Taking Sides in the Civil War General Robert E. Lee Pages 507-510
Hopes for Peace End • When Confederate soldiers fired on Fort Sumter, hopes for peace between the North and South ended. • Americans had to make hard decisions about going to war. • Many people thought the war would be short and easy. • For most, the side to support was clear.
Taking Sides - North • Most Northerners supported the Union. • They believed it was wrong for the South to leave the Union. • They were willing to fight to save the Union.
Taking Sides - South • Most white Southerners supported the Confederacy. • They were willing to go to war for their independence. • Whether they owned slaves or not, many felt the North was trying to change the South.
Border States • People in the border states of Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware were torn between the Union and the Confederacy. • Although they allowed slavery, they remained part of the Union. • When it came to the war, some fought for the North and some for the South.
Which Side? • In the mountains of eastern Tennessee and northern Alabama, there was very little slavery. • Many people there sided with the North. • In western Virginia, feelings for the Union were so strong, that the people voted to break away from Virginia and form a new state. • West Virginia joined the Union in 1863.
Families Divided • When war finally came, four of Henry Clay’s grandsons decided to join the Confederacy. Three others fought for the Union. • Lincoln’s own family was divided. Mary Todd, Lincoln’s wife, had four brothers who fought for the South.
General Robert E. Lee • Lee was a West Point graduate who had served the U.S. for 32 years. • He fought in the war with Mexico. • President Lincoln asked Lee to command the Union forces. • He declined because he said he could not lead an army against his home state of Virginia.