The Civil War 1861-1865
The Border States • By February 1861, seven states had left the Union and formed the Confederacy. After Ft. Sumter, four other states joined them. • The capital of the Confederacy was Richmond, VA, located just 100 miles from the Union capital of Washington, D.C. • Four slaves states remained loyal to the Union: Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware, known as the Border States. • Losing the Border States would damage the North in many ways. • Washington, D.C. lay within the borders of Maryland. If Maryland seceded, the Union capital would be surrounded. • In Virginia, most westerners supported the Union. In 1861 West Virginia seceded from Virginia. They became a state in 1863.
The North • The North had many advantages: • Larger population (22 million to 9 million) • Industry • Abundant Resources • Banking System • Shipyards & Navy • Railway System • Abraham Lincoln • The North also had a few disadvantages: • Needed to invade and hold the South • Strong Southern war support
The South • The South had a few advantages: • Strong support of the white population • Fighting on their own ground- defending their way of life • Superior military leaders like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson • However the South faced more disadvantages: • Smaller population (9 million: 3 million of which were slaves) • Few factories to make weapons • Half as much food as the North • Few railroads • The south was a confederation, creating a weak central government.
Goals of the Civil War • The main goal of the North was to bring the South back into the Union. • The Union’s military plan was called the Anaconda Plan. With this plan they would: • Blockade Southern ports (no supplies) • Gain control of the Mississippi River • They also wanted to capture the Confederate capital, Richmond, Virginia. • The main goal of the South was to be recognized as an independent nation. • Their plan was: • Defend their home turf • Get Great Britain to join them
Civil War Soldiers • The Civil War was not just a war between the states. It was a war between families. • Most soldiers who fought in the war were under the age of 25. Most of them were farmers. • In the summer of 1861, there were 112,000 Confederate soldiers called Rebels. • There were 187,000 Union soldiers called Yankees. • By the end of the war, 850,000 Southerners had fought against 2.1 million Northerners. • This included 200,000 African American soldiers. • When the war began, both sides expected an early victory.
First Battle of Bull Run • The first major battle of the Civil War happened in July 1861. It was the First Battle of Bull Run at Manassas, Virginia. • The Union general was Irvin McDowell. He fought against Confederate generals P.G.T. Beauregard and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. • The Union had the Confederacy pushed back when the Confederate troops let out a blood curdling scream that became known as the “Rebel Yell”.. • The Union troops dropped their guns and fled. Their orderly retreat soon became a stampede. • The outcome of Bull Run shocked the North. They began to realize the war would be long and costly. • At this time Lincoln asked for one million volunteers and appointed George B. McClellan head of the Union Army of the East (Army of the Potomac).
Monitor vs. Merrimack • Lincoln ordered a naval blockade of Southern ports even before Bull Run. He wanted to keep the South from: • Exporting cotton • Importing needed war supplies • The South didn’t plan to let the blockade go unchallenged. • They salvaged the Union ship Merrimack and covered it with iron plates. • On March 9, 1862, the Merrimack met the U.S.S. Monitorin the first battle between two ironclads. Neither ship could sink the other. • The battle began a new age in naval warfare.
Union Army in the West • The Union plan in the West (Anaconda Plan) was to gain control of the Mississippi River and split the Confederacy in half. • The Union general in the West was Ulysses S. Grant. After a battle in the West, he became known as “Unconditional Surrender” Grant. • Grant’s victories drove the Confederacy out of Kentucky. • Grant headed toward Mississippi and camped near a church named Shiloh. Confederate troops attacked Grant on April 6, 1862. • The South’s troops were led by Albert Sidney Johnston and P.G.T. Beauregard. • The Battle of Shiloh was two of the bloodiest days of the war. • The Union won the battle. But the two sides combined suffered 20,000 casualties, including General Albert Johnston. • A few weeks later the North won an important victory. On April 25, 1862, Naval commander David Farragut captured New Orleans. The South could no longer use the Mississippi to transport goods. • The Union now controlled most of the Mississippi River.
McClellan in the East • In the East, McClellan was training the Union army. He was a great trainer but worried about sending men into battle. • The extra time this took allowed Lee to prepare is defenses. • Lee and McClellan met in the Seven Days’ Battles. • After retreating and joining with Major General Pope, the Union forces were attacked by Stonewall Jackson and Lee. • The North lost the 2nd Battle of Bull Run in August, 1862. • The Confederacy now had troops 20 miles from Washington, D.C.
McClellan the Tortoise • Following these Confederate victories, Jefferson Davis ordered Lee to launch an offensive into Maryland. • He hoped that a victory in the North would convince Britain and France to recognize and support the Confederacy. • McClellan’s troops marched slowly after Lee’s. At a camp they found a copy of Lee’s battle plans. • McClellan now knew all the details and had an advantage. But he still acted cautiously. He waited four days to attack Lee. • The two sides met in the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862. This battle was the single bloodiest day of the war. 23,000 men were killed and/or wounded on that one day. • Lee withdrew to Virginia, and the Union claimed a victory. • Lincoln ordered McClellan to follow Lee and “destroy the Rebel army.” McClellan failed to do so. • Disgusted by McClellan’s failures, Lincoln fired him and replaced him with Ambrose Burnside.
Emancipation Proclamation • From the beginning of the war, the North’s goal was to preserve the Union, not destroy slavery. • However attitudes began to change. Northerners believed slavery was helping the war effort in the South. Anything that weakened slavery struck a blow to the South. • Striking this blow against slavery would also make Britain and France less likely to support the Confederacy. • Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. • It applied only to Confederate states, and therefore, freed no slaves. • Britain and France decided to withhold recognition of the Confederacy. • In 1865, the 13th Amendment Congress passed and the Union states ratified the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. • The Thirteenth Amendment truly freed all slaves.
African American Soldiers • Even though they couldn’t fight for the Union army early in the war, African Americans helped as guides and spies. • By 1862 they were allowed to enlist. By the end of the war 10% of the army and 18% of the navy was made up of African Americans. • African American soldiers were organized in separate regiments. They finally earned equal pay in 1864. • The most famous regiment was the 54th Massachusetts regiment. • On July 18, 1863 they spearheaded an attack on a Confederate fortification in Charleston, South Carolina. Nearly half of the regiment was captured or killed. See the movie “Glory”. • The South threatened to execute any African American soldier and their white officers they captured. • However slaves were thrilled to see African American soldiers.
The Home Front • The rifle with grooved barrels and the “miníe ball” bullets were introduced during the Civil War. They made this war deadlier than any previous war. • Women completed many tasks helping armies on both sides. Many worked in factories, were nurses, or even spies. • Clara Barton helped wounded soldiers at the Battle of Antietam. She later founded the American Red Cross. • On both sides there was opposition to the war. “Peace Democrats”, also called Copperheads, in the North favored negotiating with the South. • Lincoln ordered the arrest of anyone interfering with the war effort.
Need More Money! • The war strained the economies of both the North and the South. • Both sides financed the war by: • Borrowing money • Increasing taxes • Printing paper money • The Union passed an income tax law in 1861. • Paper bills printed in the Union were called greenbacks. • During the war, prices rose faster than wages. This led to inflation. • But the Northern economy boomed due to manufacturing. • The impact of the war was devastating for the South. • Most of the fighting was done in the South. Farms were overrun and rail lines were torn up. • The blockade led to a lack of food and supplies.
A New Union General • Burnside was so devastated by his failure to defeat Lee, he resigned. • Lincoln replaced Burnside with Joseph Hooker. He rebuilt the army and planned to launch a campaign against Lee. • Lee stuck first at Chancellorsville, VA. Lee won, but he suffered heavy losses. Stonewall Jackson was killed by his own men. • Despite the heavy losses, Lee still planned to invade the North, trying to convince France and Britain to support the Confederacy. • Lincoln replaced Hooker with George Meade. George Meade’s mission was to: • Find and fight Lee’s forces • Protect Washington, D.C. and Baltimore from attack
Gettysburg and Vicksburg • The two armies met by accident on July 1, 1863. Union troops surprised Confederate troops raiding the town of Gettysburg for shoes. • The Battle of Gettysburg lasted three days. • Confederate General George Pickett led a cavalry charge up the middle towards Union lines. Less than half of his men returned. • After three days of fighting, a total of 51,000 men were killed and/or injured. Still, the Northern forces were victorious. • Lee’s defeat at Gettysburg ended his attempts at victory in the North. • Vicksburg, Mississippi was necessary for control of the Mississippi River. For several months, Grant laid siege to Vicksburg. • Vicksburg surrendered on July 4, 1863, allowing the Union to accomplish the Anaconda Plan. • The Union victories at Vicksburg and Gettysburg were the turning points of the Civil War. • On November 19, 1863, Lincoln delivered a two-minute speech called the Gettysburg Address. His speech helped focus the North.
Ulysses S. Grant • In November 1863 Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman won a few key battles in the South. • In March 1864 Lincoln turned to Grant for help. • Grant was a small unimpressive man who had been forced to resign from the army in 1854 due to a drinking problem. • But Lincoln trusted him and placed him in charge of all Union armies. • Grant’s plan was to attack the South on all fronts. He would crush Lee’s army in Virginia and have Sherman destroy forces in the South. • Grant’s attack on Richmond turned into a 9 month siege.
The Election of 1864 • Attitudes in the North soured regarding the war. Lincoln’s chances of reelection in 1864 did not look good. He needed good news. • David Farragut gained control of the Gulf of Mexico • William Tecumseh Sherman captured Atlanta • Lincoln easily won reelection in 1864. In his Second Inaugural Address on March 4, 1865 he said: • “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
Total War • Leaving Atlanta in ruins, Sherman convinced Grant to allow him to try a bold plan. • Sherman’s army began their “march to the sea” from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia. • Sherman participated in total war. This means destroying everything that was useful to the enemy. • Sherman’s troops burned crops, tore up rail lines, and killed livestock. • He marched to Virginia to meet up with Grant’s troops. • After many months, Richmond finally fell on April 2, 1865. • Lee retreated. But his retreat was blocked by Sherman. Lee had no choice but to surrender.
Consequences of the War • On April 9, 1865, Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. • Grant’s terms of surrender were generous. Confederate soldiers had to lay down their weapons. But they were allowed to keep their horses and were given three days of food. • The Civil War was the most devastating conflict in American history: • 600,000 soldiers died • Caused billions of dollars of damage • Many angry Southerners, would remain angry for generations • Saved the Union and strengthened the federal government • Freed millions of African Americans