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Civil War
Early Course of the War
Compare the political, economic and military strengths
and weaknesses of the North and South at the
beginning of the American Civil War.
Use pages 653-683 to complete the table with enough
information to use on a unit exam.
Early Course
• Both sides were expecting a quick war – capture
of either capital
• First Battle of Bull Run showed both sides that it
would be long and tough
• Winfield Scott predicted this, so Lincoln went
with his plan
1. Union Army of the Potomac defends Washington
D.C. and put pressure on Richmond
2. Blockade southern ports
3. Invade the South along the main water routes
Anaconda Plan
Proposed by General-in-Chief Winfield Scott
North vs. South Advantages
• Union had a 4 to 1 advantage in terms of human
• North has industrial advantage
• North has an advantage in transportation
• Union had more wagons, horses, ships, rails
• South had the geographic advantage
• South had more experienced military leaders
• Union naval blockade of southern ports
• Federal gunboats and transports controlled the
Mississippi River and its tributaries
Confederate Strategy
• Hoping for a stalemate
• This would mean …
– Cotton-hungry British and
French might join the cause,
or …
– Public opinion in the North
would persuade Lincoln to
negotiate a settlement
The Virginia
The Monitor
Forming Armies
Rich Man’s War, Poor Man’s Fight
• 19th century armies formed
units based on communities and
ethnic background
• Confederacy had to switch from
volunteers to conscripts
• One white man could be
substituted for 20 black men of
• Riots (NYC) over Union draft,
mostly Irish immigrants
Confederate Diplomacy
• Confederate agents sought recognition of
the Confederacy as a sovereign nation
• But were more successful in getting supplies
• Purchased raiding ships from British used to
sink and terrorize Union ships around the
Fighting in the West
• North achieves victories
in the West
• Grant holds two river
forts and defends Shiloh
• New Orleans is captured
by Admiral David Farragut
• Confederate leader
William Quantrill fights
under a black flag (no
quarter) in KansasMissouri conflicts
North Achieves its Goals
• Goals in the West
– Protect shipments of gold
and silver
– Win over political support
for the war and Lincoln’s
• Grant attacks in the West
early in the war
• Uses rivers for successful
movement of troops
• Grant leaves troops exposed
• Johnston attacks, finding most of
Grant’s troops still in their bedrolls
• Johnston is mortally wounded, second
in command calls off the attack
• 20,000 dead total
• Civil War Pattern: fighting leads to one
side retreating, the other side not
pursuing because they are too
unorganized, and each side regroups
for another battle
McClellan’s Peninsular Campaign
• Winfield retires and George McClellan is
appoint general in chief
• He prepares his army for what he thought
would be large confederate force
• Heading for Richmond, people leave the city,
but he does not take advantage in time
• His hesitation becomes his weakness
• Lee’s army pins down the Union army in the
Shenandoah Valley with fewer soldiers
Antietam (Sharpsburg)
• Lee planned to invade the North the gain foreign
support and supplies
• Lee’s plan is found wrapped around cigars
• McClellan boasts of the findings
• Single bloodiest day in U.S. history
– 6,400 dead, 15,000 wounded
• When McClellan did not pursue Lee’s army in
retreat, Lincoln fired him (demoted like in the
• Turning point in the war
• Burnside attacks the entrenched Confederates
outside Fredericksburg
• 12,000 casualties (North); 6,000 (South)
• Burnside wept as he gave the order to withdraw
• Morale dropped for the Union, even though their
ability to win the war was stronger than ever
• Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation becomes
the death blow to the South’s chance for foreign
Wartime Finances
• Established Internal
Revenue Service
• Only collected 21 percent of
wartime spending
• Legal tender Act – printing
paper money (greenbacks),
only $450 million
• Wartime spending fueled
post-war economic boom
and riches of Carnegie,
Morgan, and Rockefeller
• Unlimited printing of paper
money – harmful inflation
• Meade, an expert
in topography,
takes the high
ground in strategic
• The three days of
fighting is over the
high ground