|Civil War ABCs
In November of 1863, Confederate Captain W. Sidney Winder was sent to Andersonville in Sumter County, Georgia to assess its capability of holding a prison for captured Union soldiers. Since it was close to fresh water and a railroad, it was a favorable location. It was roughly 16.5 acres. Most of the Union prisoners were transferred to other camps in Georgia and South Carolina because of threats of Union raids. All but 1,500 prisoners were shipped out. After the threat was nearly gone, the number of prisoners once again slowly increased. During the 15 months Andersonville was open, almost 13,000 Union prisoners died of malnutrition, exposure, and disease.
Information from http://www.nps.gov/seac/histback.htm
Battle of Big Bethel
The Battle of Big Bethel was the first battle fought in Virginia. Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler sent forces against advanced Confederate outposts at Little and Big Bethel. Confederates abandoned Little Bethel and fell back to a place near Big Bethel Church. The Federals pursued and were repulsed. Unit commander Col. T. Winthrop was killed. The Union forces were disorganized and returned to Hampton and Newport News. There were seven Confederates wounded and one killed.
Information from http://www.nps.gov/hps/abpp/battles/va003.htm
On May 31, Sheridan’s cavalry seized the crossroads of Old Cold Harbor. On June 1, Sheridan’s troopers threw back an attack by the Confederate infantry. Confederate reinforcements arrived from Richmond. By June 2, both armies were on the field, forming on a seven-mile front. The armies attacked each other on these lines until the night of June 12, when Grant moved to James River. He eventually abandoned the dangerous approaches to Richmond and decided to shift his army south of the river to threaten Petersburg.
Information from http://americanhistory.about.com/od/civilwarbattles/p/cwbattle_coldh.htm
David G. Farragut
David Farragut is nicknamed “Old Salamander.” He was the “foster brother” of a famous Civil War admiral, David Dixon Porter. Despite the fact that he was a born and raised southerner, he chose to side with the Union. In July 1862 he passed the batteries defending Vicksburg, but was unsuccessful there and was forced to withdraw his fleet of boats. In 1863, he seriously messed up his role at the Siege of Port Hudson. This siege did not end until July 9, 1863. With the fall of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, the Confederacy lost the vital Mississippi River. He became famous from the August 5, 1864 Battle of Mobile Bay. In the outcome, Farragut’s fleet defeated the Confederate’s, and the last open seaport on the Gulf of Mexico came into the hands of the Union.
Information from http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/biographies/david-farragut.html
Abraham Lincoln issued it on January 1, 1863. It declared that “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free." It did not end slavery but changed the basic character of the Civil War. The North was now fighting to make a Union without slavery. It was also important because it allowed African Americans to become Union soldiers. By the time the Civil war was finished, approximately 198,000 African Americans had served for the Union.
Information from http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/EmanProc.html
On August 1, 1864 in Evitts Creek Valley, Confederate cavalry brigades under command of General McCausland and Johnson were returning from burning Chambersburg. They were ambushed by General Kelley’s Union troops (which were from Cumberland). The Confederates were repulsed and retreated across the Potomac. There were about 38 casualties.
Information from http://www.nps.gov/hps/abpp/battles/md008.htm
Martin Witherspoon Gary
Martin W. Gary was a Civil War Confederate. As a Brigadier General, he had to take command of Hampton’s Legion after Colonel Wade Hampton was injured at First Bull Run. He was in charge of the last Confederate troops to leave Richmond in April 1865. He also helped escort the president of the CSA in their flight south.
Information from http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=9067
The Battle of Hampton Roads is the same thing as Monitor vs. Merrimack. It was one of the most important naval battles because it influenced the development of other navies. This battle was fought on March 8 and 9, 1862 in Hampton Roads, Virginia. The Confederates were battling to try and break the blockade the Union had (which stopped international trade). The Union’s ship was the Monitor, while the Confederate’s was Merrimack (later named the Virginia). These ships were clad in iron (thus called ironclads) to help penetrate other ships. Neither side was able to win.
Information from http://blog.aurorahistoryboutique.com/uss-monitor-vs-css-virginia-merrimack-the-battle-of-hampton-roads/
Irvin McDowell was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General as a result of political connections to the Union’s Secretary of Treasury. Facing extreme pressure, he attacked Confederate forces at the First Battle of Bull Run, where he was defeated. After the major defeat, he was detached from the army in order to help protect Washington, D.C. He later commanded a corps at the Second Battle of Bull Run, where he was defeated again. He was relatively inactive for the rest of the war.
Information from http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/biographies/irvin-mcdowell.html
John LaMountain, as well as Thaddeus Lowe, carried out reconnaissance activities for the Union army. He also tried to provide balloon services for the Union. LaMountain made the first aerial reconnaissance of the Civil War, and also was the first to gather knowledge by free balloon flight instead of a tethered balloon. However, he had a hard time getting equipment. In addition, rivalry grew between LaMountain and Lowe. After accusations and aggression from both sides, McClellan banned LaMountain from any future service in the army/military.
Information from http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Lighter_than_air/Civil_War_balloons/LTA5.htm
Kady Southwell got married (either legally or by common law arrangement) to a divorced man named Robert Brownell. When the Civil War began, Robert enlisted in the 1st Rhode Island Infantry. Kady was determined to do the same. Once in Washington, Kady was made into a Daughter of the Regiment and a Color Bearer. She was an active participant in the First Battle of Bull Run. The Brownells re-enlisted in the 5th Rhode Island Battalion. She saved the soldiers from an incident of friendly fire during the Battle of New Bern.
Information from http://www.sethkaller.com/item/486-Union-Color-Bearer-Kady-Brownell,-Who-Fought-at-First-Bull-Run-and-Displayed-Incredible-Bravery-at-the-Battle-of-New-Bern&from=7
Battle of Lookout Mountain
For almost two months after the Battle of Chickamauga, the Confederates had trapped the Union army inside Chattanooga. They could not stay in the city and instead occupied Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. On November 23, Ulysses S. Grant attacked the center of the lines around the city. Another Union General, Joseph Hooker, led his men toward the fog-covered peak of Lookout Mountain. The Confederates had overestimated the advantages the mountain gave them, and 1,200 Confederates faced almost 12,000 Union soldiers. The Confederates abandoned the mountain in the afternoon.
Information from http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/-battle-of-lookout-mountain
Battle of Memphis
Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard directed troops out of Fort Pillow and Memphis on June 4, 1862 after he learned that a Union General occupied Corinth, Mississippi. Flag-Officer Charles H. Davis and Col. Charles Ellet brought a naval attack on Memphis on June 6. The battle began. In the short hour and a half of the battle, the Union ships sank or took into custody all except for one Confederate vessel. Later, the mayor of Memphis surrendered. This opened another section of the Mississippi River to Union shipping.
Information from http://americanhistory.about.com/od/civilwarbattles/p/cwbattle_memp2.htm
James S. Negley
James Negley commanded the 7th Brigade in the Department of the Ohio. During the first battle of Chattanooga, he led the raid. When he found out that there were Confederates fixed on the other side of the river, he told his artillery to open fire. The strategic win was to display Union strength in Confederate territory. This earned him the position as major general.
Information from http://voices.yahoo.com/pittsburgh-icons-james-s-negley-8534317.html
Rose O’Neal Greenhow
Rose was a Confederate spy. She once sent a ten-word secret message to General Pierre G.T. Beauregard, which helped him to win the Battle of Bull Run. Though she was imprisoned a few times, Rose kept sending messages to the Confederacy through mysterious notes that traveled to them in ordinary places, like the inside of a woman’s hair. When in Europe attempting to raise support for the South’s cause, she published memoirs.
Information from http://americancivilwar.com/women/rg.html
Pickett’s Charge was an assault structured by General Robert E. Lee (Confederate) against Major General George Meade’s Union positions. This was on July 3, 1863, the final day of the Battle of Gettysburg and help on Cemetery Ridge. It was a preventable mistake. After this, the southern war effort never fully healed.
Information from http://www.thehistorytrekker.com/travel-photographer/mid-atlantic/picketts-charge-at-the-battle-of-gettysburg
Quincy A. Gillmore
At the beginning of the Civil War, Gillmore was placed under Gen. Thomas W. Sherman. He became well known for participating in the Siege of Fort Pulaski. Because of this, he was promoted to the position of Brigadier General, and then to Major General a year later. Gillmore commanded two troops while trying to recapture Fort Sumter. He served all the way until the end of the war.
Information from http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/biographies/quincy-gillmore.html
Richmond, VA was the capital of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. In the early spring of 1865, this city completely trusted Robert E. Lee to protect it. They were even calm when they heard artillery fire was only ten miles outside the city. The day after Union sources finally managed to break through the Confederate lines surrounding Petersburg, the citizens of Richmond were evacuated.
Information from http://encyclopediavirginia.org/Richmond_During_the_Civil_War
The Federals put together a mission to split the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. On June 21, troops of the 55th Pennsylvania came from boats on the sea and landed near Simmon’s Bluff on Wadmelaw Sound, ambushing the military camp of the 16th South Carolina Infantry. Despite this small victory, the Federals abandoned their raid on the railroad.
Information from http://www.civilwar.com/battles/battle-summaries/147938-simmon-s-bluff.html
Maria Tepe traveled with the Army of the Potomac and also with her husband. She often sold tobacco, hams, and contraband whiskey to the army troops. She served with her regiment until the war ended. Maria was awarded with the medal of valor, the Kearny Cross. Forty years after the war, in extreme pain, Marie committed suicide.
Information from http://ehistory.osu.edu/uscw/features/people/bio.cfm?PID=88
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses served in the Union army as the commander in chief and then was promoted to general. Some say that he was the only Union general who could outwit General Robert E. Lee. His early triumphs caught the eyes of the public. He led the army at Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, Shiloh, and the Overland Campaign of 1864. Union casualties in the campaign were so high that many people called him “The Butcher.” General Robert E. Lee finally surrendered to Grant at the Appomattox Court House in 1865.
Information from http://www.shmoop.com/civil-war/ulysses-s-grant.html
The Battle of Vicksburg
Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s armies joined as one at Vicksburg in May and June of 1863. There, they trapped a Confederate army. Vicksburg finally surrendered a month later. This was one of the most brilliant military campaigns of the war. Without the army in Vicksburg and the stronghold on the Mississippi River, Grant succeeded in splitting the Union in half.
Information from http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/vicksburg.html
Battle of the Wilderness
The Battle of the Wilderness was the first battle of Ulysses S. Grant’s offensive against the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. This was known as the Overland Campaign and was fought at the Wilderness, May 5-7, 1864. The fighting was extremely ferocious but eventually inconclusive, since both sides tried to move through the thick woods. Both the Union and Confederate casualties were very heavy.
Information from http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/the-wilderness.html
Xavier Debray was major of the Second Texas Infantry. He commanded some Confederate troops and even a brigade including the Twenty-third, Twenty-sixth, and Thirty-second Texas Cavalry regiments. He worked his way up the ranks, eventually arriving as brigadier general, though Jefferson Davis never confirmed this. He eventually discharged his men on March 24, 1865.
Information from http://www.angelfire.com/tx/RandysTexas/page107.html
The Battle of Yorktown
Major General George B. McClennan’s army marched from Fort Monroe and met a small Confederate army at Yorktown behind the Warwick River. Maj. Gen. John Magruder, the major general of the Confederate army, managed to convince the Federals that his works were strongly held. McClennan ordered the construction of siege defenses and brought siege guns to the front. On April 16, Union forces broke through a weakness in the Confederate lines, causing about 309 casualties. McClennan planned for a massive fight later on, but the Confederate army slipped away toward Williamsburg.
Information from http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/yorktown.html
Gen. George McClellan described Zouaves as the "beau-ideal of a soldier". They gained a reputation of being reckless and brave on a battlefield. The term originated from the French Army, who charged into the fight and were very fierce. They wore a striking Oriental uniform.
Information from http://www.oocities.org/Infantry8thMO/HTM2zouave.html