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THE CIVIL WAR. Comparing Sides. North. South. Strengths Food production Best officers (West Point Military Academy in South) Fighting at home – had to not lose Morale (at first) Weaknesses Population: 9 million (including 3.5 million slaves) Manufacturing

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comparing sides
Comparing Sides




Food production

Best officers (West Point Military Academy in South)

Fighting at home – had to not lose

Morale (at first)


Population: 9 million (including 3.5 million slaves)


No rifleworks in the entire country

  • Strengths
    • Population: 21 million
    • Manufacturing
      • 97% of firearms
      • 96% of locomotives
      • 94% of cloth
      • 93% of iron
      • 90% of boots/shoes
    • Control of navy
    • Morale (after 1863)
  • Weaknesses
    • Had to win

American Flag

“Stars and Stripes”

Confederate Flag

“Stars and Bars”

  • Union: United States of America/USA (North)
    • “Federals”, “Yankees”
  • Confederacy: Confederate States of America/CSA (South)
    • “Rebels”
  • Secede: to formally withdraw from membership in a government (noun: secession)
  • Troops: soldiers
  • Siege: military blockade of a city or fort with the intent of conquering it by attrition (wearing the other side out)
  • Blockade: an effort to cut off food, supplies, and communications by force (at least partial)
  • Casualty: a person killed or injured in a battle
decision election of 1860
Decision: Election of 1860

President Abraham Lincoln


“The South would be in no more danger in this respect (the abolishment of slavery) than it was in the days of Washington. I suppose, however, this does not meet the case. You think slavery is right and ought to be extended; while we think it is wrong and ought to be restricted. That I suppose is the rub.”

- Abraham Lincoln, December 22, 1860

(in a letter to future CSA Vice President Alexander Stephens)

south carolina secedes december 24 1860
South Carolina SecedesDecember 24, 1860
  • Followed quickly by:
  • Mississippi (Jan. 9, 1861)
  • Florida (Jan. 10, 1861)
  • Alabama (Jan. 11, 1861)
  • Georgia (Jan. 19, 1861)
  • Louisiana (Jan. 26, 1861)
  • Texas (Feb. 1, 1861)
election south
Election: South

President Jefferson Davis (CSA)

decision lincoln davis
Decision: Lincoln & Davis
  • Choose your generals
    • These will be the people who determine military strategy and lead your troops into battle against the enemy. Choose wisely.
general winfield scott
General Winfield Scott
  • Distinguished military career since 1808
  • 74 years old
  • Extremely overweight and unable to mount a horse
  • Knowing he couldn’t lead an army into battle, he offered command to “the very finest soldier I’ve ever seen”…
robert e lee
Robert E. Lee
  • Distinguished military career since 1829from Virginia (ended John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry in one hour)
  • Personally opposed to secession but would not fight against his “home country” of Virginia
general joseph e johnston
General Joseph E. Johnston
  • Distinguished military career since 1829
  • Tensions with President Davis because he was 4th in seniority amongst the generals
  • Very cautious in battle
general p g t beauregard
General P.G.T. Beauregard
  • Distinguished military career since 1838from Louisiana
  • Brilliant military strategist but he had poor professional relationships with President Davis and other senior officials
general thomas jackson
General Thomas Jackson
  • West Point Graduate
  • Veteran of the Mexican War where he fought at the Siege of Veracruz and the assault on Chapultepec Castle
  • Organized Sunday School for blacks (both free and slave) in Lexington, VA while teaching at a military academy
decision president lincoln
Decision: President Lincoln
  • The Confederacy has sent delegates to Washington and is offering to pay for the federal properties in the new Confederate States of America and enter into a peace treaty with the United States.
  • Lincoln: Do you…
    • Accept the Confederate offer of peace and allow the Union to be broken in half?
    • View secession as an act of treason (rebellion against the government) and decline the offer?
decision p g t beauregard
Decision: P.G.T. Beauregard
  • There is a federal fort nearby in South Carolina that is still manned by Union troops.
  • Beauregard: Do you…
    • Allow Fort Sumter to remain in the hands of the Union?
    • Order your troops to capture Fort Sumter for the Confederacy?
decision president lincoln1
Decision: President Lincoln
  • Confederate Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard has laid siege to the Fort. Your men are running out of food and supplies.
  • Lincoln: Do you…
    • Send supply ships to Fort Sumter, through the Confederate blockade?
    • Ask your troops at the Fort to surrender?

Sir: By authority of Brigadier General Beauregard, commanding the provisional forces of the Confederate States, we have the honor to notify you that he will open fire of his batteries at Fort Sumter in one hour from this time

Notice to Major Anderson

April 12, 1861

3:30 a.m.

  • The Union generals are outgunned and after 34 hours, Major Anderson agrees to evacuate Fort Sumter.
  • No loss of life on either side (although a gun explosion during the surrender ceremonies causes two Union deaths)
  • Both sides immediately call for volunteers to build up their militaries.
  • The Civil War has begun.
lincoln calls for 75 000 volunteers for 90 days
Lincoln calls for 75,000 volunteers for 90 days
  • Most Northern states filled their quotas quickly
  • However, the requirement for states to supply volunteers causes four more states to secede:
    • Virginia (April 17, 1861)
      • CSA capital is moved to Richmond, VA
    • Arkansas (May 6, 1861)
    • North Carolina (May 20, 1861)
    • Tennessee (June 8, 1861
battle cry of freedom union version
Battle Cry of Freedom (Union version)

Yes we'll rally round the flag, boys, we'll rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom,
We will rally from the hillside, we'll gather from the plain,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!


The Union forever! Hurrah, boys, hurrah!

Down with the traitor, up with the star;

While we rally round the flag, boys, rally once again,

Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

We are springing to the call of our brothers gone before,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!
And we'll fill our vacant ranks with a million freemen more,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!


We will welcome to our numbers the loyal, true and brave,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!
And although they may be poor, not a man shall be a slave,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

battle cry of freedom confederate version
Battle Cry of Freedom (Confederate version)

Our flag is proudly floating on the land and on the main,
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
Beneath it oft we've conquered, and we'll conquer oft again!
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!


Our Dixie forever! She's never at a loss!

Down with the eagle and up with the cross! (albatross)

We'll rally 'round the bonny flag, we'll rally once again,

Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!

Our gallant boys have marched to the rolling of the drums.
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
And the leaders in charge cry out, "Come, boys, come!"
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!--


They have laid down their lives on the bloody battle field.
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
Their motto is resistance -- "To the tyrants never yield!"
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!--


While our boys have responded and to the fields have gone.
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
Our noble women also have aided them at home.
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!--


battle hymn of the republic
Battle Hymn of the Republic

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:

He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;

He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:

His truth is marching on.


Glory, glory, hallelujah!

Glory, glory, hallelujah!

Glory, glory, hallelujah!

His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,

They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;

I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:

His day is marching on.


Glory, glory, hallelujah!

Glory, glory, hallelujah!

Glory, glory, hallelujah!

His truth is marching on.


I wish I was in the land of cotton,

Old times they are not forgotten;

Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.

In Dixie Land where I was born,

Early on one frosty mornin,

Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.

general scott s anaconda plan
General Scott’s “Anaconda Plan”
  • Blockade all Southern ports
  • Advance down the Mississippi River to cut the South in two (culminating in capturing New Orleans)
  • Concerns:
    • Too passive (critics wanted to storm Richmond overland)
    • U.S. Navy too small to enforce the blockade at the beginning of the war
decision president lincoln general scott
Decision: President Lincoln & General Scott
  • The Northern public is clamoring for action. They are demanding a march against the Confederate capital of Richmond.
  • Do you…
    • Ignore the public and continue training and growing your army?
    • Respond to their demands, hoping to bring an early end to the war?
first battle of bull run a k a first manassas july 21 1861
First Battle of Bull Run (a.k.a. First Manassas)July 21, 1861


35,000 troops


34,000 troops

  • Unseasoned Union Army troops advance against an equally unseasoned Confederate Army near Manassas Junction.
  • Both sides do not execute their plans well but eventually Confederate reinforcements arrive and launch a counterattack.
  • The Union troops panic under pressure and begin withdrawing, frantically running back to nearby Washington, D.C.
outcome of the battle
Outcome of the Battle


2,896 casualties

(460 killed)


1,982 casualties

(387 killed)

  • A Confederate colonel, Thomas Jackson, stands his ground before the reinforcements arrive, earning him the nickname “Stonewall Jackson”
  • Both sides were sobered by the violence and casualties of the battle and they realized that the war could be much longer and bloodier than originally anticipated
decision lincoln
Decision: Lincoln
  • Choose a new general
george b mcclellan
George B. McClellan
  • Excellent planner and influential in raising a well-trained and organized army for the Union(this skill hampered him on the battlefield)
  • Episode 1 (1:25:00-1:28:24)
decision president davis general lee
Decision: President Davis & General Lee
  • The blockade has cut off Virginia’s largest cities, Norfolk and Richmond, from international trade. You have been working on an ironclad ship, the USS Merrimack, that could defeat the Union’s wooden ships that are stationed off the coast of Virginia.
  • Do you…
    • Conserve your military’s strength?
    • Attempt to break the blockade quickly, before the Union can send their strongest ships?

Episode 2 (0:14:05-0:19:15)

battle of the ironclads march 8 9 1862
Battle of the IroncladsMarch 8-9, 1862


1 ironclad

5 wooden frigates

261 killed


1 ironclad

2 wooden warships

77 killed

  • First meeting in combat of ironclad warships
  • The blockade remains in place.
decision president davis general lee1
Decision: President Davis & General Lee
  • A Major General named Ulysses S. Grant is advancing deep into Tennessee. He is drawing close to the Mississippi border.
  • Do you…
    • Focus your efforts on the campaign in the East?
    • Send some of your army westward to block Grant’s march towards New Orleans?

Episode 2 (0:32:00-0:43:36)

battle of shiloh april 6 7 1862
Battle of ShilohApril 6-7, 1862


66,812 troops

13,047 casualties

(1,754 killed)


44,699 troops

10,699 casualties

(1,728 killed)

  • Major battle in the Western Theater
  • Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant moves deep into Tennessee and encounters a surprise attack
  • Grant’s army is driven back on the first day but reinforcements arrive and launch a counterattack on the second day
  • Union victory; bloodiest battle so far; dashed Confederate hopes of blocking Grant’s advance into Mississippi
decision president lincoln2
Decision: President Lincoln
  • After a month sitting outside Yorktown, General McClellan has finally proposed a new plan called the “Peninsula Campaign”, which would drive into Virginia with the intent of capturing Richmond. The Confederate military is still commanded by General Johnston, who is tentative and not very aggressive, so there are high hopes that this plan will succeed.
  • Do you…
    • Accept the plan?
    • Reject the plan?
  • General Johnston is wounded at the Battle of Seven Pinesand General Robert E. Lee takes over full command of the Confederate army. He launches an aggressive counterattack.
seven days battles june 25 july 1 1862
Seven Days BattlesJune 25 – July 1, 1862


92,000 troops

20,204 casualties

(3,494 killed)


104,100 troops

15,855 casualties

(1,734 killed)

  • Series of six major battles over a seven day period in which every battle except for one is a Union victory.
  • However, McClellan retreats all the way back to Washington.
  • This marks the end of the Peninsula Campaign
decision lincoln1
Decision: Lincoln
  • Choose a new general
general john pope
General John Pope
  • Successful career in the Western Theater
  • Alienated many of his officers and men by criticizing their record compared with his in the West
second battle of bull run a k a second manassas august 28 30 1862
Second Battle of Bull Run (a.k.a. Second Manassas)August 28-30, 1862


62,000 troops

13,830 casualties


50,000 troops

8,300 casualties

(1,300 killed)

  • Confederate Maj. Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson captures the Union supply depot at Manassas Junction, threatening the Union’s line of communication with Washington, D.C.
  • While “Stonewall” Jackson repulses a series of attacks, another Confederate Maj. Gen. James Longstreet arrives, unknown to the Union commander
  • Jackson and Longstreet counterattack in the largest, simultaneous mass assault of the war
decision general lee
Decision: General Lee
  • President Lincoln has reluctantly reinstated the cautious General McClellan. You are invigorated by this news and by Jackson and Longstreet’s success at Second Manassas.
  • Do you…
    • Keep your army in the South, defending Northern attacks?
    • Use your momentum to invade the North?
decision general mcclellan
Decision: General McClellan
  • You have intercepted an order from General Lee, detailing his “Maryland Campaign”. In it, you read that Lee has split his army, sending “Stonewall” Jackson to capture Harper’s Ferry while Lee will push north into Maryland.
  • Do you…
    • Split your troops to fight in both areas?
    • Take advantage of Lee’s weak numbers and send your forces to isolate and attack Lee’s army, to keep him from entering Maryland?
battle of antietam a k a battle of sharpsburg september 17 1862
Battle of Antietam (a.k.a. Battle of Sharpsburg)September 17, 1862


75,500 “present for duty”

12,401 casualties

(2,108 killed)


38,000 “engaged”

10,316 casualties

(1,546 killed)

  • Three separate Union assaults on Confederate strongholds – in a cornfield, on Sunken Road(which is now known as “Bloody Run”) and on a bridge near Sharpsburg.
  • No ground is gained but it is the bloodiest day in American history.

Episode 3.8 (55:10-1:02:30)

decision president lincoln3
Decision: President Lincoln
  • On September 22, 1862 you issued a preliminary proclamation warning that you would emancipate all slaves in any state of the Confederacy that did not return to the Union by January 1, 1863. No state returns.
  • Do you…
    • Go back on your word?
    • Go through with your warning?
emancipation proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
  • Made abolition a central goal of the war
  • No compensation for slave owners
  • Did not outlaw slavery (13th Amendment, Dec. 1865)
  • Did not make ex-slaves citizens (14th Amendment, July 1868)
effects of the emancipation proclamation
Effects of the Emancipation Proclamation
  • Energized anti-slavery forces
  • Weakened forces in Europe that wanted to intervene to help the Confederacy
  • Outraged white Southerners
  • Angered some Northern Democrats opposed to abolition

Episode 3 (1:08:45 – 1:11:45)

decision lincoln2
Decision: Lincoln
  • Choose a new general
ambrose burnside
Ambrose Burnside
  • Conducted successful campaigns early in the war
  • His distinctive style of facial hair is where the term “sideburns” comes from
battle of fredericksburg december 11 15 1862
Battle of FredericksburgDecember 11-15, 1862


114,000 engaged

12,653 casualties

(1,284 killed)


72,500 engaged

5,377 casualties

(608 killed)

  • Episode 4 (0:08:30-0:18:08)
decision lincoln3
Decision: Lincoln
  • Choose a new general
joseph hooker
Joseph Hooker
  • Nicknamed “Fighting Joe”
  • Distinguished himself as an aggressive combat commander at the Battle of Williamsburg
  • Conspired against and openly criticized his commanders
battle of chancellorsville april 30 may 6 1863
Battle of ChancellorsvilleApril 30-May 6, 1863


133,868 troops

17,197 casualties

(1,606 killed)


60,892 troops

13,303 casualties

(1,665 killed)

  • Episode 4 (0:42:36-0:51:30)
decision lincoln4
Decision: Lincoln
  • Choose a new general
george meade
George Meade
  • Nicknamed “Old Snapping Turtle”
  • His division was arguably the most successful during the Battle of Fredericksburg
siege at vicksburg may 19 july 4 1863
Siege at VicksburgMay 19-July 4, 1863
  • “Vicksburg is the key. The war can never be brought to a close until the key is in our pocket.” – Abraham Lincoln
  • Ulysses S. Grant brings his troops through the swamps around Vicksburg and surrounds the city.
decision president davis general lee2
Decision: President Davis & General Lee
  • Ulysses S. Grant is causing trouble with his siege of Vicksburg.
  • Do you…
    • Split your forces and send more Confederate troops to fight Grant?
    • Invade the North, again, in hopes that Lincoln will be forced to bring Grant’s army up from Vicksburg to defend the capital?
gettysburg july 1 3 1863
GettysburgJuly 1-3, 1863


93,921 troops

23,055 casualties

(3,155 killed)


71,699 troops

23,231 casualties

(4,708 killed)

  • Episode 5 (11:08-51:00)
fall of vicksburg may 18 july 4 1863
Fall of VicksburgMay 18-July 4, 1863


77,000 troops

4,835 casualties


33,000 troops

3,202 casualties

29,495 captured

  • Episode 5 (0:56:23-1:00:15)
decision lincoln5
Decision: Lincoln
  • Choose a new general
ulysses s grant
Ulysses S. Grant
  • Served with distinction in the Mexican-American War and in the Western Theater of the Civil War
  • Learned battle strategies under Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott
  • Observed by other commanders to have an “iron will” to win
decision president lincoln4
Decision: President Lincoln
  • General Grant has devised a strategy to mount coordinated attacks on the Confederacy from multiple directions
  • Do you…
    • Accept the plan?
    • Reject the plan?
grant s strategy1
Grant’s Strategy
  • William T. Sherman would command the Western Theater with the aim of capturing Atlanta and General Johnston’s forces
  • Grant would attack Lee near Richmond
  • Other forces would attack railroad supply lines in western Virginia and the port of Mobile, Alabama
  • “Total War” – only a complete defeat of the Confederacy would force them to surrender
fighting in the east
Fighting in the East
  • Grant’s army met Lee’s many times during his “Overland Campaign” at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor.
  • Grant proved tenacious, despite astonishing losses of over 65,000 casualties in just seven weeks.
fall of atlanta
Fall of Atlanta
  • After fighting from Chattanooga, Tennessee into Georgia, the city of Atlanta fell on September 5, 1864.
  • The result of this was twofold:
    • Abraham Lincoln was guaranteed reelection in the North
    • Sherman’s army was free to march through the heart of the South
decision william tecumseh sherman
Decision: William Tecumseh Sherman
  • You have captured the city of Atlanta and the Confederate armies near you are completely decimated. You are in the middle of the deep South and understand, along with General Grant, that only complete defeat will force the end of the war.
  • Do you…
    • Keep your forces around Atlanta, allowing the Confederates time to regroup?
    • Take the opportunity to destroy the economic livelihood of the Southerners, hoping to force them to surrender?
sherman s march to the sea november 15 december 21 1864
Sherman’s “March to the Sea”November 15 – December 21, 1864
  • Major General Sherman left the city of Atlanta and marched through Georgia to the port of Savannah, inflicting significant damage along the way
  • Sherman’s army destroyed industry, infrastructure, and civilian property while “living off the land”
  • “Sherman defied military principles by operating deep within enemy territory and without lines of supply or communication. He destroyed much of the South’s physical and psychological capacity to wage war.”(Historian David J. Eicher)

“We are not only fighting armies, but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war, as well as their organized armies. I know that this recent movement of mine through Georgia has had a wonderful effect in this respect. Thousands who had been deceived by their lying papers into the belief that we were being whipped all the time, realized the truth, and have no appetite for a repetition of the same experience.”

Letter, Sherman to Henry Halleck, December 24, 1864

sherman s march to the sea november 15 december 21 18641
Sherman’s “March to the Sea”November 15 – December 21, 1864
  • Sherman marched through Georgia, destroying about 20% of all the farms in Georgia
  • Sherman’s army was followed by thousands of freed slaves
  • When he reached Savannah he turned north and marched through South and North Carolina, approaching Virginia (and Lee) from the south
fall of richmond
Fall of Richmond
  • Lee’s army was facing desertion and heavy casualties
  • Union forces won a decisive victory at the Battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865, forcing Lee to evacuate Richmond – the Confederate capital fell to a regiment of black troops
decision general lee1
Decision: General Lee
  • New Orleans, Vicksburg, Atlanta, and now Richmond have all fallen. Your troops are deserting and the Confederate government is being forced to flee.
  • Do you…
    • Continue to run westward, fleeing from a superior army and risking even more casualties?
    • Accept defeat and surrender?
surrender at appomattox april 9 1865
Surrender at AppomattoxApril 9, 1865
  • Realizing that continued fighting against the U.S. was impossible, Lee surrendered at the McLean House in the village of Appomattox Court House.
  • In an untraditional gesture and as a sign of Grant’s respect, Lee was permitted to keep his sword and his horse, Traveller
  • Over the next few days, Confederate forces across the South surrendered as news of Lee’s surrender reached them
assassination of lincoln april 14 1865
Assassination of LincolnApril 14, 1865
  • Just five days after the end of the Civil War, President Lincoln was shot while attending a play at the Ford’s Theater
  • His assassin was John Wilkes Booth, a Southern sympathizer
  • Lincoln died early the next morning and his vice president, Andrew Johnson, became president