Orleans.
This meant that the south could no longer use the Mississippi river to export their goods.
This along with Grants victory in the North meant that the Union strategic plan of ANACONDA was close to success.
The only city that remained in the way of Union success was VICKSBURG.
War in the East
Seven Day's Battle
Battle of 2nd Bull Run
Battle of Fredericksburg
Battle of Chancellorsville
Robert E. Lee
Along with Stonewall Jackson and James Longstreet led the Confederates to several victories against improbably odds.
Lee's two attempts to invade the North however, were failures.
His forces were turned back at Antietam and Gettysburg.
At the urging of Jefferson Davis Lee Invaded the North.
Upon entering Maryland Lee split his army up into four parts in an effort to confuse McClellan about his size and movements.
A Confederate officer lost his orders detailing this plan.
McClellan was cautious and did not attack right away allowing Lee to reassemble his army.
The fighting that followed was the single bloodiest day of the war-
17,000 More were badly wounded.
Battle of Fredericksburg
Following Robert E. Lee's defeat at the Battle of Antietam he moved his army south.
The new Union General, General Ambrose Burnsides moved south as well to attack Richmond directly.
Lee anticipated such a maneuver and moved his army to Fredericksburg to intercpt Burnsides.
The two sides clashed on December 13, 1862 where the Confederates repulsed several Federal offensives from their position on Mary's Heights.
Battle of Chancellorsville
Lee divided his forces in a maneuver that he and his army had become famous for in an effort to confuse General Hooker and the Federal Army.
The maneuver completely caught the Federals and Hooker by surprise.
Hooker did the same despite have a far larger force, an error that would prove fatal.
Stonewall Jackson completely outflank Hooker and attacked him in the rear thoroughly routing the Federal Forces.
Chancellorsville is known as Lee's greatest victory.
At the same time it is considered to be one of his greatest losses because of Stonewall Jackson was fatally wounded in the fighting by friendly fire.
The Battle of Gettysburg
Following Lee's victory at Chancellorsville he wanted to follow it up with another invasion of the north.
In July of 1863 Lee did just that.
One of the most decisive battles of the American Civil War ensued.
The Battle itself happened almost entirely by accident.
Lee wanted to head into the town of Gettysburg (A small Pennsylvania crossroads town) to resupply when his forces clashed with Federal forces.
Initially the Confederates pushed the Federal troops back, but they were able to take up defensive positions along Cemetary Ridge.
Over the next 3 days the Confederates attempted to dislodge the Union Forces.
This culminated with PICKETT'S Charge.
Pickett's Charge was a frontal assault on the Union Lines.
3/4 of the men that begant the attack fell either dead or wounded.
Over the course of the battle the two armies sustained a combined 48,000 casualties. (Bloodiest Battle of the War)
Siege of Vicksburg
July 4th - Vicksburg Falls under the control of Union Troops led by Ulysses S. Grant.
These two losses destroyed Southern hopes for Foreign intervention.
The Union plan to split the South in two officially had succeeded.
Ulysses S. Grant
With the success of the Anaconda Plan the North needed an aggressive plan of action.
The plan was simple= TOTAL WAR
Grant would pin down Lee.
Sherman would carry out his infamous "MARCH TO THE SEA"
Sherman's March to the Sea-
Tecumseh Sherman led his forces into the deep South to attack Atlanta.
He battled John Hill and eventually seized the city and burned it to the ground.
Sherman's troops burned everything in their way if it could not be used by the troops or taken with the army.
They continued up through the Carolinas burning and destroying as they went to meet up with Grant.
Grant vs. Lee
Grant and Lee fought a series of engagements around Richmond at which the South fought valiantly but suffered severe losses.
Grant took his 115, 000 man army against Lee's 65,000 man army that was poorly surpplied.
The Wilderness Campaign, The Battle of Cold Harbour, and The Siege of Petersburg.
Surrender at Appomattox
After the fall of Petersburg the Confederates evacuated Richmond the Confederate Capital.
A few days later Grant wrote to Lee asking for his surrender.
Lee and Grant met at Appomattox Court House in Central Virginia.
In the end Lee's troops were allowed to keep their firearms, officers could keep their swords, and the soldiers went home.
The Role of Women
Women took over the home for their husbands that went to war if their was not another male to take control.
Women also followed the armies and served as nurses and even spies.
Women like Mary Edwards Walker, Dorothea Dix, and Clara Barton served valiantly as nurses and even surgeons.
African Americans In The War
In the South-
Made up more than 30% of the Population.
Not permitted to fight.
In the North-
At first not permitted to fight.
By the end of the war they comprised 10% of the Union forces.
Movie- Glory (Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, and Matthew Broderick.
Famous African American unit.
Goals and Strategies
Delaware/ Maryland/ Kentucky/ Missouri
Slavery was legal in all of these states.
All four had ties to the North & the South.
These states were vital b/c of their strategic locations:
Missouri controlled parts of the Mississippi River and major routes to the West.
Kentucky controlled the Ohio River.
Delaware was close to Philadelphia.
Maryland was close to Richmond, the Confederate Capital, and D.C. was surrounded by the State.
Lincoln worked to keep these States within the Union and in the end he was successful, despite a many border state residents who supported the Confederacy.
North vs. South
Both sides had advantages and disadvantages:
Larger Population and better resources than the South.
Excellent military leaders, and a strong fighting spirit.
Most of the war was fought in the South, the Confederacy knew the land had the will to defend it.
Establish itself as an independent nation.
To do this, the South did not have to invade the North or destroy the Union army but only to fight hard enough to convince the North that the war was not worth its cost.
Restore the Union.
That meant invading South and forcing the breakaway states to give up their quest for sovereignty.
South expected support from Britain and France b/c their supply of cotton was being disrupted by the war.
Conduct a defensive war.
Hold onto as much territory as possible.
Only exception to this defensive strategy was a plan to attack Washington, D.C.
General Winfield Scott (Hero of the Mexican War)
3 Main Strategies:
Blockade, or close, Southern Ports.
Gain control of the entire Mississippi River thus splitting the Confederacy in two.
Capture Richmond, the Confederate Capital.
Scott's plan was called Anaconda Plan after the snake that squeezes its prey to death.
Americans against Americans
More than a war amongst the States:
Civil War pitted brother against brother, and neighbor against neighbor.
Many left their homes and families to enlist in the Union or Confederate Armies either motivated by patriotism or loyalty to their causes.
Excitement was especially strong amongst younger soldiers.
Confederacy barred African Americans from the army and the Union also refused to let freed people enlist early on.
When the War Began, each side expected an easy victory.
Northerners could not imagine the Confederates holding out for long against the Union's greater resources.
Confederates found it impossible to believe that the North could ever subdue the fighting spirit of the South.
At first Lincoln cast the Civil War as a war to preserve the Union rather than a fight against slavery.
He hated slavery but he also feared many Union supporters would oppose any declaration of war founded in ending slavery.
He hesitated to move against slavery in the early stages of the war because of the border states.
Even many Northerners were unwilling to give their lives in order to end slavery.
From the start of the war however, abolitionists including orator Frederick Douglas and newspaper editor Horace Greely, urged Lincoln to make the war a fight to end slavery.
They argued that slavery was a moral wrong that need to be abolished.
Pointed slavery out as the root of the problem between the North and the South.
They also argued that Britain and France were sympathetic to the South for Economic reasons but that anti slavery feelings were extremely high in both of these nations.
By making the war a fight to end slavery any decision by either nation to aid the south openly would cause public unrest in these nations.
Lincoln knew that the Constitution did not give him the power to end slavery but it did give him the power to take property from an enemy in war time and by law slaves were property.
On September 22, 1862, soon after the battle of Antietam, Lincoln announced that he would issue the Emancipation Proclamation-
A decree freeing all enslaved people in rebel territory on January 1, 1863.
Effects of the Proclamation
The Proclamation did not actually free anyone because it only applied to enslaved people living in the Confederacy where Lincoln had no power to enforce the policy.
The proclamation did however, signify the first time that the government officially declare slavery to be wrong.
Life at Home
Almost everyone who stayed home was touched in some way by the war.
Only one half of the 12 million school children attended school.
Many of them worked to support their families.
Schools closed especially those close to the fighting.
Many schools and churches served both armies as hospitals or military headquarters.
Shortages in the South
Life in the South changed most dramatically.
Both armies spent most of their time on southern soil, and as a result the south suffered the greatest destruction.
Southerners who lived in the path of marching armies lost crops, and homes.
Thousands became refugees.
As the war dragged on, shortages of food, supplies, ad even household items became commonplace.
Prison Camps and Field Hospitals
Throughout the war each side treated enemy soldiers with a mixture of sympathy and hostility.
At first the two sides exchanged prisoners.
They soon realized the men went back to simply fight again and so they began to set up prison camps.
Prisoners were allowed to only keep their blanket or bedroll and their cup or canteen which is all they had throughout their imprisonment.
Food was distributed to the wounded but for prisoners there was little to nothing to eat.
Andersonville Prison in Georgia was opened in 1864 to hold 10,000 prisoners but by August of that year 33,000 prisoners had been crammed into the prison.
About 13,000 Union Prisoners died there.
The Union Prison of Elmira in New York was no better.
Almost 1/4 of all prisoners there died.
Surgeons traveled with the armies where they set up hospitals near battlefields with bullets and cannonballs flying past their heads as they bandaged wounds and amputated limbs.
Disease was a constant threat, and some regiments lost half their men to illness before going into battle.
Smallpox, Dysentery, Typhoid, and Pneumonia.
Political and Economic Change
Many Southerners opposed the war in the first place.
After two years, the war had taken huge amounts of food, materials, and money, and shortages were widespread.
Bread Riots erupted throughout the South as hungry people took to the streets.
In Richmond, a mob, mostly made of women and children, gathered peacefully to protest but soon started smashing shop windows and stealing food.
In the North
The Democratic Party in the North opposed Lincoln and were divided on the war.
War Democrats were critical of the Republican Administrations handling of the War while the Peace Democrats argued for an immediate end to fighting.
Peace Democrats were viewed as traitors thus earning them the nickname "Copperheads", after the poisonous snake.
By 1863 they embraced the name and wore copper pennies.
Jail Without Trial
Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus or the legal proceeding which was a protection against unlawful imprisonment.
Used against opponents of the war.
In the South Jefferson Davis too suspended the writ of Habeas Corpus in order to deal with southern critics of the war.
After the initial excitement of the war both sides had trouble enlisting men or troops.
In 1862 the Confederate Congress passed a draft law recruiting able bodied men between the ages of 18-35 to serve for three years.
Later extended to cover men 17-50.
Could hire a substitute.
If a man had 20 or more slaves.
North offered a bounty or bonus to enlisting men but later passed a draft law also.
All men 20-45 had to register.
Could be avoided by hiring a substitute or paying a $300 fight.
"Rich man's war, and a poor man's fight."
3 Ways to Pay for War for North/South
1. Barrow money by selling war bonds that promised high interest.
2. Impose new taxes, including income taxes.
3. Print money.
Northern Money was called Greenbacks because of its color.
Northern industry profits from the war effort.
Produced guns, ammunition, shoes, and uniforms.
Farmers prospered as they sold their crops to provide a steady supply of food for the troops.
Prices rose higher than wages because of high demand causing inflation:
Great hardship for working people.
Northern economy boomed despite this.
Economic Troubles in the South
Economic strain was felt far more sharply in the South.
Warfare destroyed farmland and railroad lines.
Blockade of ports prevented the shipping of trade goods.
Vital materials could not reach the Confederacy.
Inflation was much worse in the south.