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Economy- The Northern economy was based on industry. The North used many of the raw materials from the South to make useful goods such as textiles. The North had a well connected banking system that allowed business men to have access to money to invest in the various industrial projects.
People – The North had a larger population (about 22 million people) than the South. The leaders of the North were businessmen located in relatively large urban cities. The average person of the North was a small business owner or factory worker. Most Northerners were committed to free–market capitalism, individual opportunity, and free labor, and many contrasted what they believed to be the civilizing effects of hard work and commerce with the supposed laziness and barbarism of the slave South.
Political Views – Some Northerners thought Southerners would recognize the inefficiency of slavery and end it voluntarily--that hope was dashed by the cotton boom and the South’s recommitment to slavery.
People in the North did not own much land so they did not get upset over land taxes. They also were used to a much more mechanized economy so they did not understand or need much manual labor. Some other political issues were:
Border Strategy - William Seward, the secretary of state, favored the "the border strategy." The notion here was to establish "borders" around the periphery of the Confederacy, assure the Southerners of the goodwill of the North toward them, and wait for pro-Union sentiment in the South to manifest itself and lead to a negotiated peace. This strategy virtually conceded the slavery issue in favor of restoring the Union.
Defensive Strategy – This strategy rested on the assumption that there were large numbers of Unionists in the South, simply waiting for indications of Northern support to declare themselves. Instead of halting on the borders the North should penetrate the territory, nourish and protect the Union sentiment, and create and strengthen a national feeling counter to Secession. Both strategies were based on an overestimation of the strength of Union sentiment.
Overwhelming Force Strategy - This third strategy, was based on the assumption that only an overwhelming display of superior force demonstrated by an invasion of the South at every vulnerable point could force the Confederacy back into the Union. This was the policy that was, on the whole, followed, but the emotional predisposition to the first strategy on the part of many Northerners in and out of the army frequently blunted the effect of the invasion strategy and in the most important theater of the war--Virginia--rendered it a ineffective.
Economy- The Southern economy was based on agriculture. The South generated many of the raw materials used by Europe and the North. The South had an economy controlled by large land owners. These land owners were very dependent on manual labor to produce raw materials and generate income. Even the many Southerners who did not own slaves accepted the planters' view that the South's economy would collapse without slavery
People – The South had a smaller population (9 million people including 3.5 million slaves) than the North. The leaders of the South were the plantation owners located in rural areas. There were 5.5 million free whites prior to the civil war. The two major groups were 4.1 million farmers and 1.14 million soldiers. The slaves made up nearly a third of the South's population.
Political Views – Support of slavery remained strong throughout the South, but only about a fourth of the region's whites owned slaves or belonged to a family that owned them. About 45,000 planters owned over half the slaves, and these planters controlled the economy and government of the Southern States.. This meant they wanted a strong state government with a weak federal government. Some other political issues were:
against taxes on the land as they owned farms.
Believed strongly in property rights (if a slave escaped they wanted the slave returned as if this person were a piece of property.)
The basic war aim of the Confederacy, like that of the United States in the Revolution, was to defend a new nation from conquest. But two main factors prevented Davis from carrying out such a strategy except in a limited, sporadic fashion. Both factors stemmed from political as well as military realities.
The first was a demand by governors, congressmen, and the public for troops to defend every portion of the Confederacy. Thus in 1861, small armies were dispersed around the Confederate perimeter along the Arkansas-Missouri border, at several points on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, along the Tennessee-Kentucky border, and in the Shenandoah Valley and western Virginia as well as at Manassas. This caused manpower to be dispersed so thinly that Union forces were certain to break through somewhere, as they did at several points in 1862.
The second factor inhibiting a strategy of attrition was the temperament of the southern people. Believing that they could beat any number of Yankees, many southerners scorned the notion of "sitting down and waiting" for the Federals to attack.
Offensive-Defensive Strategy - This consisted of defending the Confederate homeland by using interior lines of communication to concentrate dispersed forces against an invading army and, if opportunity offered, to go over to the offensive, even to the extent of invading the North. This strategy emerged from a series of major campaigns in the Virginia-Maryland and Tennessee-Kentucky theaters during 1862, and culminated at Gettysburg in 1863
Missouri Compromise In March of1820 - The Missouri Compromise is negotiated allowing Maine to be admitted to the Union as a free state and Missouri as a slave state in 1821. This act will maintain a balance between free and slave states. The compromise establishes the 36 degree, 30' parallel of latitude as a dividing line between free and slave areas of the territories.
Tariff of Abominations In 1828 Congress again raises tariffs with the Tariff of Abominations. The tariffs are designed to support American industry and in that way are successful greatly benefiting the northern industrial economy, however the tariffs are damaging to the southern agricultural economy.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe publishes Uncle Tom's Cabin as a response to the pro-slavery movement.
Kansas-Nebraska Act The Kansas-Nebraska Act passes Congress and thus overturns the Missouri Compromise opening the Northern territory to slavery. Both sides begin to send settlers into the areas in an effort to influence the future status of these areas.
South Carolina Secedes - On December 20, 1860 South Carolina convention passes ordinance of secession thus seceding from the Union.
Major Northern Generals William Tecumseh Sherman Ulysses S. Grant Henry W. Halleck
Ulysses S. Grant Grant was born Ulysses Hiram Grant on April 27,1822 in Ohio. He was the oldest of six children. At 17 he received an appointment to the United States Military Academy. The congressman who filled out the paperwork incorrectly wrote his middle name as Simpson which was his mother’s maiden name. Grant liked his new initials “U.S. Grant” so he continued to use it throughout his life. He was only an average student at the academy and graduated in the middle of his class. Grant was involved in the Mexican American War where he showed a lot of courage. After the war, he began to drink a lot and resigned his commission rather than face a court martial. After that he tried his hand at several jobs but failed at all of them. When the Civil War started Grant quickly answered the call for soldiers. He won two major battles in Tennessee which opened the way for the Union to cut the South in two. In the bloody battle of Shiloh his troops forced the Confederates south into Mississippi. He captured the city of Vicksburg which was the South’s last stronghold in the Mississippi River. He earned the respect of the troops he led and the fear of the confederate soldiers he fought. He quickly rose to the rank of general. After several victories, such as Vicksburg, Lincoln gave Grant command of all the Union forces. Grant proved to be a brilliant strategist and in April of 1865 met Robert E. Lee at the Appomattox Court House near Richmond, Virginia to accept Lee’s formal surrender. A few years after the war Grant ran for President and won. He served two terms, but his administration had a lot of problems. He traveled in Europe for a few years after leaving office. He died of throat cancer in July of 1885.
William Tecumseh Sherman William Tecumseh Sherman was born on February 8 1820 in Ohio. His father gave him the name Tecumseh after the famous Shawnee warrior, but his family called him “Cump”. He had ten brothers and sisters. His father died suddenly and he was raised by a neighbor, Thomas Ewing. Senator Ewing secured a place for the 16 year old Sherman as a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was a good student and graduated sixth in his class. Grant was in California during the Mexican American War. He left the army after the war and moved to Louisiana. For the next ten years he worked in several different jobs. He was a banker, a lawyer, and an educator. When the Civil War broke out Sherman left Louisiana because he believed the Union should be saved. He was involved in the First Battle of Bull Run, and later in the Battle of Shiloh. He also helped General Grant win the Battle at Vicksburg. His most famous victories came when the Union took control of Atlanta and when he began his “March to the Sea.” His soldiers burned and looted their way all the way to Savannah. At the end of this campaign his troops captured Savannah on December 22, 1864. Sherman then telegraphed Lincoln, offering him the city as a Christmas present. After the war, Sherman was given the rank of full general and stayed in the military until 1884. After retiring, he moved to New York City and enjoyed an active social life. He died of pneumonia in 1891.
Henry Wager Halleck Halleck was born on a farm in western New York on January 16,1815. He was the oldest of 13 children. At the age of 20, his grandfather helped him get into the United States Military Academy. Henry was a very good student and graduated third in his class. After graduating, he held teaching positions, upgraded New York’s defense system and went to France to study. He even wrote a book on military strategy which was widely read. When the Civil War broke out, a high ranking general remembered Halleck’s book and asked President Lincoln to make him a major general. With the help of his field commanders, Halleck was a successful leader. He approached the war as if it were a chess game and he was a good strategist. When it came to being in the field, however, Halleck quickly lost his nerve, and it was not long before Lincoln called him back to Washington to become the new general-in- chief. This job put Halleck’s management skills to good use. His efficiency and organization were well known, however, he tended to “over manage” and people didn’t like him very much. Lincoln quickly realized that Halleck was good at organizing an army but terrible at leading it. He was given a desk job and stayed there for the rest of the war. After the war, Halleck was assigned to several different places in an effort to get rid of him. He was criticized by many of the other generals, and died a broken man in January of 1872.
Major Southern Generals Turner Ashby Robert E. Lee Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson
Robert E. Lee Robert Edward Lee was born on January 19, 1807 in Virginia. He was the fifth child born to Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee, Governor of Virginia and Ann Hill Lee. He got into the United States Military Academy in 1825, and graduated 4 years later second in the class and without a single demerit. He married Mary Ann Randolph Custis, and they had seven children. During the Mexican War, Robert E. Lee was promoted to Colonel due to his bravery in performing vital scouting missions. In1852, he became superintendent of theMilitary Academy, and ran it for 3 years. Four days after the Civil War broke out, Virginia seceded from the Union. Lincoln asked Lee to take charge of the Union army, but Lee refused to raise his sword against his home state so he resigned his commission. He was involved in many battles during the war. Some of these battles he won and some he lost, but throughout them all his men remained loyal to him. He won the Second Battle of Bull Run, but lost the Battle of Gettysburg. In early April of 1865, Lee realizd the South could not win the war, and did not want any more men to lose their lives so on On April 9, 1865, Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Court House. After the surrender, Lee returned to Richmond. He assumed the presidency of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University). His example of conduct for thousands of ex-Confederates made him a legend even before his death on October 12, 1870.
Thomas Jonathan Jackson was born on January 21, 1824 in Clarksburg, West Virginia. He had one brother and two sisters. Both of his parents died when he was young.
Jackson attended the United States Military Academy at West Point. Because he had very little education before coming to the Academy, Tom had a hard time at school and nearly flunked out. His hard work soon began to pay off and he was seventeenth in his graduating class. Jackson served in both the Mexican War. and the Seminole War. In the spring of 1851 Jackson was offered and accepted the appointment to teach at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia. His students thought he was very strict and boring, but he knew that discipline would pay off.
When the war started, Jackson took his students to Richmond to enlist. He quickly turned the new recruits into good soldiers. Jackson earned his nickname “Stonewall” in one of the first major battles of the Civil War. Jackson was able to hold off Union troops until help arrived because he was calm under pressure. One of his fellow generals stated, “There is Jackson standing like a stone wall.” He had the loyalty of the troops he led. Jackson was badly wounded after the Battle of Chancellorsville in the spring of 1863 by his own troops because they mistook him for the enemy. When Lee heard about Jackson’s wound he sent him a message saying, "Give General Jackson my affectionate regards, and say to him: he has lost his left arm but I my right.“ He died on May 10, 1863.
Stonewall Jackson’s military battles are still studied today. He was well known for his calmness in battle as well as his courage. He was a good military strategist.
Turner Ashby was born on October 28, 1828 in Fauquier County Virginia. He was educated by private tutors and became a successful planter and businessman at a young age. His father and grandfather had both been in the military, so it was natural for Turner to follow in their footsteps.
He began his military career in 1857 when he and a group of volunteers policed workers building a railroad through the Blue Ridge Mountains. He and his men were also involved in the capture of the abolitionist John Brown at Harper’s Ferry.
When the Civil War started, his troop became part of the Seventh Virginia Cavalry. Because of his calm manner and determination in battle, young men were eager to join his command. He was known for his sometimes reckless behavior as well as his bravery.
In 1861, Ashby and his troops were sent to protect the border counties of the Shenandoah Valley and destroy the northern railroad between Martinsville and Harper’s Ferry. During this time his Seventh Cavalry had grown into 27 companies which became too difficult for Ashby, who was unskilled in military strategy. General Jackson wanted to strip Ashby of his command, but because Ashby was so popular with his men, Jackson backed down.
Turner Ashby died on June 6, 1862 in a battle near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He was shot in the heart while leading a charge. He was 34 years old.
Turner Ashby was probably the first officer in the army to use both cavalry and artillery in battle. His tactics and strategy were so unorthodox that he confused his opponents and won the praise of his superior officers.
Industry vs. Agricultural Economy - Many historians consider the disparity between the Northern industrial economy and the Southern slave-based agricultural economy to be the main cause of the American Civil War.
Slavery - Another cause of the Civil War would be the number of problems associated with the institution of slavery, which had been introduced into North America in early colonial times.
States Rights vs. Federal Government - The Civil War was a war for states' rights, not about control of the U.S. government, but about each state’s desire to govern themselves as independent nations. By the 1850s, a pronounced sectionalism had developed between the industrial North and agricultural South. The North and South disagreed about economics, slavery, and statehood - issues that, in the minds of politically active Southerners, comprised one main issue: states' rights.
The North had fought for the principle that as for government, men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support a government they do not want; and that resistance, on their part, makes them traitors and criminals.
Civil War Timeline Dec 20, 1860 - South Carolina secedes from the Union. Followed within two months by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. November 6, 1860 - Abraham Lincoln, who had declared "Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free..." is elected president, the first Republican, receiving 180 of 303 possible electoral votes and 40 percent of the popular vote. Feb 9, 1861 - The Confederate States of America is formed with Jefferson Davis, a West Point graduate and former U.S. Army officer, as president. March 4, 1861 - Abraham Lincoln is sworn in as 16 th President of the United States of America. April 12, 1861 - At 4:30 a.m. Confederates under Gen. Pierre Beauregard open fire with 50 cannons upon Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina. The Civil War begins. July 21, 1861 - The Union Army under Gen. Irvin McDowell suffers a defeat at Bull Run 25 miles southwest of Washington. Confederate Gen. Thomas J. Jackson earns the nickname "Stonewall," as his brigade resists Union attacks. Union troops fall back to Washington. President Lincoln realizes the war will be long. April 6/7, 1862 - Confederate surprise attack on Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's unprepared troops at Shiloh on the Tennessee River results in a bitter struggle with 13,000 Union killed and wounded and 10,000 Confederates, more men than in all previous American wars combined. The president is then pressured to relieve Grant but resists. "I can't spare this man; he fights," Lincoln says.
Civil War Timeline Sept 17, 1862 - The bloodiest day in U.S. military history as Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Armies are stopped at Antietam in Maryland by McClellan and numerically superior Union forces. By nightfall 26,000 men are dead, wounded, or missing. Lee then withdraws to Virginia. C onfederate dead by the fence bordering Farmer Miller's 40 acre Cornfield at Antietam where the intense rifle and artillery fire cut every corn stalk to the ground "as closely as could have been done with a knife." Sept 22, 1862 - Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves issued by President Lincoln. Jan 1, 1863 - President Lincoln issues the final Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in territories held by Confederates and emphasizes the enlisting of black soldiers in the Union Army. The war to preserve the Union now becomes a revolutionary struggle for the abolition of slavery. July 1-3, 1863 - The tide of war turns against the South as the Confederates are defeated at the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. Oct 16, 1863 - The president appoints Gen. Grant to command all operations in the western theater. Nov 19, 1863 - President Lincoln delivers a two minute Gettysburg Address at a ceremony dedicating the Battlefield as a National Cemetery.
Civil War Timeline March 9, 1864 - President Lincoln appoints Gen. Grant to command all of the armies of the United States. Gen. William T. Sherman succeeds Grant as commander in the west. May 4, 1864 - The beginning of a massive, coordinated campaign involving all the Union Armies. In Virginia, Grant with an Army of 120,000 begins advancing toward Richmond to engage Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, now numbering 64,000, beginning a war of attrition that will include major battles at the Wilderness (May 5-6), Spotsylvania (May 8-12), and Cold Harbor (June 1-3). Nov 8, 1864 - Abraham Lincoln is re-elected president, defeating Democrat George B. McClellan. Lincoln carries all but three states with 55 percent of the popular vote and 212 of 233 electoral votes. "I earnestly believe that the consequences of this day's work will be to the lasting advantage, if not the very salvation, of the country," Lincoln tells supporters. Dec 21, 1864 - Sherman reaches Savannah in Georgia leaving behind a 300 mile long path of destruction 60 miles wide all the way from Atlanta. Sherman then telegraphs Lincoln, offering him Savannah as a Christmas present. Jan 31, 1865 - The U.S. Congress approves the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, to abolish slavery. The amendment is then submitted to the states for ratification. April 9, 1865 - Gen. Robert E. Lee surrenders his Confederate Army to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at the village of Appomattox Court House in Virginia. Grant allows Rebel officers to keep their sidearms and permits soldiers to keep horses and mules.
My Page: Valley Campaign In 1861, Stonewall Jackson commanded the Confederate troops who patrolled the Shenandoah Valley from a command center in Winchester, Virginia. Jackson's cavalry commander, Col. Turner Ashby was sent to raid the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (Both critical parts of the Union’s transportation system). Union General Banks reacted by crossing the Potomac River and moving south to protect the canal and railroad from Ashby. This set of events set off the Valley Campaign. On March 12, 1862, Banks moved to the southwest ("up the Valley") and forced Stonewall Jackson out of Winchester, Virginia. Jackson had to withdraw into the Shenandoah Valley. General Banks received orders, to move farther south and drive Jackson from the Valley. After doing this, he was to withdraw to a position nearer Washington, D.C. At the same time General George McClellan began his attack on the Virginia Peninsula. Stonewall Jackson knew he was outnumbered so he tried to avoid a fight. He only wanted to keep General Bank’s busy so he would not help General McClellan attack Robert E, Lee’s troops at the Virginia Peninsula. As Bank’s troops advanced on Jackson, he moved further south into the Valley. The Union cavalry wrongly thought that Jackson had fled from the Valley. Banks concluded that the first part of his mission—to force Jackson from the Valley—had been accomplished, so he moved east towards Washington D.C. Jackson quickly realized that Banks was doing what Jackson had been trying to prevent. The next page is a diagram showing two key events in the first part of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign.
First Battle of Kernstown (March 23, 1862) Battle of McDowell (May 8 to May 9, 1862) Valley Campaign Part I
My Page: Valley Campaign Part I 1 st Battle of Kernstown March 23, 1862 Jackson's troops engaged the Union troops at Kernstown to keep them from going back to the east. Jackson had been told that the Union Army less troops than they had. Stonewall Jackson attacked them headon thinking that he had them outnumbered. The Confederate Army was defeated. As it turned out this was a strategic victory for the Confederacy, forcing President Abraham Lincoln to keep Banks's forces in the Valley and McDowell's 30,000 troops near Fredericksburg, subtracting about 50,000 soldiers from McClellan's forces attacking the Virginia Pennisular. Battle of McDowell (May 8 to May 9, 1862) After Jackson retreated he received further support bringing his forces to 17,000. He marched as the redline on the map shows to West View, hoping to keep the Union forces busy. Worried about being overwhelmed by the superior Union Army Jackson decided to attack the Union forces randomly. He attacked McDowell on May 8, while Jackson was looking for an chance to cross the river and surround the Union force, McDowell attacked the Confederate Army on Sitlington’s Hill. McDowell’s Army failed after long fight to win a the battle so they begin to withdraw. During the withdrawal they begin setting forest fires to delay any Confederate pursuit. The next diagram shows two battles and troop movements in the second part of the Valley Campaign.
My Page: Valley Campaign Part II Battle of Front Royal (May 23, 1862) Confederate troops surprised and overran the 1,000-man Union Army at Front Royal. Leaving town the Union troops stopped at Camp Hill and again at Guard Hill after attempting to set fire to the river bridges.The Confederate solidiers continued the pursuit of the Union troops until 900 men surrendered to the Confederate soldiers. Stonewall Jackson’s victory at Front Royal forced the Union army under General Banks at Strasburg into a retreat towards Winchester on May 24. Stonewall Jackson’s troops were unable to capture them in their pursuit. First Battle of Winchester (May 25, 1862) After fighting Banks’s retreating army at Middletown and Newtown on May 24, Jackson’s army continued north toward Winchester. There, Banks was attempting to regroup his army to defend the town. On May 25, Confederate troops attacked the Union troops at Camp Hill, overrunning the Union’s troops. Many Union troops fled through Winchester. General Banks’s army was soundly defeated and withdrew north across the Potomac River. The Washington politicians, made a bad mistake at this point. President Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton decided that Stonewall Jackson had to be defeated (even though Jackson's orders were only to keep Union troops from helping General George McClellan). President Lincoln and Secretary Stanton ordered Irvin McDowell to send 20,000 men to Front Royal. The meant that McDowell's coordinated attack with McClellan on Richmond would not be done. I choose this story to show how a war may be won with defeats as well as victories. Stonewall Jackson was able to distract the Union Army enough to prevent forces from joining and capturing the Capitol of the Confederacy. I learned about this when looking up information on Turner Ashby.
Individual states vs. United States – Prior to the Civil War individuals stated they were from a particular state. After the Civil War they stated they were Americans. This was a demonstration that the country was no longer individual states with separate governments. Now the United States was a country that had states that were subject to the rules of the national government.
Emancipation – The idea of people being free to pursue life, liberty, and the happiness was true for all men. Although the idea was closer to reality after the war this was not always the way things happened. America is still trying to make sure all people have equal rights to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.