The American Civil War (1861–65), in the United States often referred to as simply the Civil War and sometimes called the "War Between the States", was a civil war fought over the secession of the Confederate States. Eleven southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ("the Confederacy"); the other 25 states supported the federal government ("the Union"). After four years of warfare, mostly within the Southern states, the Confederacy surrendered and slavery was abolished everywhere in the nation. Issues that led to war were partially resolved in the Reconstruction Era that followed, though others remained unresolved.
In the presidential election of 1860, the Republican Party, led by Abraham Lincoln, had campaigned against expanding slavery beyond the states in which it already existed. The Republicans strongly advocated nationalism, and in their 1860 platform they denounced threats of disunion as avowals of treason. After a Republican victory, but before the new administration took office on March 4, 1861, seven slave states declared their secession and joined to form the Confederate States of America. Both the outgoing administration of President James Buchanan and the incoming administration rejected the legality of secession, considering it rebellion. Despite these posturings, in Lincoln's inaugural address he stated he had no intention of militarily invading the South. The other eight slave states rejected calls for secession at this point. No foreign government recognized the Confederacy.
For a period of two months following the departure of the seven "Deep South" states, relative calm prevailed despite the inability of the Peace Conference of 1861 to resolve any issues. During this time, Confederate President Jefferson Davis called for the creation of a 100,000 man southern army (at a time when the entire US army numbered 16,000). Key Northern states upgraded their militias, purchased weapons, and made war plans.
Hostilities began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter. Lincoln responded by calling for a volunteer army from each state to recapture federal property, leading to declarations of secession by four more slave states. Both sides rushed to enlist and train large armies, but the Union moved first, seizing control of most of the border states early in the war and establishing a naval blockade. Land warfare in the East was inconclusive in 1861–62, as the Confederacy beat back repeated Union efforts to capture its capital, Richmond, Virginia, notably during the Peninsular Campaign. In September 1862, the Confederate campaign in Maryland ended in defeat at the Battle of Antietam, which dissuaded the British from intervening. Days after that battle, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made ending slavery a war goal.
In 1863, Confederate general Robert E. Lee's northward advance ended in defeat at the Battle of Gettysburg. To the west, the Union gained control of the Mississippi River after the Battle of Shiloh (April 1862) and Siege of Vicksburg, splitting the Confederacy in two and destroying much of their western army. Due to his western successes, Ulysses S. Grant was given command of all Union armies in 1864, and organized the armies of William Tecumseh Sherman, George Meade and others to attack the Confederacy from all directions, increasing the North's advantage in manpower. Grant restructured the union army, and put other generals in command of divisions of the army that were to support his push into Virginia. He fought several battles of attrition against Lee through the Overland Campaign to seize Richmond, though in the face of fierce resistance he altered his plans and led the Siege of Petersburg which nearly finished off the rest of Lee's army. Meanwhile, Sherman captured Atlanta and marched to the sea, destroying Confederate infrastructure along the way. When the Confederate attempt to defend Petersburg failed, the Confederate army retreated but was pursued and defeated, which resulted in Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.
The American Civil War was one of the earliest true industrial wars. Railroads, the telegraph, steamships, and mass-produced weapons were employed extensively. The practices of total war, developed by Sherman in Georgia, and the mobilization of civilian labor and finances all foreshadowed World War I in Europe. It remains the deadliest war in American history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 750,000 soldiers and an undetermined number of civilian casualties. Historian John Huddleston estimates the death toll at ten percent of all Northern males 20–45 years old, and 30 percent of all Southern white males aged 18–40. Victory for the North meant the end of the Confederacy and of slavery in the United States, and strengthened the role of the federal government. How the Union tried to secure that victory in the eleven ex-Confederate states is the theme of the Reconstruction Era in the United States that lasted to 1877.
Other articles related to "american civil war, war, american, civil war":
... The American Civil War was a major conflict fought between the federal government of the United States and eleven of its member States which sought to secede and to create their own government ... During the war over 10,000 military engagements took place and more than 3 million people fought on both sides with 40% of the battles being fought in the ... Since its creation, 1522 have received the Medal of Honor for actions during the American Civil War and depending on sources, as many as seven were Jewish ...
... Hyatt Smith, American politician Abram D ... Smith, American jurist Akili Smith, Canadian and American football player Alice Mary Smith (1839–1884), English composer Anna Nicole Smith, American model and television personality Aubrey Smith, English ... Smith, American politician Desmond Smith, Canadian general in World War II Dewey Smith, American aquanaut Dodie Smith, English novelist and playwright Eben Smith, American businessman Edmund Kirby Smith ...
... titles have received the following forms of recognition A Guide to the Battles of the American Revolution (2006) ISBN 978-1-932714-12-8 By Theodore P ... David Dameron, American Revolutionary War ... Writers Society of America Gold Star Book Award for History Benedict Arnold’s Army The 1775 American Invasion of Canada During the Revolutionary War (2008) ISBN 978-1-932714-03-6 By Arthur S ...
... of a Nation (1915) The Blue and the Gray (1982 TV series) The Civil War (1990) Civil War Minutes Confederate (2007) Civil War Minutes Union (2001) Cold Mountain (2003) The Colt (2005) Dances with Wolves (1990 ...
... American Civil War portal During the American Civil War (1861–65), consul Thomas Haines Dudley made strenuous efforts to prevent ships from Liverpool from breaking the United States Navy blockade of Confederate ... Great Britain remained officially neutral throughout the war but there were many Confederate sympathisers in Liverpool ... The commerce raider CSS Alabama was a screw sloop-of-war built for the Confederate States Navy at Birkenhead in Merseyside in 1862 by John Laird Sons and Company ...
Famous quotes containing the words war, american and/or civil:
“The more prosperous and settled a nation, the more readily it tends to think of war as a regrettable accident; to nations less fortunate the chance of war presents itself as a possible bountiful friend.”
—Lewis H. Lapham (b. 1935)
“The womens liberation movement at this point in history makes the American Communist Party of the 1930s look like a monolith.”
—Nora Ephron (b. 1941)
“Just what is the civil law? What neither influence can affect, nor power break, nor money corrupt: were it to be suppressed or even merely ignored or inadequately observed, no one would feel safe about anything, whether his own possessions, the inheritance he expects from his father, or the bequests he makes to his children.”
—Marcus Tullius Cicero (10643 B.C.)