Black soldiers

Early in the war, abolitionists and African-Americans urged the Lincoln administration to accept blacks for uniformed service. The President declined. He had more white volunteers than he was authorized by Congress to accept, and the Union was walking a tightrope with the Border States. Black enlistment might have driven them to the Confederacy. Blacks, however, began to take matters into their own hands. By the end of April 1861, several slaves whom Rebels had employed in constructing defense...

The Vicksburg campaign

For several months afterward, Grant did little but combat raiding parties and guerrilla bands. After Halleck bad scattered his mammoth army, Grant lacked sufficient force to launch another offensive. Runaway slaves, cotton trading, guerrillas, Confederate raids, and offended civilians absorbed his time and energy. Campaigning, it seemed, had taken a back seat to occupying secessionist territory. But by late October 1862, pressure for a campaign against Vicksburg had begun to build. Nestled on a...

Battles around Chattanooga

Union Troops Overrun Missionary Ridge

Stanton caught a speedy train westward to rendezvous with Grant in Louisville. Instead, he caught up to him at Indianapolis, and the two rode together that last leg. The administration had decided to create the Military Division of the Mississippi from the Appalachians to the river, and it assigned Grant as the commander. Stanton then gave Grant a choice he could keep Rosecrans as commander of the Army of the Cumberland, or replace him with Thomas. Grant chose Thomas....