Download FIGHTING THE CIVIL WAR - Kentucky Department of Education

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 Hundreds of military officers resigned from
the U.S. army to fight for the South.
 Robert E. Lee had been offered a command
of Union troops, but turned it down to fight
with Virginia.
CSA General Robert E. Lee
 7 out of 8 military colleges were in the South.
 Strong military history and tradition would favor the
 Many southern soldiers were already trained to
shoot and ride horses, and would be defending their
own lands.
 ¾ of the Navy’s officers were from the
 North’s population in 1860 was 22 million,
the South’s was 9 million.
 90% of the nation’s factories were in the
 The South had ½ as many miles of railroad
track as the North.
 The North controlled the national treasury
and continued to gain revenue from tariffs
(taxes on trade).
 Legal Tender Act – created a national currency and
allowed the federal government to issue paper
money for the first time – known as greenbacks.
 Issued to finance war without raising taxes. The
paper money depreciated in terms of gold and
became the subject of controversy.
 The South had smaller banks and most planters were
in debt. They could raise money from trade, but the
Union Navy blockaded southern ports.
 South resorted to taxing its citizens, but many
refused to pay. They printed Confederate money, but
this caused high inflation and the money became
 Lincoln had to deal with political
disagreement within his own party and the
 Lincoln’s goal to preserve the union,
even if he had to leave slavery alone, did not
satisfy abolitionists.
16th President Abraham Lincoln
 War Democrats – supported the war to preserve the
Union, but opposed ending slavery.
 Peace Democrats became known as Copperheads
because Republicans viewed them as traitors. They
opposed the war and wanted to restore the union
through negotiations.
 Democrats and Republicans disagreed over
conscription – the draft. Riots erupted in northern
 Criticism over Lincoln’s suspension of writs of
habeas corpus – the right to be charged with a crime
or be released.
 The South tried to gain support from Britain and
France. Both countries utilized southern cotton for
their textile factories.
 Confederate diplomats aboard the British ship Trent
were taken into custody by Union navy and held for
several weeks. This incident, which led to discussion
of war between the U.S. and Britain, became known
as the “Trent Affair”.
 The Civil War was the first modern war –
armies had traditionally fought in long lines,
facing each other at close range.
 New weapons that were more accurate at
greater distances changed the way armies
 Armies were using trenches and barricades
for protection.
 Combination of better weapons and new
strategies led to mass casualties and the
need for many soldiers.
 Jefferson Davis viewed the South’s cause as being
similar to the war for independence.
 The South was fighting a defensive war and believed
that one dynamic victory could determine the war.
 Many believed that military traditions, hunting and
rural life made southerners better fighters.
CSA President Jefferson Davis
 Anaconda Plan – proposed by Winfield Scott to
slowly strangle the South.
 The Union would blockade Confederate ports and
send gunboats down the Mississippi River to divide
the Confederacy.
 Eventually, a war to destroy the South’s armies was
the only way to win.