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April 12, 1861: Charlston Harbor, Union-Major Anderson, Rebels-Bueregard (former student of Anderson), 4:30am Rebs commence bombardment,
Official Beginning of Hostilites. Confederates need to assert authority, all their pent up hatred and frustration finally have an outlet (Burns Movie), symbolic victory, but also threatened shipping and port traffic as well.
Lincoln had struggled with strategy, uphold union authority, don't offent slave states.
Paints Rebels as agressors, gives Lincoln excuse for war/retaliation, protect union property which had been attacked.
Supposedly Edmund Ruffin fired the first shot, or ordered it, prominent advocate of secession.
"Bonnie Blue Flag"
Spring, 1861: The Bonnie Blue Flag was an unofficial flag of the confederacy, held enormous symbolic significance to rebels. Marching song by Harry McCarthy written about the flag, song includes nationalistic themes, talks about states rights, yankee tyranny, southern justification for secession, and the actual secession. Popular throughout the war among rebel armies.
- Spring (April?) 1861: Winfield Scott's Anaconda plan had two defining features.
- 1. Naval Blockade
- 2. Capture of Mississippi
- This was an early plan when it was commonly believed that the war would be short. Scott believed that with this plan they would strangle the South into submission.
- The reality was quite different. While it did have the effect of cripling southern exports of cotton, affecting the building block of their economy, the plan was not immediately effective. The Southern will to fight was greater than expected, and using their resources they made it last for years. In the end though it seems that parts of this plan were actually key in union victory (ie Control of Mississippi).
Ulysses S. Grant vs. Johnston. 2 day battle, one of the bloodiest.
- Day 1, sunken road saves union army which was mostly in retreat.
- Day 2, Reinforced, Union counterattacks, confederates slowly break, finally Grant prevailed.
Singnificance: Bloodies day of war up to that point. It really showed how horrible modern war was and sobered the nation up at to how bloody the war was going to be, and a reassesmnet of how the war was going to be. Became a watershed that soldiers referred back to about how scared they were.
Weapons way ahead of tactics, accounts for some of the bloody nature of the war, plus huge armies.
Grant removed for the casualties, and because of Halleck's ambition. Grant a drunkard, etc, took out of play the most effective general for a time, Sherman kept him in the war.
- March 1862:
- McClellan's plan to float down river, land on Peninsula and seize Richmond. vs. Magruder at Yorktown. Was a great big slow debacle and lead to many casualties on both sides but a great moral loss for the union, and proof that McClellan was ineffective and his strategy would not work.
Impact: Still did not understand need to take armies, not territory. Lincoln didn't like but agreed because he was desperate for SOMETHING. McClellan only person who would hesitate to attack, vastly outnumbered enemy. Greatest results were moral loss, Lincoln's reconizing the need to replace McClellan, and the sure realization that strategy needed to change. Though McClellan had actually won almost all of the battles, he was unnerved and ran away.
Not that Lee or Magruder won, McClellan's nervousness paralyzed the Union, he beat himself despite huge numerical advantages.
"We Are Coming Father Abra'am"
Came in response to Lincoln's call for Volunteers, July 1, 1862. This was a poem/song promoting recruiting efforts in the north. The song is unique for several reasons, first, that it was so positive and patriotic amidst many union losses and low morale. It was important because the Union needed to out recruit the south in order to win the war and songs like this calling for men to fight for President Lincoln, to preserve the union and fight tyranny, and slavery foreshadowing the emancipation proclamation that would follow Antietam. This song was needed to keep the fresh blood coming for the right causes.
Conscription was an important practice in both the North and the South, though arguableyit played a more important role in southern history. It was extremely disliked on both sides. Issued April 16, 1862, in the South, this policy directly contradicted the so called states rights philosophy for secession. It was a massive exmpansion of federal government (in both the north and the south), and in the North was argued as being unconstitutional. There was a need in the south do to their being enormously smaller in available man power.
The overseer's exemption was a response to the draft and the fear of slave uprising and revolt during the civil war. This exemption allowed men to avoid to draft in order to keep the slaves in line. This was one of the reasons people said it was a rich man's war and a poor man's fight, and caused discontent.
More importantly, it is symbolic of the way that the confederacy crippled itself by holding back some of its men to defent the CSA against itself, when what it really needed was complete and total mobilization in order to decisively defeat the union and gain indepence.
September 1862: The battle of Ox Hill is the battle in which Walter Lenoir lost his leg and was connected with the Second Battle of Bull run. The battle of Ox Hill is significant in the context of Walter Lenoir's experience because it is after this battle that he really defines himself and from which he personally develops a true deep love of the confederacy and the evolution of the lost cause movemenet begins to burn within him as a way of coping with his loss due to this battle.
Impressment was part of the CSA draft bill and allowed the Army to impress the supplies of Civilians where neccesary in order to provide food and other necessities to the army. As the making of a confederate book shows, impressment was terrible for public morale because people dreaded the arrival of the army, they feared that as much as the yankees arriving, and it did a lot to create discontent at home which through letters became discontent among the yeoman soldiers which translates to their desertion after that.
1861: Benjamin Butler
Lincoln initially resisted emancipation, war was about illegal secession, not slavery. However, Butler got permission to hold fugitive slaves; to return them was to aid the enemy. He put them to work for the union army, was the first caving on Lincoln's part with regards to slavery, first slip in the slide to emancipation. This contraband concept soon became common place and gave way to more austere forms of freedom for slaves, baby steps to emancipation.
September 17, 1862:
General Lee vs. General McClellan, in Maryland, Bloodiest day in American History.
Lee knew midterm elections were coming, and victory might damn President Lincoln/Union Cause by crippling congress. He also believed that Maryland was only being held by force and he could liberate it and strengthen the confederacy with its addition.
McClellan intercepted the plans and knew that Lee's army was divided into 4, and where, yet failed to attack and demolish while divided. Delays raise Lee's army, terrible battle in which Lee lost 1/4 of his army, McClellan still had huge numerical advantage, according to Lincoln he had Lee in the palm of his hand and failed to finish him, and end the war!!! Lincoln completely and totally exasperated. However, McClellan did nothing, didn't capitalize during the battle or after. Lincoln dusgusted relieved him a month after this.
- Significance: Democrats gain in elections, but marginal gain, helps overt British recognition of CSA.
- Lincoln spins this as a victory (turning back invasion a victory?) but uses this as his excuse to deliver his long awaited emancipation proclamation (so as not to seem an act of desperation), changes the dynamic of the war. Warning to the South, and betters U.S.A. cause to the world. Lee leaves, but this also solidifies Marylands position in union (didn't receive Lee well), and aided Lincoln's decision for emancipation proclamation.
December 1862: Burnside attacked Lee under political pressure in highly entrenched position taking enormous casualties in Virginia. This was significant because Lincoln believed that this was his last chance to salvage morale in the north and was looking for a win and for a general that he could throw the support of the entire war machine behind. He didn't find that. Burnside was ineffective, not strategically greatm and left Lincoln and the Union in some of its lowest position since the beginnning of the war.
Strategy was the tactics that Lincoln, and sometimes his generals, wished to employee to froce the CSA into submission. What Lincoln envisioned was a number of different theaters moving simultaneously to overwhelm the confederacy and force them to surrender. Lincoln finally found someone who shared his strategic vision in Grant and that is when the war began to really turn in favor of the union and this strategy did eventually result in Union victory.
Spring (April May 1863): This was a batltle near Spotsylvania Virginia between Generals Hooker and Lee. This battle was a major Union defeat. Lee had nearly half as many men but made a risky tactical decision that paid off and resulted in the union loss. This battle once again affected southern morale and was a low point in Union morale, perhaps the lowerst before Gettysburg raised that morale. This battle is significant because it marked the end of another one of Lincoln's generals and showed the deperation that the union was feeling for good leadership and a quality general, which they eventually found under grant.
Confederate General. Gains the nickname "Stonewall" at Manassas July 21, 1861. As the other confederate generals retreated, Jackson and his men held their ground, and turned near defeat into total victory. His reputation was set thereafter as being a stonewall, who did not retreat. He was one of the more influential confederate leaders thereafter.
July 3rd 1863: Meade vs. Lee. Meade This battle is a battle between the army of the potamic and the A of NV in Pennsylvania after a CSA thrust north.
July 3rd marked the high tide of the CSA, their ability to invade the north is clear evidence of this. However, their defeat here marks a high time in the union and marks the change of tide in the war. Gettysburg rescued Lincoln from Gubernatorial and other elections and helped imrprove public opinion and morale in the north. Also, Lee was beat, took huge casualties, worse than Union for a change, and lost 1/3 of his effective fighting force in casualties. Meade's lack of follow up on the army of NVA showed Lincoln that once again he needed to search for a general that could take the offensive, and shortly after Grant was brought in to supervise and directly command overshadowing Meade and other generals.
July 4, 1863: Battle in which Grant seizes the town of Vicksburg on the Mississippi river taking complete control over the mississippi. In order to win, Grant was not only agressive and persistent but also innovative for sneaking his men across the river and running the Confederate guns with a boat to perform said landing. This marked essentially the accomplishment of the Anaconda plan and divided the Union in 2, and elimitated one of their best forms of transportation. This was huge in the western theater and got momentum going that continued in the wester theater throughout the end of the war, also Grant received recongition, helped Lincoln with Gubernatorial elections.
William W. Holden
Holden was a torn southerner. At first he advocated states rights and secession, but later changed his mind. He was sent to NC convention to vote against secession but in the unanimous vote sided with secession. However he continued to voice his sentiments and lost favor with the people. However, his pro-union leanings helped him become appointed governor of NC until he was defeated a short time later in special elections, he was unpopular probably due to his conservatism with the Union. Eventually became governor again and fought agains the KKK. An example of one of the men who is torn throughout the secession process but remains a unionist at heart essentially.
Outspoken Peace Democrat "Copper head" meaning a poisonous snake that will bite and poison the war process. He was arrested for his outspoken anti-war rhetoric, but was then exiled to the confederacy. He later came back in the important OH gubernatorial elections, and was chosen by his outraged party, however victories at gettysburg and vicksburg weakened his chances, and the people were actually not willing to elect such a traitor, even if the war was difficult, he was unpatriotic.
New York City Draft Riots
July 1863: The NYC draft riots were riots that ocurred in response to congress passing the draft to conscript soldiers by force into the army. It was unpopular in many areas but especially in predominately catholic areas such as New you. 5 days of resistance ended in 100 killed, army had to put it down. People were already registered, but refused to be drafted. Showed the discontent that existed within the union, and the difficulties of trying to keep the war going, have man power, but not lose support on the home front. A very precarious condition for the union.
"Tenting on the Old Camp Ground"
Written in 1863 this song was popular among enlisted men. The song describes the difficulties of the war and the many challenged and sorrows that it had brought to the people. The song is almost a song of mourning and reflected at this point the low morale that was felt, especially among the lower status enlisted men who merely wanted the war to end and to rejoin their families and distance themselves from the horrors of war.
Battle of the Wilderness
May 1864: A series of agressive moves in the overland campaign on the part of Grant. Showed that he was truly dedicated to attacking and defeating Lee's army, and even though it became a war of attrition he was determined then to beat him little by little. These battles the union took horrible losses but Grant didn't back down, "don't worry what Lee will do, worry what we will do." This agressive spirit was what made Grant the hero of the war, the general lincoln had been waiting for the whole war, and he was not afraid to attack, take losses, but throw the whole army in the mix.
April 2, 1865. Lee had retreated and entrenched in Petersburg after Grant had agressively pursued him in the overland campaign. Grant struggled to remove him from his entrenched position for many months. After Grant could bolster his army, he assaulted the entrenched rebels and drove them from Petersburg forcing them to abandon Richmond. Lee's men had deserted in troves and without his men and command structure he had no chance. This was huge because Lee was outnumbered and after being forced from his entrenched position had no more chance of really hanging on, Apomattox confirmed that and ended war.
November 1863: Missionary Ride was a pivotal ridge in the battle for chatanooga tennesse. Grant was the general and achieved something miraculous here in taking an elevated well defended position from the confederates. Also Chatanooga was an important strategic point and after this battle Grant gained conrtol of it. This again showed his lack of fear with regards to attacking the enmy and advancing!
Arlington National Cemetary
June 1864: The cemetary was created on the estate that had formerly been the home of General Lee of the confederacy, an enormous irony, symbolic that he would forever be connected with the many people who's deaths he had caused. It was the final insult to Lee and was symbolic of his betrayal of the union and the death and destruction that he had caused, ever there to remind him.
(Presidential) Election of 1864
These elections were the first presidential elections since the beginning of the Civil war in early 1861, and represented the first real threat to the ending of Lincoln's presidency. These elections were harrowing for Lincoln because Grant, though aggressive in the overland campaign, had failed to destroy Lee's army, and had taken casualties that demoralized the north. Sherman was marching toward Atlanta and though he had been very successful, his efforts would be overshadowed by failure to detroy the A. of N.V. if he did not capture Atlanta. Even though he was engaging a fortified enemy, almost as en election day miracle Sherman captured Atlanta, essentially defeating Johnston's army, and northern morale, and impression of Lincoln, which was completely tied to military sucess, did a 180 degree flip and Lincoln basically swept the elections, which would allow him to remain in office to finish the war in the manner in which he was doing, and more importantly at this point to oversee the reconstruction of the south and reconciliation (rather than retaliation which the Radical Republicans would have preferred).
Salmon P. Chase
Secretary of the Treasury, most back-stabbing man on Lincoln's cabinet. Chase had his own presidential asperations and constantly went behind Lincoln's back to embarass him. He even reported to congress that Lincoln did not hold cabinet meetings, however Lincoln reversed that on him much to the chagrin of Chase. It is fascinating that Lincoln could fight and win the war with such unsupportive men, although he refused his resignation multiple times (to keep the radical republican support). Lincoln surprised him accepting his 4th letter of resignation.
Chase represents much of the political prowess that Lincoln displayed in maintaining the cohesion of his party throughout the civil war. Chase was perhaps his most difficult cabinet mamber, but Lincoln managed to control him until he was no longer politically useful to Lincoln.
July 2, 1864: Bill created by radical republicans Benjamin Wade and Henry Davis with regards to the reconstruciton plan. The basic premise was that a majority of southerners would have to take the iron clad oath that they had not belonged to the confederacy (essentially making it impossible for them to rejoin as states). This was more an act of vengeance than reconciliation, which is what lincoln looked for with his 10% margin to start a new government.
It was pocket vetoed by Lincoln. He wanted to reunite the Union not punish and alienate the confederacy, it shows the emphasis that Lincoln put on the importance of rejoining and healing.
November/December 1864: Sherman's march was a devastating campaign of total war, in which sherman and his troops spread out 60 miles wide and burned everything in their path as they marched to Atlanta and Savannah. This march did much to break the will of the South to continue fighting. No distinctions were made between civilian and military properties, owing to the fact that the CSA army could impress the civilian supplies. In order to ensure this didn't happen, Sherman burned and destroyed everything in his path, inflicting significant damage on infrastracture (bending the rail-road ties), and industry. This was crippling and totally demoralizing to the South and was psychologically effective.
Desertion was a problem that affected both sides in the Civil War, but plagued the south in a far more influential manner, where a crunch on man power made each desertion more crucial and where mass desertion crippled the army. Desertion was low at the beginning of the war in the South as moral was high. However, as the war dragged on, especially non-slaveholding yeoman desserted to avoid dying for a cause that didn't affect them, as well as self preservation, according to the making of a confederate text. Desertion became crucial at petersburg and before apomattox. Why the desertions?
Lee's command structure in ruins, Sherman destroying food (hunger a powerful motivator, destruction of fort fisher even fewer supplies, desperation)
Desimated Lee's army, reflected loss of hope in the south.
Underwent several phases. First proposed by diplomats at the beginning of the war to better image with slavery hating europe (Britain especially). Then by occupied states who had nothing to lose anymore. Then by General Cleburne in1864 proposes it to Johnston, who ignores it.
Nov 7, 1864, Davis enters controversy, suggesting limited version.
Jan and Feb 1865, Lee supports it. What is the difference between Lincoln or Lee doing it? What is the point of the CSA without slavery?
Eventually gets approved, few blacks join as freedom is not promised by congress (though Davis says okay)
What this shows is a break down in the "fundamental" belief that the white man is superior. It shows that to southerners the white man was superior when conventient, but the black man could still fight if needed. A break down in the confederate cause, and a clear sign of desperation going against the only thing they really stand for in order to possibly win the fight, but what for? Never really gets enacted though, war ends before blacks can fight.
April 9, 1865: Final strategic battle of the Civil War, and essentially marks the end of the confederacy and the war in union eyes.
The Battle ocurred after Lee had been forced of out the trenches at Petersburg after Grant's onslaught. Desertion and the desimation of Lee's command structure (death of his officers) leaves him poorly equipped to fight a real battle. After attempting one last break out attack and being rejected, Lee understands that his men will all die or they can become guerillas, an idea he despises. Meets Grant in a house and formally surrenders.
The great and glorious army of NV is done, this essentially marks the end, and breaks southern resolve. This event marks a point where most southerners completely surrender to rejoining the union, resistance is futile and no longer possible. While not the official end, it really is the end.
Army of Northern Virginia
The Legendary Army of the Confederacy,, lead by Beuregard, Johnston, and most notably controlled by General Lee (who renamed them such). This was the army that was arrayed primarily against the Army of the Potamic and was the main fighting force of the confederacy (or at least received that recognition).
A. of N.V. was the biggest stumbling block to Union victory and without a doubt the greatest asset to the confederacy. This army was involved in the major battles of the eastern campaign that most heavily essentially held public morale in both the north and south in the palm of its hands. Under general Lee, this army became the legendary almost unbeatable army that was so intimidating and cuased feelings of inferiority and inadequacy to Union Generals and troups. This army was dominant until the battle of gettysburg, and thereafter began to decline, most notably with Grant's overland campaign and surrendered at appomattox. For its aggressiveness it controlled northern opinion and almost won confederate victory, this army almost single handedly held on to the CSA cause as the western army was plagued by loss after loss, however, it was more perceived as more important, and possibly was, because all the eyes of the north, south, and the rest of the world were fixed on it.
Joseph E. Johnston
Confederate General from 1861-65. First particpated in 1st battle of Bull Run. He eventually lost his command and was replaced by Lee and sent to the western theater to command.
Johnston was ineffictive and timid in the west and as commander was blamed for the loss of Vicksburg, which was a key point for navigating the Mississippi river, and effectively finished the division of the CSA in two. He continued to give ground little by little until, combined with the loss of Tenesse by Braggs, was forced into Georgia. He retreated into Atlanta and was there defeated by Sherman.
His significance is perhaps most important in the fact that he is what kep union morale afloat. The loss of Vicksburg gave Union control of entire Mississippi July 4, 1863 and on. This loss helped fend off Democrats in gubernatorial election of key states. Later, his inability to defend Atlanta was the miracle that boosted union morale and kept Lincoln in office. His significance was his inability to stop union advance on the western front.