TO 5E JAiO AS BOOK AS XC3TE&EE UTTO SEBV1CÏ
a*-$100 BOUNTY WHEN THE WAR IS OVERT
)#- It 19 intended to nuke tots one of Lh.e best Companies iE the Brigade or service, and eo labor win îh spared te 40 so. The Officer» fire experienced men, bavinbeen o-sr one yew In one of tie First Begiiaents in the service
CAPTAIN J. EL S TINER,
One of the many recruitment posters which were very successful in swelling the ranks of the Union army
The four border slave states - Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, and Delaware - were badly divided by the war. All four remained officially In the Union, but probably one-third of their white residents sympathized with the Confederacy, and many men from these states joined the Confederate army. Clashes between Union troops and local pro-Confederate crowds in Baltimore and St. Louis took dozens of lives in April and May, 1861 Guerrilla warfare, as well as pitched battles, plagued Kentucky and especially Missouri throughout the war. More than any other state, Missouri suffered from a civil war within the Civil War; its bitter legacy was to persist for generations.
The war itself produced a fifth Union border state: West Virginia. Most of the delegates from the part of Virginia west of the Shenandoah Valley had voted against secession. A region of mountains, small farms, and few slaves, its econo my was linked more closely to nearby Ohio and Penn sylvania than to the South Delegates who had opposed Virginia's secession from the Union returned home determined to secede from Virginia. With the help of Union troops, they accomplished their goal. Through a complicated process of conventions and referendums - carried out amidst continuing raids and skirmishes - they created in 1862 the new state of West Virginia, which entered the Union in 1863.
With a population of nearly 23 million compared with 9 million (3.5 million of whom were slaves) in the Confederacy, the Union states had considerable superiority in military manpower In economic resources, Northern superiority was even greater. But even when fully mobilized, the North's superiority in resources and population did not guarantee success. The Confederacy had come into being firmly in control of 750,000 square miles - a vast territory, larger than all of western Europe To win the war, Union forces would have to invade, conquer, and occupy much of that territory, cripple its people's ability to sustain a war of independence, and destroy their armies. Britain had been unable to accomplish a similar task in the American War of Independence, even though it enjoyed a greater superiority of resources over the United States in 1776 than the Union enjoyed over the Confederacy in 1861
To "win" the war, the Confederacy needed neither to invade nor conquer the Union, nor destroy its armies; the South needed only to stand on the defensive and hold out long enough to convince Northerners that the cost of victory was too high - as Britain had concluded with respect to the American colonies in 1783. As the military analyst for The Times of London wrote in 1861: "No war of independence ever terminated unsuccessfully except where the disparity of force was far greater than it is in this case. Just as England during the revolution had to give up conquering the colonies, so the North will have to give up conquering the South."
While the railroad, telegraph, and naval steampower had radically altered wartime logistics, communications, and navies, the organization and tactics of armies had changed little since the Napoleonic Wars half a century earlier But Civil War experience brought some changes in tactics dictated by the widespread adoption of the rifled musket. This innovation was only a decade old, dating to the perfection in the 1850s of the "mime ball" (named after French army Captain Claude Minie, its principal inventor), a cone-shaped lead bullet whose base expanded upon firing to "take" the rifling of the barrel. This made it possible to load and fire a muzzle-loading rifle as rapidly (two or three times per minute) as the old smooth-bore musket. The rifle had greater accuracy and four times the effective range (400 yards or more) of the smooth-bore. By 1862, most infantrymen in the
Civil War were equipped with rifles; by 1863 many Union cavalrymen had breech-loading repeating carbines - an innovation accelerated by the Civil War - and by the last year of the war some Union infantry also had repeating rifles.
Tactics adjusted fitfully to the greater lethal range and accuracy of the rifled musket. Generals continued to order old-fashioned close-order assaults, which resulted in enormous casualties from 1862 onward. The defensive power of the rifle became even greater when troops began digging into trenches from 1863 on. Massed frontal assaults became almost suicidal. Soldiers and their officers learned through hard experience to adopt skirmishing tactics, taking advantage of cover and working around the enemy flank rather than attacking frontally.
After the fall of Fort Sumter, one of the first acts of the Lincoln administration was to proclaim on April 19, 1861, a naval blockade of the Confederate states. Initially, this blockade was more of a policy than a reality, for the navy had few ships on hand with which to enforce it. The task was formidable: the Confederate coastline stretched for 3,500 miles, with two dozen ports and another 150 bays and coves where cargo could be landed. The U.S. navy, which had been converting since the 1840s from sail to steam, recalled its ships from distant seas, took old sailing vessels out of mothballs, and bought or chartered merchant ships and armed them in an effort to create a blockade fleet overnight. Eventually the navy placed several hundred warships on blockade duty. But in 1861 the blockade was so porous that nine out of ten vessels slipped through it on their way to or from Confederate ports, bringing in munitions and other matériel vital to this agricultural society with its slender industrial base.
The Confederacy, however, inadvertently contributed to the blockade's success by adopting in 1861 a foreign policy that has been called "King Cotton diplomacy." Cotton was important to the British economy because textiles were at the heart of British industry, and three-fourths of Britain's suply of raw cotton came from the American South. Southerners therefore believed that Britain would recognize the Confederacy's independence and use the British navy to break the blockade. Southerners were so firmly convinced of King Cotton's leverage that they kept the 1861 crop at home rather than try to export it through the blockade, hoping thereby to compel the British to intervene. But the strategy backfired: bumper crops in 1859 and 1860 had piled up a surplus of raw cotton in British warehouses, thus delaying until 1862 the "cotton famine" on which Southerners had counted.
In the end, the South's 1861 voluntary embargo of cotton cost them dearly. By 1862, when the Confederacy needed to export cotton in order to pay for imported war matériel, the
Union blockade had tightened to the point that the slow sailing ships with large cargo capacity could not get through. The sleek, fast, steam-powered "blockade runners" - that became increasingly prominent - had a smaller cargo capacity and charged high rates because of the growing risk of capture or sinking by the Union navy. Although most of these runners got through, the blockade by 1862 had reduced the Confederacy's seaborne commerce to the point where both the Southern armies and the homefront began to suffer serious shortages. As a naval power that had relied on blockades in past wars, and expected to do so in the future, Britain refused to challenge the legitimacy of the Union blockade.
Lacking the capacity to build a naval force at home, the Confederacy hoped to use British shipyards for the purpose. Through a loophole in the British neutrality law, two fast commerce raiders built by a private firm in Liverpool made their way into Confederate ownership in 1862. Named the Florida and the Alabama, they roamed the seas for the next two years, capturing or sinking Union merchant ships and whalers. Altogether, these and other Confederate commerce raiders destroyed or captured 257 Union merchant vessels and drove at least 700 others to foreign registry. The U.S. merchant marine never recovered. But this Confederate achievement, though spectacular, made only a tiny dent in the Union war effort, especially when compared with the 1,500 blockade runners captured or destroyed by the Union navy, or the thousands of ships that were deterred from even attempting to beat the blockade.
In 1861 neither side anticipated how long and destructive the war would become. Southerners expected the Yankees to give up after Confederate armies had whipped them in one or two battles. Northerners were likewise confident of success, expecting that after one or two Union victories the Southern people would come to their senses, throw out their secessionist leaders, and return to their old allegiance.
The General-in-Chief of the United States Army was Win-field Scott, a veteran of the War of 1812, and commander of the army that had captured Mexico City in 1847. A Virginian who had remained loyal to the Union, Scott evolved a military strategy based on his conviction that there were many Southerners ready to be won back to the Union. The main elements of his strategy were the naval blockade and a combined army-navy expedition to take control of the Mississippi River, thus surrounding the Confederacy. In Scott's words, this would "bring them to terms with less bloodshed than by any other plan." The Northern press gently ridiculed Scott's strategy as "the Anaconda Plan," after the South American snake that slowly squeezes its prey to death.
Most Northerners believed that the Confederacy could be overcome only by victory in battle. Virginia emerged as the most likely battleground, especially after the Confederate government moved its capital to Richmond in May, 1861. "Forward to Richmond," clamored Northern newspapers. And forward toward Richmond marched the mam Union army, only to be defeated on July 21 on the banks of the Bull Run 25 miles southwest of Washington. Victory in the battle of Manassas, as Southerners called it (the Union name is the battle of Bull Run) exhilarated Confederates and confirmed their feelings of martial superiority over the Yankees. But this overconfidence had its negative side: some Southerners thought the war was won. Northerners, by contrast, were jolted out of their expectations of a short war. A new mood of reality and grim determination gripped the North. Congress authorized the enlistment of up to a million three-year volunteers. Hundreds of thousands of new recruits enlisted during the next few months. Lincoln called General George B. McClellan to Washington to organize the new troops into the Army of the Potomac.
An energetic, talented officer only 34-years old, small of stature but great with an aura of destiny, McClellan soon won the sobriquet in the Northern press of "The Young Napoleon." He organized and trained the Army of the Potomac into a large, well-disciplined, and well-equipped fighting force. He seemed to be just what the North needed after the dispiriting defeat at Bull Run. When the 75-year-old Scott stepped down as General-in-Chief on November 1, McClellan succeeded him.
But as winter approached and McClellan did nothing to advance against the smaller Confederate army whose outposts stood only a few miles from Washington, his failings as a commander began to manifest themselves. He was a perfectionist in a profession where nothing could ever be perfect. His army was perpetually almost ready to move. McClellan was afraid to risk failure, so he risked nothing. He consistently overestimated the strength of enemy forces confronting him (sometimes by a multiple of two or three) and used these faulty estimates as a reason for inaction. This caution and defensive-mmdedness that McClellan instilled into the Army of the Potomac persisted for almost three years. In the meantime, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia acquired a new commander m 1862, Robert E. Lee, who seized the initiative in the Eastern theater and thereby reversed a momentum toward Union victory that had built up during the first five months of 1862.
The Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run), July 21, 1861, from a lithograph by Kurz and Allison
Fort Sumter april 12-14,1861
On December 20, 1860, South Carolina seceded from the Union, an act which led by February 2, 1861, to the secession of six more states; the formation of a Confederate government; and a confrontation in Charleston Harbor that had momentous consequences.
Posted at Fort Moultrie, one of four Federal forts in Charleston Harbor, were two companies of artillery commanded by Major Robert Anderson. Concerned that Moultrie could not be defended, Anderson on December 26 transferred his men to Fort Sumter, a three-tiered masonry work at the harbor's entrance. While the fort was prepared to resist an attack, South Carolina forces took possession of Moultrie and the other forts, and positioned batteries to command the sea approaches to Sumter.
On January 9, a cannon on Cumming's Point opened fire on the merchant steamer Star of the West, sent by the Union to supply and reinforce Sumter, and she turned back. In February, when the Confederate Government was established - with Jefferson Davis as President - the Confederacy assumed responsibility for the defense of Charleston Harbor. Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard was placed in command.
In his inaugural address as President of the United States, Lincoln vowed to "hold, occupy, and possess" Federal property in the South. Thus, on April 9, a ship carrying supplies for Fort Sumter sailed from New York. On April 11, apprised of Lincoln's plans, Beauregard demanded that Anderson evacuate Fort Sumter. Although aware that lack of supplies would force him to evacuate within a few days, Anderson refused. After a further exchange, Anderson replied that unless he received instructions or supplies from Washington by noon, April 15, he would evacuate.
However, on April 12 at 4.30 am, following Anderson's refusal to leave the fort immediately, the battery at Fort Johnson fired a signal round which exploded high above Fort Sumter.
By daybreak Fort Sumter was under heavy fire from more than 70 Confederate guns, but it was 7am before the first of the fort's cannon responded. The bombardment continued for 34 hours, until 2.30pm on April 13, when Anderson surrendered. Although the fort had suffered considerable damage, no lives were lost.
The surrender of Fort Sumter united a previously divided North behind President Lincoln in his mission to preserve the Union.
Major Robert Anderson (left), a Kentuckian by &irth, -
commanded a garrison,.of oiie hundred officers and other ranks, :hac_kvig powder, guns. and men Anderson managed to hold out sgiiinst the Confederate Woh.w;;
bombardment for 34 hours, finally engendering ("mix when further resistance seemeji lioth fruitless and impracticable.
fjj, Dec 26,1860: Anderson rticimes Fori
Moultrie, transferring his men to Fort Sumter-..
Dec 27, 1860: Confederate troops talc possession of FbiftMoufSrie Johnson and Pinkney. ' fj ,
2 Jan 9,1861, dawn: Federaisv.ppiv ship? — S^rs/i/i/is fired or. bvXEorvii Island battery, and turns back'to New-. York. , ::: \ -.
April 11: Gen Beaurégard demands " fort's surrender Anderson refuses-April 12,3.20am: Confederates reject Anderson's response.
/",_ Aprrl 12, 1 >li-'li Ixin Johnson'|ire£a ■ -y signal round which cXptÎdesibovéi'ort Sumter. Forb Johnson', Mouitrie and ' others open lire ortiSututep'
Ç^j Aprii 13,2.30pm: Andenon surrenders.,
Charleston,: (below) looking toward the harbpr and Fort Sumter prior to thi 'openmg of hostilities.
Slaves /below) mounting cannoh at Morris Island in '■^pji^paraii&j^^Qr the assault. ~£M Confederates -also anchored^ ftod^ng batteiy/ ftitty equipped and = manned. off Fb^Moultrie.
SULLIVAN'S \ ISLAND -
% . MOULTRlEVIiLLE
Enfilade BaUery~W^=£x■¿Sg^r^—^' Mortar Battery F'm^Mlrie
Morlor BaLUtry No. 2
-, Shute's Folly 1 Island
All proper facilities will be afforded for the removal of yourself and your command ... to any post in the United States which you may select. The flag which you have upheld for so long and with so much fortitude, under the most trying circumstances, may be saluted by you on taking it down."
Beauregard's formal request for the surrender of Fort Sumter, April 11.
Union artillery under the command of Capt. James Totten repel a Confederate cavalry charge during the battle of Wilson's Creek. The Confederates quickly rallied and succeeded in breaking the Union line.
Kansas CnfY ^independence;
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