A group of radical pro-slavery "politicians", like Robert Barnwell Rhett, who urged the separation of southern states. Later known as the Confederate States of America.
Southern States Secede
The secession of the souther states was started by Mississippi enacting a secession ordinance. Less than a month later, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas followed suit. The idea of secession was less vigorous in the middle south states, such as Virginia. The Union government was basically confused.
Jefferson Davis was named president of the Confederacy. He was a former US senator as well as secretary of war, who was currently in Mississippi.
John J Crittenden of Kentucky had an idea for a compromise. He split in it two parts. The first, which was approved by Congress, asked for a "constitutional amendment to protect slavery from federal interference in any state where it already existed." The second act if you will called for westward extension of the Missouri Compromise. Slavery would be illegal in the north of the line and protected in the south. The second part was rejected mainly due to Lincoln's advice.
Attack on Fort Sumter
The attack on Fort Sumter was based solely on the greediness of the South and Jefferson Davis. Lincoln dispatched a team to provide food and water for the troops who badly needed it at Fort Sumter, even though Davis knew it was a peaceful mission Confederate troops opened fire. Compromise was out of the question.
The South's strategy was a stalemate. All they wanted was independence. Lincoln was much more aggressive. Secession was unacceptable and the only strategy was a policy of "unconditional surrender."
Battles of Bull Run/Manassas
The Battle of Bull Run, or lack there of showed the Union that the Confederacy would and could not be crushed easily. Their hasty retreat along the creek back to Washington proved it. The next battle of Bull Run would almost bring defeat to the Confederates, but once again Union forces did not take advantage of poor Confederate communication and they were able to regroup.
Battle of Antietam
The Battle of Antietam was quit bloody. "A Wisconsin officer describe his men 'loading and firing with demoniacal fury annd shouting and laughing hysterically.' At a citical point in the battle, a sunken road-nicknamed Bloody lane-was filled with Confederate bodies two and three deep, and the attacking Union troops knelt on 'this ghastly flooring' to shoot at the retreating Confederates." Sort of a victory, many died.
Total war is when two forces are using all of their resources against each other. This was the case in this instance.
Military Draft/Draft Riots
The first military draft was enacted by the Confederate Congress. Their draft had loopholes however. One of which was the a planter, a son, or an overseer, for each twenty slaves, did not have to go into the fight. The other loophole was that those drafted could hire substitutes. Many states blatantly ignored the call to military service making Davis look like a moron.
Militia Act of 1862
This act "set local recruitment quotas, states and towns enticed volunteers with cash bounties and eventually signed up nearly a million men. " Like the South wealthier people could by their way out of military service.
Women and the War Effort
Women volunteered as nurses which was a gateway into other employment opportunities. They joined the Sanitary Commission and the Freedman's Aid Society. "Some took leading roles in wartime agencies." Paved the way towards women rights.
While the North had the advantage of resources in the beginning of the battle it hardly played a part due to the mobilizing of resources in the South. "The Confederacy moved the gun-making machinery from the US armory to Harpers Ferry to Richmond. The production at Richmond armory, the purchase of Enfield rifles from Britain, and the capture of 100,000 Union guns enabled the Confederacy to provide every infantryman with a modern rifle-musket by 1863." The Confederacy also had the awesome ability to mobilize huge amounts of forces.
New Economic Policies
To attempt to compete with South a bigger and better American System was enacted. First tariffs were raised, then the secretary of treasury secured legislation that forced numerous banks to accept federal charters and regulation. And snap more capital. Next a transcontinental railroad was to me built. there was "free land". And next was industries to deal with the armies needs.
Raising Money in the North
On both sides the cost of war was enormous. In order to balance out the cost, the North's government "increased tariffs on consumer goods, placed high excise duties on alcohol and tobacco, and imposed direct taxes on business corporations, large inheritances, and incomes." They also sold treasury bonds. Many families were convinced to buy war bonds. And the "National Banking Acts of 1863 and 1864 forced most banks to purchase treasury bonds." Lastly, the Union paid the remaining cost by printing money, paper money.
Inflation in the South
Because the south lacked a powerful central government they could not as easily raise money to pay off the war costs. The government only did 5 percent taxation and did 35 percent by borrowing. So they printed paper money, this accounted for 60 percent of expenditures. Riots broke out because food prices soared. The Confederacy only survived by seizing the property of its citizens.
Emancipation was always going to be an issue, even after the North was victorious. The main conflict was that slavery was the key part of the South's economy. The victorious North wanted all slaves freed, well the anti-slavery republicans did.
Contrabands were the slaves that were not "legally" freed. In the aftermath of the war, they used the confusion to seize freedom for themselves and escaped to the North.
The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862. "It declared that slavery would be legally abolished in all states that remained out of the Union on January 1, 1863.
Battle of Vicksburg
General Grant led the Union forces in the Battle of Vicksburg. He defeated two Confederate armies and destroyed the city, this was across the river near Vicksburg, Mississippi. Five days later they had complete control of the Mississippi.
Battle of Gettysburg
"On July 1, the two great armies met by accident at Gettysburg, Pa, in what became a decisive confrontation." It was an incredibly bloody battle, Lincoln was furious, but it was a major victory for the Union.
Black troops were initially not allowed to fight, but as they were allowed to fight it was shown that it was a good idea. The Blacks were more motivated and courageous. However, military service did not end racial discrimination.
Arguably the most capable general was General Ulysses S. Grant. He was put in charge of all Union armies by Lincoln. Grant created a unified structure of command. Both Grant and Lincoln wanted a decisive victory. Grant was known as aggressive and a butcher. A reputation that both his men and the enemy knew too well.
Election of 1864
Lincoln's reelection depended on General Sherman in Georgia. Lincoln and his new party took the name of the National Union Party. Andrew Johnson, a Tennessee slave owner, was their candidate for vice president. His competitor was a McClellan a man who Lincoln had demoted countless times for improper actions on the war front. Lincoln won out in the end mainly due to Sherman demolishing the Confederate army in the South.
William T. Sherman/March to the Sea
Originally a failure at business and his military position, Sherman rose through the rank during the war because he used Grant as an icon. "Instead of following the retreating Confederate army northward into Tennessee, he proposed to move south and 'cut a swath through to the sea.'" Lincoln agreed and it psychologically broke the South. They burned as they went.
Southern soldiers began to mutiny. The Confederacy was so desperate they attempted to enlist black soldiers. However, the war ended too soon to see if any blacks would fight. Their supplies were cut off, Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House and by late May almost all of the confederacy had collapsed.
The Anaconda Plan was devised by General Scott. It was the idea that they should blockade the South and restrict its trade. Thus leading to Union victory.
Where was the West in all of this?
Did the Native Americans play a part, even minor?