The American Civil War

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    The American Civil War

  • Election of 1860

    Election of 1860
    To guarantee victory, Republicans turned to Abraham Lincoln; a strong debater from Illinois that carried key midwestern states of the Union. Although recieving less popular votes than his opponents Douglas and Breckinridge, he won the Election of 1860 by recieving fifty-nine percent of electoral votes. The effect of this election caused the secession of the Deep South. Their new constitution would limit the government's power.
  • Jefferson Davis

    Jefferson Davis
    After resigning from the U.S. Senate, Senator Jefferson Davis of Mississippi was elected president of the Confederacy. He remained president throughout the Confederacy's existence (1861-1865). The Deep South created a constitution modeled around the original U.S. Constitution, but provided a six-year term for Davis and vice-president, Alexander Stephens, which was unsuccessful. The Confederacy faced shortage of money, although surprisingly persisted for four years.
  • Robert E. Lee

    Robert E. Lee
    Robert E. Lee, the commanding general in the Confederate army during the American Civil War, declined Lincoln's initial invitation to lead the Union's Army because his home state (Virginia) declared secession. Lee held many victories against the North and proved to be a very productive commander, yet some decisions, such as invading the Union, seemed to keep the Confederacy behind with the Union in the lead. Lee is admired for his devotion to duty. He is also revered because of his surrender.
  • Fort Sumter

    Fort Sumter
    Fort Sumter was the first battle of the American Civil War. Following the secession of the Deep South, South Carolina demanded that the U.S. Army evacuate the fort because it had no longer been a part of the Union. Although the Union had surrendered, the Confederacy was responsible for firing the first shot. This resulted in unity of the North.
  • Winfield Scott and the Anaconda Plan

    Winfield Scott and the Anaconda Plan
    Winfield Scott, the Union's general-in-chief at the beginning of the Civil War, proposed the Anaconda Plan to subdue seceding states in the American Civil War. The basis was to cut the South from all vital resources. This plan, emphasizing the blockade of ports in the South, called for an advance down the Mississippi River to cut the South in two parts. Scott's plan reflected the importance of the Mississipi River during the War.
  • Ulysses S. Grant

    Ulysses S. Grant
    The first Civil War battles under Grant occured when he was in command of the district of Cairo, but after many victories, became one of the North's most important heroes. In the meantime, former slaves and blacks were both recruited to fight alongside the Union which helped Grant tremendously. After the Confederate defeat at Chattanooga, Grant became the Leiutenant General of the Union. More importantly, under Grant's command, the Confederate States of America were ended.
  • Battle of Bull Run

    Battle of Bull Run
    The First Battle of Bull Run, and first major land battle of the American Civil War, became a victory for Confederates who frightened Union soldiers under pressure to Washington. The Second Battle of Bull Run was in Robert E. Lee's hands, who had taken advantage of the change in Union generals, which quickly sent the army backward to Manassas Junction, Virginia. Both events created anxiety for the Union and Confederacy. They knew the Civil War would be a long and hard battle.
  • Thomas Stonewall Jackson

    Thomas Stonewall Jackson
    Thomas Jackson recieved his famous nickname "Stonewall" as a Confederate General at the first land battle of the Civil War. After the first battle, he was later appointed major general, detatched to capture Harper's Ferry, and distinguished at Antietam with Lee. Next to Robert E. Lee, Jackson became the most revered of all Confederate commanders.
  • George McClellan

    George McClellan
    George McClellan, briefly serving as the general-in-chief of the Union army, organized the Army of the Potomac, played an important role in the Civil War by training sufficient and organized troops. Although important, McClellan often overestimated his opponent and left much of his army unengaged in battle. His reputation suffered because Lincoln lacked trust in him, he was slow to attack the Confederacy, and defeats by the Confederacy hindered his position.
  • Monitor and Merrimac

    Monitor and Merrimac
    The Battle of Monitor and Merrimac, a naval battle fought during the American Civil War, was the first between ironclad warships. Fought in Hampton Roads, this battle was a Confederate effort to discontinue the Union blockade, which had cut them of all international trade. Although the Union Navy lost a significantly larger amount of men and ships than did the Confederacy, the Confederacy had hardly threatened the Southern blockade. Both days of battle attracted worldly naval attention.
  • Battle of Antietam

    Battle of Antietam
    The Battle of Antietam was the first major battle fought on Union soil and the bloodiest single-day battle in both the American Civil War and the history of America. Behind Antietam creek, Union general McClellan attacked the Confederate Army by pursuing Robert E. Lee into Maryland. On September eighteenth, McClelland did not try to attack, so the Confederacy withdrew to Virginia. This decision of McClelland's caused Lincoln's dissapointment and further hindered the general's reputation.
  • Battle of Fredricksburg

    Battle of Fredricksburg
    The Battle of Fredricksburg was fought between the Confederacy (led by Robert E. Lee) and the Union (led by Ambrose E. Burnside). It is remembered as one of the most "one-sided" battles of the Civil War because Confederate soldiers had half as many casualties as did the Union troops. All of Burnside's frontal assaults resulted in Union loss, ending another successful Confederate campaign. Lincoln, president of the Union, recieved excessive amounts of ridicule as a result of the battle.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    Issued by Abraham Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation freed most slaves in the nation, if they were not already freed as Union troops in advance. As a result, many slaves were freed during the war, starting as soon as the day the Proclamation was put into effect. This gave the Union an advantage for battle with many more men put onto the frontier. It also represented a movement toward ultimate abolition of U.S. slavery and a reuniting of the nation.
  • The Battle of Vicksburg

    The Battle of Vicksburg
    In Vicksburg, Mississippi, General Grant began his seige to secure complete control of the Mississippi River. The attack of the Union continued for seven weeks until the Confederacy finally surrendered the city and troops on July 4. The Union's cut states such as Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas from the rest of the Confederacy. The Union's victory began the turning point of the war; soon after, the Confederacy would surrender in the East, signaling the Union's ultimate defeat of the Civil War.
  • Battle of Gettysburg

    Battle of Gettysburg
    The turning point of the American Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg, was fought with the most casualties of the war. The Battle signified the ultimate victory of the North over the Confederacy on both sides alike. Because of this, Lee would never again repeat an offensive operation of proportions like such, and Meade (leader of the Union's troops), although criticized for hesitating to pursue Lee's army, was praised for carrying a victory. After the battle, the Confederacy couldn't recover.
  • Gettysburg Address

    Gettysburg Address
    The Gettysburg Address was a speech given by Abraham Lincoln, president of the U.S. during the Civil War. Lincoln invoked that equality among all was a struggle as "a new birth of freedom" to create a nation that would be dependent upon a representative democracy, not states' rights. The speech was also given for soldiers who had given their lives in battle at Gettysburg. The Gettysburg Address was a symbol of unity for the Union.
  • Sherman's March

    Sherman's March
    General Sherman, a pioneer of the tactics of complete war, set out from Chattanooga to create destruction in the Deep South. Cutting across Georgia, Sherman then moved with troops to South Carolina, where they burned cotton fields, houses, and barns. He took Atlanta, marched into Savannah, and finally completed the campaign by setting fire to Columbia, the capital of South Carolina. This march helped break down the Confederacy's will to fight on against the powerful Union.
  • Appomattox Court House

    Appomattox Court House
    Although the Confederacy pled for a negotiation of peace, president Lincoln wouldn't accept anything less than the restoration of the Union. Robert E. Lee gathered troops less than 30,000 in number, tried to escape to the mountains, but was interrupted and forced to surrender to General Grant at the Court House. Pleasantly, Grant allowed Lee and his men to return home with their horses. This was the end of the war, and the Union finally grasped the victory.
  • Lincoln's Assassination

    Lincoln's Assassination
    In Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., president Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth as an effort to rally Confederate troops to continue the war. Six days after the Confederacy had surrendered, the Civil War was coming to an end. Lincoln had become the first president of the United States to be assassinated and it was mourned nationally. As a result of his death, Andrew Johnson (one of the least popular presidents of the nation) was sworn in. Booth's plan never prevailed.