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Chapter 17:
The American Civil War
17.1 – The Conflict Takes Shape
• Lincoln called 75,000 volunteers to fight the
• Only a 90 day enlistment—many believed it
would end quickly
• The war lasts four years
A Nation Divided
• South called the conflict – The War for
Southern Independence
• South believed they were fighting for their
rights and way of life
• North fought to preserve the Union
– Slavery was not the motivator
Seceding States
• Eight slave states remained in the Union by
the start of the war
• Four eventually leave—MO, MD, KY, and DE
President Jefferson Davis
• Former officer in the U.S. War w/ Mexico;
former Sec. of War under Pres. Pierce
• Didn’t really want the job as President
• Spent much time debating with advisers than
military planning
General Robert E. Lee
• Lincoln asked Lee to command the Union army
• Lee vowed to choose what Virginia chooses;
loyalty for state rather than country
• Ended up the commander of the Confederate
army when VA left the Union
• Other great U.S. military leaders followed the
same footsteps as Lee
President Abraham Lincoln
• Patient leader and strong military planner
• People were worried about his experience,
but Lincoln quickly earned the respect of
17.2 – No Easy Victory
Gen. George
Gen. Robert
E. Lee
Attack Richmond, VA
• Under pressure to make a move on the South,
Lincoln finally orders an attack on Richmond,
VA (100 miles away)
• Union soldiers run into CSA troops near Bull
Run stream in VA
• Rallying behind Gen. Thomas “Stonewall”
Jackson, the South fought on
Battle: First Bull Run (Manassas)
Where: Manassas, Virginia (Bull Run Stream)
Union Commander: General Irwin McDowell
Confederate Commander: General Joe Johnston
Date: July 21, 1861
Casualties: Union - 2,446 – Confederate - 1,600
Winner: Confederate
Thomas “Stonewall”
Significance of the First Battle of Bull
Run/ Manassas
• First large battle of the war.
• Confederates routed an unprepared Union force
• Casualties shocked the North and South
• They now believed the war would not be quick
nor easy
Gen. George McClellan
• Due to McDowell’s failure at Bull Run, Lincoln
appoints Gen. George McClellan as
commander of the Union army of the East
• Named Army of the Potomac
• A West Point graduate, McClellan was a great
planner and organizer
– Helped trained soldiers
Caution, Delay, and Retreat
• McClellan was too cautious a leader
• He hesitated to advance on the South—almost removed by
• In March 1862, McClellan finally headed south towards
• Moving too slow, Gen. Lee (CSA) ordered counteroffensives;
sent Gen. Jackson to threaten D.C.
• The threat on D.C. forced Lincoln to hold back more help for
McClellan—McClellan never makes it to Richmond
Naval Action
• CSA “blockade runners” managed to slip by the Union
– Helped supply the CSA
• Southern trade still dropped nearly 90%
• To force through the blockade, CSA troops overtook an old
U.S. warship called the Merrimack
• They bolted it up with iron plates and renamed it the
• Using the iron plates as armor, the Virginia sank two Union
ships and grounded three others
Monitor vs. Virginia
Monitor vs. Virginia
• The Union created their own ironclad—the Monitor
• The Monitor and the Virginia faced off near Hampton Roads, VA
• Neither ironclad was the victor due to the iron plating
• The South did have to sink the Virginia when the Union captured
Norfolk, VA
• The North built up to fifty ironclads and changed the way ships
will be built
• The South never defeated the Union blockade
Road to Antietam
• September 1862, Lee ordered an offensive
into the north (MD specifically)
• Instead, Lee was pinned down at Antietam
Creek after his plans were discovered wrapped
around some cigars
• Instead of moving fast, McClellan reacted
slowly and allowed Lee to mount a defensive
Battle: Antietam (Sharpsburg)
Where: Sharpsburg, Maryland
Union Commander: General George
Confederate Commander: General Robert E.
When: September 17, 1862
Casualties: Union - 12,410 — Confederate 13,724
Winner: Union…barely, only because Lee
withdrew from the battle
A New General
• Disappointed in McClellan’s failure to pursue
Lee after the “victory” at Antietam, Lincoln
removes him from duty
• Appoints Gen. Ambrose Burnside as the new
commander of the Army of the Potomac
Gen. Burnside
Fredericksburg, VA
• In December 1862, Union forces headed to Richmond again
• Lee and Burnside meet at Fredericksburg, VA where Lee’s
army dug into a hill
• Using the strong defensive position, CSA troops mowed
down Union attacks
• One of the Union’s worst defeats
– 13,000 Union casualties to only 5,000 for the CSA
• Burnside is removed from duty; Gen. Joseph Hooker is the
new commander of the Army of the Potomac
Gen. Joseph Hooker
Chancellorsville, VA
• With the help of Jackson, Lee was able to outmaneuver
and defeat Hooker’s army
• Within three days, the CSA withheld Union
• Lee outsmarted Hooker’s flank with an attack by
• Unfortunately, Jackson was mortally wounded by his
own men mistaking him for a Union soldier
• Jackson dies several days later; major blow to the CSA
Battle: Chancellorsville
Where: Chancellorsville, VA
Union Commander: General Joseph
Confederate Commander: Robert E. Lee
When: May 1-4, 1863
Casualties: Union - 17,278 — Confederates
Winner: Confederacy, despite losing
Jackson to friendly fire
Union Success in the West
• Despite losing battles in the East, the Union armies in
the West had success
• Goal: gain control of the Mississippi River
• Led by General Ulysses S. Grant
• After capturing Forts Henry and Donelson in TN, Grant
pushed south
• Engaged with the CSA at Shiloh, TN
Success in the West
• Despite being initially pushed back by the CSA on the first
day, Grant received reinforcements and won the Battle of
• Shiloh is known as one of the bloodiest battles in the war
• During Grant’s campaign in TN, other Union armies and
gunboats captured Memphis, TN and New Orleans, LA
• Capturing the two cities ended any chance for the CSA to
use the Mississippi River
Battle: Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing)
Where: Shiloh, Tennessee
Union Commander:
General Ulysses S. Grant
Confederate Commander:
General Albert Sydney Johnston
When: April 6-7, 1862
Union - 13,047 — Confederate - 10,694
Winner: Union
Shiloh Generals: Grant and Johnston
Check for Understanding
• Why do you think Grant had more success in
the West than the generals did in the east?
• What made Lincoln remove generals from
their command of the Army of the Potomac?
17.3 – A Promise of Freedom
• The war did not begin on a premise to end
slavery, but as the war went on, northerners
became attracted to the idea
Lincoln’s Initial Goal
• Restore and preserve the Union
– Especially keep the border states loyal
• “If I could save the Union without freeing any
slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by
freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I
could do it by freeing some and leaving others
alone, I would also do that.”
The Emancipation Proclamation
• Lincoln wanted to broaden his perspective on
the war—emancipate (free) slaves in the
• Slaves in border states would still be enslaved
• Preliminary – September 22, 1862
• Formal – January 1, 1863
Reasons for Lincoln’s Change
• Weaken the South because slaves contributed
much to its society
• He was against slavery anyways
• After the slight victory at Antietam and the
Emancipation, Lincoln was able sway Europe
NOT to help the South
– They were still on the fence
Impact of the Emancipation
• No slaves were free until the states were
under control of the Union again
• Abolitionists were thrilled with the doctrine
• Some northerners enjoyed the fact they were
fighting to end slavery AND preserve the
Check for Understanding
• What was Lincoln’s initial reason to be in the
war? What made it change? Why?
• What was the impact of the Emancipation
African American Contributions
• Congress repealed a law in 1862 that forbade
African Americans to serve in the military (free
or not)
• Freemen and runaways joined the Union army
In the Union Army
• There were all-African American units with
white officers
• Performed more labor than fighting; also paid
• By 1863, more African Americans troops
began to fight in battle and were paid equally
by 1864
54th Massachusetts Regiment
• Troops recruited by Frederick Douglass
• July 18, 1863, under heavy fire the 54th MA
fought their way into Fort Wagner in SC
• Nearly half were killed, but their bravery earned
the respect from the whole Union army
• Sgt. William Carney won the Medal of Honor
Behind CSA Lines
• African Americans still worked as slaves
• With the Union coming south, more slaves
fled and escaped to freedom
• Nearly 25% of slaves by 1865 escaped during
the war
Check for Understanding
• Why do you think the 54th Massachusetts
regiment is considered a group of heroes?
• How were African Americans treated on each
side of the war?
17.4 – Hardships of War
• Like all wars, the Civil War hit home as well
Hard Times for Soldiers
• Most were under 21; trained to march, fire weapons, face
the enemy, sleep in dirty and wet clothes on the ground
• Battles saw 25% or more of an army killed; technology led
to this number
• Medical care was almost medieval; many amputations
• Poor sanitary conditions; sicknesses like pneumonia and
• Many fled the military due to these conditions
– Killed, imprisoned, or put back if caught
• Guns (cannons) were more advanced; could
fire shells twice as far
• New cone-shaped bullets (Minie balls) were
fired by rifles
– More accurate and could fire at greater distances
Check for Understanding
• How do you think technology played a factor
in making the war very difficult for soldiers on
both sides?
Opposition to the War in the North
• Copperheads – northerners opposed to using
force to bring the South back
The Draft Law
• Public support dwindled in the North
• Union army needed men – Congress passed a
draft law in 1863
– All able-bodied men between 20-45 must serve if
called upon
• Pay the gov’t $300 to get out of it
Riots in the Cities
• Many northerners weren’t happy they needed to fight
to free slaves; especially immigrants
– They knew they would compete with free slaves for jobs
• NYC during July, 1863 saw riots where white workers
attacked freemen
– Other cities saw riots too
• Lincoln moved to stop the riots; even suspended
habeas corpus to “disloyal citizens”
– The right to be charged or have a hearing before being
Problems in the South
• Davis (CSA) failed to create a strong central
• States insisted on states’ rights
• Also issued a draft, but for only males with
less than twenty slaves
Check for Understanding
• What was the Draft Law? What were the
results of the Draft Law?
• Compare and contrast the opposition to the
war from both the South’s and North’s
The Northern Economy
• Most expensive war yet
• Income tax – tax on people’s earnings
– Internal Revenue Bureau oversaw collections
• Produced more paper money; value of the
dollar decreased (inflation)
The Southern Economy
• Economic ruin: blockade, loss of cotton market, and
expenses of war
• Tax-in-kind – farmers had to hand in 10% of crops to
the gov’t
• Inflation was high; too much paper money printed
• Blockade also made workers and civilians lose income
and supplies
Women in the War
• Women took the jobs of men; also helped
• Many served as nurses
• Dorothea Dix (reform mental hospitals), Clara
Barton (American Red Cross), and Sojourner
Truth (abolitionist leader) all worked in
Check for Understanding
• Why did the southern economy pitfall so
badly? Give me at least two reasons.
• How did woman play a role in the Civil War?
17.5 – The War Ends
• Due to Grant’s gumption, Lincoln appoints him
as commander of the Union army in 1864
The Fall of Vicksburg
• CSA still held a strong position at Vicksburg, MS
• Unsuccessful in taking the city, Grant’s army
moved on to attack Jackson, MS
• They then circled back and attacked Vicksburg
from the rear
• After laying siege for six weeks, the CSA
Battle: Vicksburg
Where: Vicksburg, Mississippi
Union Commander: General
Ulysses Grant
Confederate: General Joseph
E. Johnston
When: May 19 - July 4, 1863
Union Casualties: 10,142
Confederate Casualties: 9,091
Winner: Union
Union Victory at Gettysburg
• Lee moved his army north into PA in search for
food and supplies
– Then head back down and take D.C.
• Gen. George Meade (USA) intercepted Lee at
Gettysburg, PA
• The South initially drove the Union out, but
the Union stayed resilient
• On the third day, Gen. James Longstreet (CSA) under
orders from Lee made a big decision
• Gen. George Pickett was ordered to lead 15,000 men
across an open field to attack the Union
• Known as Pickett’s Charge, the attack was a failure and
forced Lee’s retreat
• After three long days of fighting, the Union won an
important victory
Check for Understanding
• What made the Union armies at Vicksburg and
Gettysburg so successful?
• How did those two major battles turn the tide
of the Civil War?
The Gettysburg Address
• On November 19, 1863, there was a ceremony
to honor the 50,000 men dead
• Lincoln delivered a speech known as the
Gettysburg Address
• He summarized how the war is a test on how
the nation might survive democratically
Grant’s Plan for Total War
• Destroy the South’s ability to fight
• Destroy food, equipment, weapons, and
anything else the enemy could use
• Gen. Philip Sheridan (USA) took care of total
war in the Shenandoah Valley
Check for Understanding
• How did Grant’s plan for total war and
Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address summarize the
North’s intentions with ending the war?
Sherman’s March to the Sea
• Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman (USA) was
ordered to capture Atlanta, GA and head to the
Atlantic coast
• Sherman captures Atlanta, burns the city, and
kicks people out of their homes
• On his march to the sea, Sherman’s men tore up
railroad tracks, killed livestock, burned barns,
bridges, homes, and factories (total war)
Lincoln is Reelected
• Many people were unhappy with the war
• Ran against former Gen. George McClellan (Dem)
• Dems. wanted an “end of hostilities” w/ the
South—restore slavery, restore the Union
• Sherman and Sheridan winning in the West
rallied the North
– Lincoln wins the election; strives for peace
It Ends in Virginia
• With battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and
Cold Harbor, Grant and Lee engaged in many
battles that saw 60,000 men killed
• South was running low on supplies
• Lee dug in at Petersburg; Grant kept the CSA
under siege for nine months
• April 2, 1865, both Petersburg and Richmond
were taken from the CSA
Appomattox Court House
• Lee retreated to ACH
• Trapped by Union troops, Lee knew his army
would be slaughtered
• Surrendered on April 9, 1865
• Grant’s terms of surrender were generous and
A Turning Point in American History
• 360,000 Union and 250,000 CSA soldiers died
• Most American deaths in any war
• $20 billion is what the war cost
• Strength of the central gov’t was growing after
the war
• Ended slavery in the U.S.