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The War of
Northern Aggression
Lincoln’s name didn’t appear on the ballot in many southern states
December 20, 1860: South Carolina unanimously voted for secession followed by Alabama,
Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas (deep South)
Confederacy established on February 4, 1861, inaugurated reluctant Jeff Davis
Fort Sumter: Charleston Harbor, SC
Lincoln’s Pledge: “hold, occupy, and possess”
federal property
April 12, 1861: Confederate Shore batteries
bombarded the fort to prevent provisional
Lincoln calls for 75,000 militia to put down
the insurrection
April 1861: Virginia, North
Carolina, Arkansas,
Tennessee (upper South)
joined the CSA
War Mobilization
• Raising armies: 2 million Union;
800,000 Confederate
• Equipping the Troops: arming,
clothing, feeding
• Confederacy impressed provisions and
slave labor
Southerners, according to a Georgia congressman,
would "give up their sons, husbands, brothers…,
and often without murmuring, to the army; but let
one of their negroes be taken, and what a howl
you will hear"
Ohio Volunteers
• Union Conscription
Substitution or Commutation ($300)
• Financing the War
Union: 21% wartime revenue from taxes; bond sales; printed paper money (legal tender)
Confederacy: printed paper money (not legal tender); 5% revenue from taxes
Inflation: 80% price increase in the North; 9000% increase in CSA
Securing Union Borders
DC bordered by slave states Virginia and Maryland
Lincoln sent troops to MD and suspended habeas corpus
Armed Union sympathizers in KY
Border States:
• 22 million people to the South’s 9
million (including 3 million
• 90% of the US industrial capacity
• 2/3 of the nation’s railroad track
• Fighting for independence, home
field advantage
• Vast land mass in which Union had to maintain supply lines and occupy
• Slaves freed whites to fight
• Defensive, short supply transport
At the start of the war, the value of all manufactured goods produced in
all the Confederate states added up to less than one-fourth of those
produced in New York State alone.
Opposing Advantages
Repeating rifle replaced smoothbore
Gatling Gun (predecessor to machine gun)
Strategic Changes:
Cavalry relegated to reconnaissance
Weapons Developments
Grand Union Strategy
Union blockade of
southern coast and
occupation of
Mississippi River
Lacked adequate ships
and men to ever be
“Forward to
(100 miles south of DC)
Anaconda Plan
Confederates encamped 25 mi from DC
Amateur Armies
Union General McDowell defeated
Picnicking DC socialites
McDowell out;
McClellan in
Bull Run (Manassas Junction)
McClellan’s peninsula plan: attack Richmond
from the rear
Lee given command of Army of Northern VA;
goes on the offensive
McClellan called back to DC; Union routed
again at Bull Run
September 17, 1862: single bloodiest day of the
war (24,000)
Lincoln issued Emancipation Proclamation
McClellan had “the shows;” Burnside
replaced him
122,000 Union against 78,500 Rebs;
Union lost 12,600 and CSA lost 5,300
Lee: “It is well that war is so terrible –
we should grow fond of it.”
By December 1862 the war in the East
was a stalemate
Ambrose Burnside
(What is named after him?)
Stonewall Jackson
“He sits there like a stone
William T. Sherman
“I beg to present you as a
Christmas gift the city of
George B. McClellan
"You may find those who
will go faster than I, Mr.
President; but it is very
doubtful if you will find
many who will go further."
Robert E. Lee
opponent of secession,
courteous, genteel, fierce
1861-62: Grant stabilized MO & KY, moved south to TN
Attacked by Rebels at Shiloh Church
77,000 fought; 23,000 killed or wounded
New Orleans taken by naval attack
Union controlled most of the Mississippi River
Ulysses S. Grant
West Point grad, heavy drinker,
failed farmer and businessman and
one of the Union’s best leaders
In two days at Shiloh on the banks
of the Tennessee River, more
Americans fell than in all previous
American wars combined.
Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing)
North: began with 40 warships; by
1865 had largest navy in the world
Southern coastline: 3,500 miles
Cruisers: blockade runners
Ironclads: Merrimac became the
Virginia, battled with Union
CSS Manassas, 1861
Naval War
I hear old John Brown knocking on the lid
of his coffin and shouting ‘Let me out! :et
me out!’ The Doom of Slavery is at hand.”
Henry Stanton, 1861
“I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to
interfere with the institution of slavery in the
states where it exists.”
Lincoln, 1861
Confiscation to Emancipation
African Americans constituted less than one percent
of the northern population, yet by the war’s end
made up ten percent of the Union Army. A total of
180,000 black men, more than 85% of those eligible,
Secession meets protection of property
Contraband: enemy property liable to
August 1861: Confiscation Act authorized
seizure of property used to aid rebellion
(only applied to slaves working for the
Confederate army)
July 1862: 2nd Confiscation Act, authorized
seizure of all rebel property, slaves joining
Union “forever free,” blacks can be enlisted
“free every slave – slay every traitor – burn
every Rebel mansion, is these things be
necessary to preserve this temple of
freedom” – Thaddeus Stevens
“to fight against slaveholders without
fighting against slavery, is but a halfhearted business” – Frederick Douglass
Confiscation to Emancipation
“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the
Union, and is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I
could save the Union without freeing any slave, I
would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the
slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing
some and leaving other alone, I would also do that.”
– Abraham Lincoln
Hooker crushed at Chancellorsville even though
outnumbered rebs 2:1; South lost Stonewall Jackson to
friendly fire
Grant unable to take Vicksburg
1863: a Turning Point
Summer 1863:
Lee, under
pursued Union
army north to
In Gettysburg,
rebs foraging
for shoes meet
Union cavalry
July 1-3, 90,000
Union against
Lee’s 75,000;
50,000 total
Grant took
Union secured
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 battle-field 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 that 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."
• Clothing manufacturing
• War industry benefitted
• Railroads boomed (Pacific RR Act)
• Raised protective tariffs
• National banking system;
• Homestead Act: 160- acre land
• Morrill Land Grant Act: public
land sale proceeds funded
• Contractor corruption and graft
Inflation; wages lagged behind
Shattered economy
Destroyed railroads
Cotton production plunged
Food shortages
Food impressed by CSA gov’t
Half of the soldiers left units by
1864 to help families
• Trading food for cotton with
The War’s Economic Impact
During the Battle of Antietam, Clara
Barton tended the wounded so close to
the fighting that a bullet went through
her sleeve and killed a man she was
United States Sanitary Commission
Nursing Corps: 3,200 women served
both sides
Barton founded American Red Cross
in 1881
Brazen departure from “proper sphere”
For every soldier killed, 2 died of
disease (gangrene, tetanus, typhoid,
malaria, dysentery)
Andersonville, GA CSA prison camp
3, 000/month (32,000 total) died by
August 1864
The war did not bring progress on political or economic equality;
men saw compelling reasons to abolish slavery, not to grant women’s suffrage
September 1864
Sherman took Atlanta
March across GA into SC,
“that hell hole of secession”
62,000 men, cavalry, and
thousands of former slaves;
60 mi wide front moved 10
mi/day and forced the
Confederacy’s collapse
The Union
March to
Sherman: “make
war so terrible…
that generations
would pass before
they could appeal to
it again”
Ruins of the Gallego Flour Mills, Richmond, Virginia, 1865
Alexander Gardner
400 miles of ruin, $100 million of property damage
“War is cruelty and you cannot refine it. Those who brought war into our
country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out.” –
William Tecumseh Sherman
Charleston RR Station after Sherman
Matthew Brady: The Ruins of Richmond
April 3, 1865
Union troops raised stars and
stripes over the Confederate
capital, Richmond
April 13
Lee surrendered; Grant paroled
his men; no one cheered
April 14
Grant declined attending the
theater with the Lincolns
Appomattox Courthouse, east of Lynchburg
More than three million men fought in the war.
Two percent of the population—more than 620,000—died in it.
Lincoln’s box at
Ford’s Theater
Assassinated on
April 14, Died on
April 15
John Wilkes Booth
fled; captured
within two weeks
by Union troops
Execution of conspirators
Mary Surratt, Lewis Paine, David
Herold, and George Atzerodt
on July 7, 1865
John Wilkes Booth