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The Civil War

1861-1865
By: Anish & David

The Causes

The two primary causes for the Civil War was the controversy over state rights and the dispute over slavery.

After the election of Abraham Lincoln South Carolina seceded from the union and then 6 other states followed before Lincoln took office, 4 other Southern states seceded making a total of 11.

Those 11 states made up the Confederate States of America and made Jefferson Davis their president. The war to preserve the union once again had begun.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

The First Blow: Fort Sumter
General Beauregard (Confederate) ordered that the Union commander, Commander Anderson, stop occupying Fort Sumter; however, the commander refused and then the bombardment began on April 12th 1961. However no one actually died from the bombardment, it still signified the beginning of the Civil War.

The Strategies
North
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South
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The North had a larger population which meant a bigger army. They had more factories thus they had better access to supplies. The anaconda plan: slowly cut the South off from the rest of the world. The North wanted to get to Richmond as quick as possible because they felt that a quick attack on Richmond would quickly end the war.

The South had far better Generals than the north. They felt that the North would eventually withdraw from the war. The South was fighting a defensive war; mainly on their terrain. South’s cotton diplomacy: the south placed an embargo on their cotton so other nation’s would recognize the importance of their cotton; however, the south received no help.

The Border States
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The vital border states that Lincoln desperately needed were Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri. All 4 of the border states were all slave states. Thus, Lincoln couldn’t afford to emancipate them with the Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War. The border states were so important because of their geography. For example, Missouri was an easy access to the Mississippi River and Kentucky was an easy access point to the Ohio River. Over all, the border states remained neutral but they were partially Pro-Union was well.

The First Battle of Bull Run
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After the 90 day enlistment period was over troops were sent to the Manassas Junction to fight off Confederate troops. This battle ended all hope for a short war. Stonewall Jackson, a Confederate general, stood firm in holding off Union forces and thus he received the name “Stonewall.” The Union army retreated back to Washington as they realized this was not going to be an easy war at all. Also, as a result, Lincoln called for a million more volunteers and General McClellan replaced General McDowell.

Stonewall Jackson

Important Battles
Battle of Shiloh

2nd Battle of Bull Run

This bloody battle was a Confederate loss as it racked up over 23,000 casualties.

Lincoln turned to General John Pope with his 50,000 men to battle against Robert E. Lee. Pope was defeated and then General McClellan was put back into command.

Battle of Antietam

The battle was the bloodiest single day battle in American history, it left 23,000 dead in a single day.

McClellan caught up with Robert E. Lee’s army at Sharpsburg and was winning the battle.

However, McClellan allowed the Confederates to retreat back to Virginia. McClellan was relived of his command and the new Union General was Ambrose Burnside.

Battle of Fredericksburg

This battle was a complete disaster for the Union. The new union commander, Ambrose Burnside, marched a massive army to Richmond.

He attacked the Confederates head-on and in the end 13.000 Union Soldiers lay dead.

Emancipation Proclamation

Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation, issued January 1st 1963, freed all slaves in rebellion against the Union.

Abolitionist were upset that slavery still continued in the Union; however, others felt that this would shorten the war.

More Important Battles
Gettysburg
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The battle of Gettysburg had the most number of causalities in the war. General Meade warded off Robert E Lee’s invading army. Eventually, Lee was forced to retreat back to Virginia. Lee felt confident after his tremendous victory at Chancellorsville and felt he could continue the northern invasion; however, he was wrong. The battle of Gettysburg is considered the turning point of the war. Around 50,000

Siege of Vicksburg

General Grant led the Siege of Vicksburg in May 1863.

After 48 days of constant shelling, the city surrendered

Also 4 days after the shelling had ceased, the last Confederate fort on the Mississippi also surrendered.

Fall of Richmond

General Lee had only 35,000 men left defending Petersburg and Grant was told to wait for reinforcements before invading.

Lee did not wait however, instead he surged into Petersburg and then charged into Richmond and took it.

Lee couldn’t escape because Grant’s troops blocked his way.

Appomattox

Lee was surrounded by Union soldiers; thus, he had no other option but to surrender.

They discussed the terms at Appomattox Courthouse and Grant was very generous. He only asked for the Confederates to turn over their weapons and leave; he even allowed them to take their horses.

The last of the Confederate forces surrendered on May 26,

To Conclude
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The Civil War was the bloodiest conflict in our nation’s history; it claimed more lives than all of the wars put together. The war wasn’t even between any foreign country, it was between our own countrymen and that’s even more discomforting. 620,000 soldiers lay dead for both sides. The Civil War was our nation’s darkest time period and we probably wouldn’t have been able to outlive if it wasn’t for the great president Abraham Lincoln. Before Lincoln, people used to say "United States are." Wasn't until the war ended, people started saying "The United States is." Under Lincoln, we became one nation.


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