The Civil War Chapter 17
The Road to War • Secession seemed the only alternative left to protect southern equality and liberty. • South Carolina seceded on December 20, 1860. • The rest of the Deep South followed and formed the Confederate States of America on February 7, 1861. • Buchanan’s reactions to secession • Faced with the secession of the southern states, President Buchanan argued that secession was illegal, but that he lacked the constitutional authority to coerce a state
Last Efforts at Compromise • The Upper South and border states declined to secede, hoping that once again Congress could patch together a settlement. • Crittenden Compromise • Proposed extending the old Missouri Compromise line of 36 31’ and proposed a Constitutional amendment to guarantee the continuation of slavery in the states where it then existed. • The compromise failed because both the Republicans and the secessionists refused to make concessions
Lincoln’s Inauguration • Lincoln sought to reassure southerners that he had no intention, “directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists.” • But he maintained that “the Union of these states is perpetual,” and he intended to hold federal property.
Fort Sumter (Charleston, S.C.) • Lincoln hoped for time to work out a solution, but on his first day in office he was given a message from the commander of the federal garrison at Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor informing him that he was almost out of food. • Lincoln’s approach to the crisis • Waited for a month before sending provisions. • President Jefferson Davis of the Confederacy ordered an attack on Fort Sumter and on April 12, 1861 the Confederates opened fire.
The Confederate Statesof America • Jefferson Davis (Senator from Miss.) became the provisional president of the Confederate States of America on Feb. 18, 1861. • To allow the U.S. to hold property and maintain military forces in the Confederacy would destroy its claim of independence.
The Outbreak of War • Lincoln calls for 75,000 volunteers • Initial reason for Civil War (North) • Preservation of law and order • Commitment to the Union • Upper South secedes • When Lincoln called on volunteers to put down the rebellion, the matter had passed beyond compromise and 4 states in the upper South seceded. • Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia • Robert E. Lee’s decision to join the Confederacy
The Outbreak of War • Other slave states remain in the Union • Holding border states was major victory • Suspension of habeas corpus to hold Maryland (possible loss of D.C.) • Kentucky’s neutrality • Lincoln sent in federal troops. • Missouri • Guerrilla warfare throughout the war. • Delaware, West Virginia (formally becomes a state in 1863)
North Enormous advantage in manpower (4 to 1) Advantage in industrial capacity, bank deposits, railroad mileage, corn and wheat production, etc. Political leadership South Strategic advantage: to be victorious it only needed to defend its own land and prevent the North from destroying its armies. Military way of life in the South (Confederate officers) Advantages
Opening Moves • Both sides predicted a quick and easy victory • Both sides thought it would be a short war • Less than 60 days • Bull Run / Manassas Junction, VA (July 22, 1861) • The Confederate victory showed that it would be long. • Both sides had underestimated the magnitude of the conflict. • Total War • Previous warfare as it had evolved in Europe consisted largely of maneuverings that took relatively few lives, respected private property, and left civilians largely unharmed.
The North’s Strategy • The Anaconda Plan • Proposed by General Winfield Scott • Blockade and surround the Confederacy (U.S. Navy) • Cut off its supplies (isolate) • Slowly strangle it into submission • South also had to be invaded and defeated • Key: Union control of the Mississippi River
The South’s Strategy • King Cotton Diplomacy • Looked to diplomacy as a way to lift the blockade. • Hoped that Europe would formally recognize the Confederacy and come to its aid. • By 1862, cotton supplies were dwindling, and France was ready to recognize the Confederacy, but only if Britain would follow suit. • The British government favored the South, but it hesitated to act until the Confederate armies demonstrated that they could win the war. • Meanwhile, new supplies of cotton from Egypt and India enabled the British textile industry to recover.
The North’s Strategy • David Farragut captures New Orleans in April of 1862 • U.S. Grant in the West • Realized that rivers were avenues into the interior of the Confederacy. • Forced the Confederates to withdraw from Kentucky and middle Tennessee. • Battle of Shiloh • April 6-7, 1862 • Nearly 20,000 casualties
Eastern Stalemate • Union generals in the East were cautious or just plain incompetent • McClellan did nothing but train and plan. • Lincoln would replace him with Pope, Burnside, & Hooker.
Eastern Stalemate • Robert E. Lee takes control of the Confederate army. • Realizing that the Confederacy needed a decisive victory, he invades Maryland. • Lee’s invasion fails at the Battle of Antietam Creek. • Sept. 17, 1862 • 23,000 casualties made it the bloodiest single day of the war. • The deaths kept mounting, and no end to the war was in sight.
Lincoln and Emancipation • Republican radicals pressed Lincoln to support a policy of emancipation. • Lincoln at first refuses and supports the Crittenden Resolution, which declared that the war was being fought solely to save the Union. • “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery.” • “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.”
Emancipation Proclamation • Reason • Lincoln wanted to hurt the Confederacy militarily. • By making it a war against slavery the South would not be able to get help from Great Britain or France. • The Proclamation • On September 22, 1862 in the aftermath of the victory at Antietam, Lincoln announced that all slaves within rebel lines would be freed unless seceded state returned to their allegiance by January 1, 1863. • When that day came, the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect.
Emancipation Proclamation • Excluded from its terms were the Union slave states and areas of the Confederacy that were under Union control. • In all, about 830,000 of the nation’s 4 million slaves were not covered by its provisions. • Since Lincoln justified his actions on strictly military grounds, he believed he had no legal right to apply it to areas not in rebellion. • Importance • It had immense symbolic importance, for it redefined the nature of the war. The North was fighting, not to save the old Union, but to create a new nation.
Thirteenth Amendment • Ratified in 1865. • It freed all slaves without compensating their owners. • Slaves within the Union lines: • Uncertain reception • Menial tasks in army • Work on plantations • Blacks in combat
Blacks in Combat • In adopting the policy of emancipation, Lincoln also announced that African Americans would be accepted in the navy and the army. • Served in segregated units under white officers. • At first, given undesirable duties such as heavy labor and burial details. • Capture might mean death.
The Confederate Home Front • The New Economy • With the Union blockade, the production of foodstuffs became crucial. • More and more plantations switched from cotton to raising grain and livestock. • Soaring inflation • The Confederate government printed paper money not backed by specie. • Inflation ate away at their standard of living. • Hostility to Conscription • The first national conscription law in American history (1862) • The draft provoked an outcry because the rich were allowed to provide substitutes and exempted one white man for every plantation with 20 or more slaves. • Rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.
The Union Home Front • Because the war was fought mostly on southern soil, northern civilians rarely felt its effects directly. • Measures to raise money • First federal income tax (1861) and the creation of the Internal Revenue Bureau • Issued paper money (greenbacks) and taxed state banknotes out of circulation. • Created the first uniform national currency.
The Union Home Front • Civil Liberties and Dissent • Suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. • Democrats attacked Lincoln as a tyrant. • The Copperheads • Republicans labeled those who opposed the war Copperheads. • Constituted the extreme peace wing of the Democratic party. • Opposed emancipation and the draft. • New York City Draft Riot (1863) • Irish workers went on a rampage, attacking draft officials and lynching African Americans. • Lasted 4 days and left over 105 people killed, the worst loss of life from any riot in American history.
Turning Point (1863) • Siege of Vicksburg • Grant wants to gain control of the Miss. River • Vicksburg surrenders on July 4 • Gettysburg (July 1-3) • The Union army under General Meade defeats Lee’s Confederates during an attempt to invade Pennsylvania • Lee retreats to South after losing 1/3 of his men • Grant defeats Confederate forces in Chattanooga in November. • After that, it was just a matter of time.
War of Attrition • Grant • Orders commanders to wage total war. • Begins 10 month non-stop attack on Lee. • William T. Sherman burns Atlanta in 1864 and begins “March to the Sea” to Savannah before heading to South Carolina. • 300-mile March to the Sea through Georgia and South Carolina. • Sherman’s army covered about 10 miles a day, cutting a path of destruction 50 miles wide.
The Union’s Triumph • Richmond, Virginia is captured and Lee, who is out of food, decides that it was senseless to continue • On April 9, 1865, Lee Surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia • With Lee's surrender of the main Confederate army, the Civil War soon ended. • On April 18, Johnston surrendered to Sherman near Durham, North Carolina
Cost of the War • 630,000 men died • Almost as many as in all the other wars the nation has fought from the Revolution through Vietnam combined. • $20 billion • More than 11 times the total amount spent by the federal government from 1789 to 1861. • Southern wealth decline 43 percent • Even without adding the market value of freed slaves, southern wealth declined 43 percent, transforming what had been the richest section of the nation on a white per capita basis into the poorest. • Abraham Lincoln assassinated on April 14, 1865
Outcome of the Civil War • Union is perpetual • Ends slavery