At the beginning of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln favored
quick military action to show the folly of secession.
Lincoln hoped that a Union victory at Bull Run would lead to the
capture of the Confederate capital at Richmond.
The Union's defeat in battle at Bull Run in 1861 was better than a victory because
the defeat caused Northerners to face up to the reality of a long, difficult war.
After assuming command of the Army of the Potomac, General George McClellan made the
mistake of consistently believing that the enemy outnumbered him.
As a result of the Union loss in the Peninsula Campaign,
Lincoln began to draft the Emancipation Proclamation.
After the Peninsula Campaign, Union strategy included all of the following:
cutting the Confederacy in half; marching through Georgia and then the Carolinas; blockading the Confederacy's coastline; and liberating the slaves.
As a result of the Confederate victory in the Peninsula Campaign,
the Union turned to a strategy of total war.
The final Union war strategy included all the following components:
a naval blockade; undermining the Confederate economy; seizing control of the Mississippi River; and capturing Richmond.
Britain did not protest too loudly against the Union naval blockade of the Confederacy because
Britain might want to use a similar blockade in a future war.
After halting Lee's troops at Antietam,
General George McClellan was removed from his field command.
One of the key developments enabling the Union to stop the Confederate thrust into the North at Antietam was
the Union's discovery of Robert E. Lee's battle plans.
The Battle of Antietam was particularly critical because it probably
prevented intervention by Britain and France on behalf of the Confederacy.
The Emancipation Proclamation had the effect of
strengthening the moral cause and diplomatic position of the Union.
When it was issued in 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation
declared free only those slaves in states still in rebellion against the United States.
All of the following occurred as a result of the Emancipation Proclamation:
mounting opposition in the North to an "abolition war;" sharp increases in Union desertions; heavy congressional defeats for Lincoln's administration; and complaints from abolitionists that it did not go far enough.
During the Civil War blacks were
enlisted by the Union army only after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.
African-Americans who fought for the Union Army in the Civil War
served bravely and suffered extremely heavy casualties
Robert E. Lee decided to invade the North through Pennsylvania in order to
deliver a decisive blow that would strengthen the Northern peace movement.
The Battle of Gettysburg was significant because
Union victory meant that the Southern cause was doomed.
The Union victory at Vicksburg was of major importance because
it reopened the Mississippi River to Northern trade; coupled with the victory at Gettysburg, foreign help for the Confederacy was irretrievably lost; it helped to quell Northern peace agitation; and it cut off the supply of cattle and other goods from Texas and Louisiana.
One consequence of General William T. Sherman's style of warfare was
a shorter war that saved lives.
Clement L. Vallandigham, a Southern sympathizer and vocal opponent of the war,
was derisively labeled a Copperhead.
In the election of 1864, the Republicans joined with the
prowar Democrats and founded the Union party.
In the l864 election, the Democratic Party nominated
George McClellan to oppose Lincoln's reelection.
Lincoln's victory in the election of 1864 was
aided by Union military victories and backing from Union soldiers.
The Union army's victory in the capture of Atlanta
was probably critical to Lincoln's reelection in 1864.
General Ulysses S. Grant's basic strategy in the Civil War involved
assailing the enemy's armies simultaneously and directly.
The Civil War resulted in the following:
expanded federal powers of taxation; the end of nullification and secession; the creation of the first federal social welfare agency; and the end of slavery