The Agony of War

  1. Background

    1. Population - 22 million North, 9 million South (6 million free)

    2. Industry - North had 90% of national total, South 10%

    3. Navy and merchant marine favored North

    4. Morale - both sides had divisions

    5. Leadership - Military leadership better in South, civilian leadership better in North

    6. Ideology

      1. North - Union, democracy, republicanism, federal over state power

      2. South - Democracy, racism, anti-tyranny, state sovereignty

    7. War aims

      1. North - crush rebellion, taking away Confederacy's ability and will to fight

      2. South

        1. survive, keep war to a draw, no territorial ambitions,

        2. Cotton diplomacy - get help from French and British

          1. South hoped and believed that European dependence on Southern cotton would lead Europe to back the South

          2. However, a cotton glut, availability of Egyptian and Indian cotton, and a desire to wait until the outcome of the war was more certain prevented a European-Confederate alliance

  2. 1861

    1. Union focuses early on taking Confederate capital at Richmond

    2. Second front in the West - Grant in Tennessee and along the Mississippi

    3. Union attacks - First Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861

      1. McDowell (N) vs. Beuregard (S)

      2. 20,000 Confederates defeat 30,000 Union soldiers

      3. Both sides begin to realize that this could be a long war

      4. Leads to first of many shakeups in Union command - George McClellan put in charge

  3. 1862

    1. Grant invades Tennessee in February

      1. Very bloody battle at Shiloh (April)  - 20,000 dead 

      2. Leaves Union in control of some of Tennessee

    2. Admiral David Farragut (N) takes New Orleans in April - Union well on its way to controlling access to the sea

    3. String of Confederate victories in Virginia and Maryland

      1. McClellan good at training and organizing, but to cautious for Lincoln, who orders him to battle

      2. Failed campaign to take Richmond in summer of 1862 leads to Confederate push into Maryland

      3. Lee forced to retreat at Antietam (September 17, 1862) - 23,000 dead, but McClellan does not follow up quickly enough

      4. Pursuit of Lee through Virginia results in over 100,000 casualties for the Union

      5. Union is losing men twice as fact as Confederacy

  4. 1863

    1. War goes better for Union in the West 

      1. Grant takes Vicksburg in July 4, 1863 - gives Union complete control of Mississippi

      2. Union takes almost all of Tennessee in the summer

    2. Gettysburg - Lee make northern push

      1. George Meade stops him at Gettysburg, PA

      2. Lee had believed too much in what his army could do, pushed too far

      3. Over 50,000 dead

      4. Ends hope of help from British or French

    3. In need of troops, Union begins to enlist blacks into the army - 200,000 by 1865

    4. Both North and South instituted conscription to raise troops

      1. More important for South, which had a smaller population to begin with

      2. Highly unpopular in both North and South

      3. New York Draft Riots (July, 1863)

        1. Union's draft law enabled people to hire a substitute for $300, a huge sum in 1863

        2. Working class citizens in New York, angry over this class discrimination, rioted for three days

        3. Demonstrated that northern morale and support for the war wavered as the conflict continued

  5. 1864 - an election year

    1. Grant now in charge for Union - Lincoln sees him as one of only effective generals

    2. Grant unable to capture and crush Lee's army, but Lee's army suffering serious casualties

    3. Northern voters disillusioned with war, draft, taxes - Northern Democrats nominate George McClellan on peace platform

    4. Many Republicans angry that Lincoln vetoed the Wade-Davis Act, a radical plan for reconstruction of the former Confederacy

      1. Lincoln had wanted to make it easy for states to reenter Union

      2. Radical Republicans demanded that a majority of state's voters pledge loyalty to Union and that the state grant civil rights to Blacks

    5. Sherman marches to Atlanta and on to Savannah

      1. Total war - designed to break the South economically and destroy its will to fight

      2. Atlanta falls September 2 - gives Union control over railroads

      3. Enables Lincoln to do very well in election - 55% of popular vote, 212-21 electoral votes

      4. Sherman wages war of terror and destruction across Georgia and the Carolinas

    6. Lincoln easily wins reelection

  6. 1865

    1. War of attrition bleeding South dry - not enough troops, not enough supplies

    2. Confederate desperation sets in - decide to arm slaves in March

    3. Lee abandons Richmond in April, retreats West

    4. Unable to escape or resupply, Lee surrenders at Appomattox Courthouse, April 9, 1865

    5. Lincoln assassinated April 14, 1865, by John Wilkes Booth

    6. 260,000 Confederate dead; 360,000 Union dead - 620,000. More than in all other wars combined.