Crossroads Of Freedom


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Crossroads Of Freedom

  1. 1. THE CROSSROADS OF FREEDOM<br />By Brett Bailey<br />
  2. 2. The Pendulum of War<br />On December 20th, 1860, South Carolina was the first Southern state to secede from the Union. It was soon followed by six more states – Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. Kentucky Governor Beriah Magoffin proposed that slave states like Kentucky should conform to the amendments of the United States constitution and remain in the Union. When Lincoln requested 75,000 men to serve in the Union, Magoffin, a Southern sympathizer, countered that Kentucky would &quot;...furnish no troops for the wicked purpose of subduing her sister southern states.”<br />
  3. 3. The Pendulum of War<br />Kentucky&apos;s neutrality was broken when Confederate General Leonidas Polk invaded Columbus, Kentucky in 1861. The Kentucky Legislature, in response, passed a resolution directing the governor to demand the evacuation of Confederate forces from Kentucky soil. Magoffin vetoed the proclamation, but the legislature voted against Magoffin and the resolution was passed. The legislature further decided to back General Ulysses S. Grant and his Union troops stationed in Paducah on the grounds that the Confederacy voided the original pledge by breaking Kentucky&apos;s neutral status first.Southern sympathizers were outraged at the legislature&apos;s decisions, citing that Polk&apos;s troops in Kentucky were only en route to countering Grant. Later legislative resolutions, such as inviting Union General Robert Anderson to enroll volunteers to expel the Confederate forces, requesting the governor to call out the militia, and appointing Union General Thomas L. Crittenden in command of Kentucky forces, only incensed the Southerners further. (Magoffin vetoed the resolutions, but all were passed by legislative vote.) In 1862 an act disfranchising citizens that entered the Confederate &quot;sin, vice, and other measures&quot; was passed. Kentucky&apos;s neutral status evolved into a backing of the Union.<br />
  4. 4. Taking Off the Kid Gloves<br />At this point of the war, the South was running out of time since Lt. Gen. Joseph Johnston could no longer trade space for time and the massing of an irresistible Federal force around Richmond was imminent.As the defender, Johnston was forced to make a stand with Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan&apos;s Army of the Potomac just six miles from Richmond in order to gain enough time for Jackson&apos;s strategic diversion to take effect. The longer Johnston could delay, the more time would work toward the Confederacy&apos;s advantage.As for the tactical level of warfare, Jackson found himself in exactly the opposite situation in regards to time. Jackson had to go on the offensive immediately so that he was seen as a credible threat by the Union&apos;s leadership.[4] Jackson&apos;s decision to attack Kernstown was undertaken at a moment&apos;s notice, since he was informed that Bank&apos;s was sending forces to eastern Virginia. The rapid forced march and aggressive attack resulted in the Union leadership convincing themselves that Jackson had been reinforced in preparation for an assault into the North.<br />
  5. 5. Taking off the Kid Gloves<br />Through the summer Ulysses S. Grant could do little against Robert E. Lee behind his defenses at Petersburg. The last two years had shown convincingly that sending infantry up against well-entrenched soldiers was no formula for military success.Grant did try to break the Confederate line by allowing Pennsylvania miners to dig a trench below the Confederate trenches and set off tons of explosives on July 30. The devastation blew a gap in the Southern works, but the Union attack bogged down in the hole from the explosion. The Battle of the Crater got the Union army nothing but bad press.Grant turned his attention to the Shenandoah Valley. It supplied a good deal of the food that sustained the Army of Northern Virginia, and it had enough to support a Southern army in the valley if they were forced to find all their food by foraging. Grant wanted the supplies to Lee’s army stopped. He also meant to preclude the possibility of some future Southern army—like Early’s—operating in this troublesome area.Grant wanted an aggressive commander and chose Phil Sheridan for the job. He told Sheridan to make the valley barren so that no cattle, pigs, or crops could be used to sustain Southern forces. This, of course, meant the destruction of farmers’ buildings and fields, but Grant felt it necessary, and the North sustained him.<br />
  6. 6. The Federals Got a Very Complete Smashing<br />Lincoln’s real right-hand man in the conduct of the war was Edwin Stanton, the Secretary of War. Stanton’s great contribution to Lincoln and the Union cause was to supply the energy and vigor necessary to prosecute the war.One of Lincoln’s great strengths as commander-in-chief was his decisiveness in relieving failed generals. In this, he differed greatly from the Confederate president. In 1862, he relieved not only McClellan, but also John Pope after Second Manassas, Don Carlos Buell as commander of the Army of the Cumberland and Ambrose Burnside, McClellan’s successor, after the disaster at Fredericksburg. In 1863, he relieved Joseph Hooker as commander of the Army of the Potomac early in the Gettysburg campaign, and William S. Rosecrans after his Army of the Cumberland was mauled at Chickamauga. Lincoln described him as &quot;confused and stunned, like a duck hit on the head.&quot;<br />
  7. 7. The Federals Got a Very Complete Smashing<br />The architect of the Confederate victories in the east, General Robert E. Lee, sought to exploit the opportunity his victory at Second Manassas offered. Lee understood from the beginning of the war that the Confederacy’s best hope for independence rested upon the morale of the Northern people. If they believed the war could not be won, or could only be won at too high a cost, then Southern independence became a real possibility. Confederate military successes were the means to erode morale and create this political climate. The fall elections in the North were approaching. England and France stood on the sidelines watching closely, carefully weighing whether they should recognize the Confederacy. Lee sensed a great opportunity was at hand. He believed the Union army was disorganized and demoralized. He also knew that it was receiving many reinforcements in the form of newly raised regiments in answer to President Lincoln’s July call for 300,000 volunteers. Only one move would force the Federals to place their army in the field before they had reorganized and offered the best chance to do further damage to Northern morale: Invade the border state of Maryland.<br />
  8. 8. Showdown at Sharpsburg<br />By far, the food soldiers received has been the source of more stories than any other aspect of army life. The Union soldier received a variety of edibles. The food issue, or ration, was usually meant to last three days while on active campaign and was based on the general staples of meat and bread. Meat usually came in the form of salted pork or, on rare occasions, fresh beef. Rations of pork or beef were boiled, broiled or fried over open campfires. Army bread was a flour biscuit called hardtack, re-named &quot;tooth-dullers&quot;, &quot;worm castles&quot;, and &quot;sheet iron crackers&quot; by the soldiers who ate them. Hardtack could be eaten plain though most men preferred to toast them over a fire, crumble them into soups, or crumble and fry them with their pork and bacon fat in a dish called skillygalee. Other food items included rice, peas, beans, dried fruit, potatoes, molasses, vinegar, and salt. Baked beans were a northern favorite when the time could be taken to prepare them and a cooking pot with a lid could be obtained. Coffee was a most desirable staple and some soldiers considered the issue of coffee and accompanying sugar more important than anything else. Coffee beans were distributed green so it was up to the soldiers to roast and grind them. The task for this most desirable of beverages was worth every second as former soldier John Billings recalled: &quot;What a Godsend it seemed to us at times! How often after being completely jaded by a night march... have I had a wash, if there was water to be had, made and drunk my pint or so of coffee and felt as fresh and invigorated as if just arisen from a night&apos;s sound sleep!&quot;<br />
  9. 9. Showdown at Sharpsburg<br />Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia would cross the Potomac River using White’s Ford and Cheek’s Ford, after pushing through Dranesville and Leesburg, Virginia.  Pushing north to Frederick, Maryland Lee quickly learned that Confederate sympathies were not what he expected.  Writing Jefferson Davis on September 7, Lee stated, “I do not anticipate any general rising of the people in our behalf.”  While there were some kind acts, such as civilians giving the shoe less Confederate soldiers their shoes, or a drink of water, Lieutenant William Johnson summed it up well, “We were not received with cheers or songs or other evidences of approbation, but instead they looked at us<br />
  10. 10. The Beginning of the End<br />n the maryland invasion lee committed a serious blunder, one of the many which he had and will committ after the invasion. First the invasion was lost after the out &apos;littlmac&apos; got his hands on the lost order. Of course lee didn&apos;t knew about it, but with his army divded in four parts and McCellan on his tail ANDD .. with almost no prospertive of reaching his goals of the invasion the Great General should have regrouped and fallen back into the Virginia. Why? because the Confederate could not defeat the Union army! this was the goal of the confederacy! To Crush the union army was the goal of the confederacy.TheConfederay was young, weak, and it didn&apos;t had the power to defy the north for long period of time. The South primary weakness was its lack of man power. The south could not draft thousands of thousands of soliders like the north could. Thus the only way to defeat norht was by crushing the northern armies(almost impossible) or one of the most simple ways to win freedom was by attacking north cities and burning down the industries in (PA) state and at the same time avoiding battle with the Union army. This golden Opportunity was first noticed by General T.J &apos;Stonewall&apos; Jackson. Who proposed this great plan of his to lee and President davis &apos;FIVE TIMES&quot; during the period of &apos; first battle of bull run to the end of seven days battle&quot; The result was complete lack of sense on the part of lee and davis. With the CS Captailundeer siege, the entire might of the union army was at the gates of the Richmond. Jackson simply proposed to have his commmand increase from 19,000 to 40,000. NOt to be taken from Lee army, but from the states of S.C, Georgia and Florida, and to cross the Potomac and to not strike at the captail, but to destroy its railroad links or to destroy the industries of the north in the PA state, specially the city of Philadelphia. Thus by these action the south was let the north people know, that the war will not be fought on the southern soil, but in the north cities. General Jackson wanted to destroy the will of the northern people.<br />
  11. 11. The Beginning of the End<br />McClellan opposed emancipation and his loyalty to the Union was questioned by members of the Joint Committee on Conduct of the War. He was the Democratic candidate for President in 1864 although he opposed the party&apos;s anti-war platform. The split between pro-war and anti-war Democrats helped insure President Lincoln&apos;s reelection. The day after the November 8, 1864 election, presidential aide Edward Duffield Neil entered Mr. Lincoln&apos;s office: &quot;Turning away from the papers which had been occupying his attention, he spoke kindly of his competitor, the calm, prudent general and grate organizer, whose remains this week have been placed in the cold grave. He told me that General Scott had recommended McClellan as an officer who had studied the science of war, and had been in the Crimea during the war against Russia, and that he told Scott that he knew nothing about the science of war, and it was very important to have just such a person to organize the raw recruits of the republic around Washington.&quot;11 Shortly thereafter, McClellan resigned his army commission and departed for Europe.<br />