Civil War

By: Noah Flock


The history of the Civil War all started when Abraham Lincoln was elected as president in 1860. He was the first Republican President pledging to keep slavery out of the territories Seven of the states in the deep South succeeded from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America. According to Dr. James McPherson, "Nearly a million men confronted each other along a line of 1200 miles from Virginia and Mississippi"(McPherson 3). After the shots were fired, four more slave states joined the Confederate States of America. The President of the Confederacy was named Jefferson Davis. "The beginning of the fighting started in Fort Sumter in Charleston Bay on April 12, 1861"(McPherson 3). That's when the Confederate Army tried to claim Fort Sumter as their own and this is when war broke out. A few months after the anti-slavery President Abraham Lincoln was elected. According to Dr. McPherson, "After the first war in 1861 at Fort Sumter till the Spring of 1865 the Confederates finally surrendered and the Union captured the fleeing President of Jefferson Davis"(McPherson 6). May 10, 1865 was the start of a long rebuilding process for the United States of America.

The Confederates vs. The Union

The two sides of the Civil War were the Confederates which was known as the South and the Union which was known as the North. The South was made up of 10 states that succeeded from the Union due to slavery concerns. The Union was made up of the other 20 states. "The Union had about 234 million dollars and The Confederates only had about 74 million" (Civil War Facts 1). The Union had a population of about 22 million combined, while the Confederates had only about 9 million combined. "The Union had 2 million people fighting on their side and the Confederates were right around a million" (Civil War Facts 2). The Union had the upper hand because they had more people, bigger industries for the production of guns, and better training for their troops. "The South was outnumbered 2 to 1 and they knew it was gonna be tough to win" (Civil War Facts 3). When fighting took place it happened all over the Country. Sometimes the Union had home field advantages and sometimes it was the South. Something interesting that I found is that some brothers were split up and ended up fighting each other in the war. Brothers were killing each other in the war.


The first battle that took place in the Civil War was the Battle of Fort Sumter where Confederate troops and Union troops met on the sandy beaches of Charleston Bay. The Confederates won the battle. The next important battle was the Battle of Bull Run. Confederate troops were hunkered down in Manassas on a key railroad. According to Kendall J. King, "The Union had 28,400 men at hand and the Confederates had only 21,800 soldiers" (King 2). The Confederate General by the name P.G.T. Beauregard had his troops lined up along the railway and surprised The Union when they came over into Manassas Junction. The Confederates won this battle. Skipping to the Battle of Antietam which was not only the bloodiest day in all of the Civil War, but the bloodiest day in U.S. history. According to Ted Alexander, "On that day the Union soldiers lost 12,400 people and The Confederates lost 10,320 troops" (Alexander 4). After the battle of Antietam Union Soldiers and Confederates met again at Fredericksburg. Fredericksburg had the most soldiers present than any other battle in the Civil War. "Almost 200,000 men took place in this battle" (Yandoh 1). Battle of Shiloh took place next. It was a two day fought war that shocked both the North and South because it had such a high casualty rate than any other war fought so far in the war.

The Battle of Vicksburg was important for the Union to win. It would provide for land and naval campaign which would help out later in the war.The Battle of Chancellorsville was one of the best fought wars by Robert E. Lee turning Union troops back to where they came from. However, it cost Lee one of his best commanders Stonewall Jackson that was shot by his own men that was mistaken for a Union soldier. The next and most important battle of the Civil War is the Battle of Gettysburg. A 3 day battle that cost the lives of many over 52,000 men died from both sides. The Union forces were victorious and sent Robert E. Lee back with only 2/3 of his army left. The Union forces needed to win after Robert E. Lee won the Battle of Chancellorsville and was looking to invade the North. The final Battle of the Civil War took place at the Appomattox Court House on April 9th, 1865. This is when Confederate soldiers were defeated by the Union soldiers. General Robert E. Lee from the South surrendered his troops to that of Ulysses S. Grant of the North. This ended the 4 year long war after hundreds of thousands of men gave their lives for this Country and the Emancipation Proclamation was then signed by Abraham Lincoln.


According to Dr. J. David Hacker, "The Civil War had a death toll of more than 620,000 men from both sides" (Holzer 2). This didn't even include the civilians and the immigrants that found themselves in the war. According to Holzer, "The soldiers from the Union died trying to set the slaves free from the South" (Holzer 9). The Civil War killed more people than any other war. It was fought inside the boundaries of the United States. Due to the close hand to hand combat between sides, the death toll became greater (Holzer 8). Most of the casualties came from the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in the Civil War. Many other casualties were from disease, infection from bullet wounds, and even the lack of food. People today are still trying to figure out the exact number of people who died in the Civil War.

Emancipation Proclamation

The Civil War wasn't just a battle between the North and South, but a battle for the slaves also. The reason why the war started was because of Abraham Lincoln becoming president. He was anti-slavery as it gets. After the war however, he came up with a Proclamation that would change this country forever. It was made up of two executives saying that all Confederate states must release their slaves and rejoin the Union by January 1st 1863. According to Eric Foner and John A. Garraty, "The Emancipation put higher stakes on the war"(Television A&E Networks 5). It did, 180,000 African Americans ended up fighting for Union forces. The Emancipation Proclamation was to give freedom to all slaves, but did it really ? "Only some slaves were released in the South not all of them were freed from labor"(Emancipation Proclamation 1). After most of the states had released their slaves the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1865. This finally gave freedom to all slaves.

Works Cited

  • Anderson, Dale. The Causes of the Civil War. Milwaukee, WI: World Almanac Library, 2004. Print.


  • "History Professor: Civil War Death Toll Has Been Underestimated." - Inside Binghamton University Web. 29 Oct. 2015.

  • Schomp, Virginia. The Civil War. New York: Benchmark, 2004. Print.

  • Tapper, Suzanne Cloud. The Abolition of Slavery: Fighting for a Free America. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow, 2006. Print.