The American Civil War State Standard 9-12.US.1.2. Kristine Fisch
Fugitive Slave Act, 1850 • The Fugitive Slave Act was passed by Congress on September 18, 1850. • It was passed as part of the Compromise of 1850, a compromise meant to settle the dispute between the North and the South over the issue of slavery. • The compromise pleased the south by instituting a stronger Fugitive Slave Act, making it mandatory for Northerners to return runaway slaves to their plantations in the South. • The enforcement of this law outraged the North.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin, 1852 • Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin stressed the horrors of recapturing escaped slaves, and outraged Southerners. • The novel was intensely criticized by slavery supporters and some claimed the novel was an exaggeration of what slavery was actually like, arguing the harsh violence depicted in the novel was not what their slaves actually went through. • The novel attributed the abolitionist movement and eventually the start of the Civil War.
Bleeding Kansas, 1854 • When the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed in 1854, Congress had finally adopted the idea of popular sovereignty, a concept where the people would be allowed to decide whether to be a free state or a slave state. • When the Kansas territory was being admitted as a state, they were to use popular sovereignty to make their decision. • Both pro-slavery activists and strong abolitionists fled to Kansas to attempt to get the state admitted to their side of the issue. • Violence between the two groups of people resulted in one fatality. These acts of violence were the first accounts of using physical violence to solve the controversy and at this point in time the Civil War seemed inevitable.
Sumner attacked by Preston, 1856 • In 1866 Senator Charles Sumner made a speech in which he criticized Andrew Butler of South Carolina. • Sumner's three-hour oration also mocked the 59-year-old Butler's manner of speech and physical mannerisms, which were impaired by a stroke. Representative Preston Brooks was Butler’s nephew. • Two days later, Brooks confronted Sumner as he sat writing at his desk in the Senate chamber. As Sumner began to stand up, Brooks beat Sumner severely on the head before he could. Sumner was knocked down Brooks continued to beat the motionless Sumner until his cane broke at which point he left the chamber. • Brooks was fined $300 for his actions. This is another example of violence ensued as a result of the controversy over the slavery issue.
Dred Scott Decision, 1857 • Dred Scott was the name of an African-American slave who’s master took him from the slave state of Missouri to the free state of Illinois and then to the free territory of Wisconsin. He lived on free soil for a long period of time. • In 1846, Scott sued for his freedom in court, claiming he should be free since he had lived on free soil for a long time. The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court. • In March of 1857, Scott lost the decision as seven out of nine Justices on the Supreme Court declared as a non-citizen, Scott had no rights and could not sue in a Federal Court and must remain a slave. • Overall, the Dred Scott decision had the effect of widening the political and social gap between North and South and took the nation closer to the brink of Civil War.
John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Fairy, 1859 • On October 16, 1859, abolitionist John Brown and several followers seized the United States Armory and Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Brown and 19 men marched into Harpers Ferry, capturing several watchmen. • Local militia companies surrounded the armory, cutting off Brown's escape routes. When Brown realized he had no way to escape, he took nine prisoners and moved them to the armory's small fire engine house, but he was eventually captured by the militia. • John Brown stood trial at the Jefferson County Courthouse on October 26. Five days later, a jury found him guilty of treason against the Commonwealth of Virginia he was sentenced to death and was hung in Charles Town on December 2. • Northern abolitionists immediately used the executions as an example of the government's support of slavery. John Brown became their martyr, a hero murdered for his belief that slavery should be abolished.
The North • STRENGTHS: • Large Navy and fleet of trading ships • 70% of nation’s rail lines to transport food and troops • Larger (4x) population to volunteer for army and work in factories. • 90% of nations industry including factories to produce weapons and war supplies
The South • Strengths: • Fighting a defensive war - knew the territory they were fighting on • Trained soldiers - hunting skills and attended military school • Believed in the cause because it was for their independence
Fort Sumter April 12, 1861 On April 10, 1861, Brig. Gen. Beauregard, in command of the provisional Confederate forces at Charleston, South Carolina, demanded the surrender of the Union garrison of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. Garrison commander Anderson refused. On April 12, Confederate batteries opened fire on the fort, which was unable to reply effectively. At 2:30 pm, April 13, Major Anderson surrendered Fort Sumter, evacuating the garrison on the following day. The bombardment of Fort Sumter was the opening engagement of the American Civil War.
Bull Run July 21, 1861 Bull Run was the first “official” battle of the Civil War, fought in Virginia just miles from Washington DC. President Lincoln ordered the Union army to attack the Confederate forces who held a strong position along Bull Run. The goal was to make quick work of the bulk of the Confederate army, open the way to Richmond, the Confederate capital, and end the war. By July 22, the shattered Union army reached the safety of Washington. The Battle of Bull Run convinced the Lincoln administration and the North that the Civil War would be a long and costly affair.
Shiloh April 6, 1862 On the morning of April 6, 1862, 40,000 Confederate soldiers under the command of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston poured out of the nearby woods and struck a line of Union soldiers occupying ground near Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee River. Grant’s April 7th counteroffensive overpowered the weakened Confederate forces and Beauregard’s army retired from the field. The two day battle at Shiloh produced more than 23,000 casualties and was the bloodiest battle in American history at its time.
Antietam September 16, 1862 The Union Army, under the command of George McClellan, mounted a series of powerful assaults against Robert E. Lee’s forces near Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 17, 1862. Late in the day, the third and final major assault by the Union army pushed over a bullet-strewn stone bridge at Antietam Creek. The bloodiest single day in American military history ended in a draw, but the Confederate retreat gave Abraham Lincoln the “victory” he desired before issuing the Emancipation Proclamation.
Vicksburg May-July 1863 In May and June of 1863, Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s armies converged on Vicksburg, investing the city and entrapping a Confederate army under Lt. Gen. John Pemberton. Grant's successes in the West boosted his reputation, leading ultimately to his appointment as General-in-Chief of the Union armies.
Gettysburg July 1, 1863 • Gettysburg, in conjunction with the simultaneous Battle of Vicksburg, was a turning point in the Civil War where the victory seemed not only feasible, but probable for the Union.
The Gettysburg Address Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
The Leaders Robert E. Lee Throughout his life, Robert E. Lee aspired to remarkably high standards of duty, honor, self-denial, and self-control; his personal qualities were thought by many of his contemporaries to be worthy of emulation. Lee was particularly revered in the South. He has been described him as a military genius, who was defeated only because he faced impossible odds, and as the embodiment of what was best about the Old South. What was worst about the Old South, however—the institution of slavery—would undermine Lee's standing in American memory. Today, many Americans question how any man can be considered great if he joined a cause that attempted to break apart the nation and perpetuate slavery. • Ulysses S. Grant General William Tecumseh Sherman said, "Grant is the greatest soldier of our time if not all time." He was a talented and highly determined individual who had become first in the hearts of his countrymen, many of whom were quick to see the parallel between Grant’s achievements and those of George Washington. While we now think of Abraham Lincoln as the greatest American of his moment, many of their contemporaries would have seen Grant as his equal. As Theodore Roosevelt put it, "as we look back with keener wisdom into the nation's past, mightiest among the mighty dead loom the three great figures of Washington, Lincoln, and Grant."
Lincoln and the Civil War A common misconception about Lincoln is that he was an abolitionist. A common misconception about the Civil War is that it was a war over the issue of slavery. Four months after Lincoln became president the South seceded from the Union and in 1862 Lincoln said: “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. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.“ Lincoln was not an abolitionist. His goal as President was not to free the slaves, it was to save the Union. The Civil War was not fought over slavery. It was over the issue of the confederacy seceding from the Union. Slavery was a huge controversial issue that guided our country into a Civil War that was fought over the issue of secession. More Info On The Civil War