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Title: The Civil War
Author: Robertson, James I., Jr.
Language: English
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                             THE CIVIL WAR

                        JAMES I. ROBERTSON, JR.

    [Illustration: THE CIVIL WAR CENTENNIAL COMMISSION   1961-1965]

                          Washington 25, D. C.
                 U. S. Civil War Centennial Commission

                        EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD

  Alma E. Anderson, _Social Studies Department, Robert E. Lee Junior
          High School, Danville, Va._
  E. Merton Coulter, _Professor-Emeritus of History, University of
          Georgia, Athens_
  William M. Grant, _History Department, Upper Arlington High School,
          Columbus, O._
  Richard Harwell, _Librarian, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Me._
  William B. Hesseltine, _Professor of History, University of Wisconsin,
  Daniel W. Hollis, _Professor of History, University of South Carolina,
  Stanley F. Horn, _Chairman, Tennessee Civil War Centennial Commission,
  William M. Lamers, _Assistant Superintendent, Milwaukee Public
  A. B. Moore, _Professor-Emeritus of History, University of Alabama,
  Allan Nevins, _Chairman, U. S. Civil War Centennial Commission, San
          Marino, Cal._
  Mary G. Oliver, _History Department, George Washington High School,
          Danville, Va._
  Glenn A. Rich, _Director, Division of Elementary and Secondary
          Education, Ohio Department of Education, Columbus_
  Bell I. Wiley, _Professor of History, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga._
  T. Harry Williams, _Professor of History, Louisiana State University,
          Baton Rouge_
  Hazel C. Wolf, _History Department, Manual High School, Peoria, Ill._


Thousands of student requests for information on the Civil War prompted
the publication of this booklet. Its purpose is to present in simple
language a survey of the eleven most popular aspects of the 1861-1865
conflict. This guide is intended as a supplement, not a substitute, for
American history textbooks.

Space limitations prevented mention of each of the 6,000 engagements of
the Civil War. Thus, while such actions as the battle of Picacho Pass,
Ariz., and Quantrill’s sacking of Lawrence, Kan., had import for their
particular locales, they of necessity had to be omitted. In those
battles herein discussed, statistics for armies and losses are those
generally accepted. The map midway in the booklet may help familiarize
the student with the various theaters of military operations. After each
section is a list of works recommended for those who desire more
detailed information on the subject.

Relatively little consideration of the political, economic, and social
history of the period was possible within the limits of this small work.
However, the Commission can supply upon request and without charge the
following pamphlets treating in part of those subjects: _Emancipation
Centennial, 1962: A Brief Anthology of the Preliminary Proclamation_;
_Free Homesteads for All Americans: The Homestead Act of 1862_, by Paul
W. Gates; _The Origins of the Land-Grant Colleges and State
Universities_, by Allan Nevins; and _Our Women of the Sixties_, by
Sylvia G. L. Dannett and Katharine M. Jones.

The Commission is deeply indebted to the Editorial Advisory Board
members, each of whom rendered valuable assistance toward the final
draft of the narrative.

                           James I. Robertson, Jr., _Executive Director_
                                 _U. S. Civil War Centennial Commission_

                           TABLE OF CONTENTS

  I. Causes of the Civil War                                            5
  II. Advantages of North and South                                     7
  III. Summary of Military Campaigns                                   11
          1861                                                         11
          1862 in the West                                             13
          1862 in the East                                             17
          1863 in the West                                             21
          1863 in the East                                             23
          1864                                                         25
          1865                                                         30
  IV. Losses                                                           35
  V. Navies                                                            37
  VI. Diplomacy                                                        42
  VII. Prisons and Prisoners of War                                    45
  VIII. Arms                                                           48
  IX. Leaders                                                          52
  X. The Common Soldiers                                               57
  XI. The War’s Legacy                                                 62
  XII. Suggested Topics for Further Discussion                         64

    [Illustration: Construction of the U. S. Capitol was still in
    progress when civil war began.]

                       I. CAUSES OF THE CIVIL WAR

Historians past and present disagree sharply over the major cause of the
Civil War.

Some writers have viewed the struggle of the 1860’s as a “war of
rebellion” brought on by a “slavepower conspiracy.” To them it was a
conflict between Northern “humanity” and Southern “barbarism.” James
Ford Rhodes, who dealt more generously with the South than did many
other Northern writers of his time, stated in 1913: “Of the American
Civil War it may safely be asserted that there was a single cause,

Other historians, such as Charles A. Beard and Harold U. Faulkner, have
argued that slavery was only the surface issue. The real cause, these
men state, was “the economic forces let loose by the Industrial
Revolution” then taking place in the North. These economic forces were
strong, powerful, and “beating irresistibly upon a one-sided and rather
static” Southern way of life. Therefore, the 1860’s produced a “second
American Revolution,” fought between the “capitalists, laborers, and
farmers of the North and West” on the one hand, and the “planting
aristocracy of the South” on the other.

A third theory advanced by historians is that the threat to states’
rights led to war. The conflict of the 1860’s was thus a “War between
the States.” Many in this group believe that the U. S. Constitution of
1787 was but a compact, or agreement, between the independent states.
Therefore, when a state did not like the policies of the central
government, it had the right to withdraw—or secede—from this compact.

Still other writers believe “Southern nationalism” to have been the
basic cause of the war. Southerners, they assert, had so strong a desire
to preserve their particular way of life that they were willing to
fight. This then became a struggle between rival sections whose
differences could not be settled peacefully. The result was a “War for
Southern Independence.”

    [Illustration: Slaves working in a field across the river from
    Montgomery, Ala., first capital of the Confederacy.]

A recent group of historians, known as “revisionists,” rejects these
earlier theories. Leader of the revisionist school was the late James G.
Randall, who once stated: “If one word or phrase were selected to
account for the war, that word would not be slavery, or economic
grievances, or states rights, or diverse civilizations. It would have to
be such a word as fanaticism.” Another revisionist, Avery O. Craven,
agrees. The Civil War, he wrote, resulted because the great mass of
American people “permitted their short-sighted politicians, their
overzealous editors, and their pious reformers” to control public
opinion and action. Primarily through the slavery issue, these radicals
created more and more hatred between North and South. In the end, and as
a result of these radicals, the differences between the sections,
swelled by “a blundering generation,” burst into a war.

    [Illustration: Fort Sumter in 1865, as viewed from a sandbar. The
    fort’s battered walls are clearly visible.]


Few nations have been as unprepared for a full-scale war as was the
United States in 1861. The U. S. Army consisted of barely 17,000 men.
Most of the soldiers were stationed at remote outposts on the western
frontier. To make matters worse for the Union, a large number of army
officers who had been born in the South and educated at West Point
resigned from the army and offered their services to the Confederacy.

The U. S. Navy was in an equally bad state. It had performed little duty
since the War of 1812. The Navy had a total of 90 ships, but only 42 of
them were in active service at the outbreak of civil war. Of this
number, 11 fell into Confederate hands with the capture of the naval
base at Norfolk, Va., in April, 1861. The remaining vessels were
scattered around the world. Moreover, 230 of 1,400 naval officers joined
the forces of the Confederacy.

At the beginning of the Civil War, the North seemed to possess every

(1) 23 Northern states aligned against only 11 Southern states.
(Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri were slave states, but they remained in
the Union. Also, the western counties of Virginia revolted and formed
their own state when the Old Dominion cast her lot with the

(2) The population of the Northern states was approximately 22,000,000
people. The Southern states had only 9,105,000 people, and one-third of
them (3,654,000) were slaves. The great difference in population, plus a
steady flow of European immigrants into the Northern states, gave the
Union tremendous manpower. Over 2,000,000 men served in the Federal
armies, while no more than half that number fought for the South.

    [Illustration: The “General Haupt” was one of several locomotives
    seized by Federals on the Orange & Alexandria (now Southern)

(3) The North had 110,000 manufacturing plants, as compared with 18,000
in the Confederate States. The North produced 97% of all firearms in
America, and it manufactured 96% of the nation’s railroad equipment.

    [Illustration: Although the South possessed few manufacturing plants
    in 1861, Richmond’s Tredegar Iron Works produced such items as
    machinery, cannon, submarines, torpedoes, and plates for ironclad

(4) Most of the country’s financial resources were in the North.

In view of the North’s statistical superiority in so many areas, people
often do not understand how the Civil War lasted four long years. Many
reasons account for this:

(1) Both North and South needed many months of preparation before they
were ready for full-scale war.

(2) For at least the first eighteen months of the war, the Confederacy
was able to obtain many supplies from sympathetic nations in Europe. Not
until late in 1862 did the Federals have enough ships to blockade
effectively the major Southern ports.

(3) Southern armies generally fought on the defensive. It does not
require as many men to hold a position as it does to attack and seize
that position.

(4) Moreover, every time the Federals captured a city, bridge, road
junction, or other important point, men had to be left behind to guard
these places. To the Northern armies also went the task of sheltering,
feeding, and to some extent training thousands of freed or runaway
slaves. Therefore, even though the Federal armies greatly outnumbered
the Confederate forces, the North needed more men to fight the war.

(5) In that age armies rarely fought in wintertime, a season of cold
weather and deep mud. Most of the military campaigns took place between
April and October. Hence, little activity occurred for about half of
each year.

Before surveying the military campaigns, the student should bear in mind
two more important, but somewhat confusing, points: each side named its
armies by different systems, and each side used different methods for
identifying battles.

The North named its armies for large rivers, while the South designated
its forces by large areas of land. For example, the Federal Army of the
Potomac fought against the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. This
difference of names could and did sometimes become perplexing. An
illustration of this occurred in the Western theater, where the Federal
Army of the Tennessee (river) campaigned against the Confederate Army of
Tennessee (state).

Likewise, both sides used different methods in naming battles. The North
referred to a battle by the closest stream, river, run, or creek in the
area. The South designated a battle by the name of the nearest town.
Thus, the bloodiest one-day engagement of the Civil War is known in the
North as the battle of Antietam Creek, and in the South as the battle of
Sharpsburg, Maryland. In some cases, such as the battles of Gettysburg
and Wilson’s Creek, both sides adopted the same name.

Now let us turn to the war itself and “follow the armies.”

                           SUGGESTED READINGS

  Beard, Charles A., _The Rise of American Civilization_, Volume II
  Channing, Edward, _History of the United States_, Volume VI (1925).
  Cole, Arthur C., _The Irrepressible Conflict, 1850-1865_ (1934).
  Craven, Avery O., _The Coming of the Civil War_ (1942, 1957).
  ____, _The Repressible Conflict_ (1939).
  Milton, George Fort, _Conflict: The American Civil War_ (1941).
  Nevins, Allan, _The Emergence of Lincoln_ (2 vols., 1950).
  Nichols, Roy F., _The Disruption of American Democracy_ (1948).
  Pressly, Thomas J., _Americans Interpret Their Civil War_ (1954).
  Randall, James G., and Donald, David, _The Civil War and
          Reconstruction_ (1961).
  Rhodes, James Ford, _Lectures on the American Civil War_ (1913).
  Rozwenc, Edwin C. (ed.) _The Causes of the American Civil War_ (1961).
  Schlesinger, Arthur M., _New Viewpoints in American History_ (1922).
  Stampp, Kenneth P., _And the War Came_ (1950).
  ____, _The Causes of the Civil War_ (1959).


      General (CSA)
      Major General (USA)
        Lieutenant General (CSA)
        Major General (USA)
          Major General
            Brigadier General
          BATTALION (less than 10 companies)
              Lieutenant Colonel or Major
          REGIMENT (10 companies)
              Colonel or Lieutenant Colonel
                75-100 men

                        III. MILITARY CAMPAIGNS


Late in April, 1861, the Confederate government moved its capital from
Montgomery, Ala., to Richmond, Va. This transfer was intended to bind
Virginia closer to the other Southern states and to put the Confederate
government nearer Washington when the time came to discuss the peace
treaty. In reality the move backfired. It made Richmond the primary
Federal target and Virginia the major battleground of the Civil War.

Few engagements occurred in 1861, when neither North nor South had a
highly organized, efficient army. What both sides in 1861 called armies
were more like armed and unruly mobs. Yet President Lincoln and the
Congress, hoping to end the war quickly, were anxious to capture

As a result, Federal forces made three thrusts into Virginia. They first
moved from Ohio into the pro-Northern counties of western Virginia,
where Confederate regiments as “green” as the Federal units were
stationed. In a series of small battles, including Philippi (June 3),
Rich Mountain (July 11), and Corrick’s Ford (July 13), the Federals were
victorious. In 1863 this region entered the Union as the loyal state of
West Virginia.

The other two Federal invasions were less successful. The main Virginia
defenses stretched from Norfolk northward to the Potomac River, thence
westward to Harpers Ferry. Early in June, Gen. Benjamin F. Butler left
Fort Monroe with a Federal force and struck at Richmond by way of the
peninsula between the James and York rivers. At Big Bethel Church, just
west of Yorktown, Confederates attacked and sent Butler’s men stampeding
back to their base at Fort Monroe.

    [Illustration: Benjamin F. Butler, a politician with little military
    experience, led two ill-fated campaigns against Richmond.]

The third and main Federal push into Virginia resulted in the largest
battle fought in 1861. In mid-July, Gen. Irvin McDowell moved from
Washington with some 35,000 recruits. McDowell’s ultimate target was
Richmond, but first he had to capture the important railroad junction of
Manassas. Through espionage agents the Confederates learned of
McDowell’s advance. Quickly Gens. P. G. T. Beauregard and Joseph E.
Johnston concentrated 30,000 Southern troops near Manassas to block the
Federal move. On a very hot Sunday, July 21, McDowell attacked
Beauregard and Johnston near a stream known as Bull Run. As in the case
of many Civil War battles, the main attack was against the flank (or
end) of the line, while for deception a lesser assault force struck at
the center of the defending force’s position.

    [Illustration: A great-nephew of Patrick Henry, “Uncle Joe” Johnston
    proved a superb army commander. Yet he and President Davis had too
    many personal and official differences during the war.]

The Federals might have won a smashing victory that day but for a
stubborn brigade of Virginians under Gen. Thomas J. Jackson. The refusal
of Jackson and his men to give ground not only helped save the day for
the South but also earned for that general and his brigade the name

Losses in the battle of First Manassas, or First Bull Run, were much
less than those in the larger battles to come. The Federals lost 2,896
men killed, wounded, and missing. The Confederates suffered 1,982

This battle at Manassas had several important effects. Southerners were
convinced that Yankees were poor fighters, and that the war would be
brief. On the other hand, Northerners realized that defeating the
Confederacy would take longer than anticipated. Thus, while Southerners
celebrated a great victory, the North began raising and equipping large
armies for full-scale war.

A month later occurred an engagement in the West. On August 10, a
Federal army sought out and attacked a Confederate force at Wilson’s
Creek, near Springfield, Mo. In this battle, often called “Bull Run of
the West,” the Federals met defeat. The Union commander, Gen. Nathaniel
Lyon, was killed in the midst of the fighting.

On October 21, the North suffered another costly setback. Near Ball’s
Bluff, Va., Confederate defenders all but annihilated a Federal scouting
force. The “Ball’s Bluff disaster” spurred into action the “Committee on
the Conduct of the War.” Seven U. S. congressmen made up this
investigating body. Although not one had had army training, they
continually inquired into the military affairs of every Federal army and
often embarrassed generals in the field.

While Confederates in 1861 won most of the battles, Lincoln and his
government by no means felt defeated. Gen. George B. McClellan was
building an army at Washington that would soon number 100,000 volunteer
troops. This force would be the largest ever amassed in the Western
Hemisphere up to that time. Moreover, the North had won a few victories.
On November 7, a Federal amphibious force had captured Port Royal, S.
C., thus gaining a beachhead on the South Atlantic coast. Yet on that
same day, another Federal army suffered defeat at Belmont, Mo. The
losing general was an unknown officer from Illinois, and this was his
first Civil War battle. His name was Ulysses S. Grant.

                            1862 IN THE WEST

War’s full fury struck in 1862. To understand the complicated movements
of many armies, bear in mind two points:

(1) Not one, but _two_, separate areas of military operations existed.
The Appalachian Mountains, extending in an almost unbroken line from
Pennsylvania to Alabama, prevented armies from moving freely from
eastern states (Virginia, the Carolinas, etc.) to western or
trans-Appalachian states (Tennessee, Kentucky, etc.), and _vice versa_.
As a result, different armies in the East (east of the mountains) and in
the West fought practically two almost independent wars. Only in 1864
were the campaigns of the two areas effectively coordinated.

(2) In the 1800’s, in contrast to modern military tactics, an invading
army did not always move directly against an enemy force. Rather, its
primary target was usually an important city. Once the invading army was
in motion, the defending force then tried to place itself between the
invader and his target. This set the stage for battle. Five such
Confederate cities became principal Federal targets. In the East was
Richmond; in the West were New Orleans and Vicksburg, both strongholds
on the all-important Mississippi River, and Chattanooga and Atlanta,
vital railroad centers.

Bearing these two points in mind, let us turn to the Western campaigns
of 1862.

At the beginning of 1862 some 48,000 Confederate soldiers guarded a
600-mile line extending from the Appalachian Mountains westward to the
Mississippi River. Obviously the Southern defenses were thinly manned.
Early in February, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant left Cairo, Ill., with 15,000
men to attack the center of this line. His goal was to gain control of
two important rivers, the Tennessee and the Cumberland.

To protect these streams, the Confederates had constructed twin forts in
Tennessee just south of the Kentucky border. Fort Henry guarded the
Tennessee; Fort Donelson stood menacingly on the banks of the
Cumberland. On February 6 a Federal river fleet cooperating with Grant
battered Fort Henry into submission. Ten days later Grant had surrounded
Fort Donelson and its 12,000 defenders. Answering the Confederate
commander’s request for surrender terms, Grant replied: “No terms but
unconditional surrender.” Thereafter, U. S. Grant was “Unconditional
Surrender” Grant.

Grant’s victories brought great rejoicing in the North. Some writers
consider the Henry-Donelson campaign as “the critical operation” of the
Civil War. Capture of these forts assured Union control of Kentucky and
Tennessee and opened Mississippi and Alabama to Federal invasion. The
loss of the forts was a severe blow to Southern morale. With these
successes the North had also demonstrated its ability and willingness to

Meanwhile, an important battle occurred farther to the west for control
of Arkansas and Missouri. On March 7-8, at Pea Ridge (or Elkhorn
Tavern), Ark., a Confederate army of 16,000 men attacked 12,000 Federals
under Gen. Samuel R. Curtis. Most of the Confederates lacked uniforms
and were armed with shotguns and squirrel rifles. This force also
included 3,500 Indians of the Creek, Choctaw, Cherokee, Chickasaw and
Seminole tribes. After two days of fighting, a Federal counterattack
broke the Confederate “army.” With the defeat at Pea Ridge the
Confederates permanently lost Missouri and northern Arkansas.

    [Illustration: Gunfire and fighting at Shiloh was so intense that
    one area of the battlefield became known as the “Hornet’s Nest.”
    This drawing depicts the stubborn resistance of two Federal
    divisions in that area.]

By the end of March Grant’s army was near the Mississippi border. Just
across the line Gens. Albert Sidney Johnston and Beauregard had
collected a force of 40,000 Confederates. Even though most of his troops
were ill-equipped, Johnston attacked Grant’s encamped forces in an
effort to destroy the Federal invaders. The battle of Shiloh (April
6-7), one of the war’s most costly engagements, followed.

The initial Confederate attack caught Grant by surprise, bent his line,
but never broke it. Several events then swung the battle to the North’s
favor. Gen. Johnston bled to death from a leg wound. Exhaustion and
disorganization blunted the drive of the Southerners, and Federal
artillery posted in great strength near the Tennessee River proved an
effective barrier to the Confederate advance. Heavy Federal
reinforcements under Gen. Don C. Buell arrived during the night. The
next morning Grant counterattacked. The Confederates retreated
grudgingly to Corinth, thus ending the battle. Grant’s hard-won victory
cost him 13,047 casualties. The Confederates lost 10,694 soldiers,
roughly one-fourth of Johnston’s forces.

For the next four months the armies of Grant and Bragg (who eventually
succeeded to command) did not meet in battle. However, three significant
events took place elsewhere in the Western theater.

One was the Federal capture of the mouth of the Mississippi River. In
April a fleet under Flag Officer David G. Farragut blasted its way
upriver past Forts Jackson and St. Philip. By the end of May the
strategic river cities of New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Natchez were
under Federal control. Yet a river attack on Vicksburg failed.

The second event was one of the boldest raids in American history. In
April James J. Andrews, a Federal espionage agent, and twenty-one
Northern soldiers sneaked through Confederate territory to Big Shanty
Station, Ga., only thirty miles from Atlanta. There they stole the
engine “General” and two cars of a Western & Atlantic passenger train.
The Federals’ plan was to race up the tracks to Chattanooga, removing
rails, burning bridges, and thus ruining this important line.

The coup might have succeeded but for the perseverance of a handful of
citizens and soldiers, who gave immediate pursuit on foot, by handcar,
and eventually on an engine (“The Texas”) running in reverse. All of the
raiders were soon captured. Andrews and seven of his men were
subsequently hanged in Atlanta.

Southern raiders soon gained a measure of revenge. In July, 1862, Col.
John Hunt Morgan led his Confederate cavalrymen on a two-week slash
through Kentucky. Morgan won four small battles, captured 1,200
Federals, and returned safely to Tennessee with less than 100
casualties. In December Morgan again struck into Kentucky. This
“Christmas Raid” netted 1,900 prisoners and large quantities of horses
and military stores.

Shortly after Morgan’s First Kentucky Raid, Gen. Bragg invaded the same
state. Bragg hoped to occupy the chief cities and, by “military
persuasion,” to bring Kentucky into the Confederacy. Yet caution
eventually got the better of Bragg. He retreated, even after winning a
tactical victory over Gen. Don C. Buell at Perryville on October 8. This
invasion marked the end of Confederate efforts to wrest Kentucky from
the Union.

    [Illustration: Braxton Bragg is one of the most controversial
    generals of the Civil War. Although a devoted soldier and skillful
    organizer, he lacked that necessary spark of leadership.]

    [Illustration: William S. Rosecrans was a tireless, conscientious
    officer whom the men affectionately called “Old Rosy.”]

Bragg returned to Tennessee. Gen. William S. Rosecrans, who had gained
fame in two Mississippi campaigns, assumed command of the Federal army
opposing Bragg. Then in November Grant started southward from Tennessee
through Mississippi toward Vicksburg, the chief Confederate stronghold
on the “Father of Waters.” Grant’s strategy called for a two-pronged
attack: he and Gen. William T. Sherman would deliver simultaneous
assaults on Vicksburg from different directions. The plan was a costly
failure. Confederate cavalry under Gen. Earl Van Dorn destroyed Grant’s
main supply base at Holly Springs. Grant was forced to fall back to
Memphis. Sherman’s assaults on December 28-29 at Chickasaw Bayou were
repulsed with heavy losses. Grant then moved his entire army down the
Mississippi and prepared to take Vicksburg by attack or siege.

The final Western engagement of 1862 began on the last day of the year
near Murfreesboro, Tenn. For the better part of four days Bragg’s
Confederate army waged a desperate fight along the banks of Stone’s
River with Rosecrans’s Federal forces. Tactically the battle was a draw.
Yet the Federals lost 31% in killed, wounded, and missing, while the
Confederates suffered 25% casualties.

                            1862 IN THE EAST

For seven months McClellan’s large army lay inactive around Washington.
Finally Lincoln, his patience exhausted, ordered McClellan to advance
into Virginia. McClellan dismissed the dangerous overland route to
Richmond. Rather, he proposed to transport his forces by water to Fort
Monroe. Thence he would advance westward on Richmond by way of the same
peninsula where Butler had met defeat the preceding year. This was the
framework of the Peninsular Campaign.

    [Illustration: The creation of the Army of the Potomac was the work
    largely of George B. McClellan. In 1864 he ran unsuccessfully as
    Democratic candidate for President.]

Lincoln finally agreed to the plan. To protect Washington, however, he
ordered McDowell’s corps of 37,000 soldiers to remain in the
Fredericksburg-Manassas area.

By April McClellan was on the Virginia peninsula with 105,000 men. In
the meantime, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, commanding the Confederate forces
in Virginia, had concentrated his small army on the peninsula between
McClellan and Richmond. McClellan slowly advanced westward; Johnston,
with only 60,000 men, had no choice but to fall back and fight delaying
actions. Driving rains turned the country into a vast sea of mud. By the
end of May McClellan’s army had reached Seven Pines. The spires of
Richmond were visible, nine miles away.

But Seven Pines was as close as McClellan ever got to the Confederate
capital. Johnston noticed that the Federal army had been divided into
two parts by the flooded Chickahominy River. He then launched attacks
against McClellan’s left (southern) flank. The muddy battles of Seven
Pines and Fair Oaks (May 31-June 1) permanently halted McClellan’s
advance. Johnston was seriously wounded in the fighting, and Gen. Robert
E. Lee assumed command of the Confederate forces on the Peninsula.

Elsewhere in Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley, Gen. “Stonewall”
Jackson was performing brilliantly in what became known as the Valley
Campaign. Control of the Valley was vital to both sides. This narrow
slit of land between two ranges of mountains is a direct avenue into
both North and South. Neither side could move safely between the
mountains and the seacoast unless the Valley’s northern door—the region
around Winchester—was shut.

    [Illustration: Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson was a man of both
    military genius and peculiar habits. Known as “Old Jack” to his men,
    he was probably one of the most devout soldiers of the war.]

When McClellan moved up the Peninsula, Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks and
another Federal army advanced southward into the Valley. Jackson had
only 8,500 men at his command. Yet he was determined to hold Banks at
Winchester and McDowell at Fredericksburg so as to prevent them from
reinforcing McClellan. On March 23 Jackson attacked part of Banks’s army
at Kernstown. The wily Confederate was repulsed, but his daring
prevented Banks and McDowell from marching to the aid of McClellan.

Soon three separate Federal armies entered the Valley for the sole
purpose of destroying Jackson. Reinforced by Gen. Richard S. Ewell’s
division, Jackson and his “foot cavalry” then swung into high gear. The
full impact of “Stonewall’s” successes in the Valley Campaign can be
seen from statistics. Between March 22 and June 9 the Confederates
marched 630 miles, fought 4 major battles and numerous skirmishes,
defeated 3 Federal armies totaling over 60,000 troops, inflicted 7,000
casualties, and captured 10,000 muskets and 9 cannon. Jackson’s army,
never exceeding 17,000 men, accomplished all this at a cost of 3 cannon
and 3,100 casualties. And all the while, Jackson kept Washington under
threat of attack.

After a week of rest, Jackson moved rapidly to Richmond to assist Lee in
a new campaign against McClellan. By then Lee had verified that
McClellan’s army was still dangerously astride the swollen Chickahominy.
The Confederate commander obtained this information from his colorful
cavalry chief, Gen. J. E. B. “Jeb” Stuart, who in mid-June boldly rode
all the way around McClellan’s huge army. On the basis of Stuart’s
report, Lee attacked McClellan’s exposed right flank north of the river
in the first of a series of battles known as the Seven Days Campaign.

    [Illustration: A full beard concealed the fact that “Jeb” Stuart at
    the time of the Peninsular Campaign was only twenty-nine years old.]

On June 26 the Confederates launched their offensive at Mechanicsville,
northeast of Richmond. They suffered defeat from Federal troops under
Gen. FitzJohn Porter. Lee struck again on June 27 and finally broke the
Federal lines at Gaines’s Mill after an all-day fight. McClellan then
ordered his army to retire to Harrison’s Landing, the Federal supply
base on the James River. Lee’s troops tried again and again to destroy
the Federal army. But after hard fighting at Savage Station (June 29),
Frayser’s Farm (June 30), White Oak Swamp (June 30), and Malvern Hill
(July 1), McClellan safely reached Harrison’s Landing and the protection
of a Federal river fleet. His dream of capturing Richmond had ended.

In a few weeks another Federal threat confronted Lee. Gen. John Pope
moved overland from Washington with a newly formed army. His target was
also Richmond. Lee shifted his army northward to block the advance. On
August 9 Jackson checked Pope’s lead elements at Cedar Run, a few miles
south of Culpeper. Then, while Pope warily eyed Lee’s main force,
Jackson’s men swept around the Federal right flank and captured Pope’s
all-important supply base at Manassas. An angry Pope turned around and
started in pursuit of Jackson.

Pope soon found Jackson. But Gen. James Longstreet, commanding the other
half of Lee’s army, found Pope. The August 28-30 campaign of Second
Manassas—or Second Bull Run—resulted. As in the first battle in that
area, the Federals met defeat. Pope managed to check a thrust by Lee at
Chantilly (September 1), then retired to Washington.

Virginia was now clear of Federal forces. The time was ripe, Lee
thought, to invade the North. Success might secure Maryland for the
Confederacy and bring official recognition to the Southern nation from
England and France. Then both foreign powers would send supplies, and
possibly troops, to aid the Southern cause.

Lee’s grayclad regiments waded across the Potomac River on September 5,
1862. At Frederick, Md., Lee divided his army. Jackson marched southward
to capture Harpers Ferry and keep the Valley avenue open, while Lee
proceeded westward to Sharpsburg.

    [Illustration: Harpers Ferry first gained prominence in history with
    John Brown’s 1859 raid. During the Civil War it was a key point in
    Eastern military operations.]

Meanwhile, Lincoln assigned what was left of Pope’s force to McClellan
and sent “Little Mac” in pursuit of the Confederate invaders. On
September 14 McClellan fought his way through the passes of South
Mountain, Maryland. The next day, as McClellan’s troops converged on
Lee, Jackson seized Harpers Ferry. Jackson then hastened northward and
rejoined Lee at Sharpsburg late on September 16.

Wednesday, September 17, produced the largest one-day bloodbath on
American soil. From sunrise until dusk Federal units made repeated
assaults on Lee’s lines. Had McClellan thrown his entire army against
Lee’s position, the weight of numbers probably would have destroyed the
Army of Northern Virginia. Instead, the Federal commander shifted his
attacks from one sector to another. Casualties mounted frightfully in
such areas as the East Wood, West Wood, Dunker Church, Sunken Road, and
around Burnside’s Bridge. By nightfall Lee’s battered army still held
its position. McClellan had lost 12,000 men, the Confederates 9,000.

The battle of Antietam Creek ended Lee’s invasion, and he retired to
Virginia. Five days after the engagement, Lincoln issued his preliminary
Emancipation Proclamation. This document promised freedom to all slaves
in Confederate-held territory after January 1, 1863. As such, it
converted the war into a struggle for human freedom and deterred
European nations from granting aid or recognition to the Confederacy.
Many historians therefore maintain that Antietam Creek and its aftermath
were the turning points of the Civil War.

For six weeks after Antietam, McClellan seemed to make little effort to
resume the campaign against Lee. Lincoln tired of waiting; on November 5
he replaced McClellan with Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside.

    [Illustration: Fredericksburg, viewed from Federal gun emplacements
    north of the city. The battle occurred on the heights in the left

“I am not competent to command such a large army,” Burnside stated. He
demonstrated this truth in his one battle at the head of the Army of the
Potomac. On December 13, a freezing Saturday, Burnside ordered six grand
assaults against Lee’s entrenched army on the heights overlooking
Fredericksburg, Va. The result was a useless slaughter, and a defeated
Burnside wept over the killing and wounding of 10,000 of his men.
Confederate losses were less than half that number.

A few weeks later Burnside attempted a secret march around Lee’s left
(western) flank. The Federal army bogged down in winter mud and made
barely a mile a day. This “Mud March” finished Burnside. He soon
relinquished command to Gen. Joseph Hooker, a strong-willed officer
known to the soldiers as “Fighting Joe.”

                            1863 IN THE WEST

Cavalry raids by both sides occupied the early months of this third year
of conflict. One of the longest was that of Col. Benjamin H. Grierson
and 17,000 Federal horsemen. Leaving La Grange, Tenn., in April,
Grierson’s troopers wrecked railroads and supply depots all the way to
Baton Rouge, La. The raid lasted two weeks and helped clear the way for
Grant’s campaign against Vicksburg.

    [Illustration: Two of the Confederacy’s celebrated cavalry leaders
    were Nathan Bedford Forrest and John Hunt Morgan. Forrest was a
    semi-illiterate with no prior military training. But he became a
    fearless fighter and an unequalled cavalry commander.]

    [Illustration: Morgan led an independent group of horsemen known
    popularly as “Kentucky Cavaliers.” He was ambushed and killed at
    Greenville, Tenn., in 1864.]

On the other hand, Gen. Bedford Forrest and his Confederate cavalry made
a series of quick attacks in Tennessee throughout March and April. Gen.
John Hunt Morgan followed this with a summer foray through Kentucky,
southern Indiana, and across Ohio.

Throughout the first half of 1863 Grant slowly tightened the noose
around Vicksburg. Moving down the west bank of the Mississippi and
crossing below Vicksburg, Grant won clear victories at Port Gibson (May
1), Raymond (May 12), Jackson (May 14), Champion’s Hill (May 16), and
Big Black River (May 17). On May 18 Grant began his siege of Vicksburg
itself, and for six weeks the Federals isolated Gen. John C. Pemberton
and his Vicksburg defenders. Confederate soldiers inside the besieged
city eventually found it necessary to eat rats, mules and grass in an
effort to stay alive.

With escape hopeless, Pemberton on July 4 surrendered Vicksburg. Not
only did Grant capture an entire Southern army of 30,000 men, but the
mighty Mississippi, from Minnesota to the Gulf, lay in Federal hands.
The North had severed Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, and most of Louisiana
from the Confederacy.

As Grant was accepting the surrender of Vicksburg, Gen. Rosecrans and
his Federal army of 60,000 men were pushing forward in middle Tennessee.
Rosecrans forced Bragg’s army of 47,000 Confederates out of Tullahoma
and across the Tennessee River. The Federals slowly began to envelop the
key city of Chattanooga. Bragg, in fear of being flanked, retreated into
Georgia. Rosecrans seized the strategic rail center, then started in
quest of Bragg’s army.

This brought on the desperate battle of Chickamauga (September 19-20).
On the first day Bragg attacked but failed to break Rosecrans’s line.
That night Gen. James Longstreet arrived from Lee’s army with fresh
Confederate troops. Bragg renewed the attack the following morning.
After several hours of intense fighting, the Confederates pierced the
Federal lines. Rosecrans’s right flank, and the general himself,
retreated in disorder to Chattanooga. But the Federal left held fast
until darkness ended the conflict.

    [Illustration: Confederate troops at Chickamauga tried desperately
    to rout the Federal army, but a determined stand by blueclad
    soldiers under Virginia-born George H. Thomas, the “Rock of
    Chickamauga,” prevented a complete collapse.]

    [Illustration: George H. Thomas.]

In the two-day battle of Chickamauga, 35,000 men were killed, wounded,
or captured. Bragg’s victory, while complete, became hollow when he
failed to pursue the broken and beaten Federal army. The Federals were
able to reorganize and prepare for a new campaign. Grant soon arrived at
Chattanooga and took command of all Federal operations in the West.
Bragg’s Confederates took positions on the major hills overlooking the

From November 23 to 25, the Federals made a series of attacks on Lookout
Mountain, Orchard Knob, and Missionary Ridge. In the end, and for the
first time, Southern soldiers ran in mass panic from a field.
Half-starved Confederate soldiers continued their retreat all the way to
Dalton, Ga. Bragg was finished as a field commander.

                            1863 IN THE EAST

On the night of March 8, dapper John S. Mosby and his Confederate
partisan rangers attacked Fairfax Court House, Va., only a few miles
from Washington. The most important item bagged at Fairfax by the
Confederates was the garrison commander, Gen. Edwin Stoughton, who was
captured while asleep in bed.

    [Illustration: John S. Mosby (the hatless figure fourth from left),
    pictured with some of his partisan rangers. The “Gray Ghost” weighed
    only 125 pounds.]

From April 29 until May 8, Federal cavalry under Gen. George Stoneman
cut a swath of destruction through Virginia almost to Richmond itself.
Yet Stoneman’s absence from the Army of the Potomac helped Lee win
perhaps his greatest victory. Late in April, Gen. Joseph Hooker started
southward toward Richmond with an army of 133,000 soldiers. His line of
march was through a mass of thick woods and dense undergrowth known as
the Wilderness. There “Stonewall” Jackson delivered a surprise flank
attack at a road junction called Chancellorsville.

Intense fighting lasted three days and extended from Chancellorsville
ten miles eastward to Fredericksburg. Hooker suffered 17,000 losses.
Soon the defeated Federal army was limping up familiar roads toward

Over 12,800 Confederate soldiers were killed or wounded at
Chancellorsville. Yet the hardest blow of all was the death of Jackson.
Accidentally shot by his own men, Jackson died of complications on May

Lee’s army soon started on a second invasion of the North. Four reasons
prompted this thrust: (1) Southern hopes that Lee might capture an
important city such as Harrisburg, Baltimore or Washington, relieve the
pressure on Vicksburg in the West, and possibly effect a victorious
peace; (2) the hope too that a great victory on Northern soil might
cause England to offer mediation in the war; (3) the desire to transfer
the war from ravaged Virginia; and (4) the need to acquire supplies for
Confederate soldiers.

With his army at a peak strength of 75,000 men, Lee crossed the Potomac
in mid-June. Lincoln soon replaced Hooker with a Pennsylvanian, Gen.
George G. Meade. By the end of June the 90,000-man Federal army was
moving northward from Maryland into Pennsylvania in search of the
Confederates, who had turned southward in search of supplies. Advancing
from opposite directions, these two mighty forces collided at
Gettysburg, Pa.

For three days (July 1-3) Lee delivered one attack after another. The
climax of the battle came on the afternoon of July 3. Gen. George
Pickett’s 15,000 men charged across an open field against the center of
the Federal line. Pickett’s assault failed, with 50% casualties, and the
battle ended with this attack. Over 43,000 men were killed, wounded, or
listed as missing at Gettysburg. The Army of the Potomac had won its
first clear-cut victory. Coupled with the fall of Vicksburg on July 4,
this defeat brought Southern morale to a new low.

Lee retreated to Virginia. Both armies took strong positions on opposite
banks of the Rapidan River and awaited possible movements by one
another. Cavalry engagements and infantry skirmishes occupied most of
the remainder of that year.

    [Illustration: George G. Meade (4th from right) and some of his
    officers at their winter headquarters in Virginia. Note the barrel
    used as a chimney for one of the winter huts.]


In 1864 the Federal war machine moved into high gear. The two men most
responsible were Abraham Lincoln, who on March 9 named U. S. Grant as
supreme army commander, and Grant himself, who made immediate
preparations to strangle the Confederacy.

Grant’s master plan was simple: Attack. Federal forces would attack
simultaneously at all points and apply constant pressure on the
ever-weakening Southern states. The Confederacy, Grant reasoned, could
not withstand such a continual onslaught.

Grant went east to campaign with the Army of the Potomac. Gen. Sherman
took over command of the western forces. Federal drives in both East and
West would henceforth proceed from one consistent strategy. While these
two generals mapped out details for their joint offensive, a third
Federal force met defeat in one of the fiascos of the war. On March 14
Gen. Nathaniel Banks, 40,000 troops, and 50 ships started up the Red
River. Their objectives were to gain control of Louisiana and East
Texas, to counteract threats from the Emperor Maximilian in Mexico, and
to seize large stores of cotton. The expedition was a failure in every

To make matters worse for the North, Nathan Bedford Forrest and his
Confederate horsemen stormed Fort Pillow, Tenn., on April 12 and killed
most of the Negro troops garrisoned there. Sherman dispatched all
available cavalry to rid the West once and for all of the elusive
Forrest. The result was the June 10 battle of Brice’s Cross Roads,
Miss., in which Forrest won his greatest victory.

In spite of the activities of such Confederate horsemen as Forrest,
Morgan, Mosby, and Stuart, Grant and Sherman went ahead with their grand
offensives. The main Confederate defenses extended from northwestern
Georgia along the eastern edge of the mountains to Winchester, Va.,
thence southeastward across Virginia through Fredericksburg and
Richmond. Early in May both Grant and Sherman struck southward. Sherman,
leading over 100,000 veterans, marched toward the key city of Atlanta.
Grant, with an Army of the Potomac that numbered 118,000 men, retraced
Hooker’s steps through the Wilderness in a new “On to Richmond” drive.

The going proved rough and costly for both generals. Opposing Sherman
were Gen. Joseph Johnston and a reorganized Army of Tennessee. Johnston
realized that his 53,000 ill-equipped soldiers were no match for a
stand-up fight with Sherman’s massed divisions. The Confederate
commander therefore resorted to delaying actions and defensive battles
while Sherman tried flanking movements and sharp probes in an effort to
trap Johnston.

    [Illustration: In the Federal siege lines around Atlanta, “Cump”
    Sherman (legs crossed, leaning against a Parrott gun) and his aides
    posed for this photograph.]

By mid-July Sherman had forced Johnston into the trenches of Atlanta. On
July 18 President Davis replaced Johnston with Gen. John B. Hood, who,
although minus a leg and the use of an arm, had a reputation as a hard
fighter. Hood quickly lived up to that reputation. On July 20, two days
after assuming command, Hood attacked Sherman along Peachtree Creek. The
Southerners were repulsed. Two days later Hood attacked again in East
Atlanta. Again the Confederates were hurled back with heavy losses. Hood
then strengthened his defenses around Atlanta, and Sherman tightened his

Meanwhile, Grant in Virginia had met with a similar stalemate—and at a
more terrible cost. Grant encountered no opposition as he started
through the Wilderness toward Lee and Richmond. But as the Federal army
crept through the tangled undergrowth, Lee’s 60,000 Confederates struck
suddenly and viciously. Two days (May 5-6) of savage fighting occurred
in which Grant met a bloody checkmate.

Yet Grant did not retreat as other generals before him had done. Instead
he unfolded his new and radical policy of hammering at Lee while edging
closer to Richmond. Grant knew that Lee could not replace his losses,
for Southern manpower was all but exhausted. On the other hand, Grant
could draw on the vast manpower of the north. With Grant the Civil War
was to be a fight to the finish.

    [Illustration: Bitter fighting in the “Bloody Angle” at Spotsylvania
    was typical of the action in the six-week Wilderness Campaign of

The Army of the Potomac pushed stubbornly toward Richmond. Lee tried
desperately to block it, winning victories at Spotsylvania (May 12),
North Anna (May 23), and Cold Harbor (June 3). In the last-named
engagement, over 7,200 Federals fell in less than twenty minutes of
fighting. While Lee contested Grant’s moves, another and makeshift
Confederate force under Gen. Beauregard repelled a Federal stab (May
15-19) at Richmond and Petersburg by Gen. Benjamin Butler.

Grant recognized that he could not take Richmond by direct approach. He
shifted his army around the city and moved on Petersburg, a rail
junction and important link in the Confederate chain of defenses. Lee at
first was unaware of Grant’s plans to attack Petersburg. But Beauregard
successfully beat back the initial Federal thrusts, thus forcing Grant
to begin what became a nine-month siege of Petersburg. Many probes were
made of Lee’s defenses. The most spectacular of these occurred on July
30 and is known as the Battle of the Crater.

Coal miners in the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry dug a long tunnel under
the Confederate earthworks. Their plan was to explode 8,000 pounds of
black powder, blast a mighty gap in the Confederate defenses, and then
to use the resulting confusion for a large-scale Federal attack.

The explosion and confusion came off as planned. But the Federal assault
failed. Grant resumed his tight siege. In the fighting from the
Wilderness to Petersburg, the Federal army had suffered 60,000
casualties—more men than were in Lee’s whole army. Yet Grant knew, as
did many Confederates, that Lee was now pinned down. The well-equipped
and well-fed Federal army could afford to wait.

    [Illustration: The July 30, 1864, mine explosion, as seen from the
    Federal lines. Newspaper correspondent Alfred A. Waud made this

Other related actions took place in Virginia. On May 11, Gen. Philip
Sheridan’s cavalry clashed with “Jeb” Stuart’s horsemen a few miles
north of Richmond at Yellow Tavern. Sheridan’s men were driven back. Yet
this battle cost the Confederacy the colorful Stuart, mortally wounded
while leading his troops.

On May 15 the Confederates scored another victory in the Shenandoah
Valley. Gen. Franz Siegel and 8,000 Federal horsemen advanced up the
Valley as far as New Market. There they encountered a hastily assembled
Confederate force less than half the size of Siegel’s division. The
highlight of the battle was the successful charge of 225 youthful cadets
from the Virginia Military Institute. Siegel’s force suffered an
embarrassing defeat and fled down the Valley.

Both Lee and Grant recognized the importance of control of the Valley.
Yet neither could afford to dislodge his army from Petersburg. Grant
therefore organized a separate force under Gen. David Hunter with orders
to move into the Valley and “to eat up Virginia clear and clean as far
as [you] can go, so that crows flying over it for the balance of this
season will have to carry their provender with them.”

To oppose Hunter, Lee rushed westward a small Confederate army under
Gen. Jubal Early. Hunter burned and looted his way as far as Lynchburg
before Early sent them scurrying over the mountains. Early then decided
to make an invasion of his own. Sweeping down the Valley, he crossed the
Potomac and moved to the outskirts of Washington. Yet “Jubal’s Raid”
(July 4-20) failed when Early decided not to attack the Northern

Grant resolved that no such threat to Washington would again occur. He
dispatched a large Federal army under Sheridan into the Valley. Early,
woefully outnumbered, nevertheless put up stiff resistance. Only after
victories at Winchester (September 19), Fisher’s Hill (September 22),
and Cedar Creek (October 19) could Sheridan declare the Valley once and
for all cleared of Confederate forces.

In Georgia at this time, Sherman was also meeting with success. Federal
victories at Ezra Church (July 28) and Jonesboro (August 31-September 1)
compelled Hood to evacuate Atlanta. Sherman occupied the city on
September 2. The fall of Atlanta was a valuable assist to Lincoln in his
reelection to the presidency that autumn.

    [Illustration: The railroad yards and ruins of Atlanta, photographed
    shortly after the fall of the city.]

Sherman felt strongly that the war had to be carried to the Southern
people themselves before the Confederacy would collapse. He therefore
laid plans to slash through the very heart of the South. The campaign
that followed is known as the “March to the Sea.”

Sherman first sent part of his army under Gen. Thomas back to Tennessee
to watch Hood, whose Confederates had moved northward in an effort to
force Sherman from Georgia. With Thomas blocking Hood, Sherman on
November 16 left Atlanta in flames and started toward the Georgia coast
with 68,000 veteran fighters. Sherman met little opposition during his
advance, and on December 22 he telegraphed Lincoln: “I beg to present
you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah, with 150 heavy guns and
plenty of ammunition, and also about 25,000 bales of cotton.”

    [Illustration: Kentucky-born John B. Hood first gained fame as
    commander of a Texas infantry brigade. He was an excellent division
    or corps commander, but unsuited for the leadership of an army.]

Meanwhile, Hood’s strategy in Tennessee backfired tragically. At
Franklin, Tenn., on November 30, Hood hurled his army against a part of
Thomas’s force under Gen. John M. Schofield. Hood’s assaults cost 6,000
Confederates, including 5 generals and 53 regimental colonels. Two weeks
later, Thomas’s troops all but destroyed Hood’s army when the
Confederates made repeated assaults at Nashville.

Sherman’s strategy had cut the Confederacy in two. Although Grant was
then no closer to Richmond than McClellan had been two years earlier,
all that remained of the Confederacy were Virginia, the Carolinas, and
isolated areas of the Trans-Mississippi.

    [Illustration: Fort Darling, a Confederate defense overlooking the
    James River at Drewry’s Bluff. In the left foreground can be seen
    one of the bombproof shelters used by defenders.]


After a month’s rest at Savannah, Sherman on February 1 started
northward to strike through the Carolinas and join Grant in Virginia for
the final blow against Lee. Sherman’s major opposition was the remnant
of the Army of Tennessee, which had been placed again under the command
of Gen. Joseph Johnston.

Johnston could offer but feeble resistance to Sherman. Federal troops
occupied Charleston and were in Columbia when the latter was gutted by
fire. On March 10 Sherman’s forces seized Fayetteville in central North
Carolina, brushed back part of Johnston’s army six days later at
Averysboro, and successfully withstood a Confederate attack at
Bentonville (March 19-21).

Meanwhile, Grant had been mustering his forces for a grand drive against
Lee’s weak defenses. Throughout the long siege of Petersburg Grant had
slowly extended his lines farther to the south and west. Lee had no
choice but to stretch his own meager defenses accordingly. Soon the
Southern defenses were dangerously overextended.

This was the situation which Grant had sought. On April 1 he attacked
Lee at Five Forks, sixteen miles southwest of Petersburg. The
Confederate line bent and then broke. That night the Army of Northern
Virginia abandoned the Richmond-Petersburg trenches and slowly moved
westward in retreat. At the same time President Davis transferred the
Confederate capital to Danville near the North Carolina border, Lee’s
major hope was to rendezvous at Danville with Johnston’s army, then
falling back in the face of Sherman’s advance. Together, Lee speculated,
he and Johnston might be able to defeat first Sherman and then Grant.

    [Illustration: This April, 1865, photograph shows the gutted
    business district of Richmond. The prominent building in the center
    was the Confederate capitol.]

The dream quickly faded. As Lee’s army plodded westward, Grant’s
divisions snipped at its heels at Amelia Court House (April 4-5),
Sailor’s Creek (April 6), High Bridge (April 7), and Farmville (April
7). On April 8, near Appomattox Court House, Lee found the way blocked
by massed infantry and cavalry under Sheridan. The Confederates were
surrounded. On Palm Sunday, April 9, Lee surrendered to Grant. Three
days later, 28,000 Confederates in the Army of Northern Virginia stacked
their muskets before silent lines of Federal soldiers.

Lee’s surrender left Johnston with no place to go. On April 26, near
Durham, N. C., the Army of Tennessee laid down its arms before Sherman’s
forces. With the surrender of isolated forces in the Trans-Mississippi
West on May 4, 11, and 26, the most costly war in American history came
to an end.

    [Illustration: The imposing farmhouse of Wilmer McLean was the site
    of Lee’s surrender to Grant.]

    [Illustration: In contrast, Johnston surrendered to Sherman in the
    small frame cottage of James Bennett.]

    [Illustration: THE CIVIL WAR
    Compiled and drawn by Caroline Gray Holcomb SEPT. 1963]

                           SUGGESTED READINGS

  Angle, Paul M., and Miers, E. S., eds., _Tragic Years, 1860-1865_ (2
          vols., 1960)
  Barrett, John G., _Sherman’s March through the Carolinas_ (1956)
  Boatner, Mark M., III, _The Civil War Dictionary_ (1959)
  Catton, Bruce, _The Centennial History of the Civil War_ (2 vols.,
  ____, _Glory Road_ (1952)
  ____, _Mr. Lincoln’s Army_ (1951)
  ____, _A Stillness At Appomattox_ (1953)
  ____, _This Hallowed Ground_ (1956)
  Commager, Henry S., ed., _The Blue and the Gray_ (2 vols., 1950)
  Coulter, E. Merton, _The Confederate States of America_, 1861-1865
  Donald, David, _et al._, eds., _Divided We Fought_ (1952)
  ____, ed., _Why The North Won The Civil War_ (1960)
  Dowdey, Clifford, _The Land They Fought For_ (1955)
  Eaton, Clement, _A History of the Southern Confederacy_ (1954)
  Eisenschiml, Otto, and Newman, R. G., eds., _The American Iliad_
  Foote, Shelby, _The Civil War_ (2 vols., 1958-63)
  Freeman, Douglas S., _Lee’s Lieutenants_ (3 vols., 1942-44)
  Harwell, Richard, ed., _The Confederate Reader_ (1957)
  ____, ed., _The Union Reader_ (1958)
  Henry, Robert S., _The Story of the Confederacy_ (1931, 1936)
  Horn, Stanley F., _The Army of Tennessee_ (1941, 1953)
  Jones, Archer, _Confederate Strategy from Shiloh to Vicksburg_ (1961)
  Ketchum, Richard M., ed., _The American Heritage Picture Book of the
          Civil War_ (1960)
  Miller, Francis T., ed., _The Photographic History of the Civil War_
          (10 vols., 1911, 1957)
  Monaghan, Jay, _The Civil War on the Western Border, 1864-1865_ (1955)
  Nevins, Allan, _The War For The Union_ (2 vols., 1959-60)
  Randall, James G., and Donald, David, _The Civil War and
          Reconstruction_ (1961)
  Williams, Kenneth P., _Lincoln Finds a General_ (5 vols., 1949-59)

(_Students should also consult bibliographies in the above works for
      additional readings._)

    [Illustration: Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery is one of the larger
    depositories for Confederate dead. This 1865 photograph shows the
    wooden slabs then used for headstones.]

                               IV. LOSSES

More Americans died in the Civil War than in all of America’s other wars
combined. From the French and Indian wars of the 1750’s through the
hostilities in Korea in the 1950’s (with the exception of the Civil
War), 606,000 American soldiers died in the line of duty. In the Civil
War alone, over 618,000 men perished in four years of fighting.

The North lost 360,022 soldiers. Of that number, 67,058 were killed in
action, while 43,012 later died of battle wounds. A total of 275,175
Federals received wounds while fighting.

Accurate records do not exist for the Confederate side. The total number
of Southern soldiers killed was approximately 258,000. About 94,000 were
killed or fatally wounded in battle. No figures exist for the number of
Confederates who were wounded in action.

Lord Alfred Tennyson’s famous poem, “The Charge of the Light Brigade,”
tells of the assault of a British cavalry unit in the Crimean War. In
its charge the Light Brigade sustained 37% losses. Yet at Gettysburg on
July 2, 1863, the 1st Minnesota Infantry lost 82% of its strength in
that day’s fighting. At Antietam the 1st Texas suffered 82% casualties
in a few hours of combat. The 27th Tennessee had 54% losses at Shiloh;
six months later, the same regiment lost 53% of its remaining strength
at the battle of Perryville. In all during the Civil War, no less than
63 Federal and 52 Confederate regiments lost over 50% of their strength
_in a single engagement_.

    [Illustration: After a battle it was not always possible to bury the
    dead. Here bleached bones mark the spots where soldiers died in the
    fighting at Gaines’s Mill.]

Other statistics of the Civil War give an equally horrible picture. Over
400,000 soldiers died of sickness and disease. For every man killed in
battle, two men died behind the lines from such maladies as smallpox,
measles, pneumonia, and intestinal disorders. It is a sad fact that
almost as many Federal soldiers (57,265) died of dysentery and diarrhea
as were killed outright on the battlefield (67,058). Since conditions in
Confederate armies were worse, the number of Southern deaths from
sickness was probably higher.

    [Illustration: Field hospitals, such as this one established near
    Mechanicsville in June, 1862, could usually be found near the
    battlefield. The man in the center foreground is a doctor examining
    the leg wound of a soldier.]

                           SUGGESTED READINGS

  Adams, George W., _Doctors in Blue_ (1952)
  Cunningham, H. H., _Doctors in Gray_ (1958)
  Fox, William F., _Regimental Losses in the American Civil War_ (1898)
  Livermore, Thomas L., _Numbers and Losses in the Civil War in America,
          1861-1865_ (1900, 1956)
  Phisterer, Frederick, _Statistical Record of the Armies of the United
          States_ (1883)

                               V. NAVIES

Naval affairs were among the most critical problems facing each side in
1861. The Federal navy was woefully small and widely scattered.
Moreover, the Confederate seacoast extended 3,500 miles from the
Chesapeake Bay to the Mexican border. It contained hundreds of inlets,
bays, and river openings. Not even a drastically enlarged Federal navy
could patrol so vast a region.

Lincoln and his Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, soon devised an
effective plan. The North would weaken the Confederacy by blockading its
chief ports—Norfolk, New Bern, Wilmington, Beaufort, Charleston,
Savannah, Pensacola, Mobile, New Orleans, and Galveston.

    [Illustration: A former Hartford, Conn., newspaper editor, Sec. of
    the Navy Gideon Welles was one of the more industrious and loyal
    members of Lincoln’s cabinet.]

    [Illustration: His Confederate counterpart, Stephen R. Mallory of
    Florida, was one of only two men who remained in Davis’s cabinet
    throughout the war.]

Lincoln accordingly proclaimed a blockade shortly after war began.
Several months passed before Federal Squadrons could begin to enforce
this blockade. Yet the Federal ring of ships became increasingly
stronger as the war progressed. As a result, Federal forces were able to
peck away at Southern coastal defenses.

In 1861 Union amphibious forces captured Fort Hatteras, N. C., and Port
Royal, S. C. During the next year Roanoke Island, N. C., New Bern, N.
C., Fort Pulaski, Ga., Fort Macon, N. C., New Orleans, La., and
Pensacola, Fla., fell into Federal hands in that order. The Confederates
rallied in 1863 and managed to hold their remaining coastal works,
particularly Charleston, S. C.

Northern fleets continued to apply pressure all along the Southern
coast. Two engagements marked the effectiveness of coastal attacks. On
August 5, 1864, Admiral David Farragut—the greatest naval figure
produced by the war—led his Federal squadron into mine-infested Mobile
Bay with the battle cry: “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!”
Farragut so neutralized this last Confederate port on the Gulf of Mexico
that its surrender was an anticlimax. Then, five months later, on
January 15, 1865, Federal forces stormed and captured Fort Fisher, N.
C., the last great Southern defense on the Atlantic coast.

    [Illustration: David G. Farragut’s exploits in the Civil War made
    him the first man in American naval history elevated to the rank of
    full admiral.]

Federal navies also saw much service on the Mississippi River. A wide
assortment of Federal vessels campaigned against such Confederate
strongholds as Memphis, Tenn., and Vicksburg, Miss. Some were little
more than steamboats converted into warships by means of steel plating
and deck guns. Others were sailing craft, with high decks and tall
masts. One new type of gunboat made its appearance on the Mississippi:
the steel ram. Designed by a civilian engineer, Charles Ellet, Jr., this
little ship had great speed and maneuverability. Its principal weapon
was a heavy prow, which was used to sink a ship by striking it

    [Illustration: Ellet’s steam rams had no guns and little beauty, but
    by their speed they opened the Mississippi past Memphis for Federal

The Confederacy was born without a navy. Secretary of the Navy Stephen
R. Mallory was never able to develop a fleet that could contest the
ever-increasing Federal navy. Lack of funds, lack of shipbuilding
facilities, and effective Northern diplomacy overseas restricted
Confederate efforts to privateers, to blockade-running, and for the most
part, to undertakings by individual ships.

Most of the twenty Confederate raiders achieved a measure of fame and
success before they were destroyed. For example, the C.S.S. _Florida_,
under Capt. John Newland Maffitt, captured thirty-four ships before she
herself was seized in Brazil in 1864. The English-built _Alabama_,
commanded by Capt. Raphael Semmes, compiled a more remarkable record. In
two years on the high seas, the _Alabama_ took sixty-two prizes. On June
19, 1864, however, this Confederate vessel went to the bottom off the
coast of France after an historic duel with the U.S.S. _Kearsage_.
Captain James I. Waddell’s steam raider, the _Shenandoah_, roamed the
Pacific Ocean in quest of Federal game. Her crew bagged forty ships,
including eight seized two months after the war on land had ended. On
November 6, 1865, the _Shenandoah_ furled its Confederate colors in
Liverpool, England.

    [Illustration: In their famous battle, the _Alabama_ (right) and
    _Kearsage_ circled and fired for an hour at a range of 900 yards.
    The _Alabama_ sank after many direct hits.]

The most famous Civil War contest between ships occurred March 9, 1862,
in Hampton Roads, Va. The Confederates had raised from the bottom of
Norfolk harbor the Federal warship, _Merrimac_. John Mercer Brooke and
John L. Porter had then converted the craft into an ironclad vessel
which the Confederates rechristened the _Virginia_. Sloping iron plates
four inches thick protected her decks. The ironclad carried a battering
ram weighing 1,500 pounds, plus ten guns. On March 8 the _Virginia_
steamed into Hampton Roads. She easily destroyed two wooden Federal
warships and ran a third aground.

    [Illustration: The _Monitor_ (left) was the creation of Swedish-born
    John Ericsson, who had difficulty in selling his strange vessel to
    the Federal navy. The re-christened _Merrimac_ (right) carried more
    guns, but so difficult was the ship to maneuver that it required 30
    minutes to turn it around.]

On the following day, however, the North came forward with a
revolutionary weapon of its own. This was the _Monitor_, so
weird-looking a craft that sailors referred to it as a “tin can on a
shingle.” The three-hour battle between the _Monitor_ and the _Virginia_
was a draw. Neither ship could pierce the plating of the other. Yet this
indecisive battle caused a revolution in naval craft, for it
foreshadowed the day when wooden ships would be obsolete.

Two months later, trapped in Hampton Roads, the _Virginia_ was run
aground and destroyed. In December, 1862, the _Monitor_ went down in an
Atlantic storm near the North Carolina coast.

The Confederates made several notable innovations in the field of naval

One was an ironclad ram that had the appearance and characteristics of a
monster. This was the _Arkansas_, which the Confederates somehow put
together in the summer of 1862 to combat Federal ships on the
Mississippi. Constructed of wood, railroad rails, wire, and bits and
pieces of iron collected from all over the South, the _Arkansas_
scattered several Federal gunboats, created panic on the Mississippi,
and managed to survive a heavy Federal bombardment near Vicksburg.

At Baton Rouge, however, the ironclad’s engines failed. The ram’s
commander, Lieutenant H. K. Stevens, ordered the helpless ship
destroyed. The _Arkansas_ enjoyed only one month of action; yet Federal
Admiral David Farragut called the end of the _Arkansas_ “one of the
happiest moments of my life.”

The Confederacy also had the first submarine of modern design. Built in
1863 at Mobile, the _H. L. Hunley_ was named for its inventor. In the
process of its trial runs, the thirty-five-foot vessel sank four times
and drowned as many crews. Nevertheless, the _Hunley_ was borne overland
to Charleston, S. C., to campaign against a fleet of Federal blockaders.
On the night of February 17, 1864, the little submarine torpedoed and
sank the Federal warship, _Housatonic_. But the _Hunley_ and its fifth
crew of seven men perished in the explosion.

    [Illustration: This Official U. S. Navy photograph shows the
    Confederate torpedo boat _David_ aground in Charleston harbor.
    Semi-submersible, the _David_ is often called a submarine.]

In addition to the submarine, Confederates also developed the water mine
and the torpedo boat. The latter was a small vessel, propelled by a
steam engine. It drifted along the surface of the water and attacked
enemy ships with a torpedo suspended from a long spar. The first of
these torpedo boats, the _David_, appeared in Charleston harbor early in
October, 1863, and seriously damaged the blockading warship, _New

But such innovations could not overcome the constant and painful
pressure of large Federal fleets all along the Southern coast. So vital
were the navies to the Northern war effort, James G. Randall wrote,
“that Union victory without the naval contribution seems inconceivable.”

                           SUGGESTED READINGS

  Ammen, Daniel, _The Navy in the Civil War: The Atlantic Coast_ (1883,
          1960, 1962).
  Carse, Robert, _Blockade_ (1958).
  Dufour, Charles L., _The Night the War Was Lost_ (1960).
  Durkin, Joseph T., _Stephen R. Mallory: Confederate Navy Chief_
  Gosnell, H. Allen, _Guns on the Western Waters_ (1949).
  Horn, Stanley F., _Gallant Rebel_ (1947).
  Jones, Virgil C., _The Civil War at Sea_ (3 vols., 1960-62).
  Lewis, Charles L., _David Glasgow Farragut, Our First Admiral_ (2
          vols., 1941-43).
  Mahan, Alfred T., _The Navy in the Civil War: The Gulf and Inland
          Waters_ (1883, 1960, 1962).
  Merrill, James M., _The Rebel Shore_ (1957).
  Porter, David D., _The Naval History of the Civil War_ (1886).
  Robinson, William M., Jr., _The Confederate Privateers_ (1928).
  Scharf, J. Thomas, _History of the Confederate States Navy_ (1887).
  Semmes, Raphael, _Service Afloat_ (1903).
  ____, _The Confederate Raider Alabama_ (1962).
  Sinclair, Arthur, _Two Years on the Alabama_ (1895).
  Soley, James R., _The Navy in the Civil War: The Blockade and the
          Cruisers_ (1883, 1960, 1962).
  West, Richard S., Jr., _Gideon Welles: Lincoln’s Navy Department_
  ____, _Mr. Lincoln’s Navy_ (1957).
  White, William and Ruth, _Tin Can on a Shingle_ (1957).

    [Illustration: Young boys known as “Powder Monkeys” served on almost
    every warship in the Civil War. This little sailor stands on the
    deck of the U.S.S. _New Hampshire_.]

                             VI. DIPLOMACY

What the nations of Europe did—or did not do—were matters of constant
and vital concern to both North and South during the Civil War.
President Davis and other Confederate officials hoped earnestly that
England, and possibly France as well, would recognize the independence
of the Southern nation and grant it much-needed aid. President Lincoln
and the Federal authorities were just as desirous that European powers
should not intervene in the American struggle. Thus, starting in 1861,
both sides began a determined tug-of-war to woo the statesmen of Europe
to their respective cause.

    [Illustration: James Mason and John Slidell were both former U. S.
    senators. Mason chewed tobacco arduously and could be crude in

    [Illustration: Slidell spoke French fluently and had married into
    Louisiana Creole aristocracy.]

The first major international incident occurred in the autumn of 1861
and is known as the “Trent Affair”. Two Confederate commissioners, James
M. Mason and John Slidell, were sent to plead the South’s cause at
London and Paris, respectively. The agents were en route on the British
mail steamer, _Trent_, when, on November 8, a Federal warship, the _San
Jacinto_, stopped the British vessel on the high seas. Mason and Slidell
were removed from the _Trent_ and imprisoned at Fort Warren in Boston.

Northern officials were unprepared for the storm of indignation that
came from England. The _San Jacinto_, it was pointed out, had violated
English neutrality by intercepting the _Trent_. Equally outrageous to
the British was the fact that the _San Jacinto_ had fired two warning
shots across the _Trent’s_ bow. This was equivalent to firing at the
British flag; as such, it constituted an act of war against England.

Fortunately for the North, Lincoln and his Secretary of State, William
H. Seward, were able to resolve the incident with a minimum of ill
feelings. Apologies were dispatched to London. Mason and Slidell were
released from prison and allowed to continue their overseas journey
without further Federal interference.

    [Illustration: Only five feet, four inches tall, William H. Seward
    nevertheless became the most powerful and respected member of
    Lincoln’s cabinet.]

In addition to Mason and Slidell, the Confederacy utilized a number of
foreign agents. Most of these commissioners pursued a policy of “King
Cotton diplomacy”—that is, promising England and France large quantities
of the popular staple in return for official recognition of, and active
aid to, the Southern Confederacy. When the demand for American cotton
dropped sharply in Europe, this approach failed.

Southern agents Henry Hotze, Edwin DeLeon, and James D. Bulloch then
tried new strategy. They wrote extensively about the close ties in
business and society between the English aristocracy and the great
Southern planters, a lower tariff on foreign-made goods if the
Confederacy triumphed in the war, and a more active European
participation in American commerce.

The nations in Europe had other reasons for wishing to assist the
Southern cause. The Federal blockade prevented English goods from
reaching eager Southern markets. Many persons abroad looked on the Civil
War as a struggle of the South for the right of self-determination. On
the other hand, the British middle and working classes detested slavery.
After Lincoln’s Emancipation, most Europeans believed that the North was
waging a great struggle for freedom.

    [Illustration: Judah P. Benjamin of Louisiana served successively as
    Confederate Attorney General, Secretary of War, and Secretary of

Although the South tried desperately to gain much-needed European
support, it was largely unsuccessful. British and French shipbuilders
did sell several vessels to the Confederate government. Yet this aid
dropped to a thin trickle following Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
Spectacular Federal victories at Vicksburg and Gettysburg forever doomed
the South’s hopes for foreign aid.

    [Illustration: Charles Francis Adams was the son of the 6th
    President of the U. S. In 1860 his affiliation with the Whig Party
    prevented him from receiving a post in Lincoln’s cabinet.]

The one man who unquestionably did most to keep Europe neutral during
the Civil War was the American minister to England, Charles Francis
Adams. He skillfully thwarted the efforts of Confederate emissaries,
expounded the North’s cause with vigor and tact, and let it be known at
opportune times that assistance to the Confederacy could occasion war
with the United States. Adams fought a host of Southern agents around
the diplomatic tables of Europe. “When all the facts are considered,”
one author has stated, “it must be admitted that the character and
ability of Charles Francis Adams were as valuable as Union military
victories in contributing to ultimate success in the war.”

                           SUGGESTED READINGS

  Adams, Charles Francis, _Studies Military and Diplomatic, 1775-1865_
  Adams, Ephraim D., _Great Britain and the American Civil War_ (2
          vols., 1925).
  Bulloch, James D., _The Secret Service of the Confederate States in
          Europe_ (2 vols., 1883, 1960).
  Callahan, James M., _Diplomatic History of the Southern Confederacy_
  Duberman, Martin B., _Charles Francis Adams, 1807-1886_ (1961).
  Jordan, Donaldson and Pratt, E. J., _Europe and the American Civil
          War_ (1931).
  Meade, Robert D., _Judah P. Benjamin: Confederate Statesman_ (1943).
  Monaghan, Jay, _Diplomat in Carpet Slippers_ (1945).
  Owsley, Frank L., _King Cotton Diplomacy_ (1925, 1961).
  Sears, Louise B., _John Slidell_ (1925).
  Seward, Frederick W., _Reminiscences of a War-Time Statesman and
          Diplomat, 1830-1915_ (1916).
  ____, Ed., _Autobiography of William H. Seward_ (1877).
  Sideman, Belle B., and Friedman, Lillian, eds., _Europe Looks at the
          Civil War_ (1960).
  Woldman, Albert A., _Lincoln and the Russians_ (1952).

    [Illustration: Confederate prisoners at Camp Douglas, near Chicago,
    Ill. This photograph was taken soon after the camp became a compound
    for prisoners.]


The Civil War was the first time that the nation had to contend with
large numbers of war prisoners. As might be expected, therefore,
policies and treatment varied greatly—and oftentimes sadly.

During the war the Confederates captured about 211,000 Federal soldiers.
Of this number, 16,000 agreed to battlefield paroles—signed promises
that they would not bear arms again. Conversely, Federal forces took
some 215,000 Confederates as prisoners. At various times throughout the
war, both sides made efforts to establish a workable program of prisoner
exchange. (A ratio of exchange once existed whereby forty privates
equalled one major-general.) However, owing to misunderstandings,
violations of terms, and Grant’s determination late in the war to bring
the South to its knees at all costs, prisoner exchange was slight and

The most notorious Southern prisons were: Libby and Castle Thunder,
which were converted warehouses in Richmond; Belle Isle in the James
River; “Camp Sorghum” at Columbia, S. C.; and Camp Sumter at
Andersonville, Ga. Among the worst of the Northern compounds were:
Elmira Prison Camp in southwestern New York State; Point Lookout, on the
Chesapeake Bay; Johnson’s Island, in Lake Erie a few miles offshore from
Ohio; Camp Douglas, near Chicago; and Rock Island Prison Camp, Illinois.

Writing of these compounds in general, one historian has observed: “The
prisons of the Civil War were of a considerable variety in structure and
general make-up and for the most part consisted of temporary structures
or old unused buildings not originally intended to confine prisoners.
Most of them, judged by present-day standards of sanitation and safety,
would have been condemned as uninhabitable.”

    [Illustration: This is an artist’s conception of the horrors of life
    in Andersonville. The hastily built camp spread over 26 acres.]

    [Illustration: A _Harper’s Weekly_ artist sketched an orderly and
    clean Elmira Prison that was a far cry from actual conditions. For a
    modest sum, curious townspeople were permitted to mount observation
    towers and view the prisoners.]

Small wonder that great suffering existed in most prison camps, both
North and South. In the nine-month history of the huge prison at
Andersonville, Ga., a total of 45,613 Federals were jammed into a
Stockade containing one polluted stream of water, few shelters, less
food, and no sanitation. Over 12,900 prisoners died of disease,
exposure, and starvation at Andersonville. Confederate authorities
maintained that Federal prisoners in Andersonville received the same
slim food ration as did their guards, and that the whole South suffered
badly for want of medicines.

    [Illustration: Only captured Federal officers were confined in Libby
    Prison. Several escapes, and innumerable charges of inhuman
    treatment, marked this compound’s four-year history.]

The North’s prison camp at Elmira, N. Y., had many similarities to
Andersonville. This Federal compound existed for a year. During that
time, 2,963 of 12,123 Confederate prisoners died from various causes. In
the twenty-month life of Rock Island Prison Camp, 1,960 of 12,400
Southern inmates succumbed to exposure and disease. At six remote
tobacco warehouses in Danville, Virginia, 1,400 of 7,000 Federal
prisoners died of smallpox, malnutrition, and intestinal disorders in
the space of a year.

In all, the Chief of the U. S. Record and Pension Office reported in
1903, 25,976 Confederates and 30,218 Federals died in Civil War prisons.

It is difficult still to give an accurate and impartial summary of Civil
War prisons. Conflicting facts, lost records, and bitter feelings hamper
attempts to arrive at a just verdict. But perhaps Prof. James Ford
Rhodes was not far from the truth when he stated: “All things considered
the statistics show no reason why the North should reproach the South
[about atrocious prison conditions]. If we add to one side of the
account the refusal to exchange the prisoners and the greater resources,
and to the other the distress of the Confederacy, the balance struck
will not be far from even. Certain it is that no deliberate intention
existed either in Richmond or Washington to inflict suffering on
captives more than inevitably accompanied their confinement.”

    [Illustration: The Confederate Commissary General Of Prisons was
    Gen. John H. Winder of Maryland.]

    [Illustration: Winder’s Federal counterpart, Gen. William H. Hoffman
    of New York, likewise was accused of many atrocities.]

                           SUGGESTED READINGS

  _Civil War History_ (University of Iowa quarterly journal), June,
          1962, issue: “Civil War Prisons.”
  Cooper, Alonzo, _In and Out of Rebel Prisons_ (1888).
  Douglas, Henry Kyd, _I Rode With Stonewall_ (1940).
  Durkin, J. T., ed., _John Dooley, Confederate Soldier, His War
          Journal_ (1943).
  Hemmerlein, Richard F., _Prisons and Prisoners of the Civil War_
  Hesseltine, William B., _Civil War Prisons: A Study in War Psychology_
  Holmes, Clay D., _Elmira Prison Camp_ (1912).
  Isham, Asa B., _Prisoners of War and Military Prisons_ (1890).
  McElroy, John, _Andersonville_ (1879).
  Page, James M., _The True Story of Andersonville Prison_ (1908).

                               VIII. ARMS


About forty-eight different types and sizes of cannons were used in the
Civil War. Identifying a particular weapon thus requires knowing such
facts as the name of the gun, howitzer, rifle or mortar; whether it was
a smoothbore (without rifling in the barrel) or a rifled gun (with
barrel groovings), etc.

The two most popular cannons in the Civil War were the 12-pounder
Napoleon smoothbore howitzer and the 10-pounder Parrott rifled field

The Napoleon weighed about 1,200 pounds, fired a 12-pound spherical
shell with a time fuse, and was very effective up to a range of 1,500
yards. The Parrott rifle—identifiable by a reinforced barrel
seat—weighed 900 pounds. At a maximum range elevation of 12°, this piece
was accurate to 3,000-3,500 yards (1¾-2 miles).

    [Illustration: A Negro soldier stands guard over a Napoleon gun at
    Grant’s City Point, Va., supply-base. The Napoleon is attached to
    its caisson, which carried ammunition.]

The Federals also made extensive use of mortars. Because of the ability
of these squat, heavy weapons to lob large shells a great distance by
high-angle fire, mortars were ideal for siege operations.

Artillerists used various types of shells, depending upon the action in
which they were engaged. Solid shot was good for battering a
fortification or for striking an enemy column in flank. Explosive shells
and “spherical case” blanketed an area with what is known today as
shrapnel. Canister, a shell filled with lead balls about the size of
plums, was deadly for close action up to 300 yards. Somewhat similar to
canister was grape shot. This type of shell, filled with balls the size
of oranges, was effective to 700 yards. Yet grape shot was rarely used
in land warfare.

The basic artillery unit was known as a battery. It normally consisted
of 4-6 guns commanded by a captain. In battle, batteries normally
supported infantry divisions.

    [Illustration: A popular field piece among Confederates was the
    12-pounder, breech-loading Whitworth gun. Made in England, these
    weapons fired a solid shot accurately to a range of 5 miles.]

During the conflict of the 1860’s the North experimented with and used
many new types of field weapons, including the machine gun and such
cannons as Rodmans, Columbiads, and Dahlgrens. Despite the large
variety, however, the Napoleons and Parrotts remained the “old
reliables” to gunners on both sides.

    [Illustration: Mortars were very effective during bombardments or
    siege operations. The most famous of these squat, heavy weapons was
    the “Dictator” (shown above). Used during Grant’s 1864 siege of
    Petersburg, this mortar fired a 200-pound ball at distances over 2

                               SMALL ARMS

The weapon most used by Civil War infantrymen was known officially as
the United States Rifle Musket, Model 1861. Soldiers popularly called it
the “Springfield”, since the Springfield, Mass., arsenal manufactured a
majority of these guns.

The Springfield was a percussion-cap, muzzle-loading weapon, caliber
.58, and weighed 9¾ pounds. The Springfield’s effective range was 500
yards, although it could deliver a ball twice that distance. It fired a
soft lead Minie bullet—known then as now as the “minnie ball.” In all,
over 670,000 Springfields were manufactured during the Civil War. They
cost the government about $19 each.

    [Illustration: The Springfield musket, not including its 18-inch
    bayonet, was 58½ inches in length. Contrary to popular belief, Civil
    War soldiers rarely used bayonets in battle.]

Very popular among soldiers on both sides was the English Enfield Rifle
Musket, Model 1853. About 820,000 of these rifles were purchased by
North and South. The Enfield weighed 9 pounds, 3 ounces, had a caliber
of .577, and was deadly up to 800 yards. It fired a bullet similar to
the Minie projectile.

Great strides were made at this time in breechloaders. These weapons
fired ready-made bullets, a series of which were inserted at one time in
the rear of the barrel. Breechloaders could fire faster and more
accurately than the single-shot, muzzle-loading Springfield or Enfield.
The Spencer Repeating Carbine, first patented in 1860, was a seven-shot
repeater that weighed 8¼ pounds and had an effective range of 2,000
yards. The Spencer was capable of 15 shots per minute—three times the
firepower of the Springfield. Another popular carbine among Federal
soldiers was the 15-shot Henry repeater, which was a .42-caliber,
rimfire carbine of extraordinary accuracy. About 10,000 of these weapons
saw service in the Civil War. This gun was the forerunner of the modern
Winchester carbine. Unfortunately for the North, red tape and political
conservatism by its leaders prohibited the wide and prompt adoption of
the repeating rifle.

The principal hand gun for cavalry and infantry officers was the Colt
Army Revolver, Model 1860. Over 100,000 of these six-shot, .44-caliber
revolvers were manufactured during the war. This same gun, in .36
caliber, was also made for the U. S. Navy. In addition, some twenty
other types of pistols were used by soldiers of blue and gray.

    [Illustration: In 1836 twenty-two-year-old Samuel Colt patented and
    produced the first of his famous handguns. The .44 caliber 1860
    model, shown above, was known officially as the New Model Army

                           SUGGESTED READINGS

  Bruce, Robert V., _Lincoln and the Tools of War_ (1956).
  Fuller, Claud, _The Rifled Musket_ (1958).
  ____, and Stewart, R. D., _Firearms of the Confederacy_ (1944).
  Gluckman, Arcadi, _United States Muskets, Rifles and Carbines_ (1948).
  Lewis, Berkeley R., _Small Arms and Ammunition in the United States
          Service_ (1956).
  Mauncy, Albert, _Artillery through the Ages_ (1949).
  Naisawald, L. Van Loan, _Grape and Canister_ (1960).
  Peterson, Harold L., _Notes on Ordnance of the American Civil War,
          1861-1865_ (1959).
  Wainwright, Charles S., _A Diary of Battle_, ed. Allan Nevins (1962).
  Wise, Jennings C., _The Long Arm of Lee_ (1915, 1959).

    [Illustration: This damaged wetplate, made in June, 1863, shows the
    17th New York Battery drawn up in line near Washington, D. C.]

                              IX. LEADERS

    [Illustration: Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) and Jefferson Davis
    (1808-1889) were born in Kentucky only a few miles apart. Lincoln
    educated himself, eventually settled in Illinois, and became a
    highly successful frontier attorney.]

    [Illustration: Davis graduated from West Point, became a wealthy
    Mississippi planter, and served successively as Secretary of War and
    U. S. senator. Both men were tall and of striking appearance; both
    married strong-willed women.]

The destiny of Civil War America lay largely in the hands of four men:
Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses Simpson Grant, and Robert
Edward Lee. Since an abundance of printed works exists on the lives and
careers of these leaders, given here are but a few generalities
concerning each.

In many respects, Lincoln long seemed mysteriously complex. But those
who knew the man quickly dropped any impression that Lincoln was crude
or provincial. “He is the best of us all,” his Secretary of State,
William H. Seward, once stated. The solemn-looking Lincoln was a deeply
earnest chief executive who devoted his last four years to reuniting a
shattered nation that he loved dearly and to raising the nation to a
higher moral and spiritual level. He was kind, genial, compassionate,
and religious (though he attended church without joining any

Lincoln possessed several ingredients of greatness. He had a deep love
of humanity, a keen understanding of men, and a fantastic patience with
the generals and politicians who tried him by their lack of strength and
capacity. He was also a man of total integrity and deep humility. As a
patriot he believed firmly that “this government of the people, by the
people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Not once
in those years of passion did he express the slightest hatred for the
Union’s enemies. In his second inaugural address, delivered a month
before his death in 1865, Lincoln closed by stating: “With malice toward
none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us
to see the right, let us continue the work we are in ... [and] do all
that may achieve a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with
all nations.”

    [Illustration: On July 7, 1865, four persons convicted of conspiracy
    in the assassination of Lincoln were hanged at the Washington
    Arsenal. Among the four was Mrs. Mary Surratt (second from left),
    the first woman in America to be executed for a capital offense.]

Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, deserves better treatment
than history has accorded him. The years have not been kind to his
memory for two reasons: 1) he led the losing side; 2) when compared to
his Northern counterpart, Lincoln, Davis left much to be desired in both
personality and statesmanship. Unlike Lincoln, Davis was handsome,
well-educated, and experienced in political and military affairs.
However, he lacked administrative skill. He tried to do all of the
government’s work—and he was a slow worker. Worst of all, Davis was
never able to gain the affection of his people in a degree remotely
approaching the love heaped on Lincoln by the North.

Yet Davis did his best in an impossible job. He was harassed and
criticized by jealous governors, independent generals, an apathetic
vice-president, and a Confederate Congress more noted for constant
arguing than for constructive activity. Ever-present from without was an
enemy that heavily outweighed the South in resources.

    [Illustration: The Confederate “White House” in Richmond stands at
    the end of East Clay Street. President Davis and his family lived in
    this imposing three-storied home throughout the four years of war.
    The home is now a noted museum.]

Davis was in a sense doomed to failure from the start, but his devotion
to the South never wavered. In spite of many physical handicaps, he
demonstrated throughout his life honesty, courage, fortitude, and a
firmness in the right as _he_ saw the right. In sectional terms, he may
be adjudged one of the true patriots in American history.

Military analysts often assert that U. S. Grant was “the first of the
modern generals” and that Robert E. Lee was “the last of the
old-fashioned generals.” What this implies is that two able field
commanders fought one another differently: Grant introducing all-out,
total war, Lee relying on a 500-year-old concept of limited warfare.

Certainly Grant was original in much of his strategy. To him a single
victory meant very little. The long-range result of a continual
hammering was the important factor. “The art of war is simple enough,”
he once stated. “Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you
can. Strike at him hard as you can, and keep moving on.” Grant’s
aggression, therefore, became attrition—that is, a skillful, systematic
grinding down of the South’s whole capacity to fight. War under Grant
became modern war: all-inclusive and brutal. He meant it that way, for
he always thought of war as a cruel, bloody business to be ended as
quickly as possible.

    [Illustration: Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) was born in Ohio,
    entered the Civil War from Illinois, and spent his last years in New
    York. He served two terms as 18th President of the U. S. Grant
    completed his memoirs only a week before his death from throat

    [Illustration: Robert E. Lee (1807-1870) was the son of Virginia’s
    Revolutionary War hero, “Lighthorse Harry” Lee. Following a
    distinguished army career, Lee became president of impoverished
    Washington College (now Washington and Lee University).]

This short, unimpressive looking general succeeded where others had
failed because he had the willingness to give an order and the strength
to see it carried out. He did not use the lightning tactics of Napoleon
or Lee. Yet he had the determination and stubbornness to keep plodding
after the enemy. He was thus a soldier of the mold of Frederick the
Great and the Duke of Wellington. Perhaps Lincoln best summed up Grant
when he answered criticisms of the general with the observation: “I
can’t spare this man. He fights.”

Robert E. Lee has two historical handicaps: 1) he fought against the
Union; and 2) he is the only American general who ever lost a war. Yet
practically everyone who studies the life of this devoted Virginian soon
agrees with Sir Winston Churchill, who termed Lee “one of the noblest
Americans who ever lived, and one of the greatest captains known to the
annals of war.”

Lee is most remembered for an almost flawless character. He did not
believe in slavery, but his heart and birthright were in Virginia.
Therefore, he turned down command of all U. S. forces in 1861 and
offered his services to his native state. As an army commander Lee
usually displayed great boldness in action, an ingenious capacity for
choosing the right field positions, and an uncanny ability to anticipate
his opponent’s next move. With faith in his own judgment and in the
fighting quality of his army, Lee would then devise his strategy.
Confederate politics forced Lee to fight for the most part on the
defensive, and many writers attribute the Southern nation’s long life to
Lee’s genius in combating an enemy that sometimes greatly outnumbered

Lee’s chief weaknesses as a general were his depthless humility and
courtesy. Too often he entrusted to his principal lieutenants decisions
he himself should have made. He seemed always to assume that everyone
around him would strive for victory as earnestly and as completely as he
did. Much of this devotion to principle did rub off on his army. One of
Lee’s sharpest critics eventually admitted: “Few generals have been able
to animate an army as [Lee’s] self-sacrificing idealism animated the
Army of Northern Virginia.... What this bootless, ragged, half-starved
army accomplished is one of the miracles of history.”

                           SUGGESTED READINGS

  Catton, Bruce, _Grant Moves South_ (1960).
  Chambers, Lenoir, _Stonewall Jackson_ (2 vols., 1960).
  Cleaves, Freeman, _Meade of Gettysburg_ (1960).
  ____, _Rock of Chickamauga: The Life of General George H. Thomas_
  Dodd, William E., _Jefferson Davis_ (1907).
  Dyer, John P., _The Gallant Hood_ (1950).
  Freeman, Douglas S., _R. E. Lee: A Biography_ (4 vols., 1934-35; 1
          vol. ed., 1961).
  Fuller, John F. C., _The Generalship of Ulysses S. Grant_ (1929,
  Govan, Gilbert E., and Livingood, J. W., _A Different Valor: The Story
          of General Joseph E. Johnston, C.S.A._ (1956).
  Hassler, Warren W., Jr., _George B. McClellan: Shield of the Union_
  Henry, Robert S., _“First with the Most” Forrest_ (1944).
  Horn, Stanley F., ed., _The Robert E. Lee Reader_ (1949).
  Hyman, Harold M., and Thomas, B. P., _Stanton: The Life and Times of
          Lincoln’s Secretary of War_ (1962).
  Lamers, William M., _The Edge of Glory: A Biography of General William
          S. Rosecrans_ (1961).
  Lewis, Lloyd, _Captain Sam Grant_ (1950).
  ____, _Sherman, Fighting Prophet_ (1932).
  McElroy, Robert, _Jefferson Davis: The Unreal and the Real_ (2 vols.,
  Maurice, Frederick, _Robert E. Lee, the Soldier_ (1925).
  Nicolay, John G., and Hay, John, _Abraham Lincoln: A History_ (10
          vols., 1914).
  Sandburg, Carl, _Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years_ (2 vols., 1926).
  ____, _Abraham Lincoln: The War Years_ (4 vols., 1939).
  Sanger, Donald B., and Hay, T. R., _James Longstreet_ (1952).
  Strode, Hudson, _Life of Jefferson Davis_ (2 vols., 1958-59).
  Thomas, Benjamin P., _Abraham Lincoln_ (1952).
  Thomason, John W., Jr., _Jeb Stuart_ (1930).
  Vandiver, Frank E., _Mighty Stonewall_ (1957).
  Wiley, Bell I., _The Road to Appomattox_ (1956).
  Williams, T. Harry, _Lincoln and His General_ (1952).
  ____, _P. G. T. Beauregard: Napoleon in Gray_ (1955).

                         X. THE COMMON SOLDIERS

The average Civil War soldier was a farm boy between 18 and 30 years of
age. He possessed little formal education; and by modern-day standards,
his military training was superficial. He was more fighter than soldier,
and he tended to scoff at military discipline and other formalities of
army service.

    [Illustration: Posing for photographs to send home to loved ones was
    a favorite pastime of Civil War soldiers. Typical servicemen of that
    period were, from left to right: Pvt. George A. Stryker of New York,
    Pvt. John W. Branch of the 12th Tennessee (C.S.A.), and Pvt. Philip
    Carper of the 35th Virginia Cavalry.]

Several factors prompted his voluntary entrance into the army. Intense
patriotism, the determination to fight for one’s particular cause, the
enticement of enlistment bounties, or the simple love of adventure were
all strong inducements. Many men, however, were drafted into service
when both sides resorted to conscription in 1862.

In that same year the North began organizing regiments of ex-slaves. The
first Negro regiment to perform conspicuous service was Col. Robert
Gould Shaw’s 54th Massachusetts, which suffered heavy losses in a July
18, 1863, assault on Fort Wagner, S. C. In all, about 186,000 Negroes
became Federal soldiers. They served under white officers and often
suffered discrimination in such matters as pay and bounties. Yet they
proved courageous fighters in several of the battles in which they

Conversely, Confederate officials were slow to use slaves as Southern
soldiers. Many feared an uprising once the Negroes were given arms;
others opposed the use of slaves as soldiers on grounds that the Negro
was ill-prepared for such high responsibility. Not until March, 1865,
when the war was almost over, did the Confederate government authorize
the formation of Negro regiments. While some units were mustered into
service, none were sent into combat.

To become a soldier, a man normally joined a military company being
raised in his own locality. This company then went to a state training
camp and joined similar units preparing for war. At the completion of
basic training, ten companies were banded together as a regiment and
mustered into national service. Orders came soon thereafter assigning
the regiment to duty in the field.

    [Illustration: Confederate winter quarters near Centreville, Va. The
    huts were constructed of logs, mud, and wood slabs.]

The Federal private received $13 per month and a clothing allowance of
$42 annually. Customarily, his uniform was dark blue and consisted of a
kepi (a cap that slants toward the front), heavy wool coat, and lighter
colored trousers. His prescribed equipment included rifle, ammunition,
knapsack, blanket, haversack, canteen, bayonet, and cartridge box. The
Federal lived mostly in a tent, cooked his meals with his messmates, and
was personally responsible for the good condition of his equipment.

His Confederate counterpart was not so well provided. In addition to his
musket, he normally carried a blanket slung over one shoulder, canteen,
knife, and cartridge box. Gray was the color of the official Confederate
uniform. However, few of the soldiers were uniformly clad after the
first months of service. Many wore instead clothing taken from dead or
captured Federals, or made at home and dyed in a solution of walnut
hulls. The home-dyed uniform was light brown, or “butternut”, in color.
Few tents existed in Confederate armies. Southern soldiers thus became
accustomed to camping in the open. The Confederate private received $11
monthly until 1864, when his pay was raised to $18 because of widespread
Southern inflation.

    [Illustration: Photographer Timothy O’Sullivan captured this scene
    near Rappahannock Station, Va., in March, 1864. In the foreground is
    a sutler’s tent. The fence marks the stockade of the 50th New York

The Federal soldier received much better rations than did the
Confederate. His bread was a thick cracker called “hardtack”, and many
jokes were made over its toughness. The Union soldier also received
meat, dried vegetables, coffee, sugar, and salt. The Confederate
soldier, unable to get coffee because of the blockade, learned to use
beans, rye, parched corn, and even acorns as substitutes. Rarely did
Southern troops have ample food. Personal accounts by Confederates often
reveal pitiful instances of widespread malnutrition in the ranks.

For recreation, each soldier was left to his own devices.
Letter-writing, reading, singing, card-playing, and sleeping were the
favorite pastimes of troops in camp. In winter men on both sides
constructed huts of logs and mud, or piled dirt against the sides of
their tents as insulation from the cold. Reveille normally sounded at 5
a.m. in summer and 6 a.m. in winter. “Taps”, a melody first played in
1862, generally came between 10 and 11 p.m.

Fighting in the Civil War was generally savage, and guerrillas on both
sides often killed in cold blood. Yet when opposing armies were camped
close to one another, it was not at all uncommon for blue and gray
pickets to establish informal truces, swap newspapers, tobacco, and
coffee, and even to camp together. Sometimes this fraternization might
last through an entire winter. Even in battle, many soldiers on both
sides displayed great compassion—even to the extent of risking their
lives in order to help a stricken foe. Sergeant Richard Kirkland of
South Carolina was so overcome at the mounting Federal casualties during
the battle of Fredericksburg that he crawled out upon the battlefield
and voluntarily gave aid to dozens of wounded Northerners.

    [Illustration: Noted Civil War artist Edwin Forbes sketched this
    scene of Federal and Confederate pickets between the lines swapping
    tobacco and coffee during a truce only they have declared.]

Yet army life of the 1860’s had many and severe hardships. Improper diet
and insanitary conditions often prostrated half of a unit’s membership.
Since filth abounded in every army, a soldier who did not have his share
of lice and fleas was a rare exception. Moreover, the fact that a
majority of the soldiers were from rural communities made them very
susceptible to such “city sicknesses” as measles, chicken pox, and small
pox. The death rate from these diseases were very high. In the Federal
armies, sickness and disease accounted for 7 of every 10 deaths. One
authority has estimated that among the Confederates three men perished
from disease for every man killed in battle. Small wonder that a Civil
War soldier once wrote his family from camp: “It scares a man to death
to get sick down here.”

Soldiers suffered too because of the limited medical knowledge of that
day. Blood transfusions, X-rays, antibiotics, sterilization, vitamins,
vaccines, wonder drugs all came after the Civil War. No assured
treatment existed for typhoid fever, yellow fever, measles, or
pneumonia, and great uncertainty prevailed over the proper way to stop a
hemorrhage. Most bone fractures, and all wounds of the joint, meant
amputation. In the Korean conflict of the 1950’s the chances of
surviving a wound were 50-1; in the Civil War the chances were only 7-1.

That men of blue and gray endured these miseries is proof enough of
their amazing capacity for hardships. Of greater importance to our
American heritage, however, was their courage and devotion to duty. It
shone forth on each side, and in every battle. Bell Irvin Wiley has

“The Civil War was in large degree a soldier’s war. In that war the
determination, self-sufficiency, and endurance of the individual in the
ranks were of utmost importance. Officer casualties were heavy, and in
the hurly-burly of combat those who survived often were able to exercise
little control over their units. In the crucial, climactic stages of
battle the common soldiers were to a large extent on their own, and it
was often their courage and tenacity, individual and collective, that
ultimately decided the contest.... For it was these men and their kind
whose strength was the bedrock of their respective causes and whose
greatness made their war one of the most inspiring in the history of
embattled humanity.”

    [Illustration: Co. G, 93rd New York Infantry, posed for this
    photograph at Bealeton, Va., in August, 1863. Note the drummer boy
    near the left of the bottom row.]

    [Illustration: Confederate troops on the march, as seen by Southern
    artist Allen C. Redwood.]

                           SUGGESTED READINGS

  Billings, John D., _Hardtack and Coffee_ (1888).
  Cornish, Dudley T., _The Sable Arm_ (1956).
  Eggleston, George C., _A Rebel’s Recollections_ (1887, 1959).
  Fay, Edwin H., _This Infernal War_, ed. Bell I. Wiley (1958).
  Higginson, Thomas W., _Army Life in a Black Regiment_ (1870, 1962).
  Jones, Jenkins L., _An Artilleryman’s Diary_ (1914).
  Lord, Francis A., _They Fought for the Union_ (1960).
  McCarthy, Carlton, _Detailed Minutiæ of Soldier Life in the Army of
          Northern Virginia_ (1882).
  Robertson, James I., Jr., _The Stonewall Brigade_ (1963).
  Stillwell, Leander, _The Story of a Common Soldier of Army Life in the
          Civil War, 1861-1865_ (1920).
  Upson, Theodore F., _With Sherman to the Sea_ (1943, 1958).
  Wiley, Bell I., _The Life of Billy Yank_ (1952).
  ____, _The Life of Johnny Reb_ (1943).
  ____, and Milhollen, Hirst D., _They Who Fought Here_ (1960).

    [Illustration: The National Cemetery at Alexandria, Va., was one of
    the first government-maintained cemeteries established during the
    Civil War.]

                          XI. THE WAR’S LEGACY

Perhaps it was necessary for brother to fight brother to determine the
course in history our nation would take. Tragedy often walks with
greatness; it required a terrible war before America could continue with
confidence down the road of progress. The Civil War was the
watershed—both a beginning and an end—in our history, and many legacies
of that war keep it ever-present in our thoughts.

The Civil War lives in battle names now so much a part of our heritage:
Bull Run, Shiloh, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Stone’s River,
Chancellorsville, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Atlanta, the
Wilderness, and the Crater. These grounds, drenched in human blood, are
as sacred as our most revered cemeteries.

—It lives in the crosses that mark the final resting places for
thousands of American patriots. Most of these soldiers died in the
flower of youth. We shall never know what contributions their numbers
might have made to politics, literature, the sciences, the arts—to
American life in general. In this respect was the conflict of the 1860’s
a great calamity.

    [Illustration: Acclaimed by many as the best likeness of “Stonewall”
    Jackson, this equestrian statue is on the grounds of the Manassas
    National Military Park.]

—It lives in the many statues and monuments erected across our land.
These stone images stand as silent sentries of our past. They are
reminders of the cost of what today belongs to all Americans.

—It lives in the Congressional Medal of Honor, given birth by that war,
and in Memorial Day, which sprang from the heartache caused by that war.

—It lives in the American Red Cross, whose origins date from Clara
Barton and her tender nursing of wounded Federal soldiers.

—It lives in the songs given popularity by men of blue and gray:
“Dixie,” “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “The Bonnie Blue Flag,” “The
Battle Cry of Freedom,” “Lorena,” “The Yellow Rose of Texas,” “Maryland,
My Maryland,” “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again,” “Tenting Tonight
on the Old Camp Ground,” “Home, Sweet Home,” and many others.

    [Illustration: This 1862 Army Model was the first Congressional
    Medal of Honor ever struck. The present Medal is quite different
    from its predecessor.]

—It lives in the extinction of slavery, which Robert E. Lee once termed
a heavy impediment to the whole Southern people.

—It lives in the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the
U. S. Constitution, which promise equality without racial limitations.

—It lives most of all in the unity of the American people. Until 1860 it
was customary to say “the United States are”. After 1865 it was more
correct to say “the United States is”. Today we acknowledge this change
by a phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance: “... one nation, under God,

The Civil War did preserve the old Union with all of its virtues and all
of its defects. But at the same time, as Lincoln and others hoped, the
war gave birth to something better: a new Union, stronger and more
enduring. The idea of secession ended forever with the Southern
Confederacy; the oneness of modern America became reality with
Appomattox and Durham Station.

Therefore, one cannot and should not forget the tragedy, courage, and
lessons of the Civil War. If we would overlook the 1860’s that endowed
us with unity, we must also ignore the 1770’s that brought us freedom.
For unity and freedom are the bedrocks on which America rests—just as
they are our hopes for the years yet to come.


(1) Could the Civil War have been avoided? If so, how? If not, why not?

(2) What concrete goals was each side trying to attain in that war?

(3) How did North and South differ in way of life?

(4) List, in parallel columns, the viewpoints of each side on such
      important issues as slavery, states’ rights, nationalism, etc.

(5) In what ways was the Civil War unlike any other war?

(6) What different military strategy might the North have employed?

(7) What different military strategy might the South have employed?

(8) What do you consider as the climactic moment of the war?

(9) Compare the structure and personnel of the two respective

(10) What effect did the war have on homefronts North and South?

(11) What five wartime inventions do you consider most important?

(12) Prepare short reports on medicine, religion, slavery, and women in
      the war.

(13) Compare Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, both as men and as

(14) Compare soldiers of the 1860’s with modern “GI’s.”

(15) Could the South have won the Civil War? Prove your answer.

(16) Who is your favorite Civil War figure? Why?

(17) Discuss the best book you have read on the Civil War from the
      standpoint of information, readability, and interest.

(18) Exactly what national questions did the Civil War solve?

(19) How did Northerner, Southerner, and Negro each benefit from the

(20) What problems, present in the Civil War, remain unsolved today?

    [Illustration: Soldiers preparing for action.]


                   (Established by Public Law 85-305)

                          OFFICERS AND MEMBERS

                              _Ex Officio_

                       Honorable John F. Kennedy
                    _President of the United States_

                      Honorable Lyndon B. Johnson
                 _Vice President of the United States_

                      Honorable John W. McCormack
               _Speaker of the House of Representatives_


                            Dr. Allan Nevins

                       Congressman Fred Schwengel
                            _Vice Chairman_

                         _Executive Committee_

                     Dr. Bell I. Wiley, _Chairman_
                          Mr. Alvin L. Aubinoe
                     Mr. W. Norman Fitzgerald, Jr.
                          Mr. Conrad L. Wirth
                        Senator Ralph Yarborough


                      Senator Clinton P. Anderson
                        Mrs. Consuelo N. Bailey
                      Congressman Emilio Daddario
                            Mr. Bruce Catton
                          Dr. Avery O. Craven
                         Hon. Roy K. Davenport
                        Congressman Carl Elliott
                     Congressman George A. Goodling
                           Dr. John A. Krout
                        Dr. John W. Masland, Jr.
                          Dr. David C. Mearns
                           Mr. Aksel Nielsen
                          Mr. William S. Paley
                           Senator Hugh Scott
                         Senator John G. Tower

    [Illustration: Cover image.]

                          Transcriber’s Notes

—Silently corrected a few typos.

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by

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