The Civil War of 1861

By: Yasmine Ra'Kael Protho

Causes of the Civil War

Slavery-this was a cause of the civil war because it created tensions between the north and the south because they both had different perspectives about slavery. The north, on one hand, felt that slavery was cruel and unusual punishment, and they wanted to abolish it. However, the south, on the other hand, heavily relied on slavery because slaves were what kept their agricultural based economy continuing.


Selection of Lincoln-this is another cause because the presidency of Lincoln was the ultimate doom of the south. He was part of the union, and he felt slavery should not be allowed. He wanted to abolish slavery in the border states between the union and the confederacy and in the confederate states.


Secession- this was another cause because the confederate states threatened to secede and eventually they did. This only resulted in the further division between the northern and southern states which also increased tensions between the two.


States' Rights-this is also another cause to the civil war because the north believed that both the north and the south should have a national government. However, the south said otherwise. The south believed that they had the power to deal with their own problems instead of having the southern states solve them. This increased tensions even more.


Sectionalism-this caused the civil war because each state had their own beliefs and feelings and they did not want to agree on certain things which drew the country apart some more.


Structure, Solvency, and Style-these caused the civil war because in comparison the union was superior to the south because of their economic status, financial wealth, and their population. However, the south was more of a poor, farming economy. Most of the money they made was due to hard slave labor.

Battle of Fort Sumter

The Battle of Fort Sumter was the bombardment and surrender of Fort Sumter, near Charleston, South Carolina, that started the American Civil War. Following declarations of secession by seven Southern states, South Carolina demanded that the US Army abandon its facilities in Charleston Harbor. On December 26, 1860, Major Robert Anderson of the U.S. Army surreptitiously moved his small command from the vulnerable Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island to Fort Sumter, a substantial fortress controlling the entrance of Charleston Harbor. An attempt by U.S. President James Buchanan to reinforce and resupply Anderson, using the unarmed merchant ship Star of the West, failed when it was fired upon by shore batteries on January 9, 1861. South Carolina authorities then seized all Federal property in the Charleston area, except for Fort Sumter.

Other Major Battles

Characteristics of the north and the south

Characteristics of the North

The northern soil and climate favored smaller farmsteads rather than large plantations. Industry flourished, fueled by more abundant natural resources than in the South, and many large cities were established (New York was the largest city with more than 800,000 inhabitants). By 1860, one quarter of all Northerners lived in urban areas. Between 1800 and 1860, the percentage of laborers working in agricultural pursuits dropped drastically from 70% to only 40%. Slavery had died out, replaced in the cities and factories by immigrant labor from Europe. In fact an overwhelming majority of immigrants, seven out of every eight, settled in the North rather than the South. Transportation was easier in the North, which boasted more than two-thirds of the railroad tracks in the country and the economy was on an upswing.

Characteristics of the South

The fertile soil and warm climate of the South made it ideal for large-scale farms and crops like tobacco and cotton. Because agriculture was so profitable few Southerners saw a need for industrial development. Eighty percent of the labor force worked on the farm. Although two-thirds of Southerners owned no slaves at all, by 1860 the South's "peculiar institution" was inextricably tied to the region's economy and culture. In fact, there were almost as many blacks - but slaves and free - in the South as there were whites (4 million blacks and 5.5 million whites). There were no large cities aside from New Orleans, and most of the ones that did exist were located on rivers and coasts as shipping ports to send agricultural produce to European or Northern destinations.
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Wartime Strategies for the North

The strategy proposed by Welles likewise rested on the assumption that there were large numbers of Unionists in the South, simply waiting for indications of Northern support to declare themselves. "Instead of halting on the borders, building entrenchments, and repelling indiscriminately and treating as Rebels--enemies--all, Union as well as disunion, men . . . we should," Welles wrote,". . . penetrate their territory, nourish and protect the Union sentiment, and create and strengthen a national feeling counter to Secession.. . . Instead of holding back, we should be aggressive and enter their territory," Welles added. Both strategies were based on an overestimation of the strength of Union sentiment. Moreover, Welles's strategy ignored the fact that invasion of an enemy's territory invariably arouses the most intense hostility on the part of those invaded.
A third "strategy," one almost indistinguishable in its practical effect from that of Welles, was based on the assumption that only an overwhelming display of superior force demonstrated by an invasion of the South at every vulnerable point could force the Confederacy back into the Union. It was this latter policy that was, on the whole, followed, but the emotional predisposition to the first strategy on the part of many Northerners in and out of the army frequently blunted the effect of the invasion strategy and in the most important theater of the war--Virginia--rendered it a nullity. General Scott himself was for what Welles termed "a defensive policy." As one general put it to Welles: "We must erect our batteries on the eminences in the vicinity of Washington and establish our military lines; frontiers between the belligerents, as between the countries of Continental Europe, are requisite."
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Wartime strategies for the South

In the space and time strategy the defending forces will execute a retrograde movement drawing the attacking forces with them. The mission of this movement is to continually lengthen the attacking forces lines of communications. In the military sense time means the simultaneous movement or attack of two or more forces in two or more separate locations. The defender will employ simultaneous raids or attacks against the attackers line of communications. The initial mission of these raids and attacks would be to disrupt these lines but not to cut them. The goal of the defender is to force the attacker to guard as much of his lines of communications as possible, thereby reducing the man power of the main attacking force. This strategy does not call for large armies such as the Army of Northern Virginia or the Army of Tennessee. If the defending commander had 40,000 troops, his dispositions could be 25,000 in the main defensive force, with the remainder being allotted to three or even four raiding units.
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Anaconda Plan

The Anaconda Plan is the name applied to an outline strategy for suppressing the Confederacy at the beginning of the American Civil War. Proposed by General-in-Chief Winfield Scott, the plan emphasized the blockade of the Southern ports, and called for an advance down the Mississippi River to cut the South in two. Because the blockade would be rather passive, it was widely derided by the vociferous faction who wanted a more vigorous prosecution of the war, and who likened it to the coils of an anaconda suffocating its victim. The snake image caught on, giving the proposal its popular name
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Battle of Chickamauga

The Battle of Chickamauga, fought September 19–20, 1863, marked the end of a Union offensive in southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia called the Chickamauga Campaign. The battle was the most significant Union defeat in the Western Theater of the American Civil War and involved the second highest number of casualties in the war following the Battle of Gettysburg. It was the first major battle of the war that was fought in Georgia.
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March to the sea

Sherman's March to the Sea is the name commonly given to the military Savannah Campaign in the American Civil War, conducted through Georgia from November 15 to December 21, 1864 by Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army. The campaign began with Sherman's troops leaving the captured city of Atlanta, Georgia, on November 15 and ended with the capture of the port of Savannah on December 21. His forces destroyed military targets as well as industry, infrastructure, and civilian property and disrupted the Confederacy's economy and its transportation networks. Sherman's bold move of operating deep within enemy territory and without supply lines is considered to be revolutionary in the annals of war.
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Andersonville Prison

The Andersonville National Historic Site, located near Andersonville, Georgia, preserves the former Camp Sumter, a Confederate prisoner-of-war camp during the American Civil War. Most of the site lies in southwestern Macon County, adjacent to the east side of the town of Andersonville. As well as the former prison, the site also contains the Andersonville National Cemetery and the National Prisoner of War Museum.