You are on page 1of 4

Chapter 21 The Furnace of Civil War

Bull Run Ends the Ninety- Day War - The war was initially thought to only last 90 days. A victory at Bull Run could have led to the capture of the Confederate capital at Richmond 100 miles to the south, therefor ending the secession. - Northerners lost the battle against Stonewall Jacksons soldiers - Bull Run was not militarily decisive but had significant psychological and political consequences. - Victory worse than defeat for the South because it made them dangerously overconfident, southern enlistment fell sharply and preparations slackened - Defeat was better than victory for Union because it dispelled illusions of a short war Tardy George McClellan and the Peninsula Campaign -General George B. McClellan was given command of the Army of the Potomac as the major Union force Strengths: Had seen plenty of fighting in Mexican War and in Crimean War in Russia, superb drill master, Weaknesses: perfectionist, overcautious and would not move his army forward, instead continuing drills (hence the name Tardy George) -In the Seven Days Battles Robert E Lee drove McClellan back to sea: Union forces abandoned Peninsula Campaign at a heavy cost (McClellan actually lost fewer men than Lee) -Ironic Effects -If McClellan had taken over Richmond and won the war, slaves would not have been emancipated at least for a while -Lee had in effect ensured that the war would endure until slavery was uprooted and the South destroyed -Lincoln began to draft emancipation proclamation -Union turned toward total war -Six Step North Military Plan 1. Suffocate South by blockading coasts 2. Liberate slaves, crushing Souths economy 3. Seize control of Mississippi River, cutting South in half 4. Chop Confederacy to pieces by sending troops through Georgia and Carolinas 5. Capture capital Richmond 6. Grind enemy into submission (Grants idea) The War at Sea -blockade started leakily; watertight patrol impossible for hastily improvised Northern navy (included many converted yachts and ferryboats) -Normally blockade would have been defied but Great Britain, the greatest maritime nation, recognized it and warned its shippers they could ignore it at their own risk

-Blockading would be used by Britain in many future wars so they did not want to put themselves at a disadvantage in the future by insisting Lincoln maintain impossibly high blockading standards -Blockading became highly risky and profitable as scarcity of southern goods drove prices higher. -Worst Confederate threat to blockade was from the Merrimack (renamed the Virginia), an old warship plated with old iron railroad rails on its side; Unions ironclad ship the Monitor fought it -This caused the doom of wooden warships, and use of ironclads The Pivotal Point: Antietam -At the Second Battle of Bull Run Robert E Lee encountered a Federal force under General John Pope and defeated him (McClellan had been removed from service after the Richmond incident) -Emboldened by his success Lee moved into Maryland and a critical battle at Antietam Creek, Maryland was fought. Lincoln restored McClellan under popular pressure. Two Union soldiers found a copy of Lees battle plans allowing McClellan to halt Lee at Antietam in one of the bitterest and bloodiest days of the war Effects of Antietam- one of the most decisive battles of the Civil War -Military draw -McClellan removed from command for second and final time (criticized for not going after Lee) -Jefferson Davis never so close to victory (British and French on the verge of diplomatic mediation) -Provided Lincoln with opportunity to launch preliminary Emancipation Proclamation -On Jan. 1, 1863 he issued final proclamation, turning the Civil war into moral crusade A Proclamation Without Emancipation -Emancipation Proclamation declared slaves free in Confederate states still in rebellion, loyal Border States and specific conquered areas in the South were not affected -Lincoln did not free slaves in the Border States where he could have enforced it but instead freed them in the Confederate states where he could not -Slaves where only freed from unofficial do it yourself liberation, Emancipation proclamation heralded by drumbeat of running feet of slaves escaping to the North -Lincolns goal to strengthen the moral cause of the Union, Emancipation Proclamation removed any chance of a negotiated settlement Blacks Battle Bondage -Lincoln took steps to enlist blacks in armed forces -Although initially denied, as manpower ran low they were accepted -Blacks accounted for about 10% of total enlistments in the Union forces -For reasons of pride, prejudice, and principle Confederacy did not enlist slaves until a month before the war ended and by then it was too late

-Ironically, most Southern slaves did little to help their Northern liberators, white or black Lees Last Lunge at Gettysburg After Antietam Lincoln replaced McClellan with General A.E. Burnside Burnside launched rash frontal attack on Lee at Fredericksburg, Virginia; more than 10,000 Northern soldiers were killed in Burnsides Slaughter Pen Fighting Joe Hooker replaced Burnside and lost to Lee at Chancellorsville, Virginia. This victory was one of Lees most brilliant but was dearly bought as Jackson was mistakenly shot by his own men, I have lost my right arm, Lee. George G. Meade replaced Hooker. Lincolns win at Gettysburg made the Southern cause doomed. The War in the West Lincoln found Ulysses S. Grant as an able general Came to light after his victory in Tennessee which riveted Kentucky more securely to the Union Although many demanded the removal of Grant (who supported Unconditional Surrender), Lincoln insisted I cant spare this man; he fights. Grant led Union forces in attacking Vicksburg, one of his best fought campaigns Union victory at Vicksburg came the day after the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg These back to back victories Reopened the Mississippi, relieving economic hardships after trade was cut off Tipped diplomatic scales in favor of North, Britain stopped delivery of the Laird rams to Confederates and France killed deal for the sale of six naval vessels to the Richmond government All Confederate hopes for foreign help lost Sherman Scorches Georgia Sherman was practitioner of total war, his success in Shermanizing the South was seen by increasing numbers of Confederate desertions Although his methods were brutal they shortened the struggle and hence saved lives The Politics of War Presidential election fell in the midst of war Lincoln worried about factions within his own part and the creation of the Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War which was dominated by radical Republicans who resented the expansion of presidential power in wartime Most dangerous to Union cause was Northern Democrats When their leader Stephen A. Douglass died the democrats divided War Democrats supported Lincoln, Peace Democrats did not, Copperheads were at the extreme, and they openly obstructed war thought attacks against Lincoln, the draft, and emancipation -Clement L. Vallandigham was a notorious Copperhead The Elections of 1864

Fearing defeat the Republican Party joined with the War Democrats and became the Union party. The Democrats consisted of Peace Democrats and Copperheads Lincoln was re-nominated for the Union party and the Democrats nominated General McClellan (the overcautious war hero) Lincolns election was at first doubtful until a succession of Northern victories. He won the election but not by chance. Northern soldiers were furloughed home to support Lincoln at the polls The removal of Lincoln would have been the last ghost of hope for a Confederate victory Grant Outlasts Lee Grant did not care about losing men and pushed forward in the Wilderness Campaign The public in the North was appalled by this blood and guts type of fighting and critics called him Grant the Butcher Confederates tried desperately for negotiation but Lincoln would not settle for anything but Union and emancipation and the South would accept nothing but independence Northern troops captured Richmond and cornered Lee at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia. Grant granted generous terms of surrender and silenced his Union soldiers when they cheered stating, The war is over; the rebels are our countrymen again. The Martyrdom of Lincoln Pro-Southern actor John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln in Fords Theater in Washington His dramatic death helped to erase the memory of his shortcomings and caused his nobler qualities to stand out Although at first the South cheered, they soon realized Lincolns moderation and kindliness would have been the most beneficial to them, but the Vice President Andrew Johnson who would take over Lincolns spot would now be in charge of Reconstruction The Aftermath of the Nightmare Over 1 million men were killed or seriously wounded Direct monetary costs totaled about $15 billion Answered the question of whether a nation dedicated to democratic principles could endure, provided inspiration to the champions of democracy around the world The great English Reform Bill of 1867 under which Britain became a true political democracy was passed 2 years after the Civil War