Summary Of The Civil War Essay, Research Paper
Summary of the Civil WarThe 1800’s were a tumultuous time for the United States of America. At that timethe south was typically slave and the northerners were traditionally for freedom. Theslave states of the south and the abolitionist in the north were quarreling and thegovernment recognizing that made efforts to stop or delay the civil war. In 1819 Missouriwanted to enter the Union a slave state. At this time the 22 states of the Union weredivided evenly 11 slave and 11 free. Northern states were afraid that if Missouri enteredas a slave state it would give the south a majority in the senate. Southerners argued thatsince the north had a majority in the House of Representatives that it was only fair thatthey had a majority in the senate. Then in December 1819 three northern counties ofMassachusetts broke away and asked to be admitted to enter the Union as a freestate(Maine). This made the Missouri Compromise possible. The Missouri compromisesaid that Missouri would be a slave state and Maine would be admitted as a free state, it also said that any state in the Louisiana Purchase north of Missouri’ssouthern border would be a free state. This action delayed a deadly confrontationbetween the North and the South, at least for awhile. Then in 1828 congress raised the tariff on imported goods. In the south they didn’thave very much industry so they had to import most of their good, so the tariffs wereunpopular their. One state that protested this action by congress. Since the North hadmore industry, the South felt that congress was protecting the North by raising thesetariffs. South Carolina was the strongest protester of these tariffs. South Carolinasupported John C. Calhoun who said that a state could nullify or veto a national lawwithin it’s own boundaries. In 1832 South Carolina’s state legislature declared the tariffacts of 1828 and 1832 null or void. They went even further by saying that if thegovernment tried to make them pay the tariff they would break away from the union. Then President Andrew Jackson, who had said that the union must be preserved,stated that he strongly opposed this nullification. Jackson also let it be know that hewould send 50,000 troops into South Carolina. This action scared South Carolina, andwhen they asked other states for help they got no promises of military aid. Finally seeingthat his state was in bad shape John C. Calhoun asked Henry Clay to help him come upwith compromise. They came up with a law that would lower tariff annually over a 10year period until they were satisfactory. After the Missouri Compromise and the nullification crisis were dealt with thingswere relatively quiet for awhile. Then in 1850 California requested admission to the unionas a free state. California was the first state applying for state hood in the MexicanCession. Southerners feared if California was a free state the rest of the territory would betoo. Northerners felt they had to stop the spread of slavery to end it altogether. Then came another attempt to resolve the conflicts between the North and theSouth. In January of 1850 Senator Henry Clay proposed a plan. His plan was dividedinto six parts. The first part was that California would be admitted to the Union as a non-slave state. The second part was that Utah and New Mexico could decide if they wantedto be slave states of free states when they applied for statehood. The third and Fourthparts were tied into each other, the third part was that Land in dispute between NewMexico and Texas would go to New Mexico and for giving up this land Texas wouldreceive 10 million dollars. The fifth part was that buying and selling of slaves but notslavery wouldn’t be allowed in the District of Columbia. The sixth and final part was thatcongress would enforce a law stating that runaway slaves must be returned to theirowners. The bill was passed section by section until it became law. This again delayedthe inevitable. Slavery: Slavery was one of the issues that the northerners and the southernersfought about. In the south the main way of life was agriculture, the main cash crop wascotton. Cotton was a labor consuming crop, it would cost a man a fortune to pay peopleto work for him. Slaves were the answer to this problem. Slave owners didn’t see the slaves as people he saw him as property. Slaves weretreated bad. Even the owners who saw themselves as fair still treated their slaves as dogs.They were regularly beaten, they worked from dawn till dark for free. This unfair treatment was a reason why many slaves wanted to escape, or runawayfrom their masters to free states where they would be free. One way they escaped was theunderground railroad. It was called the underground railroad because it was secret andthe slaves were hidden at secret “stations” along the way, the people who guided theescaping slaves were called conductors. One famous conductor was Harriet Tubman. Sheguided many many slaves to freedom. Another famous slave was Dred Scott. Dred Scott was a slave who had beentaken to Illinois, a free state, then to the Wisconsin territory where slavery was outlawedby the Missouri compromise. He was then returned to Missouri by his master. DredScott then sued his masters widow for his freedom saying that it was illegal to be taken toa free state then taken back into slavery. The supreme court decided that slaves weren’tcitizens so they didn’t have the right to sue. The supreme court also decided that slaveswere property, and the bill of rights protected property therefore congress couldn’t outlawslavery in any of the territories. This decision in the Dred Scott case pleased many southerners they felt that nowthe new states would now be able to choose to be slave states. The decision angeredmany northerners they felt that slaves were more than property and felt that this ruling wasunfair. In 1854 there was a bill that formed two territories in the Louisiana Purchase,these states were Kansas and Nebraska. The bill also said that even though theseterritories were north of the anti-slavery line the people of the territory would have achance to vote whether to be free or slave. This bill would allow southerners to try and add another slave state to the Union.Pro slavery people started moving into the Kansas territory. The state of Missouri startedrecruiting settler who were for slavery and sent them to settle in the new territories. In1855 people from Missouri crossed the border and voted illegally. The legislature inKansas started making pro-slavery laws. This angered the anti-slavery people so theyformed their own government. With two governments fighting for control law and orderbroke apart. People started fighting and bloodshed took place this it became known asBleeding Kansas. There were raids and murders. One group pro-slavery group destroyedthe town of Lawrence and the antislavery newspaper there. As a rebuttal to this act anabolitionist from Ohio named John Brown and his sons murdered five pro-slaveryactivists, in Pottawatomie Creek. John Brown was a fanatical abolitionists after this massacre in Pottawatomie hemoved east. He was financially supported there by other abolitionists. On October 16,1859 Brown led a group of 18 men in a raid to take the government arsenal at HarpersFerry, VA. They wanted to take the guns here then they hoped that slaves in the areawould rebel and come and get the guns. Marines surrounded them. When Brownwouldn’t surrender the Marines stormed him and captured him. He was convicted oftreason and sentenced to death. Another Famous Abolitionist was Harriet Beecher Stowe. She wrote the famousbook Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It was a book about the way slaves were treated. At this timemany northerners had never even seen a black person so many opinions of slavery wereformed from this book. Uncle Tom’s Cabin made many people who could have cared lessabout slavery become abolitionists hard core. Bibliography:Brown, Richars; Bass, Herbert. One Flag, One Land. Silver, Burdett andGinn. Morristown, NJ. 1988Allen, Thomas B. The Blue and The Gray. The National GeorgraphicSociety. Washington D.C. 1992. Abraham Lincoln: On Feb. 12, 1809 in a log cabin in Illinois Abraham Lincolnwas born. At the age of six Abraham and his sister walked “up the road a piece”(2 mileseach way) to go to school. He learned the three R’s, he liked writing and said thatpracticed “anywhere and everywhere that lines could be drawn”. In 1816 the Lincolnsmoved to backwoods Indiana. In 1818 Abe’s mother died. It only took one year for Abe’sfather to see that the family needed a mother so he went to town and married himself awidow named Sara Bush Johnston. Abe and his sister learned to love their new mother.She helped everyone in the family. Most of all she helped Abraham. Seeing how eager hewas to learn, she encouraged him to study. He later said “She was the best friend I everhad…All that I am, I owe to my angel mother.” All of his schooling equaled less than ayear but he made up for that by reading. He was a crazy reading fool. When Abe was the owner of the country store hired him to take a flat boat to NewOrleans. This was his first chance to see the outside world. Abe traveled 1,000 miles toNew Orleans, this is where Lincoln got his first taste of slavery. He didn’t like the seeingthe slave gangs in chains being taken to the plantations. He later said “Slavery is aconstant torment to me.” When Abe was 21 he decided he was ready to live on his own. So when his fathermoved he stayed and decide to go to New Orleans again. When he returned he worked asa clerk in the town store. This is where stories about his honesty first started, people saidthat he once walked six miles just to give back a few pennies to a woman who had paidtoo much for groceries. People knew that they would get a fair deal when doing businesswith “honest Abe”. In 1832 he enrolled in the Black Hawk war. Lincoln was elected as captain of hisrifle company. This was an honor to him but he knew nothing of military life. During thewar he never saw any action but he did experience the hardships of military life. Theseexperiences gave him sympathy for the soldiers fighting for him during the civil war. After the war the store he was running in New Salem didn’t work out. So hebought another one with William Berry on credit. Months later Berry died leaving Lincolnin debt $1,000. It took him years to pay it off. In 1833 Abe took an appointment asdeputy county surveyor. He had to learn how to survey though. He studied all day andsometimes all night, and learned to survey in six weeks. In 1834 he was elected to the Illinois General Assembly. He was reelected in1836, 1838, 1840. During this time Abe was determined to become a lawyer, so heborrowed the law books and studied them. Many times he would walk 20 miles just toreturn one and get another. On September 9, 1839 he received his law license. In1837 he moved to Springfield he was dirt poor. So poor, that he couldn’t even afford tobuy sheets for his bed. The storekeeper felt so sorry for him he asked Abe to share hishome. by 1839 Lincoln had established himself as a lawyer in Springfield. At this time hemet Mary Todd. She was also being courted by a man named Stephen A. Douglas.Mary’s parents wanted her to marry Douglas, but she wanted Lincoln. She predicted thatsomeday he would be president of the United States of America. On February 4, 1842they were married. In 1847 he went to Washington D.C. to represent Illinois. At this time theMexican war was going. Lincoln antiwar speeches displeased his supporter and he knewhe wouldn’t be reelected. In 1849 he went back to ght Lincoln back into politics. Thisact allowed states to decide whether or not they wanted to be slave or free. This wouldallow slavery to spread and Abe didn’t like that idea. He began giving speeches againstthis act. In 1856 he helped to organize the Illinois branch of new Republicans. A partyformed by people wanting to stop the spread of slavery. IN 1858 Lincoln was theRepublican nomination for senator from Illinois. When he addressed the state conventionhe said “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannotendure permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved-Ido not expect the house to fall-but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will becomeall one thing, or all the other.” Lincolns opponent was Stephen A. Douglas. Lincoln and Douglas had a bunch of debates on the slavery issue.Lincoln won this election, but the debates had raised the public oppinion of LIncoln. His friends saw that people liked him and worked to get the Repulican nominationin 1860. LIncoln now saw that he wanted to be president. Lincoln was nominated As theRepublican candidate. The democratic party was devided with the North wanting StephenA. Douglas and the South wanting John C. Breckinridge. For his campaign Lincolnstayed in Springfield. To avoid raising controversy and maybe dividing the party he didn’tmake any speeches. This worked nd he was elected as the first Republican president. The election of Lincoln made southerners angry. They felt that a Republicanwould not respect their rights. They believed that their only hope was to seceed from theUnion. On December 20, 1860 South Carolina became the first state to break away fromthe Union. When it came time for Abe to become inaugurated as the six-teenth president ofthe United States. He had many threats against his life, none of them frightened him. Hewa saware that there was great danger for a man in his position during a crisis. Theelection of 1860 was a major factor in starting the civil war. In his inaugural speechLIncoln said that he would respect the rights of the south despite this the civil war begansix weeks later. At the start of the Civil War it appeared that the south would have no chance ofwinning. The north had more money more men they had the advantage. They had moreindustry and other resources. These advantages were eventually used by general Grant towin the war.
There were some advantages that the south had though. One was the type of warthey had to fight. They could stay on the defensive until the North found out they couldn’twin. Another advantage was that Lincoln couldn’t find anyone to lead his army. He ledthe army himself for awhile. Bibliography:Brown, Richars; Bass, Herbert. One Flag, One Land. Silver, Burdett andGinn. Morristown, NJ. 1988Allen, Thomas B. The Blue and The Gray. The National GeorgraphicSociety. Washington D.C. 1992. “Lincoln, Abraham”. Comptons Encyclopedia. Vol. 13. 1986.Flato, Charles. The Golden Book of the Civil War. Golden Press. New York.1960. At the start of the war the Union decided that to win they would “strangle” theconfederate states. They came up with a plan called the anaconda plan, named for thesnake wich wraps itself around it’s victims and then suffocates them. This plan consistedof four parts they were;1) To block off the ports of trade of the south so they wouldn’t be able to trade toget supplies. 2) They would take the Mississippi River Valley thus dividing the confederacyinto two parts. 3) To take the Tennessee river and then into Georgia and divide the confederacyeven more. 4) The final goal was to take the Confederate capitol of Richmond. In July 1861 Gen. George B. McClellan had won some small victories. Peoplewanted them to take Richmond. So on July 16, 1861 General Irvin McDowell led Uniontroops south towards Richmond. On the way the confederate General P.G.T. Beauregardmet them on the banks of the creek Bull Run. At first the Union troops were kicking butt.Then they met a “StoneWall” a brigade commanded by a guy named General Thomas J. Jackson, this earned him the name of stonewall Jackson. When reinforcements arrived theUnion troops began to retreat. At this point President Lincoln asked General McClellanto train the troops more. It took him a year. While these troop were training general U.S. Grant was winning battles inKentucky and Tennessee. In 1862 he took Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River, whenthe commander asked for the terms of surrender Grant told him there were none except”Unconditional Surrender”. Then people started saying his initials stood for UnconditionalSurrender. After taking Fort Donelson he marched his troop on almost to the border ofMississippi. It was by Shilo that confederates launched a surprise attack on Grants forces.The battle here lasted 2 days, it was counted as a Union victory but it cost Grant 13,000men. These battles on land were very influential in the war, but one place that the Unionforces had during the war was the warfare at sea. Because they did not have anyresources for building ships the Confederates didn’t have any large ships to challenge theUnion boats. This allowed the North to cut off all southern ports of trade without anyreistance from sea. The only thing the confederates had was ships called Confederateraiders. One famous confederate ship was the Alabama in it’s two years of service it sankor captured 67 Union ships. It finally was sank by the U.S. Navy’s ship Kearsarge. Thetwo ships fought for more than an hour finally the Alabama went down. In March 1862, the south captured a Union boat called the Merrimac. They turnedthe Merrimac into and ironclad, they covered the sides and decks with 4 inches of iron.This boat was renamed to the Virginia, it was to free the ports of Virginia by braking theblockade. At first it was succesful it sank one ship by ramming it, and it scared all theothers away. Union cannonballs bounced harmlessly off. Then the next day anotherironclad called the Monitor sailed up to the Virginia, it was called the Monitor. TheMonitor was a ship theat the Union had a inventor build for them it had one differencefrom the Virginia instead of fixed guns it had a rotating gun turret. For hours they fired ateachother they fired until they ran out of ammo. Neither ship won the fight but afterwardsthe Virginia had to go in to get repairs.In July, 1862 Lincoln told his cabinet that he had decided to issue a proclamationfreeing the slaves. They told him to wait until the Union forces won and importantvictory, otherwise it might look like an act of fear. In september 1862 General Rober E. Lee, who had taken control of theconfederate army in an attack of Richmond, decided to attack Maryland. PresidentLincoln put General McClellan ,who he had taken out of power, back in command to stopthis invasion. They fought a bloody battle at Antietam Creek. The invasion was stopped,but the battle could only be counted as a draw. Thie results did have a good effect for theNorth. If Lee would have won then Great Britain and France might have given theconfederates support. The result also gave Lincoln the chance to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.He felt this was the victory his cabinet had advised him he needed. So on September 22,1862 he said that if by January 1, 1863 he would free every slave in all of the rebel slavestates unless they rejoined the Union before that date. None of the states were going toreturn so on New Years Day 1863 Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Theproclamation didn’t free any slaves because the slave states wouldn’t free them and theborder states didn’t have to free their slaves. One thing that happened because of the Emancipation Proclamation helped theUnion. As they pushed into the south former slaves would join them. Over 100,000 blackpeople that used to be slaves joined them. Also the British people did not like slavery sothere was less chance that they would help the rebels. During the war black had a very important role in the fighting. In the south blacksweren’t allowed to fight. They weren’t allowed in the North for a time either, but afterEmancipation they were acceepted. About 200,000 balck men fought in the war, many ofthem recieved medals for their duty. In 1863 one of the most pivotal points of the civil war took place. By this pointthe two main figures of the war were U.S. Grant and General Lee of Virginia. GeneralLee decided to invade the North once again. He picked Pennsylvania, at this point he hadno chance for foreign aid, but he thought that if he won a major victory on Northern soil itmight change that fact. It would also lower northern confidence. Lastly his men neededclothes, food, and other supplies. They could obtain these supplies in Pennsylvania InJune 1863 his army advanced into Pennsylvania. The Union army of the potomac was also moving. They were trying to keep aheadof confederate forces. They were led by General Goerge G. Meade. Neither of the general was ready to fight a battle in early July, but on July 1 scoutunit of each army were marching along and almost by chance they ran into eachother. Asthey fought both sides were rushing reinforcements as fast as they could. On the first daythe confederates pushed the Union soldiers back but by the end of the day thousands ofthem had reached cemetary hill where they dug in for the defense. They were going tomake a last stand but they were not attacked. So during the night the union forces had thechance to form a defensive line three and a half miles long. One mile away across andopen plane Lee placed his troops on Seminary Ridge. During the second day Lee tried tobreak through the defenses and flank them.On July 3 in the morning Confederate guns started firing Union guns fired back.Then to conserve ammunition Meade ordered them to stop firing. Thinking he had hischance Lee ordered a frontal attack. 15,000 soldiers marched almost as if on parade overthe half mile towards the Union forces. After a few hundred yards Union cannons lashedout at them. Then musket fire began one soldier said it mowed them down like “wheatbefore the scythe”. After that they were driven off by Union defendersd using ahythingthey could, cannon rammers, sabers, clubbed rifles. This charhge was called PickettsCharge even though he commanded only 15 of the 46 regiments taking part in the charge.His division did suffer the biggest losses of his 5,000 soldiers only 800 returned. After thisbeing a wimp as usual Meade opted not to counter attack many say if he had the warwould have ended then and there. He didn’t though and allowed Lee and his men toretreat back to Virginia in a wagon train 17 miles long. Bibliography:Brown, Richars; Bass, Herbert. One Flag, One Land. Silver, Burdett andGinn. Morristown, NJ. 1988Allen, Thomas B. The Blue and The Gray. The National GeorgraphicSociety. Washington D.C. 1992. At the end of the civil war General Lee and General Grant were running theirrespective armies. There was one other general who was very influential in ending thewar, this war General William Tecumsah Sherman. He was a very brilliant general. In the battle of Shilo Sherman fought right in the middle of the fight. He recieveda rank of Major General for his fighting. In this battle General Grant made many mistakesand got his butt kicked. Because of his mistakes he took much criticism and was going toget out of the army, but Sherman talked him into staying. After General Grant was given control fo the entire U.S. army Sherman was givencontrol of Grants old army. It was in this position that he made his famous March To TheSea. On May 6, 1864 Sherman and his army left Chattanooga Tennessee for the city ofAtlanta. He reached Atlanta on September second, after he had cleared the city of it’speople and he had his men rested he started his famous march to the sea. He cut himselfoff from his supplies so his men lived on what they stole. what they didn’t steal theyburned and destroyed. It was 400 wiles from Atlanta to Savanah where his trek wouldeventually end. There was a path 60 miles wide of destruction behind Sherman and hismen. It took 32 days to make this march, and for 32 days no one heard from them. Thenon december 20 he telegraphed LIncoln and gave him the city of Savanah as a christmaspresent. In may 1864 General Grant ordered an attack on Richmond. The army ofNorthern Virginia fought off the attacking soldiers. They fought many battles during ashort span of time. Both sides lost heavily, Grant lost 60,000 men in less than a month.He knew though that he could handle these losses better than the confederacy. He wasstill unable to capture Richmond, but instead of retreating like previous generals hecontinued and went to the south of Richmond. Here he took over the railroad town ofPetersburg, and he took control of the roads leading into and out of the capitol. In theSpring of 1865 Lee was forced to leave the city to save his army, then the Union troopstook control of the capital. One week after that Lee’s troops who were tired, hungry and in need of manysupplies tried to break through the Union lines. They failed and were surrounded atAppomatox Court House. There on April 9, 1865 they General Lee was forced tosurrender. After that all confederate resistance was crushed one by one.On April 14, 1865 President Lincoln and his wife went to a performance of OurAmerican Cousin, at Ford’s Theatre in Washington. This is when an actor named JohnWilkes Booth shot Lincon for revenge after the souths defeat in the war. At the same timesome of his friends were plotting to shoot other leaders but they failed. After he shotLincoln Booth escaped to Virginia but he was caught later. After the shooting Lincolnwas carried to a rooming house acrossed the street. He died the morning after the attack. After the war was over the reconstruction began. The first part was to bring allthe states back into the Union. In 1863 Lincoln had come up with this plan. The first partof this plan was that 10 percent of the men who had voted in the election of 1860 had toswear and oath of loyalty to the Constitution of the United States. Once the 10 percenthad taken this oath they could then organize a government that would be recognized asthe government of that state by by the president. After Lincoln’s assassination and Andrew Johnson became president he supportedthe 10 percent plan, he did make some additions though. Each state had to undo theirsecession acts. They could not pay off confederate war debts. They also had to pass thethirteenth amednment wich outlawed slavery. By the fall of 1865 all 11 states had met therequirements of the plan. They were now able to elect members to congress. Congress did not like Johnsons plan they thought it was too easy. Southernerswere electing people that had been rebel leaders during the war and congress thought thatwas not right. They felt that the south should be punished for what happend over the pastfour years. Also the representatives elected by the south were democrats and thisthreatened the republican majority of congress. The main opposition was a group calledradical republicans, they wanted to give former slaves all the freedoms of a regular citizen.They knew that Johnsons plan wasn’t strict enough for this to happen. Under their planthe southern states had to pass the fourteenth amendmant as well that said people born inthe U.S. are citizens and can’t be denied any right of a citizen. It also said that people whohad taken place in the rebellion could not take place in government. President Johnson told the 11 states to not pass the fourteenth amendmant. He feltthat the part where rebel leaders couldn’t be elected was unfair. Only Tennesee ratified thefourteenth amendmant. iN the elctions of 1866 republicans won the majority majorly, andthey wanted to make their own reconstruction bill. Johnson vetoed it but they overrode itand on Mach 2, 1867 the Reconstruction Act of 1867 was passed. This act said that until the states passed the fourteenth amendmant there would bea general placed there and troops to carry out his orders. It also said that the troops couldstay until they felt the state was reconstructed. After they had passed their own reconstruction plan the republicans tried toimpeach president Johnson. They felt they could easily get the 36 senate votes they wouldneed. The trial lasted from March 30 until May 16, 1868. There was only 35 votes toimpeach Johnson, only needing one more vote. After the war many leaders in the south were what people called carpetbaggers.Carpetbaggers were people from the North who came to the South after the war wasover. They were called carpetbaggers because many of them carried there belongings inbags made out of carpets. Many carpetbaggers were in positions of power in the southrngovernments. Many of them wanted to help, but the majority was just out to makemoney. Many southerners helped these people, and also gained positions of power.These people were called scalawags, which is a mean, runty farm animal. Thesecarpetbaggers and scalawags s