The Editors of PillartoPost.org, a daily online magazine-style blog will post a series of several articles about the American Civil War’s most famous bloody clash: The Battle of Gettysburg.
--June 28: Civil War Overview.
--June 29: Days before Doom. 1
--June 30: Days before Doom. 2
--July 1: Battle of Gettysburg Day 1
--July 2: Battle of Gettysburg Day 2
--July 3: Battle of Gettysburg Day 3 (By Winston Churchill)
--July 4: What if the South won the Civil War (by Winston Churchill)
CIVIL WAR IN A NUTSHELL
Today, thanks to Wikipedia, we post an overall review of the Civil War (1861-1865). The American Civil War (April 12, 1861 – May 9, 1865), was a civil war in the United States fought between northern and Pacific states ("the Union" or "the North") and southern states that voted to secede and form the Confederate States of America ("the Confederacy" or "the South").
The central cause of the war was the status of slavery, especially the expansion of slavery into newly acquired land after the Mexican-American War. On the eve of the Civil War in 1860, four million of the 32 million Americans (nearly 13%) were black slaves, mostly in the South.
The practice of slavery in the United States was one of the key political issues of the 19th century; decades of political unrest over slavery led up to the war. Disunion came after Abraham Lincoln won the November 1860 presidential election on an anti-slavery expansion platform. An initial seven Southern slave states declared their secession from the country to form the Confederacy.
After Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy, efforts at compromise failed and both sides prepared for war.
Fighting broke out in April 1861 when the Confederate army attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina, just over a month after Lincoln's inauguration. An additional four slave states joined the Confederacy in the following two months. The Confederacy grew to control at least a majority of territory in eleven states (out of the 34 U.S. states in February 1861) and asserted claims to two more.
The Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on "King Cotton" that they would intervene, but none did. The Confederate States of America was never diplomatically recognized as a joint entity by the government of the United States, nor by that of any foreign country.
The states that remained loyal to the federal government were known as the Union. Large volunteer and conscription armies were raised; four years of intense combat, mostly in the South, ensued.
During 1861–1862 in the war's Western Theater, the Union made significant permanent gains, though, in the Eastern Theater, the conflict was inconclusive.
In September 1862, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made ending slavery a war goal.
To the west, the Union destroyed the Confederate river navy by summer 1862, then much of its western armies, and seized New Orleans. The successful 1863 Union siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River.
|In 1863, Confederate General Robert E. Lee's incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg|
Western successes led to General Ulysses S. Grant's command of all Union armies in 1864. Inflicting an ever-tightening naval blockade of Confederate ports, the Union marshaled resources and manpower to attack the Confederacy from all directions, leading to the fall of Atlanta in 1864 to Union General William Tecumseh Sherman and his march to the sea.
The last significant battles raged around the ten-month Siege of Petersburg, gateway to the Confederate capital of Richmond. The war effectively ended on April 9, 1865, when Confederate General Lee surrendered to Union General Grant at Appomattox Court House, after abandoning Petersburg.
Confederate generals throughout the Southern states followed suit, the last surrender on land occurring on June 23.
At the end of the war, much of the South's infrastructure was destroyed, especially its railroads. The Confederacy collapsed, slavery was abolished upon ratification of the thirteenth amendment, and four million enslaved Black people were freed. The war-torn nation then entered the Reconstruction era in a partially successful attempt to rebuild the country and grant civil rights to freed slaves.
The Civil War is one of the most studied and written about episodes in U.S. history, and remains the subject of cultural and historiographical debate. Of particular interest is the persisting myth of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy.
The American Civil War was among the earliest industrial wars. Railroads, the telegraph, steamships, iron-clad ships, and mass-produced weapons were employed extensively.
In total the war left between 620,000 and 750,000 soldiers dead, along with an undetermined number of civilians, as well as President Abraham Lincoln who was assassinated just five days after Lee's surrender.
The Civil War remains the deadliest military conflict in American history and accounted for more American military deaths than all other wars combined until the Vietnam War. The mobilization of civilian factories, mines, shipyards, banks, transportation, and food supplies all foreshadowed the impact of industrialization in World War I, World War II, and subsequent conflicts.
CIVIL WAR WEEK Continues tomorrow with an analysis of June 29, 1863.