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American Civil War

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 7 months ago

 

The American Civil War

 

 

Week 23: Emergence of Industrial Society IDs

 

 

 

 

 

Causes of the Civil War

·        Slavery was at the root of economic, moral and political differences that led to control issues, states' rights and secession of seven states. The secession of four more states was a protest against Lincoln's call to invade (from the Southern point of view) the South.

·        Points of View

o       North-

§         Southern secession and formation of the Confederacy greatly increased the risk of war prior to the opening of hostilities, as it was regarded as an act of rebellion, treason, and more importantly, the seizure of national territory.

§         Thus slavery caused secession which in turn made war likely, irrespective of the North's stated war aims, which at first addressed strategic military concerns as opposed to the ultimate political and Constitutional ones.

o       South –

§         The secession of four more states was a protest against Lincoln's call to invade the South.

·        Questions such as whether the Union was older than the states or the other way around fueled the debate over states' rights. Whether the federal government was supposed to have substantial powers or whether it was merely a voluntary federation of sovereign states added to the controversy.

·        The debate of whether the federal government was supposed to have substantial powers or whether it was merely a voluntary federation of sovereign states added to the controversy.

·        The states' rights theories were a response to the fact that the Northern population was growing much faster than the population of the South, which meant that the North controlled the federal government. Southerners hoped that a strict constructionist interpretation of the Constitution would limit federal power over the states, and that a defense of states' rights against federal encroachments or secession would save the South.

·        In 1860, Congressman Laurence M. Keitt of South Carolina said, "The anti-slavery party contended that slavery is wrong in itself, and the Government is a consolidated national democracy. We of the South contend that slavery is right, and that this is a confederate Republic of sovereign States."

·        Until December 20, 1860, the political system had always successfully handled inter-regional crises. Congress had solved the admission of Missouri as a slave state in 1819-21, the controversy over South Carolina's nullification of the tariff, the acquisition of Texas in 1845, and the status of slavery in the territory acquired from Mexico in 1850

·        The South, Midwest, and Northeast had quite different economic structures. Charles Beard saw the industrial Northeast forming a coalition with the agrarian Midwest against the Plantation South.

The South Secedes

·        Confederate States-

o       Seven states originally seceded, by February of 1861, and they were:

§         South Carolina

§         Mississippi

§         Florida

§         Alabama

§         Georgia

§         Louisiana

§         Texas 

o        In April and May of 1861 four more states seceded:

§         Arkansas

§         Tennessee

§         North Carolina

§         Virginia

·        Union States-

o       The 23 states that remained loyal to the Union during the war:

§         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

§         Wisconsin

§         Nevada (joined during war)

§         West Virginia (joined during war)

§         Tennessee (recaptured early in war)

§         Louisiana (recaptured early in war)

War

·         Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, was one of the three remaining Union-held forts in the Confederacy, and Lincoln was determined to hold it.

·         Confederates bombarded the fort with artillery on April 12, forcing the fort's capitulation.

·         With the scale of the rebellion apparently small so far, Lincoln called for 74,000 volunteers for 90 days.

·         Anaconda Plan

o        Winfield Scott, the commanding general of the U.S. Army, devised the Anaconda Plan

§         blockade of the main ports would strangle the rebel economy

§         then the capture of the Mississippi River would split the South

§         Scott warned against an immediate attack on Richmond.

·          Lincoln adopted the plan but did not heed Scott’s warning against attacking Richmond

·         Although few naval battles were fought and few men were killed, the blockade shut down King Cotton and ruined the southern economy.

·         Some British investors built small, very fast "blockade runners" that brought in military supplies (and civilian luxuries) from Cuba and the Bahamas and took out some cotton and tobacco.

·         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.

·         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.

·         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, but Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston halted his advance at the Battle of Seven Pines General Robert E. Lee defeated him in the Seven Days Battles and forced his retreat.

·         General Robert E. Lee defeated him in the Seven Days Battles and forced his retreat.

·         General John Pope was beaten spectacularly by Lee in the Northern Virginia Campaign and the Second Battle of Bull Run in August

·         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.

·         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

·         Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside was soon defeated at the Battle of Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862, when over twelve thousand Union soldiers were killed or wounded

·         Burnside was replaced by Maj. Gen. Joseph "Fighting Joe" 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.

·         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 (July 1 to July 3, 1863), the bloodiest battle in United States history, which is sometimes considered the war's turning point.

·         Pickett's Charge 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.

·         While the Confederate forces had numerous successes in the Eastern theater, they crucially failed 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 Kentucky enraged the citizens there who previously had declared neutrality in the war, turning that state against the Confederacy.

·         Nashville, Tennessee, fell to the Union early in 1862. Most of the Mississippi was opened with the taking of Island No. 10 and New Madrid, Missouri, and then Memphis, Tennessee. The Union Navy captured New Orléans without a major fight in May 1862.

·         Only the fortress city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, prevented unchallenged Union control of the entire river.

·         General Braxton Bragg's second Confederate invasion of Kentucky was repulsed by Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell at the confused and bloody Battle of Perryville, and he 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, defeated Rosecrans, despite the heroic defensive stand of Maj. Gen. George Henry Thomas.

·         Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant won victories at Forts Henry and Donelson, the Battle of Shiloh and the Battle of Vicksburg, considered one of the turning points of the war.

·         At the beginning of 1864, Lincoln made Grant commander of all Union armies.

·         Grant devised a coordinated strategy that would strike at the heart of the Confederacy from multiple directions:

o        Generals George Meade and Benjamin Butler were ordered to move against Lee near Richmond

o        General Franz Sigel (and later Philip Sheridan) were to attack the Shenandoah Valley

o        General Sherman was to capture Atlanta and march to the sea (the Atlantic Ocean)

o        Generals George Crook and William W. Averell were to operate against railroad supply lines in West Virginia

o        Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks was to capture Mobile, Alabama.

·          Grant's battles of attrition at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor resulted in heavy Union losses, but forced Lee's Confederates to fall back again and again.

·         Grant was tenacious and, despite astonishing losses (over 66,000 casualties in six weeks), kept pressing Lee's Army of Northern Virginia back to Richmond.

·         He pinned down the Confederate army in the Siege of Petersburg, 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 proved to be more than a match for Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early, and defeated him in a series of battles, including a final decisive defeat at the Battle of Cedar Creek. Sheridan then proceeded to destroy the agricultural base of the Shenandoah Valley, a strategy similar to the tactics Sherman later employed in Georgia.

·         The fall of Atlanta, on September 2, 1864, was a significant factor in the reelection of Lincoln as president.

·         Confederate General John Bell Hood left the Atlanta area to menace Sherman's supply lines and invade Tennessee in the Franklin-Nashville Campaign. Union Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield defeated Hood at the Battle of Franklin, and George H. "Pap" 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 infamous "March to the Sea". He reached the Atlantic Ocean at Savannah, Georgia in December 1864. Sherman's army was followed by thousands of freed slaves; there were no major battles along the March.

·         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 Forks on April 1, forcing Lee to evacuate Petersburg and Richmond.

·         The Confederate capital fell to the Union XXV Corps, comprised of black troops.

·         Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House. In an untraditional gesture and as a sign of Grant's respect and anticipation of folding the Confederacy back into the Union with dignity and peace, Lee was permitted to keep his officer's saber and his near-legendary horse, Traveller.

·         The last Confederate naval force to surrender was the CSS Shenandoah on November 4, 1865, in Liverpool, England.

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