AP U.S. History Notes

Chapter 21: The Furnace of Civil War, 1861-1865

  1. Bull Run Ends the “Ninety-Day War”
    1. North newspapers shared Lincoln’s expectation of a quick victory (“On to Richmond!”) Union army of some 30,000 men drilled near Washington in the summer of 1861
      1. The army was ill prepared for battle, but the press and the public clamored for action; Lincoln eventually concluded that an attack on a smaller Confederate force at Bull Run, some thirty miles southwest of Washington, might be worth a try
      2. If successful, it would demonstrate the superiority of Union arms and might even lead to the capture of the Confederate capital at Richmond (100 miles to the south)
    2. Raw Yankee recruits swaggered out of Washington toward Bull Run on July 21, 1861
      1. Congressmen and spectators trailed along to witness the fun; at first, the battle went well for the Yankees but “Stonewall” Jackson’s gray-clad warriors stood like a stone wall and Confederate reinforcements arrived unexpectedly
      2. Panic seized the Union troops many of whom fled in shameful confusion; the “military picnic” at Bull Run, though not decisive militarily, bore significant psychological and political consequences, many of them paradoxical
      3. Victory was worse than defeat for the South, because it inflated an already dangerous overconfidence (many Southern soldiers promptly deserted, some boastfully to display their trophies, others feeling that the war was now surely over
    3. Southern enlistments fell off sharply, and preparations for a protracted conflict slackened; defeat was better than victory for the Union, because it dispelled all illusions of a one-punch war and caused the Northerners to buckle down to the staggering task at hand
  2. Tardy George” McClellan and the Peninsula Campaign
    1. Northern hopes brightened late in 1861, when General George B. McClellan was given command of the Army of the Potomac, the Union force near Washington
      1. As a student of warfare who was dubbed “Young Napoleon,” he had seen plenty of fighting, first in the Mexican War and then as an observer of the Crimean War
      2. Cocky George McClellan was a superb organizer and drillmaster, and he injected splendid morale into the Army of the Potomac (perfectionist)
      3. He was overcautious (did not take many risks) and he addressed the president in an arrogant tone that a less forgiving person would never have tolerated
    2. As McClellan doggedly continued to drill his army without moving it toward Richmond; after threatening to “borrow” the army if it was not going to be used, Lincoln finally issued firm orders to advance (McClellan decided upon a waterborne approach)
      1. McClellan chose to approach Richmond, which lay at the base of a narrow peninsula formed by the James and York Rivers—hence the name Peninsula Campaign
      2. McClellan inched toward the Confederate capital in the spring of 1862 with about 100,000 men; after taking a month to capture Yorktown, he finally reached Richmond
      3. At this crucial juncture, Lincoln diverted McClellan’s anticipated reinforcements to chase “Stonewall” Jackson, whose lightning feints in the Shenandoah Valley seemed to put Washington, D.C. in jeopardy (McClellan stalled in front of Richmond)
      4. McClellan was further frustrated when “Jeb” Stuart’s Confederate cavalry rode completely around his army on reconnaissance; then General Robert E. Lee launched a devastating counterattack—the Seven Days’ Battles—June 26-July 2, 1862
      5. The Confederates drove McClellan back to the sea; the Union forces abandoned the Peninsula Campaign as a costly failure and Lincoln temporarily abandoned McClellan as commander of the Army of the Potomac (Lee lost more lives)
    3. Lee had achieved a brilliant triumph yet the ironies of his accomplishment are striking
      1. If McClellan had succeeded in taking Richmond and ending the war in mid-1862, the Union would probably have restored with minimal disruption to “peculiar institution”
      2. Slavery would have survived but his defense of Richmond and defeat of McClellan, Lee had in effect ensured that the war would endure until Old South was destroyed
    4. Lincoln who had earlier professed his unwillingness to tamper with slavery where it already existed—he began to draft an emancipation proclamation
    5. Union strategy now turned toward total war; Northern military plan had six components
    6. First, slowly suffocate the South by blockading its coasts; second, liberate the slaves and hence undermine the very economic foundations of the Old South
    7. Third, cut the Confederacy in half by seizing control of the Mississippi River backbone; fourth, chop the Confederacy to pieces by sending troops through Georgia and Carolinas
    8. Fifth, decapitate it by capturing its capital at Richmond; and sixth (Ulysses Grant’s idea) try everywhere to engage the enemy’s main strength and to grind it into submission
  3. The War at Sea
    1. The blockade started leakily; it was not clamped down all at once but was extended
      1. A watertight patrol of some thirty-five hundred miles of coast was impossible for the hastily improvised Northern navy, which had converted yachts and ferryboats in fleet
      2. But blockading was simplified by concentrating on the principal ports and inlets where dock facilities were available for loading bulky bales of cotton
    2. How was the blockade regarded by the naval powers of the world?
      1. Ordinarily, they probably would have defied it, for it was never completely effective and was especially sieve-like at the outset but Britain, the greatest maritime nation, recognized it as binding and warned its shippers that they ignored it at their peril
      2. Blockade happened to be the chief offensive weapon of Britain, which was still Mistress of the Seas and Britain plainly did not want to tie its hands in a future war by insisting that Lincoln maintain impossibly high blockading standards
    3. Blockading-running soon became riskily profitable, as the growing scarcity of Southern goods drove prices skyward (the most successful blockade runners were swift, gray steamers, scores of which were specially built in Scotland and used by shippers)
    4. A leading rendezvous was the West Indies port of Nassau, in the British Bahamas; the low-lying craft would take on cargoes of arms brought in from Britain, leave with fraudulent papers for “Halifax” (Canada) and return in later with a cargo of cotton
    5. The risks were great but the profits would mount to 700 percent and more; the lush days of blockade-running finally passed as the Union gradually pinched off the leading Southern ports, from New Orleans with high-handed practices
      1. Yankee captains would seize British freighters on the high seas, if laden with war supplies for the tiny port of Nassau and other halfway stations
      2. The justification was that obviously these shipments were “ultimately” destined, by devious routes for the Confederacy and London acquiesced in this disagreeable doctrine of “ultimate destination” or “continuous voyage”
    6. The most alarming Confederate threat to the blockade came in 1862; resourceful Southerners raised and reconditioned a former wooden U.S. warship, the Merrimack, and plated its sides with iron railroad rails (it was renamed the Virginia)
      1. This clumsy but powerful monster easily destroyed two wooden ships of the Union navy in Virginia waters and threatened catastrophe to entire Yankee blockading fleet
      2. A tiny Union ironclad, the Monitor, built in about one hundred days, arrived on the scene and for four hours, on March 9m 1862, the little “Yankee cheesebox on a raft” fought the wheezy Merrimack (Britain and France had built several ironclads)
      3. The new craft herald the doom of wooden warships and after the historic battle, the Confederates destroyed the Merrimack to keep it from the grasp of advancing troops
  4. The Pivotal Point: Antietam
    1. Robert E. Lee, broken the McClellan’s assault on Richmond, next moved northward
      1. At the Second Battle of Bull run (August 29-30, 1862), Lee encountered a Federal force under General John Pope—Lee quickly gave him a front view, furiously attacking Pope’s troops and inflicting a crushing defeat to the bragging Pope
      2. Emboldened by this success, Lee daringly thrust into Maryland in which he had hoped to strike a blow that would not only encourage foreign intervention but also seduce the still-wavering Border State and its sisters from the Union
      3. But the Marylanders did not respond as the presence among the invaders of so many blanket-less, hatless, and shoeless soldiers dampened the state’s ardor
    2. Events finally converged toward a critical battle at Antietam Creek, Maryland
      1. Lincoln, yielding to popular pressure, restored McClellan; two Union soldiers found a copy of Lee’s battle plans wrapped around a packet of three cigars drooped by a careless Confederate officer and had this crucial piece of intelligence in the battle
      2. McClellan succeeded in halting Lee at Antietam on September 17, 1862, in one of the bitterest and bloodiest days of the war; finding his thrust parried, Lee retired across the Potomac (McClellan was removed from his filed command—didn’t gain much)
      3. His numerous critics condemned him for not having boldly pursued Lee
    3. The landmark Battle of Antietam was one of the decisive engagements of world history; Jefferson Davis was perhaps never again so near victory as on that fateful day
    4. The British and French governments were on the verge of diplomatic mediation; an almost certain rebuff by Washington might well have spurred Paris and London into armed collusion with Richmond but both capitals cooled off after Union’s display
    5. Bloody Antietam provided Lincoln with the long-awaited opportunity to launch his Emancipation Proclamation; the abolitionists were increasingly impatient
      1. Congress had already decreed in 1861 that rebel property used in the war effort, including slaves, could be confiscated; a second Confiscation Act in 1862 punished “traitors” by declaring their slaves “captives of war” who “shall be forever free”
      2. Lincoln hesitated to go further while the loyalty of the border states was in doubt, and while the North’s military fortunes seemed so uncertain against the South
      3. By summer of 1862, he was ready; the wavering states had come safely into the Union fold and he needed a solid victory of arms, so he could proclaim emancipation from a position of military strength (he awaited the outcome of Lee’s invasion)
    6. Antietam served as the needed emancipation springboard and on September 23, 1862, the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation was issued by Lincoln and this document announced that on January 1, 1863, the president would issue a final proclamation
    7. On the scheduled date, he fully redeemed his promise and the Civil War became more of a moral crusade as the fate of slavery and the South it has sustained was sealed
    8. The war now became more of what Lincoln called a “remorseless revolutionary struggle”
  5. A Proclamation Without Emancipation
    1. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 declared “Forever free” the slave sin those Confederate states still in rebellion; bondsmen in the loyal Border States were not affected, nor were those in specific conquered areas in the South—about 800,000
      1. Proclamation was “an act of justice” and calling for “the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God”
      2. The presidential pen did not formally strike the shackles from a single slave
      3. Where Lincoln could presumably free the slaves—that is, in the loyal Border States—he refused to do so, lest he spur disunion; where he could not, he tried
      4. The Emancipation Proclamation was stronger on proclamation than emancipation
    2. Yet much unofficial do-it-yourself liberation did take place
      1. Thousands of jubilant slaves, learning of the proclamation, flocked to the invading Union armies, stripping already rundown plantations of their work force
      2. In this sense the Emancipation Proclamation was heralded by the drumbeat of running feet; but many fugitives would have come anyhow, as they had from war’s outset
      3. Lincoln’s immediate goal was not only to liberate the slaves but also to strengthen the moral cause of the Union at home and abroad—this he succeeded in doing
      4. At the same time, Lincoln’s proclamation clearly foreshadowed the ultimate doom of slavery; this was legally achieved by the action of individual states and by ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865, eight months after the Civil War ended
    3. The Emancipation Proclamation also fundamentally changed the nature of the war because if effectively removed any chance of a negotiated settlement (fight to finish)
    4. Public reactions to the long-awaited proclamation of 1863 were varied
      1. Many ardent abolitionists complained that Lincoln had not gone far enough; on the other hand, formidable numbers of Northerners, especially in the “Butternut” regions of the old Northwest and the Border States, felt that he had gone too far
      2. Opposition mounted in the North against supporting an “abolition war”
      3. Many Boys in Blue, especially from the Border States, had volunteered to fight for the Union, not against slavery (desertions increased sharply)
      4. The crucial congressional elections in the autumn of 1862 went heavily against the administration, particularly in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio
    5. The Emancipation Proclamation caused an outcry to rise from the South that “Lincoln the fiend” was trying to stir up the “hellish passions” of a slave insurrection
      1. Aristocrats of Europe, noting that the proclamation applied only to rebel slaveholders, were inclined to sympathize with Southern protests; but the Old World working classes, especially in Britain reacted (diplomatic position of Union improved)
      2. They sensed that the proclamation spelled the ultimate doom of slavery, and many laborers were more determined than ever to oppose intervention
    6. The North now had much the stronger moral cause; in addition to preserving the Union, it had committed itself to freeing the slaves (South’s moral position diminished)
  6. Blacks Battle Bondage
    1. As Lincoln moved to emancipate the slaves, he also took steps to enlist blacks in the armed forces; the regular army contained no blacks at the war’s outset and the War Department refused to accept those free Northern blacks who tried to volunteer
    2. But as manpower ran low and emancipation was proclaimed, black enlistees were accepted, sometimes over ferocious protests from Northern as well as Southern whites
      1. By war’s end some 180,000 blacks served in the Union armies, most of them from the slave states, but many from the free-soil North (10% of enlistments in the Union forces on land and sea and included two Massachusetts regiments—Douglass)
      2. Black fighting men had their hearts in the war against slavery that the Civil War had become after Lincoln proclaimed emancipation
      3. Black fighters earned twenty-two Congressional Medals of Honor—the highest military award and their casualties were extremely heavy—more than 38,000 died
      4. Many were captured, put to death as slaves in revolt, for not until 1864 did the South recognize them as prisoners of war (Fort Pillow, Tennessee surrender and massacre)
    3. For reasons of pride, prejudice, and principle, the Confederacy could not bring itself to enlist slaves until a month before the war ended and then it was too late
    4. Meanwhile, tens of thousands were forced into labor battalions, the building of fortifications, the supplying of armies, and other war-connected activities
    5. Slaves were “the stomach of the Confederacy,” kept the farms while white men fought
    6. Ironically, the great mass of Southern slaves did little to help their Northern liberators; through the “grapevine,” the blacks learned of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation
    7. The bulk of them, whether because of fear, loyalty, lack of leadership, or strict policing, did not cast off their chains but tens of thousand revolted when they abandoned their plantations upon the approach or arrival of Union armies (emancipation proclamations)
  7. Lee’s Last Lunge at Gettysburg
    1. After Antietam, Lincoln replace McClellan as commander of the Army of the Potomac with General A. E., Burnside; protesting his unfitness for this responsibility, Burnside proved it when he launched a rash frontal attack on Lee’s strong position at Fredericksburg, Virginia, on December 13, 1862 (10,000 Northern soldiers k/w)
    2. A new slaughter pen was prepared when General Burnside yielded his command to “Fighting Joe” Hooker, an aggressive officer but a headstrong subordinate
      1. At Chancellorsville, Virginia, May 2-4, 1863, Lee daringly divided his numerically inferior force and sent “Stonewall “ Jackson to attack the Union flank—the strategy worked and Hooker was badly beaten but not crushed (Lee’s most brilliant victory)
      2. Jackson was mistakenly shot by his own men in the gathering dusk and died a few days later—“I have lost my right arm,” lamented Lee
    3. Lee now prepared to follow hp his stunning victory by invading the North again, this time through Pennsylvania; a decisive blow would add strength to the noisy peace prodders in the North and would encourage foreign intervention—still a Southern hope
    4. Three days before the battle was joined, Union general George G. Meade was aroused from his sleep with the unwelcome news that he would replace Hooker
      1. Meade took his stand atop a low ridge flanking a shallow valley near Gettysburg, PA
      2. There his 92,000 men in blue locked in furious combat with Lee’s 76,000 gray-clad warriors; the battle seesawed across the rolling green slopes for three agonizing days, July 1-3, 1863, and the outcome was in doubt until the very end
      3. The failure of General George Pickett’s magnificent but futile charge finally broke the back of the Confederate attack—and broke the hearty of the Confederate cause
      4. Pickett’s charge has been called the “hide tide of the Confederacy”; it defined both the northernmost point reached by any significant Southern force and the last real chance for the Confederates to win the war (as the Battle of Gettysburg raged, a Confederate peace delegation was moving under a flag of truce toward the Union)
      5. Jefferson Davis hoped his negotiators would arrive in Washington just as Lee’s triumphant army marched on it from Gettysburg to the north
    5. But the victory at Gettysburg belonged to Lincoln, who refused to allow the Confederate peace mission to pass through Union lines—from now, the Southern cause was doomed
    6. Yet the men of Dixie fought on for nearly two years longer, through weariness of spirit
    7. Late that autumn of 1863, Lincoln journeyed to Gettysburg to dedicate the cemetery and read a two-minute address (president speaking for the ages, not listened to at the time)
  8. The War in the West
    1. Events in the western theater of the war at last provided Lincoln with an able general: Ulysses S. Grant who had fought creditably in the Mexican War (resigned for drinking)
      1. Grant was not cut much of a figure but his military experience combined with his boldness, resourcefulness and tenacity catapulted him on a meteoric rise
      2. Grant’s first signal success came in northern Tennessee; after heavy fighting, he captured Fort Henry and Fort Donelson on the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers
      3. Grant’s triumph in Tennessee in early 1862 was crucial; it not only riveted Kentucky more securely to the Union but also opened the gateway to the important region of Tennessee, as well as to Georgia and the heart of Dixie
    2. Grant next attempted to exploit his victory by capturing the junction of the main Confederate north-south and east-west railroads in the Mississippi Valley but a Confederate force foiled his plants in a gory battle at Shiloh, just over the Tennessee border from Corinth, on April 6-7, 1862 (no quick end to the war in the West)
    3. Lincoln resisted all demands for the removal of “Unconditional Surrender” Grant
    4. Other Union thrusts in the West were in the making
      1. In the spring of 1862, a flotilla commanded by David G. Farragut joined with a Northern army to strike the south a blow by seizing New Orleans
      2. With Union gunboats both ascending and descending the Mississippi, the eastern part of the Confederacy was left with a jeopardized back door
      3. The fortress of Vicksburg, located on a hairpin turn of the Mississippi, was the South’s sentinel protecting the lifeline to the western sources of supply
    5. General Grant was now given command of the Union forces attacking Vicksburg and the siege of Vicksburg was his best-fought campaign of the war; the beleaguered city at length surrendered, on July 4, 1863; five days later came the fall of Port Hudson (the last Southern bastion on the Mississippi; spinal cord of the Confederacy was now severed)
    6. The Union victory at Vicksburg came the day after the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg; the political significance of these back-to-back military successes was monumental
      1. Reopening the Mississippi helped to quell the Northern peace agitation in “Butternut” area of the Ohio River valley (Confederate had controlled the Mississippi)
      2. The victories also conclusively tipped the diplomatic scales in favor of the North, as Britain stopped delivery of the Laird rams to the Confederates and as France killed a deal for the sale of six naval vessels to the Richmond government (no foreign help)
  9. Sherman Scorches Georgia
    1. General Grant was transferred to east Tennessee, where Confederates had driven Union forces from the battlefield at Chickamauga into Chattanooga, to which they aid siege
      1. Grant won a series of desperate engagements in November 1863 in the vicinity of besieged Chattanooga, including Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain
      2. Chattanooga was liberated, the state was cleared of Confederates, and the way was thus opened for an invasion of Georgia (Grant was made general in chief as reward)
    2. Georgia’s conquest was entrusted to General William Tecumseh Sherman; he captured Atlanta in September 1864 was burned the city in November of that year
      1. He then daringly left his supply base, lived off the country and emerged at Savannah
      2. But Sherman’s hate “Blue Bellies,” sixty thousand strong, cut a sixty-mile swath of destruction through Georgia—they burned buildings and tore up railroad rails
      3. One of the major purposes was to destroy supplies destined for the Confederate army and to weaken the morale of the men at the front by waging war on their homes
    3. Sherman was a pioneer practitioner of “total war”—his success in the South was attested by increasing numbers of Confederate desertions; although his methods were brutal, he probably shortened the struggled and hence saved lives (orgy of pillaging)
    4. After sizing Savannah as a Christmas present for Lincoln; Sherman’s army veered north into South Carolina, where the destruction was even more vicious
    5. The capital city, Columbia, burst into flames (Sherman’s conquering army had rolled deep into North Carolina by the time the war ended—crunching northward)
  10. The Politics of War
    1. The election of 1864 fell most inopportunely in the midst of war; political infighting in the North added greatly to Lincoln’s woe; factions within his own party, distrusting his ability or doubting his commitment to abolition, sought to remove him from office, among his critics was a group led by secretary of the Treasury, Salmon Chase
      1. The creation of the Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War, formed in late 1861, was dominated by “radical” Republicans who resented the expansion of presidential power in wartime and who pressed Lincoln zealously on emancipation
      2. Most dangerous of all to the Union cause were the Northern Democrats; those Democrats remaining in the North were left with taint of association with the seceders
      3. Tragedy befell the Democrats and the Union when their gifted leader, Stephen A. Douglas, died of typhoid fever seven weeks after the war began; unshakably devoted to the Union, he probably could have kept much of his following on path of loyalty
    2. Lacking a leader, the Democrats divided; a large group of “War Democrats” patriotically supported the Lincoln administration, but tens of thousands of “Peace Democrats” did not
    3. At the extreme were the so-called Copperheads, named for the poisonous snake, which strikes without a warning rattle; Copperheads openly obstructed the war through attacks against the draft, against Lincoln, and especially after 1863, against emancipation
      1. They commanded considerable political strength in the southern parts of OH, IN, IL
      2. Notorious among the Copperheads was a congressman from Ohio, Clement V. Vallandigham; a Southern partisan, he publicly demanded an end to the “wicked and cruel” war; he should have been tried for sedition in the civil courts of Ohio
      3. By he was convicted by a military tribunal in 1863 for treasonable utterances and was then sentenced to prison (Lincoln choose to banish Vallandigham to the South)
    4. Vallandigham as not so easily silenced; working his way to Canada, he ran for governorship of Ohio on foreign soil and polled a substantial but insufficient vote
    5. He returned to his own state before the war ended, and although he defied “King Lincoln” and spat upon a military decree, he was not further prosecuted
    6. The strange case of Vallandigham inspired Edward Everett Hale to write his fictional story of Philip Nolan, the Man Without a Country, which was immensely popular in the North and which helped stimulate devotion to the Union
  11. The Election of 1864
    1. As the election of 1864 approached, Lincoln’s authority depended on this retaining Republican support while spiking the threat from the Peace Democrats and Copperheads
      1. Fearing defeat, the Republican party joined with the War Democrats and proclaimed itself to be the Union party (Republican party passed out of existence temporarily)
      2. Lincoln’s renomination at first encountered surprising strong opposition; hostile factions whipped up considerable agitation to shelve “Old Abe” in favor of his nemesis, Secretary of the Treasury Chase; Lincoln was accused of lacking force, being over-ready to compromise, not having won the war, and of shocking people
      3. But the “ditch Lincoln” move collapsed and he was nominated by the Union party
    2. Lincoln’s running mate was Andrew Johnson, a loyal War Democrat from Tennessee who had been a small slaveowner when the conflict began (attracting War Democrats)
    3. Embattled Democrats nominated deposed and overcautious war hero, General McClellan; the Copperheads managed to force into the Democratic platform a plank denouncing the prosecution of the war as a failure but McClellan, repudiated this defeatist declaration
      1. The Democrats cried, “Old Abe removed McClellan.  We’ll now remove Old Abe” (Union supporters shouted “Don’t swap horses in the middle of the river”)
      2. Lincoln’s reelection was at first gravely in doubt; the war was going badly and Lincoln gave way to despondency, fearing that political defeat was imminent
      3. But the atmosphere of gloom was changed electrically, as balloting day neared, by a succession of Northern victories; Admiral Farragut captured Mobile, AL; General Sherman seized Atlanta; General Sheridan laid waste the Shenandoah Valley of VA
    4. The president pulled through, but nothing more than necessary was left to chance; at election time many Northern soldiers were furloughed home to support Lincoln at polls
    5. Other Northern soldiers were permitted to cast their ballots at the front; Lincoln, bolstered by the “bayonet vote,” vanquished McClellan by 212 electoral votes to 21, losing only Kentucky, Delaware, and New Jersey but “Little Mac” netted 45% of PV
    6. One of the most crushing losses suffered by the South was the defeat of the Northern Democrats in 1864; the removal of Lincoln was the last ghost of a hope for a Confederate victory and after triumph, desertions from the sinking Southern ship increased sharply
  12. Grant Outlasts Lee
    1. After Gettysburg, Brant was brought in from the West over Meade, who was blamed for failing to pursue the defeated but always dangerous Lee
      1. Lincoln needed a general who, employing the superior resources of the North, would have the intestinal stamina to drive ever forward, regardless of casualties
      2. A soldier of bulldog tenacity, Grant was the man for this meat-grinder type of warfare; his overall basic strategy was to assail the enemy’s armies simultaneously, so that they could not assist one another and hence could be destroyed piecemeal
    2. A grimly determined Grant, with more than 100,00 men, struck toward Richmond
      1. He engaged Lee in a series of furious battles in the Wilderness of Virginia, during May and June of 1864, notably in the leaden hurricane of the “Bloody Angle” and “Hell’s Half Acre”—in this Wilderness Campaign, Grant suffered about fifty thousand casualties, or as many men as Lee commanded at the start (Lee lost half)
      2. In a ghastly gamble, on June 3, 1864, Grant ordered a frontal assault on the impregnable position of Cold Harbor and Union soldiers advanced to certain death
    3. Public opinion in the North was appalled by this “blood and guts” type of fighting; critics cried that “Grant the Butcher” had gone insane but his basic strategy of hammering head seemed brutally necessary—he could trade two men for one and still beat the enemy
    4. In February 1865 the Confederates, tasting defeat, tried desperately to negotiate for peace between the “two countries”; Lincoln met with Confederate representatives to discuss peace terms but Lincoln could accept nothing short of Union and emancipation
    5. The end came with dramatic suddenness; rapidly advancing Northern troops captured Richmond and cornered Lee at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia, in April 1865
      1. Grant met with Lee on the ninth of April and granted generous terms of surrender
      2. Tattered southern veterans wept as they took leave of their beloved commander; the elated Union soldiers cheered but they were silenced by Grant’s stern admonition, “The War is over; the rebels are out countrymen again”
    6. Lincoln traveled to conquered Richmond and with a small escort of sailors, he walked the blasted streets of the city—freed slaves began to recognize him and crowds gathered to see and touch “Father Abraham” (“thank Him for the liberty you will enjoy hereafter”)
  13. The Martyrdom of Lincoln
    1. On the night of April 14, 1865, only five days after Lee’s surrender, Ford’s Theater in Washington witnessed its most sensational drama; John Wilkes Booth, a fanatically pro-Southern actor, slipped behind Lincoln as he say in his box and shot him in the head
      1. After lying unconscious all night, the Great Emancipator died the following morning
      2. Lincoln expired in the arms of victory, at the very pinnacle of his fame—a large number of his countrymen had not suspected his greatness and many others had even doubted his ability but his dramatic death helped to erase the memory of his short-comings and caused his nobler qualities to stand out in clearer relief
      3. The full impact of Lincoln’s death was not at once apparent to the South; hundreds of ex-Confederation soldiers cheered when they learned of the assassination
    2. As time wore on, increasing numbers of Southerners perceived that Lincoln’s death was a calamity for them; belatedly they recognized that his kindliness and moderation would have been the most effective shields between them and vindictive treatment by the victors
    3. The assassination unfortunately increased the bitterness in the North; president-by-bull Andrew Johnson was impeached by the embittered members of his own party who demanded harshness, not forbearance toward the South
    4. Crucifixion thesis does not stand scrutiny (Lincoln would have clashed with Congress)
      1. The legislative branch normally struggles to win back power that has been wrested from it by the executive in time of crisis but Lincoln was the victorious president
      2. In addition to his powers of leadership refined in the war crucible, Lincoln possessed in full measure tact, sweet reasonableness, and an uncommon amount of common sense but Andrew Johnson lacked  (Johnson was not crucified in Lincoln’s stead)
    5. Ford’s Theater set the stage for the wrenching ordeal of Reconstruction
  14. The Aftermath of the Nightmare
    1. The civil War took a toll in gore, about as much as all of America’s subsequent wars combined; over 600,00 men died in action or of disease, and in all over a million were killed or seriously wounded (nation lost the cream of its young manhood and leaders)
    2. Direct monetary costs of the conflict totaled about $15 billion; but this figure does not include continuing expenses, such as pensions and interest on the national debt
    3. The greatest constitutional decision of the century was written in blood and handed down at Appomattox Courthouse, near which Lee surrendered
      1. The extreme states’ righters were cursed; the national government emerged unbroken and nullification and secession were laid to rest; the Civil War was the supreme test
      2. Tested American democracy, it answered the question whether a nation dedicated to such principles could endure long; preservation of democratic ideals, though not an announced war aim, was subconsciously one of the major objectives of the North
    4. Victory for Union arms also provided inspiration to the champions of democracy and liberalism the world over; the great English Reform Bill of 1867, under which Britain became a true political democracy, was passed two years after the Civil War ended
    5. The “Lost Cause” of the south was lost, but few Americans today would argue that the result was not for the best (cancer of slavery was sliced away by the sword)
    6. The African-Americans were at last in a position to claim their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (the nation was again united politically)
    7. But emancipation laid the necessary groundwork and a united and democratic United States was free to fulfill its destiny as the dominant republic of the hemisphere

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Aboukhadijeh, Feross. "Chapter 21: The Furnace of Civil War, 1861-1865" StudyNotes.org. Study Notes, LLC., 17 Nov. 2012. Web. 02 Mar. 2024. <https://www.apstudynotes.org/us-history/outlines/chapter-21-the-furnace-of-civil-war-1861-1865/>.