AN03c_An Era of Growth and Disunion: The Civil War Begins
Timeline: 1860 – 1865
FQ: How did North & South settle into their roles as combatants?
I. The 1860 Election and Aftermath
A. The Election
- The Democratic Party was split between Stephen Douglas (Senator, Illinois, Northern Democrats) and John C. Breckinridge (sitting Vice-President, Kentucky, Southern Democrats).
- The Republican Party (made up of Democrats & Whigs who supported the restriction of the spread of Slavery) chose Abraham Lincoln in a convention that pitted the Illinois lawyer against ‘seasoned’ politicians from the East (William Seward, Governor & Senator from NY).
- The Constitutional Union Party selects John Bell (slaveholder, Tennessee) as their candidate.
- Abraham Lincoln wins 40% of the popular vote (60% voted for someone else!)
B. The Electoral College
- Elector votes are divided amongst the four party candidates.
- Abraham Lincoln wins 180 out of the possible 303 votes (Just short of 60%).
- South Carolina convenes a Secession Convention. Declares it’s independence from the Union on 20 Dec. 1860.
- By Feb. 1861, 7 States have voted to secede.
- “The Tea has been thrown overboard, the revolution of 1860 has been initiated.”- The Charleston Mercury
- Feb. 1861, The Confederate States of America is formed with Jefferson Davis (Mississippi) as President. A new constitution is drawn among the seceded States.
- Pres. James Buchanan believed that military action was illegal, so he watched has the nation disintegrated.
- Last Ditch Efforts:
a. Crittenden Amendment (Extend Missouri Compromise 36.30 latitude to Pacific Coast).
b. Corwin (Ghost) Amendment: Protecting Slavery in perpetuity.
II. The War Commences
A. Fort Sumter
- Pres. Lincoln takes office in March, 1861.
- Supply ship and fort fired upon (12 April 1861; Charleston, S. Carolina). Major Anderson, fort commander, surrenders as supplies dwindled.
- 4 additional States secede afterwards (W. Virginia breaks away from Virginia in 1863 to join Union).
- Both sides believe the contest will be over in weeks, maybe months.
B. Strengths & Weaknesses
1. South’s Strengths
a. Experience of Officer Corp. Most military colleges were in the South.
b. The nation’s wealthiest States were in the South.
c. The South could feed itself.
d. Fighting a defensive war to maintain it’s borders. Familiar with it’s terrain. The North had to fight an offensive war to get the South to capitulate.
2. North’s Strengths
a. Massive advantage in population.
b. Huge Industrial advantage.
c. Most of the railroad tracks resided in Northern States.
d. Most of the shipyards were in the North, thus the Navy was largely a Northern force.
A. Gearing Up to ‘Man’ and Supply the War Effort
B. Foreign Intervention.
C. Funding the War
D. Mounting Casualties
IV. Shortening the War => Finding a Commander for Northern Army
A. Winfield Scott (General -in- Chief, retires)
B. George McClellan (General -in- Chief, demoted to Commander, Dept. of the East [Army of the Potomac])
Revolving door of Generals…
- Ambrose Burnside
- Joseph Hooker
- George Meade
C. John Fremont (Commander, Dept. of Appalachia)
D. Henry Halleck (Commander, Dept. of the West, promoted to General -in- Chief, but assigned to Wash., D.C., relieved of General -in- Chief).
E. U.S. Grant (Commander, Dept. of the West, promoted to General of the Army)
V. Shortening the War => War of Attrition IS NOT an Option
A. Offense is Best Defense
- 1st Invasion of the North => Union’s Chesapeake Campaign, Battle of Antietam
- 2nd Invasion of the North => Battle of Gettysburg
B. Fight for a Stalemate, hope for foreign Intervention.
VI. Pivotal Engagements (See Naming Conventions)
A. 1st Bull Run, Va. (1st Manassas)
B. Antietam, MD.
C. Vicksburg, Miss.
D. Gettysburg, Pa.
VII. Pivotal Documents
A. The Emancipation Proclamation
B. The Gettysburg Address
C. President Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural Address
D. The 13th Amendment
E. The 14th Amendment
F. The 15th Amendment