WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG WHEN THE NORTH HAD ALL THE NUMBERS IN THEIR FAVOR? The South was determined and had an abundance of military leadership and combat expertise.
618,000 men would die; more than the Revolution, War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Spanish-American War, Korea, WWI and WWII combined.
Gettysburg: 50,000 in three days!
Brother vs. Brother; Mary Lincoln’s three brothers all died fighting for the South, Robert E. Lee had a nephew commanding for the Union. People were split.
First military draft in American history, Conscription Act of 1862 on the side of the Confederacy. All able bodied males 18-35 had to serve for three years, later expanded to ages 17-50. If you had money you could buy your way out.
The Confederacy had pinned its dim hopes on Britain or France’s entering the fight on its side. Europeans were unsure and stayed out.
BATTLE OF BULL RUN (1st)
A speedy victory was expected by the North. The first battle of Bull Run was attended as though it were the Superbowl, (people brought their picnics) and a victor would be decided, ending the whole affair. North thought they were going to teach “Johnny Reb’” a lesson and be done. The South drove the North from the field, Northern soldiers dropped everything and ran. There were 600 deaths on both sides.
Battles in the West had a general theme: Confederates would mount an offensive, suffer greater losses, retreat, then escape as the Union commanders dawdled. Confederates slowly yielded ground, one step forward, two steps back.
SHILOH- Tennessee: 23,000 killed. Confederates surprise attack the North, North ends up joining two forces together to fight back.
ANTIETAM, Maryland: Bloodiest Single Day in U.S. military history. Both sides fought equally well. North attacked the South, then the South launched vicious counterattacks. Ended in a draw. Lives lost: 22,717.
VICKSBURG, Jewel of the “West”, Mississippi: The city sat on a high bluff on a hairpin curve of the Mississippi River. It was very difficult for Union to attack. North had to travel south, ferry across river. They blockaded the city. Residents lived in caves and shelters, at soup boiled from Mule and horse ears and tails, before consuming the entire beast. When the animals were dead, they ate rats. May-July 4th 1863. South had to surrender city and 30,000 starving soldiers. North lead by U.S. Grant. Killed: 1,600, Missing, Wounded, Captured: 30,000
http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/gettysburg/maps/gettysburg-animated-map/ (Pickett’s charge and Cemetery)
SHERMAN’S “MARCH to the SEA”
Sherman believed the North had to not only beat the South on the battlefield, but destroy their material and psychological will to wage war. He commanded three armies, captured Atlanta on Sept 24, 1864. The then embarked on his “March to the Sea” leaving a 40-60 mile wide path of destruction through the heartland of Georgia. Dec. 24, 1864, he wired a telegram to Lincoln offering him an early Christmas present, the city of Savannah.
I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell. - William Tecumseh Sherman
Following his successful campaign through Georgia, Sherman turned his attentions northward and began marching through the Carolinas, chasing the Confederates under the command of Joseph E. Johnston. He continued his campaign of destruction, in particular targeting South Carolina for their role in seceding from the Union first. He captured Columbia, South Carolina, on February 17, 1865, setting many fires which would consume large portions of the city. He went on to defeat the forces of Johnston in North Carolina during the Battle of Bentonville, and eventually accepted the surrender of Johnston and all troops in Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas on April 26, 1865, becoming the largest surrender of Confederate troops during the war.
Approximately 9,000 men under Gordon and Fitzhugh Lee deployed in the fields west of the village before dawn and waited. The attack, launched before 8:00 a.m. and led by General Bryan Grimes of North Carolina, was initially successful. The outnumbered Union cavalry fell back, temporarily opening the road. But it was not to be. Union infantry began arriving from the west and south, completing Lee’s encirclement. Meanwhile, Longstreet’s troops were being pressed from the rear near New Hope Church, three miles to the east. General Ulysses S. Grant’s goal of cutting off and destroying Lee’s army was close at hand.
Bowing to the inevitable, Lee ordered his troops to retreat through the village and back across the Appomattox River. Small pockets of resistance continued until flags of truce were sent out from the Confederate lines between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. Rather than destroy his army and sacrifice the lives of his soldiers to no purpose, Lee decided to surrender the Army of Northern Virginia.
Although not the end of the war, the surrender of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia set the stage for its conclusion. Through the lenient terms, Confederate troops were paroled and allowed to return to their homes while Union soldiers were ordered to refrain from overt celebration or taunting. These measures served as a blueprint for the surrender of the remaining Confederate forces throughout the South. Although a formal peace treaty was never signed by the combatants, the submission of the Confederate armies ended the war and began the long and difficult road toward reunification.