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The history of the american civil war

The American Civil War, 1861—1865, resulted from long-standing sectional differences and questions not fully resolved when the United States Constitution was ratified in 1789, primarily the issue of slavery and states rights.

Over the course of the Civil War weapons ranged from obsolete flintlocks to state-of-the-art repeaters.

The American Civil War (1861-65)

During the Civil War, women took on new roles, including running farms and plantations and spying; some disguised themselves as men and fought in battle. In the decades following the conflict, those who did not wish to upset adherents of either side simply called it The Late Unpleasantness.

It the history of the american civil war also known as Mr. An estimated total of 785,000-1,000,000 were killed in action or died of disease. More than twice that number were wounded but survived at least long enough to muster out. Casualties of the Civil War cannot be calculated exactly, due to missing records especially on the Southern side and the inability to determine exactly how many combatants died from wounds, drug addiction, or other war-related causes after leaving the service.

An untold number of civilians also perished, primarily from disease as entire towns became hospitals. Other actions include the Battle of Memphis 1862Charleston Harbor 1863and Mobile Bay 1864and the naval sieges of Vicksburg in 1862 and again in 1863. Throughout the war, the Union had a decided advantage in both numbers and quality of naval vessels. On April 12 the Confederates opened fire with cannon.

On April 15, Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to put down the Southern rebellion, a move that prompted Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas and North Carolina to reverse themselves and vote in favor of secession. Most of the western section of Virginia rejected the secession vote and broke away, ultimately forming a new, Union-loyal state, West Virginia. Many graduates of the U.

  • The supremacy of the nation was vindicated;
  • The Union was declared to be perpetual;
  • There, Confederate general Joseph Johnston made superb use of terrain to slow the Federal advance;
  • Lincoln died the next morning, the first American president to be assassinated;
  • They needed free labour to work in their factories.

Neither side expected a war of long duration. Volunteers were asked to serve for 90 days. Southerners thought Northerners too weak and cowardly to fight. Northerners thought a dependence upon slave labor had rendered Southerners too weak both physically and morally to present a serious battlefield threat. Both sides were due for a rude awakening. To prevent a Northern victory, the South would have to defend that same large area, but with a smaller population and less industry than the North could ultimately bring to bear.

A short war would favor the South, a long one the North. The Western Theater began west of the Alleghenies West Virginia excepted and continued to the Mississippi River, but it also included the interior of the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. Events farther west are considered to have occurred in the Trans-Mississippi Theater the history of the american civil war the Far West. Lasting less than half an hour, the affair would barely qualify as a skirmish later in the war, but the Union victory there and subsequent ones in the region elevated the reputation of Major General George B.

McClellan, commander of the Department of the Ohio. The first real battle took place July 21, 1861, on the hills around Bull Run creek outside Manassas, Virginia, a railroad junction some 30 miles south of the Northern capital at Washington City Washington, D.

During the war, the North named battles for the nearest body of water, and the South used the name of the nearest town.

  • Lincoln declared war on them;
  • They poured fired into the densely packed Federals; eventually, the fighting was hand-to-hand;
  • Results of the American Civil War;
  • I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free;
  • Civil War broke out in 1861 on the issue of secession;
  • He died May 10.

The Union army made progress early in the battle, but Confederate reinforcements arrived late in the day from the Shenandoah Valley and routed the Federals.

The unfortunate Union commander, Irvin McDowell, was made the scapegoat and was replaced with an officer who had some victories to his credit: On September 10 a Union victory at Carnifax Ferry in the Big Kanawha Valley of West Virginia virtually ended Confederate control in most of the western counties, although there would be raids and guerrilla warfare there. A successful naval invasion of North Carolina took place the history of the american civil war August. The Western Theater saw only minor skirmishing.

Kentucky was attempting to remain neutral and had vowed to take sides against whichever side first moved troops into it. That was the Confederacy, which felt compelled to establish Mississippi River forts and establish camps within the state to repel any attempted Union move south. The Union commander, Nathaniel Lyon, was killed, the first Federal general to die in action during the war.

Bee at First Manassas. The year saw the first clash between ironclad warships, in the Battle of Hampton Roads. Lincoln announced his Emancipation Proclamation. The South found two heroes: Lee, who took command of the main Confederate army.

Lincoln would be hard-pressed to find a commander Lee could not out-general. Farther south along the Atlantic Coast, Federals captured territory in North and South Carolina and Georgia, but lost a chance to shorten the war when they were turned back at the Battle of Secessionville, South Carolina.

In the Western Theater, Union forces made deep penetrations into Dixie, beginning the year along the Ohio River and finishing it in control of Middle and West Tennessee, with outposts in Mississippi.

  • An untold number of civilians also perished, primarily from disease as entire towns became hospitals;
  • Her very national unity was at stake;
  • The North, on the other hand, had a different economic structure with a focus on industrial wealth.

Even New Orleans was under the Stars and Stripes again. Beyond the Mississippi, initial Confederate successes in New Mexico territory were nullified by a defeat at Glorietta Pass. Texans lynched 50 Unionists in what became known as the Great Hanging at Gainesville and attacked German immigrants trying to leave the state, executing nine of the wounded after the Battle of the Nueces. Three hundred Sioux were sentenced to hang, but Lincoln cut that number to 38—still the largest mass execution in U.

September saw simultaneous Confederate invasions into Maryland and Kentucky in September. Neither, however, was long lived. The year 1862 ended—and the new year would begin—with another bloodbath, on the banks of Stones River outside Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Overall, the scales were still nearly balanced between the two sides in their struggle to restore the Union or to establish a Southern Confederacy. Lee then suffered a major defeat at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in early July.

The two antagonists met again in November in a confused, inconclusive affair known as the Mine Run Campaign. In response, Lee divided his force, leaving part of it to guard the river at Fredericksburg.

Major Battles of the Civil War

On April 30, Hooker and Lee collided near a mansion called Chancellorsville in a densely thicketed area of woods known as The Wilderness.

He died May 10. Lee, learning the Federals had captured Fredericksburg, divided his force again and defeated them at Salem Church. Hooker gave up the campaign and withdrew on the night of May 5—6. Read more about the Battle of Chancellorsville. Grant on July 4 after a 47-day siege. Grant was placed in command of all Western armies, a prelude to an even greater promotion that would come the following spring.

Two massacres marked 1863. Connor attacked the camp of Chief The history of the american civil war Hunter on January 29. His men encountered the Army of the Potomac, now under George Gordon Meade, at a crossroads town in southeastern Pennsylvania on July 1. Capturing the town but failing to take the high ground around it, Lee assailed the Union flanks the next day.

Read more about the Battle Of Gettysburg. The year also saw an event unique in American history. Counties of western Virginia had refused to leave the Union when the state seceded in 1861. At the end of 1863, both sides still had significant forces, and the Confederates enjoyed good defensive terrain in Virginia and North Georgia.

If they could inflict enough losses on their Northern opponents, they might win at the ballot box what they could not on the field of battle: Lincoln was vulnerable and in the 1864 elections might be replaced by a Democrat who would make peace with the Confederacy. Grant, who was put in charge of all Union armies in March 1864. Three days later, it collided with Robert E. There was no such clear-cut outcome this time.

Lee anticipated the move, and the two armies tore at each other again for two weeks in May around Spotsylvania Courthouse. The siege of Richmond and Petersburg had begun. A tardy advance by a large number of Union soldiers into the 30-foot-deep crater it created allowed the Southerners time to recover. They poured fired into the densely packed Federals; eventually, the fighting was hand-to-hand. Angered by the blast and the presence of black troops, the Confederates gave no quarter and the Battle of the Crater resulted in 4,000 Union casualties for no gain.

After a victory at Lynchburg in June, Jubal A. A desperate delaying action on July 9 at Monocacy, Maryland, by an outnumbered force under Lew Wallace—the future author of Ben Hur—bought the capital time to prepare. Lincoln came out to watch the fighting. When Grant went east his friend and subordinate, William Tecumseh Shermantook the history of the american civil war of the armies of the Tennessee and the Cumberland at Chattanooga.

While Grant bludgeoned and sidestepped his way toward Richmond, Sherman was slugging through the mountains of North Georgia. There, Confederate general Joseph Johnston made superb use of terrain to slow the Federal advance.

The capture of Atlanta was one of the most crucial events of the war.

The Democrats had nominated George B. McClellan, the former commander of the Army of the Potomac, as their candidate. The party made many missteps during the campaign, and for the first time ever, the North allowed soldiers to vote in the field. He reached Savannah by Christmas, leaving a 60-mile wide swath of ashes, wrecked railroads and utter destruction behind him. Sherman detached George Thomas and the Army of the Cumberland to deal with him. At the town of Franklin, Hood ordered frontal assaults that after five hours of intense fighting, left his army in tatters; five generals were dead.

The Civil War

After an ice storm melted, Thomas came out of his works and finished the job of shattering the Confederate army. Its remnants withdrew to Tupelo, Mississippi. Stories that his men massacred Union soldiers, particularly members of the United States Colored Troops captured at Fort Pillowa poorly designed Mississippi River fort north of Memphis, gained instant credence in the North, but two official inquiries were unable to reach a conclusion about what had actually happened.

At New Johnsonville, Tennessee, Forrest gained the distinction of commanding the only cavalry group ever to defeat gunboats, when they sunk or frightened crews into scuttling four ships.

  1. At New Johnsonville, Tennessee, Forrest gained the distinction of commanding the only cavalry group ever to defeat gunboats, when they sunk or frightened crews into scuttling four ships.
  2. By the end of 1864, the Confederacy had nothing left but courage and tenacity.
  3. Kentucky was attempting to remain neutral and had vowed to take sides against whichever side first moved troops into it.
  4. The North, on the other hand, had a different economic structure with a focus on industrial wealth. A tardy advance by a large number of Union soldiers into the 30-foot-deep crater it created allowed the Southerners time to recover.
  5. He reached Savannah by Christmas, leaving a 60-mile wide swath of ashes, wrecked railroads and utter destruction behind him.

Farragut steamed into the Battle of Mobile Bay with 18 ships. By the end of 1864, the Confederacy had nothing left but courage and tenacity.