Civil War Battles 63 65


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  •    Morale in the Federal Army of the Potomac rose with the appointment of Joseph Hooker to command. Hooker reorganized the army and formed a cavalry corps. He wanted to strike at Lee's army while a sizable portion was detached under Longstreet in the Suffolk area. The Federal commander left a substantial force at Fredericksburg to tie Lee to the hills where Burnside had been defeated. Another Union force disappeared westward, crossed the Rapidan and Rappahannock rivers, and converged on Fredericksburg from the west. The Federal cavalry would open the campaign with a raid on Lee's line of communications with the Confederate capital at Richmond. Convinced that Lee would have to retreat, Hooker trusted that his troops could defeat the Confederates as they tried to escape his trap.        On April 29, Hooker's cavalry and three army corps crossed Kelly's Ford. His columns split, with the cavalry pushing to the west while the army corps secured Getmanna and Ely's fords. The next day these columns reunited at Chancellorsville. Lee reacted to the news of the Federals in the Wilderness by sending General Richard H. Anderson's division to investigate. Finding the Northerners massing in the woods around Chancellorsville; Anderson commenced the construction of earthworks at Zoan Church. Confederate reinforcements under Stonewall Jackson marched to help block the Federal advance, but did not arrive until May 1. The Confederates had no intention of retreating as Hooker had predicted.        Hooker's troops rested at Chancellorsville after executing what is often considered to be the most daring march of the war. They had slipped across Lee's front undetected. To some the hardest part of the campaign seemed to be behind them; to others, the most difficult had yet to be encountered. The cavalry raid had faltered in its initial efforts and Hooker's main force was trapped in the tangles of the Wilderness without any cavalry to alert them of Lee's approach. The End May 1-6 1863         As the Federal army converged on Chancellorsville, General Hooker expected Lee to retreat from his forces, which totaled nearly 115,000. Although heavily outnumbered with just under 60,000 troops - Lee had no intention of retreating. The Confederate commander divided his army: one part remained to guard Fredericksburg, while the other raced west to meet Hooker's advance. When the van of Hooker's column clashed with the Confederates' on May 1, Hooker pulled his troops back to Chancellorsville, a lone tavern at a crossroads in a dense wood known locally as The Wilderness. Here Hooker took up a defensive line, hoping Lee's need to carry out an uncoordinated attack through the dense undergrowth would leave the Confederate forces disorganized and vulnerable.        To retain the initiative, Lee risked dividing his forces still further, 'retaining two divisions to focus Hooker's attention, while Stonewall Jackson marched the bulk of the Confederate army west across the front of the Federal line to a position opposite its exposed right flank. Jackson executed this daring and dangerous maneuver throughout the morning and afternoon of May 2. Striking two hours before dusk, Jackson's men routed the astonished Federals in their camps. In the gathering darkness, amid the brambles of the Wilderness, the Confederate line became confused and halted at 9 p.m. to regroup. Riding in front of the lines to reconnoiter, Stonewall Jackson was accidentally shot and seriously wounded by his own men. Later that night, his left arm was amputated just below the shoulder.        On May 3, Jackson's successor, General J.E.B. Stuart, initiated the bloodiest day of the battle when attempting to reunite his troops with Lee's. Despite an obstinate defense by the Federals, Hooker ordered them to withdraw north of the Chancellor House. The Confederates were converging on Chancellorsville to finish Hooker when a message came from Jubal Early that Federal troops had broken through at Fredericksburg. At Salem Church, Lee threw a cordon around these Federals, forcing them to retreat across the Rappahannock. Disappointed, Lee returned to Chancellorsville, only to find that Hooker had also retreated across the river.        Chancellorsville is considered Lee's greatest victory, although the Confederate commander's daring and skill met little resistance from the inept generalship of Joseph Hooker. Using cunning, and dividing their forces repeatedly, the massively outnumbered Confederates drove the Federal army from the battlefield. The cost had been frightful. The Confederates suffered 14,000 casualties, while inflicting 17,000. Perhaps the most damaging loss to the Confederacy was the death of Lee's "right arm," Stonewall Jackson, who died of pneumonia on May 10 while recuperating from his wounds. Source: "The Atlas of the Civil War" by James M. McPherson
  • From the Wilderness to Petersburg: Beginning on the old Chancellorsville battlefield on May 5, 1864, and continuing without a break for the six bloodiest weeks of the war, Grant tried again and again to get around the right flank of Lee's army, destroy it, then move on Richmond and end the war. And again and again, Lee saw what he was trying to do and managed to thwart him. The struggle continued along a hundred-mile crescent before two exhausted armies settled in for a siege at Petersburg, southeast of the Confederate capital.
  • Lincoln was pessimistic concerning his chances in the 1864 election - the war seemed far from over, and casualties had grown to enormous numbers and the war-weary nation was tired and disillusioned Lincoln was also worried about the military vote, considering his opponent was George McClellan No incumbent president had been re-elected since Jackson in 1832 Even his own party started to divide, with some Republicans supporting Salmon P. Chase, the Secretary of the Treasury McClellan ran on a platform of Lincoln's conduct of the war and the issue of emancipation, not the war itself - McClellan would have continued the war
  • The March on Atlanta: Starting at Chattanooga, Tennessee, on May 6, 1864, William Tecumseh Sherman moved inexorably southeastward, forcing the Confederates under Joseph T. Johnston, sent to try to stop him, out of one position after another, until their backs were to Atlanta itself. Taking the heavily fortified city would present more of a challenge.
  • From November 15 to December 21, 1864 Major General William Tecumseh Sherman led 62,000 Union soldiers on his "March to the Sea," a sixty-mile-wide path of destruction that stretched 285 miles across Georgia from Atlanta to Savannah. Because Sherman intended to demolish Confederate logistics and crush Southern morale, it has often been argued that Sherman's raid was an example of modern and total war. A war may be considered modern if a nation utilizes its industrial capabilities and arouses nationalism among its citizens to achieve victory. Likewise, a war may be considered total if a nation attempts to harness all its natural and human resources as effective means to achieve victory. After much maneuvering and fighting in the Atlanta campaign beginning May 1864, commander of the Military Division of the Mississippi Major General Sherman forced the Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood to evacuate Atlanta and relinquish its key railroad hub on September 2. Hood retreated from Georgia into Tennessee. After briefly pursuing his enemy, Sherman left the task of fighting Hood to his subordinates Major Generals George H. Thomas and John M. Schofield. Meanwhile, Sherman took his remaining 62,000 soldiers of the Army of the Ohio and 64 cannon further southeast on a campaign across northern Georgia to Savannah; as one of the most important seaports in the South, Savannah remained a key to Confederate transportation between General Robert E. Lee's troops in Virginia and the deep South. Sherman departed from Atlanta on this march to the sea on November 15, 1864. Sherman's route across northern Georgia initially confused Confederates. He divided his forces into two columns or wings. One of these columns moved as if it were going to attack Augusta, Georgia; this upper column included XIV and XX Corps from the Union's Army of Georgia and was commanded personally by Sherman. The other column moved in a more southerly direction toward Macon, Georgia. This lower column included XV and XVII corps from the Union's Army of Tennessee led by Major General Henry W. Slocum, as well as a cavalry division led by Brigadier General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick.
  • Sherman's forces quickly broke away from the Union supply lines and lived off the land in northern Georgia. Sherman moved so quickly because his troops foraged in the Southern countryside and utilized Confederate resources to supply themselves. What his troops did not consume, they destroyed. The total Confederate losses included more than 13,000 head of cattle, some 6 million rations of bread and beef, and about 90,000 bales of cotton. Many sawmills, cotton gins, foundries, and warehouses also fell into Union hands. Sherman himself estimated his raid had inflicted $100 million worth of damage. Sherman's strategy of destruction rather than strategy of battle was designed, as his own saying went, to "make Georgia howl." Sherman's forces burned and looted much of the north Georgia countryside. Although he did not condone wanton acts of violence and devastation, he certainly tolerated them. Drawing from experiences fighting the Seminoles in the early 1840s, Sherman believed that destruction or confiscation of Southern property was necessary to cripple Confederate logistics and morale. These actions, however, caused few deaths among Southern civilians. Sherman's troops faced little opposition during the campaign. The only battle, if it can even be called that, was at Griswoldville on November 22. Several hundred members of the Georgia militia assaulted elements of Sherman's XV Corps. After 523 Georgians had been killed or wounded in action, the remaining militia retreated. After this brief engagement, Sherman's seasoned veterans wrecked more than 200 miles of Confederate railroad track and deprived the starving Confederate soldiers in Virginia of much-needed rations. By November 24, Sherman's two columns had converged and sacked the state capital at Milledgeville. Union troops then occupied Sandersville on November 26, Louisville on November 29, and Millen on December 3. Sherman bypassed Augusta, despite the fact that important arms production facilities remained there. On December 9, 1864, Sherman's forces took up positions outside Savannah and readied their attack against the heavily fortified city with its 10,000-man garrison. Rather than fight a losing battle, Confederate commander Lieutenant General William J. Hardee evacuated his troops to South Carolina on the night of December 20, 1864. The next day, Sherman occupied Savannah and effectively isolated the upper South from the lower South. He offered the city to President Abraham Lincoln as a present that Christmas.
  • In 1865, Sherman took his troops on another destructive raid northward into the Carolinas. Ultimately, the damage to Confederate logistics affected Southerners' morale because Sherman's March to the Sea showed the region's vulnerability. Consequently, Southerners could not help but realize that the North was going to grind them into dust. Little hope was left. Herein lies a key to understanding whether Sherman and his March to the Sea were examples of total and modern warfare. Two intertwined observations can be made. First, Sherman, along with Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant and others, clearly grasped the relationship that linked strategy, logistics, and morale. They attempted to hurt both the Confederacy's psychological will and its material capability to fight. To accomplish these goals, Union strategy called for mobilization of the North's populace, industry, and natural resources as well as for an assault on the Confederacy's populace, industry, and natural resources. Such an understanding indicates an increasingly modern view of warfare. Likewise, Sherman clearly comprehended that the Civil War was fought by opposing militaries as well as the opposing societies. Morale, patriotism, and loyalty both on the front and at home remained crucial to military success. Civilian property, if not the civilians themselves, became viable targets for attack. War between whole societies is also a hallmark of modern and total war. These two observations notwithstanding, the Civil War remained relatively limited because the North did not wage unrestricted war against the Southern people themselves. Despite rhetoric and legend portraying Sherman's March to the Sea as brutal and vicious, the campaign concentrated on destroying property. Thus, Sherman's raid may be best categorized as part of a transitional stage anticipating total and modern war in the twentieth century.
  • On November 12, 1864, Sherman marched out of Atlanta toward the Atlantic coast. Tracing a line of march between Macon and Augusta, he carved a sixty-mile wide swath of destruction in the Confederacy's heartland. The only forces the Confederacy could bring to oppose him was Wheeler's cavalry and a motley collection of militia and over and under-aged reserves of perhaps 14,000 troops; certainly no match for the 62,000 Union veterans Sherman had kept with him upon leaving Atlanta.        His army marched in two large columns under the command of Howard and Slocum. Sherman reached Savannah on December 10. The Confederate garrison could not hope to prevent its capture, so evacuated the city with 10,000 troops via a pontoon bridge. Sherman presented Savannah to Lincoln as a "Christmas gift".        Sherman did not linger long at Savannah, and despite the miserable winter weather was soon on the march again. The Confederate forces in the region were fragmented at this time, with troop concentrations under Hardee and Beauregard, who could do little with the forces either had at hand, to slow Sherman down.        Columbia, South Carolina, captured on February 17, 1865, was dealt with particularly harshly by Sherman's men. Two-thirds of the city was burned down, although it was probably done at their own initiative rather than under any orders from Sherman. Many Federal troops held a special hatred for South Carolina because they felt the state was responsible for starting the war.        Finally, too late to really make any difference, Robert E. Lee was named General-in-Chief of the Confederacy's armed forces and Joe Johnston was given command of all remaining forces in North Carolina. Reinforcements from the tattered remnants of the Army of Tennessee would arrive via a patchwork railroad/overland route from Tupelo to join other commands under Beauregard, Bragg, and Hardee, but these were too few and too late.        Johnston looked for an opportunity to do some damage to Sherman's Federal steamroller and finally saw an opportunity on March 19, 1865. Slocum's and Howard's columns had become widely separated and Johnston concentrated his available troops (about 21,000 effectives) near Bentonville to try and crush Slocum's column before Howard could come to his support. Initially the Confederate attacks went well, but Slocum was able to bring up reinforcements to withstand the repeated assaults. Little fighting took place on March 20, but on the 21st Sherman's entire command was in position to launch a counterattack. Johnston skillfully beat back the Federal attacks and retreated that night toward Smithfield.
  • Civil War Battles 63 65

    1. 1. THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR 1863 to 1865
    2. 3. Fort Sumter Bull Run Ironclads Shiloh Antietam Fredericksburg Chancellorsville Gettysburg Vicksburg Chickamauga Sherman’s March Petersburg/Richmond Appomattox May 1863 THE BATTLES AND PLACES YOU NEED TO KNOW
    4. 6. Chancellorsville IMPACT Confederacy continues to roll Lee will use the victories to move North Jackson is irreplaceable Change in Union generals
    5. 7. July 1863 Fort Sumter Bull Run Ironclads Shiloh Antietam Fredericksburg Chancellorsville Gettysburg Vicksburg Chickamauga Sherman’s March Petersburg/Richmond Appomattox THE BATTLES AND PLACES YOU NEED TO KNOW
    6. 8. GETTYSBURG <ul><li>THE TURNING POINT </li></ul>
    7. 9. The Road to Gettysburg
    8. 12. Animated Picketts Charge
    10. 14. The Impact of Gettysburg <ul><li>51,000 casualties - 23,000 Union, 28,000 Confederate (1/3 of their total number) </li></ul><ul><li>arrested the Confederates' second and last major invasion of the North , destroyed their offensive strategy and sent them back to Virginia </li></ul><ul><li>first time Union had beaten Lee decisively </li></ul><ul><li>forced the South to fight a defensive war in which the inadequacies of their manufacturing capacity and transportation facilities doomed them to defeat </li></ul><ul><li>by allowing Lee's survivors to leave, Meade actually extends the length of the war </li></ul><ul><li>manpower and resources of the North finally made a difference </li></ul><ul><li>tide was turning for the Union (especially after Vicksburg) </li></ul>
    11. 15. GETTYSBURG IMPACT Union finally beats Lee on the battlefield Confederate Army is devastated South will not get foreign support
    12. 16. July 1863 Fort Sumter Bull Run Ironclads Shiloh Antietam Fredericksburg Chancellorsville Gettysburg Vicksburg Chickamauga Sherman’s March Petersburg/Richmond Appomattox THE BATTLES AND PLACES YOU NEED TO KNOW
    13. 17. VICKSBURG <ul><li>THE MISSISSIPPI FALLS </li></ul>
    14. 20. VICKSBURG IMPACT Union gains control of Mississippi River The South is split The turning point, part 2
    15. 21. Sept 1863 Fort Sumter Bull Run Ironclads Shiloh Antietam Fredericksburg Chancellorsville Gettysburg Vicksburg Chickamauga Sherman’s March Petersburg/Richmond Appomattox THE BATTLES AND PLACES YOU NEED TO KNOW
    16. 22. CHICKAMAUGA <ul><li>LAST REBEL TRIUMPH </li></ul>
    17. 25. CHICKAMAUGA IMPACT Union ends offensive in Georgia, but will hold on in Tenessee Major casualties – one of top 5 Final Confederate victory in the West
    19. 28. Sept 1863 Fort Sumter Bull Run Ironclads Shiloh Antietam Fredericksburg Chancellorsville Gettysburg Vicksburg Chickamauga Overland Campaign Sherman’s March Petersburg/Richmond Appomattox THE BATTLES AND PLACES YOU NEED TO KNOW
    21. 30. The Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia met on many Virginia battlefields <ul><li>The Wilderness </li></ul><ul><li>Spotsylvania </li></ul><ul><li>North Anna </li></ul><ul><li>Cold Harbor </li></ul>
    22. 32. The casualties for both sides were tremendous <ul><li>Between May 4 to June 18 th </li></ul><ul><li>Grant lost 65,000 men </li></ul><ul><li>Lee lost 35,000 men </li></ul>The North could replace their men – the South couldn't
    24. 37. Lincoln won the electoral vote, the popular vote and the military vote
    25. 39. Fall 1864 THE BATTLES AND PLACES YOU NEED TO KNOW Fort Sumter Bull Run Ironclads Shiloh Antietam Fredericksburg Chancellorsville Gettysburg Vicksburg Chickamauga Overland Campaign Sherman’s March Petersburg/Richmond Appomattox
    26. 40. SHERMAN’S MARCH <ul><li>TOTAL WAR </li></ul>
    27. 46. SHERMAN’S MARCH IMPACT Confederate civilians are devastated South split again
    28. 49. Spring 1865 Fort Sumter Bull Run Ironclads Shiloh Antietam Fredericksburg Chancellorsville Gettysburg Vicksburg Chickamauga Sherman’s March Petersburg/Richmond Appomattox THE BATTLES AND PLACES YOU NEED TO KNOW
    31. 54. PETERSBURG / RICHMOND IMPACT Confederate capital and transportation fell Lee cut off from supplies and other troops
    32. 55. APRIL 1865 THE BATTLES AND PLACES YOU NEED TO KNOW Fort Sumter Bull Run Ironclads Shiloh Antietam Fredericksburg Chancellorsville Gettysburg Vicksburg Chickamauga Sherman’s March Petersburg/Richmond Appomattox
    34. 59. IMPACT Organized fighting ends The nation looks toward reconstruction APPOMATTOX COURTHOUSE
    35. 62. THE BATTLES AND PLACES YOU NEED TO KNOW Fort Sumter Bull Run Ironclads Shiloh Antietam Fredericksburg Chancellorsville Gettysburg Vicksburg Chickamauga Overland Campaign Sherman’s March Petersburg/Richmond Appomattox