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U.S. Civil War. Battles & Events. Election of 1860. Fort Sumter. By Lincoln’s inauguration, March 4, 1862, seven southern states had seceded. Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis of Mississippi – President

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U.S. Civil War

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U.S. Civil War

Battles & Events

Election of 1860

Fort Sumter

  • By Lincoln’s inauguration, March 4, 1862, seven southern states had seceded.

    • Confederate States of America

      • Jefferson Davis of Mississippi – President

    • The stated issue became the sovereign right of states to secede from the Union

  • The South seized every federal building, fort, and arsenal except two:

    • Fort Pickens, Florida

    • Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor

      • Lincoln informs S. Carolina officials he intends to resupply the fort

      • Confederate forces shell the fort for nearly two days

      • Major Robert Anderson is forced to surrender

Fort Sumter

Effects of Fort Sumter

  • South

    • Shows southern resolve to fight for their belief

    • Boosts morale as it is a Southern Victory

  • North

    • Stirs outrage in the North; a “slap in the face” to every loyal American

    • Creates an “enthusiasm of patriotism”

      • Volunteers readily start enlisting in the army to fight

First Battle of Bull Run

  • Known as the First Battle of Manassas in the South

  • July 21, 1861 – First major land engagement of the Civil War

    • General Irvin McDowell (U) – 35,000 troops

      • Hounded by Washington politicians & Lincoln to rush into battle, get to Richmond and end the war quickly

      • Troops were raw and undisciplined:

        • “…they stopped every moment to pick blackberries or get water. They would not keep ranks, order as much as you pleased.”

    • P.T. Beauregard & Joe Johnston (C) – 25,000 troops

  • Washington sightseers set up picnics nearby to watch the battle

  • Union army initially gains the upper hand, but the Confederate line holds and forces a Union retreat

    • ‘Stonewall’ Jackson gets his name

  • Union Army & sightseers crowd the roads back to Washington in a panic

Bull Run

Bull Run

Effects of Bull Run

  • Victory for the South

    • Fits their strategy of fighting a defensive battle

      • Hold on until Northerners get sick of the war & quit

  • Shows that this will not be a short, easily won war.

  • War will require a ‘real’ army to be recruited and properly trained

  • Lincoln appoints General George B. McClellan to raise & train a new Army of the Potomac

    • He will work all through the winter of 1861-62 to prepare his 150,000 troops for battle

Emancipation Proclamation

  • Northern Strategy

    • Based on “preserving the Union”

      • Economic = Blockade southern ports

        • No cotton exports / no weapons & supplies imports

      • Military = Divide the South in two

        • West – Seize the Mississippi River Valley, cutting off communications & use of the river

          • U. S. Grant’s Union forces will nearly accomplish this by the summer of 1862

        • East – Drive toward Richmond, VA & destroy the government

          • McClellan is reluctant to engage in battle

          • “My dear McClellan: If you don’t want to use the army, I should like to borrow it for awhile. Yours respectfully, A. Lincoln”

          • Sept. 17, 1862 – Antietam: McClellan ‘defeats’ Lee’s invading forces which is enough of a ‘victory’ for Lincoln to issue a slavery statement.

Emancipation Proclamation cont.

  • Issued, in part, to mobilize support from Britain and France toward the Union and away from the Confederacy

  • In actuality, it “frees” no one, but:

    • Turns the struggle into a “crusade for freedom”

    • Makes it know that the nation will never again be half-slave & half free

    • Recruiters are ordered to accept African-Americans into the army

      • 215,000 will serve during the course of the war

        • 54th Massachusetts (movie Glory)


  • July 1-3, 1863

    • Lee leads 75,000 troops into Pennsylvania

    • Union Major Gen. George Meade led 90,000 troops

      • Main line was at Cemetery Ridge

      • On Day 3 of the battle the Confederates stage “Pickett’s Charge” trying to break the lines of the Union

        • 12,500 Confederate soldiers march across ¾ mile of open field to attack the Union lines

          • They are virtually wiped out

          • “We could not help hitting them with every shot.”; “men going down on hands and knees, spinning round like tops, throwing out their arms, gulping blood, falling; legless, armless, headless. There are ghastly heaps of dead men.”

    • Casualties: North = 23,000; South = 28,000


Impact of Gettysburg

  • Loss removes any hope for the south that any European countries will come to their aid.

  • The south will never go on the offensive again, fighting simply for some small hope of preserving their way of life via a truce.

  • Gettysburg Address – just over 2 minutes and 272 words in length

    • Lincoln called it a “flat failure”

Sherman’s ‘March to the Sea’

  • William Tecumseh Sherman

    • Captures Atlanta on Sept. 1, 1864

      • Much of the city is burned to the ground

      • Vows to “Make Georgia howl”

        • Carries out “total war” – crush the will of the civilians who sustained the enemy fighting force.

          • Passes through 425 miles of enemy territory causing $100 million in damage (burning, looting, etc.)

          • Reaches coastal Savannah, GA on December 22nd and Raleigh, NC on April 26, 1865

      • Boosts Lincoln’s 1864 reelection (which he wins with 54% of the vote

      • Special Field Orders, No. 15 – provides freed slaves with land taken from white plantation owners (later repealed by President Johnson)

Sherman’s march

Appomattox Courthouse

Southern Surrender

  • April 1, 1865 – Union forces break the Confederate lines outside Petersburg

    • By April 4 the Union captures Richmond as Gen. Lee & the Confederates flee

    • April 9, 1865 – Lee surrenders to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia

      • Terms:

        • Soldiers could return home with personal possessions & horses

        • Grant provides 25,000 ration kits to Lee’s army

    • April 14, 1865 – Lincoln is assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater

1861 Abraham Lincoln 1865

Effects of the War

  • Ends the institution of slavery in the US

  • Boosts the industrial economy of the North

  • Subjects the South to years of “third world” poverty and economic dependence

  • ‘The United States is…’


  • January 1, 1865 – Congress passes the 13th Amendment ending slavery

    • Plantation whites see their lifestyle come to an end

    • Poor whites face competition for jobs from 4 million former slaves

      • Many slave remain on their plantations

      • Thousands begin traveling

        • Looking for loved ones

        • Seeking jobs

Freedman’s Bureau

  • Establish by Congress in March 1865

    • Immediate intent was aiding former slaves with food, medical attention and housing

      • 21 million rations over 5 years

        • Aid was also given to poor whites

    • Established 4,000 schools and 100 hospitals

    • Later focused on helping former slaves with work opportunities

      • Negotiated labor contracts

Presidential Reconstruction

  • President Andrew Johnson

    • A former Confederate state could rejoin the Union when it:

      • Wrote a new state constitution

      • Elected a new state government

      • Repealed its act of secession

      • Agreed not to repay Confederate war debts

      • Ratified the 13th Amendment

    • Johnson refused to included black suffrage as a requirement which put him at odds with Congressional Republicans

    • Many former Confederate officeholders are reelected to their old office

President Johnson

“Black Codes”

  • As Southern states elect new legislatures they begin passing “black codes”

    • Gave freedmen the right to:

      • Hold property, marry, sue/be sued in court

    • Denied freedmen the right to:

      • Vote, serve on juries, bear arms

    • Drove many back to the farms by requiring freedmen to find ‘steady’ work and limiting other labor opportunities

    • Northerners see this as ‘quasi-slavery’

      • In 1866 the new Congress will place the south under military rule, hold new elections (including black suffrage) and repeal the ‘black codes’ via 1866 Civil Rights Act

Radical Reconstruction (1866-73)

  • 14th Amendment – African-Americans are citizens with “equal protection of the laws”

    • Blocks any Supreme Court challenge to the Civil Rights Act via the Dred Scott decision

  • 15th Amendment – guarantees a citizens right to vote

  • March 1867 – Congress militarizes the South

    • Disbands sitting governments

    • Creates 5 military districts

    • Only ‘loyal’ Southerners who had not participated in the ‘rebellion’ could register to vote

    • In order to rejoin the union:

      • Adopt a new state constitution that supported black suffrage

      • Elect a new government

      • Ratify the 14th amendment

      • Apply to Congress for readmission

Failures of Reconstruction

  • Black codes

  • “Secret Societies” – harass black voters & white supporters

    • Ku Klux Klan / Knights of the White Camelia

    • Favored the democratic party

      • Intimidation at voting booths

      • ‘stuffing’ ballot boxes

        • Vote early, vote often

      • ‘Solid South’ – vote Democratic for next 100+ years

        • Leads to segregation policies by the 1870s

          • Poll taxes, separate schools, etc.

          • Jim Crow Laws

  • Slow to industrialize – poor economy

  • Continued bitterness over northern interference

    • Carpetbaggers

      • Northerners who came south to take advantage of the situation

    • Scalawags

      • White Southerners who joined the Republican party

      • Worked along side freedmen and carpetbaggers

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