Events that Shaped the Civil War

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    Underground Railroad

    Network of people, African American as well as white, offering shelter and aid to escaped enslaved people from South to safely escape to the North. It was not an actual railroad, but it served the same purpose, it transported people long distances. The purpose of the passage is to end the practice of slavery. "Harriet Tubman, the symbolic leader of the Underground Railroad"(Varon, 242).
  • Compromise of 1850

    Compromise of 1850
    1. California is admitted when ready to become a free state
    2. No slavery in Mexican cession territory
    3. Texas western border Rio del Norte
    4. Texas statehood
    5. Abolishing slavery in D.C. without the consent of the state
    6. Proposing to abolish the slave trade in D.C.
    7. Slaves that escape to free slaves can be returned "The South as well as the North witnessed a rise in black militancy"(Varon, 239).
  • Fugitive Slave Act

    Fugitive Slave Act
    The U.S. Marshall’s have the right to recover escaped slaves and return them to their owners. This is in favor of the South. They must have a Fugitive Slave Tribunal, proving that they are your slave. The jury is appointed by Congress, mostly people of the South. The North was angered by the Fugitive Slave Law because they were being forced to aid the slave south." The new fugitive slave policy created a class of federal commissioners who would act as judge and jury" (Varon, 235)
  • Kansas Nebraska Act

    Kansas Nebraska Act
    A piece of legislation, Kansas and Nebraska territory allowing settlers of a territory to decide whether slavery would be allowed within a new state's border. Also determining where a railroad route would be (in the south or in the north). A route is proposed by Stephen Douglas for a railroad either going through Kansas or Nebraska. Popular sovereignty, let the people decide if they want to be a free or a slave state. "Nebraska, would be Free-Soil"(Varon, 252).
  • Pottawatomie Massacre

    Pottawatomie Massacre
    John Brown and his sons murdered five proslavery men at three different cabins along the banks of Pottawatomie Creek. Brown had been enraged by both the sacking of the anti-slavery town of Lawrence several days before and the vicious attack. Days before the attack, he tries to march to Lawerence but they were too late to prevent the attack on the town, which resulted in the destruction of the Free State Hotel. "The killings marked the beginning of the Bleeding Kansas" (Rein).
  • Battle of Bull Run

    Battle of Bull Run
    The battle had taken place on a hot day on Virginia, located 20 miles outside of Washington D.C. Throughout the fight the Union had the upper hand by pushing the Confederates to a barricade at Matthews Hill. The enlisting for the army continues enlisting people for 3 months to 3 years. Unfortunately for the Union, Confederate's take the victory of this battle. "About 18,000 were eventually engaged on each side and a decisive superiority in fresh troops" (McPherson, 750)
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    Battle of Shiloh

    The battle began when the Confederate Army launched a surprise attack on Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant in southwestern Tennessee. The Confederates were not able to hold their early advantage, which resulted in a Union army victory. Both sides suffered heavy losses, with more than 23,000 total casualties, and the level of carnage shocked North and South alike."95,000 living and 2,000 dead men scattered over twelve square miles from Pittsburg Landing" (McPherson, 211).
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    Seven Days Battles

    McClellan planned to capture the capital of the Confederacy and possibly stop the war. If his strategy succeeded the nation might be reunited, but without the abolition of slavery. This is known to be the second bloodiest battle of U.S. history. the Southern armies had suffered enormously costly defeats in Tennessee, on the Mississippi, in the Carolinas, and in the Virginia Tidewater. The Union army had taken the win. "27,000 men holding the line east of Richmond" (McPherson, 318).
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    Battle of Fredricksburg

    Commander Ambrose Burnside of the Army of the Potomac, had ordered his more than 120,000 troops to cross the Rappahannock River, where they made a two-pronged attack on the right and left flanks of Robert E. Lee’s 80,000-strong Army. On both ends, Lee’s rebel defenders turned back the Union assault with heavy casualties which resulted in 13,000 men. The Confederate's ends up with the win. " The enemy will be more surprised by a crossing immediately in our front" (McPherson, 389).
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    Siege of Vicksburg

    Vicksburg was the last major fort of the Confederate army on the Mississippi River. General Ulysses S. Grant explained by having control of the river, Union forces would split the Confederacy in two and control an important route to move men and supplies. The last defense at Champion Hill was defeated. Vicksburg’s falls to the U.S. forces after a 2-month siege. The Civil War does not end until 1865. "Wan, hollow-eyed, ragged, footsore, bloody, the men limped" (McPherson, 339)