Civil War Definition
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Meanwhile, they were held in camps run by their army. They were paid, but they were not allowed to perform any military duties. After that, about 56, of the , POWs died in prisons during the war, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the conflict's fatalities. Historian Elizabeth D. Leonard writes that, according to various estimates, between five hundred and one thousand women enlisted as soldiers on both sides of the war, disguised as men. Mary Edwards Walker , the only woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor , served in the Union Army and was given the medal for her efforts to treat the wounded during the war.
Her name was deleted from the Army Medal of Honor Roll in along with over other, male MOH recipients ; however, it was restored in The small U. Navy of was rapidly enlarged to 6, officers and 45, men in , with vessels, having a tonnage of , The U. In the East, the Navy supplied and moved army forces about and occasionally shelled Confederate installations. The Civil War occurred during the early stages of the industrial revolution. Many naval innovations emerged during this time, most notably the advent of the ironclad warship. It began when the Confederacy, knowing they had to meet or match the Union's naval superiority, responded to the Union blockade by building or converting more than vessels, including twenty-six ironclads and floating batteries.
Many were equipped with ram bows, creating "ram fever" among Union squadrons wherever they threatened. But in the face of overwhelming Union superiority and the Union's ironclad warships, they were unsuccessful. In addition to ocean-going warships coming up the Mississippi, the Union Navy used timberclads, tinclads, and armored gunboats. Shipyards at Cairo, Illinois, and St. Louis built new boats or modified steamboats for action. The Confederacy experimented with the submarine CSS Hunley , which did not work satisfactorily,  and with building an ironclad ship, CSS Virginia , which was based on rebuilding a sunken Union ship, Merrimack.
On its first foray on March 8, , Virginia inflicted significant damage to the Union's wooden fleet, but the next day the first Union ironclad, USS Monitor , arrived to challenge it in the Chesapeake Bay. The resulting three-hour Battle of Hampton Roads was a draw, but it proved that ironclads were effective warships. Lacking the technology and infrastructure to build effective warships, the Confederacy attempted to obtain warships from Great Britain.
However, this failed as Great Britain had no interest in selling warships to a nation that was at war with a far stronger enemy, and it meant it could sour relations with the U. By early , General Winfield Scott had devised the Anaconda Plan to win the war with as little bloodshed as possible. Lincoln adopted parts of the plan, but he overruled Scott's caution about day volunteers. Public opinion, however, demanded an immediate attack by the army to capture Richmond. In April , Lincoln announced the Union blockade of all Southern ports; commercial ships could not get insurance and regular traffic ended. The South blundered in embargoing cotton exports in before the blockade was effective; by the time they realized the mistake, it was too late.
The blockade shut down the ten Confederate seaports with railheads that moved almost all the cotton, especially New Orleans, Mobile, and Charleston. By June , warships were stationed off the principal Southern ports, and a year later nearly ships were in service. The Confederates began the war short on military supplies and in desperate need of large quantities of arms which the agrarian South could not provide. Arms manufactures in the industrial North were restricted by an arms embargo, keeping shipments of arms from going to the South, and ending all existing and future contracts. The Confederacy subsequently looked to foreign sources for their enormous military needs and sought out financiers and companies like S. To get the arms safely to the Confederacy British investors built small, fast, steam-driven blockade runners that traded arms and supplies brought in from Britain through Bermuda, Cuba, and the Bahamas in return for high-priced cotton.
Many of the ships were lightweight and designed for speed and could only carry a relatively small amount of cotton back to England. The Southern economy nearly collapsed during the war. There were multiple reasons for this: the severe deterioration of food supplies, especially in cities, the failure of Southern railroads, the loss of control of the main rivers, foraging by Northern armies, and the seizure of animals and crops by Confederate armies. Most historians agree that the blockade was a major factor in ruining the Confederate economy; however, Wise argues that the blockade runners provided just enough of a lifeline to allow Lee to continue fighting for additional months, thanks to fresh supplies of , rifles, lead, blankets, and boots that the homefront economy could no longer supply.
Surdam argues that the blockade was a powerful weapon that eventually ruined the Southern economy, at the cost of few lives in combat. Practically, the entire Confederate cotton crop was useless although it was sold to Union traders , costing the Confederacy its main source of income. Critical imports were scarce and the coastal trade was largely ended as well. Merchant ships owned in Europe could not get insurance and were too slow to evade the blockade, so they stopped calling at Confederate ports. To fight an offensive war, the Confederacy purchased ships in Britain, converted them to warships, and raided American merchant ships in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Insurance rates skyrocketed and the American flag virtually disappeared from international waters. However, the same ships were reflagged with European flags and continued unmolested. Britain acquiesced to their demand, paying the U. Although the Confederacy hoped that Britain and France would join them against the Union, this was never likely, and so they instead tried to bring Britain and France in as mediators. Seward , worked to block this and threatened war if any country officially recognized the existence of the Confederate States of America.
In , Southerners voluntarily embargoed cotton shipments, hoping to start an economic depression in Europe that would force Britain to enter the war to get cotton, but this did not work. Worse, Europe turned to Egypt and India for cotton, which they found superior, hindering the South's recovery after the war. Cotton diplomacy proved a failure as Europe had a surplus of cotton, while the —62 crop failures in Europe made the North's grain exports of critical importance. It also helped to turn European opinion further away from the Confederacy. Lincoln's administration initially failed to appeal to European public opinion. At first, diplomats explained that the United States was not committed to the ending of slavery, and instead repeated legalistic arguments about the unconstitutionality of secession.
Confederate representatives, on the other hand, started off much more successful, by ignoring slavery and instead focusing on their struggle for liberty, their commitment to free trade, and the essential role of cotton in the European economy. European government leaders welcomed the fragmentation of the ascendant American Republic. As early as , many Union diplomats such as Carl Schurz realized emphasizing the war against slavery was the Union's most effective moral asset in the struggle for public opinion in Europe.
Seward was concerned that an overly radical case for reunification would distress the European aristocrats with cotton interests; even so, Seward supported a widespread campaign of public diplomacy. The most famous, the CSS Alabama , did considerable damage and led to serious postwar disputes. However, public opinion against slavery in Britain created a political liability for British politicians, where the anti-slavery movement was powerful. War loomed in late between the U. Navy's boarding of the British ship Trent and seizure of two Confederate diplomats.
However, London and Washington were able to smooth over the problem after Lincoln released the two. In , the British government considered mediating between the Union and Confederacy, though even such an offer would have risked war with the United States. The Union victory in the Battle of Antietam caused the British to delay this decision. The Emancipation Proclamation over time would reinforce the political liability of supporting the Confederacy. Realizing that Washington could not intervene in Mexico as long as the Confederacy controlled Texas, France invaded Mexico in Washington repeatedly protested France's violation of the Monroe Doctrine.
Despite sympathy for the Confederacy, France's seizure of Mexico ultimately deterred them from war with the Union. Confederate offers late in the war to end slavery in return for diplomatic recognition were not seriously considered by London or Paris. After , the Polish revolt against Russia further distracted the European powers and ensured that they would remain neutral. Russia supported the Union, largely due to the view that the U. The Eastern theater refers to the military operations east of the Appalachian Mountains , including the states of Virginia , West Virginia , Maryland , and Pennsylvania , the District of Columbia , and the coastal fortifications and seaports of North Carolina.
George B. McClellan took command of the Union Army of the Potomac on July 26 he was briefly general-in-chief of all the Union armies, but was subsequently relieved of that post in favor of Maj. Henry W. Halleck , and the war began in earnest in The Union strategy called for simultaneous advances along four axes: . The Army originated as the Confederate Army of the Potomac , which was organized on June 20, , from all operational forces in northern Virginia. The Army of the Peninsula was merged into it on April 12, When Virginia declared its secession in April , Robert E. Lee chose to follow his home state, despite his desire for the country to remain intact and an offer of a senior Union command.
Lee's biographer, Douglas S. Freeman , asserts that the army received its final name from Lee when he issued orders assuming command on June 1, Johnston , his predecessor in army command, before that date and referred to Johnston's command as the Army of Northern Virginia. Part of the confusion results from the fact that Johnston commanded the Department of Northern Virginia as of October 22, and the name Army of Northern Virginia can be seen as an informal consequence of its parent department's name.
Jefferson Davis and Johnston did not adopt the name, but it is clear that the organization of units as of March 14 was the same organization that Lee received on June 1, and thus it is generally referred to today as the Army of Northern Virginia, even if that is correct only in retrospect. Jackson assigned Jeb Stuart to command all the cavalry companies of the Army of the Shenandoah. He eventually commanded the Army of Northern Virginia's cavalry. In one of the first highly visible battles, in July , a march by Union troops under the command of Maj.
Irvin McDowell on the Confederate forces led by Gen. The Union had the upper hand at first, nearly pushing confederate forces holding a defensive position into a rout, but Confederate reinforcements under Joseph E. Johnston arrived from the Shenandoah Valley by railroad, and the course of the battle quickly changed. A brigade of Virginians under the relatively unknown brigadier general from the Virginia Military Institute , Thomas J. Jackson , stood its ground, which resulted in Jackson receiving his famous nickname, "Stonewall". Upon the strong urging of President Lincoln to begin offensive operations, McClellan attacked Virginia in the spring of by way of the peninsula between the York River and James River , southeast of Richmond.
McClellan's army reached the gates of Richmond in the Peninsula Campaign ,   . Employing audacity and rapid, unpredictable movements on interior lines, Jackson's 17, men marched miles 1, km in 48 days and won several minor battles as they successfully engaged three Union armies 52, men , including those of Nathaniel P. Banks and John C. Fremont , preventing them from reinforcing the Union offensive against Richmond. The swiftness of Jackson's men earned them the nickname of " foot cavalry ". Lee assumed his position of command. Lincoln then restored Pope's troops to McClellan.
Antietam is considered a Union victory because it halted Lee's invasion of the North and provided an opportunity for Lincoln to announce his Emancipation Proclamation. When the cautious McClellan failed to follow up on Antietam, he was replaced by Maj. Ambrose Burnside. Burnside was soon defeated at the Battle of Fredericksburg  on December 13, , when more than 12, Union soldiers were killed or wounded during repeated futile frontal assaults against Marye's Heights.
After the battle, Burnside was replaced by Maj. Joseph Hooker. Hooker, too, proved unable to defeat Lee's army; despite outnumbering the Confederates by more than two to one, his Chancellorsville Campaign proved ineffective and he was humiliated in the Battle of Chancellorsville in May Stonewall Jackson was shot in the arm by accidental friendly fire during the battle and subsequently died of complications. The fiercest fighting of the battle—and the second bloodiest day of the Civil War—occurred on May 3 as Lee launched multiple attacks against the Union position at Chancellorsville. That same day, John Sedgwick advanced across the Rappahannock River , defeated the small Confederate force at Marye's Heights in the Second Battle of Fredericksburg , and then moved to the west.
The Confederates fought a successful delaying action at the Battle of Salem Church. Hooker was replaced by Maj. George Meade during Lee's second invasion of the North , in June. Meade defeated Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg July 1 to 3, Pickett's Charge on July 3 is often considered the high-water mark of the Confederacy because it signaled the collapse of serious Confederate threats of victory. Lee's army suffered 28, casualties versus Meade's 23, After Meade's inconclusive fall campaign, Lincoln turned to the Western Theater for new leadership. At the same time, the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg surrendered, giving the Union control of the Mississippi River, permanently isolating the western Confederacy, and producing the new leader Lincoln needed, Ulysses S.
The primary Confederate force in the Western theater was the Army of Tennessee. While the Confederate forces had numerous successes in the Eastern Theater, they were defeated many times in the West. The Union's key strategist and tactician in the West was Ulysses S. Grant, who won victories at Forts Henry February 6, and Donelson February 11 to 16, , earning him the nickname of "Unconditional Surrender" Grant, by which the Union seized control of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. Nathan Bedford Forrest rallied nearly 4, Confederate troops and led them to escape across the Cumberland. Nashville and central Tennessee thus fell to the Union, leading to attrition of local food supplies and livestock and a breakdown in social organization.
Leonidas Polk 's invasion of Columbus ended Kentucky's policy of neutrality and turned it against the Confederacy. Although rebuffed at Belmont, Grant cut off Columbus. The Confederates, lacking their gunboats, were forced to retreat and the Union took control of western Kentucky and opened Tennessee in March At the Battle of Shiloh Pittsburg Landing , in Tennessee in April , the Confederates made a surprise attack that pushed Union forces against the river as night fell. Overnight, the Navy landed additional reinforcements, and Grant counter-attacked. Grant and the Union won a decisive victory—the first battle with the high casualty rates that would repeat over and over. One of the early Union objectives in the war was the capture of the Mississippi River , to cut the Confederacy in half.
Naval forces under Farragut ran past Confederate defenses south of New Orleans. Confederate forces abandoned the city, giving the Union a critical anchor in the deep South. Memphis fell to Union forces on June 6, , and became a key base for further advances south along the Mississippi River. Only the fortress city of Vicksburg , Mississippi, prevented Union control of the entire river. Bragg's second invasion of Kentucky in the Confederate Heartland Offensive included initial successes such as Kirby Smith 's triumph at the Battle of Richmond and the capture of the Kentucky capital of Frankfort on September 3, Don Carlos Buell at the Battle of Perryville. Bragg was forced to end his attempt at invading Kentucky and retreat due to lack of logistical support and lack of infantry recruits for the Confederacy in that state.
Bragg was narrowly defeated by Maj. Naval forces assisted Grant in the long, complex Vicksburg Campaign that resulted in the Confederates surrendering at the Battle of Vicksburg in July , which cemented Union control of the Mississippi River and is considered one of the turning points of the war. The one clear Confederate victory in the West was the Battle of Chickamauga. James Longstreet's corps from Lee's army in the east , defeated Rosecrans, despite the heroic defensive stand of Maj. George Henry Thomas. Rosecrans retreated to Chattanooga , which Bragg then besieged in the Chattanooga Campaign. Grant marched to the relief of Rosecrans and defeated Bragg at the Third Battle of Chattanooga ,  eventually causing Longstreet to abandon his Knoxville Campaign and driving Confederate forces out of Tennessee and opening a route to Atlanta and the heart of the Confederacy.
The Trans-Mississippi theater refers to military operations west of the Mississippi River, not including the areas bordering the Pacific Ocean. Extensive guerrilla warfare characterized the trans-Mississippi region, as the Confederacy lacked the troops and the logistics to support regular armies that could challenge Union control. These partisans could not be entirely driven out of the state of Missouri until an entire regular Union infantry division was engaged. By , these violent activities harmed the nationwide anti-war movement organizing against the re-election of Lincoln. Missouri not only stayed in the Union but Lincoln took 70 percent of the vote for re-election. Numerous small-scale military actions south and west of Missouri sought to control Indian Territory and New Mexico Territory for the Union.
The Union repulsed Confederate incursions into New Mexico in , and the exiled Arizona government withdrew into Texas. In the Indian Territory, civil war broke out within tribes. About 12, Indian warriors fought for the Confederacy and smaller numbers for the Union. Although he lacked resources to beat Union armies, he built up a formidable arsenal at Tyler, along with his own Kirby Smithdom economy, a virtual "independent fiefdom" in Texas, including railroad construction and international smuggling. The Union, in turn, did not directly engage him. The Lower Seaboard theater refers to military and naval operations that occurred near the coastal areas of the Southeast Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas as well as the southern part of the Mississippi River Port Hudson and south.
Union Naval activities were dictated by the Anaconda Plan. One of the earliest battles of the war was fought at Port Royal Sound , south of Charleston. Much of the war along the South Carolina coast concentrated on capturing Charleston. In attempting to capture Charleston, the Union military tried two approaches; by land over James or Morris Islands or through the harbor. However, the Confederates were able to drive back each Union attack. One of the most famous of the land attacks was the Second Battle of Fort Wagner , in which the 54th Massachusetts Infantry took part.
The Federals suffered a serious defeat in this battle, losing 1, men while the Confederates lost only Fort Pulaski on the Georgia coast was an early target for the Union navy. Following the capture of Port Royal, an expedition was organized with engineer troops under the command of Captain Quincy A. Gillmore , forcing a Confederate surrender. The Union army occupied the fort for the rest of the war after repairing it. Porter attacked Forts Jackson and St. Philip , which guarded the river approach to New Orleans from the south. While part of the fleet bombarded the forts, other vessels forced a break in the obstructions in the river and enabled the rest of the fleet to steam upriver to the city.
A Union army force commanded by Major General Benjamin Butler landed near the forts and forced their surrender. Butler's controversial command of New Orleans earned him the nickname "Beast". Banks laid siege to Port Hudson for nearly eight weeks, the longest siege in US military history. These two surrenders gave the Union control over the entire Mississippi. Several small skirmishes were fought in Florida, but no major battles. The biggest was the Battle of Olustee in early The Pacific Coast theater refers to military operations on the Pacific Ocean and in the states and Territories west of the Continental Divide. At the beginning of , Lincoln made Grant commander of all Union armies.
Grant made his headquarters with the Army of the Potomac and put Maj. William Tecumseh Sherman in command of most of the western armies. Grant understood the concept of total war and believed, along with Lincoln and Sherman, that only the utter defeat of Confederate forces and their economic base would end the war. This policy I believe exercised a material influence in hastening the end. Averell were to operate against railroad supply lines in West Virginia , and Maj.
Nathaniel P. Banks was to capture Mobile , Alabama. Grant's army set out on the Overland Campaign intending to draw Lee into a defense of Richmond, where they would attempt to pin down and destroy the Confederate army. The Union army first attempted to maneuver past Lee and fought several battles, notably at the Wilderness , Spotsylvania , and Cold Harbor. These battles resulted in heavy losses on both sides and forced Lee's Confederates to fall back repeatedly. An attempt to outflank Lee from the south failed under Butler, who was trapped inside the Bermuda Hundred river bend.
Each battle resulted in setbacks for the Union that mirrored what they had suffered under prior generals, though, unlike those prior generals, Grant fought on rather than retreat. While Lee was preparing for an attack on Richmond, Grant unexpectedly turned south to cross the James River and began the protracted Siege of Petersburg , where the two armies engaged in trench warfare for over nine months. Grant finally found a commander, General Philip Sheridan, aggressive enough to prevail in the Valley Campaigns of Sheridan was initially repelled at the Battle of New Market by former U.
John C. After redoubling his efforts, Sheridan defeated Maj. Jubal A. Early in a series of battles, including a final decisive defeat at the Battle of Cedar Creek. Sheridan then proceeded to destroy the agricultural base of the Shenandoah Valley , a strategy similar to the tactics Sherman later employed in Georgia. Johnston and John Bell Hood along the way. The fall of Atlanta on September 2, , guaranteed the reelection of Lincoln as president.
Union Maj. Thomas dealt Hood a massive defeat at the Battle of Nashville , effectively destroying Hood's army. Leaving Atlanta, and his base of supplies, Sherman's army marched with an unknown destination, laying waste to about 20 percent of the farms in Georgia in his " March to the Sea ". Sherman's army was followed by thousands of freed slaves; there were no major battles along the March. Sherman turned north through South Carolina and North Carolina to approach the Confederate Virginia lines from the south, increasing the pressure on Lee's army. Lee's army, thinned by desertion and casualties, was now much smaller than Grant's.
One last Confederate attempt to break the Union hold on Petersburg failed at the decisive Battle of Five Forks sometimes called "the Waterloo of the Confederacy" on April 1. This meant that the Union now controlled the entire perimeter surrounding Richmond-Petersburg, completely cutting it off from the Confederacy. Realizing that the capital was now lost, Lee decided to evacuate his army. The remaining Confederate units fled west after a defeat at Sayler's Creek.
Initially, Lee did not intend to surrender but planned to regroup at the village of Appomattox Court House , where supplies were to be waiting and then continue the war. Grant chased Lee and got in front of him so that when Lee's army reached Appomattox Court House, they were surrounded. After an initial battle , Lee decided that the fight was now hopeless, and surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, , at the McLean House. His men were paroled , and a chain of Confederate surrenders began.
Lincoln died early the next morning. Lincoln's vice president, Andrew Johnson , was unharmed as his would-be assassin, George Atzerodt , lost his nerve, so he was immediately sworn in as president. Meanwhile, Confederate forces across the South surrendered as news of Lee's surrender reached them. It proved to be the largest surrender of Confederate forces. On May 4, all remaining Confederate forces in Alabama and Mississippi surrendered. President Johnson officially declared an end to the insurrection on May 9, ; Confederate president, Jefferson Davis , was captured the following day. The causes of the war , the reasons for its outcome, and even the name of the war itself are subjects of lingering contention today.
The North and West grew rich while the once-rich South became poor for a century. The national political power of the slaveowners and rich Southerners ended. Historians are less sure about the results of the postwar Reconstruction, especially regarding the second-class citizenship of the Freedmen and their poverty. Historians have debated whether the Confederacy could have won the war. Most scholars, including James McPherson , argue that Confederate victory was at least possible. He also argues that if the Confederacy had fought using unconventional tactics, they would have more easily been able to hold out long enough to exhaust the Union.
Confederates did not need to invade and hold enemy territory to win but only needed to fight a defensive war to convince the North that the cost of winning was too high. The North needed to conquer and hold vast stretches of enemy territory and defeat Confederate armies to win. The Confederacy sought to win independence by out-lasting Lincoln; however, after Atlanta fell and Lincoln defeated McClellan in the election of , all hope for a political victory for the South ended. At that point, Lincoln had secured the support of the Republicans, War Democrats, the border states, emancipated slaves, and the neutrality of Britain and France. By defeating the Democrats and McClellan, he also defeated the Copperheads and their peace platform.
Some scholars argue that the Union held an insurmountable long-term advantage over the Confederacy in industrial strength and population. Confederate actions, they argue, only delayed defeat. If there had been more Southern victories, and a lot more, the North simply would have brought that other hand out from behind its back. I don't think the South ever had a chance to win that War. A minority view among historians is that the Confederacy lost because, as E. Merton Coulter put it, "people did not will hard enough and long enough to win.
Even as the Confederacy was visibly collapsing in —65, he says most Confederate soldiers were fighting hard. Also important were Lincoln's eloquence in rationalizing the national purpose and his skill in keeping the border states committed to the Union cause. The Emancipation Proclamation was an effective use of the President's war powers. Southern leaders needed to get European powers to help break up the blockade the Union had created around the Southern ports and cities. The abundance of European cotton and Britain's hostility to the institution of slavery, along with Lincoln's Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico naval blockades, severely decreased any chance that either Britain or France would enter the war. Historian Don Doyle has argued that the Union victory had a major impact on the course of world history.
A Confederate victory, on the other hand, would have meant a new birth of slavery, not freedom. Historian Fergus Bordewich, following Doyle, argues that:. The North's victory decisively proved the durability of democratic government. Confederate independence, on the other hand, would have established an American model for reactionary politics and race-based repression that would likely have cast an international shadow into the twentieth century and perhaps beyond.
Scholars have debated what the effects of the war were on political and economic power in the South. The war resulted in at least 1,, casualties 3 percent of the population , including about , soldier deaths—two-thirds by disease—and 50, civilians. David Hacker believes the number of soldier deaths was approximately ,, 20 percent higher than traditionally estimated, and possibly as high as , Based on census figures, 8 percent of all white men aged 13 to 43 died in the war, including 6 percent in the North and 18 percent in the South. Union army dead, amounting to 15 percent of the over two million who served, was broken down as follows: .
In addition there were 4, deaths in the Navy 2, in battle and in the Marines in battle. Black troops made up 10 percent of the Union death toll, they amounted to 15 percent of disease deaths but less than 3 percent of those killed in battle. In the last year and a half and from all reported casualties, approximately 20 percent of all African Americans enrolled in the military lost their lives during the Civil War.
Notably, their mortality rate was significantly higher than white soldiers. While Confederate records compiled by historian William F. Fox list 74, killed and died of wounds and 59, died of disease. Including Confederate estimates of battle losses where no records exist would bring the Confederate death toll to 94, killed and died of wounds. However, this excludes the 30, deaths of Confederate troops in prisons, which would raise the minimum number of deaths to , The United States National Park Service uses the following figures in its official tally of war losses: .
While the figures of , army deaths for the Union and , for the Confederacy remained commonly cited, they are incomplete. In addition to many Confederate records being missing, partly as a result of Confederate widows not reporting deaths due to being ineligible for benefits, both armies only counted troops who died during their service and not the tens of thousands who died of wounds or diseases after being discharged. This often happened only a few days or weeks later. Francis Amasa Walker , superintendent of the census, used census and surgeon general data to estimate a minimum of , Union military deaths and , Confederate military deaths, for a total death toll of , soldiers.
While Walker's estimates were originally dismissed because of the census's undercounting, it was later found that the census was only off by 6. Analyzing the number of dead by using census data to calculate the deviation of the death rate of men of fighting age from the norm suggests that at least , and at most ,, but most likely , soldiers, died in the war. Deaths among former slaves has proven much harder to estimate, due to the lack of reliable census data at the time, though they were known to be considerable, as former slaves were set free or escaped in massive numbers in an area where the Union army did not have sufficient shelter, doctors, or food for them.
University of Connecticut Professor James Downs states that tens to hundreds of thousands of slaves died during the war from disease, starvation, or exposure and that if these deaths are counted in the war's total, the death toll would exceed 1 million. Losses were far higher than during the recent defeat of Mexico , which saw roughly thirteen thousand American deaths, including fewer than two thousand killed in battle, between and One reason for the high number of battle deaths during the war was the continued use of tactics similar to those of the Napoleonic Wars at the turn of the century, such as charging. This led to the adoption of trench warfare , a style of fighting that defined much of World War I.
Abolishing slavery was not a Union war goal from the outset, but it quickly became one. To Northerners, in contrast, the motivation was primarily to preserve the Union , not to abolish slavery. Lincoln and his cabinet made ending slavery a war goal, which culminated in the Emancipation Proclamation. The Republicans' counterargument that slavery was the mainstay of the enemy steadily gained support, with the Democrats losing decisively in the elections in the northern state of Ohio when they tried to resurrect anti-black sentiment. Slavery for the Confederacy's 3. The last Confederate slaves were freed on June 19th, , celebrated as the modern holiday of Juneteenth. Slaves in the border states and those located in some former Confederate territory occupied before the Emancipation Proclamation were freed by state action or on December 6, by the Thirteenth Amendment.
About , volunteered, further enhancing the numerical advantage the Union armies enjoyed over the Confederates, who did not dare emulate the equivalent manpower source for fear of fundamentally undermining the legitimacy of slavery. During the Civil War, sentiment concerning slaves, enslavement and emancipation in the United States was divided. Lincoln's fears of making slavery a war issue were based on a harsh reality: abolition did not enjoy wide support in the west, the territories, and the border states. Lincoln warned the border states that a more radical type of emancipation would happen if his gradual plan based on compensated emancipation and voluntary colonization was rejected.
When Lincoln told his cabinet about his proposed emancipation proclamation, Seward advised Lincoln to wait for a victory before issuing it, as to do otherwise would seem like "our last shriek on the retreat". In September , the Battle of Antietam provided this opportunity, and the subsequent War Governors' Conference added support for the proclamation. In his letter to Albert G. Hodges , Lincoln explained his belief that "If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong And yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and feeling I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.
Lincoln's moderate approach succeeded in inducing border states, War Democrats and emancipated slaves to fight for the Union. All abolished slavery on their own, except Kentucky and Delaware. It caused much unrest in the Western states, where racist sentiments led to a great fear of abolition. There was some concern that the proclamation would lead to the secession of Western states, and prompted the stationing of Union troops in Illinois in case of rebellion. Since the Emancipation Proclamation was based on the President's war powers, it only included territory held by Confederates at the time. However, the Proclamation became a symbol of the Union's growing commitment to add emancipation to the Union's definition of liberty.
The war had utterly devastated the South, and posed serious questions of how the South would be re-integrated to the Union. The war destroyed much of the wealth that had existed in the South. All accumulated investment Confederate bonds were forfeit; most banks and railroads were bankrupt. The income per person in the South dropped to less than 40 percent of that of the North, a condition that lasted until well into the 20th century. Southern influence in the U. From the Union perspective, the goals of Reconstruction were to consolidate the Union victory on the battlefield by reuniting the Union; to guarantee a " republican form of government " for the ex-Confederate states, and to permanently end slavery—and prevent semi-slavery status.
President Johnson took a lenient approach and saw the achievement of the main war goals as realized in when each ex-rebel state repudiated secession and ratified the Thirteenth Amendment. Radical Republicans demanded proof that Confederate nationalism was dead and that the slaves were truly free. They came to the fore after the elections and undid much of Johnson's work.
In the "Liberal Republicans" argued that the war goals had been achieved and that Reconstruction should end. They ran a presidential ticket in but were decisively defeated. In , Democrats, primarily Southern, took control of Congress and opposed any more reconstruction. The Compromise of closed with a national consensus that the Civil War had finally ended. The Civil War would have a huge impact on American politics in the years to come.
Many veterans on both sides were subsequently elected to political office, including five U. The Civil War is one of the central events in American collective memory. There are innumerable statues, commemorations, books and archival collections. The memory includes the home front, military affairs, the treatment of soldiers, both living and dead, in the war's aftermath, depictions of the war in literature and art, evaluations of heroes and villains, and considerations of the moral and political lessons of the war. Professional historians have paid much more attention to the causes of the war, than to the war itself.
Military history has largely developed outside academia, leading to a proliferation of studies by non-scholars who nevertheless are familiar with the primary sources and pay close attention to battles and campaigns, and who write for the general public, rather than the scholarly community. Bruce Catton and Shelby Foote are among the best-known writers. The memory of the war in the white South crystallized in the myth of the "Lost Cause" : that the Confederate cause was a just and heroic one.
The myth shaped regional identity and race relations for generations. Nolan notes that the Lost Cause was expressly "a rationalization, a cover-up to vindicate the name and fame" of those in rebellion. Some claims revolve around the insignificance of slavery; some appeals highlight cultural differences between North and South; the military conflict by Confederate actors is idealized; in any case, secession was said to be lawful. He also deems the Lost Cause "a caricature of the truth. This caricature wholly misrepresents and distorts the facts of the matter" in every instance. Beard and Mary R. The Beards downplayed slavery, abolitionism, and issues of morality. Though this interpretation was abandoned by the Beards in the s, and by historians generally by the s, Beardian themes still echo among Lost Cause writers.
The first efforts at Civil War battlefield preservation and memorialization came during the war itself with the establishment of National Cemeteries at Gettysburg, Mill Springs and Chattanooga. Soldiers began erecting markers on battlefields beginning with the First Battle of Bull Run in July , but the oldest surviving monument is the Hazen Brigade Monument near Murfreesboro, Tennessee , built in the summer of by soldiers in Union Col.
William B. Hazen's brigade to mark the spot where they buried their dead following the Battle of Stones River. In , these five parks and other national monuments were transferred to the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. The American Civil War has been commemorated in many capacities ranging from the reenactment of battles to statues and memorial halls erected, to films being produced, to stamps and coins with Civil War themes being issued, all of which helped to shape public memory. This varied advent occurred in greater proportions on the th and th anniversary. Numerous technological innovations during the Civil War had a great impact on 19th-century science. The Civil War was one of the earliest examples of an " industrial war ", in which technological might is used to achieve military supremacy in a war.
The war also saw the first appearances of rapid-firing weapons and machine guns such as the Agar gun and the Gatling gun. The Civil War is one of the most studied events in American history, and the collection of cultural works around it is enormous. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from US Civil War. For other uses, see Civil War disambiguation. United States , Atlantic Ocean. Dissolution of the Confederate States U. Theaters of the American Civil War. Timeline and periods. By group. See also. Historiography List of years in the United States.
Status of the states, Slave states that seceded before April 15, Slave states that seceded after April 15, Union states that permitted slavery border states. Union states that banned slavery. Main article: Slavery in the United States. Main article: Abolitionism in the United States. Further information: Slave states and free states. Stephen Douglas, author of the Kansas—Nebraska Act of John J. Crittenden, of the Crittenden Compromise. Main article: United States presidential election. Main article: Battle of Fort Sumter. Main article: Border states American Civil War.
Union states. Union territories not permitting slavery. Border Union states, permitting slavery. Confederate states. Union territories that permitted slavery claimed by Confederacy at the start of the war, but where slavery was outlawed by the U. See also: Child soldiers in the American Civil War. Main article: American Civil War prison camps. Main article: Union blockade. Main article: Blockade runners of the American Civil War.
Main article: Diplomacy of the American Civil War. Main article: Conclusion of the American Civil War. This New York Times front page celebrated Lee's surrender, headlining how Grant let Confederate officers retain their sidearms and "paroled" the Confederate officers and men. National cemetery in Andersonville, GA. Main article: Emancipation Proclamation. Left: Contrabands —fugitive slaves—cooks, laundresses, laborers, teamsters, railroad repair crews—fled to the Union Army, but were not officially freed until by the Emancipation Proclamation. Right: In , the Union army accepted Freedmen. Seen here are Black and White teen-aged soldiers. Main article: Reconstruction era. Right: Cherokee Confederates reunion in New Orleans, Main article: Lost Cause of the Confederacy.
Top: Grand Army of the Republic Union. Bottom: United Confederate Veterans. See also: Music of the American Civil War. The ones who died have been excluded to prevent double-counting of casualties. Contrabands and after the Emancipation Proclamation freedmen, migrating into Union control on the coasts and to the advancing armies, and natural increase are excluded.
It omits losses from contraband and after the Emancipation Proclamation, freedmen migrating to the Union controlled coastal ports and those joining advancing Union armies, especially in the Mississippi Valley. They used them as laborers to support the war effort. As Howell Cobb said, "If slaves will make good soldiers our whole theory of slavery is wrong. Lee argued in favor of arming blacks late in the war, and Jefferson Davis was eventually persuaded to support plans for arming slaves to avoid military defeat.
The Confederacy surrendered at Appomattox before this plan could be implemented. Restoration of Law in the State of Virginia. The New York Times. Associated Press. May 10, Retrieved December 23, National Park Service. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, OCLC War Dept Louisiana State University. Archived from the original on July 11, Retrieved October 14, University of Connecticut, April 13, The surviving records only include the number of Black patients whom doctors encountered; tens of thousands of other slaves who died had no contact with army doctors, leaving no records of their deaths.
David September 20, Archived from the original on September 25, Retrieved September 22, Oxford University Press, April 13, As horrific as this new number is, it fails to reflect the mortality of former slaves during the war. If former slaves were included in this figure, the Civil War death toll would likely be over a million casualties Science Daily. September 22, American Battlefield Trust.
August 16, Retrieved October 7, October 1, Oxford University Press. ISBN Martis, Kenneth C. Politics and Ideology in the Age of the Civil War. The Atlantic. Retrieved December 21, Remembering the Civil War Speech. Sesquicentennial of the Start of the Civil War. Retrieved August 29, Issues related to the institution of slavery precipitated secession It was not states' rights.
It was not a tariff. It was not unhappiness with manner and customs that led to secession and eventually to war. It was a cluster of issues profoundly dividing the nation along a fault line delineated by the institution of slavery. Dougherty, and Jac C. March 1, What They Fought For — Louisiana State University Press. April 3, For Cause and Comrades. The loyal citizenry initially gave very little thought to emancipation in their quest to save the union. Most loyal citizens, though profoundly prejudice by 21st century standards, embraced emancipation as a tool to punish slaveholders, weaken the confederacy, and protect the union from future internal strife. A minority of the white populous invoked moral grounds to attack slavery, though their arguments carried far less popular weight than those presenting emancipation as a military measure necessary to defeat the rebels and restore the Union.
Canton Daily Ledger. Canton, Illinois. Archived from the original on February 1, Retrieved January 29, American Political Science Review. ISSN Causes of the civil war, — p. New England Historical Society. Retrieved October 6, The Selling of Joseph, pp. John Adams, p. James Madison: A Biography , pp. National Archives and Records Administration. August 15, Archived from the original on May 21, Retrieved May 21, A Necessary Evil? This sentiment, added to economic considerations, led to the immediate or gradual abolition of slavery in six northern states, while there was a swelling flood of private manumissions in the South. Little actual gain was made by the free Negro even in this period, and by the turn of the century, the downward trend had begun again.
Thereafter the only important change in that trend before the Civil War was that after the decline in the status of the free Negro became more precipitate. Puritan Spirits in the Abolitionist Imagination, pp. Theodore Parker, pp. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved January 7, Book preview. Brookfield, Conn. Tomlinson: Plainfolk Modernist. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. December Retrieved July 29, The American Historical Review. Harvard University Press. JSTOR Retrieved July 10, Retrieved June 12, Akron Law Review. ISSN X. Concerning History. July 3, Sydnor, The Development of Southern Sectionalism — Wakelyn Southern Pamphlets on Secession, November — April Porter, and Donald Bruce Johnson, eds. Library of Congress.
Retrieved November 28, World Digital Library. Retrieved July 16, What Caused the Civil War? Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri. Retrieved November 3, Retrieved May 28, Each of these generals possessed unique abilities and qualities of their own. This choice is not based on any particular talent he had. He did more than any other general to win the war. A must read book about Stonewall Jackson is ad Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson this is a very well researched and fascinating biography about one of the Confederates best and most famous generals.
Some less impressive generals during the Civil War are remembered simply for being as equally terrible as Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee were great. He was an example of incompetence and ineptitude that was nothing more than a burden to his subordinates and his men. He ordered his men to cross the bridge so that Union forces could cross Antietam creek and continue their attack against the Confederates. The bridge was defended by a small group of Confederate soldiers who held the high ground on the other side. Burnside himself even admitted publicly that he would make a very poor general, apparently nobody was listening and he was put in command anyway.
The 54th Massachusetts regiment was the most famous African American fighting unit formed during the war. The proclamation allowed free black men to enlist in the Union army. He was a staunch Union loyalist from New York, he served in many of the most famous battles during the Civil War. In he [ Abolitionist Definition Leading up to the outbreak of the Civil War the definition of abolitionist was a person who opposed slavery. Their goal was to abolish slavery immediately. His parents were Thomas a carpenter by trade; a farmer out of necessity and Nancy Hanks. At the outbreak of the Civil War he immediately resigned his commission in the United States army and promptly joined the Confederate army.
He was given [ Alexander Gardner and Matthew Brady did end up [ In he left Scotland and came to the United States. He decided to live in a small town outside of Chicago, Illinois where he worked as [ In he resigned his commission in the United States army to focus [