The Civil War

U.S. History to 1877

Civil War: Goals & strategies

      South: a conservative revolution

      For Southern rights or Union—not slavery

      Southern strategy

      Keep viable

      Get foreign recognition

      Cotton embargo: force foreign recognition

      Northern strategy

      Anaconda Plan: strangulation by blockade

      Defeat Southern armies

      Cut South in two along the Mississippi River

Advantages and Disadvantages

South                                     North

Population 9.1 m                      Population 22.3 m

  • 1.1 million white males                   • 4.6 million white males

Banks: $47 million           Banks: $207 million

Manufactures: $156 million                 Manufactures: $1,730 million

Railroads: 9,000 miles               Railroads: 22,000 miles

No foreign recognition             Foreign relations

Best military men                     Navy

No political parties                   Political divisions

Jefferson Davis                          Abraham Lincoln

Hard to invade & hold   

First “modern” war

     750,000 dead

     18th century tactics

      Line up and march at each other

     20th century weapons

      Rifles, not muskets: greater range, accuracy

      Gatling gun (machine gun)

      Armored ships

      Trench warfare

First Blood

     First Bull Run (or Manassas), July 21, 1861

      Union panic

      Realization war would last more than the summer

The War at Sea

     Ironclads: Virginia (Merrimac) vs. Monitor

     Blockade runners, commerce raiders

War in earnest, 1862

     Battle for the Mississippi

      Admiral Farragut takes New Orleans

      Ulysses S. Grant advances

      Fort Henry

      Fort Donelson

      Shiloh: bloodbath

Eastern Stalemate, 1862

     George McClellan vs. Robert E. Lee:

      7 Days’ Battle

     John Pope vs. Lee

      Second Bull Run

     McClellan vs. Lee

      September 17: Antietam

     Ambrose Burnside vs. Lee





     Emancipation Proclamation: January 1, 1863

     Fighting for freedom: black troops


     Republicans pass Homestead Act, fund trans-continental railroad, create Agriculture Department

      Kansas, West Virginia, Nevada admitted to Union

     Resort to the draft on both sides

      Allowed substitutes or payment instead of service

      South exempts slaveowners; creates resentment

      Bloody antidraft race riots, New York City, July 1863

     Southern shortages of food and supplies

      Bread riots, 1864

     Northern economy booms; much waste and graft

Turning point: July 1863

     Joseph Hooker vs. Lee at Chancellorsville

     George Meade vs. Lee at Gettysburg

     Grant takes Vicksburg

Gettysburg Address, Nov. 19, 1863

       FOURSCORE and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

       Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that the nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow, this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Grant & Sherman attack, 1864

     Election: Lincoln vs. McClellan

      Lincoln’s VP: Democrat Andrew Johnson

     Grant’s strategy: Keep attacking

      Very high casualties, but South can’t hold out

     Atlanta and Mobile fall

      Sherman’s march to the sea

     Lincoln’s reelection assured

Second Inaugural Address
March 4, 1865

Second Inaugural Address
MarCH 4, 1865

Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

Second Inaugural Address
March 4, 1865

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

Nevertheless, the South Persisted

      Obstacles to success

      The Southern Constitution: weak central government vs. strong states

      Reluctance to tax, cotton embargo lead to printing money and runaway inflation

      Confidence in ultimate Southern victory

      Judah P. Benjamin’s success at manufacturing munitions

      “Pure” Southern religion & Biblical support for slavery assured God’s favor

      Faith in Robert E. Lee

Surrender and Assassination

     Lee withdraws, Richmond falls

      April 4, 1865

     Lee surrenders

      Appomattox,  April 9, 1865

     Lincoln assassinated

      April 14, 1865

     Other Southern armies surrender through May and June


     Union preserved

      Secession discredited

      Nation more unified than ever

     Defining moment for both sections

      Heroic fight for high ideals

     13th Amendment: Slavery abolished

     Rise of industrial economy

     Southern economy & influence decline