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A civil war is a war between citizens of the same country. The American Civil War was a civil war fought from 1861 to 1865, to determine the survival of the United States of America as it defeated the bid for independence by the breakway Confederate States of America. 

The Civil



By: Zeinab Asim


The Union included the states of Maine, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, California, Nevada, and Oregon. The Union had a nickname, the Northerners were known as the Yankees.




Northern Leaders 


There were many leaders who supported the North, which is also known as the Union. One of the leaders was Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln was president of the United States during the Civil War. When he was president he was also the Commander-in-Chief of the Union army, which is the highest ranking military officer. He even appointed generals to command his troops. Another leader is Ulysses S. Grant. He was the leader of the Union Army. He had all the qualities President Abraham Lincoln wanted for the commander of his army. When the Civil war began, and the North began losing so many battles, Grant joined the Army for a second time. He was an excellent military leader because of his training and skill. General Grant even became President of the United States twice. People not only remembered him as a great war hero, but felt he did more as a leader of the army than he did as a president. Lincoln also appointed a new general, George B. McClellan, to head the Union army of the East and to organize the troops. George Brinton McClellan is often remembered as the great organizer of the Union Army of the Potomac. Another important person that was part of the North was Frederick Douglass. During the civil war, Douglass was a consultant to President Abraham Lincoln and helped convince him that slaves should serve in the Union forces and that the abolition of slavery should be a goal of the war.  




States Belonging to the North; Nickname

The North

War Aims and Strategy


The main goal of the North was to bring the Southern states back into the Union. The Union's plan for winning the war included three main strategies. First, the North would blockade Southern ports to prevent supplies from reaching the South. Second, the Union intended to gain control of the Mississippi River to cut Southern supply lines and to divide the Confederacy. Third, the North planned to take control of Richmond, Virginia, the Confederate capital.




Strengths and Weaknesses of the North


The North enjoyed the advantages of a larger population, more industry, and more abundant resources than the South. It had a better banking system, which helped raise money for the war. The North also possessed more ships and had a larger and more efficient railway network. The North also faced many disadvantages. Bringing the Southern states back into the Union would be difficult. The North would have to invade the South. To win the war, the North had to occupy the Confederacy's territory and subdue a population of millions.




States belonging to the South; Nickname


Eleven States left the United States in the following order and formed the Confederate States of America: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee. The Confederacy had a nickname, the Southerners were known as the Rebels.




Southern Leaders


There were many important leaders that were part of the South, or also known as the Confederacy. One of these leaders was known as Jefferson Davis. Jefferson Davis was the President of the Confederate States of America. He was also Commander-in-Chief of the Confederate Army. He was a colonel in the United States Army during the Mexican-American War. He was Secretary of War and also a United States Senator. He got training at a military school which helped him become a great military leader and is one of the reasons the Confederate won so many battles at the beginning of the Civil War. Another important leader is Robert E. Lee. Robert E. Lee was the South's greatest general during the Civil War. He became a colonel in the army before the Civil War began. He decided to fight on the side of the Confederates even though President Lincoln asked him to be a commander of the entire Union Army. General Lee wanted to fight for the South and remain loyal to his home state. General Lee was a fierce fighter and helped his soldiers win many battles at the beginning of the Civil War. But the Union army was bigger and stronger. Lee felt he had to surrender to the North to stop so many of his soldiers from being killed. Another important person was Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson was a Confederate general during the American Civil War, and the best-known Confederate commander after General Robert E. Lee.

The South

 War Aims and Strategy


The primary aim of the war, for the South, was to win recognition as an independent nation. Independence would allow Southerners to preserve their traditional way of life-a way of life that included slavery. To achieve this goal, the South worked out a defensive strategy. It planned to defend its homeland, holding on to as much territory as possible until the North tired of fighting. During the war, Southern leaders sometimes changed strategy and took the offensive-went on the attack. They moved their armies northward to threaten Washington D.C., and the other Northern cities, hoping to persuade the North that it could not win the war.




One of the main advantages for the Southerners was fighting in familiar territory-defending their land, their homes, and their way of life. The military leadership of the South, at least at first, was superior to the North's. The South also faced some disadvantages. It had a smaller population of free men to draw upon in building an army. It also possessed very few factories to manufacture weapons and other supplies, and it produced less than half the miles of railroad tracks and vastly fewer trains than the North, the COnfederate government had difficulty delivering food, weapons, and other supplies to its troops. The belief in states' rights also hampered the South's efforts. The individual states refused to give the Confederate government sufficient power. As a result, the government found it difficult to fight the war effectively.




Strengths and Weaknesses of the South

  • Bleeding Kansas was an after affect of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, when it was to be decided by the people of the state if slavery existed there or not.

  • Settlers from the South and North went to Kansas so they could vote and have Kansas become a free or slave state.

  • Violence soon started when a pro-slavery legislature was elected, but  antislavery supporters refusing these laws decided to make their own government in Kansas.

  • The Congress and President being on opposing sides in this issue wasn’t much help either.

  • The first outbreak of violence was in May 1856 when 800 slavery supporters attacked Lawrence which was the antislavery capital.

  • The result of this attack was John Brown with 6 other men seizing and killing 5 proslavery supporters.

  • This event was the first of the violence. More violence soon followed because of armed bands roaming the territory.

  • These events became known as “Bleeding Kansas “ and the “Civil War in Kansas.”

  • Nullified the Missouri Compromise in 1820

  • Stephen Douglas proposed organizing the region west of the MIssouri and Iowa as the territories of Kansas and Nebraska

  • Introduced the idea of popular sovereignty to decide whether a state would have slaves

  • From this point on new territories admitted into the union would decide upon the issue of slavery themselves

  • Northern Democrats in the House split evenly on the vote, revealing deep divisions in the party

  • Northerners became convinced that the compromise with the South was no longer possible

  • Sam Houston (senator from Texas) predicted that the bill “will convulse [upset] the country from Maine to the Rio Grande.”

  • The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 led to Bleeding Kansas

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  • System of African Slavery in the United States

  • 645,000 Africans imported to become slaves

  • Never existed without disagreement

  • Georgia was first to ban slavery

  • After American Revolution, Northern states had emancipation laws

  • Division between states began

Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854

The Peculiar Institution

Bleeding Kansas

Secession Events and Causes of Civil War


  • Northern Democrats nominated Stephen Douglas - For Popular Sovereignty

  • Southern Democrats nominated John C. Breckinridge - For Slavery

  • Northern and Southern moderates formed the Constitutional Union Party; Nominated John Bell- No Position on Slavery

  • Republicans nominate Abraham Lincoln - Against slavery, but will be undisturbed where it already exists

  • Lincoln  wins 180 out of 303 electoral votes, 40% of popular vote

  • Votes purely among sectional lines

  • Lincoln wins election

Dred Scott Case

  • The threat of South seceding was proven reality when South Carolina held a convention and voted to secede on December 20, 1860.

    • The reason why South Carolina chose to secede was that they feared that the Republican administration would NOT protect Southern rights.

  • The line of compromise was erased and many Southern started refusing to compromise one Southern leader said,”We spit upon every plan to compromise.”

  • President James Buchanan said that Southerners had no right to secede but that he had no power to stop them from doing so

  • By the date of February 1861 Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana had seceded.

  • They called themselves the Confederate States of America or the Confederacy and elected Jefferson Davis as their president.

  • The reactions to secession include some Southern's welcoming it while others being alarmed and frightened.

  • Some Southerners predicted that secession will only lead to bloodshed and a terrible calamity.

 Election of 1860

  • Dred Scott, a slave from Missouri, tried to sue his freedom.

  • His master, moved him and his family to Illinois, where slavery is banned, but eventually they moved back to Missouri and his master died.

  • Dred Scott them tried to sue his way to freedom saying he was free because he once lived “on free soil.” and took his case to the Supreme Court.

  • Chief Justice Roger B. Taney ruled that Dred Scott was still a slave and as a slave, he had no right to bring lawsuit.

    • He also said that an enslaved person is considered property and by the 5th amendment, Congress couldn’t take away property and that the Missouri compromise was unconstitutional and so was popular sovereignty. Therefor, the Constitution protected slavery.

  • Abraham Lincoln (President of the Union)
  • Robert Anderson (Commander)
  • Abner Doubleday (Union Captain)

Main Idea:

Union-Number of Soldiers :75,000 ; (80 soldiers engaged)

Confederates-Number of Soldiers : 500 soldiers engaged

When : April 12, 1861-April 14, 1861

Where : Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina

What (Brief Summary) : The Battle of Fort Sumter was the first battle of the American Civil War. The intense Confederate artillery bombardment of Major Robert Anderson’s small Union garrison in the unfinished fort in the harbor at Charleston, South Carolina, had been preceded by months of siege-like conditions.

Why :  The Battle of Fort Sumter was caused because of the election of Abraham Lincoln ; also believed that the federal government didn’t have the right to halt the slavery to the western states

Winner/Outcome : Confederate victory; Casualties (Union) - 0 , Casualties (Confederacy) - 0

Battle of Fort Sumter

The Battle of Fort Sumter all started after Lincoln's Inauguration. He received a dispatch from Major Robert Anderson, who was the commander of Fort Sumter, a United States fort on an island guarding Charleston Harbor. The message was warning saying that they were low on supplies and the Confederates were making them surrender. Lincoln replied by ending a message to Governor Francis Pickens of South Carolina. He informed Pickens that he was sending an unarmed expedition with supplies to Fort Sumter. Lincoln had even promised that he would not fight unless fired upon. Confederate president Jefferson Davis and his advisors made a very daring decision. They ordered their forces to attack Fort Sumter before the supplies could arrive (for the Union). Confederate guns fired on the fort early April 12, 1861. Union captain Abner Doubleday even witnessed the attack from inside the fort. High seas had stopped Union relief ships from reaching the fort in time to drop off supplies. The war lasted for 33 hours until the Union garrison surrendered on April 14. There were thousands of shots that were fired, however, no one died on either side of the battle. The Confederates raised their flag over the fort, and all the guns sounded a triumphant salute. Once Fort Sumter was attacked, both sides took action. President Lincoln issued a call fro 75,00 troops to fight to save the Union, and many volunteers quickly signed up and joined. On the other hand, many volunteers also signed up to fight for the Confederacy. So, the Confederacy won the Battle of Fort SUmter and this particular battle had started the Civil War.  There were two events that led up to the Battle of Fort Sumter. One of them was the election of Abraham Lincoln as the 16th president of the United States in 1860. Lincoln and the Republican Party had run on a platform that was against the expansion of slavery to the western states. Southern states also believed that the federal government didn't have the right to halt the slavery to other states. After Lincoln was elected, 4 Southern states began to secede from the United States.

Northern leaders

Battle of Fort Sumter

  • Jefferson Davis (President of the Confederacy)
  • Governor Francis Pickens
  • P.G.T. Beauregard (Commader)

Southern Leaders

  • Abraham Lincoln (President)
  • Irvin McDowell (Commander)
  • George B. McClellan (General)

Main Idea:

Union-Number of Soldiers : 30,000 soldiers engaged

Confederates-Number of Soldiers : Near 30,000 soldiers engaged

When : July 21, 1861

Where : Manassas, Virginia. Fairfax County and Prince William County.

What (Brief Summary) : The First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) was the first major land-based confrontation of the American Civil War. The Union army commander in Washington, Brigadier General Irvin McDowell, gave in to great pressure to begin campaigning before his men’s 90-day enlistments expired, although he did not feel the army was adequately trained yet, leading to a stunning Confederate victory and ending northern hopes of a quick end to the war.

Why : The Battle of the First Bull Run was casued becausse of the 90-day term enlistment for most of the soldiers who had joined the Union after Fort Sumter was set to expire.

Winner/Outcome : Confederate Victory; Casualties (Union) - 3,000 , Casualties (Confederacy) -  1,750



First Battle of The Bull Run

The First Battle of Bull Run was the first major battle of the Civil War and was fought in northern Virginia, about 5 miles from a town called Manassas Junction Near Bull Run-a small river in the area. Sunday, July 21, 1861, was a normal pleasant day in Washington D.C. Hundreds of cheerful residents left the city and planned to picnic while watching the first battle between the Union and the Confederate armies. They were expecting to see the Union troops demolish the Rebels, they looked forward to a quick and easy battle. The Confederates also expected a quick victory. It all began when about 30,000 inexperienced Union troops attacked a smaller, equally inexperienced Confederate force. The Yankees (Union) drove the Confederates back at first. Then the Rebels (Confederacy) rallied, inspired by reinforcements under General Thomas Jackson. Jackson fought the enemy heroically "like a stone wall," and became known as "Stonewall" Jackson. The Confederates rushed forward with a strange, unearthly scream, known as the Rebel yell. The Northern soldiers became terrified, dropping their guns and packs and fleeing away. The Union army began an orderly retreat that quickly became a mad stampede when the retreating Union troops collided with the civilians, fleeing in panic back to Washington D.C. The outcome of the battle horrified the North, but President Lincoln was read to respond. He issued a call for more volunteers for the army. He signed two bills requesting a total of 1 million soldiers, who would serve for three years. Lincoln also appointed a new general, George B. McClellan, to head the Union army of the East-called the art of the Potomac-and to organize the troops. So the Confederates won this quick battle, which was very unfortunate for the North. The First Battle of Bull Run cost some 3,000 Union casualties, compared with 1,750 for the Confederates.The events that led up to this battle was three months ago at Fort Sumter. Since there had been small clashes between the two sides, Abraham Lincoln decided to strike first. The Union strategy was to deal a crushing blow to Confederate forces near Manassas, Virginia, and quickly march on Richmond, the Confederate capital. Union General Irvin McDowell, worried that his untrained troops were unprepared for such an endeavor, protested the plan, but Lincoln overruled him. He did this because there was an enormous pressure in the North for a quick, decisive action to end the war. More importantly, however, the 90-day term enlistment for most of the soldiers who had joined the Union after Fort Sumter was set to expire. Lincoln believed that this might be his only chance to use this massive military force before he lost.

Northern Leaders

Battle of First Bull Run

  • Jefferson Davis (President) 
  • General Thomas Jackson ("Stonewall" Jackson)
  • P.G.T. Beauregard (Commander)
  • Joseph E. Johnston (Commander) 

Southern Leaders


  • Abraham Lincoln (President)
  • Ulysses S. Grant (Commander)

Main Idea:

Union-Number of Soldiers : 24,500 soldiers engaged

Confederates-Number of Soldiers : 16,000 soldiers engaged

When : February 11, 1862 - February 16, 1862

Where : Fort Donelson, Tennessee

What (Brief Summary) : The Battle of Fort Donelson involved the capture of Ft. Donelson, Tennessee and provided access to the Cumberland River as a means of invading the Confederacy. It was fought from February 11 to February 16, 1862 and established General Ulysses S. Grant as a major figure of The Civil War

Why : The Battle of Fort Donelson was caused because of the Battle of First Bull Run.

Winner/Outcome : Union victory; Casualties (Union) - 2,700 , Casualties (Confederacy) - 12,000

Battle of Fort Donelson

One of the North's primary goals in the West was to gain control of the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers. THis would split the Confederacy and hinder Southern efforts to transport goods. The Union launched its operations in the West from Cairo, Illinois. The union commander at Cairo was Ulysses S. Grant. Early in 1862, (February 11, 1862-February 16, 1862) Grant was ordered to move against Confederate forces in Kentucky and Tennessee. On February 6, with the aid of a fleet of newly made ironclads, Grant captured Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. Ten days later, Grant captured Fort Donelson on the Cumberland. When the Confederate commander at Fort Donelson realized he was trapped, he asked Grant for his terms. Grant replied, "No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted." "Unconditional Surrender" Grant became the North's new hero. Ulysses S. Grant had earned a new nickname. Grant's victories helped secure the lower Tennessee River. They also opened a path for Union troops to march into Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama. The Battle of Fort Donelson was a victory for the Union. The Confederates surrendered the fort, giving the Union one of its first major victories of the American Civil War. Grant's victory ensured that Kentucky, would remain in the Union and helped open Tennessee to future Union advances. During the battle, the Confederates were surrounded, with their backs to the Cumberland River. Only several thousand troops managed to escape before Fort Donelson was surrendered on February 16. Of the approximately 16,000 Confederates who had engaged in battle, more than 12,000 were captured or missing, while approximately 1,400 others were wounded or killed. Of the estimated 24,500 Union troops who fought at Fort Donelson, total casualties were around 2,700. THe events that led up to the Battle of Fort Donelson was the First Battle of the Bull Run. After the First Battle of the BUll Run in July 1861, the war in the East settled into a stalemate as each side built its strength. Generals focused on training raw recruits, turning civilians into soldiers. For a while the action shifted to the West which caused the Battle of Fort Donelson.

Northern Leaders

Battle of Fort Donelson

  •  Jefferson Davis (President)
  • General Simon Buckner (Commander)

Southern leaders

  •  Abraham Lincoln (President) 
  • Louis M. Goldsborough
  • John Marston (Senior Officer)
  • John Worden

Main Idea:

Union-Number of Soldiers : 1,400 soldiers engaged

Confederates-Number of Soldiers : 188 soldiers engaged

When : March 8, 1862 - March 9, 1862

Where : Off Sewell's Point, near Hampton Roads, Virginia

What (Brief Summary) : The Battle of Hampton Roads, aka the Battle of the Ironclads (Monitor and Merrimack), was fought March 8-9, 1862 near Hampton Roads, Virginia. It is the most famous naval battle of the American Civil War, pitting the nation’s first ironclad ships against each other.

Why :  The Battle of Hampton Roads was caused due to when the North set up a blockade against the South’s coastline, which caused problems for the South

Winner/Outcome : Inconclusive; Casualties (Union) -  500 , Casualties (Confederacy) - 100

Battle Of Hampton Roads

Before the Bull Run, Lincoln had ordered a naval blockade of Southern ports. An effective blockade would prevent the South from exporting its cotton and from importing the supplies necessary to continue the war. The blockade caused serious problems for the South. Goods such as coffee, shoes, nails, and salt-as well as guns and ammunition-were in short supply in the South throughout the war. (The Battle of Hampton Roads is often referred to as either the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack or the Battle of IronClads.) The South did not intend to let the blockade go unchallenged. Southerners salvaged the Merrimack, a Union warship that Northern forces that had abandoned when Confederate forces seized the naval shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia. The Confederates rebuilt the wooden ship, covered it with thick iron plates, and renamed it the Virginia. On March 8, 1862, this ironclad, or warship, attacked a group of Union ships off the coast of Virginia. The North's wooden warships could not damage the Confederate ship-shells simply bounced off its sides. The North sent an iron-clad ship of its own, the Monitor, to engage the Confederate ship in battle. On March 9, the two ironclads exchanged fire, but neither ship could sink the other. The Union succeeded in keeping the Merrimack in the harbor, so it never threatened the Northern ships. The battle marked a new age in naval warfare-the first battle between two metal-covered ships. Both the North and the South used these ships as models to build more iron-clad ships. In this battle the Union had 500 casualties and the Confederates had 100. The event that led up to the Battle of Hampton Roads was when the North set up a blockade along the South's coastline, which caused serious problems for the South.  The Battle of Hampton Roads ended in a draw, though both sides claimed its victory. THe forces engaged in this battle with were 4 warships (soldiers - 1,400)  for the Union and 1 warship for the Confederacy (soldiers - 188).


Northern Leaders

Battle of Hampton Roads

  • Jefferson Davis (President)
  • Franklin Buchanan
  • Catesby ap Roger Jones

Southern Leaders

Main Idea:

Union-Number of Soldiers : 66,000 soldiers engaged

Confederates-Number of Soldiers : 44,700 soldiers engaged

WhenApril 6, 1862 - April 7, 1862 

Where Pittsburgh Landing. Hardin County, Tennessee

What (Brief Summary) : The Battle of Shiloh (aka Battle of Pittsburg Landing) was fought on April 6–7, 1862, in southwestern Tennessee not far from Corinth, Mississippi. General Albert Sidney Johnston, commander of Confederate forces in the Western Theater, hoped to defeat Union major general Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Tennessee before it could be reinforced by Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell’s Army of the Ohio, which was marching from Nashville.

Why :  The Battle of Shiloh was caused becausethe Confederate Army of the Mississippi under Johnston launched an attack on General Grant’s army if the Tennessee near the Pittsburg Landing. The Battle was not much of a surprise.

Winner/Outcome : Union victory; Casualties (Union) - 13,000 , Casualties (Confederacy) - 10,700

Battle of Shiloh

General Grant and about 40,000 troops then headed south along the Tennessee River toward Corinth, Mississippi, an important railroad junction. In early April 1862, the Union army camped at Pittsburg Landing, 20 miles from Corinth. Nearby was a church named Shiloh. Additional Union forces came from Nashville to join Grant. Early on the morning of April 6, Confederate forces launched a surprise attack on the Union troops. The Battle of Shiloh lasted two days, with some of the most bitter, bloody fighting of the war. The first day, the Confederates drove Grant and his troops back to the Tennessee River. The second day, the Union forces recovered. Aided by the 25,000 troops from Nashville and shelling by gunboats on the river, they defeated the Confederates, who withdrew to Corinth. The losses in the Battle of Shiloh were enormous. Together the two armies suffered more than 20,000 casualties. Confederate general Johnston also died in the bloodbath. After their narrow victory at Shiloh, Union forces gained control of Corinth on May 30. Memphis, Tennessee, fell to Union armies on June 6. The North seemed well on its way to controlling the Mississippi River. After initial successes, the Confederates were unable to hold their position and were forced back, resulting in a Union victory. The Battle of Shiloh was caused because on April 6, 1862, the Confederate Army of the Mississippi Under Johnston launched an attack on Maj. Gen. Grant's Army of the Tennessee near Pittsburg Landing. One author has gone even so far as to call it the Pearl Harbor of the CIvil War. In actuality, Shiloh was not all that much of a surprise.


  • Abraham Linclon (President)
  • Ulysses S. Grant
  • Don Carlos Buell (Commander)

Northern Leaders

Battle of Shiloh

  • Jefferson Davis (President) 
  • Albert Sidney Johnston (Commander)
  • P.G.T. Beauregard (Commander) 

Southern Leaders

  • Abraham Lincoln (President)
  • John Pope (General)

Main Idea:

Union-Number of Soldiers : 62,00 soldiers engaged

Confederates-Number of Soldiers : 50,000 soldiers engaged

When : August 28, 1862 - August 30, 1862

Where : Manassas, Virginia

What (Brief Summary) : The Second Battle of Bull Run (Second Battle of Manassas) was fought August 28–30, 1862, during the American Civil War. It was much larger in scale and in the number of casualties than the First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) fought in July 1861 on much of the same ground.

Why : The cause of the second bull run was because of the culmination of an offensive campaign waged by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia Against Union Maj. Gen. John Pope’s Army of Virginia, and a battle of much larger scale and numbers than the FIrst Battle of Bull Run

Winner/Outcome : Confederate Victory; Casualties (Union) - 14,000 , Casualties (COnfederacy) - 8,000

Battle of Second Bull Run

General McClellan led the Union army in the east. In the East, General McClellan, was training the Army of the potomac to be an effective fighting force. An expert at training soldiers, McClellan was cautious and worried that his troops were not ready. HE hesitated to fight because of reports that overestimated the size of the Rebel forces. Finally, in March 1862, the ARMy of the Potomac was ready for action/ Its goal was to capture Richmond, the Confederate capital. Instead of advancing directly overland to Richmond as Lincoln with, McClellan moved his huge army by ship to a peninsula between the York and the JamesRivers southeast of the city. From there he began a major offensive known as the Peninsular Campaign. The operation took many weeks. Time passed and opportunities to attack slipped away as General McClellan readied his troops and tried to evaluate the enemy’s strength. His delays allowed the Confederates to prepare their defense in Richmond(Event that caused the battle) At the end of June, the Union forces finally met the Confederates in a series of encounters known as the Seven Days’ Battles. In these battles, Confederate general Robert E. Lee took command of the army opposing McClellan. Before the battles began, Lee's cavalry leader, James E. B. Stuart performed a daring tactic. He led his 1,200 troops in a circle around the Union positions and boosting Southern morale. Lee’s forces eventually drove the Yankees back. The Union troops had failed to capture RIchmond. Reports from RIchmond disheartened the North. ANother call was made for volunteers-300,000 this time-but the response was slow. The Southern strategy of making the North weary of war seemed to be working. The defeat had not yet been complete, however. McClellan’s army had been pushed back, but it was larger than Lee’s and still only 25 miles from Richmond. President Lincoln ordered him to move his army back to northern Virginia and join troops led by General John Pope. Stonewall Jackson’s forces moved north to attack Pope’s supply base at Manassas. Jackson’s troops marched 50 miles in two days and were then joined by the rest of Lee’s army. On August 29, 1862, Pope attacked the approaching Confederates and started the Second Battle of Bull Run.The battle ended in a Confederate victory . The event that caused the Battle of the Second Bull RUn to occur was because of the culmination of an offensive campaign waged by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia Against Union Maj. Gen. John Pope’s Army of Virginia, and a battle of much larger scale and numbers than the FIrst Battle of Bull Run. There were 14,000 casualties from the Union and 8,00 from the Confederates.  RIchmond was no longer threatened. Instead, the situation of the two sides was completely reversed. Lee and the Confederates now stood only 20 mile from Washington D.C.


Northern Leaders

Battle of Second Bull Run

  • Jefferson Davis (President)
  • Robert E. Lee (General)
  • Stonewall Jackson (General)

Southern Leaders

  • Abraham Lincoln (President)
  • George B. McClellan (Commander)

Main Idea:

Union-Number of Soldiers : 75,300 soldiers engaged

Confederates-Number of Soldiers : 52,000 soldiers engaged

When : September 17, 1862

Where :  Sharpsburg, Washington County, Maryland

What (Brief Summary) : The Battle of Antietam, a.k.a. Battle of Sharpsburg, resulted in not only the bloodiest day of the American Civil War, but the bloodiest single day in all of American history. Fought primarily on September 17, 1862, between the town of Sharpsburg, Maryland, and Antietam Creek, it ended Gen. Robert E. Lee’s first invasion of a northern state.

Why : The Battle of Antietam was caused because of Robert E. Lee’s desire to follow up his victory at the Second Battle of Manassas by heading north into Maryland.

Winner/Outcome : Union Victory; Casualties (Union) - 12,400 , Casualties (Confederacy) - 10,300

Battle of Antietam

Confederate president Jefferson Davis ordered Lee to launch an offensive into Maryland, northwest Washington. He hoped another victory would win aid from Great Britain and France. Lee also issued a proclamation urging the people of Maryland to join the Confederacy. As Lee's army marched into Maryland in September 1862, McClellan and 80,000 Union troops moved slowly after them. On September 13, the North had an extraordinary piece of good luck. In a field near Frederick, Maryland, two Union soldiers found a copy of Lee's orders for his army wrapped around three cigars. The bundle had probably been dropped by a Southern officer. Now McClellan knew exactly what Lee planned to do. He also learned that Lee's army was divided into four parts. This provided McClellan with an opportunity to overwhelm Lee's army one piece at a time. ONce again, McClellan was overly cautious. He waited four days before he he decided to attack the COnfederates . This enabled Lee' to gather most of his forces together near Sharpsburg, maryland, along the Antietam Creek. The Union and the Confederate armies clashed on September 17 in the Battle of Antietam. It was the single bloodiest day of the entire war. By the time the fighting ended, close to 6,000 Union and Confederate soldiers lay dead or dying, and another 17,000 were seriously wounded. Although both armies suffered heavy losses, neither was destroyed. The day after the battle, Lee withdrew to Virginia. The Confederate retreat allowed the Union troops to claim victory. However, McClellan, who had been ordered by President Lincoln to "destroy the rebel army,"did not pursue the Confederate troops. The president, disgusted with McClellan's failure to follow up his victory, removed McClellan from his command in November. Lincoln placed General Ambrose Burnside in command. The Battle of Antietam was a crucial victory for the UNion. The British government had been ready to intervene in the war as a mediator if Lee's invasion had succeeded. It had also begun making plans to recognize the Confederacy in the event the North rejected mediation. With Lee's defeat, the British decided to withhold its support, and the South lost its best chance at gaining international recognition and support. Antietam had a profound impact on the war. The army of the Potomac finally gained some confidence, having forced Lee and his soldiers back south. More important, the battle  marked a major change in Northern war aims. President Lincoln used the battle to take action against slavery. The Battle of Antietam during the CIvil War was caused by General Robert E. Lee's desire to follow up his victory at the second Battle of Manassas by heading north into Maryland.

Northern Leaders

Battle of Antietam

  • Jefferson Davis (President)
  • Robert E. Lee (Commander)

Southern Leaders

  • Abraham Lincoln (President)
  • Ambrose Burnside (Commander)

Main Idea:

Union-Number of Soldiers : 106,000 soldiers engaged

Confederates-Number of Soldiers : 72,500 soldiers engaged

When : December 11, 1862 - December 1, 1862

Where :  Fredericksburg, Virginia

What (Brief Summary) : The Battle of Fredericksburg saw more troops engaged than any other battle of the American Civil War, almost 200,000 men. Fought in and around Fredericksburg, Virginia, December 11–15, 1862, it also involved the first major opposed river crossing in the nation’s history.

Why : The Battle of Fredericksburg was caused because of the campaign ideas involving marching towards and capturing the Confederate capitol, Richmond.

Winner/Outcome : Confederate Victory; Casualties (Union) 13,000 , Casualties (Confederacy) - 5,300

Battle of Fredericksburg

The Battle of Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862, involved nearly 200,000 combatants, the largest concentration of troops in any Civil War battle. Ambrose Burnside, the newly appointed commander of  the Army of the Potomac, had ordered his more than 120,000 troops to cross the Rappahannock River, where they made a two-pronged attack on the right and left flanks of Robert E. Lee's 80,000-strong Army of Northern Virginia at Fredericksburg. On both ends, Lee's rebel defenders turned back the Union assault with heavy casualties (nearly 13,000), particularly from their high position atop Marye's Heights. The results of the battle sent Union morale plummeting and lent much-needed new energy to the Confederate cause after the failure of Lee's first invasion of the North at Antietam the previous fall. The Confederates were entrenched, or set up in a strong position, on a number of hills south of the town. Repeated attacks failed to overcome Lee's troops as thousands of Union soldiers feel of the hillside. Devastated by his failure, Burnside resigned his command and was replaced by General Joseph Hooker. The Battle of Fredericksburg was a crushing defeat for the Union, whose soldiers fought courageously and well but fell victim to mismanagement by their generals, including confused orders from Burnside to Franklin. Burnside accepted responsibility for the defeat, though many blamed Lincoln for pressuring him to go ahead with an impossible offensive. On the Confederate side, the victory at Fredericksburg restored Confederate morale after Lee’s unsuccessful campaign into Maryland in the fall. At the head of a rejuvenated Army of Northern Virginia, Lee would follow up with an even more smashing success over a numerically superior Union force at Chancellorsville in May 1863 before launching a second invasion of the North through Pennsylvania. The cause of the Battle of Fredericksburg was because the campaign ideas involved marching towards and capturing the Confederate capitol, Richmond. Fredericksburg was a pretty important Confederate city that had key railroads on it. McClellan was to hesitant, Lincoln gave him multiple chances to move his army and he had enough of him. He picked Burnside, who was offered command of the Union Army before, who reluctantly accepted.

Northern Leaders

Battle of Fredericksburg

  • Jefferson Davis (President)
  • Robert E. Lee

Southern Leaders

  • Abraham Lincoln (President)
  • Joseph Hooker (Commander)


Main Idea:

Union-Number of Soldiers : 97,000 soldiers engaged

Confederates-Number of Soldiers : 57,000 soldiers engaged

When : April 30, 1863 - May 6, 1863

Where :  Chancellorsville, Spotsylvania County, Virginia

What (Brief Summary) : The Battle of Chancellorsville, April 30–May 6, 1863, resulted in a Confederate victory that stopped an attempted flanking movement by Maj. Gen. Joseph "Fighting Joe" Hooker’s Army of the Potomac against the left of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. The Southern victory was diminished by the loss of Lt. Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, mortally wounded by his own men who mistook him and his staff for Union cavalry, a loss that would have far-reaching effects on the Civil War.

Why : The battle began because the Union army crossed the Rappahannock River, causing the Confederate army to retaliate. They fought until the Union forces retreated back to the other side of the river.

Winner/Outcome : Confederate Victory; Casualties (Union) - 17,278 , Casualties (Confederacy) - 12,826

Battle of Chancellorsville

The Battle of Chancellorsville, fought from April 30 to May 6, 1863, is widely considered to be Confederate General Robert E. Lee's greatest victory during the American Civil War. Hooker rebuilt the army and in early May, 1863, launched a campaign against Lee. Before Hooker could mount a major attack, Lee struck at Chancellorsville, Virginia, a few miles west of Fredericksburg. Boldly dividing his troops for an assault on the Union forces , Lee won another victory-but the outcome proved costly. The battle's heavy casualties included General Stonewall Jackson. On May 2, Jackson and his troops attacked Union troops at dusk. One of the Confederate companies fired on Jackson's party by mistake, wounding the general in the left amr. Jackson's arm had to be amputated, and he died a week later. The most intense combat of the battle took place on May 3, with Hooker now defending against Lee's attack. In masterful crisis management, Lee simultaneously parried a thrust against his rear by the 27,000 troops Hooker, had left behind. On May 6, Hooker recrossed the Rappahannock, having lost 17,278 casualties to Lee's 12,826 (including Jackson). Lee now possessed the strategic initiative, which in a few weeks would lead him north to Gettysburg. The Battle of Chancellorsville was caused to due to occurrence of the Union army crossing the Rappahannock River, causing the Confederate army to retaliate. They fought until the Union forces retreated back to the other side of the river.  

Northern Leaders

Battle of Chancellorsville

  • Jefferson Davis (President)
  • Robert E. Lee (Commander)
  • Stonewall Jackson (Commander)

Southern Leaders

  • Abraham Lincoln (President)
  • Ulysess S. Grant (Commander)

Main Idea:

Union-Number of Soldiers : 75,000 soldiers engaged

Confederates-Number of Soldiers : 34,000 soldiers engaged

When : May 18, 1863 - July 4, 1863

Where : Vicksburg, Mississippi. Warren County.

What (Brief Summary) : The Battle of Vicksburg, Mississippi, also called the Siege of Vicksburg, was the culmination of a long land and naval campaign by Union forces to capture a key strategic position during the American Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln recognized the significance of the town situated on a 200-foot bluff above the Mississippi River. He said, "Vicksburg is the key, the war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pocket." Capturing Vicksburg would sever the Trans-Mississippi Confederacy from that east of the Mississippi River and open the river to Northern traffic along its entire length.

Why : The Battle of Vicksburg was caused due to the split of the Confederacy.

Winner/Outcome : Union victory; Casualties (Union) - 4,800 , Casualties (Confederacy) - 3,300 with nearly 30,00 captured

Assault at Vicksburg

From the spring of 1863 until July 1863, during the American Civil War , Union forces waged a campaign to take the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg, Mississippi, which lay on the east bank of the Mississippi River, halfway between Memphis To the north and New Orleans To the south.The capture of Vicksburg divided the Confederacy and proved the military genius of Union General Ulysses S. Grant. Vicksburg was one of the Union’s most successful campaigns of the war. Although General Ulysses S. Grant’s first attempt to take the city failed in the winter of 1862-63, he renewed his efforts in the spring. Admiral David Porter had run his flotilla past the Vicksburg defenses in early May as Grant marched his army down the west bank of the river opposite Vicksburg, crossed back to Mississippi and drove toward Jackson. After defeating a Confederate force near Jackson, Grant turned back to Vicksburg. On May 16, he defeated a force under General John C. Pemberton at Champion Hill. Pemberton retreated back to Vicksburg, and Grant sealed the city by the end of May. In three weeks, Grant’s men marched 180 miles, won five battles and captured some 6,000 prisoners.Grant made some attacks after bottling Vicksburg but found the Confederates well entrenched. Preparing for a long siege, his army constructed 15 miles of trenches and enclosed Pemberton’s force of 29,000 men inside the perimeter. It was only a matter of time before Grant, with 70,000 troops, captured Vicksburg.  Pemberton surrendered on July 4, and President Abraham Lincoln wrote that the Mississippi River “again goes unvexed to the sea.” In the overall battle there were 4,800 casualties from the Union and 3,300 from the Confederates, nearly 3,000 captured. The Union victories at Vicksburg marked a turning point in the war. They drove LeeĊ› army out of Pennsylvania, secured the Mississippi as a Union highway, and cut the South in two. Nevertheless, the South still had troops and a will to fight. The war would continue for two more terrible years. The Battle of Vicksburg was caused due to the split of the Confederacy. Vicksburg is strategically located on the Mississippi River. When Union forces under General Grant took it, the North controlled the entire river. Due to this, the Confederacy was physically split into two.


Northern Leaders

Assualt in Vicksburg

  • Jefferson Davis (President)
  • John C. Pemberton (Commander)

Southern Leaders

  • Abraham Lincoln (President)
  • George Meade (Commander)


Main Idea:

Union-Number of Soldiers : 82,289 soldiers engaged

Confederates-Number of Soldiers : 75,000 soldiers engaged

When : July 1, 1863 - July 3, 1863

Where : Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County

What (Brief Summary) : The Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (July 1–July 3, 1863), was the largest battle of the American Civil War as well as the largest battle ever fought in North America, involving around 85,000 men in the Union’s Army of the Potomac under Major General George Gordon Meade and approximately 75,000 in the Confederacy’s Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert Edward Lee. Casualties at Gettysburg totaled 23,049 for the Union (3,155 dead, 14,529 wounded, 5,365 missing). Confederate casualties were 28,063 (3,903 dead, 18,735 injured, and 5,425 missing), more than a third of Lee’s army.

Why : The Battle of Gettysburg occurred because of Robert E. lee trying to push north into Pennsylvania in attempt to move the bulk of the fighting in the east away from Virginia and into the Union territory.

Winner/Outcome : Union Victory; Casualties (Union) - 23,049 , Casualties (Confederacy) - 28,063


Battle of Gettysburg

Regardless of the heavy losses, Lee began moving north in June with an army of 75,000. Another victory-one on Northern soil-might persuade Britain and France to aid the Confederacy. Union general Hooker wanted advance against Richmond, nut Lincoln told him to attack Lee's army. When Hooker failed to do this, Lincoln replaced him with General George Meade. Meade's mission was to find and fight Lee's forces and to protect Washington and Baltimore from Confederate attack. the two armies met on July 1, 1863, near the small town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The three-day Battle of Gettysburg Began when Union cavalry surprised Rebel infantry, who were looking for shoes. Outnumbered, the Northerners fought desperately to hold the town before retreating to Cemetery Ridge, a line of hills south of Gettysburg. The next day of battle, Lee decided to launch an attack, determined to "create a panic and virtually destroy the [Union] army." This last attack, led by George Pickett, is remembered as Pickett's Charge. About 14,000 Confederate soldiers advanced across about one-half mile of open ground toward the Union lines. They made easy targets for Union fire as they marched. Barely half of the Rebels returned from the charge. Lee knew the battle was lost. "It's all my fault," he told his troops as they retreated to Virginia. Though the cautious Meade would be criticized for not pursuing the enemy after Gettysburg, the battle was a crushing defeat for the Confederacy. Union casualties in the battle numbered 23,000, while the Confederates had lost some 28,000 men–more than a third of Lee’s army. The North rejoiced while the South mourned, its hopes for foreign recognition of the Confederacy erased.Demoralized by the defeat at Gettysburg, Lee offered his resignation to President Jefferson Davis, but was refused. Though the great Confederate general would go on to win other victories, the Battle of Gettysburg (combined with Ulysses S. Grant’s victory at Vicksburg, also on July 4) irrevocably turned the tide of the Civil War in the Union’s favor. The Battle of Gettysburg is considered the  most important engagement of the American Civil War. The Battle of Gettysburg occurred as a result of General Robert E. Lee's push north into Pennsylvania in an attempt to move the bulk of the fighting in the east away from Virginia and into Union territory. His ultimate goal was Philadelphia, but General George Meade's forces caught up with him at Gettysburg. Both sides arrayed their forces around the small town, and the bloodiest battle of the war began.


Northern Leaders

Battle of Gettysburg

  • Jefferson Davis (President)
  • Robert E. Lee (Commander)

Southern Leaders

  • Ulysses S. Grant (Commander)


Main Idea:

Union-Number of Soldiers : 120,000 soldiers engaged

Confederates-Number of Soldiers : 30,000 soldiers engaged

When : April 9, 1865

Where : Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia

What (Brief Summary) :  The Battle of Appomattox Courthouse was the Army of Northern Virginia’s final battle and was the beginning of the end of the American Civil War. Though the actual battle took place on April 9, 1865, it followed the 10-month Battle of Petersburg and concluded General Robert E. Lee’s thwarted retreat during the Appomattox Campaign.

Why: The surrender of Appomattox was caused due to the Union army blocking his (Robert E. Lee) escape making Robert E. Lee surrender.

Winner/Outcome : Union victory; Casualties (Union) - 260 , Casualties (Confederacy) - 440, over 27,000 surrendered

Surrender at Appomattox and Terms of Surrender

Throughout the fall and the winter of 1864, Grant continued the siege of Petersburg. Lee and his troops defended the town, but sickness, hunger, casualties, and dissertation weakened them. Finally on April 2, 1865, the Confederate lines broke and Lee withdrew his troops. Richmond fell the same day. Rebel troops, government officials, and many residents fled the Confederate capital. As they left, they set fire to much of the city to keep it from falling into Union hands. Lee moved his army west of Richmond, hoping to link up with the small Confederate force that was trying to stop Sherman's advance. But the Union army blocked his escape route. Realizing the situation was hopeless, Lee said: "There is nothing left [for] me but to go and see General Grant, and I [would] rather die a thousand deaths." On April 9, 1865, Lee and his troops surrendered to Grant in a small Virginia village called Appomattox Court House. Grant's terms were generous. The Confederate soldiers had to lay down their arms but then were free to go home. Grant allowed them to keep their horses so they could, as he said, "put in a crop to carry themselves and their families through the next winter." Grant also ordered three days' worth of food sent to Lee's hungry troops. Several days after Lee's surrender, the Confederate forces in North Carolina surrendered. Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, was captured in Georgia on May 10. The Civil War was over at last.


Northern Leaders

Surrender at Appomattox and Terms of Surrender

  • Robert E. Lee (Commander)

Southern Leaders

During the Mexican-American War, Grant served as quartermaster, efficiently overseeing the movement of supplies. Serving under General Zachary Taylor and later under General Winfield Scott, he closely observed their military tactics and leadership skills. After getting the opportunity to lead a company into combat, Grant was credited for his bravery under fire. He also developed strong feelings that the war was wrong, and that it was being waged only to increase America's territory for the spread of slavery.In the summer of 1853, Grant was promoted to captain and transferred to Fort Humboldt on the Northern California coast, where he had a run-in with the fort's commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Robert C. Buchanan. On July, 31, 1854, Grant resigned from the Army amid allegations of heavy drinking and warnings of disciplinary action.On April 13, 1861, Confederate troops attacked Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. This act of rebellion sparked Ulysses S. Grant's patriotism, and he volunteered his military services. Again he was initially rejected for appointments, but with the aid of an Illinois congressman, he was appointed to command an unruly 21st Illinois volunteer regiment. Applying lessons that he'd learned from his commanders during the Mexican-American War, Grant saw that the regiment was combat-ready by September 1861.When Kentucky's fragile neutrality fell apart in the fall of 1861, Grant and his volunteers took the small town of Paducah, Kentucky, at the mouth of the Tennessee River. In February 1862, in a joint operation with the U.S. Navy, Grant's ground forces applied pressure on Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, taking them both—these battles are credited as the earliest significant Union victories of the American Civil War. After the assault on Fort Donelson, Grant earned the moniker "Unconditional Surrender Grant" and was promoted to major general of volunteers.In April 1862, Ulysses S. Grant moved his army cautiously into enemy territory in Tennessee, in what would later become known as the Battle of Shiloh (or the Battle of Pittsburg Landing), one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.The Battle of Shiloh proved to be a watershed for the American military and a near disaster for Grant. Though he was supported by President Abraham Lincoln, Grant faced heavy criticism from members of Congress and the military brass for the high casualties, and for a time, he was demoted. A war department investigation led to his reinstatement.Union war strategy called for taking control of the Mississippi River and cutting the Confederacy in half. In December 1862, Grant moved overland to take Vicksburg—a key fortress city of the Confederacy—but his attack was stalled by Confederate cavalry raider Nathan Bedford Forrest, as well as due to getting bogged down in the bayous north of Vicksburg. In his second attempt, Grant cut some, but not all, of his supply lines, moved his men down the western bank of the Mississippi River, and crossed south of Vicksburg. Failing to take the city after several assaults, he settled into a long siege, and Vicksburg finally surrendered on July 4, 1863.In October 1863, Grant took command at Chattanooga, Tennessee. The following month, from November 22 to November 25, Union forces routed Confederate troops in Tennessee at the battles of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, known collectively as the Battle of Chattanooga. The victories forced the Confederates to retreat into Georgia, ending the siege of the vital railroad junction of Chattanooga—and ultimately paving the way for Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's Atlanta campaign and march to Savannah, Georgia, in 1864.


When the Civil War started, Grant volunteered his services. At first he had trouble being accepted into the Union army. ONce accepted, however, he impressed Lincoln with his ability.  In 1864 Grant was given command of the Union armies. His abilities to plan and make decisions, backed by the North’s superior resources, changed the strategy-and the outcome-of the Civil War.

President Ulysses S. Grant was born on April 27, 1822, in Point Pleasant, Ohio. He was entrusted with command of all U.S. armies in 1864, and relentlessly pursued the enemy during the CIvil War. In 1869, at age 46, he became the youngest president. After leaving his presidency, he commissioned Mark TWain to publish his best-selling memoirs. His famous moniker, “U.S. Grant,” came after he joined the military. He was the first son of Jesse Root Grant., a tanner and businessman, and Hannah Simpson. A year after Grant was born, his family moved to Georgetown, Ohio, and had what he described as an “uneventful” childhood. When Grant was 17, his father arranged for him to enter the United States Military Academy at West Point. Grant didn't excel at West POint, earning average grades and receiving several demerits for slovenly dress and tardiness, and ultimately decided that the academy “had no charms” for him. In 1843, he graduated 21st out of 39, and was glad to be out. He planned to resign from the military after he served his mandatory four years of duty. After graduation, Lieutenant Ulysses S. Grant was stationed in St. Louis, Missouri, where he met his future wife, Julia Dent. Before they could wed, he was shipped off for duty.



Ulyssess S. Grant

Born on January 19 1807 in Stratford, Virginia, Robert E. Lee came to military prominence during the Civil War, commanding his home state’s armed forces and becoming general-in-chief of the Confederate forces towards the end of the conflict. Though the Union won the war, Lee has been revered by many while others debate his tactics. He went on to become president of Washington College.Lee was cut from Virginia aristocracy. His extended family members included a president, a chief justice of the United States, and signers of the Declaration of Independence. His father, Colonel Henry Lee, also known as "Light-Horse Harry," had served as a cavalry leader during the Revolutionary War and gone on to become one of the war's heroes, winning praise from General George Washington.Lee saw himself as an extension of his family's greatness. At 18, he enrolled at West Point Military Academy, where he put his drive and serious mind to work. He was one of just six cadets in his graduating class who finished without a single demerit, and wrapped up his studies with perfect scores in artillery, infantry and cavalry.After graduating from West Point, Lee met and married Mary Custis, the great-granddaughter of George and Martha Washington. Together, they had seven children: three sons (Curtis, Rooney and Rob) and four daughters (Mary, Annie, Agnes and Mildred).


In 1846, Lee got the chance he'd been waiting his whole military career for when the United States went to war with Mexico. Serving under General Winfield Scott, Lee distinguished himself as a brave battle commander and brilliant tactician. In the aftermath of the U.S. victory over its neighbor, Lee was held up as a hero. Scott showered Lee with particular praise, saying that in the event the U.S. went into another war, the government should consider taking out a life insurance policy on the commander.But life away from the battlefield proved difficult for Lee to handle. He struggled with the mundane tasks associated with his work and life. For a time, he returned to his wife's family's plantation to manage the estate, following the death of his father-in-law. The property had fallen under hard times, and for two long years, he tried to make it profitable again.In 1859 Lee returned to the Army, accepting a thankless position at a lonely cavalry outpost in Texas. In October of that year, Lee got a break when he was summoned to put an end to a slave insurrection led by John Brown at Harper's Ferry. Lee's orchestrated attack took just a single hour to end the revolt, and his success put him on a short list of names to lead the Union Army should the nation go to war.But Lee's commitment to the Army was superseded by his commitment to Virginia. After turning down an offer from President Abraham Lincoln to command the Union forces, Lee resigned from the military and returned home. While Lee had misgivings about centering a war on the slavery issue, when Virginia voted to secede from the nation on April 18, 1861, Lee agreed to help lead the Confederate forces.Over the next year, Lee again distinguished himself on the battlefield. In May 1862, he took control of the Army of Northern Virginia and drove back the Union Army in Richmond in the Seven Days Battle. In August of that year, he gave the Confederacy a crucial victory at Second Manassas.But not all went well. He courted disaster when he tried to cross the Potomac, just barely escaping at the bloody battle known as Antietam. In it, nearly 14,000 of his men were captured, wounded or killed.From July 1 to July 3, 1863, Lee's forces suffered another round of heavy casualties in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The three-day stand-off, known as the Battle of Gettysburg, almost destroyed his army, ending Lee's invasion of the North and helping to turn the war around for the Union.By the summer of 1864 Ulysses S. Grant had gained the upper hand, decimating much of Richmond, the Confederate capital, and Petersburg. By early 1865 the fate of the war was clear, a fact driven home on April 2 when Lee was forced to abandon Richmond. A week later, a reluctant and despondent Lee surrendered to Grant at a private home in Appomattox, Virginia.Saved from being hanged as a traitor by a forgiving Lincoln and Grant, Lee returned to his family in April 1865. He eventually accepted a job as president of a small college in western Virginia, and kept quiet about the nation's politics following the war.

Robert E. Lee

When the war began, more than 3.5 million enslaved people lived in the Confederacy. Making up more than 30 percent of the region’s population and the bulk of its workforce, enslaved workers labored on plantations and in vital iron, slat, and lead mines. Some worked as nurses in military hospitals and cooks in the army. By the end of the war, about one sixth of the enslaved population had fled to areas controlled by Union armies. The possibility of a slave rebellion terrified white Southerners. For this reason, most Southerners refused to use African Americans as soldiers-for then they would be given weapons. Robert E. Lee and some others supported using African Americans as soldiers and believed that those who fought would be freed. The Confederate Congress passed a law in 1865 to enlist enslaved people. The war ended before any regiments could be organized. The story was different in the North. At the start of the war, African Americans were not permitted to serve as soldiers in the Union army. This disappointed many free African Americans who had volunteered to fight for the Union. Yet African Americans who wished to help the war effort found ways to do so. Although the army would not accept them, the Union navy did. In 1862 Congress passed a law allowing African Americans to serve in the Union army. By the end of the war, African American volunteers made up nearly 10 percent of the UNIon army and about 15 percent of the navy. In all, nearly 200,000 African Americans served. About 37,00 lost their lives defending the Union. By becoming soldiers, African Americans were taking an important step towards securing civil rights. African Americans soldiers were organized into regiments separate from the rest of the Union army. Most commanding officers of these regiments were white. African Americans received lower pay than white soldiers at first, but protests led to equal [pay in 1864. A soldier’s life was not easy. In touching letters to their families and friends at home, soldiers described what they saw and how they felt-their boredom, discomfort, sickness, fear, and horror. At the start of the war, men in both the North and the South rushed to volunteer for the armies. Their enthusiasm did not last long. Most of the time the soldiers lives camps. Sam life had its pleasant moments of songs, stories, letters from home, and baseball games. Often however, a soldier’s life was dull, a routine of drills, bad food, marches, and rain. Is spite of some moments of calm, the reality of the war was never far away. Both sides suffered terrible losses. The new rifles used during the Civil War fired with great accuracy than the muskets of earlier wars. Faced with such horrors, many men deserted. About 1 of every 11 Union soldiers and 1 of every 8 Confederates ran away because of fear, hunger, or sickness. Rebel soldiers suffered from a lack of food and supplies. One reason for Lee’s invasion of Maryland in 1862 was to allow his army to feed off Maryland crops. A woman who saw the Confederates march into Antietam recalled the “gaunt starvation that looked from their carnivorous eyes.” IN times of war, people often fill new roles. Women in the North and the South became teachers and office workers, and they managed farms. They also suffered the loss of husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers. Women performed many jobs  that helped the soldiers and the armies. They rolled bandages, wove blankets, and made ammunition. Many women collected food, clothing, and medicine to distribute to the troops. They also raised money for supplies. For the most part, Northerners saw the war from a distance, since most of the battles took place in the South. News from battlefront and letters home from the soldiers kept the war in people’s minds. Almost every women who stayed at home was touched in some way by the war. But while everyday life in the North suffered little disruption, life in the South was dramatically changed.Those wol lived in the paths of marching armies lost crops and homes. As the war dragged on, shortages became more commonplace. The South ran out of almost everything. Shortages in feed for animals and salt for curing meant that little meat was available. Shortages of meat were matched by shortages of clothing, medicine, and even shelter. Some women served as spies. WHile in the Civil War, others served as nurses. At first many doctors did not want women nurses because they felt women were too delicate for such work. Men disapproved of women doing what was considered men’s work. Also, it was thought improper for women to tend the bodies of unknown men. Nursing was hard work. Kate Cummings of Alabama, who nursed the wounded in Corinth after the Battle of Shiloh, wrote, “Nothing that I had ever heard or read had given me the faintest idea of the horrors witnessed here.” Children played an important role on the home front supporting the war effort, and many soldiers on both sides invoked the future of their children as to why the war should be fought and won at any cost. A number of children took up arms with their elders and served as enlisted soldiers or regimental musicians.

Life During the Civil War

President Lincoln did not live to see the end of the war. On April 14, 1865, just five days after Lee’s surrender, Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, a fanatical Confederate sympathizer. Booth’s deed was a tragedy for both the North and the South, for it removed the one person who could best “bind up the nation’s wounds.” A Richmond, Virginia, newspaper called Lincoln's death “the heaviest blow which has ever fallen upon the people of the South.” A young Southern woman wrote in her diary, “The most terrible part of the waris now to come.” Lincoln’s vice president, Andrew Johnson, became president. Johnson had been a democrat living in Tennessee before the Civil War. He had served as a mayor and state legislator before being elected to the United States Senate. When Tennessee seceded from the Union, Johnson remained loyal and stayed in the U.S. Senate, making him a hero in the North. The Civil War was the most devastating conflict in American history. More than 600,000 soldiers died, and the war caused billions of dollars of damage, most of it in the South. The devastation had left the South’s economy is a state of collapse. Roughly two thirds of the transportation system lay in ruins, with many bridges destroyed and miles of railroad twisted and rendered useless. The war also created bitter feelings among defeated Southerners that lasted for generations. The wr had other consequences as well. The North’s victory saved the Union. The federal government was strengthened and was now clearly more powerful than the states. FInally, the war freed millions of African Americans. The end of slavery, however, did not solve the problems that the newly freed African Americans were to face. Following the war, many questions remained. No one yet knew how to bring the Southern states back into the Union, nor what the status of African Americans would be in SOuthern society. Americans from the North and the South tried to answer these questions in the years following the Civil War-an era known as Reconstruction.

Result of the Civil War

The End