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American Civil War

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The American Civil War, arguably the most traumatic event in the history of the United States, was fought from 1861 to 1865, the culmination of sectional issues which deeply divided the country between a pro-Federal government North and a pro-states rights, pro-slavery South, whose eleven states formed a breakaway government called the Confederate States of America. The costliest war in terms of human lives, the American Civil War claimed in excess of 620,000 battle or disease-related deaths - roughly two percent of the country's total population at that time, and nearly more deaths than all other American wars combined.

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Jennie Wade House

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This house is named for Mary Virginia Wade, who is popularly nicknamed "Jennie" of "Ginnie". A statue of Jennie is located on the west side of the house. However, Jennie did not live in this home. Just 20 years old at the time of the Battle, Jennie was kneading dough in the kitchen when a rifle bullet pierced two doors and claimed her life.

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20 inch Rodman Gun

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Like the famed Gun Club of Jules Verne's "Journey from the Earth to the Moon and Around It," Rodman wanted an even bigger gun to test, and proposed building one as soon as the first 15-inch Rodman had been accepted by the War Department. In his report of April 17, 1861, he expressed no doubt that a reliable gun of almost any size could be made with complete success using his casting process.

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American Civil War

1861–1865 Civil War in the United States

For other uses, see Civil War (disambiguation).

American Civil War
CivilWarUSAColl.png
Clockwise from top:
Belligerents
United StatesConfederate States
Commanders and leaders
Abraham Lincoln X
Ulysses S. Grant
and others...
Jefferson Davis
Robert E. Lee
and others...
Strength
2,200,000[b]
698,000 (peak)[2][3]
750,000–1,000,000[b][4]
360,000 (peak)[2][5]
Casualties and losses
Total: 828,000+ casualtiesTotal: 864,000+ casualties

The American Civil War (April 12, 1861 – May 9, 1865, also known by other names) was a civil war in the United States fought between states supporting the federal union ("the Union" or "the North") and southern states that voted to secede and form the Confederate States of America ("the Confederacy" or "the South").[e] The central cause of the war was the status of slavery, especially the expansion of slavery into newly acquired land after the Mexican–American War. On the eve of the Civil War in 1860, four million of the 32 million Americans (nearly 13%) were black slaves, mostly in the South.

The practice of slavery in the United States was one of the key political issues of the 19th century; decades of political unrest over slavery led up to the war. Disunion came after Abraham Lincoln won the 1860 United States presidential election on an anti-slavery expansion platform. An initial seven Southern slave states declared their secession from the country to form the Confederacy. After Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory they claimed, the attempted Crittenden Compromise failed and both sides prepared for war. Fighting broke out in April 1861 when the Confederate army began the Battle of Fort Sumter in South Carolina, just over a month after the first inauguration of Abraham Lincoln. The Confederacy grew to control at least a majority of territory in eleven states (out of the 34 U.S. states in February 1861), and asserted claims to two more. The states that remained loyal to the federal government were known as the Union.[f] Large volunteer and conscription armies were raised; 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. In September 1862, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made ending slavery a war goal. To the west, the Union destroyed the Confederate river navy by summer 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, leading to the fall of Atlanta in 1864 to Union General William Tecumseh Sherman and his march to the sea. The last significant battles raged around the ten-month Siege of Petersburg, gateway to the Confederate capitol of Richmond.

The war effectively ended on April 9, 1865, when Confederate General Lee surrendered to Union General Grant at the Battle of Appomattox Court House, after abandoning Petersburg and Richmond. Confederate generals throughout the Southern states followed suit, the last surrender on land occurring on June 23. At 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 a partially successful attempt to rebuild the country and grant civil rights to freed slaves.

The Civil War is one of the most studied and written about episodes in the history of the United States, and 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 earliest to employ industrial warfare. Railroads, the telegraph, steamships, the ironclad warship, and mass-produced weapons were employed extensively. In total the war left between 620,000 and 750,000 soldiers dead,[15] along with an undetermined number of civilian casualties.[g] President Lincoln was assassinated just five days after Lee's surrender. The Civil War remains the deadliest military conflict in American history,[h] and accounted for more American military deaths than all other wars combined until the Vietnam War.[i] The mobilization of civilian factories, mines, shipyards, banks, transportation, and food supplies all foreshadowed the impact of industrialization in World War I, World War II, and subsequent conflicts.

Causes of secession

Main articles: Origins of the American Civil War and Timeline of events leading to the American Civil War

Map of U.S. showing two kinds of Union states, two phases of secession and territories

Status of the states, 1861

   Slave states that seceded before April 15, 1861

   Slave states that seceded after April 15, 1861

   Union states that permitted slavery (border states)

   Union states that banned slavery

   Territories

The causes of secession were complex and have been controversial since the war began, but most academic scholars identify slavery as the central cause of the war. James C. Bradford wrote that the issue has been further complicated by historical revisionists, who have tried to offer a variety of reasons for the war.[18] Slavery was the central source of escalating political tension in the 1850s. The Republican Party was determined to prevent any spread of slavery to newly formed states, and 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 promote pro-slavery acts and policies.[19][20]

Slavery

Main article: Slavery in the United States

Slavery was the main cause of disunion.[21] Slavery had been a controversial issue during the framing of the Constitution but had been left unsettled.[23] 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 issue of whether new territory should be slaveholding or free. The issue had dominated politics for decades leading up to the war. Key attempts to solve the issue included the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850, but these only postponed an inevitable showdown over slavery.

The motivations of the average person were not inherently those of their faction;[25][26] some Northern soldiers were even indifferent on the subject of slavery, but a general pattern can be established.[27] Confederate soldiers fought the war primarily to protect a Southern society of which slavery was an integral part.[28][29] From the anti-slavery perspective, the issue was primarily about whether the system of slavery was an anachronistic evil that was incompatible with republicanism. The strategy of the anti-slavery forces was containment—to stop the expansion and thus put slavery on a path to gradual extinction. The slave-holding interests in the South denounced this strategy as infringing upon their Constitutional rights. Southern whites believed that the emancipation of slaves would destroy the South's economy, due to a 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 1804 Haiti massacre, (also known 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.

Abolitionists

Main article: Abolitionism in the United States

Uncle Tom's Cabinby Harriet Beecher Stowe, aroused public opinion about the evils of slavery. 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 very active in the decades leading up to the Civil War. They traced their philosophical roots back to the Puritans, who strongly 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 (temporary slavery) 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. Benjamin Franklin and James Madison each helped found manumission societies. Influenced by the Revolution, many individual slave owners, such as George Washington, freed their slaves, often in their wills. The number of free blacks 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]

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 that "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][52]

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.[53][54] 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, Baptists split into the Northern Baptists and Southern Baptists over the issue of slavery in 1845.[56]

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

Territorial crisis

Further information: Slave states and free states

Manifest destiny heightened the conflict over slavery, as each new territory acquired had to face the thorny question of whether to allow or disallow the "peculiar institution". 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.

The Mexican–American War and its aftermath was a key territorial event in the leadup to the war. 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. 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. 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 stronger fugitive slave laws 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. 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."

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. The first of these "conservative" 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 Crittenden Compromise of 1860 was an expression of this view.

The second doctrine of Congressional preeminence, championed by Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party, insisted that the Constitution did not bind legislators to a policy of balance—that slavery could be excluded in a territory as it was done in the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 at the discretion of Congress; thus Congress could restrict human bondage, but never establish it. The ill-fated Wilmot Proviso announced this position in 1846.[71] 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 bipartisan support by northern Democrats and Whigs, and bipartisan opposition by southerners was a dark omen of coming divisions.

Senator Stephen A. Douglas proclaimed the doctrine of territorial or "popular" sovereignty—which asserted that the settlers in a territory had the same rights as states in the Union to establish or disestablish slavery as a purely local matter. The Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 legislated this doctrine. In the Kansas Territory, years of pro and anti-slavery violence and political conflict erupted; the congressional 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.[75]

The fourth theory was advocated by Mississippi Senator Jefferson Davis, one of state sovereignty ("states' rights"), also known as the "Calhoun doctrine", named after the South Carolinian political theorist and statesman John C. Calhoun. 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. "States' rights" was an ideology formulated and applied as a means of advancing slave state interests through federal authority. As historian Thomas L. Krannawitter points out, the "Southern demand for federal slave protection represented a demand for an unprecedented expansion of Federal power."[83] 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.

States' rights

The South 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.[85]

The consensus among historians is that the Civil War was not fought about states' rights.[86][87][88] Historian James 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.

Before the Civil War, the Southern states used federal powers in enforcing and extending slavery at the national level, with the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and Dred Scott v. Sandforddecision.[90] 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.[90] Some Northern states resisted the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act. Historian Eric Foner stated 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."[87] 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."[88] The Confederate constitution also "federally" required slavery to be legal in all Confederate states and claimed territories.[86][91]

Sectionalism

Sectionalism resulted from the different economies, social structure, customs, and political values of the North and South.[92][93] 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.

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.[95]

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. 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.[98] The tariff issue was a Northern grievance. However, neo-Confederate writers[who?] 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.[100] Pamphleteers North and South rarely mentioned the tariff.[101]

Nationalism and honor

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.

Perceived insults to Southern collective honor included the enormous popularity of Uncle Tom's Cabin[103] and the actions of abolitionist John Brown in trying to incite a rebellion of slaves in 1859.[104]

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.[105] The South ignored the warnings; Southerners did not realize how ardently the North would fight to hold the Union together.[106]

Lincoln's election

Main article: 1860 United States presidential election

Middle aged man

The election of Abraham Lincoln in November 1860 was the final trigger for secession. Efforts at compromise, including the Corwin Amendment and the Crittenden Compromise, failed. Southern leaders feared that Lincoln would stop the expansion of slavery and put it on a course toward extinction. The slave states, which had already become a minority in the House of Representatives, were now facing a future as a perpetual minority in the Senate and Electoral College against an increasingly powerful North. Before Lincoln took office in March 1861, seven slave states had declared their secession and joined to form the Confederacy.

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 against an attempt to overthrow it.[108]

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.[109]

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.[110] However, at least four states—South Carolina,[111] Mississippi,[112] Georgia,[113] and Texas[114]—also passed lengthy and detailed explanations of their causes 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. 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".[116] 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.[117]

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),[118] 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.[119]

On December 18, 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 every Southern state apart from South Carolina, but Lincoln and the Republicans rejected it.[120][better source needed] It was then proposed to hold a national referendum on the compromise. The Republicans again rejected the idea, although a majority of both Northerners and Southerners would likely have voted in favor of it.[121][better source needed] 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.

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".[123] 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. 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.[123]

The South sent delegations to Washington and offered to pay for the federal properties[which?] and enter into a peace treaty with the United States. 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. 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 deeply embittered by this defeat, Seward only agreed to support Lincoln's candidacy after he was guaranteed the executive office which was considered at that time to be by far 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 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. 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 – located at the cockpit of secession in Charleston, South Carolina.[125]

Battle of Fort Sumter

Main article: Battle of Fort Sumter

Flagpole in a ruined building
The Confederate "Stars and Bars" flying from Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter is located in the middle of the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. Its garrison had recently moved there to avoid incidents with local militias in the streets of the city. Lincoln told its commander, Major Robert Anderson to hold on until fired upon. Confederate president Jefferson Davis ordered the surrender of the fort. Anderson gave a conditional reply that the Confederate government rejected, and Davis ordered General P. G. T. Beauregard to attack the fort before a relief expedition could arrive. He bombarded Fort Sumter on April 12–13, forcing its capitulation.[citation needed]

The attack on Fort Sumter enormously invigorated the North to the defense of American nationalism.[126]

Engraving of large protest
Mass meeting in New York City April 20, 1861, to support the Union in the aftermath of Sumter

Lincoln called on all the states to send forces to recapture the fort and other federal properties. The scale of the rebellion appeared to be small, so he called for only 75,000 volunteers for 90 days. In western Missouri, local secessionists seized Liberty Arsenal.[128] On May 3, 1861, Lincoln called for an additional 42,000 volunteers for a period of three years.[129] Shortly after this, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and North Carolina seceded and joined the Confederacy. To reward Virginia, the Confederate capital was moved to Richmond.

Attitude of the border states

Main article: Border states (American Civil War)

US Secession map. The Unionvs. the Confederacy.

   Union states

   Union territories not permitting slavery

   Border Union states, permitting slavery

(One of these states, West Virginiawas 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 that were opposed to both secession and coercing the South. West Virginia then joined them as an additional border state after it separated from Virginia and became a state of the Union in 1863.

Maryland's territory surrounded the United States' capital of Washington, D.C., and could cut it off from the North.[132] 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.[133] Lincoln responded by establishing martial law and unilaterally suspending habeas corpus in Maryland, along with sending in militia units from the North. 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.[133][135] All were held without trial, ignoring a ruling by the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Roger Taney, a Maryland native, 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 the Supreme Court Chief Justice's ruling.[136]

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.[137]

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 trying to maintain 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 went into exile for good after October 1862.[138]

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).[139] The inclusion of 24 secessionist counties[140] in the state and the ensuing guerrilla war engaged about 40,000 Federal troops for much of the war. 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.[143]

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.

General features of the war

See also: List of American Civil War battles and Military leadership in the American Civil 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, 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.[145]

Mobilization

See also: Child soldiers in the American Civil War

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.[146] 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 men under arms for one year or the duration, and that was answered in kind by the U.S. Congress.[147][148][149]

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.[150] 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.[151]

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.[152] 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.[153]

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.[154] 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.[155] 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.[156]

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. European observers at the time dismissed them as amateur and unprofessional, but British 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.

Prisoners

Main article: American Civil War prison camps

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.[158] 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.

Women

See also: Women in the military § United States; and Timeline of women in war in the United States, Pre-1945

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.[160]: 165, 310–311  Women also served as spies, resistance activists, nurses, and hospital personnel.[160]: 240  Women served on the Union hospital ship Red Rover and nursed Union and Confederate troops at field hospitals.[161]

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, male MOH recipients); however, it was restored in 1977.[162][163]

Naval tactics

The small U.S. Navy of 1861 was rapidly enlarged to 6,000 officers and 45,000 men in 1865, with 671 vessels, having a tonnage of 510,396. 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. 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 supplied and moved army forces about and occasionally shelled Confederate installations.

Modern navy evolves

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. 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.[168]

Painting of land battle scene in foreground and naval battle with sinking ships in background
Battle between the Monitorand Merrimack

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.[169]

The Confederacy experimented with the submarineCSS Hunley, which did not work satisfactorily,[170] 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. 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 as Great Britain had no interest in selling warships to a nation that was at war with a far stronger enemy, and it meant it could sour relations with the U.S..

Union blockade

Main article: Union blockade

A cartoon map of the South surrounded by a snake.
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. Scott argued that a Union blockade of the main ports would weaken the Confederate economy. Lincoln adopted parts of the plan, but he overruled Scott's caution about 90-day volunteers. Public opinion, however, demanded an immediate attack by the army to capture Richmond.

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.[175]

Blockade runners

Main article: Blockade runners of the American Civil War

Panoramic view of ships in harbor during battle
Gunline of nine Union ironclads. South Atlantic Blockading Squadronoff 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.[176][177]

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. 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.[179]

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.

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.[180]

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.[181] 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.[182]

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.[168] 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.

Diplomacy

Main article: Diplomacy of the American Civil War

Further information: United Kingdom and the American Civil War and France and the American Civil War

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 Britain and France in as mediators. 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.[187]

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. Meanwhile, the war created employment for arms makers, ironworkers, and ships to transport weapons.[187]

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.[188] 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."[188] 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 aristocrats with cotton interests; even so, Seward supported a widespread campaign of public diplomacy.[188]

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.[189]Prince Albert was possibly to credit for calming down tensions by rewriting[clarification needed]while his death lead to a malaise that quieted calls for war.[clarification needed]

War loomed in late 1861 between the U.S. and Britain over the Trent affair, involving the U.S. Navy's boarding of the British ship Trent and seizure of two Confederate diplomats. However, London and Washington were able to smooth over the problem after Lincoln released the two. 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.[190]

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 them 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.

Russia supported the Union, largely due to the view that the U.S. served as a counterbalance to their 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.[192]

Eastern theater

Map of the United States with counties colored
Countymap of Civil War battles by theater and year

Further information: Eastern Theater of the American Civil War

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 (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:[193]

  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.
Old man with gray beard and military uniform
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.[194] 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.

Engraving of chaotic battle scene
Union forces performing a bayonet charge, 1862

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

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".

Man with mustache and military uniform, striking a Napoleon pose

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,[196]

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 men 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.

The Northern Virginia Campaign, which included the Second Battle of Bull Run, ended in yet another victory for the South. 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.

Emboldened by Second Bull Run, the Confederacy made its first invasion of the North with the Maryland Campaign. General Lee led 45,000 men 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. 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.

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 on December 13, 1862, when more than 12,000 Union soldiers were killed or wounded during repeated futile frontal assaults against Marye's Heights. After the battle, Burnside was replaced by Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker.

Trench with abandoned rifles and dead men
Confederate dead overrun at Marye's Heights, reoccupied next day May 4, 1863

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. 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.[204] Lee famously said: "He has lost his left arm, but I have lost my right arm."

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.

Cavalry charges on a battlefield

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). 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).

Western theater

Further information: Western Theater of the American Civil War

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.

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.

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.

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Civil_War
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Who, What, Why: How many soldiers died in the US Civil War?

A study suggests a previously widely accepted death toll of the US Civil War may actually be way under the mark. How many did perish in this conflict, fought before the era of modern record-keeping and DNA identification?

The US Civil War was incontrovertibly the bloodiest, most devastating conflict in American history, and it remains unknown - and unknowable - exactly how many men died in Union and Confederate uniform.

Now, it appears a long-held estimate of the war's death toll could have undercounted the dead by as many as 130,000. That is 21% of the earlier estimate - and more than twice the total US dead in Vietnam.

The Civil War began in 1861 when southern slave-holding states, fearing the institution of slavery was under threat in a nation governed by northern free states, seceded from the US after the election of President Abraham Lincoln.

It ended in 1865 with the surrender of the southern, or Confederate forces, to the Union army; slavery was officially abolished by constitutional amendment that year.

The war devastated the economy and society of the agrarian southern states where most of the fighting occurred, and killed so many Americans it was impossible directly to tally the dead.

"The Civil War left a culture of death, a culture of mourning, beyond anything Americans had ever experienced or imagined," says David Blight, a Civil War historian at Yale University.

"It left a degree of family and social devastation unprecedented for any Western society."

In the 1860s, governments in the US and the Confederacy (the name the southern states took for their secessionist entity) were shoddy record keepers.

They had no comprehensive system of registering births and deaths, and military muster rolls were intended more for tabulating troop strength than recording fatalities.

And in the US Civil War, like all wars, men deserted or defected, bodies sank forever into the mud or were blown to bits or were misidentified, and troops initially listed as wounded in action subsequently perished from their injuries.

Confederate records were largely destroyed in the war's final stages, when the Union army captured its capital Richmond, Virginia.

For more than a century, it has been accepted with a grain of salt that about 620,000 Americans died in the conflict, with more than half of those dying off the battlefield from disease or festering wounds.

All along, however, historians sensed that number underrepresented the death toll.

Nor had any historian undertaken the mammoth task of devising and executing a new count.

That was until December, when historian J David Hacker published a paper that used demographic methods and sophisticated statistical software to study newly digitised US census records from 1850 to 1880.

His finding: An estimated 750,000 soldiers died in the war - 21% higher than the 19th Century estimate.

"We already knew that the war was devastating," Prof Hacker says.

"In one sense, increasing that total by 20% or so doesn't change that story. On the other hand, I'm a demographic historian, and we need to do the most precise job we can at determining what the impact of the war was."

Prof Hacker's findings, published in the December 2011 issue of Civil War History, have been endorsed by some of the leading historians of the conflict.

The publication's editors wrote that his scholarship was "among the most consequential pieces ever to appear in this journal's pages".

Prof Hacker began by taking digitised samples from the decennial census counts taken 1850-1880.

Using statistics software SPSS, he counted the number of native-born white men of military age in 1860 and determined how many of that group were still alive in 1870.

He compared that survival rate with the survival rates of the men of the same ages from 1850-1860, and from 1870-1880 - the 10-year census periods before and after the Civil War.

He controlled for other demographic assumptions, including mortality rates of foreign-born soldiers, added the relatively small number of black soldiers killed, and compared the numbers with the rates of female survival over the same periods.

The calculations yielded the number of "excess" deaths of military-age men between 1860-1870 - the number who died in the war or in the five subsequent years from causes related to the war.

Prof Hacker acknowledges the method must account for a large margin of error, and he declines to make bold claims about its accuracy.

He acknowledges further it cannot distinguish between Union and Confederate dead, between deaths on the battlefield or from illness, nor tally postwar deaths from wounds incurred in battle.

US Civil War deaths therefore could range from 617,877 to 851,066, and he settles on an estimate of 750,000 dead.

"I have been waiting more than 25 years for an article like this one," writes James McPherson, author of the seminal popular Civil War history Battle Cry of Freedom, in a commentary on Prof Hacker's piece.

Prof Hacker's finding "ups the ante on just how destructive the Civil War is", says Joshua Rothman, a 19th Century US historian and director of the Summersell Center for the Study of the South at the University of Alabama.

"The moral weight of the Civil War is so large and the consequences of emancipation loom so large that we forget just how brutal the war actually is. It's good to remember that."

Prof Hacker's figure of 750,000 would translate into about 7.5 million US deaths in proportion to America's current population, Prof McPherson notes.

In proportion to Britain's 2010 population of 62.3 million, it's about 1.5 million people.

Previous to Prof Hacker's work, historians had widely relied on an estimate that 620,000 soldiers died in the war, a figure reached through the combined efforts of two former Union army officers in the late 19th Century.

William Fox and Thomas Livermore based their estimates on battlefield reports, pension filings of Civil War widows and orphans, and other sources that, historians have acknowledged, significantly undercounted the war dead.

It remains to be seen whether Prof Hacker's new estimates will diffuse into mainstream American thinking, supplanting Fox and Livermore's estimates. (The new numbers have already been incorporated into the Wikipedia page on the war.)

In any case, Columbia University historian Eric Foner questions the values of focusing on the death toll of such a horrific period in US history.

"A numbers game gets us only so far in understanding the war's impact on American life," he says.

"There is an ongoing debate about the number of slaves brought from Africa to the New World during the slave trade era - nine million, 12 million, 14 million. Does it really matter when we are assessing the morality of the slave trade?"

Reporting by Daniel Nasaw in Washington

Sours: https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-17604991

The American Civil War from 1861 to 1865 was the most destructive armed conflict in the history of North America, with more than 600,000 deaths in total. The United States still bears scars from this conflict, in which the slaveholding southern states formed the Confederate States of America, attempting to secede from the Union, and the North fought to defeat the secession. Ultimately the war resulted in the abolition of slavery, the utter defeat of the South and the permanent end of secession as a political stance taken seriously by Americans.

Understand[edit]

I tell you, war is Hell!

—William Tecumseh Sherman, Union Army general who led the March to the Sea

The Civil War was the deadliest war in terms of American death toll (though by no means the deadliest war with US involvement), and the most destructive single conflict in North America.

The war saw a horrific death toll when measured against the numbers of soldiers fighting. In many battles more than 30% of the combatants died. This was due in part to the bad medical situation, but also due to advances in military technology that the tactics of that era did not account for, an error that was repeated in World War I. Both the range and the accuracy of all types of weapons but particularly artillery, and especially their rate of fire had increased a lot, making open charges especially bloody for both sides and leading to heavy fortification and early World War I style trenches in some battles. As photography had become feasible shortly before the war, there are a lot of images of the war, showing its dead and the havoc it wrought on man and nature alike. If you look at enough of them, you will understand what led William Tecumseh Sherman, a high-ranking general of the Union, to his statement that "war is hell".

The war had an enormous long-term impact on the United States, and the rest of the world. Already during the war, the Union embarked on political projects that had been blocked by Southern politicians, such as opening the Western territories for colonization, and building a transcontinental railroad. The policies, together with government investments for war, fueled the Industrial Revolution, and usage of telegraphy and railroads. The war ended slavery, and the devastation of the war as well as the post-war "Reconstruction" policy left the South an economic and cultural backwater for decades to come. The end of the 19th century was called "The Gilded Age", with the rise of a wealthy capitalist class, while most of the population remained poor.

During a short period after the war (male) African Americans actually enjoyed most if not all of the political rights nominally granted to them by the constitution and several advances were made, because the former (white) Southern elites were pushed out of power and federal troops ensured that African Americans couldn't be harassed or denied their rights. However this period of so-called "Reconstruction" came to an end in 1876 when in a close election (with popular vote and electoral vote going different ways), the Republican candidate agreed to withdraw the federal troops from the South in exchange for the presidency. Consequently almost all of the Southern blacks were denied civil rights for almost a century to come and the antebellum elites or their descendants often returned to their former positions of power. While it took until 1912 for a man born in the South to become President again, the South became an electoral stronghold for the Democratic party and white southerners continued to exert a disproportionately large influence through a conservative federal voting bloc, which only started to disintegrate with the advent of Civil Rights as a major federal policy issue. The Republican Party would later try to ingratiate itself to Southern whites with various tactics and today most Southern states are as decidedly Republican as they were safely Democratic before the 1950s.

Course of the war[edit]

Despite overwhelming industrial, manpower, supply and other advantages, and the fact that the North were fighting from the position of a legitimate and recognized government, while the South was fighting as a haphazard rebellion with internal divisions not adequately reflected through the political process, the South made some initial gains and advances, particularly in the Eastern Theater of the war. Initially both sides largely believed the war would be decided in one quick battle, but the bloody battle of Bull Run, decided by the Confederate use of railroads to bring fresh troops to the battlefield, quickly disabused both sides of that notion. Most of the fighting took place between Washington DC and Richmond, the respective capitals, with both armies trying to outflank one another, draw the opponent away from the respective capital or threaten the other capital to relieve pressure at other points. However, on the Western fronts, the North quickly gained the upper hand with Southern advances in what are now Arizona and New Mexico stalling because of insufficient supply logistics and U.S. Grant emerging as a rising star when he demanded (and got) the unconditional surrender of Forts Henry and Donelson in 1862. The North had developed an "Anaconda Plan" to "suffocate" the South through blockade early in the war on the urging of Mexican War veteran Winfield Scott - by 1862 Faragut and the Union Navy had captured the crucial port of New Orleans and by 1863 the Confederacy had been split in half with the fall of Vicksburg to Grant in accordance with that plan. The blockade squadron made it hard for the South to get needed supplies and the Southern economy hovered on the brink of collapse. However, even after the 1863 defeat at Gettysburg, the Army of Northern Virginia was considered unbeaten and a considerable foe by the North. When Grant took over in the East in 1864 he changed the tactics of the Army of the Potomac and aggressively pursued Lee with the latter ultimately surrendering at Appomattox Court House in 1865. While other less significant armies fought on for a few more weeks or even months, the war was mostly over by then and even the death of Abraham Lincoln at the hand of a Southern sympathizer could not turn around the fortunes of the South, which was militarily occupied and ultimately readmitted into the Union.

Remembrance[edit]

A re-enactment of Pickett's Charge.

From a travel standpoint, the number of preserved battlefields (that look almost like they did in the 1860s) is among the highest for any war or location. If you want to "get" how a soldier on either side must have felt during this particular war, the various re-enactment groups and state entities associated with the memory of the US Civil War explain the concepts well.

As one of the first wars where many of the soldiers and civilians on both sides were literate, the Civil War was documented in plenty of diaries, letters and other texts. Together with the 1850s Crimean War, it also pioneered photography and telegraphy for journalism. And as the aims of the war were inherently political on all sides, political journalism was at least as important as guns and grain shipments. This is particularly evident through the many eminently quotable lines of military and political leaders on both sides, most prominently the Gettysburg address. Due to the fact that a significant number of veterans lived into the newsreel age, there is more picture and text for TV documentaries to work with than for any prior war.

The war is "fought" to this day in the minds of many and in public debate, with the aims of both sides frequently drawn into question. The Lost cause of the South is an ideology which claims that the prime objective of the Confederacy was not to preserve slavery, but instead states' rights and the rights of individuals over their property. It is, however, attested in the speeches and public documents of many prominent Confederates, as well as several state declarations of secession, that the preservation of slavery was the main motivation behind the secession of the Confederate states. Throughout the South and even in some states that never seceded, monuments of individual Confederate generals as well as abstract concepts or the war dead as a whole were put up, mostly during the "Jim Crow" era, when segregation was at its worst and a legal system disenfranchising African-Americans was put into place and entrenched. Even nominally integrated areas were highly segregated in practice, as businesses could choose to refuse service to non-white customers based on their race, and many did so. It was not until the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s that those laws and practices were successfully challenged and ultimately overturned, and not until 2008 that a black person (albeit one who only has very little African-American slave ancestry - said ancestry unknown even to himself in 2008) would be elected president. The Civil Rights Era also coincided with another spurt of construction of pro-Confederate monuments and memorials, largely by and on behalf of Southern white conservatives as acts of defiance towards the federal government. In the 21th century, many monuments, place names and various other symbols of the Confederacy have been removed, under intense debate.

Read[edit]

Even the briefest summary of works on the Civil War would likely go beyond the limits of a travel guide. The Civil War was largely fought by young men who would otherwise not venture more than 50 miles from their front porch and thus was perceived as a "great adventure" or "the most important thing in their lives" even by many participants at the time. Therefore, there is a wealth of primary sources, be they diaries, letters home, autobiographical works written after the war or works of fiction heavily inspired by the war. They run the gamut from eminently readable to utter reading torture and their veracity ranks from the merciless assessment of the facts as they were to the self-exculpation of many participants who wanted to clear their names and thereby often smear the names of others. Historians - largely, but not exclusively North American - have also written volumes upon volumes on the war and there are minutiae that have repeatedly been "exposed" as a "myth", then "confirmed" and then "debunked" again in the works of various historians. It would seem that by now all questions are answered, but even a hundred and fifty years hence, the debate - and public interest - has not ceased and there are even publicly oriented publications that deal with nothing but the Civil War, often discussing rather small details and second guessing military decisions down to pretty low ranks. Perhaps the best known popular nonfiction work on the Civil War is the Ken Burns documentary series which created a link between the instrumental piece of music, "Ashokan Farewell" and the war, despite "Ashokan Farewell" being written in the 20th century and having no prior connection to the war. To give just one example of the types of minutiae enthusiasts and historians like to argue about, the Ken Burns documentary claims that Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson would commonly eat or suck on lemons if at all possible, however many historians and other works aimed at the general public have vehemently denied this "myth", saying that while Jackson did have a fondness for whatever fruit were available and ate them in the belief they would better his health, there is no indication whatsoever that he had any particular relation with lemons or any other citrus fruit. Despite this, visitors to his grave still often place lemons there in honor of the widespread story.

Locations[edit]

Eastern Theater[edit]

Map of the Union (blue states) and Confederacy (red states) during the Civil War. Light blue is used for the border states (Union states that permitted slavery). Grey is used for territories which were lightly populated and not yet states

    Western Theater[edit]

      Trans-Mississippi Theater[edit]

        See also[edit]

        Sours: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/American_Civil_War

        Wiki civil war

        This is a good article. Click here for more information.

        American Civil War
        300px
        Top left: Rosecrans at Stones River, Tennessee; top right: Confederate prisoners at Gettysburg; bottom: Battle of Fort Hindman, Arkansas
        Date April 12, 1861 – April 9, 1865 (last shot ended June, 1865)
        Location United States, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean
        Result Union victory
        • Territorial integrity of the United States of America preserved
        • Reconstruction
        • Slaveryabolished
        Belligerents
        22x20px United States of America (Union)  Confederate States of America (Confederacy)
        Commanders
        22x20pxAbraham Lincoln

        22x20pxWinfield Scott
        22x20pxGeorge B. McClellan
        22x20pxHenry Wager Halleck
        22x20pxUlysses S. Grant
        22x20pxGideon Welles

        and others
        Confederate States of AmericaJefferson Davis

        Confederate States of AmericaP.G.T. Beauregard
        Confederate States of AmericaJoseph E. Johnston
        Confederate States of AmericaRobert E. Lee
        Confederate States of AmericaStephen Mallory

        and others
        Strength
        2,100,000 1,064,000
        Casualties and losses
        110,000 killed in action
        360,000 total dead
        275,200 wounded
        93,000 killed in action
        260,000 total dead
        137,000+ wounded

        Template:Nineteenth century Asia/Pacific conflicts involving the United States

        The American Civil War (1861–1865), also known as the War Between the States as well as several other names, was a civil war in the United States of America. Eleven Southernslave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America, also known as "the Confederacy". Led by Jefferson Davis, they fought against the United States (the Union), which was supported by all the free states and generally by the five border slave states.

        In the presidential election of 1860, the Republican Party, led by Abraham Lincoln, had campaigned against the expansion of slavery beyond the states in which it already existed. The Republican victory in that election resulted in seven Southern states declaring their secession from the Union even before Lincoln took office on March 4, 1861. Both the outgoing administration of President James Buchanan and Lincoln's incoming administration rejected the legality of secession, considering it rebellion.

        Hostilities began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces attacked a US military installation at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Lincoln responded by calling for a volunteer army from each state, leading to declarations of secession by four more Southern slave states. Both sides raised armies as the Union assumed control of the border states early in the war and established a naval blockade. In September 1862, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation made ending slavery in the South a war goal,[1] and dissuaded the British from intervening.[2]

        Confederate commander Robert E. Lee won battles in the east, but in 1863 his northward advance was turned back with heavy casualties after the Battle of Gettysburg. To the west, the Union gained control of the Mississippi River after their capture of Vicksburg, Mississippi, thereby splitting the Confederacy in two. The Union was able to capitalize on its long-term advantages in men and material by 1864 when Ulysses S. Grant fought battles of attrition against Lee, while Union general William Tecumseh Sherman captured Atlanta, Georgia, and marched to the sea. Confederate resistance collapsed after Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.

        The American Civil War was one of the earliest true industrial wars in human history. Railroads, steamships, mass-produced weapons, and various other military devices were employed extensively. The practices of total war, developed by Sherman in Georgia, and of trench warfare around Petersburg foreshadowed World War I in Europe. It remains the deadliest war in American history, resulting in the deaths of 620,000 soldiers and an undetermined number of civilian casualties. Ten percent of all Northern males 20–45 years of age died, as did 30 percent of all Southern white males aged 18–40.[3] Victory for the North meant the end of the Confederacy and of slavery in the United States, and strengthened the role of the federal government. The social, political, economic and racial issues of the war decisively shaped the reconstruction era that lasted to 1877.

        Causes of secession[]

        Main articles: Origins of the American Civil War and Timeline of events leading to the American Civil War

        Template:History of the United States The Abolitionist movement in the United States had its roots in the seventeenth century. In 1775 the first anti-slavery society was established in Philadelphia, and the Pennysylvania legislature passed the first emancipation act in 1780, followed shortly thereafter by four other northeastern states. Slavery was banned in the Northwest Territory with the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. This act essentially divided the union into two belts, with a northern area that was free of slaves, and a southern belt where slavery remained legal.[4]

        The coexistence of slave-owning southern states, the South, with increasingly anti-slavery northern states, the North, made conflict likely, if not inevitable. Lincoln did not propose federal laws against slavery where it already existed, but he had, in his 1858 House Divided Speech, expressed a desire to "arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction."[5] Much of the political battle in the 1850s focused on the expansion of slavery into the newly created territories.[6][7][8] All of the organized territories were likely to become free-soil states, which increased the Southern movement toward secession. Both North and South assumed that if slavery could not expand it would wither and die.[9][10][11]

        Southern fears of losing control of the federal government to antislavery forces, and Northern resentment of the influence that the Slave Power already wielded in government, brought the crisis to a head in the late 1850s. Sectional disagreements over the morality of slavery, the scope of democracy and the economic merits of free labor versus slave plantations caused the Whig and "Know-Nothing" parties to collapse, and new ones to arise (the Free Soil Party in 1848, the Republicans in 1854, the Constitutional Union in 1860). In 1860, the last remaining national political party, the Democratic Party, split along sectional lines.

        Northerners ranging from the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to the moderate Republican leader Lincoln[12] emphasized Jefferson's declaration that all men are created equal. Lincoln mentioned this proposition in his Gettysburg Address.

        Almost all the inter-regional crises involved slavery, starting with debates on the three-fifths clause and a twenty-year extension of the African slave trade in the Constitutional Convention of 1787. The 1793 invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney increased by fiftyfold the quantity of cotton that could be processed in a day and greatly increased the demand for slave labor in the South.[13] There was controversy over adding the slave state of Missouri to the Union that led to the Missouri Compromise of 1820. A gag rule prevented discussion in Congress of petitions for ending slavery from 1835–1844, while Manifest Destiny became an argument for gaining new territories, where slavery could expand. The acquisition of Texas as a slave state in 1845 along with territories won as a result of the Mexican–American War (1846–1848) resulted in the Compromise of 1850.[14] The Wilmot Proviso was an attempt by Northern politicians to exclude slavery from the territories conquered from Mexico. The extremely popular antislavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) by Harriet Beecher Stowe greatly increased Northern opposition to the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.[15][16]

        File:John Brown, The Martyr.jpg

        The 1854 Ostend Manifesto was an unsuccessful Southern attempt to annex Cuba as a slave state. The Second Party System broke down after passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, which replaced the Missouri Compromise ban on slavery with popular sovereignty, allowing the people of a territory to vote for or against slavery. The Bleeding Kansas controversy over the status of slavery in the Kansas Territory included massive vote fraud perpetrated by Missouri pro-slavery Border Ruffians. Vote fraud led pro-South Presidents Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan to attempt to admit Kansas as a slave state. Buchanan supported the pro-slavery Lecompton Constitution.[17]

        Violence over the status of slavery in Kansas erupted with the Wakarusa War,[18] the Sacking of Lawrence,[19] the caning of Republican Charles Sumner by the Southerner Preston Brooks,[20][21] the Pottawatomie Massacre,[22] the Battle of Black Jack, the Battle of Osawatomie and the Marais des Cygnes massacre. The 1857 Supreme Court Dred Scott decision allowed slavery in the territories even where the majority opposed slavery, including Kansas.

        The Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 included Northern Democratic leader Stephen A. Douglas' Freeport Doctrine. This doctrine was an argument for thwarting the Dred Scott decision that, along with Douglas' defeat of the Lecompton Constitution, divided the Democratic Party between North and South. Northern abolitionist John Brown's raid at Harpers Ferry Armory was an attempt to incite slave insurrections in 1859.[23] The North-South split in the Democratic Party in 1860 due to the Southern demand for a slave code for the territories completed polarization of the nation between North and South.

        Slavery[]

        Main article: Slavery in the United States

        File:Lincoln Douglas Debates 1958 issue-4c.jpg
        File:Abraham Lincoln seated, Feb 9, 1864.jpg
        File:President-Jefferson-Davis.jpg

        Support for secession was strongly correlated to the number of plantations in the region. States of the Deep South, which had the greatest concentration of plantations, were the first to secede. The upper South slave states of Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Tennessee had fewer plantations and rejected secession until the Fort Sumter crisis forced them to choose sides. Border states had fewer plantations still and never seceded.[24][25]

        As of 1860 the percentage of Southern families that owned slaves has been estimated to be 43 percent in the lower South, 36 percent in the upper South and 22 percent in the border states that fought mostly for the Union.[26] Half the owners had one to four slaves. A total of 8000 planters owned 50 or more slaves in 1850 and only 1800 planters owned 100 or more; of the latter, 85% lived in the lower South, as opposed to one percent in the border states.[27]

        Ninety-five percent of African-Americans lived in the South, comprising one third of the population there as opposed to one percent of the population of the North, chiefly in larger cities like New York and Philadelphia. Consequently, fears of eventual emancipation were much greater in the South than in the North.[28]

        The Supreme Court decision of 1857 in Dred Scott v. Sandford escalated the controversy. Chief JusticeRoger B. Taney's decision said that slaves were "so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect".[29] Taney then overturned the Missouri Compromise, which banned slavery in territory north of the 36°30' parallel. He stated, "[T]he Act of Congress which prohibited a citizen from holding and owning [enslaved persons] in the territory of the United States north of the line therein is not warranted by the Constitution and is therefore void."[30] Democrats praised the Dred Scott decision, but Republicans branded it a "willful perversion" of the Constitution. They argued that if Scott could not legally file suit, the Supreme Court had no right to consider the Missouri Compromise's constitutionality. Lincoln warned that "the next Dred Scott decision"[31] could threaten Northern states with slavery.

        Lincoln said, "This question of Slavery was more important than any other; indeed, so much more important has it become that no other national question can even get a hearing just at present."[32] The slavery issue was related to sectional competition for control of the territories,[33] and the Southern demand for a slave code for the territories was the issue used by Southern politicians to split the Democratic Party in two, which all but guaranteed the election of Lincoln and secession. When secession was an issue, South Carolina planter and state Senator John Townsend said that, "our enemies are about to take possession of the Government, that they intend to rule us according to the caprices of their fanatical theories, and according to the declared purposes of abolishing slavery."[34] Similar opinions were expressed throughout the South in editorials, political speeches and declarations of reasons for secession. Even though Lincoln had no plans to outlaw slavery where it existed, whites throughout the South expressed fears for the future of slavery.

        Southern concerns included not only economic loss but also fears of racial equality.[35][36][37][38] The Texas Declaration of Causes for Secession[39][40] said that the non-slave-holding states were "proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color", and that the African race "were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race". Alabama secessionist E. S. Dargan warned that whites and free blacks could not live together; if slaves were emancipated and remained in the South, "we ourselves would become the executioners of our own slaves. To this extent would the policy of our Northern enemies drive us; and thus would we not only be reduced to poverty, but what is still worse, we should be driven to crime, to the commission of sin."[41]

        Beginning in the 1830s, the US Postmaster General refused to allow mail which carried abolition pamphlets to the South.[42] Northern teachers suspected of any tinge of abolitionism were expelled from the South, and abolitionist literature was banned. Southerners rejected the denials of Republicans that they were abolitionists.[43] The North felt threatened as well, for as Eric Foner concludes, "Northerners came to view slavery as the very antithesis of the good society, as well as a threat to their own fundamental values and interests."[44]

        During the 1850s, slaves left the border states through sale, manumission and escape, and border states also had more free African-Americans and European immigrants than the lower South, which increased Southern fears that slavery was threatened with rapid extinction in this area. Such fears greatly increased Southern efforts to make Kansas a slave state. By 1860, the number of white border state families owning slaves plunged to only 16 percent of the total. Slaves sold to lower South states were owned by a smaller number of wealthy slave owners as the price of slaves increased.[45]

        Even though Lincoln agreed to the Corwin Amendment, which would have protected slavery in existing states, secessionists claimed that such guarantees were meaningless. Besides the loss of Kansas to free soil Northerners, secessionists feared that the loss of slaves in the border states would lead to emancipation, and that upper South slave states might be the next dominoes to fall. They feared that Republicans would use patronage to incite slaves and antislavery Southern whites such as Hinton Rowan Helper. Then slavery in the lower South, like a "scorpion encircled by fire, would sting itself to death."[46]

        Sectionalism[]

        Sectionalism refers to the different economies, social structure, customs and political values of the North and South.[47][48] It 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 farming for the poor whites. The South expanded into rich new lands in the Southwest (from Alabama to Texas).[49] However, slavery declined in the border states and could barely survive in cities and industrial areas (it was fading out in cities such as Baltimore, Louisville and St. Louis), so a South based on slavery was rural and non-industrial. On the other hand, as the demand for cotton grew the price of slaves soared. Historians have debated whether economic differences between the industrial Northeast and the agricultural South helped cause the war. Most historians now disagree with the economic determinism of historian Charles Beard in the 1920s and emphasize that Northern and Southern economies were largely complementary.[50]

        However, historians agree that social and cultural institutions were very different North and South. In the South the rich men owned all the good land, leaving the poor white farmers with marginal lands of low productivity. Fears of slave revolts and abolitionist propaganda made the South militantly hostile to abolitionism and other "isms".[51][52]

        Southerners complained that it was the North that was changing, and was prone to new "isms", while the South remained true to historic republican values of the Founding Fathers (many of whom owned slaves, including Washington, Jefferson and Madison). Lincoln said that Republicans were following the tradition of the framers of the Constitution (including the Northwest Ordinance and the Missouri Compromise) by preventing expansion of slavery.[53] The issue of accepting slavery (in the guise of rejecting slave-owning bishops and missionaries) split the largest religious denominations (the Methodist, Baptist and Presbyterian churches) into separate Northern and Southern denominations.[54] Industrialization meant that seven European immigrants out of eight settled in the North. The movement of twice as many whites leaving the South for the North as vice versa contributed to the South's defensive-aggressive political behavior.[55]

        Nationalism and honor[]

        Nationalism was a powerful force in the early 19th century, with famous spokesmen like Andrew Jackson and Daniel Webster. While practically all Northerners supported the Union, Southerners were split between those loyal to the entire United States (called "unionists") and those loyal primarily to the southern region and then the Confederacy.[56]C. Vann Woodward said of the latter group, "A great slave society...had grown up and miraculously flourished in the heart of a thoroughly bourgeois and partly puritanical republic. It had renounced its bourgeois origins and elaborated and painfully rationalized its institutional, legal, metaphysical, and religious defenses....When the crisis came it chose to fight. It proved to be the death struggle of a society, which went down in ruins."[57]

        Insults to national honor greatly troubled people: Southerners thought the abolitionists who identified slave ownership as evil and sinful—as in Uncle Tom's Cabin (1854)—were deliberately besmirching their honor.[58] Of critical importance was the attempted slave insurrection led by abolitionist John Brown in 1859, which many in the South saw as the beginning of Northern efforts to start a race war that would kill vast numbers.[59]

        States' rights[]

        Main article: States' rights

        Everyone agreed that states had certain rights—but did those rights carry over when a citizen left that state? The Southern position was that citizens of every state had the right to take their property anywhere in the U.S. and not have it taken away—specifically they could bring their slaves anywhere and they would remain slaves. Northerners rejected this "right" because it would violate the right of a free state to outlaw slavery within its borders. Republicans committed to ending the expansion of slavery were among those opposed to any such right to bring slaves and slavery into the free states and territories. The Dred Scott Supreme Court decision of 1857 bolstered the Southern case within territories, and angered the North.[60]

        Secondly the South argued that each state had the right to secede—leave the Union—at any time, that the Constitution was a "compact" or agreement among the states. Northerners (including President Buchanan) rejected that notion as opposed to the will of the Founding Fathers who said they were setting up a "perpetual union".[60] Historian James 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 state's-rights argument is perhaps the weakest. It fails to ask the question, state's rights for what purpose? State's rights, or sovereignty, was always more a means than an end, an instrument to achieve a certain goal more than a principle.[61]

        Slave power[]

        Main article: Slave Power

        Antislavery forces in the North identified the "Slave Power" as a direct threat to republican values. They argued that rich slave owners were using political power to take control of the Presidency, Congress and the Supreme Court, thus threatening the rights of the citizens of the North.[62]

        Free soil[]

        "Free soil" was a Northern demand that the new lands opening up in the west be available to independent yeoman farmers and not be bought out by rich slave owners who would buy up the best land and work it with slaves, forcing the white farmers onto marginal lands. This was the basis of the Free Soil Party of 1848, and a main theme of the Republican Party.[63]

        Tariffs[]

        Main article: Tariffs in United States history

        The Tariff of 1828, was a high protective tariff or tax on imports passed by Congress in 1828. It was labeled the "Tariff of Abominations"[64] by its southern detractors because of its effect on the Southern economy. The 1828 tariff was repealed after strong protests and threats of nullification by South Carolina.

        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 South had no complaints but the low rates angered Northern industrialists and factory workers, especially in Pennsylvania, who demanded protection for their growing iron industry. The Whigs and Republicans favored high tariffs to stimulate industrial growth, and Republicans called for an increase in tariffs in the 1860 election. The increases were finally enacted in 1861 after Southerners resigned their seats in Congress.[65][66]

        Historians in recent decades have minimized the tariff issue, noting that few people in 1860-61 said it was of central importance to them. Some secessionist documents do mention the tariff issue, though not nearly as often as the preservation of slavery. However, a few libertarian economists place more importance on the tariff issue.[67]

        Election of Lincoln[]

        Main article: United States presidential election, 1860

        The election of Lincoln in November 1860 was the final trigger for secession.[68] Efforts at compromise, including the "Corwin Amendment" and the "Crittenden Compromise", failed. Southern leaders feared that Lincoln would stop the expansion of slavery and put it on a course toward extinction. The slave states, which had already become a minority in the House of Representatives, were now facing a future as a perpetual minority in the Senate and Electoral College against an increasingly powerful North. Before Lincoln took office in March 1861, seven slave states had declared their secession and joined together to form the Confederacy.

        Battle of Fort Sumter[]

        Main article: Battle of Fort Sumter

        The Lincoln Administration, just as the outgoing Buchanan administration before it, refused to turn over Ft. Sumter—located in the middle of the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. President Jefferson Davis and his cabinet decided that it was impossible to be an independent nation with a foreign military fort in its leading harbor, so he ordered Confederate forces to attack. After a heavy bombardment on April 12–13, 1861, (with no casualties), the fort surrendered. Lincoln then called for 75,000 troops from the states to recapture the fort and other federal property. That meant marching a federal army through Virginia and North Carolina, so those states promptly joined the Confederacy (as did Tennessee and Arkansas). North and South the response to Ft. Sumter was an overwhelming, unstoppable demand for war to uphold national honor. Only Kentucky tried to remain neutral. Hundreds of thousands of young men across the land rushed to enlist, and the war was on.[69]

        Secession begins[]

        File:US Secession map 1861.svg

        Secession of South Carolina[]

        South Carolina did more to advance nullification and secession than any other Southern state. South Carolina adopted the "Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union" on December 24, 1860. 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. All the alleged violations of the rights of Southern states were related to slavery.

        Secession winter[]

        File:US Secession map 1865 (BlankMap derived).PNG

        Before Lincoln took office, seven states had declared their secession from the Union. They established a Southern government, the Confederate States of America on February 4, 1861.[70] 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".[71] 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.

        As Southerners resigned their seats in the Senate and the House, secession later enabled Republicans to pass bills for projects that had been blocked by Southern Senators before the war, including the Morrill Tariff, land grant colleges (the Morill Act), a Homestead Act, a trans-continental railroad (the Pacific Railway Acts), the National Banking Act and the authorization of United States Notes by the Legal Tender Act of 1862. The Revenue Act of 1861 introduced the income tax to help finance the war.

        The Confederacy[]

        Main article: Confederate States of America

        Seven Deep South cotton states seceded by February 1861, starting with South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. These seven states formed the Confederate States of America (February 4, 1861), with Jefferson Davis as president, and a governmental structure closely modeled on the U.S. Constitution. Following the attack on Fort Sumter, President Lincoln called for a volunteer army from each state.

        Within two months, four more Southern slave states declared their secession and joined the Confederacy: Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee. The northwestern portion of Virginia subsequently seceded from Virginia, joining the Union as the new state of West Virginia on June 20, 1863. By the end of 1861, Missouri and Kentucky were effectively under Union control, with Confederate state governments in exile.

        The Union states[]

        Main article: Union (American Civil War)

        Twenty-three states remained loyal to the Union: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. During the war, Nevada and West Virginia joined as new states of the Union. Tennessee and Louisiana were returned to Union military control early in the war.

        The territories of Colorado, Dakota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington fought on the Union side. Several slave-holding Native American tribes supported the Confederacy, giving the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) a small, bloody civil war.[72][73][74]

        Border states[]

        Main article: Border states (American Civil War)

        The border states in the Union were West Virginia (which was separated from Virginia and became a new state), and four of the five northernmost slave states (Maryland, Delaware, Missouri, and Kentucky).

        Maryland had numerous pro-Confederate officials who tolerated anti-Union rioting in Baltimore and the burning of bridges. Lincoln responded with martial law and sent in militia units from the North.[75] Before the Confederate government realized what was happening, Lincoln had seized firm control of Maryland and the District of Columbia, by arresting all the prominent secessionists and holding them without trial (they were later released).

        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.[76]

        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 trying to maintain slavery. During a brief invasion by Confederate forces, Confederate sympathizers organized a secession convention, inaugurated a governor, and gained recognition from the Confederacy. The rebel government soon went into exile and never controlled Kentucky.[77]

        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% approved the statehood bill (96% approving).[78] The inclusion of 24 secessionist counties[79] in the state and the ensuing guerrilla war[80] engaged about 40,000 Federal troops for much of the war.[81] Congress admitted West Virginia to the Union on June 20, 1863. West Virginia provided about 22-25,000 Union soldiers,[82] and at least 16,000 Confederate soldiers.[83]

        A Unionist secession attempt occurred in East Tennessee, but was suppressed by the Confederacy, which arrested over 3000 men suspected of being loyal to the Union. They were held without trial.[84]

        Overview[]

        File:American Civil War Chaplain.JPG

        Over 10,000 military engagements took place during the war, 40% of them in Virginia and Tennessee.[85] Since separate articles deal with every major battle and many minor ones, this article only gives the broadest outline. For more information see List of American Civil War battles and Military leadership in the American Civil War.

        The Beginning of the War, 1861[]

        Template:See details Lincoln's victory in the presidential election of 1860 triggered South Carolina's declaration of secession from the Union. By February 1861, six more Southern states made similar declarations. On February 7, the seven states adopted a provisional constitution for the Confederate States of America and established their temporary capital at Montgomery, Alabama. A pre-war February Peace Conference of 1861 met in Washington in a failed attempt at resolving the crisis. The remaining eight slave states rejected pleas to join the Confederacy. Confederate forces seized most of the federal forts within their boundaries. President Buchanan protested but made no military response apart from a failed attempt to resupply Fort Sumter using the ship Star of the West, which was fired upon by South Carolina forces and turned back before it reached the fort.[86] However, governors in Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania quietly began buying weapons and training militia units.

        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".[87] He stated he had no intent to invade Southern states, nor did he intend to end slavery where it existed, but that he would use force to maintain possession of federal property. His speech closed with a plea for restoration of the bonds of union.[88]

        The South sent delegations to Washington and offered to pay for the federal properties and enter into a peace treaty with the United States. Lincoln rejected any negotiations with Confederate agents because 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.[89] However, Secretary of State William Seward engaged in unauthorized and indirect negotiations that failed.[89]

        Fort Monroe in Virginia, Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, and Fort Pickens, Fort Jefferson, and Fort Taylor, all in Florida, were the remaining Union-held forts in the Confederacy, and Lincoln was determined to hold them all. Under orders from Confederate President Jefferson Davis, troops controlled by the Confederate government under P. G. T. Beauregard bombarded Fort Sumter on April 12, forcing its capitulation. Northerners rallied behind Lincoln's call for all the states to send troops to recapture the forts and to preserve the Union. With the scale of the rebellion apparently small so far, Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers for 90 days.[90] For months before that, several Northern governors had discreetly readied their state militias; they began to move forces the next day.[91]Liberty Arsenal in Liberty, Missouri was seized eight days after Fort Sumter.

        File:WT Sherman 1894 issue.jpg

        Four states in the upper South (Tennessee, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Virginia), which had repeatedly rejected Confederate overtures, now refused to send forces against their neighbors, declared their secession, and joined the Confederacy. To reward Virginia, the Confederate capital was moved to Richmond.[92] The city was the symbol of the Confederacy. Richmond was in a highly vulnerable location at the end of a tortuous Confederate supply line. Although Richmond was heavily fortified, supplies for the city would be reduced by Sherman's capture of Atlanta and cut off almost entirely when Grant besieged Petersburg and its railroads that supplied the Southern capital.

        Anaconda Plan and blockade, 1861[]

        Main articles: Naval battles of the American Civil War, Union blockade, and Confederate States Navy

        File:Scott-anaconda.jpg

        Winfield Scott, the commanding general of the U.S. Army, devised the Anaconda Plan to win the war with as little bloodshed as possible.[93] His idea was that a Union blockade of the main ports would weaken the Confederate economy; then the capture of the Mississippi River would split the South. Lincoln adopted the plan in terms of a blockade to squeeze to death the Confederate economy, but overruled Scott's warnings that his new army was not ready for an offensive operation because public opinion demanded an immediate attack.[94]

        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% of its cotton.[95] British investors built small, fast blockade runners that traded arms and luxuries brought in from Bermuda, Cuba and the Bahamas in return for high-priced cotton and tobacco.[96] When the Union Navy seized a blockade runner the ship and cargo were sold and the proceeds given to the Navy sailors; the captured crewmen were mostly British and they were simply released. The Southern economy nearly collapsed during the war. Shortages of food and supplies were caused by the blockade, the failure of Southern railroads, the loss of control of the main rivers, foraging by Northern armies, and the impressment of crops by Confederate armies. The standard of living fell even as large-scale printing of paper money caused inflation and distrust of the currency. By 1864 the internal food distribution had broken down, leaving cities without enough food and causing bread riots across the Confederacy.[97]

        On March 8, 1862, the Confederate Navy waged a fight against the Union Navy when the ironcladCSS Virginia attacked the blockade. Against wooden ships, she seemed unstoppable. The next day, however, she had to fight the new Union warship USS Monitor in the Battle of the Ironclads.[98] Their battle ended in a draw. The Confederacy lost the Virginia when the ship was scuttled to prevent capture, and the Union built many copies of Monitor. Lacking the technology to build effective warships, the Confederacy attempted to obtain warships from Britain. The Union victory at the Second Battle of Fort Fisher in January 1865 closed the last useful Southern port and virtually ended blockade running.

        Eastern Theater 1861–1863[]

        Template:See details

        File:CivilWarFifeandDrum.jpg

        Because of the fierce resistance of a few initial Confederate forces at Manassas, Virginia, in July 1861, a march by Union troops under the command of Maj. Gen.Irvin McDowell on the Confederate forces there was halted in the First Battle of Bull Run, or First Manassas,[99] McDowell's troops were forced back to Washington, D.C., by the Confederates under the command of Generals Joseph E. Johnston and P. G. T. Beauregard. It was in this battle that Confederate General Thomas Jackson received the nickname of "Stonewall" because he stood like a stone wall against Union troops.[100]

        File:Sherman Grant Sheridan 1937 Issue-3c.jpg

        Alarmed at the loss, and in an attempt to prevent more slave states from leaving the Union, the U.S. Congress passed the Crittenden-Johnson Resolution on July 25 of that year, which stated that the war was being fought to preserve the Union and not to end slavery.

        Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan took command of the Union Army of the Potomac on July 26 (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. 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. Although McClellan's army reached the gates of Richmond in the Peninsula Campaign,[101][102][103]Johnston halted his advance at the Battle of Seven Pines, then General Robert E. Lee and top subordinates James Longstreet and Stonewall Jackson[104] defeated McClellan in the Seven Days Battles and forced his retreat. The Northern Virginia Campaign, which included the Second Battle of Bull Run, ended in yet another victory for the South.[105] 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.

        Emboldened by Second Bull Run, the Confederacy made its first invasion of the North. General Lee led 45,000 men 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[104] near Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 17, 1862, the bloodiest single day in United States military history.[106] 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.[107]

        File:Conf dead chancellorsville edit1.jpg

        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[108] on December 13, 1862, when over twelve thousand Union soldiers were killed or wounded during repeated futile frontal assaults against Marye's Heights. After the battle, Burnside was replaced by Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker. Hooker, too, proved unable to defeat Lee's army; despite outnumbering the Confederates by more than two to one, he was humiliated in the Battle of Chancellorsville[109] in May 1863. He 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[110] (July 1 to July 3, 1863). 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).[111] However, Lincoln was angry that Meade failed to intercept Lee's retreat, and 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.

        Western Theater 1861–1863[]

        Template:See details While the Confederate forces had numerous successes in the Eastern Theater, they were defeated many times in the West. They were driven from Missouri early in the war as a result of the Battle of Pea Ridge.[112]Leonidas Polk's invasion of Columbus, Kentucky ended Kentucky's policy of neutrality and turned that state against the Confederacy. Nashville and central Tennessee fell to the Union early in 1862, leading to attrition of local food supplies and livestock and a breakdown in social organization.

        File:Chickamauga.jpg

        The Mississippi 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. In April 1862, the Union Navy captured New Orleans[113] without a major fight, which allowed Union forces to begin moving up the Mississippi. Only the fortress city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, prevented Union control of the entire river.

        General Braxton Bragg's second Confederate invasion of Kentucky ended with a meaningless victory over Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell at the Battle of Perryville,[114] although Bragg was forced to end his attempt at invading Kentucky and retreat due to lack of support for the Confederacy in that state. Bragg was narrowly defeated by Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans at the Battle of Stones River[115] in Tennessee.

        The one clear Confederate victory in the West was the Battle of Chickamauga. 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.

        The Union's key strategist and tactician in the West was Ulysses S. Grant, who won victories at Forts Henry and Donelson (by which the Union seized control of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers); the Battle of Shiloh;[116] and the Battle of Vicksburg,[117] which cemented Union control of the Mississippi River and is considered one of the turning points of the war. Grant marched to the relief of Rosecrans and defeated Bragg at the Third Battle of Chattanooga,[118] driving Confederate forces out of Tennessee and opening a route to Atlanta and the heart of the Confederacy.

        Trans-Mississippi Theater 1861–1865[]

        Template:See detailsGuerrilla activity turned much of Missouri into a battleground. Missouri had, in total, the third-most battles of any state during the war.[119] The other states of the west, though geographically isolated from the battles to the east, saw numerous small-scale military actions. Battles in the region served to secure Missouri, Indian Territory, and New Mexico Territory for the Union. Confederate incursions into New Mexico territory were repulsed in 1862 and a Union campaign to secure Indian Territory succeeded in 1863. Late in the war, the Union's Red River Campaign was a failure. Texas remained in Confederate hands throughout the war, but was cut off from the rest of the Confederacy after the capture of Vicksburg in 1863 gave the Union control of the Mississippi River.

        Conquest of Virginia and End of War: 1864–1865[]

        File:The Peacemakers 1868.jpg

        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 bring an end to the war.[120]

        Sours: https://civilwar.wikia.org/wiki/American_Civil_War
        WikiBear: Little Bighorn Edition - CONAN on TBS

        American Civil War

        American Civil War
        CivilWarUSAColl.png
        Clockwise from top: Battle of Gettysburg, Union and Confederate dead after the Battle of Antietam photographed by Mathew Brady, Battle of Hampton Roads between the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia, Richmond, the capital of the Confederate States of America, in ruins after the war, Battle of Franklin
        Belligerents
         United States Confederate States
        Commanders and leaders
        Abraham Lincoln†

        Edwin M. Stanton
        Ulysses S. Grant
        William T. Sherman
        David Farragut
        David D. Porter

        and others
        Jefferson Davis

        Judah P. Benjamin
        Robert E. Lee
        Joseph E. Johnston
        Raphael Semmes
        Josiah Tattnall

        and others
        Strength
        2,100,0001,064,000
        Casualties and losses
        110,000 Army killed in action/dead of wounds[2]
        25,000 Army dead in Confederate prisons[2]
        2,260 Navy/Marines killed[3]

        ~ 365,000 total dead
        275,200 wounded
        75,000 killed in action/dead of wounds (incomplete data)[3]
        26,000–31,000 Army dead in Union prisons[3]

        ~260,000 total dead
        137,000+ wounded

        The American Civil War, widely known in the United States as simply the Civil War as well as other sectional names, was fought from 1861 to 1865. Seven Southern slave states individually declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America, known as the "Confederacy" or the "South". They grew to include eleven states, and although they claimed thirteen states and additional western territories, the Confederacy was never recognized by a foreign country. The states that did not declare secession were known as the "Union" or the "North". The war had its origin in the fractious issue of slavery, especially the extension of slavery into the western territories.[N 1] After four years of bloody combat that left over 600,000 Union and Confederate soldiers dead, and destroyed much of the South's infrastructure, the Confederacy collapsed, slavery was abolished, and the difficult Reconstruction process of restoring national unity and guaranteeing civil rights to the freed slaves began.

        In the 1860 presidential election, Republicans, led by Abraham Lincoln, opposed the expansion of slavery into US territories. Lincoln won, but before his inauguration on March 4, 1861, seven slave states with cotton-based economies formed the Confederacy. The first six to secede had the highest proportions of slaves in their populations, a total of 48.8% for the six.[5] Outgoing Democratic President James Buchanan and the incoming Republicans rejected secession as illegal. Lincoln's inaugural address declared his administration would not initiate civil war. Eight remaining slave states continued to reject calls for secession. Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy. A peace conference failed to find a compromise, and both sides prepared for war. The Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on "King Cotton" that they would intervene; none did and none recognized the new Confederate States of America.

        Hostilities began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter, a key fort held by Union troops in South Carolina. Lincoln called for every state to provide troops to retake the fort; consequently, four more slave states joined the Confederacy, bringing their total to eleven. Lincoln soon controlled the border states, after arresting state legislators and suspending habeas corpus,[6] ignoring the ruling of the Supreme Court's Chief Justice that such suspension was unconstitutional, and established a naval blockade that crippled the southern economy. The Eastern Theater was inconclusive in 1861–62. The autumn 1862 Confederate campaign into Maryland (a Union state) ended with Confederate retreat at the Battle of Antietam, dissuading British intervention. To the west, by summer 1862 the Union destroyed the Confederate river navy, then much of their western armies, and the Union siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River. In 1863, Robert E. Lee's Confederate incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg. Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made ending slavery a war goal.[8] Western successes led to Ulysses S. Grant's command of all Union armies in 1864. In the Western Theater, William T. Sherman drove east to capture Atlanta and marched to the sea, destroying Confederate infrastructure along the way. The Union marshaled the resources and manpower to attack the Confederacy from all directions, leading to the protracted Siege of Petersburg. The besieged Confederate army eventually abandoned Richmond, seeking to regroup at Appomattox Court House, though there they found themselves surrounded by union forces. This led to Lee's surrender to Grant on April 9, 1865. All Confederate generals surrendered by that summer.

        The American Civil War was one of the earliest true industrial wars. Railroads, the telegraph, steamships, and mass-produced weapons were employed extensively. The mobilization of civilian factories, mines, shipyards, banks, transportation and food supplies all foreshadowed World War I. It remains the deadliest war in American history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 750,000 soldiers and an undetermined number of civilian casualties.[N 2] One estimate of the death toll is that ten percent of all Northern males 20–45 years old, and 30 percent of all Southern white males aged 18–40 perished. From 1861 to 1865 about 620,000 soldiers lost their lives.[11]

        Causes of secession[edit]

        Main articles: Origins of the American Civil War, Timeline of events leading to the American Civil War, and History of the United States

        The causes of the Civil War were complex and have been controversial since the war began. The issue has been further complicated by historical revisionists, who have tried to offer a variety of reasons for the war.[12] Slavery was the central source of escalating political tension in the 1850s. The Republican Party was determined to prevent any spread of slavery, and many Southern leaders had threatened secession if the Republican candidate, Lincoln, won the 1860 election. After Lincoln had won without carrying a single Southern state, many Southern whites felt that disunion had become their only option, because they felt as if they were losing representation, which hampered their ability to promote pro-slavery acts and policies.[13]

        States' rights[edit]

        Main article: States' rights

        Everyone agreed that states had certain rights—but did those rights carry over when a citizen left that state? The Southern position was that citizens of every state had the right to take their property anywhere in the U.S. and not have it taken away—specifically they could bring their slaves anywhere and they would remain slaves. Northerners rejected this "right" because it would violate the right of a free state to outlaw slavery within its borders. Republicans committed to ending the expansion of slavery were among those opposed to any such right to bring slaves and slavery into the free states and territories. The Dred Scott Supreme Court decision of 1857 bolstered the Southern case within territories, and angered the North.[14]

        Secondly, the South argued that each state had the right to secede—leave the Union—at any time, that the Constitution was a "compact" or agreement among the states. Northerners (including President Buchanan) rejected that notion as opposed to the will of the Founding Fathers who said they were setting up a "perpetual union".[14] Historian James 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.

        Sectionalism[edit]

        Map of U.S. showing two kinds of Union states, two phases of secession and territories.
        Status of the states, 1861.

           States that seceded before April 15, 1861

           States that seceded after April 15, 1861

           Union states that permitted slavery

           Union states that banned slavery

           Territories

        Sectionalism refers to the different economies, social structure, customs and political values of the North and South.[16][17] It 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 farming for the poor whites. The South expanded into rich new lands in the Southwest (from Alabama to Texas).[18]

        However, slavery declined in the border states and could barely survive in cities and industrial areas (it was fading out in cities such as Baltimore, Louisville, and St. Louis), so a South based on slavery was rural and non-industrial. On the other hand, as the demand for cotton grew, the price of slaves soared. Historians have debated whether economic differences between the industrial Northeast and the agricultural South helped cause the war. Most historians now disagree with the economic determinism of historian Charles Beard in the 1920s and emphasize that Northern and Southern economies were largely complementary. While socially different, the sections economically benefited each other.[19]

        Fears of slave revolts and abolitionist propaganda made the South militantly hostile to abolitionism.[21][22] Southerners complained that it was the North that was changing, and was prone to new "isms", while the South remained true to historic republican values of the Founding Fathers (many of whom owned slaves, including Washington, Jefferson, and Madison). Lincoln said that Republicans were following the tradition of the framers of the Constitution (including the Northwest Ordinance and the Missouri Compromise) by preventing expansion of slavery.[23]

        In the 1840s and 50s, 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. Industrialization meant that seven European immigrants out of eight settled in the North. The movement of twice as many whites leaving the South for the North as vice versa contributed to the South's defensive-aggressive political behavior.[25]

        Slave power and free soil[edit]

        Main article: Slave Power

        "A Ride for Liberty" (1862). An unassisted family of fugitive slaves charges for the safety of Union lines.

        Antislavery forces in the North identified the "Slave Power" as a direct threat to republican values. They argued that rich slave owners were using political power to take control of the Presidency, Congress and the Supreme Court, thus threatening the rights of the citizens of the North.[N 3]

        "Free soil" was a Northern demand that the new lands opening up in the west be available to independent yeoman farmers and not be bought out by rich slave owners who would buy up the best land and work it with slaves, forcing the white farmers onto marginal lands. This was the basis of the Free Soil Party of 1848, and a main theme of the Republican Party.[27] Free Soilers and Republicans demanded a homestead law that would give government land to settlers; it was defeated by Southerners who feared it would attract to the west European immigrants and poor Southern whites.

        Territorial crisis[edit]

        Further information: Slave and free states

        Between 1803 and 1854, the United States achieved a vast expansion of territory through purchase, negotiation, and conquest. Of the states carved out of these territories by 1845, all had entered the union as slave states: Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Florida and Texas, as well as the southern portions of Alabama and Mississippi. These were balanced by new free states created within the U.S.' original boundary east of the Mississippi River, and the free state of Iowa in 1846. With the conquest of northern Mexico, including California in 1848, slaveholding interests looked forward to the institution flourishing in much of these lands as well. Southerners also anticipated garnering slaves and slave states in Cuba and Central America. Northern free soil interests vigorously sought to curtail any further expansion of slave soil. It was these territorial disputes that the proslavery and antislavery forces collided over. The Compromise of 1850 over California, tried again to reach some political settlement on these issues.

        The existence of slavery in the southern states was far less politically polarizing than the explosive question of the territorial expansion of the institution westward. Moreover, Americans were informed by two well-established readings of the Constitution regarding human bondage: first, that the slave states had complete autonomy over the institution within their boundaries, and second, that the domestic slave trade – trade among the states – was immune to federal interference. The only feasible strategy available to attack slavery was to restrict its expansion into the new territories. Slaveholding interests fully grasped the danger that this strategy posed to them. 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."

        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. Two of the "conservative" doctrines emphasized the written text and historical precedents of the founding document (specifically, the Northwest Ordinance and the Missouri Compromise), while the other two doctrines developed arguments that transcended the Constitution.

        The first of these "conservative" theories, represented by the Constitutional Union Party, argued that the historical designation of free and slave apportionments in territories (as done in the Missouri Compromise) should become a Constitutional mandate. The Crittenden Compromise of 1860 was an expression of this view.

        The second doctrine of Congressional preeminence, championed by Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party, insisted that the Constitution did not bind legislators to a policy of balance – that slavery could be excluded altogether (as done in the Northwest Ordinance) in a territory at the discretion of Congress – with one caveat: the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment must apply. In other words, Congress could restrict human bondage, but never establish it. The Wilmot Proviso announced this position in 1846.

        Of the two doctrines that rejected federal authority, one was articulated by northern Democrat of Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas, and the other by southern Democratic Senator Jefferson Davis of Mississippi and Vice-President John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky.

        Douglas proclaimed the doctrine of territorial or "popular" sovereignty - which declared that the settlers in a territory had the same rights as states in the Union to establish or disestablish slavery – a purely local matter. Congress, having created the territory, was barred, according to Douglas, from exercising any authority in domestic matters. To do so would violate historic traditions of self-government, implicit in the US Constitution. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 legislated this doctrine. In Kansas Territory, years of pro and anti-slavery violence and political conflict erupted; the congressional House of Representatives voted to admit Kansas as a free state in early 1860, but its admission in the Senate was delayed until after the 1860 elections, when southern senators began to leave.[46]

        The fourth in this quartet is the theory of state sovereignty ("states' rights"), also known as the "Calhoun doctrine", named after the South Carolinian political theorist and statesman John C. Calhoun. 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 US Constitution – and not merely as an argument for secession. The basic premise was that all authority regarding matters of slavery in the territories resided in each state. The role of the federal government was merely to enable the implementation of state laws when residents of the states entered the territories. The Calhoun doctrine asserted that the federal government in the territories was only the agent of the several sovereign states, and hence incapable of forbidding the bringing into any territory of anything that was legal property in any state. State sovereignty, in other words, gave the laws of the slaveholding states extra-jurisdictional effect.

        "States' rights" was an ideology formulated and applied as a means of advancing slave state interests through federal authority. As historian Thomas L. Krannawitter points out, the "Southern demand for federal slave protection represented a demand for an unprecedented expansion of federal power."[54]

        By 1860, these four doctrines comprised the major ideologies presented to the American public on the matters of slavery, the territories and the US Constitution.

        Secession and war begins[edit]

        The first published imprint of secession

        Resolves and developments[edit]

        Beginning the war[edit]

        For more details on this topic, see Battle of Fort Sumter.

        Lincoln's victory in the presidential election of 1860 triggered South Carolina's declaration of secession from the Union in December, and six more states did so by February 1861. A pre-war February Peace Conference of 1861 met in Washington, Lincoln sneaking into town to stay in the Conference's hotel its last three days. The attempt failed at resolving the crisis, but 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.

        Lincoln's policy[edit]

        Since December, secessionists with and without state forces had seized Federal Court Houses, U.S. Treasury mints and post offices. Southern governors ordered militia mobilization, seized most of the federal forts and cannons within their boundaries and U.S. armories of infantry weapons. The governors in big-state Republican strongholds of Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania quietly began buying weapons and training militia units themselves. President Buchanan protested seizure of Federal property, but made no military response apart from a failed attempt on January 9, 1861 to resupply Fort Sumter using the ship Star of the West, which was fired upon by South Carolina forces and turned back before it reached the fort.

        Merchant steamer, Ft. Sumter center horizon, Confederate battery smoke left and right.
        Merchant Star of the Westintended to resupply Ft. Sumter. Lincoln's policy to hold federal property was unlike Buchanan's

        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".[58] 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. 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. In Lincoln's inaugural address, U.S. policy would only collect import duties at its ports; there could be no serious injury to justify revolution in the politics of four years. His speech closed with a plea for restoration of the bonds of union.[59]

        The South sent delegations to Washington and offered to pay for the federal properties and enter into a peace treaty with the United States. 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. Secretary of State William Seward who at that time saw himself as the real governor or "prime minister" behind the throne of the inexperienced Lincoln, engaged in unauthorized and indirect negotiations that failed. President Lincoln was determined to hold all remaining Union-occupied forts in the Confederacy, Fort Monroe in Virginia, in Florida, Fort Pickens, Fort Jefferson, and Fort Taylor, and in the cockpit of secession, Charleston, South Carolina's Fort Sumter.

        The War[edit]

        See also: List of American Civil War battles and Military leadership in the American Civil 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. "The American Civil War was to prove one of the most ferocious wars ever fought". Without geographic objectives, the only target for each side was the enemy's soldier.[61]

        Mobilization[edit]

        As the first seven states began organizing a Confederacy in Montgomery, the entire US army numbered 16,000. However, Northern governors had begun to mobilize their militias.[62] 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 men under arms for one year or the duration, and that was answered in kind by the U.S. Congress.[63]

        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 actually 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.[64] 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.[65]

        Union soldiers before Marye's Heights, Second Fredericksburg

        Confederate dead overrun at Marye's Heights, reoccupied next day May 4, 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 great 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.[66] Of the 168,649 men procured for the Union through the draft, 117,986 were substitutes, leaving only 50,663 who had their personal services conscripted.[67]

        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.[68] At least 100,000 Southerners deserted, or about 10%. In the South, many men deserted temporarily to take care of their distressed families, then returned to their units.[69] 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.[70]

        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. European observers at the time dismissed them as amateur and unprofessional, but British historian John Keegan's assessment is that each outmatched the French, Prussian and Russian armies of the time, and but for the Atlantic, would have threatened any of them with defeat.

        Motivation[edit]

        Perman and Taylor (2010) say that historians are of two minds on why millions of men seemed so eager to fight, suffer and die over four years:

        "Some historians emphasize that Civil War soldiers were driven by political ideology, holding firm beliefs about the importance of liberty, Union, or state rights, or about the need to protect or to destroy slavery. Others point to less overtly political reasons to fight, such as the defense of one's home and family, or the honor and brotherhood to be preserved when fighting alongside other men. Most historians agree that no matter what a soldier thought about when he went into the war, the experience of combat affected him profoundly and sometimes altered his reasons for continuing the fight."

        Prisoners[edit]

        Main article: American Civil War prison camps

        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 own army where they were paid but not allowed to perform any military duties.[73] 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% of the conflict's fatalities.[74]

        Economic impact[edit]

        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.[75] 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; they simply stopped calling at Confederate ports.[76]

        To fight an offensive war, the Confederacy purchased ships from 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.[77] After the war, the U.S. demanded that Britain pay for the damage done, and Britain paid the U.S. $15 million in 1871.

        Eastern theater[edit]

        For more details on this topic, see Eastern Theater of the American Civil War.

        Because of the fierce resistance of a few initial Confederate forces at Manassas, Virginia, in July 1861, a march by Union troops under the command of Maj. Gen.Irvin McDowell on the Confederate forces there was halted in the First Battle of Bull Run, or First Manassas. McDowell's troops were forced back to Washington, D.C., by the Confederates under the command of Generals Joseph E. Johnston and P. G. T. Beauregard. It was in this battle that Confederate General Thomas Jackson received the nickname of "Stonewall" because he stood like a stone wall against Union troops.

        The Battle of Antietam, the Civil War's deadliest one-day fight. Union troops committed piecemeal had little effect

        Confederate ironclads at Norfolk and New Orleans dispersed blockade, until Union ironclads could defeat them

        Alarmed at the loss, and in an attempt to prevent more slave states from leaving the Union, the U.S. Congress passed the Crittenden-Johnson Resolution on July 25 of that year, which stated that the war was being fought to preserve the Union and not to end slavery.

        Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan took command of the Union Army of the Potomac on July 26 (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. 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. Although McClellan's army reached the gates of Richmond in the Peninsula Campaign,[82]Johnston halted his advance at the Battle of Seven Pines, then General Robert E. Lee and top subordinates James Longstreet and Stonewall Jackson defeated McClellan in the Seven Days Battles and forced his retreat. The Northern Virginia Campaign, which included the Second Battle of Bull Run, ended in yet another victory for the South. 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.

        Emboldened by Second Bull Run, the Confederacy made its first invasion of the North. General Lee led 45,000 men 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. 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.

        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 on December 13, 1862, when more than 12,000 Union soldiers were killed or wounded during repeated futile frontal assaults against Marye's Heights. After the battle, Burnside was replaced by Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker.

        Hooker, too, proved unable to defeat Lee's army; despite outnumbering the Confederates by more than two to one, he was humiliated in the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863. Gen. Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded by his own men during the battle and subsequently died of complications. 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). 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). However, Lincoln was angry that Meade failed to intercept Lee's retreat, and 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.

        Western theater[edit]

        For more details on this topic, see Western Theater of the American Civil War.

        While the Confederate forces had numerous successes in the Eastern Theater, they were defeated many times in the West. They were driven from Missouri early in the war as a result of the Battle of Pea Ridge.Leonidas Polk's invasion of Columbus, Kentucky ended Kentucky's policy of neutrality and turned that state against the Confederacy. Nashville and central Tennessee fell to the Union early in 1862, leading to attrition of local food supplies and livestock and a breakdown in social organization.

        The Battle of Chickamauga, the highest two-day losses. Confederate victory held off Union offensive for two months.

        New Orleans captured. Union ironclads forced passage, sank Confederate fleet, destroyed batteries, held docks for Army.

        The Mississippi 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. In April 1862, the Union Navy captured New Orleans, which allowed Union forces to begin moving up the Mississippi. Only the fortress city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, prevented Union control of the entire river.

        General Braxton Bragg's second Confederate invasion of Kentucky ended with a meaningless victory over Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell at the Battle of Perryville, although Bragg was forced to end his attempt at invading Kentucky and retreat due to lack of support for the Confederacy in that state. Bragg was narrowly defeated by Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans at the Battle of Stones River in Tennessee.

        The one clear Confederate victory in the West was the Battle of Chickamauga. 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.

        The Union's key strategist and tactician in the West was Ulysses S. Grant, who won victories at Forts Henry and Donelson (by which the Union seized control of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers); the Battle of Shiloh; and the Battle of Vicksburg, which cemented Union control of the Mississippi River and is considered one of the turning points of the war. Grant marched to the relief of Rosecrans and defeated Bragg at the Third Battle of Chattanooga, driving Confederate forces out of Tennessee and opening a route to Atlanta and the heart of the Confederacy.

        Victory and aftermath[edit]

        Results[edit]

        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. The Freedmen did indeed get their freedom, their citizenship, and control of their lives, their families and their churches.

        Historians have debated whether the Confederacy could have won the war. Most scholars, such as James McPherson, argue that Confederate victory was at least possible. 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, they would have more easily been able to hold out long enough to exhaust the Union.[100]

        Year Union CSA
        Population1860 22,100,000 (71%) 9,100,000 (29%)
        1864 28,800,000 (90%)[N 4]3,000,000 (10%)[102]
        Free1860 21,700,000 (81%) 5,600,000 (19%)
        Slave1860 400,000 (11%) 3,500,000 (89%)
        1864 negligible 1,900,000[N 5]
        Soldiers1860–64 2,100,000 (67%) 1,064,000 (33%)
        Railroad miles1860 21,800 (71%) 8,800 (29%)
        1864 29,100 (98%)[103]negligible
        Manufactures1860 90% 10%
        1864 98% negligible
        Arms production1860 97% 3%
        1864 98% negligible
        Cotton bales1860 negligible 4,500,000
        1864 300,000 negligible
        Exports1860 30% 70%
        1864 98% negligible

        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.[100] Lincoln was not a military dictator, and could only continue to fight the war as long as the American public supported a continuation of the war. The Confederacy sought to win independence by out-lasting 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 and their peace platform.

        Many 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. 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."

        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."[108][109] The black Marxist historian Armstead Robinson agrees, pointing to a class conflict in the Confederates army between the slave owners and the larger number of non-owners. He argues that the non-owner soldiers grew embittered about fighting to preserve slavery, and fought less enthusiastically. He attributes the major Confederate defeats in 1863 at Vicksburg and Missionary Ridge to this class conflict.[110] However, most historians reject the argument.[111]James M. 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 1864-5, he says most Confederate soldiers were fighting hard. 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."

        Also important were Lincoln's eloquence in rationalizing the national purpose and his skill in keeping the border states committed to the Union cause. Although Lincoln's approach to emancipation was slow, the Emancipation Proclamation was an effective use of the President's war powers.[114] The Confederate government failed in its attempt to get Europe involved in the war militarily, particularly 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.

        Costs[edit]

        The war produced about 1,030,000 casualties (3% of the population), including about 620,000 soldier deaths—two-thirds by disease, and 50,000 civilians.[115] Binghamton University historian J. David Hacker believes the number of soldier deaths was approximately 750,000, 20% higher than traditionally estimated, and possibly as high as 850,000.[116][117] The war accounted for roughly as many American deaths as all American deaths in other U.S. wars combined.

        Template:Triple image

        Based on 1860 census figures, 8% of all white males aged 13 to 43 died in the war, including 6% in the North and 18% in the South.[120] About 56,000 soldiers died in prison camps during the War.[121] An estimated 60,000 men lost limbs in the war.[122]

        Confederate death toll estimates vary considerably. Union army dead, amounting to 15% of the over two million who served, was broken down as follows:[2]

        • 110,070 killed in action (67,000) or dead of wounds (43,000).
        • 199,790 dead of disease (75% of which was due to the war, the remainder would have occurred in civilian life anyway)
        • 24,866 dead in Confederate prison camps
        • 9,058 killed by accidents or drowning
        • 15,741 other/unknown deaths
        • 359,528 total dead

        Black troops accounted for 10% of the Union death toll, they amounted to 15% of disease deaths but less than 3% of those killed in battle.[2] Losses among African Americans were high, in the last year and a half and from all reported casualties, approximately 20% of all African Americans enrolled in the military lost their lives during the Civil War.[123]:16 Notably, their mortality rate was significantly higher than white soldiers;

        [We] "find, according to the revised official data, that of the slightly over two millions troops in the United States Volunteers, over 316,000 died (from all causes), or 15.2%. Of the 67,000 Regular Army (white) troops, 8.6%, or not quite 6,000, died. Of the approximately 180,000 United States Colored Troops, however, over 36,000 died, or 20.5%. In other words, the mortality "rate" amongst the United States Colored Troops in the Civil War was thirty-five percent greater than that among other troops, notwithstanding the fact that the former were not enrolled until some eighteen months after the fighting began".

        Herbert Aptheker[123]:16

        Losses can be viewed as high considering that the defeat of Mexico in 1846–48 resulted in fewer than 2,000 soldiers killed in battle. One reason for the high number of battle deaths during the war was the use of Napoleonic tactics, 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 the better part of World War I.

        The wealth amassed in slaves and slavery for the Confederacy's 3.5 million blacks effectively ended when Union armies arrived; they were nearly all freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. 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 18, 1865) by the Thirteenth Amendment.

        The war destroyed much of the wealth that had existed in the South. All accumulated investment Confederate bonds was forfeit; most banks and railroads were bankrupt. Income per person in the South dropped to less than 40% of that of the North, a condition that lasted until well into the 20th century. Southern influence in the US federal government, previously considerable, was greatly diminished until the latter half of the 20th century.[124] The full restoration of the Union was the work of a highly contentious postwar era known as Reconstruction.

        Emancipation[edit]

        Issue of Slavery During the War[edit]

        While not all Southerners saw themselves as fighting to preserve 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. Abraham Lincoln consistently made preserving the Union the central goal of the war, though he increasingly saw slavery as a crucial issue and made ending it an additional goal. Lincoln's decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation angered both Peace Democrats ("Copperheads") and War Democrats, but energized most Republicans.[127] 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.[128]

        See also[edit]

        References[edit]

        Notes
        1. ^Territories are organized areas that could potentially become states.
        2. ^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 through the war.
        3. ^Before 1850, slave owners controlled the presidency for fifty years, the Speaker's chair for forty-one years, and the chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee that set tariffs for forty-two years, while 18 of 31 Supreme Court justices owned slaves.
        4. ^"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.
        5. ^"Slave 1864, CSA" aggregates 1860 slave census of VA, NC, SC, GA and TX. 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.
        Citations
        1. ^"The Belligerent Rights of the Rebels at an End. All Nations Warned Against Harboring Their Privateers. If They Do Their Ships Will be Excluded from Our Ports. Restoration of Law in the State of Virginia. The Machinery of Government to be Put in Motion There". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Associated Press. 1865-05-10. Retrieved 2013-12-23.
        2. ^ abcdFox, William F. Regimental losses in the American Civil War (1889)
        3. ^ abcOfficial DOD data
        4. ^"Date of Secession Related to 1860 Black Population", America's Civil War
        5. ^Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Citation/CS1/Suggestions' not found.
        6. ^Frank J. Williams, "Doing Less and Doing More: The President and the Proclamation—Legally, Militarily and Politically," in Harold Holzer, ed. The Emancipation Proclamation (2006) pp. 74–5.
        7. ^The American Civil War. By Garry.W.Gallagher, Stephen D Engle, Robert K Krick & Joseph T Glatthaar. Forward By Joseph M. McPherson
        8. ^James C. Bradford, A companion to American military history (2010) vol. 1, p. 101
        9. ^See sections below this introduction, including citations in these four: Freehling, William W., The Road to Disunion: Secessionists Triumphant 1854–1861, pp. 9–24, and Martis, Kenneth C., "The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress, 1789–1989", ISBN 0-02-920170-5, p. 111–115, and Foner, Eric. Politics and Ideology in the Age of the Civil War, Oxford U. Press, 1980 ISBN 0-19-502781-7, p. 18–20, 21–24, and Eskridge, Larry (Jan 29, 2011). "After 150 years, we still ask: Why 'this cruel war'?.". Canton Daily Ledger (Canton, Illinois). Retrieved 2011-01-29.
        10. ^ abForrest McDonald, States' Rights and the Union: Imperium in Imperio, 1776–1876 (2002)
        11. ^Charles S. Sydnor, The Development of Southern Sectionalism 1819–1848 (1948).
        12. ^Robert Royal Russel, Economic Aspects of Southern Sectionalism, 1840–1861 (1973).
        13. ^Adam Rothman, Slave Country: American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South (2005).
        14. ^Kenneth M. Stampp, The Imperiled Union: Essays on the Background of the Civil War (1981) p. 198; Richard Hofstadter, The Progressive Historians: Turner, Beard, Parrington (1969).
        15. ^Clement Eaton, Freedom of Thought in the Old South (1940)
        16. ^John Hope Franklin, The Militant South 1800–1861 (1956).
        17. ^Abraham Lincoln, Cooper Union Address, New York, February 27, 1860.
        18. ^James McPherson, "Antebellum Southern Exceptionalism: A New Look at an Old Question," Civil War History 29 (September 1983).
        19. ^Eric Foner, Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party before the Civil War (1970).
        20. ^"Territorial Politics and Government". Territorial Kansas Online: University of Kansas and Kansas Historical Society. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
        21. ^Gara, 1964, p. 190
        22. ^Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, Monday, March 4, 1861.
        23. ^Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861.
        24. ^Keegan, "The American Civil War", p.73. Over 10,000 military engagements took place during the war, 40% of them in Virginia and Tennessee. See Gabor Boritt, ed. War Comes Again (1995), p. 247.
        25. ^"With an actual strength of 1,080 officers and 14,926 enlisted men on June 30, 1860, the Regular Army ..." Civil War Extracts p. 199–221, American Military History.
        26. ^E. Merton Coulter, Confederate States of America (1950) p.308. John G. Nicolay and John Hay, (Abraham Lincoln: a history, vol. 4, p. 264) state: "Since the organization of the Montgomery government in February, some four different calls for Southern volunteers had been made ... In his message of April 29 to the rebel Congress, Jefferson Davis proposed to organize for instant action an army of 100,000 ..." Coulter reports that Alexander Stephens took this to mean Davis wanted unilateral control of a standing army, and from that moment on became his implacable opponent.
        27. ^Albert Burton Moore. Conscription and Conflict in the Confederacy (1924) online edition.
        28. ^Albert Bernhardt Faust, The German Element in the United States (1909) v. 1, p. 523 online. The railroads and banks grew rapidly. See Oberholtzer, Ellis Paxson. Jay Cooke: Financier Of The Civil War, (1907) Vol. 2 at Google Books, pp. 378–430. See also Oberholtzer, A History of the United States Since the Civil War (1926) 3:69–122.
        29. ^Barnet Schecter, The Devil's Own Work: The Civil War Draft Riots and the Fight to Reconstruct America (2007).
        30. ^Eugene Murdock, One million men: the Civil War draft in the North (1971).
        31. ^Judith Lee Hallock, "The Role of the Community in Civil War Desertion." Civil War History (1983) 29#2 pp: 123-134. online
        32. ^Peter S. Bearman, "Desertion as localism: Army unit solidarity and group norms in the US Civil War." Social Forces (1991) 70#2 pp: 321-342 in JSTOR.
        33. ^Robert Fantina, Desertion and the American soldier, 1776–2006 (2006), p. 74
        34. ^Roger Pickenpaugh (2013). Captives in Blue: The Civil War Prisons of the Confederacy. University of Alabama Press. pp. 57–73.
        35. ^Spencer C. Tucker, ed. (2013). American Civil War: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection. ABC-CLIO. p. 1466.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
        36. ^Surdam, David G. (1998). "The Union Navy's blockade reconsidered". Naval War College Review. 51 (4): 85–107.
        37. ^David G. Surdam, Northern Naval Superiority and the Economics of the American Civil War (University of South Carolina Press, 2001)
        38. ^Anderson 1989, p. 300.
        39. ^Bruce Catton, Terrible Swift Sword, pp. 263–296.
        40. ^ abJames McPherson, Why did the Confederacy Lose?. p. ?.
        41. ^Railroad length is from: Chauncey Depew (ed.), One Hundred Years of American Commerce 1795–1895, p. 111; For other data see: 1860 US census and Carter, Susan B., ed. The Historical Statistics of the United States: Millennial Edition (5 vols), 2006.
        42. ^Martis, Kenneth C., "The Historical Atlas of the Congresses of the Confederate States of America: 1861–1865" Simon & Schuster (1994) ISBN 0-13-389115-1 pp.27. At the beginning of 1865, the Confederacy controlled one-third of its congressional districts, which were apportioned by population. The major slave-populations found in Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama were effectively under Union control by the end of 1864.
        43. ^Digital History Reader, U.S. Railroad Construction, 1860–1880
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        Category:American Civil War

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        S. līdz 1865. S. Civil War, US Civil War, United States Civil War, War of the Rebellion (en); حرب أهلية أمريكية, الحرب الاهلية الامريكية, الحرب الاهلية الاميركية, الحرب الاهليه الامريكية, الحرب الاهلية الأمريكية, الحرب الأهليه الأمريكيه (ar); War Between the States, U.S. Civil War, War of the Rebellion, Brezel diabarzh SUA, Second war of independence (br); Amerikanischa Biagakriag (bar)

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        This category has the following 43 subcategories, out of 43 total.

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