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Civil War Book :

In which one side fought for their freedom and independence, while the other fought to preserve their union.






Civil War

What is a civil war?

A civil war is a war between citizens of the same country.



Trisha Hoang

The North refers to the Northern states that fought to preserve the Union during the Civil War, and were referred to as the Union. As such, the soldiers from the North were formerly called Union soldiers, although they were commonly known as "Yankees". Union soldiers had blue uniforms, since blue was the North's representing color. Initially, the North's goal was to bring the Southern back into the Union. However, the abolishment of slavery also became a major goal as the war continued. Slavery became to be seen as morally wrong, and many Northerners became abolitionists who felt strongly for the abolitionist cause.


The North had some disadvantages. They did not have the comfort of fighting in familiar territory, not to mention a very large area that was occupied by a hostile population. The Southerners had a strong motivation, and there were millions of them. However, they had many advantages, such as their larger population, their superior industry, and their abundant resources. The North's banking system helped them raise money, they had a larger and more efficient railroad network, and they had more ships than the South. One of their biggest advantages was their underestimated leader. The North's president was Abraham Lincoln, whose dedication and intelligence led the North to victory. The Union generals were William Tecumseh Sherman and George McClellan - the latter had promptly been replaced with General Ambrose Burnside due to his hesitance, which had caused in the North's failure. Commander Ulysses S. Grant's victories had secured the lower Tennessee River, as well as help the invasion of several Southern states. David Farragut, the commander of the North's naval forces, had captured the South's largest city, New Orleans, Lousiana.



the North

The North had a plan to win the war. The plan consisted of three main strategies. Firstly, they planned to gain control of the Mississippi River, which was the South's main supply line. Taking over the Mississippi River would also divide the Confederacy, or the South. Secondly, they would close off Southern ports in order to cut off the South's supplies. Since the ports are the South's way to export cotton, blockading Southern ports would prevent them from earning money. The third and last part of the plan was to take control of the Confederacy's capital, which was Richmond, Virginia.

(The North, or the Union, used the United States flag we see today as their representing flag.)

(alphabetical order)


California, Connecticut, Delaware (border state), Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky (border state), Maine, Maryland (border state), Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri (border state), Minnesota, Nevada, 

New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island,

Vermont, West Virginia (broke away from Virginia and joined the Union in 1863), 


List of Union States:

the South

The South referred to the Southern states that had seceded from the Union. The South was commonly known as "the Confederacy", and its soldiers were either called "Confederate soldiers" or "Rebels". Confederate soldiers wore gray uniforms, since that was their representing color. The South's main goal was to be recognized as an independent nation. The Southern states valued their independence, and so as an independent nation, they could preserve their way of life - that included slavery, of course. Slavery was their way to make money - slaves helped them harvest cotton from their plantations and do the hard work. Their plan was to go on the defensive and defend its territory and hold on to as much of their land as possible until the North surrendered. They had thought that Britain and France would pressure the North into ending the war to restore their cotton supplies. However, as the war continued, they had changed to offensive, moving their armies northward to threaten the North. The Confederate president was Jefferson Davis, who was a military academy graduate and an experienced soldier. Davis oversaw the Southern effort. Robert E. Lee, who graduated from the same academy, was a Confederate general that had prevented the North from capturing their capital, Richmond, Virginia. Another Confederate general was General Thomas Jackson, who won many battles for the Confederacy.

(The flag shown in the image to the left is the Confederacy's national flag. This flag was actually the second national flag they had adopted, but the first flag is less known.)

The South had many advantages. One primary advantage was that they were fighting on familiar land, and did not have to adapt to a new territory, since they were defending their own territory. Since they were defending their land, their homes, and their way of life, their motivation was strong and their spirits were high. Their military was strong as well. It was a subtle tradition to be trained in military service for Southern families, and so the Confederate army had many adept volunteers. However, the South had to face some distinct disadvantages. Since their population consisted of many slaves, they had a smaller population of free men to build an army with. Also, the South focused on agriculture, so they had very few factories to manufacture supplies. They did not have many railroad tracks or trains, and they did not produce as much food as the North did. Naturally, because of those disadvantages, the Confederacy  had trouble delivering food and supplies to its troops.

List of Confederate states:

(chronological order based on date of secession)


South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, and Kentucky

Secession and Causes of the Civil War


The secession of the Southern states had led to the Civil War. Many things had caused the North's unhappiness with the South and the South's secession.


The main cause was slavery. The South supported slavery, because they needed enslaved workers to work their large plantations. However, the North dispapproved of it, finding it immoral and unfair. Disturbances in the balance of free states and slave sttaes often upset both the North and the South.


Events that led up to the Civil War - such as the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Bleeding Kansas, the raid on Harpers Ferry, and the election of Lincoln as president - will be further explained in the "Road to the Civil War" slides presentation.


The picture below has a hyperlink, which will take you to the presentation of you click on the image.

Battle of Fort Sumter

The Battle of Fort Sumter was the beginning point of the Civil War. Fort Sumter was a United States fort on an island guarding Charleston Harbor in South Carolina, and was under the command of Major Robert Anderson. A day after his inauguration, President Abraham Lincoln had received a warning message from Anderson. The message had informed Lincoln that the fort was low on supplies and that the Confederates demanded for its surrender.


In response, Lincoln sent unarmed supplies to the fort, and notified the Confederates that Union forces would not fire at them unless they were fired upon. In this way, he had left the decision of fighting to the Confederacy. This was because Lincoln did not want to start a war unless necessary, and so he had left the fate of Fort Sumter to the opposing side. The Confederacy's president, Jefferson Davis, had chosen to attack Fort Sumter before the supplies could arrive on the morning of April 12, 1861. Not only was Fort Sumter low on supplies, stormy seas prevented back-up naval forces to reach the fort.


There were only 85 Union soldiers, who were overpowered by the 500 Confederate soldiers. The fort had lasted for an astounding 33 hours before Anderson was forced to surrender on April 14, 1861. Miraculously, no lives were lost during this battle. The Confederates had hoisted their flag over the fort in triumph. They had successfuly captured Fort Sumter.

"What a change now greets us! The Government is aroused, the dead North alive, and its people united. The cry now is for war, vigorous war, war to the bitter end, and war till the traitors are effectually and permanently put down."


- Frederick Douglass, May 1861

(The image above shows the Confederate flag over Fort Sumter after the Union's surrender.)

(The image above shows the Confederate soldiers firing their cannons at Fort Sumter.)

(The image above shows Fort Sumter under attack.)

The First Battle of Bull Run was the first major battle of the Civil War. It is also known as the Battle of First Manassas. The battle was fought on Sunday, July 21, 1861. It took place in northern Virginia, near a small river in the town of Manassas, Bull Run, which was where the battle's name was derived from. 


A few thousand - thirty-five thousand, to be exact - inexperienced Union troops, who were led by General Irvin McDowell, had striked against a lesser, equally-inexperienced Confederate army that consisted of only twenty-two thousand soldiers. Initially, the odds were in the Union's favor, and the Confederates were being driven back. However, reinforcements under the command of Confederate General Thomas Jackson had arrived. The Confederates' numbers had risen to a total of approximately thirty-four thousand. Feeling inspired and motivated by the support, the Confederates charged forward with a "strange, unearthly scream" that later became known as the Rebel yell. Jackson had fought admirably and unbudgingly, like a stone wall, which gave him the nickname "Stonewall" Jackson. Driven by unconcealed terror, the Union soldiers dropped their weapons and retreated quickly. It was a disorderly, wild retreat, like a stampede of rampaging bulls. 


The First Battle of Bull Run was a bloody battle. 460 Union soldiers and 387 Confederate soldiers were killed, 1,124 Union soldiers and 1,582 Confederate soldiers were wounded, and 1,312 Union soldiers and 13 Confederate soldiers were missing. The data supports the fact that the North was burdened with more losses than the South at the end of the battle.

First Battle of Bull Run

"Once you get them running, you stay right on top of them, and that way a small force can defeat a large one every time. Only thus can a weaker country cope with a stronger; it must make up in activity what it lacks in strength."


- General Thomas Jackson, July 1861

(The image above shows the Union's forces being defeated by the Confederates in the First Battle of Bull Run.)

" As we gained the cover of the woods the stampede became even more frightful, for the baggage wagons and ambulances became entangled with the artillery and rendered the scene even more dreadful than the battle."


- Corporal Samuel J. English, July 1861

(The image on the left shows General "Stonewall" Jackson)

Battle of Fort Donelson

The Battle of Fort Donelson was fought in order to gain control of the Mississippi River and Tennessee River. Gaining control of those rivers was one of the North's priorities, because it would split the Confederacy and prevent the South from transporting their goods and supplies. The battle was fought on February 16, 1862, near the Cumberland River that was a few miles from the Tennessee-Kentucky border


The Union commander of the Union troops in the battle was Ulysses S. Grant. The battle had occurred ten days after Grant's capture of Fort Henry. At first, the Confederates were doing well. However, the Confederate commander, Gideon Pillow, had chosen to retreat into their fort instead of escaping the fort, thinking that they have already won. Grant, seeing an opportunity, quickly surrounded the entire fort with his 25,000 soldiers, effectively trapping Pillow and his 17,000 soldiers within the fort. Realizing he was trapped, Pillow inquired Grant for his terms. Grant had replied:


"No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. "


Grant's reply became infamous, and he had earned the nickname "Unconditional Surrender" Grant. President Abraham Lincoln had even promoted him to major general after the battle.


327 Confederate soldiers were killed in the crossfire, while 507 Union soldiers were killed. However, 12,392 Confederate soldiers were either captured or missing, while only 207 Union soldiers were either captured or missing. The loss of Fort Donelson was disastrous for the South. It left Tennessee defenseless, and provided an opening for the Northern force to march into the state. The lower part of Tennessee River was secured after Fort Donelson was successfully captured by the Union.

(The image on the left depicting a soldier holding up a white flag, a sign of Fort Donelson's surrender.)



Battle of Hampton Roads

The Battle of Hampton Roads had started a new era of naval warfare. The battle occurred off the coast of Virginia, on March 9, 1862. It started when President Abraham Lincoln had ordered a naval blockade of Southern ports. The blockade prevented the South from importing weapons and other mandatory supplies, as well as gaining money through importing cotton.


As a solution to this crisis, the South had created the Virginia. The Virginia was an abandoned Union warship Southerners had salvaged from the naval shipyard they had seized in Norfolk, Virginia. The ship, originally called the Merrimack, was renamed and rebuilt. They covered the ship with thick, iron plates and called it an ironclad. On March 8, 1862, the Southerners sent the Virginia to attack a group of Union ships, who could not damage the ironclad despite their efforts. In response, the North sent their own ironclad, the Monitor, to challenge the Southern warship. The Monitor was commanded by John L. Worden, and had 1,400 Union soldiers on board. The Virginia was commanded by Franklin Buchanan, and had a smaller amount of 188 Confederate soldiers on board. The next day, on March 9, fires were exchanged between the two ships, but neither ship could defeat the other. It was a stalemate.


The North, however, managed to keep the Southern ship in the harbor, so it could not be a threat to their naval forces again. Those ships were copied and both sides began using ironclads in their naval forces, seeing their sturdiness and their resilience to damage. 261 Union soldiers were killed in the battle, while only 7 Confederate soldiers were killed. The total amount of casualties from boths dies was 393. The Battle of Hampton Roads, although neither side could say that they had won, was still significant in the fact that it was the first battle between two metal-covered ships. 

(The image on the right shows the Union ironcald, the Monitor, who was on equal standing to the Virginia.)

(The image on the left shows the Virginia wreaking havoc upon a wooden Union ship, who could not defend itself from the fearsome ironclad.)

Battle of Shiloh 

The Battle of Shiloh began on April 6, 1862 and ended on April 7, 1862. The battle occurred near Corinth, a major Southern railroad center in Mississippi.


General Ulysses S. Grant brought 66,000 Union soldiers to camp 20 miles away from Corinth. They were waiting for another Union army headed by General Don Carlos Buell to join them, near a church named Shiloh, which was where the name of the battle derived from. 


In the morning of April 6, General Albert Sidney Johnston and his 44,700 Confederate soldiers had launched a surprise attack on the Union forces before Buell's forces could arrive. The Confederates drove Grant and his men back to the Tennessee River, where the Union soldiers were forced to create a defensive battle line in an area named "The Hornet's Nest". The Hornet's Nest held off the Confederates long enough for reinforcements of 25,000 Union soldiers from Buell to come the next day. Meanwhile, Johnston was mortally injured in the leg and was promptly replaced with Confederate General Pierre G.T. Beauregard. Beauregard had ordered a counterattack against the Union troops, but the Confederates were greatly outnumbered by the addition of Buell's forces to Grant's men. Defeatedly, Beauregard and his Confederate soldiers retreated to Corinth.


Although the Union had narrowly won the battle, they suffered 13,000 casualties. The Confederates also had many casualties, approximately 10,700, inluding General Johnston, who had died of blood loss. Johnston's death impacted the South greatly, as he was considered the best general in the country by Confederate president, Jefferson Davis, until the appearance of a later general who rose to prominence. After the battle, the Union gained control of Corinth on May 30, and Memphis, Tennessee seven days after that. The Union's capture of Corinth was a major part in controlling the Mississippi River.

(The image above depicts the Union soldiers in a strong position in the hills, while the Confederates are attempting, but failing, to breech the entrenchment.)


Second Battle of Bull Run

The Second Battle of Bull Run began on August 28, 1862 and ended on August 30, 1862. Like the First Battle of Bull Run, it was fought near the town of Manassas, Virginia, which is why it is also known as the Battle of Second Manassas. 


A couple of months prior to the battle, Union General George B. McClellan - the commander of the Army of the Potomac- was tasked with capturing Richmond, the Confederate capital. Although he had been training his soldiers to be an effective fighting force, McClellan was hesitant to fight and worried that his soldiers were simply not ready to take on the Rebel forces, whose size was overestimated in reports. Even when the army was finally ready to fight, McClellan was overly cautious and let many opportunities to attack slip away, even when President Lincoln had urged him to act. His delays allowed the Confederates to prepare to defend Richmond. When the two forces had finally clashed (which is known as the Seven Days' Battles), Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his cavalry leader, James E.B. Stuart, had drove the 100,000 Union soldiers back. The Union had failed to capture Richmond.



However, the Union forces were not completely defeated - their army was larger than Lee's and was still only 25 miles from Richmond. As reinforcement, President Lincoln ordered McClellan to move his army to northern Virginia to join Major General John Pope's troops. Lee, however, had already anticipated this, and ordered General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson to attack Pope's supply base in Manassas in order to weaken Pope's army on August 27, 1862.  Then, Jackson was to attack Pope and his men before McClellan's troops could arrive to support them. On August 29, 1862, the Union forces and the Confederate forces clashed. Initially, the Union forces had drove them back due to their larger number. However, Jackson's 24,000 soldiers were then joined by Confederate General James Longstreet's 12,000 soldiers, boosting their numbers. The Confederate forces were no longer extremely outnumbered. Both sides fought equally savagely and fiercely, but the battle had ended in a Confederate victory.


On the Union's side, there were 14,500 casualties. On the Confederate's side, there was a smaller number of 9,500 casualties. As a result of the Second Battle of Bull Run, Richmond was no longer threatened. Instead, it was the Union's capital, Washington D.C., that was now threatened, for Lee and his soldiers were only 20 miles from the city because of the Confederates' victory.



(The image to the left depicts the Confederate's victory in the Second Battle of Bull Run.)

Battle of Antietam

The Battle of Antietam is one of the most important battles in the Civil War. It was fought on September 17, 1862. The battle took place near Sharpsburg, Maryland, along the Antietam Creek.


It had started when the Confederate President Jefferson Davis had given orders to Confederate General Robert E. Lee to invade Maryland, aiming for Washington D.C., the Union capital. Starting in the September of 1862, Union General George McClellan and 80,000 Union troops slowly pursued Lee's advancing army. On September 13, 1862, the Union had gotten a stroke of luck. Two Union soldiers had miraculously found a copy of Lee's orders and plans wrapped around three cigars in a field near Frederick, Maryland. It is most likely that a Southern officer had dropped it accidentally. According to Lee's plans, he had divided his army and placed them in different places. Now that McClellan knew what Lee's plans are, he had an opportunity to attack the Confederate forces when they were dispersed and isolated from each other.



(The image above is a scene from the battle, when the Confederates start to retreat.)

However, McClellan was - once again - overly cautious, and waited for four days before attacking Lee's army. The opportunity to catch Lee in his moment of weakness had passed, as Lee had already been able to gather most of his troops together in the four days McClellan had put off any action. McClellan's 71, 500 men and Lee's 38,000 men clashed on September 17, 1862. At first, the Union had the upper hand. Union General Joseph Hooker led the troops that had assaulted Lee's left flank, while Union General Ambrose Burnside was in charge of the attack on Lee's right flank. Then, Confederate General Ambrose P. Hill had launched a surprise attack, driving back Burnside and his Union soldiers. After the surprise attack, the two forces fought each other to a standstill. Lee withdrew his army back to Virginia.


The battle was technically deemed inconclusive. However, by military terms, the Union had won the battle since Lee had retreated first. If McClellan had used all of his army instead of less than three-fourths, the Union would have most likely won the battle. Even when President Lincoln had ordered McClellan to pursue the retreating Confederate troops, he chose not to listen. As a result, President Lincoln replaced him with General Amrbose Burnside. This battle was a crucial victory for the Union, because the British government had been ready to recogize the Confederacy as an independent nation if Lee's invasion had been sucessful. The Battle of Antietam was the bloodiest battle of the entire Civil War. The Union had lost 2,100 soldiers, while the Confederacy had lost 1,550 soldiers. The total number of casualties from both sides was 22, 720. 

Battle of Fredericksburg

The Battle of Fredericksburg took place in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on December 13, 1862. It is known as one of the most one-sided battles in the Civil War.


Union General Ambrose Burnside brought 114,000 soldiers to cross the Rappahannock River. After crossing the river, Burnside commanded his army to make a two-pronged attack on both the left and right flanks of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's army. However, the 72,500 Confederate soldiers were set up in a strong position on a couple of hills south of Fredericksburg. Burnside did not succeed. Even after numerous attacks, the Confederates defended their city well, and did not let the Union forces succeed. During this process of hopelessly repetitive attacks, the Confederates had killed many of Burnside's men. Thousands of Union soldiers had died on those hillsides, particularly on a hill called Marye's Height. The Confederacy won the battle.


The Union's casualties were twice that of the Confederacy's. 1,284 Union men had been killed in the battle, while the Confederates had only lost 608 men. 9,600 Union men had been wounded, and the Confederates had a total of 4,116 wounded men. 1,769 Union men were captured, while only 653 Confederates were captured. Devastated by his failure, Burnside resigned his command and was replaced by General Joseph Hooker. The Battle of Fredericksburg had caused the Union's morale to plummet, while the Confederacy's had risen.

"The atmosphere seemed surcharged with the most startling and frightful things. Death, wounds, and appalling destruction everywhere."

- Union officer, Frederick L. Hitchcock

(The image above shows an mortally wounded soldier being tended to by his friend, although it is pointless since he is dying anyway. The soldier is only one of a thousand deaths in the Union force.)

(The image above shows the Confederates, who were entrenched on the hills and were firing at the Union soldiers.)

Battle of Chancelorsville

The Battle of Chancelorsville was fought from April 30, 1863 to May 6, 1863. It took place in a forest near the village of Chancellorsville in Virginia.


It began when Union General Joseph Hooker, who had replaced Ambrose Burnside, had advanced toward the Condeferate army, which was led by Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Hooker had formulated a plan. He would place two-thirds of his army in Fredericksburg, feigning a frontal attack to keep the Confederates focused on the Union soldiers over there. The rest of his army would cross the Rappahannock River, an would move behind Lee's army. Not only was the plan very well made, Hooker also had the advantage of the larger army, which amounted to 115,000 men. Lee had only 57,000 soldiers.


However, Lee boldly divided his army, leaving 10,000 troops in Fredericksburg to handle the Union army there, and the rest would be used to fight against Hooker's force. On May 1, they clashed in the tangled forest on the outskirts of Chancelorsville. Hooker had surprisingly went on the defensive, despite having the larger army. Daringly, Lee split the army that was in the forest, and sent Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson further west around the right flank of the Union army. The attack had crushed the army, and forced Hooker to retreat to Washington, D.C. The Confederates were victorious, and the battle is regarded as Lee's greatest victory.


Despite the Confederate's victory, Lee's army had heavy casualities. The Confederacy had a total of 13,460 casualties. The Union's was even worse - they had a total of 17,304 casualties. During the battle, General Jackson had died on May 2, 1863. He and his troop had been mistaken for a Union cavalry force by their fellow Confederates, and were fired upon. Jackson was hit with three bullets, and his left arm had to be amputated. He died a week later due to heavy blood loss, as well as pneumonia. Both sides received heavy losses, and although the Confederacy had won, the cost was the death of a great general.

(The image to the left depicts the Confederates charging towad the Union army, through the thick, tangled forest on the outskirts of Chancellorsville.)

Assault on Vicksburg

Vicksburg was a fortress city in Mississippi that stood on a steep cliff over the Mississippi River. It was the last major Confederate stronghold on the river, and seizing the town would finally give the Union control of the river. 


On May 25, 1863, General Ulysses S. Grant and his 77,000 Union soldiers had begun a series of assaults on the city. However, the 33,000 Confederate soldiers under Confederate General John C. Pemberton defended the city well, and the assaults had failed. Grant then had turned to a new tactic: a siege. He ordered his men to surround the city, cutting off any way for them to escape or even at least receive any essential supplies. After withstanding the siege for forty days without any reinforcement or much supplies, Vicksburg was forced to surrender on July 4, 1863.


Peculiarly, during the siege, there was a temporary truce between the Union troops and the Confederate troops. The dead and the wounded of Grant's army were out in the heat of the summer. The foul odor of deceased men and horses filled the air, and the injured required water and medical attention. Pemberton, seeing this, called for a truce. Grant denied the truce, not wanting to accept it for fear of showing weakness, but relented after realizing the dire conditions of his army. The Confederates held their fire as the Union soldiers recovered their dead and wounded. Soldiers from both sides had disregarded their prior hostilities, and had pleasant conversations with one another. However, the soldiers had to resume fighting after the truce had ended, unfortunately. The Union had then captured Vicksburg successfully.


10,412 Union soldiers and 9,091 Confederate soldiers were killed. After the surrender of Vicksburg, the Union now had full control of the entire Mississippi River. Texas, Lousiana, and Arkansas were cut off from the rest of the Confederate states as a result of the Union's success.



(The image above shows the Union army defeating the Confederates.)

(The image below shows the Union soldiers tending the wounded and talking with the Confederate soldiers during the temporary truce.)

Battle of Gettysburg

The Battle of Gettysburg had began on July 1, 1863 and ended on July 3, 1863. It took place near the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The battle is considered one of the most important engagements in the Civil War. 


Despite the heavy losses from the previous battle, Confederate General Robert E. Lee marched on with an army of 75,000 men, hoping that a victory on Northern soil might persuade other countries to support the Confederacy. Lee was also hoping that the Northerner's appetite for war would lessen when the Confederacy gains more victories. President Lincoln had ordered Union General Joseph Hooker to attack Lee's army, but Hooker had wanted to advance towards Richmond and so he did not strike Lee's force. Lincoln had then promptly replaced him with Union General George Meade, whose mission was to located and attack Lee's army in order to protect Washington D.C. and Baltimore from any Confederate attacks.


On July 1, 1863, Meade's forces and Lee's forces fought 35 miles southwest a crossroads town called Gettysburg. A Confederate division led by Confederate General Ambrose P. Hill had approached Gettysburg to look for supplies, when they had found two Union corps that had arrived the previous day. Luckily, Confederate forces under the command of Confederate General Richard Ewell, who replaced General "Stonewall" Jackson, were heading towards Gettysburg. They outnumbered the Union forces and drove them back to Cemetery Ridges, a line of hills south of Gettysburg. Although Lee had ordered Ewell to attack the Union forces, Ewell had considered the Union soldiers to be in a position too strong to breech, and so he neglected to follow Lee's orders.

By the second day, Meade had time to send Union corps under the command of Union General Daniel Sickles to support the Union forces at Gettysburg. The Union army now had 85,300 soldiers. Lee had commanded Confederate General James Longstreet to attack the left flank of the Union army, while Ewell would attack the right flank. However, the Union counterattacked and held their position on their hills, although Sickles was seriously injured. On the third day, Lee was determined to destroy the Union army, and believed that his men were close to victory. He ordered the final attack on the Union army, led by Confederate General George Pickett. Known as "Pickett's Charge", 14,000 Confederate soldiers marched across half a mile of open ground toward the Union force in the hills. They were easy targets for the Yankees, and were shot down easily. Many Confederates had died in the battle, and the Union claimed its victory.


The Confederacy suffered heavy casualties. On the Confederate side, there were 28,000 casualties. On the Union side, there were 23,000 casualties. The battle had turned the tables, this time with the Union in favor.


(The image to the left is a picture of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.)

Surrender at Appomatox 

On April 9, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his 28,000 Confederate troops had surrenedered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant in Appomatox Court House, Virginia.


At first, Lee had been attempting to escape Richmond with the remnants of his army. The army had been roaming the Virginian countryside, stripped of food, supplies, and weapons. He had planned to meet up with other Confederate forces in North Carolina and continue fighting. However, the Union forces outran them, and blocked his retreat. Lee and his army were effectively trapped. Knowing that it was pointless in trying to escape, he agreed to surrender.


General Lee, who had worn full dress attire with a sash and a sword, had surrendered to General Grant, who had worn his muddy military uniform, in the front parlor of Wilmer McLean's home in Appomatox. McLean was a retired Confederate war veteran, and his home was used as Confederate headquarters in the beginning of the Civil War. McLean's house was actually the starting place of the first battle of the Civil War, the First Battle of Bull Run. As McLean stated,"The war began in my front yard and ended in my front parlor." It seemed fitting that the war ended where it all started.


As for Grant's terms, he was very generous and merciful about them. After dropping their weapons, the Confederate soldiers were pardoned and would be sent home with their private property. No one would be imprisoned or prosecuted for treason, fortunately. They were even allows to keep their horses, which wold be useful for the upcoming winter. The starving Confederate men would also be given Union rations. Grant's men had began to cheer and celebrate, but Grant would not allow it. He explained:


"The Rebels are our countrymen again, and we do not want to exult over their downfall."

and Terms of Surrender

(The image shows General Lee surrendering to General Grant in the front parlor of McLean's home in Appomatox Court House, Virginia. Lee sits at the marble table while Grant sits at the wooden table.)

Ulysses S. Grant was a major Union general during the Civil War . He had worked closely with President Abraham Lincoln while leading the Union army to victory over the Confederacy in the war. He had earned the nickname "Unconditional Surrender" Grant at the Battle of Fort Donelson. Grant also became the 18th president of the United States after the war was over.


(Scroll down to learn more about Grant's life before the Civil War.)


Grant was born on April 27, 1822 as Hiram Ulysses Grant in the small town of Point Pleasant, Ohio. However, he moved to Georgetown, Ohio a year after his birth. Grant was rather shy, humble, and reserved, taking after his mother, Hannah Grant, instead of his outgoing father, Jesse Grant. In 1839, a Congressman had nominated Grant to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. The Congressman had mistakenly wrote down the name "Ulysses S. Grant", and Grant had adopted the name rather than trying to change it. At West Point, he earned average grades and did stand out from the crowd, although he did excel in mathematics and horsemanship. Graduating from the academy in 1843, he decided to resign from the military after his mandatory four years were over. He became engaged to Julia Dent, the sister of Grant's friend in the academy, but had to serve in the war with Mexico before he could marry her. When the couple did marry and have two children, Grant was assigned to many posts, and missed his wife and his two children - one of which he had not been able to see. As a result, he started to have a drinking problem, which forced him to resign from the military. He had attempted to be successful in farming and business, but that had failed as well.



Ulysses S. Grant 

"Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means for peace."


-General Ulysses S. Grant, excerpt from his speech in London

(The image above is an image of Ulysses S. Grant during his middle ages.)

When the Civil War started, Grant volunteered his services to the Union army. He had been underestimated by many, due to his unextraordinary grades and seemingly dull abilities. Most of the Union generals, including General George McClellan, had looked down upon him because of his past drinking problem. During the beginning of the war, Grant was given the job of recruiting and training new volunteers. Dissatisfied with his position and wanting to contribute more to the war, he persisted on and stubbornly made his way up to the position of a general. From there, he began to win many battles. Grant was truly an exceptional general. His abilities to strategize and make decisions had won him many battles, as well as his dogged persistence. Grant became famous after the battle of Fort Donelson, in which his army had won. Grant had also defeated the Confederate army in the Battle of Shiloh, distinguishing himself from the other generals. His victory at Vicksburg skyrocketed his fame. Grant's victories had helped secure the Union hold on the lower Tennessee River, as well as open a path for Union troops to march into Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama. Lincoln was so impressed with Grant's abilities as a general that he named him Commander of all the Union armies. Grant had devised a plan to defeat the Confederacy. Although many Union men had died in the process, Grant had succeeded in crushing the Confederate army. The Commander of the Confederate armies, Robert E. Lee, had surrendered to him. 


Grant had spent his final days writing his memoirs. His friend, Mark Twain, had offered to publish the memoirs with a 75 percent royalty to Grant. Grant accepted, because after his term of presidency, he had gone bankrupt during his time as a civilian. The memoirs, published under the name The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, had become a huge success and earned his family the money they needed. On the morning of July 23, 1885, Grant had died at age 63. He is remembered as a legend and a national hero.

"Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees."


- Stonewall Jackson's last words

Stonewall Jackson

Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson was one of the best Confederate generals of the Civil War. He was a brilliant tactical commander, and was meticulous about discipline. Confederate General Robert E. Lee had trusted greatly, and Jackson understood his commands and his unstated goals. He was secretive about his plans so spies could not find what he planned to do. He had also won many battles. Jackson had earned the nickname "Stonewall" Jackson in the First Battle of Bull Run.


(Scroll down to learn more about Jackson's life before the Civil War.)


Jackson was born as Thomas Jonathan Jackson on January 21, 1824, in Clarksburg, Virginia. As an infant, his father and his sister had died of typhoid fever, and the family spiraled into financial debt. His mother, Julia Jackson, then remarried to Blake Woodson, whom Jackson did not get along with. Seeing that they had bad relations, Jackson was sent to live his relatives in Jackson Mill. In 1831, Julia had died due to complications during childbirth, and so he spent the rest of his childhood in the mill with his uncles. In 1842, Jackson enrolled into the United States Military Academy in West Point. Although he was older than most of his classmates, he struggled academically. His peers often made fun of him because of this, and also because of his poor family. This made him determined to succeed, wanting to prove his worth. Just after he graduated from West Point in 1846, he volunteered to participate in the war with Mexico. He proved himself in the war with his bravery and resilience, remembered as a war hero. After the war ended, he became a VMI (Virginia Military Institute) professor of artillery tactics, atlhough he did occasionally teach other subjects. As a professor, he was cold and had strange quirks due to hypochondria, which made him unpopular among his students. Nevertheless, his teaching methods were effective and his students were successful. During his time as a civilian professor, he had married Elinor Junkin. A year later, Junkin unfortunately had died after giving birth to a stillborn son. Three years afterward, he remarried to Mary Anna Morrison and had a daughter with her. However, his daughter had died a month after her birth. His second daughter with Morrison did not have the same fate, and she was named Julia after his mother.

(The image above is a portrait of General Stonewall Jackson.)

Between 180 and 1861, many Southern states had seceded. Jackson did not want his home state, Virginia, to secede from the Union. However, when Virginia did secede, Jackson decided to side with his state rather than the country.


During the Civil War, Jackson had contributed greatly to the Confederate victories. The first battle of the Civil War, First Battle of Bull Run, was won because of Jackson. Jackson, like his namesake, had defended against the enemy like a stone wall. He had also won the Second Battle of Bull Run, which removed the Union threat to the Confederate capital, Richmond. Jackson also participated in the Battle of Antietam, the Seven Days' Battle, and the Battle of Fredericksburg, which also prevented the Union from reaching Richmond. Although he had a cold demeanor, he was a humble and caring general in actuality. He disliked fighting on Sundays, and sent letters to his wife whenever he could. Jackson had inspired the Southerners, and gave them hope that the Confederacy just might win the war.


Jackson had been a major part of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's great victory in the Battle of Chancelorsville. He had successfully defeated the right flank of the Union army. On the third day of the battle, he and his troop had been returning from the field, and so his fellow Confederates had mistaken them for Union soldiers. They were fired upon, and three bullets had wounded Jackson. His left arm was amputated as a result. A week later, on May 10, 1863, Jackson had died from blood loss and pneumonia. He is remembered as a humble man who wore a muddy uniform and yet achieved great things that contradicted his dull appearance.

Life During the Civil War


(The image on the right shows Clara Barton, a famous nurse, tending to two Union soldiers.)


With the men of the household fighting the war, it was up to the women to earn money for the family, whether if it's by managing the farm or getting jobs. Women had to work twice as hard - they had to fill the role of a man as well as continue doing the daily work of a woman. Southern women had to work the fields, while Northern women took up jobs like shopkeeping, teaching, and office work.


Many women decided to help the soldiers. They would make room in their homes to house wounded soldiers. Women would roll bandages, weave blankets, and make ammunition. They would also collect food, clothing, and medicine to distribute among the soldiers. Thousands of women had also served as murses, although it was disapproved of. Initially, men had thought that nursing was man's work, that women were too delicate for the job, and that it was improper for women to tend to unknown men. However, most of the women were strong-willed and ignored the protests, continuing a profession that would later be common among women. Many women, such as Dorothea Dix, Clara Barton, and Sally Tompkins, became famous for their medicinal work with soldiers. Nursing was hard work, and it inspired other women to see other strong women. While nursing, women would often see gory sights, and some horrors would scar them permanently, which was why they seemed so strong in others' eyes.


Some women worked as spies. Rose O'Neal Greenhow was one of the most important spies of the South. She had many connections, and became friends with many Union leaders. By establishing so many social connections, she gained much information about the Union, which she passed to the South. Pauline Cushman, a New Orleans actress, used her talents to get information from Confederate officials, which she relayed to the Union generals. Some women, approximately 400 women in total, even dressed as men and secretly fought in the war. Jennie Hodgers had taken the name of Albert Cashier and fought in dozens of battles, before being found as a woman in a soldier's home. 


(The image on the right shows Jimmy Doyle, a Union drummer boy.)


Most children went to school as usual. Their textbooks, however, focused more on patriotism of their side. This was to encourage children to support their side and stay loyal to it. This method of encouragement seemed to work, since 40,000 Union boys and 20,000 Confederate boys joined the army as either drummer boys or bugle boys. Young boys in the army would help gather wood and water, and would tend to the horses.


One drummer boy named John Clem became famous for his bravery. He was around nine years old when he attempted to join the Union army. He had been turned down many times until finally his persistence won over the Union officers, and he becam their mascot and drummer boy. He had even participated in the Battle of Chickamauga, where he shot a Confederate colonel with his sawed-down musket.


The children that didn't participate in the war helped earn money for the army. Northern children would help sew clothing and weave blankets, as well as prepare food rations for the soldiers. They also sold cakes, pies, jams, and other homemade foods to raise money for the army's medical supplies and food supplies. Southern children would raise money by holding music concerts and fairs. They would also sell handmade clothing and homemade cakes and jellies. Southern children would then donate their profits to Confederate hospitals or used them to buy supplies for Confederate soldiers.


(The image on the right shows a troop of African American soldiers.)


On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all the slaves in the South, although there were some restrictions. On December 6, 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified. THe Thirteenth Amendment truly freed enslaved African Americans.


One sixth of the African American slave population had fled from their owners in the Southern states to the free Northern states. Some stayed behind in the South, either because they were loyal to their master or they were forced to stay.


Some of the escaped slaves got low-paying jobs in the North, and made a small, yet stasfactory, living. Most of them, however, were quick to volunteer their services to the Union army. At first, African Americans were not permitted to join the army, but that later changed. A total of approximately 179,000 African Americans had joined the Union army, which was 10 percent of the army, and 20,000 had joined the Union navy. At first, their pay was less than a white soldier's, but Congress later passed a bill that decreed equal pay among all soldiers. Captured black soldiers suffered much harsher treatment than white captured soldiers, and even in the Union army, they were segregated and discriminated against. Despite that, they continued to fight for the Union, disregarding the prejudice if it meant that they would gain their freedom. 37,000 African American soldiers had died in the Civil War.


The South did not use African Americans as soldiers, bcause they would be given weapons. They feared the possibility of a slave rebellion, so they refused to arm African Americans. However, near the end of the war, the Confederate army became desperate enough to agree to free any African Americans that served in the war. The war ended before the Confederacy could start enlisting African Americans, though.


In both the Union army and the Confederate army, African Americans helped by becoming nurses, cooks, or blacksmiths. Some African Americans even became spies for the North. Harriet Tubman often spied behind Confederate lines and received valuable information on Confederate plans and intel, which she relayed to the North. 


(The image on the right shows a Union medical camp filled with wounded soldiers.)


The life of a soldier was, in actuality, rather dull when not in combat. Most of a soldier's time in war revolved around monotonous routines, drills, and marches. Soldiers would sing spirituals, tell stories, play with cards, and write letters home to pass the time. They even gambled, since they didn't have much to lose, after all. Soldiers lived in camps and slept in tents, since they don't have have the luxury of living an actual house. Tents don't provide much shelter from the cold, and soldiers only had a thin, wool blanket to keep warm. Soldiers lived in poor sanitary conditions, and could not shower as often. As a result, they often suffered from illnesses and diseases.


Two-thirds of the soldiers in the war had died due to diseases. Pneumonia, smallpox, malaria, typhoid fever, smallpox, measles, and tuberculosis were among the most common diseases that took many lives. Not only were they prone to disease, they were also susceptible to starvation. Soldiers usually ate hard bread, salted meat, and occasionally coffee. They had to forage around for fresh fruits and vegetables. Food shortages were common, especially in the South since their ports were blocked by the North. That resulted in many soldiers dying from starvation and deficiency of nutrients.


The life of a soldier is also tragic and rough. Most of the soldiers that didn't die from starvation or disease died in battle. The wounded would have to wait for over 24 hours to receive medical treatment, in many cases, due to the overwhelming number of casualties. Severely broken or wounded limbs would be amputated, because surgery was too time-consuming for war. Anesthesia wasn't available, so soldiers would be handed a glass of whiskey and a bullet to bite down on. Soldiers often lost their friends and fellow comrades, and saw death on the battlefield, either by their own hands or others' hands. Some soldiers had to fight their friends. It drained many mentally. Many had deserted the army in horror. 1 of every 11 Union soldiers and 1 of 8 Confederate soldiers ran away.


The Civil War was the most devastating war in American history. Of the 3.5 million men that fought in the war, approximately 633,000 men in total had died, making it the bloodiest conflict the United States has ever experienced. 337,000 soldiers had died due to disease, 206,000 soldiers died in battle, and 90,000 soldiers died as prisoners. The war also caused a lot of physical destruction and property damage, with most of it being in the South since most of the war took place there. As a result, the South's economy was left in a state of ruin. Many Southerners lost their plantations and their crops, which was their source of money. Many homes were destroyed as well, which left many Americans homeless.



Results of the Civil War

(The image above is a depiction of President Lincoln's final moments, with his mourning wife at his bedside and acquaintances crowded around him.)


During the war, women had to fill in the roles of the men that had left to fight in the war. After the war, they continued to work and became more involved in the country's economy and society. Women began to take jobs, and many became cooks, teachers, nurses, or seamstresses. Some women even took up jobs that were previously done by men, like factory work and working in the fields.



Since the North had won the war, the Confederacy was no longer. The Southern states were technically part of the Union again, and the nation was unified once more. However, no one knew how to formally bring the Southern states into the Union. The war also left bitter feelings among the Southerners that lasted for many generations. Proof of the bitterness Southerners harbored towards the North was the assasination of President Abraham Lincoln. On April 14, 1865, Lincoln and his wife had attended a play in Washington D.C., watching the performance from a private box. John Wilkes Booth, a pro-Confederate stage actor, had entered the box and shot Lincoln in the head. Lincoln had died of his wound a few hours later, and Booth was shot to death after being cornered in a barn. 



Advances in medicine, military weapons, and technology were the result of the years of war. Medical treatment had improved, and safer surgical techniques were developed. Ambulances and nurse corps were organized as well. Many military weapons were invented, such as machine guns, ironclad ships, repeating rifles, cartridge ammunition, minié ball bullets, submarines, hot-air balloons, and land mines. New technology had also been created, such as canned food, battlefield photography, and improved railroads. 15,000 miles of telegraph lines that reached the west coast had also been made.

(The image below is a photograph of the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg.)


One of the most important changes that resulted from the Civil War was the abolishment of slavery throughout the entire nation. On December 6, 1865, Congress passed the Thirteenth Amendment, which was ratified by the Union states. The Thirteenth Amendment emancipated all enslaved African Americans in the United States. Southerners no longer had slaves to work their plantations - or what's left of the plantation. African Americans began to slowly adjust to their new lives of freedom.



The Reconstruction Era was the aftermath of the Civil War. It was a period of reconstruction and reorganization of the Southern states. During this period, the North was divided - some had wanted the South to be punished, but others, including Lincoln, had thought that punishment would only "delay healing the torn nation". There was also more progress in helping the newly freed African Americans. The Freedmen's Bureau helped African Americans adjust to freedom, and provided food, clothing, and medical services that saved many black lives. Many Southerners were still prejudiced against African Americans. Soon, an group of racist extremists called the Ku Klux Klan had organized together as a result of prejudiced Southerners.

(The image above is a photograph of the ruins of an arsenal in Virginia after the Civil War.)


eighth grade social studies textbook:

The American Journey to World War I