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

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 and incoming US administrations rejected the legality of secession, considering it rebellion.

Hostilities began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces attacked a US military installation at Fort Sumtermarker in South Carolinamarker. 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, and dissuaded the British from intervening. Confederate commander Robert E. Lee won battles in the east, but in 1863 his northward advance was turned back after the Battle of Gettysburgmarker and, in the west, the Union gained control of the Mississippi River at the Battle of Vicksburgmarker, thereby splitting the Confederacy. Long-term Union advantages in men and material were realized in 1864 when Ulysses S. Grant fought battles of attrition against Lee, while Union general William Sherman captured Atlantamarker, Georgiamarker, and marched to the sea. Confederate resistance collapsed after Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court Housemarker on April 9, 1865.

The American Civil War was the deadliest war in American history, resulting in the deaths of 620,000 soldiers and an undetermined number of civilian casualties. It legally abolished slavery in the United States, restored the Union 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, and brought changes that helped make the country a united superpower.

Causes of secession

The coexistence of a slave-owning South with an increasingly anti-slavery North made conflict likely, if not inevitable. Abraham 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." Much of the political battle in the 1850s focused on the expansion of slavery into the newly created territories. 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.

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.

Both North and South were influenced by the ideas of Thomas Jefferson. Southerners used the states' rights ideas mentioned in Jefferson's Kentucky Resolutions to defend slavery. Northerners ranging from the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to the moderate Republican leader Lincoln emphasized Jefferson's declaration that all men are created equal. Lincoln mentioned this proposition in his Gettysburg Address.

Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens said that slavery was the chief cause of secession in his Cornerstone Speech shortly before the war. After Confederate defeat, Stephens became one of the most ardent defenders of the Lost Cause. There was a striking contrast between Stephens' post-war states' rights assertion that slavery did not cause secession and his pre-war Cornerstone Speech. Confederate President Jefferson Davis also switched from saying the war was caused by slavery to saying that states' rights was the cause. While Southerners often used states' rights arguments to defend slavery, sometimes roles were reversed, as when Southerners demanded national laws to defend their interests with the Gag Rule and the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. On these issues, it was Northerners who wanted to defend the rights of their states.

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. There was controversy over adding the slave state of Missourimarker to the Union that led to the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the Nullification Crisis over the Tariff of 1828 (although the tariff was low after 1846, and even the tariff issue was related to slavery), the gag rule that prevented discussion in Congress of petitions for ending slavery from 1835–1844, the acquisition of Texasmarker as a slave state in 1845 and Manifest Destiny as an argument for gaining new territories where slavery would become an issue after the Mexican–American War (1846–1848), which resulted in the Compromise of 1850. The Wilmot Proviso was an attempt by Northern politicians to exclude slavery from the territories conquered from Mexicomarker. 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.

The 1854 Ostend Manifesto was an unsuccessful Southern attempt to annex Cubamarker 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 make attempts (including support for the pro-slavery Lecompton Constitution) to admit Kansas as a slave state. Violence over the status of slavery in Kansas erupted with the Wakarusa War, the Sacking of Lawrence, the caning of Republican Charles Sumner by the Southerner Preston Brooks, the Pottawatomie Massacre, 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 which, 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. 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.

Other factors include sectionalism, which was caused by the prosperity and growth of slavery in the cotton South while slavery was phased out of Northern states and steadily declined in the Border states that lacked cotton. 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 and argue that Northern and Southern economies were largely complementary. There was the polarizing effect of slavery that split the largest religious denominations (the Methodist, Baptist and Presbyterian churches) and controversy caused by the worst cruelties of slavery (whippings, mutilations and families split apart). The fact that seven immigrants out of eight settled in the North, plus movement of twice as many whites leaving the South for the North as vice versa, contributed to the South's defensive-aggressive political behavior.

The election of Lincoln in 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.

Slavery

[[Image:Abraham Lincoln seated, Feb 9, 1864.jpg|thumb|upright|Abraham Lincoln16th President of the United States (1861–1865)]]


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 Virginiamarker, North Carolinamarker, Arkansasmarker, and Tennesseemarker 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. As of 1850 the percentage of Southern whites living in families that owned slaves was 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. 85 percent of slaveowners who owned 100 or more slaves lived in the lower South, as opposed to one percent in the border states. 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. Consequently, fears of eventual emancipation were much greater in the South than in the North.

The US Supreme Courtmarker decision of 1857 in Dred Scott v. Sandford added to the controversy. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney's decision said that slaves were "so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect". Taney then overturned the Missouri Compromise, which banned slavery in territory north of the 36°30' parallel. He stated that "the 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." The Dred Scott decision was praised by Democrats, 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" could threaten Northern states with slavery.

Abraham 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." The slavery issue was related to sectional competition for control of the territories, 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." 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. The Texas Declaration of Causes for Secession 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."

Beginning in the 1830s, the US Postmaster General refused to allow mail which carried abolition pamphlets to the South. 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.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."

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 Kansasmarker 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.

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." A few secessionists mentioned the tariff issue along with slavery, but these were rare. Among other reasons, slavery represented much more money than the tariff. However, a few libertarian economists place more importance on the tariff issue. There were non-slavery related causes of secession, but they had little to do with tariffs or states' rights.

Secession begins

[[Image:US Secession map 1861.svg|thumb|right|
Status of the states, 1861.
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[[Image:US Secession map 1865.svg|thumb|right|
State and territory boundaries, 1864–5.


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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

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. 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". One quarter of the U.S. Army—the entire garrison in Texas—was surrendered 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

Seven Deep South cotton states seceded by February 1861, starting with South Carolinamarker, Mississippimarker, Floridamarker, Alabamamarker, Georgiamarker, Louisianamarker, and Texasmarker. 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: Virginiamarker, Arkansasmarker, North Carolinamarker and Tennesseemarker. The northwestern portion of Virginia subsequently seceded from Virginia, joining the Union as the new state of West Virginiamarker on June 20, 1863. By the end of 1861, Missourimarker and Kentuckymarker were divided each of them having a pro-Southern and pro-Northern government.

The Union states

Twenty-three states remained loyal to the Union: Californiamarker, Connecticutmarker, Delawaremarker, Illinoismarker, Indianamarker, Iowamarker, Kansasmarker, Kentuckymarker, Mainemarker, Marylandmarker, Massachusettsmarker, Michiganmarker, Minnesotamarker, Missourimarker, New Hampshiremarker, New Jerseymarker, New Yorkmarker, Ohiomarker, Oregonmarker, Pennsylvaniamarker, Rhode Islandmarker, Vermontmarker, and Wisconsinmarker. During the war, Nevadamarker and West Virginiamarker joined as new states of the Union. Tennesseemarker and Louisianamarker were returned to Union military control early in the war.

The territories of Colorado, Dakota, Nebraskamarker, 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 Oklahomamarker) a small bloody civil war.

Border states

The border states in the Union were West Virginiamarker (which was separated from Virginia and became a new state), and four of the five northernmost slave states (Marylandmarker, Delawaremarker, Missourimarker, and Kentuckymarker).

Marylandmarker had numerous pro-Confederate officials who tolerated anti-Union rioting in Baltimore and the burning of bridges. Lincoln responded with martial law and called for troops. Militia units that had been drilling in the North rushed toward Washington, DCmarker and Baltimore. Before the Confederate government realized what was happening, Lincoln had seized firm control of Maryland and the District of Columbia, by arresting all the Maryland government members and holding them without trial.

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. After the Camp Jackson Affairmarker Lyon 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.

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.

After Virginia's secession, a Unionist government in Wheeling asked a total of 48 counties to vote on an ordinance to create a new state on October 24, 1861. Returns were received from 41 of the 48 counties, and a minority turnout voted heavily in favor of the new state, at first called Kanawha but later renamed West Virginiamarker, which was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863. Jefferson and Berkeley counties were annexed to the new state in late 1863. The western counties of Virginia had voted nearly 2 to 1 against secession, though 24 of the 50 counties had voted for secession. Soldier numbers from West Virginia were about evenly divided between the Confederacy and the Union.

A similar Unionist secession attempt occurred in East Tennessee, but was suppressed by the Confederacy. Jefferson Davis arrested over 3000 men suspected of being loyal to the Union and held them without trial.

Overview



Over 10,000 military engagements took place during the war, 40% of them in Virginia and Tennessee. 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 war begins

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 Montgomerymarker, Alabamamarker. 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. 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". 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.

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. However, Secretary of State William Seward engaged in unauthorized and indirect negotiations that failed.

Fort Sumtermarker in Charleston, South Carolina, Fort Pickensmarker and Fort Taylormarker were the remaining Union-held forts in the Confederacy, and Lincoln was determined to hold Fort Sumter. Under orders from Confederate President Jefferson Davis, troops controlled by the Confederate government under P. G. T. Beauregard bombarded the fort with artillery on April 12, forcing the fort's 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. For months before that, several Northern governors had discreetly readied their state militias; they began to move forces the next day. Liberty Arsenalmarker in Liberty, Missourimarker was seized eight days after Fort Sumter.

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 Richmondmarker. 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 Atlantamarker and cut off almost entirely when Grant besieged Petersburgmarker and its railroads that supplied the Southern capital.

Anaconda Plan and blockade, 1861



Winfield Scott, the commanding general of the U.S. Army, devised the Anaconda Plan to win the war with as little bloodshed as possible. 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, but overruled Scott's warnings against an immediate attack on Richmond.

In May 1861, Lincoln enacted the Union blockade of all Southern ports, ending regular international shipments to the Confederacy. When violators' ships and cargoes were seized, they were sold and the proceeds given to Union sailors, but the British crews were released. By late 1861, the blockade stopped most local port-to-port traffic. The blockade shut down King Cotton, ruining the Southern economy. British investors built small, fast "blockade runners" that traded arms and luxuries brought in from Bermudamarker, Cubamarker and the Bahamasmarker in return for high-priced cotton and tobacco. Shortages of food and other goods triggered by the blockade, foraging by Northern armies, and the impressment of crops by Confederate armies combined to cause hyperinflation and bread riots in the South.

On March 8, 1862, the Confederate Navy waged a fight against the Union Navy when the ironclad CSS Virginia attacked the blockade; against wooden ships she seemed unstoppable but the next day she had to fight the new Union warship USS Monitor in the Battle of the Ironclads. The battle ended in a draw, which was a strategic victory for the Union in that the blockade was sustained. 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

A Union Regimental Fife and Drum Corps


Because of the fierce resistance of a few initial Confederate forces at Manassasmarker, Virginiamarker, 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 Runmarker, or First Manassas, whereupon they were forced back to Washington, D.C.marker, by Confederate troops 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. 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 peninsulamarker between the York Rivermarker and James River, southeast of Richmond. Although McClellan's army reached the gates of Richmond in the Peninsula Campaign, Johnston halted his advance at the Battle of Seven Pinesmarker, 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 Campaignmarker, which included the Second Battle of Bull Runmarker, 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, when 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 Antietammarker near Sharpsburgmarker, Marylandmarker, 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.
Confederate dead behind the stone wall of Marye's Heights, Fredericksburg, Virginia, killed during the Battle of Chancellorsville, May 1863
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 Fredericksburgmarker 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 Chancellorsvillemarker 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 Gettysburgmarker (July 1 to July 3, 1863), the bloodiest battle of the war, which is sometimes considered the war's turning point. Pickett's Chargemarker on July 3 is often recalled as the high-water mark of the Confederacy, not just because it signaled the end of Lee's plan to pressure Washington from the north, but also because Vicksburg, Mississippi, the key stronghold to control of the Mississippi, fell the following day. 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 decided to turn to the Western Theater for new leadership.

Western Theater 1861–1863

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 Columbusmarker, Kentuckymarker ended Kentucky's policy of neutrality and turned that state against the Confederacy. Nashvillemarker and central Tennesseemarker fell to the Union early in 1862, leading to attrition of local food supplies and livestock and a breakdown in social organization.

Most of the Mississippi was opened to Union traffic with the taking of Island No. 10 and New Madridmarker, Missourimarker, and then Memphis, Tennesseemarker. In May 1862 the Union Navy captured New Orleansmarker without a major fight, which allowed Union forces to begin moving up the Mississippi. Only the fortress city of Vicksburgmarker, Mississippimarker, 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 Perryvillemarker, 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 Rivermarker in Tennesseemarker.

The one clear Confederate victory in the West was the Battle of Chickamaugamarker. 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 Chattanoogamarker, which Bragg then besieged.

The Union's key strategist and tactician in the West was Ulysses S. Grant, who won victories at Forts Henrymarker and Donelsonmarker (by which the Union seized control of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers); the Battle of Shilohmarker; and the Battle of Vicksburgmarker, 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 Chattanoogamarker, driving Confederate forces out of Tennessee and opening a route to Atlanta and the heart of the Confederacy.

Trans-Mississippi Theater 1861–1865

Guerrilla activity turned much of Missouri into a battleground. Missouri had, in total, the third-most battles of any state during the war. 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.

End of the war 1864–1865

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. This was total war not in terms of killing civilians but rather in terms of destroying homes, farms, and railroads. Grant devised a coordinated strategy that would strike at the entire Confederacy from multiple directions: Generals George Meade and Benjamin Butler were ordered to move against Lee near Richmond; General Franz Sigel (and later Philip Sheridan) were to attack the Shenandoah Valley; General Sherman was to capture Atlantamarker and march to the sea (the Atlantic Ocean); Generals George Crook and William W. Averell were to operate against railroad supply lines in West Virginiamarker; and Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks was to capture Mobilemarker, Alabamamarker.

Union forces in the East attempted to maneuver past Lee and fought several battles during that phase ("Grant's Overland Campaign") of the Eastern campaign. Grant's battles of attrition at the Wilderness, Spotsylvaniamarker, and Cold Harbormarker resulted in heavy Union losses, but forced Lee's Confederates to fall back repeatedly. An attempt to outflank Lee from the south failed under Butler, who was trapped inside the Bermuda Hundredmarker river bend. Grant was tenacious and, despite astonishing losses (over 65,000 casualties in seven weeks), kept pressing Lee's Army of Northern Virginia back to Richmond. He pinned down the Confederate army in the Siege of Petersburgmarker, where the two armies engaged in trench warfare for over nine months.

Grant finally found a commander, General Philip Sheridan, aggressive enough to prevail in the Valley Campaigns of 1864. Sheridan defeated Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early in a series of battles, including a final decisive defeat at the Battle of Cedar Creekmarker. Sheridan then proceeded to destroy the agricultural base of the Shenandoah Valleymarker, a strategy similar to the tactics Sherman later employed in Georgia.

Meanwhile, Sherman marched from Chattanooga to Atlanta, defeating Confederate Generals Joseph E. Johnston and John Bell Hood along the way. The fall of Atlanta, on September 2, 1864, was a significant factor in the reelection of Lincoln as president. Hood left the Atlanta area to menace Sherman's supply lines and invade Tennessee in the Franklin-Nashville Campaign. Union Maj. Gen. John Schofield defeated Hood at the Battle of Franklinmarker, and George H. Thomas dealt Hood a massive defeat at the Battle of Nashville, effectively destroying Hood's army.

Leaving Atlanta, and his base of supplies, Sherman's army marched with an unknown destination, laying waste to about 20% of the farms in Georgia in his "March to the Sea". He reached the Atlantic Ocean at Savannahmarker, Georgiamarker in December 1864. Sherman's army was followed by thousands of freed slaves; there were no major battles along the March. Sherman turned north through South Carolina and North Carolina to approach the Confederate Virginia lines from the south, increasing the pressure on Lee's army.

Lee's army, thinned by desertion and casualties, was now much smaller than Grant's. Union forces won a decisive victory at the Battle of Five Forksmarker on April 1, forcing Lee to evacuate Petersburg and Richmond. The Confederate capital fell to the Union XXV Corps, composed of black troops. The remaining Confederate units fled west and after a defeat at Sayler's Creekmarker, it became clear to Robert E. Lee that continued fighting against the United States was both tactically and logistically impossible.

Confederate Surrenders

Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, 1865, at the McLean House in the village of Appomattox Court Housemarker. In an untraditional gesture and as a sign of Grant's respect and anticipation of peacefully folding the Confederacy back into the Union, Lee was permitted to keep his officer's saber and his horse, Traveller. On April 14, 1865, President Lincoln was shotmarker. Lincoln died early the next morning, and Andrew Johnson became President.

Events leading to Lee's surrender began with the capture of key Confederate officers Richard S. Ewell and Richard H. Anderson on April 6, following Confederate defeat at the battle of Sayler's Creekmarker. On April 8 Union cavalry under Major General George Armstrong Custer destroyed three trains of Confederate supplies at Appomattox Station, leading to the surrender of General Lee the next day. General St. John Richardson Liddell's army surrendered after the loss of the Confederate fortifications at the Battle of Spanish Fort in Alabama, also on April 9.

On April 21 John S. Mosby’s raiders of the 43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry disbanded and on April 26 General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered his troops to Sherman at Bennett Placemarker in Durhammarker, North Carolinamarker.Surrendering on May 4 and 5 were the Confederate departments of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana regiments and the District of the Gulf. The Confederate President was captured on May 10 and the surrender of the Department of Florida and South Georgia happened the same day. Confederate Brigadier General "Jeff" Meriwether Thompson surrendered his brigade the next day and the day following saw the surrender of the Confederate forces of North Georgia.

On June 23, 1865, at Fort Towsonmarker in the Choctaw Nations' area of the Oklahoma Territory, Stand Watie signed a cease-fire agreement with Union representatives, becoming the last Confederate general in the field to stand down. The last Confederate ship to surrender was the CSS Shenandoah, on November 6, 1865, in Liverpoolmarker, Englandmarker. These surrenders marked the conclusion of the American Civil War.

Slavery during the war

At the beginning of the war some Union commanders thought they were supposed to return escaped slaves to their masters. By 1862, when it became clear that this would be a long war, the question of what to do about slavery became more general. The Southern economy and military effort depended on slave labor. It began to seem unreasonable to protect slavery while blockading Southern commerce and destroying Southern production. As one Congressman put it, the slaves "...cannot be neutral. As laborers, if not as soldiers, they will be allies of the rebels, or of the Union." The same Congressman—and his fellow Radical Republicans—put pressure on Lincoln to rapidly emancipate the slaves, whereas moderate Republicans came to accept gradual, compensated emancipation and colonization. Copperheads, the border states and War Democrats opposed emancipation, although the border states and War Democrats eventually accepted it as part of total war needed to save the Union.

In 1861, Lincoln expressed the fear that premature attempts at emancipation would mean the loss of the border states, and that "to lose Kentucky is nearly the same as to lose the whole game." At first, Lincoln reversed attempts at emancipation by Secretary of War Simon Cameron and Generals John C. Frémont (in Missouri) and David Hunter (in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida) to keep the loyalty of the border states and the War Democrats.

Lincoln warned the border states that a more radical type of emancipation would happen if his gradual plan based on compensated emancipation and voluntary colonization was rejected. Only the District of Columbia accepted Lincoln's gradual plan, and Lincoln mentioned his Emancipation Proclamation to members of his cabinet on July 21, 1862. Secretary of State William H. Seward told Lincoln to wait for a victory before issuing the proclamation, as to do otherwise would seem like "our last shriek on the retreat". In September 1862 the Battle of Antietammarker provided this opportunity, and the subsequent War Governors' Conference added support for the proclamation. Lincoln had already published a letter encouraging the border states especially to accept emancipation as necessary to save the Union. Lincoln later said that slavery was "somehow the cause of the war". Lincoln issued his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, and his final Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. In his letter to Hodges, Lincoln explained his belief that "If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong ... And yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and feeling ... I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me."

Since the Emancipation Proclamation was based on the President's war powers, it only included territory held by Confederates at the time. However, the Proclamation became a symbol of the Union's growing commitment to add emancipation to the Union's definition of liberty. Lincoln also played a leading role in getting Congress to vote for the Thirteenth Amendment, which made emancipation universal and permanent.

Enslaved African Americans did not wait for Lincoln's action before escaping and seeking freedom behind Union lines. From early years of the war, hundreds of thousands of African Americans escaped to Union lines, especially in occupied areas like Nashville, Norfolk and the Hampton Roads region in 1862, Tennessee from 1862 on, the line of Sherman's march, etc. So many African Americans fled to Union lines that commanders created camps and schools for them, where both adults and children learned to read and write. The American Missionary Association entered the war effort by sending teachers south to such contraband camps, for instance establishing schools in Norfolk and on nearby plantations. In addition, nearly 200,000 African-American men served as soldiers and sailors with Union troops. Most of those were escaped slaves.

Confederates enslaved captured black Union soldiers, and black soldiers especially were shot when trying to surrender at the Fort Pillow Massacremarker. This led to a breakdown of the prisoner exchange program and the growth of prison camps such as Andersonville prisonmarker in Georgia, where almost 13,000 Union prisoners of war died of starvation and disease.

In spite of the South's shortage of manpower, until 1865, most Southern leaders opposed arming slaves as soldiers. They used them as laborers to support the war effort. As Howell Cobb said, "If slaves will make good soldiers our whole theory of slavery is wrong." Confederate generals Patrick Cleburne and Robert E. Lee argued in favor of arming blacks late in the war, and Jefferson Davis was eventually persuaded to support plans for arming slaves to avoid military defeat. The Confederacy surrendered at Appomattoxmarker before this plan could be implemented.

The Emancipation Proclamation greatly reduced the Confederacy's hope of getting aid from Britain or France. Lincoln's moderate approach succeeded in getting border states, War Democrats and emancipated slaves fighting on the same side for the Union. The Union-controlled border states (Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, Delaware and West Virginia) were not covered by the Emancipation Proclamation. All abolished slavery on their own, except Kentucky and Delaware. The great majority of the 4 million slaves were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, as Union armies moved South. The 13th amendment, ratified December 6, 1865, finally freed the remaining slaves in Kentucky, Delaware, and New Jersey, that numbered 225,000 for Kentucky, 1,800 in Delaware, and 18 in New Jersey as of 1860.

Historian Stephen Oates said that many myths surround Lincoln: "man of the people", "true Christian", "arch villain" and racist. The belief that Lincoln was racist was caused by an incomplete picture of Lincoln, such as focusing on only selective quoting of statements Lincoln made to gain the support of the border states and Northern Democrats, and ignoring the many things he said against slavery, and the military and political context within which such statements were made. Oates said that Lincoln's letter to Horace Greeley has been "persistently misunderstood and misrepresented" for such reasons.

Threat of international intervention

Entry into the war by Britain and France on behalf of the Confederacy would have greatly increased the South's chances of winning independence from the Union. 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 (none ever did). In 1861, Southerners voluntarily embargoed cotton shipments, hoping to start an economic depression in Europe that would force Britain to enter the war in order to get cotton. 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 was said that "King Corn was more powerful than King Cotton", as US grain went from a quarter of the British import trade to almost half.

When Britain did face a cotton shortage, it was temporary, being replaced by increased cultivation in Egypt and India. Meanwhile, the war created employment for arms makers, iron workers, and British ships to transport weapons.

Charles Francis Adams proved particularly adept as minister to Britain for the U.S. and Britain was reluctant to boldly challenge the blockade. The Confederacy purchased several warships from commercial ship builders in Britain. The most famous, the CSS Alabamamarker, did considerable damage and led to serious postwar disputes. However, public opinion against slavery created a political liability for European politicians, especially in Britain. War loomed in late 1861 between the U.S. and Britain over the Trent Affair, involving the U.S. Navy's boarding of a British mail steamer to seize two Confederate diplomats. However, London and Washington were able to smooth over the problem after Lincoln released the two.

In 1862, the British considered mediation—though even such an offer would have risked war with the U.S. Lord Palmerston reportedly read Uncle Tom’s Cabin three times when deciding on this. The Union victory in the Battle of Antietammarker caused them to delay this decision. The Emancipation Proclamation further reinforced the political liability of supporting the Confederacy. Despite sympathy for the Confederacy, France's own 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.

Victory and aftermath

Historians have debated whether the Confederacy could have won the war. Most scholars emphasize that the Union held an insurmountable long-term advantage over the Confederacy in terms of industrial strength and population. Confederate actions, they argue, only delayed defeat. Southern 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." 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 succeeded in getting the support of the border states, War Democrats, emancipated slaves and Britain and France. By defeating the Democrats and McClellan, he also defeated the Copperheads and their peace platform. Lincoln had also found military leaders like Grant and Sherman who would press the Union's numerical advantage in battle over the Confederate Armies. Generals who did not shy from bloodshed won the war, and from the end of 1864 onward there was no hope for the South.

On the other hand, James McPherson has argued that the North’s advantage in population and resources made Northern victory likely, but not inevitable. 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.

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.

The Confederate government failed in its attempt to get Europe involved in the war militarily, particularly England 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 England's hostility to the institution of slavery, along with Lincoln's Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico naval blockades, severely decreased any chance that either England or France would enter the war.

Comparison of Union and CSA
Union CSA
Total population 22,100,000 (71%) 9,100,000 (29%)
Free population 21,700,000 5,600,000
1860 Border state slaves 400,000 NA
1860 Southern slaves NA 3,500,000
Soldiers 2,100,000 (67%) 1,064,000 (33%)
Railroad miles 21,788 (71%) 8,838 (29%)
Manufactured items 90% 10%
Firearm production 97% 3%
Bales of cotton in 1860 Negligible 4,500,000
Bales of cotton in 1864 Negligible 300,000
Pre-war U.S. exports 30% 70%


The more industrialized economy of the North aided in the production of arms, munitions and supplies, as well as finances, and transportation. The table shows the relative advantage of the Union over the Confederate States of America (CSA) at the start of the war. The advantages widened rapidly during the war, as the Northern economy grew, and Confederate territory shrank and its economy weakened. The Union population was 22 million and the South 9 million in 1861; the Southern population included more than 3.5 million slaves and about 5.5 million whites, thus leaving the South's white population outnumbered by a ratio of more than four to one compared with that of the North. The disparity grew as the Union controlled an increasing amount of southern territory with garrisons, and cut off the trans-Mississippi part of the Confederacy. The Union at the start controlled over 80% of the shipyards, steamships, river boats, and the Navy. It augmented these by a massive shipbuilding program. This enabled the Union to control the river systems and to blockade the entire southern coastline. Excellent railroad links between Union cities allowed for the quick and cheap movement of troops and supplies. Transportation was much slower and more difficult in the South which was unable to augment its much smaller rail system, repair damage, or even perform routine maintenance. The failure of Davis to maintain positive and productive relationships with state governors (especially governor Joseph E. Brown of Georgia and governor Zebulon Baird Vance of North Carolina) damaged his ability to draw on regional resources. The Confederacy's "King Cotton" misperception of the world economy led to bad diplomacy, such as the refusal to ship cotton before the blockade started.The Emancipation Proclamation enabled African-Americans, both free blacks and escaped slaves, to join the Union Army. About 190,000 volunteered, further enhancing the numerical advantage the Union armies enjoyed over the Confederates, who did not dare emulate the equivalent manpower source for fear of fundamentally undermining the legitimacy of slavery. Emancipated slaves mostly handled garrison duties, and fought numerous battles in 1864–65. European immigrants joined the Union Army in large numbers, including 177,000 born in Germany and 144,000 born in Ireland.

Reconstruction

Northern leaders agreed that victory would require more than the end of fighting. It had to encompass the two war goals: secession had to be totally repudiated and all forms of slavery had to be eliminated. They disagreed sharply on the criteria for these goals. They also disagreed on the degree of federal control that should be imposed on the South, and the process by which Southern states should be reintegrated into the Union.

Reconstruction, which began early in the war and ended in 1877, involved a complex and rapidly changing series of federal and state policies. The long-term result came in the three Reconstruction Amendments to the Constitution: the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery; the Fourteenth Amendment, which extended federal legal protections equally to citizens regardless of race; and the Fifteenth Amendment, which abolished racial restrictions on voting. Reconstruction ended in the different states at different times, the last three by the Compromise of 1877.

For further details on how the protections of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments were subverted, see:

Results



Slavery effectively ended in the U.S. in the spring of 1865 when the Confederate armies surrendered. All slaves in the Confederacy were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, which stipulated that slaves in Confederate-held areas were free. Slaves in the border states and Union-controlled parts of the South were freed by state action or (on December 6, 1865) by the Thirteenth Amendment. The full restoration of the Union was the work of a highly contentious postwar era known as Reconstruction. The war produced about 1,030,000 casualties (3% of the population), including about 620,000 soldier deaths—two-thirds by disease. The war accounted for roughly as many American deaths as all American deaths in other U.S. wars combined. The causes of the war, the reasons for its outcome, and even the name of the war itself are subjects of lingering contention today. About 4 million black slaves were freed in 1861–65. Based on 1860 census figures, 8% of all white males aged 13 to 43 died in the war, including 6% in the North and an extraordinary 18% in the South. One reason for the high number of battle deaths during the war was the use of Napoleonic tactics such as charges. 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 a few experimental Gatling guns, soldiers were devastated when standing in lines in the open. This gave birth to trench warfare, a tactic heavily used during World War I.

See also



Notes

  1. 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.
  2. Howard Jones, Abraham Lincoln and a New Birth of Freedom: The Union and Slavery in the Diplomacy of the Civil War (1999) p. 154
  3. Abraham Lincoln, House Divided Speech, Springfield, Illinois, June 16, 1858.
  4. Shelby Foote, The Civil War: Fort Sumter to Perryville, p. 34.
  5. Let there be no compromise on the question of extending slavery. If there be, all our labor is lost, and, ere long, must be done again. The dangerous ground—that into which some of our friends have a hankering to run—is Pop. Sov. Have none of it. Stand firm. The tug has to come, & better now, than any time hereafter. – Abraham Lincoln to Lyman Trumbull, December 10, 1860.
  6. James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, pp. 241, 253.
  7. Declarations of Causes for: Georgia, Adopted in January 29, 1861; Mississippi, Adopted in 1861 (no exact date found); South Carolina, Adopted in December 24, 1860; Texas, Adopted in February 2, 1861.
  8. The New Heresy, Southern Punch, editor John Wilford Overall, September 19, 1864 is one of many references that indicate that the Republican hope of gradually ending slavery was the Southern fear. It said in part, "Our doctrine is this: WE ARE FIGHTING FOR INDEPENDENCE THAT OUR GREAT AND NECESSARY DOMESTIC INSTITUTION OF SLAVERY SHALL BE PRESERVED."
  9. David Potter, The Impending Crisis, pages 33–50. Potter argued that the states rights theory of causes (page 33) and various cultural and economic "causes" can't be separated from the slavery issue.
  10. Jefferson Davis' Resolutions on the Relations of States, Senate Chamber, U.S. Capitol, February 2, 1860, From The Papers of Jefferson Davis, Volume 6, pp. 273–76. – Davis states' rights argument for slavery in the territories is as follows: Resolved, That the union of these States rests on the equality of rights and privileges among its members, and that it is especially the duty of the Senate, which represents the States in their sovereign capacity, to resist all attempts to discriminate either in relation to person or property, so as, in the Territories – which are the common possession of the United States – to give advantages to the citizens of one State which are not equally secured to those of every other State."
  11. J.L.M. Curry: The Perils and Duty of the South – Speech Delivered in Talladega, Alabama, November 26, 1860 – This was one of many Southern states' rights arguments for defending slavery.
  12. Lincoln's Speech in Chicago, December 10, 1856 in which he said, "We shall again be able not to declare, that 'all States as States, are equal,' nor yet that 'all citizens as citizens are equal,' but to renew the broader, better declaration, including both these and much more, that 'all men are created equal.'"; Also, Lincoln's Letter to Henry L. Pierce, April 6, 1859.
  13. From Alexander Stephens' Cornerstone Speech, March 21, 1861, The Athenaeum, Savannah Georgia – 'The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution – African slavery as it exists amongst us – the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the "storm came and the wind blew." Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery – subordination to the superior race – is his natural and normal condition. [Applause.] '
  14. Stampp, The Causes of the Civil War, pages 152–153 (Cornerstone Speech). Stampp said Stephens' Cornerstone Speech "was in striking contrast to his postwar constitutional interpretation."
  15. Stampp, The Causes of the Civil War, page 32 (A Constitutional View of the Late War Between the States) Stampp used the following quote to illustrate the fact that, after Confederate defeat, Stephens argued that the war was caused not by slavery but by states' rights controversies: "It is a postulate, with many writers of this day, that the late War was the result of two opposing ideas, or principles, upon the subject of African Slavery. Between these, according to their theory, sprung the 'irrepressible conflict,' in principle, which ended in the terrible conflict in arms. Those who assume this postulate, and so theorize upon it, are but superficial observers. That the war had its origin in opposing principles, which in their action upon the conduct of men, produced the ultimate conflict of arms, may be assumed as an unquestionable fact. But the opposing principles which produced these results in physical action were of a very different character from those assumed in the postulate. They lay in the organic Structure of the Government of the States ... between the supporters of a strictly Federative Government, on the one side, and a thoroughly National one, on the other."
  16. James McPherson, This Mighty Scourge page 4. McPherson writes, "After the war, however, Davis and Stephens changed their tune. By the time they wrote their histories of the Confederacy, slavery was gone with the wind – a dead and discredited institution. To concede that the Confederacy had broken up the United States and launched a war that killed 620,000 Americans in a vain attempt to keep four million people in bondage would not confer honor on their lost cause.
  17. James McPherson, This Mighty Scourge, pages 3–9. Speaking of alternative explanations for secession, McPherson writes (p.7), "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.
  18. The People's Chronology, 1994 by James Trager
  19. Allan Nevins, Ordeal of the Union: A House Dividing – 1852–1857, pp. 267–269.
  20. Freehling, Prelude to Civil War, page 297; Willentz page 388 – On March 13, 1833, Rhett said, "A people, owning slaves, are mad, or worse than mad, who do not hold their destinies in their own hands... Every stride of this Government, over your rights, brings it nearer and nearer to your peculiar policy. ... The whole world are in arms against your institutions … Let Gentlemen not be deceived. It is not the Tariff – not Internal Improvement – nor yet the Force bill, which constitutes the great evil against which we are contending... These are but the forms in which the despotic nature of the government is evinced – but it is the despotism which constitutes the evil: and until this Government is made a limited Government... there is no liberty – no security for the South."
  21. As early as 1830, in the midst of the Nullification Crisis, Calhoun identified the right to own slaves as the chief southern minority right being threatened: "I consider the tariff act as the occasion, rather than the real cause of the present unhappy state of things. The truth can no longer be disguised, that the peculiar domestick [sic] institution of the Southern States and the consequent direction which that and her soil have given to her industry, has placed them in regard to taxation and appropriations in opposite relation to the majority of the Union, against the danger of which, if there be no protective power in the reserved rights of the states they must in the end be forced to rebel, or, submit to have their paramount interests sacrificed, their domestic institutions subordinated by Colonization and other schemes, and themselves and children reduced to wretchedness." – Ellis, Richard E. The Union at Risk: Jacksonian Democracy, States' Rights, and the Nullification Crisis (1987), page 193; Freehling, William W. Prelude to Civil War: The Nullification Crisis in South Carolina 1816–1836. (1965), page 257; Ellis p. 193. Ellis further notes that "Calhoun and the nullifiers were not the first southerners to link slavery with states’ rights. At various points in their careers, John Taylor, John Randolph, and Nathaniel Macon had warned that giving too much power to the federal government, especially on such an open-ended issue as internal improvement, could ultimately provide it with the power to emancipate slaves against their owners’ wishes."
  22. John Niven, John C. Calhoun and the Price of Union, page 197 – The author said the following about Calhoun's description of the tariff issue: "Finally, the root of the nullification crisis was exposed. What had begun as a reaction to a depression in the cotton states, a slump that had been particularly severe in South Carolina, had rapidly resolved itself into an all-encompassing fear on the part of a majority of the planter elite class that the growing industrialization of the North, expressing itself politically through the majority will, would eventually demand emancipation, heedless of the social consequences."
  23. William E. Gienapp, "The Crisis of American Democracy: The Political System and the Coming of the Civil War." in Boritt ed. Why the Civil War Came 79–123.
  24. McPherson, Battle Cry pp. 88–91.
  25. Most of her slave owners are "decent, honorable people, themselves victims" of that institution. Much of her description was based on personal observation, and the descriptions of Southerners; she herself calls them and Legree representatives of different types of masters.;Gerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, p. 68; Stowe, Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin (1953) p. 39.
  26. David Potter, The Impending Crisis, pp. 201–204, 299–327.
  27. David Potter, The Impending Crisis, page 208
  28. David Potter, The Impending Crisis, pages 208–209
  29. Fox Butterfield; All God's Children page 17
  30. David Potter, The Impending Crisis, pages 210–211
  31. David Potter, The Impending Crisis, pages 212–213
  32. David Potter, The Impending Crisis, p. 356–384
  33. Kenneth M. Stampp, The Imperiled Union: Essays on the Background of the Civil War (1981) p 198; Woodworth, ed. The American Civil War: A Handbook of Literature and Research (1996), 145 151 505 512 554 557 684; Richard Hofstadter, The Progressive Historians: Turner, Beard, Parrington (1969)
  34. James McPherson, Drawn With the Sword, page 11
  35. James McPherson, "Antebellum Southern Exceptionalism: A New Look at an Old Question," Civil War History 29 (September 1983)
  36. David Potter, The Impending Crisis, page 485
  37. James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom 1988 p 242, 255, 282–83. Maps on page 101 (The Southern Economy) and page 236 (The Progress of Secession) are also relevant
  38. David Potter, The Impending Crisis, pages 503–505
  39. William W. Freehling, The Road to Disunion: Secessionists at Bay 1776–1854, pages 17- 19. Freehling also said that as of 1850, 21 percent of border state blacks were free, as opposed to two percent in the lower South, and that over half of the South's manufactured goods were made in the border states, while less than a fifth of the total was produced in the lower South.
  40. James McPherson, Drawn with the Sword, page 15
  41. David Potter, The Impending Crisis, page 275
  42. Roger B. Taney: Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)
  43. First Lincoln Douglas Debate at Ottawa, Illinois August 21, 1858
  44. Abraham Lincoln, Speech at New Haven, Conn., March 6, 1860
  45. McPherson, Battle Cry, page 195
  46. John Townsend, The Doom of Slavery in the Union, its Safety out of it, October 29, 1860
  47. McPherson, Battle Cry, page 243
  48. David Potter, The Impending Crisis, page 461
  49. William C. Davis, Look Away, pages 130–140
  50. William W. Freehling, The Road to Disunion, page 42
  51. A Declaration of the Causes which Impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union, February2, 1861 – A declaration of the causes which impel the State of Texas to secede from the Federal Union.
  52. Speech of E. S. Dargan to the Secession Convention of Alabama, 11 January 1861, in Wikisource
  53. Schlesinger Age of Jackson, p.190
  54. David Brion Davis, Inhuman Bondage (2006) p 197, 409; Stanley Harrold, The Abolitionists and the South, 1831–1861 (1995) p. 62; Jane H. and William H. Pease, "Confrontation and Abolition in the 1850s" Journal of American History (1972) 58(4): 923–937.
  55. Eric Foner. Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War (1970), p. 9
  56. William W. Freehling, The Road to Disunion: Secessionists Triumphant 1854–1861, pages 9–24
  57. William W. Freehling, The Road to Disunion, Secessionists Triumphant, pages 269–462, page 274 (The quote about slave states "encircled by fire" is from the New Orleans Delta, May 13, 1860)
  58. Mark Thornton and Robert B. Ekelund, Jr., Tariffs, Blockades, and Inflation: The Economics of the Civil War
  59. James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, page 254
  60. President James Buchanan, Message of December 8, 1860 online
  61. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 284–287
  62. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 290–293
  63. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 293–297
  64. Curry, Richard O. "A House Divided", pgs. 149-50
  65. "Now, Mr. President, to show you-and it needs but to look at the figures to satisfy the mind of every member-that even a majority of the people within the district of the thirty-nine counties have never come to the polls and expressed their sentiments in favor of a new State. In a voting population of some 40,000 or 50,000 we see a poll of only 17,627-and even some of them were in the [Union] army." Judge Chapman J. Stuart, Wheeling, December 10, 1861, "Debates and Proceedings of the First Constitutional Convention of West Virginia", Vol. 1, pg. 376.
  66. Lewis, Virgil "History and Government of West Virginia", 1973 ed., pg. 191
  67. West Virginia – a History, Otis K. Rice and Stephen W. Brown, page 116 – The authors state that of the 47 members of the Virginia Convention of 1861 that were from West Virginia, 32 opposed secession, 11 were in favor of secession, and four did not vote. The four that did not vote later signed the ordinance of secession.
  68. Curry, ibid., pgs. 142-47
  69. Linger, James Carter, "Confederate Military Units of West Virginia", Tulsa, OK, 2002 ed.. pgs. 59–81; Ambler, Charles "Disfranchisement in West Virginia", Yale Review, 1905, pg. 38, "About twenty thousand men, coming chiefly from the "loyal" region, joined the Federal armies. The number accredited the State is about thirty-two thousand, but many of these came from Ohio and Pennsylvania. There were also many re-enlistments.";Reid, Whitelaw "Ohio in the War", Vol. 2, pg. 3, "In the course of the war she furnished...large parts of five regiments credited to the West Virginia contingent...
  70. Mark Neely, Confederate Bastille: Jefferson Davis and Civil Liberties 1993 p. 10–11
  71. Gabor Boritt, ed. War Comes Again (1995) p 247
  72. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 234–266
  73. Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, Monday, March 4, 1861
  74. Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861
  75. David Potter, The Impending Crisis, pages 572–573
  76. James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, page 274
  77. Massachusetts in the Civil War, William Schouler, 1868 book republished by Digital Scanning Inc, 2003 – See the account at [1]
  78. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 276–307
  79. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 333–335
  80. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 378–380
  81. Heidler, 1651–53
  82. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 373–377
  83. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 339–345
  84. James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, page 342
  85. Shelby Foote, The Civil War: Fort Sumter to Perryville, pages 464–519
  86. Bruce Catton, Terrible Swift Sword, pages 263–296
  87. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 424–427
  88. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 538–544
  89. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 528–533
  90. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 543–545
  91. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 557–558
  92. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 571–574
  93. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 639–645
  94. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 653–663
  95. James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, page 664
  96. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 404–405
  97. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 418–420
  98. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 419–420
  99. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 480–483
  100. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 405–413
  101. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 637–638
  102. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 677–680
  103. Mark E. Neely Jr.; "Was the Civil War a Total War?" Civil War History, Vol. 50, 2004 pp 434+
  104. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 724–735
  105. James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, pages 741–742
  106. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 778–779
  107. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 773–775
  108. James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, pages 774–776
  109. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 812–815
  110. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 825–830
  111. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 846–847
  112. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 848–850
  113. Davis, To Appomattox – Nine April Days, 1865, pp. 298, 322, 331–333, 359
  114. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom page 495
  115. McPherson, Battle Cry page 355, 494–6, quote from George Washington Julian on 495.
  116. Lincoln's letter to O. H. Browning, September 22, 1861
  117. Lincoln, the War President: The Gettysburg Lectures (Gettysburg Civil War Institute Books) by Gabor S. Boritt (Editor), pages 52–54. The article is by James McPherson
  118. Stephen B. Oates, Abraham Lincoln: The Man Behind the Myths, page 106
  119. Images of America: Altoona, by Sr. Anne Francis Pulling, 2001, 10.
  120. Letter to Greeley, August 22, 1862
  121. Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865 – Here Lincoln states, "One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it."
  122. Lincoln's Letter to A. G. Hodges, April 4, 1864
  123. James McPherson, The War that Never Goes Away
  124. James McPherson, Drawn With the Sword, from the article Who Freed the Slaves?
  125. Bruce Catton, Never Call Retreat, page 335
  126. Civil War Topics
  127. James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, pages 791–798
  128. James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, pages 831–837
  129. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 557–558 and 563
  130. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 840–842
  131. U. S. Census of 1860
  132. Stephen B. Oates, Abraham Lincoln: The Man Behind the Myths, 1984, Harper & Row
  133. James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, pp 546–557
  134. McPherson, Battle Cry p 386
  135. Allen Nevins, War for the Union 1862–1863, pages 263–264
  136. Stephen B. Oates, The Approaching Fury: Voices of the Storm 1820–1861, page 125
  137. Ward 1990 p 272
  138. McPherson, Battle Cry, pages 771–772
  139. James McPherson, Why did the Confederacy Lose?
  140. [2]|King Cotton|"The Confederacy" A Macmillan Information Now Encyclopedia|Orville Vernon Burton and Patricia Dora Bonnin|Last website update 02/16/02
  141. Railroad mileage 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.
  142. McPherson 313–16, 392–3
  143. Heidler, David Stephen, ed. Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History (2002), 1591–98
  144. McPherson 432–44
  145. Heidler, David Stephen, ed. Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History (2002), 598–603
  146. Ira Berlin et al., eds. Freedom's Soldiers: The Black Military Experience in the Civil War (1998)
  147. Albert Bernhardt Faust, The German Element in the United States (1909) p. 523 online
  148. Eric Foner, Reconstruction – America's Unfinished Revolution – 1863–1877, Harper & Row, 1988
  149. James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, page xix (from the introduction by C. Vann Woodward as of 1988)


References

Overviews
  • Beringer, Richard E., Archer Jones, and Herman Hattaway, Why the South Lost the Civil War (1986) influential analysis of factors; The Elements of Confederate Defeat: Nationalism, War Aims, and Religion (1988), abridged version
  • Catton, Bruce, The Civil War, American Heritage, 1960, ISBN 0-8281-0305-4, illustrated narrative
  • Davis, William C. The Imperiled Union, 1861–1865 3v (1983)
  • Donald, David et al. The Civil War and Reconstruction (latest edition 2001); 700 page survey
  • Eicher, David J., The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War, (2001), ISBN 0-684-84944-5.
  • Fellman, Michael et al. This Terrible War: The Civil War and its Aftermath (2nd ed. 2007), 544 page survey
  • Foote, Shelby. The Civil War: A Narrative (3 volumes), (1974), ISBN 0-394-74913-8. Highly detailed military narrative covering all fronts
  • McPherson, James M. Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (1988), 900 page survey of all aspects of the war; Pulitzer prize
  • James M. McPherson. Ordeal By Fire: The Civil War and Reconstruction (2nd ed 1992), textbook
  • Nevins, Allan. Ordeal of the Union, an 8-volume set (1947–1971). the most detailed political, economic and military narrative; by Pulitzer Prize winner
    • 1. Fruits of Manifest Destiny, 1847–1852; 2. A House Dividing, 1852–1857; 3. Douglas, Buchanan, and Party Chaos, 1857–1859; 4. Prologue to Civil War, 1859–1861; 5. The Improvised War, 1861–1862; 6. War Becomes Revolution, 1862–1863; 7. The Organized War, 1863–1864; 8. The Organized War to Victory, 1864–1865
  • Rhodes, James Ford. History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 (1918), Pulitzer Prize; a short version of his 5-volume history
  • Savage, Kirk, Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1997. (The definitive book on Civil War monuments.)


  • Ward, Geoffrey C. The Civil War (1990), based on PBS series by Ken Burns; visual emphasis
  • Weigley, Russell Frank. A Great Civil War: A Military and Political History, 1861–1865 (2004); primarily military


Reference books and bibliographies
  • Blair, Jayne E. The Essential Civil War: A Handbook to the Battles, Armies, Navies And Commanders (2006)
  • Carter, Alice E. and Richard Jensen. The Civil War on the Web: A Guide to the Very Best Sites- 2nd ed. (2003)
  • Current, Richard N., et al. eds. Encyclopedia of the Confederacy (1993) (4 Volume set; also 1 vol abridged version) (ISBN 0-13-275991-8)
  • Faust, Patricia L. (ed.) Historical Times Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Civil War (1986) (ISBN 0-06-181261-7) 2000 short entries
  • Esposito, Vincent J., West Point Atlas of American Wars online edition 1995
  • Heidler, David Stephen, ed. Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History (2002), 1600 entries in 2700 pages in 5 vol or 1-vol editions
  • Resch, John P. et al., Americans at War: Society, Culture and the Homefront vol 2: 1816–1900 (2005)
  • Tulloch, Hugh. The Debate on the American Civil War Era (1999), historiography
  • Wagner, Margaret E. Gary W. Gallagher, and Paul Finkelman, eds. The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference (2002)
  • Woodworth, Steven E. ed. American Civil War: A Handbook of Literature and Research (1996) (ISBN 0-313-29019-9), 750 pages of historiography and bibliography online edition


Biographies
  • American National Biography 24 vol (1999), essays by scholars on all major figures; online and hardcover editions at many libraries
  • McHenry, Robert ed. Webster's American Military Biographies (1978)
  • Warner, Ezra J., Generals in Blue: Lives of the Union Commanders, (1964), ISBN 0-8071-0822-7
  • Warner, Ezra J., Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders, (1959), ISBN 0-8071-0823-5


Soldiers
  • Berlin, Ira, et al., eds. Freedom's Soldiers: The Black Military Experience in the Civil War (1998)
  • Hess, Earl J. The Union Soldier in Battle: Enduring the Ordeal of Combat (1997)
  • McPherson, James. For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War (1998)
  • Wiley, Bell Irvin. The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy (1962) (ISBN 0-8071-0475-2)
  • Wiley, Bell Irvin. Life of Billy Yank: The Common Soldier of the Union (1952) (ISBN 0-8071-0476-0)


Primary sources
  • Commager, Henry Steele (ed.). The Blue and the Gray. The Story of the Civil War as Told by Participants. (1950), excerpts from primary sources
  • Hesseltine, William B. ed.; The Tragic Conflict: The Civil War and Reconstruction (1962), excerpts from primary sources


External links




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