Ft. Sumter and the sectional responses: In response to Fort Sumter both North and South witnessed a tremendous outpouring of support.
Southern strengths: Skilled military leadership, effective fighting forces, and defensive positions and tactics. Although lacking adequate industrial strength, the South believed cotton would secure European support. In contrast to the Union's more difficult strategic task of conquest and occupation, the South merely had to survive until its enemy tired and quit.
Southern expectations for foreign aid: “Cotton diplomacy” – Southerners thought that European nations would recognize and support the Confederacy because of the Europeans' dependence upon southern cotton. The British did not come to the aid of the South. Southerners believed England was dependent on southern cotton for its textile industry. But England stockpiled cotton and found alternative sources when the Civil War began. England also had qualms about recognizing a slave power. Actually, Europeans were more dependent on the North for grain than they were on southern cotton.
Southern constitution and Jefferson Davis: The Confederate constitution was in most respects, a mirror image of the original federal constitution with the exception that it explicitly protected slave property. The emphasis on states' rights hindered a centralized coordination of military planning and operation, and the mobilization and utilization of resources and manpower in the Confederacy. Instead, attachment to states' rights promoted bickering and a non-cooperative attitude that hastened war weariness and undermined Southern will. As President of the Confederacy, Davis was a poor administrator; ill-tempered; uninspiring (sorely needed by the South as war weariness set in); got caught up in details.
Material assets of the North: Northern social, economic, and political system proved more capable of meeting the war's demands. The North enjoyed a significant population and economic advantage over the South. Many of the North's assets would become effective, however, only with time. The material assets of the North during the Civil War became effective only in the long run. Among the North's advantages were a larger population, four border states, greater capital resources, industrial capacity, and railroad mileage. Among its disadvantages were its having to carry the war to the South, and a slowly developing leadership. Among the South's advantages were superior generalship, its large geographic size, and the need only to defend its territory. Its disadvantages included a low productive capacity and limited manpower.
Lincoln as war president --- army generals, habeas corpus and the press. Lincoln called for volunteers without the consent of Congress, suspended the writ of habeas corpus in Maryland, issued the Emancipation Proclamation, and declared martial law in some areas. Lincoln as a leader was a good listener and thinker; flexible; decisive; inspirational; delegated authority.
The border states: Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland – Delaware (sides with Union camp)
Tactics and weapons: The use of the new, longer-range rifles during the Civil War produced horrible carnage.
Anaconda plan: During the early years of the Civil War, the northern navy concentrated on gaining footholds along the southern coast for a blockade.
Stalemate: Whereas the Union had to win a war of conquest and occupation, the South merely had to survive until its enemy tired and gave up. Realizing that the South could not forever fight a defensive war, Robert E. Lee attempted an invasion of the North. He suffered heavy casualties at Gettysburg and withdrew, unable to mount another offensive. Northern victory at Vicksburg gained control of the Mississippi River for the North and led to Grant's promotion. Grant and Sherman employed a grim campaign of annihilation, using the North's superior resources to wear down and defeat the South.
Battle of Shiloh Church, 1862: The casualties for the battle at Shiloh Church were enormous because of the insufficient care of wounds on the battlefield. More men fell in the Battle of Shiloh Church than in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Mexican War combined.
"Shiloh, A Requiem" by Herman Melville
SKIMMING lightly, wheeling still,
The swallows fly low
Over the fields in clouded days,
The forest-field of Shiloh--
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched one stretched in pain
Through the pause of night
That followed the Sunday fight
Around the church of Shiloh--
The church so lone, the log-built one,
That echoed to many a parting groan
And natural prayer
Of dying foemen mingled there--
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve--
Fame or country least their care:
(What like a bullet can undeceive!)
But now they lie low,
While over them the swallows skim,
And all is hushed at Shiloh.
George McClellan: Waging a defensive war in the early years, this general felt that a successful southern offensive would bring diplomatic recognition and might even force the North to sue for peace.
Ulysses Grant & grim annihilation – Total war – Total war involves the mobilization of all the resources of a nation not only to conquer an enemy's territory, but to destroy its army, and its ability and willingness to fight. Consider: the scale of mobilization of resources and manpower in the North; use of the Emancipation Proclamation to attack the Southern economy and society; Sherman's March to the Sea to crush Southern will.
“A first rate, second rate man” ---- Wendell Phillips
The Battle of Antietam (or Sharpsburg) on September 17, 1862: Antietam, led to the Emancipation Proclamation. The Union victory, this battle presented President Lincoln with the opportunity to issue a preliminary emancipation proclamation.
Emancipation Proclamation, January 1863: Lincoln was forced to walk a thin line between racist conservatives and radical abolitionists. The Emancipation Proclamation, defended by Lincoln as "an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity," helped prepare northerners for the eventuality of emancipation. Although it did not technically free any slaves at the time, it gave the war a moral purpose and laid to rest any possibility of foreign support for the Confederacy. It encouraged slaves to flee the South, subverting the southern war effort. In 1861, Lincoln worried that Northern public opinion would not support a war for the abolition of slavery and that there were constitutional limitations to the president's ability to end slavery. By 1863, he could justify emancipation as a military measure to weaken the Southern economy and its ability to wage war. Emancipation would also elevate Northern war goals to a higher plane, and would deter European recognition and aid to the Confederacy. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by Abraham Lincoln diplomatic concern of favorable foreign impressions of the North, implicit appeal to slaves to subvert the southern war effort, and the need to prepare northern whites for the eventuality of emancipation. The Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in unconquered parts of the Confederacy. Lincoln was forced to walk a thin line between racist conservatives and radical abolitionists. The Emancipation Proclamation, defended by Lincoln as "an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity," helped prepare northerners for the eventuality of emancipation. Although it did not technically free any slaves at the time, it gave the war a moral purpose and laid to rest any possibility of foreign support for the Confederacy. It encouraged slaves to flee the South, subverting the southern war effort.
New York city Draft Riots, 1863: The largest civil disturbance of the nineteenth century occurred in New York City in early July 1863, as the NYC Draft Riots. The New York City draft riots exposed the racial and class antagonisms of northern society.
Transformation of war aims: What began as an explicit “white man’s war for union” became, an overt and explicit war to end slavery. Slavery was, of course, the actual key underlying issue causing the war. The expansion of slavery had generated the pre-Civil War crises of the 1850s, and it was Lincoln's and the Republican's absolute opposition to slavery's expansion that caused the Crittenden Compromise to fail. For many, opposition to slavery's expansion was rooted in opposition to slavery itself. The South resorted to states' rights not as an end in itself, but as a means to protect slavery.
Foreign sensibilities (especially England)
Decline of white yeomanry
Rich man’s war, poor man’s fight
“Voting with your feet”
Election of 1864: In the election of 1864, Democratic candidate George McClellan proclaimed the war a failure and demanded an armistice with the South.
Two visions: one victor
Port Royal experiment
Northern evangelicals and carpetbaggers
Former slaves and land: labor theory of value
Field Order # 15
Lincoln’s Reconstruction --- “With malice toward none, with charity for all... let us finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds”