Confederate Lives: Soldiers and Statesmen (Civil War)

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Meanwhile, the war created employment for arms makers, ironworkers, and British ships to transport weapons.

American Civil War

Lincoln's administration failed to appeal to European public opinion. 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, were 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.

The European aristocracy was "absolutely gleeful in pronouncing the American debacle as proof that the entire experiment in popular government had failed. European government leaders welcomed the fragmentation of the ascendant American Republic. However, public opinion against slavery created a political liability for politicians in Britain, where the antislavery 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 considered mediation between North and South, though even such an offer would have risked war with the United States. The Union victory in the Battle of Antietam caused them to delay this decision. The Emancipation Proclamation over time would reinforce the political liability of supporting the Confederacy.

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. 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, prior to 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.

"Last Civil War Pensioner"

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.

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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 , [] [] []. 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.

American Civil War - Wikipedia

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.


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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 own 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 , in order 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.

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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.

Life as a Soldier During the Civil War

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 southern part of the Mississippi River Port Hudson and south.