Important Battles, Life and People of the Civil War

Civil War: a war between citizens of the same country

The Civil

 

War Book

 

 

 

                   By Christine Natal

The North was a side in the Civil War. It was usually referred to as the Union. It consisted of 20 states that included Maine, New York, New Hamphire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, California, Nevada, and Oregon. Both sides had disadvantages and advantages. The North's advantages were that they had a lot more people in their population because of their many factories, which meant having more volunteers to fight in the war. They had more abundant resources. The North also had more ships and a better and larger railway network. To raise funds and have money for supplies for the war, the North had a better banking system than the South. The president of the North was Republican Abraham Lincoln. For the war, he acted severly and suspended some constitutional rights. His power got some people arrested for supporting secession. The North's goal was to bring the states the had seceded, now known as the Confederacy, and bring them back into the Union. The North's disadvantages were that the would have to go into the South were the population wasn't all that nice. The support for the South was big since the American Revolution, when the smaller and weaker side had won. The leaders of the North were the president, Abraham Lincoln and the leader of the Union Army, Ulysses S. Grant. Lincoln's strategies led to the North's victories. One of his stategies were to free all the slaves in the South after they won the bloodiest battle, the Battle of Antietam. The slaves would then participate to fight in the war, but since they couldn't fight in the army, they went to the navy and fought there. The troops of the North were known as the Yankees during the war. 

The North

The South was the other side fighting in the Civil War. They were often known as the Confederacy after they gave themselves that name when they seceded from the Union. The South consisted of 11 states compared to 20 in the north. Those 11 states were South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee. The president of the Confederacy was Jefferson Davis and the army leader was Robert E. Lee.  These states allowed slavery, but didn't allow their slaves to fight in the war. The advantages of the South were that they would be fighting in familiar territory and they would be defending everything of theirs, their families, homes, and ways of life.  The South also had a tradition of having family members training in the army. The disadvantages that the South had were that they had little population and they didn't have many factories to make the weapons and the supplies they needed for the war. Since they also had little railways, delivering food and supplies to the troops wasn't easy. The war aim for the South was to gain recognition as an independent nation. Their plan was to get Britain and France on their side to get the North to end the war.  But during the war, the South changed their mind about the plan and went on the offensive side and attacked. The troops of the South were known as the Rebels during the war.

 

The South

The causes of the Civil War were the debate between free and slave states. When Stephen Douglas proposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, after nullifing the Missouri Compromise, and let the people choose whether to allow freedom in the states. People started to get angry because if the states passed as free states, the southern states would be outnumbered in the Senate. One abolitionist took it too far and led a raid on Harper's Ferry and killed 5 proslavery Kansans. The Southerners were feeling threatened by the North and the power of the Republican party. The election of Abraham Licoln didn't help the issue. The Republican party opposed of slavery, and the South didn't like that. This later caused the southern states to secede, or leave, the Union because they didn't trust the soon-to-be president Abraham Lincoln and the Republican party with their rights. South Carolina took the lead and soon the states that made up the Confederacy joined. They justified their secession with the theory of state's rights. The first shots of the Civil War were fired by the Confederacy at Fort Sumter when Abraham Lincoln sent unarmed men to the fort with supplies for the south. He warned that the Union wouldn't get weapons involved if the Conferderates didn't. Jefferson Davis gave the command to attack the fort and the Union fought back. 

Secession Events and Causes of the Civil War

North

Major Robert Anderson was the commander of Fort Sumter and he had 80 men at the fort. Captain Abner Doubleday returned the shots after 2 hours and won that honor. He was being pressured by the Conferderates for the surrender of Fort Sumter. 

When

The battle of Fort Sumter was fought from April 12-14, 1862 when the Confederates opened fire on the Yankees, while they were waiting for the supplies at the fort.

What and Why 

The battle of Fort Sumter began with the fort needing supplies and Lincoln sending unarmed men to the South with supplies. Lincoln warned that there would be no weapons included if they didn’t shoot first. Jefferson Davis commanded an attack on the fort before the men arrived with the supplies. The Union didn’t react until after 2 hours. No one was injured or killed in the attack but both sides began calling for troops for the Civil War.

Outcome

The winner of this battle was the Confederates when the Union surrendered the fort after holding it for 34 hours. There were no injuries or deaths in this battle. The Conferderates had many more troops and were the ones that attacked. The Union wasn't prepared and had only 80 troops. 

Battle of Fort Sumter

Where

The battle of Fort Sumter took place at Fort Sumter in the city of Charleston,  South Carolina. 

South

General P.G.T Beauregard was the one that ordered the first shot of the Civil War under the command of president Jefferson Davis. He had 500 soldiers that attacked the fort when Anderson refused to surrender the fort. 

When

The Battle of First Bull Run was fought on July 21, 1861. It ended that same day with the vicotory to the Rebels.

 

 

North

General Irwin McDowell led the unexperienced troops to attack the Confederates and his plans backfired. The North had 28,450 soldiers and most of theirs died compared to the South. McDowell was relieved after they lost and Lincoln appointed George B. McClellan.

What and Why 

The battle of the first bull run was led by General Irwin McDowell, when he and his troops attacked the Confederates under the command of Lincoln after the loss of Fort Sumter. They were winning and then "Stonewall" Jackson led them to attack back and the shots fired made the Yankees break their line and they became troops running for safety in Washington D.C. The Yankees became entangled with civilians watching and the battle became a messy retreat.

Outcome

The winner of this battle was the Confederates when the Union retreated after they fought back. Almost 3,000 men were either dead, injured, or captured in the Union's army. About 1,000 less of the Confederate army were dead, injured, or captured. 

Battle of First Bull Run

South

General Thomas Jackson stood his ground when the Yankees were driving the Rebels away and led them to victory. He won the name "Stonewall" Jackson. General P.G.T Beuregard was responsible for most of the actions and plans for the Rebels. General Joseph E. Jonhston helped but it was mostly Beuregard.

Where

The battle was fought in Virginia, not far from the capital, Washington D.C. McDowell led the troops toward the railroad in manassas and there the Rebels came and soon 9,000 troops were brought after a while. 

When

The battle of Fort Donelson was fought on February 11, 1861 and ended 5 days later on the 16th. The victory went to the Yankees with Grant's well-made plan.  

 

North

The North's major leader was General Ulysses S. Grant was the most responsible for the Union's victory. This victory won him the nickname: Unconditional Surrender" and a lot of fame. Andrew Hull Foote was the second-in-command for the Union army and his plans turned back on him, injuring himself.  They had 24,531 soldiers engaged.

What and Why 

The battle of Fort Donelson was fought for the Union to gain control of the Cumberland River, because this was an important location in order for the Union to invade the South. This was one of the steps to the Union's victory in the Civil War. The Yankess weren't fully attacking yet but when they surrounded the fort, the Rebels fought back. On the morning of the 16th, the Confederates agreed on surrendering Fort Donelson. 

Outcome

 

The winners of the battle of Fort Donelson was the Union, when the confederates surrendered the fort after 5 days of battle. General Simon B. Buckner surrendered when Pillow turned the command to him. He then asked for terms of surrender and Grant offered no mercy or terms. 

Battle of Fort Donelson

South

General Jogn B. Floyd commanded the Confederate army and he was the one that ordered the attack on the Union troops when they were surrounded. General Gideon J. Pillow also had an important roll in this battle. His attack plans were successful, but then he made his men turn back and they lost all the land they had won. The Confederacy had 16,171 soldiers fighting. 

Where

 

The battle of Fort Donelson was fought on the fields in the Stewart County, Tennessee. 

When

The battle of Hampton Roads was fought on March 8, 1862 and lasted until the next day, March 9, 1862. The Confederates started by smashing the CSS Virginia into the Union's USS Cumberland on the 8th and they kept it going, stopping at nightfall. 

What and Why

 

The battle of Hampton Roads was started by the Confederacy when they crashed their Virginia into the Cumberland. The Virginia lost their iron ram in this move. The Virginia then went towards the USS Congress, more careful with its moves. The battle stopped for the day at nightfall and during the night, the Union made an improved ironclad ship, the  USS Monitor. The morning of the 9th, the Virginia went towards the USS Minnesota and out came the new Monitor. the two ships shot at each other but nothing happened. After several hours each ship went to the saftey of shallower waters.  

North

The main leaders of this battle for the Union were General John L. Worden. He led most of the attacks on the opponent's ships. He got wounded in one of the attacks and kept going once he recovered. The Union had 1,400 soldiers fighting.  

Outcome

 

The outcome of this battle ended up in a draw. Each ship went to shallower waters for safety. The USS Congress did surrender after the Virginia smashed into it, and the Congress had nowhere to go. Even though this battle ended up in a draw, it made a big impact on naval warfare.  

The Battle of Hampton Roads

South

The main leaders of the South were Franklin Buchanan. He was responsible for sinking the ships belonging to the Union the first day of the battle. He got injured after, but helped the Confederacy once he recovered. The South had 188, much less than the Union. 

Where 

The battle of Hampton Raods was fought in Seawell's Point, in the city of Norfolk, Virginia. The actual battle was fought in the Hampton Roads which is a body of water and the city-like environment in Virginia. 

North

Union General Ulysses S. Grant and General Don Carlos Buell were the main leaders for this battle. Grant and his men were already in Tennessee and Buell’s men were on their way. The North had 65, 085 men fighting in this battle.

 

When

The battle of Shiloh was fought on April 6-7, 1862. The Confederates started the battle on the 6th.

What and Why

The battle of Shiloh was after the fall of both Forts Henry and Donelson. The Confederacy was planning to attack the Union when they were unprepared and unfortified. It worked. The attack was a surprise to the Yankees. Grant didn’t worry because other Yankees were arriving. The fighting on the first day went until after dark, and the Yankees were still up. The command of the Confederates was given to Beauregard, due to a severe wound to Johnston. Beauregard ordered counterattacks when Buell’s men attacked on the 7th. He didn’t notice the arrival of Buell’s troops, so the Rebels were outnumbered badly. Beauregard began a retreat back to Corinth because he had already lost many casualties anyway.

Outcome

The outcome of this battle was a victory to the Union when the Rebels retreated back to Corinth under the command of Beauregard. He had ordered a counterattack against the Yankees but it ended up in a stalemate. They had lost as many of 10,669 troops already, so Beauregard didn't want to lose more. The Union lost 13,047 troops in the battle.

The Battle of Shiloh

Where

The battle of Shiloh took place in southwestern Tennessee, which was not far from Corinth, Mississippi. The Rebels retreated into Corinth after the second day.

South

The South had 44,968 troops fighting in this battle. The leader was Sidney Johnston. He was the one that ordered the attck on the Yankees without them noticing. He got injured and had to pass the command onto General P.G.T Beauregard. Beauregrd retreated after noticing they were outnumbered.

When 

The Battle of Second Bull Run took place on August 28-30, 1862. It started when the Rebels went against Pope's movements on defending Washington and taking the pressure of McClellan's army, and clashed against them. 

What and Why

General Robert E.Lee had command of the Confederate army and turned his attention to Pope’s army. Pope had to protect Washington as well as operating northwest to take the tension off General George B. McClellan. Lee was ahead and sent “Stonewall” Jackson against Pope’s army. A victory. Lee wanted to attack the Union troops before McClellan’s men arrived and would outnumber the Rebels greatly. Pope, however didn’t let that happen. James Longstreet’s wing had joined Jackson’s men. Jackson had been ordered to separate the Union’s supply line, and they did overnight. As planned, Pope and his men went after Jackson and were cut off by Lee while Jackson got the rest of the supplies. Jackson was left with the command and Pope thought that they were trying to escape. So he sent scattered forces to attack the Confederates. The Rebels attacked back. Lee wanted to go towards the Union left since it was weak, but Longstreet advised that it was not a good idea. Pope later thought that the Rebels were retreating and attacked them. Lee then ordered a counterattack to the Union’s left. The Union then retreated to Washington’s defenses.

 

North

The North had 70,000 troops fighting, and John Pope was the main leader of this battle for the Yankees. He made many attacks on the Rebels but didn't realize that they had well-made plans and always fought back.  

Outcome

The outcome of the battle was a victory to the Confederacy, when the last counterattck made Pope take what was left of his troops to Washington's defense. The Union had lost a total of 13,824 troops in the battle, and the Rebels had lost 8,353 troops.

Battle of Second Bull Run

South 

The South’s major leader was Robert E. Lee. He had all the plans made and all the expected moves of Pope and his men. Lee led his men to this battle’s victory. General T.G Jackson’s men and James Longstreet’s wing of the Army of Northern Virginia joined Lee too. They had 55,000 men fighting in total.

 

Where 

The battle of Second Bull Run was basically fought on the same grounds of the first, in Virginia.

Outcome

The outcome of this battle was a victory to the Union when Lee and his men retreated to Virginia on the 18th. None of the armies were destroyed however. The Union lost 12,401 casulaties and the Confederacy lost 10,316. The British government was considering to support the South if they won. The Rebels lost international acknowledgement and support. The victory also strengthened the Union’s courage and was used to pass the Emancipation Proclamation.

 

North

 George B. McClellan was too careful again in this battle. He made the Union win but didn’t destroy the opponents when he had been ordered to. The North had 87,000 troops fighting.

 

What and Why

On September 16, 1862, Union General George B. McClellan faced Robert E. Lee in Maryland near Antietam Creek. The battle began on the 17th and is considered one of the bloodiest battle in American military history. Neither of the armies were destroyed but the Confederates retreated into Virginia. This called for a victory to the Union. Lincoln ordered McClellan to really beat the Rebels, but he disobeyed and didn’t go after the Rebels. McClellan was relieved from command and replaced with General Ambrose Burnside.

When

The battle took place on September 16-18, 1862. The armies started fighting on the 17th and that day is remembered as one of the bloodiest days in the whole war.

The Battle of Antietam

South

Since McClellan waited so many days to attack, Robert E. Lee was able to get his men closer to Antietam Creek. This didn’t help as much anyway. They had 45,000 troops.

Where

The battle was fought in Washington County, Maryland when the Union faced the Confederates near Antietam Creek. 

North

The North had 100,007 troops fighting, which is more than any battle fought in the war. General Ambrose Burnside was in charge of the army and all of his attacks were no match for the Rebels.

 

When

The battle was fought on December 11-15,1862 when the Yankees attacked the Rebels on the 11th. 

What and Why

The battle of Fredericksburg is one of the deadliest and bloodiest battles in the war. It also contained the most amount of soldiers fighting. General Ambrose Burnside wanted to destroy Lee’s southern flank while keeping the rest of men back and positioned. The main assault against Jackson and his men worked at first but the Rebels’ counterattacks were too strong that both sides lost many casualties, especially the Yankees. Burnside and his men from the Union attacked the Rebels many times and everytime they received a counterattack, that was worse than the assault.

Outcome

The victory was obvious, it went to the Confederates. They were too strong for the Yankees’ attacks and they were better prepared and positioned on the battlefield. Both sides lost many troops, the North as many as 13,353, while the South had only 4,576 troops dead, wounded, or captured. The exact numbers for both are unknown.

Battle of Fredericksburg

South

Robert E. Lee had his 72,497 men well-prepared and strong for the Yankees assaults. He and his men destroyed the Yankees as they came in rows, attacking them.

Where

The battle was took place in Spotsylvania County in the city of Fredericksburg,Virginia. The armies fought around and in Fredericksburg.

North

General Joseph Hooker didn’t use his numerical advantage in the battle so the south was able to confront the Yankees in 2 groups and draw them back. The North had 97,382 troops fighting, which was almost twice the number of the Rebels.

 

When

The battle of Chancellorsville took place on  April 30-May 6, 1863 when the Rebels found some Union troops behind them after the Yankees had crossed a river. Their counterattacks started the battle

 

What and Why

This war was considered to be Lee’s greatest victory. He was strategic and split his army in 2, going against the Union army that was almost twice his army’s size. Hooker’s numerical advantage was left on its own and instead he fell back to opposing positions. On May 2, "Stonewall" Jackson attacked Hooker’s right flank and successfully ruined his line. When Hooker started defending against Lee’s attacks on May 3, it was the day with the most action and combat. On the last day, May 6, Hooker crossed the Rappahannock River once again, this time retreating because he had lost so many casualties in the battle.

Outcome

The Confederacy won this battle when Hooker and his men retreated after they had lost so many casualties, the Rebels almost forced them to retreat back to cross the Rappahannock. The Rebels lost the irredeemable  “Stonewall” Jackson in this battle when he was severely injured by is own men while inspecting at night. The Union lost 17,304 troops compared to the Confederacy’s 13,460 troops.

Battle of Chancellorsville

South

General Robert E. Lee split his army in 2, attacking the Yankees, surprising them every time. He was daring when ordering the attacks and making his plans, He was outnumbered greatly, with 57,352 troops to almost 10,000 Union troops.

 

Where

This battle was fought in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. This is the same place where the  battle of Fredericksburg was fought.

 

Outcome

The outcome of this battle turned out in a Union Victory once again. The city of Vicksburg got tired of Grant waiting and waiting, and annoying the city. The people were hungry and away from home. The Union lost a total of 4,910 troops and the Confederates lost as many as 32,492.

North

The North had 75,000 soldiers engaged with General Ulysses S. Grant in command. He took on the Rebels so many times in different assaults. Some were so close they were in shouting distance.

 

When

This battle was took place on May 18-July 4. The victory was defined after many days that the supply line was cut off by Grant and the many assaults on the city’s defense.

What and Why

Grant and his men were trying to gain control of the city of Vicksburg, which was an important location in the invading of the South. He landed under Vicksburg in Bruinsburg and started moving inward towards the city. He cut off their supply line for many weeks and the people went off to the hills for safety during the fights.

 

Assault on Vicksburg

South

34,000 troops fought for the South in this battle and Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton was in charge of the army. He had no choice but to retreat to the city’s defenses after past victories of the Union had weakened his forces

Where

The battle of Vicksburg was in the city of Vicksburg in Warren County, Mississippi.

North

George G. Meade was put in charge of the Union’s army when Hooker failed to attack the Rebels. He had strong counterattacks that forced the Rebels to retreat and lose many casualties. The North had 70,00 troops in the beginning.

 

When

The battle took place on July 1-3, 1863 when Union cavalry surprised the Confederates as they looked for shoes. The Union were outnumbered and struggled to keep the town before retreating to Cemetery Ridge.

 

What and Why

 

When the Union retreated to Cemetery Ridge, the Rebels sent an assault but the Union fought back, protecting their position. The last attack against the Union was a failure to the Confederacy and cost them more than half of their army. Lee ordered the attack, which was led by General George Pickett. The assault is known as the “Pickett’s Charge” because 14,00 troops marched on open ground towards the Union lines and making easy targets for the Yankees. The remainder of the army retreated to Virginia.

 

Outcome

The battle of Gettysburg’s outcome came out in a victory to the Union when the Confederates retreated after losing many casualties on the last attack against the Yankees on July 3rd. They lost 28,063 troops in total, which was not much of a difference to 23,049 Union troops.

Battle Of Gettysburg

South

Robert E. Lee had the command of the Confederate army in this battle and he ordered the attack on the Yankees which cost him many troops. The South’s army had 55,000 troops engaged.

 

Where

The battle of Gettysburg was fought in  Adams County, Pennsylvania. Meade wanted to keep his army in between the location at where Lee was and Washington D.C. Lee then learned that Meade was in Pennsylvania and went around too Gettysburg.

 

 

Surrender of Appottomax and Terms of Surrender

When 4 years of fighting in battles, losing and winning. General Robert E. Lee was considering to surrender his army to General Ulysses S. Grant. He wrote a letter to Grant and looked for a place to have the meeting. Lt. Colonel Charles Marshall and Private Joshua O. Johns accepted the offer to have the meeting at the McLean’s house. Lee got there first, followed by Grant. They conversed for a while and then Lee brought up the subject of the surrender. Lee asked for the terms and Grant told him they were the same as the ones in the letter he had written. Lee asked for them to be written again. The terms were that the Confederate military equipment would have to be given up and officers and enlisted men would be released. Lee asked if his men would be able to keep their horses for they would need them for when they are back as American citizens. Grant responded that the terms didn’t say they could but allowed them if they claimed it. He also commanded 25,000 rations to be sent to the Confederates went Lee mentioned that they hadn’t had rations for many days. Ulysses S. Grant was very generous that Robert E. Lee was convinced that he had done the right thing and that his men would be able to go back to normal civilian life.

Abraham Lincoln

 

Abraham Lincoln was one of the main people of the Civil War. When he was elected 16th president of the United States, southern states seceded. They didn't trust their rights with the Republican Party. Although the states had seceded, he was careful with every move to keep the border states and what was left of the Union throughout the whole four years of war. He was careful not to take away slavery in some states, because he didn't want to lose some of the border states due to some important locations. His plan was to get the two sides to reunite during the battles, but the plan didn't go as expected. Lincoln decided to make a change and pass the Emancipation Proclamation. General George McClellan failed to obey Lincoln's orders in the battle of Antietam and was replaced with General Ulysses S. Grant. Ulysses did everything the right way and had everything Lincoln wanted in his military leader, After the battle of Gettysburg, Lincoln gave a short speech at the Cemetery of Gettysburg. That speech is the most well-known of all the speeches in his presidency. 

Important Person in the Civil War

Important Person in the Civil War

Robert E. Lee

 

Robert E. Lee was appointed commander in cheif of the militray and naval forces by Governor Jogn Letcher, when the Civil War had begun. On May 14, 1861, he was promoted to brigadier general and soon to a full general. This was the highest rank at that time. After his failure at his first field command in the west, he was the militray advisor to President Davis. General Joesph E. Johnston was injured in a battle and Lee became the commander of the Army of Virginia. Most of his victories were made due to his aggressive and daring moves compared to those of General George B. McClellan. Lee's most famous victory was the defeat of General Joseph Hooker at the battle of Chancellorsville. After one battle he was charge of being too bloody-minded, and because he was so emotionally engaged in teh fighting, he fought until the nasty end. He surrendered his army to General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865. 

Life as a troop in the Civil War was not easy. Most of them described their feelings like boredom, discomfort, sickness, fear and horror in their long letters to their families back home. At first, men and young boys were eager to attend in the war to help their country, but it didn't stay that way. Their life was dull with just drills, rain and bad food. Some even ran away because of hunger, fear, or sickness. Both sides lost terrible losses, including friends or family. There were so many wounded soldiers in each battle that many lay for more than 24 hours waiting for medical attention. Not vey many of the wounded made it to the tent and died waiting. Women became teachers and office workers. At this time, different people had different roles than they would have in normal times. Most women suffered losses of their male family members, such as husband, brothers or sons. They collected food, clothing and medicine for the soldiers in the war. “...Grief and anxiety kill nearly as many women at home as men are killed on the battlefield” -Mary Chestnut’s Civil War. Women also served as spies. Some like Rose O'Neal Greenhow were caught and returned to their side. Some other women spies during the war were Belle Boyd, Harriet Tubman and Loretta Janeta Velazquez. Thousands of women also served as nurses during the war. Men disapproved women doing this because it was considered a man's work and the women were too gentle for this work. Sally Tompkins is one of the women that nursed the wounded soldiers and is known for establishing a hospital for the soldiers. "Nothing that I ever heard or read gave me the faintest idea of the horrors witnessed here”- Kate Cummings. At home people that were in the way of the marching troops during the war often lost their homes and all their crops. Most people went to live somewhere safer if they could find a place. Southerners ran out of everything including their animals, curing meat, which was connected to their clothing and medicine, sometimes even shelter. Life in the South was changed dramatically.

Life in the Civil War

The Civil War ended up in a victory to the Union when Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Ulysses S. Grant. This meant that the Southern states were back into the Union, meeting the North’s goal of the war. The war caused many deaths of young men, more than all the wars, before the Civil War, in history combined.The average soldier was about 23 years old and some were younger. It was the deadliest war ever with a total of almost 620,000 lives taken. Once the Southern states were back in, secession became illegal for them. Those states were placed under military rule and the troops had to be re admitted to the Union’s army. One big move that the war made was the abolishment of slavery. Once the war ended all the slaves were freed, there were about 4 million slaves that were freed. The United States wanted to reconstruct the areas ruined by the war, so the plan of Reconstruction was considered and begun after the Civil War. The Civil War also brought new technology development and wartime production increased as well.

Results of the Civil War