The American History Company



SECESSION, 1860-1861

Books for Study and Reading

References.--Scribner's Popular History, IV, 432-445; McMaster's School History, chap. xxvi (industrial progress, 1840-60).

Home Readings.--Page's The Old South.



Area of the United States, 1860.
Population, 1860.

361. Growth of the Country.--The United States was now three times as large as it was at Jefferson's election. It contained over three million square miles of land. About one-third of this great area was settled. In the sixty years of the century the population had increased even faster than the area had increased. In 1800 there were five and a half million people living in the United States. In 1860 there were over thirty-one million people within its borders. Of these nearly five millions were white immigrants. More than half of these immigrants had come in the last ten years, and they had practically all of them settled in the free states of the North. Of the whole population of thirty-one millions only twelve millions lived in the slave states, and of these more than four millions were negro slaves.

New states. McMaster, 365-368.

362. Change of Political Power.--The control of Congress had now passed into the hands of the free states of the North. The majority of the Representatives had long been from the free states. Now more Senators came from the North than from the South. This was due to the admission of new states. Texas (1845) was the last slave state to be admitted to the Union. Two years later the admission of Wisconsin gave the free states as many votes in the Senate as the slave states had. In 1850 the admission of California gave the free states a majority of two votes in the Senate. This majority was increased to four by the admission of Minnesota in 1858, and to six by the admission of Oregon in 1859. The control of Congress had slipped forever from the grasp of the slave states.

The cities.
New York.

363. The Cities.--The tremendous increase in manufacturing, in farming, and in trading brought about a great increase in foreign commerce. This in turn led to the building up of great cities in the North and the West. These were New York and Chicago; and they grew rapidly because they formed the two ends of the line of communication between the East and the West by the Mohawk Valley (p. 239). New York now contained over eight hundred thousand inhabitants. It had more people within its limits than lived in the whole state of South Carolina. The most rapid growth was seen in the case of Chicago. In 1840 there were only five thousand people in that city; it now contained one hundred and nine thousand inhabitants. Cincinnati and St. Louis, each with one hundred and sixty thousand, were still the largest cities of the West, and St. Louis was the largest city in any slave state. New Orleans, with nearly as many people as St. Louis, was the only large city in the South.

The North and the South.
Growth of the Northwest.
Density of population, 1860.

364. The States.--As it was with the cities so it was with the states--the North had grown beyond the South. In 1790 Virginia had as many inhabitants as the states of New York and Pennsylvania put together. In 1860 Virginia had only about one-quarter as many inhabitants as these two states. Indeed, in 1860 New York had nearly four million inhabitants, or nearly as many inhabitants as the whole United States in 1791 (p. 156). But the growth of the states of the Northwest had been even more remarkable. Ohio now had a million more people than Virginia and stood third in population among the states of the Union. Illinois was the fourth state and Indiana the sixth. Even more interesting are the facts brought out by a study of the map showing the density of population or the number of people to the square mile in the several states. It appears that in 1860 Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts each had over forty-five inhabitants to the square mile, while not a single Southern state had as many as forty-five inhabitants to the square mile. This shows us at once that although the Southern states were larger in extent than the Northern states, they were much less powerful.

[Illustration: DENSITY OF POPULATION IN 1860.]

Improvements in living.

365. City Life.--In the old days the large towns were just like the small towns except that they were larger. Life in them was just about the same as in the smaller places. Now, however, there was a great difference. In the first place the city could afford to have a great many things the smaller town could not pay for. In the second place it must have certain things or its people would die of disease or be killed as they walked the streets. For these reasons the streets of the Northern cities were paved and lighted and were guarded by policemen. Then, too, great sewers carried away the refuse of the city, and enormous iron pipes brought fresh water to every one within its limits. Horse-cars and omnibuses carried its inhabitants from one part of the city to another, and the railroads brought them food from the surrounding country.

[Illustration: AN OMNIBUS]

Growth of the railroad systems.

366. Transportation.--Between 1849 and 1858 twenty-one thousand miles of railroad were built in the United States, In 1860 there were more than thirty thousand miles of railroad in actual operation. In 1850 one could not go from New York to Albany without leaving the railroad and going on board a steamboat. In 1860 one continuous line of rails ran from New York City to the Mississippi River. Traveling was still uncomfortable according to our ideas. The cars were rudely made and jolted horribly. One train ran only a comparatively short distance. Then the traveler had to alight, get something to eat, and see his baggage placed on another train. Still, with all its discomforts, traveling in the worst of cars was better than traveling in the old stagecoaches. Many more steamboats were used, especially on the Great Lakes and the Western rivers.

[Illustration: HORACE GREELEY]

Horace Greeley.

367. Education.--The last thirty years had also been years of progress in learning. Many colleges were founded, especially in the Northwest. There was still no institution which deserved the name of university. But more attention was being paid to the sciences and to the education of men for the professions of law and medicine. The newspapers also took on their modern form. The New York Herald, founded in 1835, was the first real newspaper. But the New York Tribune, edited by Horace Greeley, had more influence than any other paper in the country. Greeley was odd in many ways, but he was one of the ablest men of the time. He called for a liberal policy in the distribution of the public lands and was forever saying, "Go West, young man, go West." The magazines were now very much better than in former years, and America's foremost writers were doing some of their best work.


The telegraph.
The Howe sewing machine.
Agriculture machinery.
Stagnation in the South.

368. Progress of Invention.--The electric telegraph was now in common use. It enabled the newspapers to tell the people what was going on as they never had done before. Perhaps the invention that did as much as any one thing to make life easier was the sewing machine. Elias Howe was the first man to make a really practicable sewing machine. Other inventors improved upon it, and also made machines to sew other things than cloth, as leather. Agricultural machinery was now in common use. The horse reaper had been much improved, and countless machines had been invented to make agricultural labor more easy and economical. Hundreds of homely articles, as friction matches and rubber shoes, came into use in these years. In short, the thirty years from Jackson's inauguration to the secession of the Southern states were years of great progress. But this progress was confined almost wholly to the North. In the South, living in 1860 was about the same as it had been in 1830, or even in 1800. As a Southern orator said of the South, "The rush and whirl of modern civilization passed her by."


SECESSION, 1860-1861

[Illustration: WILLIAM H. SEWARD.]

Candidates for the Republican nomination 1860.
Lincoln nominated. The platform.

369. The Republican Nomination, 1860.--Four names were especially mentioned in connection with the Republican nomination for President. These were Seward, Chase, Cameron, and Lincoln. Seward was the best known of them all. In the debates on the Compromise of 1850 he had declared that there was "a higher law" than the Constitution, namely, "the law of nature in men's hearts." In another speech he had termed the slavery contest "the irrepressible conflict." These phrases endeared him to the antislavery men. But they made it impossible for many moderate Republicans to follow him. Senator Chase of Ohio had also been very outspoken in his condemnation of slavery. Senator Cameron of Pennsylvania was an able political leader. But all of these men were "too conspicuous to make a good candidate." They had made many enemies. Lincoln had spoken freely. But he had never been prominent in national politics. He was more likely to attract the votes of moderate men than either of the other candidates. After a fierce contest he was nominated. The Republican platform stated that there was no intention to interfere with slavery in the states where it existed; but it declared the party's opposition to the extension of slavery. The platform favored internal improvements at the national expense. It also approved the protective system.

The Charleston convention, 1860. McMaster, 360-361.
The Douglas Democrats.
The Breckinridge Democrats.

370. The Democratic Nominations.--The Democratic convention met at Charleston, South Carolina. It was soon evident that the Northern Democrats and the Southern Democrats could not agree. The Northerners were willing to accept the Dred Scott decision and to carry it out. But the Southerners demanded that the platform should pledge the party actively to protect slavery in the territories. To this the Northerners would not agree. So the convention broke up to meet again at Baltimore. But there the delegates could come to no agreement. In the end two candidates were named. The Northerners nominated Douglas on a platform advocating "popular sovereignty." The Southerners nominated John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky. In their platform they advocated states' rights, and the protection of slavery in the territories by the federal government.

The Constitutional Union party.

371. The Constitutional Union Party.--Besides these three candidates, cautious and timid men of all parties united to form the Constitutional Union party. They nominated Governor John Bell of Tennessee for President. In their platform they declared for the maintenance of the Constitution and the Union, regardless of slavery.


The campaign of 1860.
Lincoln elected.

372. Lincoln elected President, 1860.--With four candidates in the field and the Democratic party hopelessly divided, there could be little doubt of Lincoln's election. He carried every Northern state except Missouri and New Jersey. He received one hundred and eighty electoral notes. Breckenridge carried every Southern state except the "border states" of Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, and received seventy-two electoral votes. Bell carried the three "border" Southern states and Douglas carried Missouri and New Jersey. There was no doubt as to Lincoln's election. He had received a great majority of the electoral votes. But his opponents had received more popular votes than he had received. He was therefore elected by a minority of the voters.

[Illustration: LINCOLN'S BOOKCASE. From the Keyes-Lincoln Memorial Collection, Chicago.]

Weakness of the Republicans.
Southern fears.

373. The North and the South.--Lincoln had been elected by a minority of the people. He had been elected by the people of one section. Other Presidents had been chosen by minorities. But Lincoln was the first man to be chosen President by the people of one section. The Republicans, moreover, had not elected a majority of the members of the House of Representatives, and the Senate was still in the hands of the Democrats. For two years at least the Republicans could not carry out their ideas. They could not repeal the Kansas-Nebraska Act. They could not admit Kansas to the Union as a free state. They could not carry out one bit of their policy. In their platform they had declared that they had no intention to interfere with slavery in the states. Lincoln had said over and over again that Congress had no right to meddle with slavery in the states. The Southern leaders knew all these things. But they made up their minds that now the time had come to secede from the Union and to establish a Southern Confederacy. For the first time all the southernmost states were united. No matter what Lincoln and the Republicans might say, the Southern slaveholders believed that slavery was in danger. In advising secession, many of them thought that by this means they could force the Northerners to accept their terms as the price of a restored Union. Never were political leaders more mistaken.

Southern conventions.

374. Threats of Secession, November, 1860.--The Constitution permits each state to choose presidential electors as it sees fit. At the outset these electors had generally been chosen by the state legislatures. But, in the course of time, all the states save one had come to choose them by popular vote. The one state that held to the old way was South Carolina. Its legislature still chose the state's presidential electors. In 1860 the South Carolina legislature did this duty and then remained in session to see which way the election would go. When Lincoln's election was certain, it called a state convention to consider the question of seceding from the United States. In other Southern states there was some opposition to secession. In Georgia, especially, Alexander H. Stephens led the opposition. He said that secession "was the height of madness." Nevertheless he moved a resolution for a convention. Indeed, all the southernmost states followed the example of South Carolina and summoned conventions.

Buchanan's compromise plan.
Crittenden's plan of compromise. McMaster, 380-381.
It fails to pass Congress.

375. The Crittenden Compromise Plan.--Many men hoped that even now secession might be stopped by some compromise. President Buchanan suggested an amendment to the Constitution, securing slavery in the states and territories. It was unlikely that the Republicans would agree to this suggestion. The most hopeful plan was brought forward in Congress by Senator Crittenden of Kentucky. He proposed that amendments to the Constitution should be adopted: (1) to carry out the principle of the Missouri Compromise (p. 222);(2) to provide that states should be free or slave as their people should determine; and (3) to pay the slave owners the value of runaway slaves. This plan was carefully considered by Congress, and was finally rejected only two days before Lincoln's inauguration.

South Carolina secedes, 1860. Eggleston, 304-305.
Six other states secede.

376. Secession of Seven States, 1860-61.--The South Carolina convention met in Secession Hall, Charleston, on December 17, 1860. Three days later it adopted a declaration "that the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other states, under the name of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved." Six other states soon joined South Carolina. These were Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas.

Confederate states constitution.
Views of Jefferson Davis.

377. The "Confederate States of America."--The next step was for these states to join together to form a confederation. This work was done by a convention of delegates chosen by the conventions of the seven seceding states. These delegates met at Montgomery, Alabama. Their new constitution closely resembled the Constitution of the United States. But great care was taken to make it perfectly clear that each member of the Confederacy was a sovereign state. Exceeding care was also taken that slavery should be protected in every way. Jefferson Davis of Mississippi was chosen provisional president, and Alexander H. Stephens provisional vice-president.


Views of Jefferson Davis.
Views of Alexander H. Stephens. Source-Book, 296-299.

378. Views of Davis and Stephens.--Davis declared that Lincoln had "made a distinct declaration of war upon our (Southern) institutions." His election was "upon the basis of sectional hostility." If "war must come, it must be on Northern and not on Southern soil.... We will carry war ... where food for the sword and torch awaits our armies in the densely populated cities" of the North. For his part, Stephens said the new government's "foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man."

"Let the erring sisters" go in peace.
Greeley's opinions.
Buchanan's opinions.

379. Hesitation in the North.--At first it seemed as if Davis was right when he said the Northerners would not fight. General Scott, commanding the army, suggested that the "erring sisters" should be allowed to "depart in peace," and Seward seemed to think the same way. The Abolitionists welcomed the secession of the slave states. Horace Greeley, for instance, wrote that if those states chose to form an independent nation, "they had a clear moral right so to do." For his part, President Buchanan thought that no state could constitutionally secede. But if a state should secede, he saw no way to compel it to come back to the Union. So he sat patiently by and did nothing.



§§ 361, 362.--a. Compare the area and population of the United States in 1800 and in 1860.

b. Compare the white population of the North and the South. Were all the Southern whites slave owners?

c. Why had the control of the House passed to the free states? Did a white man in the North and in the South have proportionally the same representation in the House? Why?

d. What change in the control of the Senate had taken place? Why? Why was this change so important?

§§ 363, 364.--a. What had caused the growth of the Northern cities? Why were there so few large cities in the slave states?

b. How had the population of the states changed since 1790? What had caused the growth of the Northwest?

c. Where was there the greatest density of population? Why?

§§ 365, 366.--a. Describe the change of life in the cities. What arrangements were made for the comfort and health of the people?

b. How had railroads increased, and what improvements had been made?

§§ 367, 368.--a. Of what use are newspapers? How do they influence the opinions of the people? What policy did Horace Greeley uphold? Why?

b. Who were some of the important writers? Mention two works of each.

c. What influence did the telegraph have? Was this important?

d. Describe some of the other inventions.

e. Why had this progress been confined mainly to the North?


§ 369.--a. Who were the leading Republican candidates?

b. Why was Lincoln nominated? What is the meaning of the phrase "too conspicuous"?

c. What did Seward mean by saying that there was a "higher law" than the Constitution? Why was the slavery contest "irrepressible"?

d. What declaration was made by the Republican party as to slavery? Compare this policy with the Wilmot Proviso.

§§ 370, 371.--a. What divisions took place in the Democratic party? Why?

b. What candidates were named? What policy did each uphold?

c. How had the demands of the Southerners concerning slavery increased?

d. What third party was formed? By whom? What does the name show?

§§ 372, 373.--a. What was the result of the election?

b. What was there peculiar in Lincoln's election?

c. Were the Southern states in any particular danger?

d. Why should the Southerners have felt so strongly about this election? What was their hope in threatening secession?

§§374, 375.--a Give arguments for and against secession. In what other question similar to this had South Carolina led?

b. Were the people of the South generally in favor of secession?

c. What compromise did Buchanan suggest? What do you think of the wisdom of the plan?

d. Explain carefully the points in Crittenden's plan. Discuss its value.

§§ 376, 377.--a Could one state dissolve the Union? b. What other states followed South Carolina?

c. What government was formed by them? What two points were especially emphasized in their constitution? Why these?

§§ 378, 379.--a. What statement did Davis make as to Lincoln? Was it true or false? Give your reasons.

b. Why did Davis advocate war on Northern soil?

c. Why was there such hesitation in the North? State the opinions of Scott, Greeley, and Buchanan.

d. What would Jackson probably have done had he been President?


a. Was the South justified in thinking that the North would yield? Give illustrations to support your view.

b. Were the years 1857-61 more or less "critical" than the years 1783-87? Why?

c. How was the South dependent upon the North?


a. Comparison between the North and the South.

b. Any invention mentioned in this part.

c. Some writer of this period.

d. The condition of your own state (or town or city) in 1860.


The first chapter of this part should be taught very slowly, and at each point the contrast between the North and the South should be pointed out.

In Chapter 36 the changed attitude of the Southern politicians should be noted and their demands clearly set forth. The fact that the slave owners while a minority in the South dominated public opinion should be pointed out.

In considering the question of secession it will be well to review the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, the Hartford Convention, and the Nullification episode. The weakness of Pierce and Buchanan may be contrasted with the strength of Jackson, and will serve as an introduction to the study of Lincoln's character.



Books for Study and Reading

References.--Dodge's Bird's-Eye View; Scribner's Popular History, IV and V; McMaster's School History. chap, xxix (the cost of the war); Lincoln's Inaugurals and Gettysburg Address.

Home Readings.--Battles and Leaders of the Civil War (composed largely of articles that had previously appeared in the Century Magazine; Whittier's Barbara Frietchie; Coffin's Winning his Way and other stories; Soley's Sailor Boys of '61; Trowbridge's Drummer Boy and other stories; Read's Sheridan's Ride; Champlin's Young Folks' History of the War for the Union).



Lincoln's inaugural address, March 4, 1861.

380. Lincoln's Inauguration.--On March 4, 1861, President Lincoln made his first inaugural address. In it he declared: "The Union is much older than the Constitution.... No state upon its own motion can lawfully get out of the Union.... In view of the Constitution and the laws the Union is unbroken ... I shall take care that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the states." As to slavery, he had "no purpose ... to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists." He even saw no objection to adopt an amendment of the Constitution to prohibit the Federal government from interfering with slavery in the states. But he was resolved to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.



Fort Sumter. Source-Book, 299-302.
The call to arms, April 15, 1861.

381. Fall of Fort Sumter, April, 1861.--The strength of Lincoln's resolve was soon tested. When South Carolina seceded, Major Anderson, commanding the United States forces at Charleston, withdrew from the land forts to Fort Sumter, built on a shoal in the harbor. He had with him only eighty fighting men and was sorely in need of food and ammunition. Buchanan sent a steamer, the Star of the West, to Charleston with supplies and soldiers. But the Confederates fired on her, and she steamed away without landing the soldiers or the supplies. Lincoln waited a month, hoping that the secessionists would come back to the Union of their own accord. Then he decided to send supplies to Major Anderson and told the governor of South Carolina of his decision. Immediately (April 12) the Confederates opened fire on Fort Sumter. On April 14 Anderson surrendered. The next day President Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for seventy-five thousand volunteers.

The Northern volunteers. McMaster, 386-387; Source-Book, 303-305.
Douglas, Buchanan, and Pierce.
Progress of secession.

382. Rising of the North.--There was no longer a question of letting the "erring sisters" depart in peace. The Southerners had fired on "Old Glory." There was no longer a dispute over the extension of slavery. The question was now whether the Union should perish or should live. Douglas at once came out for the Union and so did the former Presidents, Buchanan and Franklin Pierce. In the Mississippi Valley hundreds of thousands of men either sympathized with the slaveholders or cared nothing about the slavery dispute. But the moment the Confederates attacked the Union, they rose in defense of their country and their flag.

West Virginia.

383. More Seceders.--The Southerners flocked to the standards of the Confederacy, and four more states joined the ranks of secession. These were Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. In Virginia the people were sharply divided on the question of secession. Finally Virginia seceded, but the western Virginians, in their turn, seceded from Virginia and two years later were admitted to the Union as the state of West Virginia. Four "border states" had seceded; but four other "border states" were still within the Union. These were Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri.

Kentucky and Maryland saved to the Union.
Missouri saved to the Union. Eggleston, 310.

384. The Border States.--The people of Maryland and of Kentucky were evenly divided on the question of secession. They even tried to set up as neutral states. But their neutrality would have been so greatly to the advantage of the seceders that this could not be allowed. Lincoln's firm moderation and the patriotism of many wise leaders in Kentucky saved that state to the Union. But Maryland was so important to the defense of Washington that more energetic means had to be used. In Missouri, a large and active party wished to join the Confederacy. But two Union men, Frank P. Blair and Nathaniel Lyon, held the most important portions of the state for the Union. It was not until a year later, however, that Missouri was safe on the Northern side.

Southern sentiment in Washington.
Southern Unionists.
First bloodshed, April 19, 1861.

385. To the Defense of Washington.--The national capital was really a Southern town, for most of the permanent residents were Southerners, and the offices were filled with Southern men. In the army and navy, too, were very many Southerners. Most of them, as Robert E. Lee, felt that their duty to their state was greater than their duty to their flag. But many Southern officers felt differently. Among these were two men whose names should be held in grateful remembrance, Captain David G. Farragut and Colonel George H. Thomas. The first soldiers to arrive in Washington were from Pennsylvania; but they came unarmed. Soon they were followed by the Sixth Massachusetts. In passing through Baltimore this regiment was attacked. Several men were killed, others were wounded. This was on April 19, 1861,--the anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord. It was the first bloodshed of the war.




The field of war.

386. Nature of the Conflict.--The overthrow of the Confederate states proved to be very difficult. The Alleghany Mountains cut the South into two great fields of war. Deep and rapid rivers flowed from the mountains into the Atlantic or into the Mississippi. Each of these rivers was a natural line of defense. The first line was the Potomac and the Ohio. But when the Confederates were driven from this line, they soon found another equally good a little farther south. Then again the South was only partly settled. Good roads were rare, but there were many poor roads. The maps gave only the good roads. By these the Northern soldiers had to march while the Southern armies were often guided through paths unknown to the Northerners, and thus were able to march shorter distances between two battlefields or between two important points.

Plan of campaign.
Disaster at Bull Run, July, 1861. Source-Book, 305-308.

387. The Bull Run Campaign, July, 1861.--Northern soldiers crossed the Potomac into Virginia and found the Confederates posted at Bull Run near Manassas Junction. Other Northern soldiers pressed into the Shenandoah Valley from Harper's Ferry. They, too, found a Confederate army in front of them. The plan of the Union campaign is now clear: General McDowell was to attack the Confederates at Bull Run, while General Patterson attacked the Confederates in the Valley, and kept them so busy that they could not go to the help of their comrades at Bull Run. It fell out otherwise, for Patterson retreated and left the Confederate general, Johnston, free to go to the aid of the sorely pressed Confederates at Bull Run. McDowell attacked vigorously and broke the Confederate line; but he could not maintain his position. The Union troops at first retreated slowly. Then they became frightened and fled, in all haste, back to Washington. The first campaign ended in disaster.

[Illustration: GENERAL MCCLELLAN.]

The Army of the Potomac, 1862.

388. The Army of the Potomac.--While the Bull Run campaign was going on in eastern Virginia, Union soldiers had been winning victories in western Virginia. These were led by General George B. McClellan. He now came to Washington and took command of the troops operating in front of the capital. During the autumn, winter, and spring he drilled his men with great skill and care. In March, 1862, the Army of the Potomac left its camps a splendidly drilled body of soldiers.

Southern preparations. Source-Book, 308-311.
Army of Northern Virginia.

389. The Army of Northern Virginia.--Meantime the government of the Confederacy had gathered great masses of soldiers. There were not nearly as many white men of fighting age in the South as there were in the North. But what men there were could be placed in the fighting line, because the negro slaves could produce the food needed by the armies and do the hard labor of making forts. The capital of the Confederacy was now established at Richmond, on the James River, in Virginia. The army defending this capital was called the Army of Northern Virginia. It was commanded by Joseph E. Johnston; but its ablest officers were Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson (Stonewall Jackson).

McClellan's plan of campaign, 1862.
Objections to it.

390. Plan of the Peninsular Campaign.--The country between the Potomac and the James was cut up by rivers, as the Rappahannock, the Mattapony, and Pamunkey, and part of it was a wilderness. McClellan planned to carry his troops by water to the peninsula between the James and the York and Pamunkey rivers. He would then have a clear road to Richmond, with no great rivers to dispute with the enemy. Johnston would be obliged to leave his camp at Bull Run and march southward to the defense of Richmond. The great objection to the plan was that Johnston might attack Washington instead of going to face McClellan. General Jackson also was in the Shenandoah Valley. He might march down the Valley, cross the Potomac, and seize Washington. So the government kept seventy-five thousand of McClellan's men for the defense of the Federal capital.

[Illustration: THE "MONITOR."]

The Monitor and the Merrimac. Hero Tales, 183, 195.

391. The Monitor and the Merrimac.--On March 8 a queer-looking craft steamed out from Norfolk, Virginia, and attacked the Union fleet at anchor near Fortress Monroe. She destroyed two wooden frigates, the Cumberland and the Congress, and began the destruction of the Minnesota. She then steamed back to Norfolk. This formidable vessel was the old frigate Merrimac. Upon her decks the Confederates had built an iron house. From these iron sides the balls of the Union frigates rolled harmlessly away. But that night an even stranger-looking ship appeared at Fortress Monroe. This was the Monitor, a floating fort, built of iron. She was designed by John Ericsson, a Swedish immigrant. When the Merrimac came back to finish the destruction of the Minnesota, the Monitor steamed directly to her. These two ironclads fought and fought. At last the Merrimac steamed away and never renewed the fight.

Battle of Fair Oaks, May, 1862.
The Seven Days.
Malvern Hill.

392. The Peninsular Campaign, 1862.--By the end of May McClellan had gained a position within ten miles of Richmond. Meantime, Jackson fought so vigorously in the Shenandoah Valley that the Washington government refused to send more men to McClellan, although Johnston had gone with his army to the defense of Richmond. On May 31 the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia fought a hard battle at Fair Oaks. Johnston was wounded, and Lee took the chief command. He summoned Jackson from the Valley and attacked McClellan day after day, June 26 to July 2, 1862. These terrible battles of the Seven Days forced McClellan to change his base to the James, where he would be near the fleet. At Malvern Hill Lee and Jackson once more attacked him and were beaten off with fearful loss.

Lee's plan of campaign.
Second battle of Bull Run, August, 1862.

393. Second Bull Run Campaign.--The Army of the Potomac was still uncomfortably near Richmond. It occurred to Lee that if he should strike a hard blow at the army in front of Washington, Lincoln would recall McClellan. Suddenly, without any warning, Jackson appeared at Manassas Junction (p. 317). McClellan was at once ordered to transport his army by water to the Potomac, and place it under the orders of General John Pope, commanding the forces in front of Washington. McClellan did as he was ordered. But Lee moved faster than he could move. Before the Army of the Potomac was thoroughly in Pope's grasp, Lee attacked the Union forces near Bull Run. He defeated them, drove them off the field and back into the forts defending Washington (August, 1862).

Lee invades Maryland.
Antietam, September, 1862. Hero Tales, 199-209.

394. The Antietam Campaign, 1862.--Lee now crossed the Potomac into Maryland. But he found more resistance than he had looked for. McClellan was again given chief command. Gathering his forces firmly together, he kept between Lee and Washington, and threatened Lee's communications with Virginia. The Confederates drew back. McClellan found them strongly posted near the Antietam and attacked them. The Union soldiers fought splendidly. But military writers say that McClellan's attacks were not well planned. At all events, the Army of the Potomac lost more than twelve thousand men to less than ten thousand on the Confederate side, and Lee made good his retreat to Virginia. McClellan was now removed from command, and Ambrose E. Burnside became chief of the Army of the Potomac.


Battle of Fredericksburg, December, 1862.

395. Fredericksburg, December, 1862.--Burnside found Lee strongly posted on Marye's Heights, which rise sharply behind the little town of Fredericksburg on the southern bank of the Rappahannock River. Burnside attacked in front. His soldiers had to cross the river and assault the hill in face of a murderous fire--and in vain. He lost thirteen thousand men to only four thousand of the Confederates. "Fighting Joe" Hooker now succeeded Burnside as commander of the Army of the Potomac. We must now turn to the West, and see what had been doing there in 1861-62.

General Grant.
He seizes Cairo.
Battle of Mill Springs, January, 1862.

396. Grant and Thomas.--In Illinois there appeared a trained soldier of fierce energy and invincible will, Ulysses Simpson Grant. He had been educated at West Point and had served in the Mexican War. In September, 1861, he seized Cairo at the junction of the Ohio and the Mississippi. In January, 1862, General George H. Thomas defeated a Confederate force at Mill Springs, in the upper valley of the Cumberland River. In this way Grant and Thomas secured the line of the Ohio and eastern Kentucky for the Union.

[Illustration: THE BRIDGE AT ANTIETAM. Burnside's soldiers charged over the bridge from the middle foreground.]

Capture of Fort Henry, February, 1862.
Fort Donelson.

397. Forts Henry and Donelson, February, 1862.--In February, 1862, General Grant and Commodore Foote attacked two forts which the Confederates had built to keep the Federal gunboats from penetrating the western part of the Confederacy. Fort Henry yielded almost at once, but the Union forces besieged Fort Donelson for a longer time. Soon the Confederate defense became hopeless, and General Buckner asked for the terms of surrender. "Unconditional surrender," replied Grant, and Buckner surrendered. The lower Tennessee and the lower Cumberland were now open to the Union forces.

The lower Mississippi.
Admiral Farragut.

398. Importance of New Orleans.--New Orleans and the lower Mississippi were of great importance to both sides, for the possession of this region gave the Southerners access to Texas, and through Texas to Mexico. Union fleets were blockading every important Southern port. But as long as commerce overland with Mexico could be maintained, the South could struggle on. The Mississippi, too, has so many mouths that it was difficult to keep vessels from running in and out. For these reasons the Federal government determined to seize New Orleans and the lower Mississippi. The command of the expedition was given to Farragut, who had passed his boyhood in Louisiana. He was given as good a fleet as could be provided, and a force of soldiers was sent to help him.

[Illustration: A RIVER GUNBOAT.]

Capture of New Orleans, April, 1862. Higginson, 303-304; Source-Book, 313-315.

399. New Orleans captured, April, 1862.--Farragut carried his fleet into the Mississippi, but found his way upstream barred by two forts on the river's bank. A great chain stretched across the river below the forts, and a fleet of river gunboats with an ironclad or two was in waiting above the forts. Chain, forts, and gunboats all gave way before Farragut's forceful will. At night he passed the forts amid a terrific cannonade. Once above them New Orleans was at his mercy. It surrendered, and with the forts was soon occupied by the Union army. The lower Mississippi was lost to the Confederacy.

[Illustration: A WAR-TIME ENVELOPE.]

Shiloh, April, 1862.
Corinth, May, 1862.

400. Shiloh and Corinth, April, May, 1862.--General Halleck now directed the operations of the Union armies in the West. He ordered Grant to take his men up the Tennessee to Pittsburg Landing and there await the arrival of Buell with a strong force overland from Nashville. Grant encamped with his troops on the western bank of the Tennessee between Shiloh Church and Pittsburg Landing. Albert Sidney Johnston, the Confederate commander in the West, attacked him suddenly and with great fury. Soon the Union army was pushed back to the river. In his place many a leader would have withdrawn. But Grant, with amazing courage, held on. In the afternoon Buell's leading regiments reached the other side of the river. In the night they were ferried across, and Grant's outlying commands were brought to the front. The next morning Grant attacked in his turn and slowly but surely pushed the Confederates off the field. Halleck then united Grant's, Buell's, and Pope's armies and captured Corinth.

General Bragg invades Kentucky.
Battle of Perryville, October, 1862.
Murfreesboro', December, 1862. Eggleston, 331.

401. Bragg in Tennessee and Kentucky.--General Braxton Bragg now took a large part of the Confederate army, which had fought at Shiloh and Corinth, to Chattanooga. He then marched rapidly across Tennessee and Kentucky to the neighborhood of Louisville on the Ohio River. Buell was sent after him, and the two armies fought an indecisive battle at Perryville. Then Bragg retreated to Chattanooga. In a few months he was again on the march. Rosecrans had now succeeded Buell. He attacked Bragg at Murfreesboro'. For a long time the contest was equal. In the end, however, the Confederates were beaten and retired from the field.



The blockade.

402. The Blockade.--On the fall of Fort Sumter President Lincoln ordered a blockade of the Confederate seaports. There were few manufacturing industries in the South. Cotton and tobacco were the great staples of export. If her ports were blockaded the South could neither bring in arms and military supplies from Europe, nor send cotton and tobacco to Europe to be sold for money. So her power of resisting the Union armies would be greatly lessened. The Union government bought all kinds of vessels, even harbor ferryboats, armed them, and stationed them off the blockaded harbors. In a surprisingly short time the blockade was established. The Union forces also began to occupy the Southern seacoast, and thus the region that had to be blockaded steadily grew less.

Effect of the blockade.

403. Effects of the Blockade.--As months and years went by, and the blockade became stricter and stricter, the sufferings of the Southern people became ever greater. As they could not send their products to Europe to exchange for goods, they had to pay gold and silver for whatever the blockade runners brought in. Soon there was no more gold and silver in the Confederacy, and paper money took its place. Then the supplies of manufactured goods, as clothing and paper, of things not produced in the South, as coffee and salt, gave out. Toward the end of the war there were absolutely no medicines for the Southern soldiers, and guns were so scarce that it was proposed to arm one regiment with pikes. Nothing did more to break down Southern resistance than the blockade.

Hopes of the Southerners.

404. The Confederacy, Great Britain, and France.--From the beginning of the contest the Confederate leaders believed that the British and the French would interfere to aid them. "Cotton is king," they said. Unless there were a regular supply of cotton, the mills of England and of France must stop. Thousands of mill hands--men, women, and children--would soon be starving. The French and the British governments would raise the blockade. Perhaps they would even force the United States to acknowledge the independence of the Confederate states. There was a good deal of truth in this belief. For the British and French governments dreaded the growing power of the American republic and would gladly have seen it broken to pieces. But events fell out far otherwise than the Southern leaders had calculated. Before the supply of American cotton in England was used up, new supplies began to come in from India and from Egypt. The Union armies occupied portions of the cotton belt early in 1862, and American cotton was again exported. But more than all else, the English mill operatives, in all their hardships, would not ask their government to interfere. They saw clearly enough that the North was fighting for the rights of free labor. At times it seemed, however, as if Great Britain or France would interfere.

Southern agents sent to Europe.
Removed from the Trent.
Lincoln's opinion.
Action of Great Britain.

405. The Trent Affair, 1861.--As soon as the blockade was established, the British and French governments gave the Confederates the same rights in their ports as the United States had. The Southerners then sent two agents, Mason and Slidell, to Europe to ask the foreign governments to recognize the independence of the Confederate states. Captain Wilkes of the United States ship San Jacinto took these agents from the British steamer Trent. But Lincoln at once said that Wilkes had done to the British the very thing which we had fought the War of 1812 to prevent the British doing to us. "We must stick to American principles," said the President, "and restore the prisoners." They were given up. But the British government, without waiting to see what Lincoln would do, had gone actively to work to prepare for war. This seemed so little friendly that the people of the United States were greatly irritated.

The war powers of the President.
Lincoln follows Northern sentiment.

406. Lincoln and Slavery.--It will be remembered that the Republican party had denied again and again that it had any intention to interfere with slavery in the states. As long as peace lasted the Federal government could not interfere with slavery in the states. But when war broke out, the President, as commander-in-chief, could do anything to distress and weaken the enemy. If freeing the slaves in the seceded states would injure the secessionists, he had a perfect right to do it. But Lincoln knew that public opinion in the North would not approve this action. He would follow Northern sentiment in this matter, and not force it.

The contrabands.

407. Contrabands of War.--he war had scarcely begun before slaves escaped into the Union lines. One day a Confederate officer came to Fortress Monroe and demanded his runaway slaves under the Fugitive Slave Act (p. 281). General Butler refused to give them up on the ground that they were "contraband of war." By that phrase he meant that their restoration would be illegal as their services would be useful to the enemy. President Lincoln approved this decision of General Butler, and escaping slaves soon came to be called "Contrabands."

[Illustration: A WAR-TIME ENVELOPE.]

Abolition with compensation.

408. First Steps toward Emancipation, 1862.--Lincoln and the Republican party thought that Congress could not interfere with slavery in the states. It might, however, buy slaves and set them free or help the states to do this. So Congress passed a law offering aid to any state which should abolish slavery within its borders. Congress itself abolished slavery in the District of Columbia with compensation to the owners. It abolished slavery in the territories without compensation. Lincoln had gladly helped to make these laws. Moreover, by August, 1862, he had made up his mind that to free the slaves in the seceded states would help "to save the Union" and would therefore be right as a "war measure." For every negro taken away from forced labor would weaken the producing power of the South and so make the conquest of the South easier.

Lincoln's warning, September, 1862.
Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863. Higginson, 304-305; Source-Book, 315-318, 327-329.

409. The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863.--On September 23, 1862, Lincoln issued a proclamation stating that on the first day of the new year he would declare free all slaves in any portion of the United States then in rebellion. On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation. This proclamation could be enforced only in those portions of the seceded states which were held by the Union armies. It did not free slaves in loyal states and did not abolish the institution of slavery anywhere. Slavery was abolished by the states of West Virginia, Missouri, and Maryland between 1862 and 1864. Finally, in 1865, it was abolished throughout the United States by the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment (p. 361).

Northern friends of secession.
Suspension of habeas corpus.

410. Northern Opposition to the War.--Many persons in the North thought that the Southerners had a perfect right to secede if they wished. Some of these persons sympathized so strongly with the Southerners that they gave them important information and did all they could to prevent the success of the Union forces. It was hard to prove anything against these Southern sympathizers, but it was dangerous to leave them at liberty. So Lincoln ordered many of them to be arrested and locked up. Now the Constitution provides that every citizen shall have a speedy trial. This is brought about by the issuing a writ of habeas corpus, compelling the jailer to bring his prisoner into court and show cause why he should not be set at liberty. Lincoln now suspended the operation of the writ of habeas corpus. This action angered many persons who were quite willing that the Southerners should be compelled to obey the law, but did not like to have their neighbors arrested and locked up without trial.

[Illustration: THE DRAFT.]

The draft.
Riots in the North.

411. The Draft Riots.--At the outset both armies were made up of volunteers; soon there were not enough volunteers. Both governments then drafted men for their armies; that is, they picked out by lot certain men and compelled them to become soldiers. The draft was bitterly resisted in some parts of the North, especially in New York City.



Position of the armies.

412. Position of the Armies, January, 1863.--The Army of the Potomac, now under Hooker, and the Army of Northern Virginia were face to face at Fredericksburg on the Rappahannock. In the West Rosecrans was at Murfreesboro', and Bragg on the way back to Chattanooga. In the Mississippi Valley Grant and Sherman had already begun the Vicksburg campaign. But as yet they had had no success.

Grant's Vicksburg Campaign, 1863. Hero Tales, 239-248.

413. Beginnings of the Vicksburg Campaign.--Vicksburg stood on the top of a high bluff directly on the river. Batteries erected at the northern end of the town commanded the river, which at that point ran directly toward the bluff. The best way to attack this formidable place was to proceed overland from Corinth. This Grant tried to do. But the Confederates forced him back.

Siege of Vicksburg. Source-Book, 320-323.
Surrender of Vicksburg, July 4, 1863.

414. Fall of Vicksburg, July 4, 1863.--Grant now carried his whole army down the Mississippi. For months he tried plan after plan, and every time he failed. Finally he marched his army down on the western side of the river, crossed the river below Vicksburg, and approached the fortress from the south and east. In this movement he was greatly aided by the Union fleet under Porter, which protected the army while crossing the river. Pemberton, the Confederate commander, at once came out from Vicksburg. But Grant drove him back and began the siege of the town from the land side. The Confederates made a gallant defense. But slowly and surely they were starved into submission. On July 4, 1863, Pemberton surrendered the fortress and thirty-seven thousand men.

Port Hudson surrendered.
Opening of the Mississippi.

415. Opening of the Mississippi.--Port Hudson, between Vicksburg and New Orleans, was now the only important Confederate position on the Mississippi. On July 8 it surrendered. A few days later the freight steamer Imperial from St. Louis reached New Orleans. The Mississippi at last "flowed unvexed to the sea." The Confederacy was cut in twain.

Chancellorsville, May, 1863. Hero Tales, 213-223.
Lee invades Pennsylvania.

Meade in command.

416. Lee's Second Invasion, 1863.--"Fighting Joe Hooker" was now in command of the Army of the Potomac. Outwitting Lee, he gained the rear of the Confederate lines on Marye's Heights, But Lee fiercely attacked him at Chancellorsville and drove him back across the Rappahannock. Then Lee again crossed the Potomac and invaded the North. This time he penetrated to the heart of Pennsylvania. Hooker moved on parallel lines, always keeping between Lee and the city of Washington. At length, in the midst of the campaign, Hooker asked to be relieved, and George G. Meade became the fifth and last chief of the Army of the Potomac.


Lee retires.
Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863.

417. Gettysburg, July 1, 1863.--Meade now moved the Union army toward Lee's line of communication with Virginia. Lee at once drew back. Both armies moved toward Gettysburg, where the roads leading southward came together. In this way the two armies came into contact on July i, 1863. The Southerners were in stronger force at the moment and drove the Union soldiers back through the town to the high land called Cemetery Ridge. This was a remarkably strong position, with Culp's Hill at one end of the line and the Round Tops at the other end. Meade determined to fight the battle at that spot and hurried up all his forces.

[Illustration: MAP: Battle of Gettysburg.]

The second day.

418. Gettysburg, July 2, 1863.--At first matters seemed to go badly with the Union army. Its left flank extended forward from Little Round Top into the fields at the foot of the ridge. The Confederates drove back this part of the Union line. But they could not seize Little Round Top. On this day also the Confederates gained a foothold on Culp's Hill.

The third day. Source-Book, 323-327.
Pickett's charge. Hero Tales, 227-236.
It fails.

Lee retreats, July 4, 1863.

419. Gettysburg, July 3, 1863.--Early on this morning the Union soldiers drove the Confederates away from Culp's Hill and held the whole ridge. Now again, as at Malvern Hill (p. 321), Lee had fought the Army of the Potomac to a standstill. But he would not admit failure. Led by Pickett of Virginia, thirteen thousand men charged across the valley between the two armies directly at the Union center. Some of them even penetrated the Union lines. But there the line stopped. Slowly it began to waver. Then back the Confederates went--all who escaped. The battle of Gettysburg was won. Lee faced the Army of the Potomac for another day and then retreated. In this tremendous conflict the Confederates lost twenty-two thousand five hundred men killed and wounded and five thousand taken prisoners by the Northerners--a total loss of twenty-eight thousand out of eighty thousand in the battle. The Union army numbered ninety-three thousand men and lost twenty-three thousand, killed and wounded. Vicksburg and Gettysburg cost the South sixty-five thousand fighting men--a loss that could not be made good. We must now turn to eastern Tennessee.

Rosecrans and Bragg, 1863.
Chickamauga, September, 1863.
Thomas and Sheridan.
Grant in command in the West.

420. Chickamauga, September, 1863.--For six months after Murfreesboro' (p. 326) Rosecrans and Bragg remained in their camps. In the summer of 1863 Rosecrans, by a series of skillful marchings, forced Bragg to abandon Chattanooga. But Bragg was now greatly strengthened by soldiers from the Mississippi and by Longstreet's division from Lee's army in Virginia. He turned on Rosecrans, and attacked him at Chickamauga Creek. The right wing of the Union army was driven from the field. But Thomas, "the Rock of Chickamauga," with his men stood fast. Bragg attacked him again and again, and failed every time, although he had double Thomas's numbers. Rosecrans, believing the battle to be lost, had ridden off to Chattanooga, but Sheridan aided Thomas as well as he could. The third day Thomas and Bragg kept their positions, and then the Union soldiers retired unpursued to Chattanooga. The command of the whole army at Chattanooga was now given to Thomas, and Grant was placed in control of all the Western armies.

[Illustration: GENERAL THOMAS.]

Sherman's attack.
Hooker's attack.
Thomas's attack.
Rout of the Confederates, November, 1863.

421. Chattanooga, November, 1863.--The Union soldiers at Chattanooga were in great danger. For the Confederates were all about them and they could get no food. But help was at hand. Hooker, with fifteen thousand men from the Army of the Potomac, arrived and opened a road by which food could reach Chattanooga. Then Grant came with Sherman's corps from Vicksburg. He at once sent Sherman to assail Bragg's right flank and ordered Hooker to attack his left flank. Sherman and his men advanced until he was stopped by a deep ravine. At the other end of the line Hooker fought right up the side of Lookout Mountain, until the battle raged above the clouds. In the center were Thomas's men. Eager to avenge the slaughter of Chickamauga, they carried the first Confederate line of defenses. Then, without orders, they rushed up the hillside over the inner lines. They drove the Southerners from their guns and seized their works. Bragg retreated as well as he could. Longstreet was besieging Knoxville. He escaped through the mountains to Lee's army in Virginia.


THE END OF THE WAR, 1864-1865

Grant in chief command.
Sherman commands in the West.

422. Grant in Command of all the Armies.--The Vicksburg and Chattanooga campaigns marked out Grant for the chief command. Hitherto the Union forces had acted on no well-thought-out plan. Now Grant was appointed Lieutenant General and placed in command of all the armies of the United States (March, 1864). He decided to carry on the war in Virginia in person. Western operations he intrusted to Sherman, with Thomas in command of the Army of the Cumberland. Sheridan came with Grant to Virginia and led the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac. We will first follow Sherman and Thomas and the Western armies.

[Illustration: GENERAL SHERMAN.]

Sherman's army.
The march to Atlanta.
Hood attacks Sherman.

423. The Atlanta Campaign, 1864.--Sherman had one hundred thousand veterans, led by Thomas, McPherson, and Schofield. Joseph E. Johnston, who succeeded Bragg, had fewer men, but he occupied strongly fortified positions. Yet week by week Sherman forced him back till, after two months of steady fighting, Johnston found himself in the vicinity of Atlanta. This was the most important manufacturing center in the South. The Confederates must keep Atlanta if they possibly could. Johnston plainly could not stop Sherman. So Hood was appointed in his place, in the expectation that he would fight. Hood fought his best. Again and again he attacked Sherman only to be beaten off with heavy loss. He then abandoned Atlanta to save his army. From May to September Sherman lost twenty-two thousand men, but the Confederates lost thirty-five thousand men and Atlanta too.

Problems of war.
Plan of the March to the Sea.

424. Plans of Campaign.--Hood now led his army northward to Tennessee. But Sherman, instead of following him, sent only Thomas and Schofield. Sherman knew that the Confederacy was a mere shell. Its heart had been destroyed. What would be the result of a grand march through Georgia to the seacoast, and then northward through the Carolinas to Virginia? Would not this unopposed march show the people of the North, of the South, and of Europe that further resistance was useless? Sherman thought that it would, and that once in Virginia he could help Grant crush Lee. Grant agreed with Sherman and told him to carry out his plans. But first we must see what happened to Thomas and Hood.

Hood in Tennessee.
Battle of Franklin, November, 1864.
Thomas destroys Hood's army, December, 1864.

425. Thomas and Hood, 1864.--Never dreaming that Sherman was not in pursuit, Hood marched rapidly northward until he had crossed the Tennessee. He then spent three weeks in resting his tired soldiers and in gathering supplies. This delay gave Thomas time to draw in recruits. At last Hood attacked Schofield at Franklin on November 30, 1864. Schofield retreated to Nashville, where Thomas was with the bulk of his army, and Hood followed. Thomas took all the time he needed to complete his preparations. Grant felt anxious at his delay and ordered him to fight. But Thomas would not fight until he was ready. At length, on December 15, he struck the blow, and in two days of fighting destroyed Hood's whole army. This was the last great battle in the West.

The March to the Sea, 1864.
Fall of Savannah, December, 1864.

426. Marching through Georgia.--Destroying the mills and factories of Atlanta, Sherman set out for the seashore. He had sixty thousand men with him. They were all veterans and marched along as if on a holiday excursion. Spreading out over a line of sixty miles, they gathered everything eatable within reach. Every now and then they would stop and destroy a railroad. This they did by taking up the rails, heating them in the middle on fires of burning sleepers, and then twisting them around the nearest trees. In this way they cut a gap sixty miles long in the railroad communication between the half-starved army of northern Virginia and the storehouses of southern Georgia. On December 10, 1864, Sherman reached the sea. Ten days later he captured Savannah and presented it to the nation as a Christmas gift. Sherman and Thomas between them had struck a fearful blow at the Confederacy. How had it fared with Grant?

Grant's plan of campaign, 1864.
Objections to it.

427. Grant in Virginia, 1864.--Grant had with him in Virginia the Army of the Potomac under Meade, the Ninth Corps under Burnside, and a great cavalry force under Sheridan. In addition General Butler was on the James River with some thirty thousand men. Lee had under his orders about one-half as many soldiers as had Grant. In every other respect the advantage was on his side. Grant's plan of campaign was to move by his left from the Rappahannock southeastwardly. He expected to push Lee southward and hoped to destroy his army. Butler, on his part, was to move up the James. By this plan Grant could always be near navigable water and could in this way easily supply his army with food and military stores. The great objection to this scheme of invasion was that it gave Lee shorter lines of march to all important points. This fact and their superior knowledge of the country gave the Confederates an advantage which largely made up for their lack in numbers.

Battle of the Wilderness, May, 1864.

428. The Wilderness, May, 1864.--On May 4 and 5 the Union army crossed the Rapidan and marched southward through the Wilderness. It soon found itself very near the scene of the disastrous battle of Chancellorsville (p. 335). The woods were thick and full of underbrush. Clearings were few, and the roads were fewer still. On ground like this Lee attacked the Union army. Everything was in favor of the attacker, for it was impossible to foresee his blows, or to get men quickly to any threatened spot. Nevertheless Grant fought four days. Then he skillfully removed the army and marched by his left to Spotsylvania Court House.

[Illustration: GENERAL GRANT. From a photograph taken in the field, March, 1865. "Strong, simple, silent, ... such was he Who helped us in our need."--LOWELL.]

Spotsylvania, May, 1864.

429. Spotsylvania, May, 1864.--Lee reached Spotsylvania first and fortified his position. For days fearful combats went on. One point in the Confederate line, called the Salient, was taken and retaken over and over again. The loss of life was awful, and Grant could not push Lee back. So on May 20 he again set out on his march by the left and directed his army to the North Anna. But Lee was again before him and held such a strong position that it was useless to attack him.

Cold Harbor.
Blockade of Petersburg.

430. To the James, June, 1864.--Grant again withdrew his army and resumed his southward march. But when he reached Cold Harbor, Lee was again strongly fortified. Both armies were now on the ground of the Peninsular Campaign. For two weeks Grant attacked again and again. Then on June 11 he took up his march for the last time. On June 15 the Union soldiers reached the banks of the James River below the junction of the Appomattox. But, owing to some misunderstanding, Petersburg had not been seized. So Lee established himself there, and the campaign took on the form of a siege. In these campaigns from the Rapidan to the James, Grant lost in killed, wounded, and missing sixty thousand men. Lee's loss was much less--how much less is not known.


Importance of Petersburg.

431. Petersburg, June-December, 1864.--Petersburg guarded the roads leading from Richmond to the South. It was in reality a part of the defenses of Richmond. For if these roads passed out of Confederate control, the Confederate capital would have to be abandoned. It was necessary for Lee to keep Petersburg. Grant, on the other hand, wished to gain the roads south of Petersburg. He lengthened his line; but each extension was met by a similar extension of the Confederate line. This process could not go on forever. The Confederacy was getting worn out. No more men could be sent to Lee. Sooner or later his line would become so weak that Grant could break through. Then Petersburg and Richmond must be abandoned. Two years before, when Richmond was threatened by McClellan, Lee had secured the removal of the Army of the Potomac by a sudden movement toward Washington (p. 321). He now detached Jubal Early with a formidable force and sent him through the Shenandoah Valley to Washington.

[Illustration: GENERAL SHERIDAN.]

Confederate attack on Washington, 1864.
Sheridan in the Valley. Hero Tales, 263-290.
Confederate disaster, October, 1864.
Lincoln reëlected, November, 1864. McMaster, 425-426.

432. Sheridan's Valley Campaigns, 1864.--The conditions now were very unlike the conditions of 1862. Now, Grant was in command instead of McClellan or Pope. He controlled the movements of all the armies without interference from Washington, and he had many more men than Lee. Without letting go his hold on Petersburg, Grant sent two army corps by water to Washington. Early was an able and active soldier, but he delayed his attack on Washington until soldiers came from the James. He then withdrew to the Shenandoah Valley. Grant now gave Sheridan forty thousand infantry and fifteen thousand cavalry, and sent him to the Valley with orders to drive Early out and to destroy all supplies in the Valley which could be used by another Southern army. Splendidly Sheridan did his work. At one time, when he was away, the Confederates surprised the Union army. But, hearing the roar of the battle, Sheridan rode rapidly to the front. As he rode along, the fugitives turned back. The Confederates, surprised in their turn, were swept from the field and sent whirling up the Valley in wild confusion (October 19, 1864). Then Sheridan destroyed everything that could be of service to another invading army and rejoined Grant at Petersburg. In the November following this great feat of arms, Lincoln was reëlected President.

Mobile Bay, 1864. Hero Tales, 303-322.
Kearsarge and Alabama.

433. The Blockade and the Cruisers, 1863-64.--The blockade had now become stricter than ever. For by August, 1864, Farragut had carried his fleet into Mobile Bay and had closed it to commerce. Sherman had taken Savannah. Early in 1865 Charleston was abandoned, for Sherman had it at his mercy, and Terry captured Wilmington. The South was now absolutely dependent on its own resources, and the end could not be far off. On the open sea, with England's aid a few vessels flew the Confederate flag. The best known of these vessels was the Alabama. She was built in England, armed with English guns, and largely manned by Englishmen. On June 19, 1864, the United States ship Kearsarge sank her off Cherbourg, France. Englishmen were also building two ironclad battleships for the Confederates. But the American minister at London, Mr. Charles Francis Adams, said that if they were allowed to sail, it would be "war." The English government thereupon bought the vessels.

[Illustration: ADMIRAL FARRAGUT.]

Sherman's northern march, 1865.

434. Sherman's March through the Carolinas, 1865.--Early in 1865 Sherman set out on the worst part of his great march. He now directed his steps northward from Savannah toward Virginia. The Confederates prepared to meet him. But Sherman set out before they expected him, and thus gained a clear path for the first part of his journey. Joseph E. Johnston now took command of the forces opposed to Sherman and did everything he could to stop him. At one moment it seemed as if he might succeed. He almost crushed the forward end of Sherman's army before the rest of the soldiers could be brought to its rescue. But Sherman's veterans were too old soldiers to be easily defeated. They first beat back the enemy in front, and when another force appeared in the rear they jumped to the other side of their field breastworks and defeated that force also. Night then put an end to the combat, and by morning the Union force was too strong to be attacked. Pressing on, Sherman reached Goldsboro' in North Carolina. There he was joined by Terry from Wilmington and by Schofield from Tennessee. Sherman now was strong enough to beat any Confederate army. He moved to Raleigh and completely cut Lee's communications with South Carolina and Georgia, April, 1865.

Condition of Lee's army.
Higginson, 317.
Surrender of the Southern armies, April 1865. Source-book, 329-333.

435. Appomattox, April, 1865.--The end of the Confederacy was now plainly in sight. Lee's men were starving. They were constantly deserting either to go to the aid of their perishing families or to obtain food from the Union army. As soon as the roads were fit for marching, Grant set his one hundred and twenty thousand men once more in motion. His object was to gain the rear of Lee's army and to force him to abandon Petersburg. A last despairing attack on the Union center only increased Grant's vigor. On April 1 Sheridan with his cavalry and an infantry corps seized Five Forks in the rear of Petersburg and could not be driven away. Petersburg and Richmond were abandoned. Lee tried to escape to the mountains. But now the Union soldiers marched faster than the starving Southerners. Sheridan, outstripping them, placed his men across their path at Appomattox Court House. There was nothing left save surrender. The soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia, now only thirty-seven thousand strong, laid down their arms, April 9, 1865. Soon Johnston surrendered, and the remaining small isolated bands of Confederates were run down and captured.

Murder of Lincoln, April 14, 1865. Higginson, 322-323; Source-book, 333-335.

436. Lincoln murdered, April 14, 1865.--The national armies were victorious. President Lincoln, never grander or wiser than in the moment of victory, alone stood between the Southern people and the Northern extremists clamoring for vengeance. On the night of April 14 he was murdered by a sympathizer with slavery and secession. No one old enough to remember the morning of April 15, 1865, will ever forget the horror aroused in the North by this unholy murder. In the beginning Lincoln had been a party leader. In the end the simple grandeur of his nature had won for him a place in the hearts of the American people that no other man has ever gained. He was indeed the greatest because the most typical of Americans. Vice-President Andrew Johnson, a war Democrat from Tennessee, became President. The vanquished secessionists were soon to taste the bitter dregs of the cup of defeat.

[Illustration: MAYOR'S OFFICE, APRIL 15th, 1865, Death notice of Abraham Lincoln]


[Use maps constantly while studying this period. The maps provided in Dodge's Bird's-Eye View are admirably adapted to this purpose.]


§ 380.--a. What did Lincoln say about the Union? What did he say about slavery? What oath did Lincoln take?

b. Was his inaugural conciliatory to the South?

§§ 381, 382.--a. What was the result of Buchanan's attempt to send supplies to Fort Sumter?

b. Why did Lincoln inform the governor of South Carolina of his determination to succor Fort Sumter?

c. What was the effect on Northern opinion of the attack on Fort Sumter?

d. Could the Southerners have done otherwise than fire on the flag?

§§ 383-385.--a. Why were the Virginians so divided? What resulted from this division?

b. What were the "border states"? Could these states have been neutral?

c. Describe the especial importance of Maryland.

d. What oath had the officers of the United States army and navy taken? Did Lee and other officers who resigned necessarily believe in the right of secession? Give your reasons.


§§ 386, 387.--a. State the advantages of the Southerners from the geographical point of view.

b. Explain how rivers were lines of defense.

c. Describe carefully the plan of the Bull Run campaign.

d. Why was the Shenandoah Valley so important?

§§ 388-390.--a. Why was McClellan placed in command of the Army of the Potomac?

b. Of what advantage to the South were the negroes?

c. Describe the plan of the Peninsular Campaign. What was the great objection to it?

§ 391.--a. Describe the Merrimac, the Monitor. Compare them with the Congress.

b. What effect did the Monitor-Merrimac fight have on McClellan's campaign?

§§ 392, 393.--a Describe the Peninsular Campaign. Why were not more soldiers sent to McClellan?

b. What is meant by the phrase "change of base"?

c. How did Lee secure the removal of McClellan's army from the James?

§§ 394, 395.--a Why did Lee invade Maryland? b. Describe the battle of Antietam, of Fredericksburg. What was the result of each of these battles?

§§ 396, 397.--a. Give an account of the early life and training of Grant and of Thomas.

b. Why were the seizures of Cairo and Paducah and the battle of Mill Springs important?

c. What is meant by the phrase "unconditional surrender"?

§§ 398, 399.--a. Explain carefully the importance to the South of New Orleans and the lower Mississippi.

b. Give an account of Farragut's early life. How did it fit him for this work?

c. Describe the operations against New Orleans.

§ 400.--a. Explain carefully the plan of the campaign to Corinth Why was Corinth important?

b. What quality in Grant was conspicuous at Shiloh?

§ 401.--a. What was Bragg's object in invading Kentucky? How far did he succeed? Why was Chattanooga important?


§§ 402, 403.--a. What is a blockade? What was the effect of the blockade on the South?

b. Had sea power been in Southern hands, could the Union have been saved?

c. Why was Charleston so difficult to capture? (Compare with the Revolutionary War.)

§§ 405, 406.--a. What help did the Southerners hope to obtain from Great Britain and France? Why? How were their hopes disappointed?

b. What do you think of the action of the English mill operatives?

c. Describe the Trent Affair. What do you think of Lincoln's action? Did the British government act wisely?

§§ 406, 407.--a. What had the Republican party declared about slavery in the states? What had Lincoln said in his inaugural?

b. How had the war altered Lincoln's power as President?

c. Why was it necessary for Lincoln to follow Northern sentiment?

d. What is contraband of war? How were the slaves contraband?

§§ 408, 409.--a. What steps had already been taken by Congress toward freeing the slaves?

b. How was the Emancipation Proclamation justified? Upon what would its enforcement depend?

c. What slave states were not affected by this proclamation?

d. How was slavery as an institution abolished throughout the United States?

§§ 410, 411.--a. Why was not the North united upon this war?

b. What is the force of the writ of habeas corpus? Why is it so important?

c. What was the "draft," and why was it necessary?


§§ 412-415.--a. Explain the position of the armies at the beginning of 1863.

b. Why was the conquest of Vicksburg so difficult? How was it finally captured?

c. What effect did the control of the Mississippi have upon the Confederacy?

§ 416.--a. What was Lee's object in invading Pennsylvania?

b. What position did the Union army keep as regards the Confederates?

§§ 417-419.--a. Describe the battle-field of Gettysburg. Why was the battle so important?

b. Describe in detail the principal events of each day of the battle.

c. Learn Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address." How was this ground hallowed? What was the great task before the people?

§§ 420, 421.--a. Describe the battle of Chickamauga. Review Thomas's services up to this time.

b. Describe the three parts of the battle of Chattanooga.


§§ 422, 423.--a. How had Grant shown his fitness for high command? Was it wise to have one man in command of all the armies? Why?

b. Review Sherman's career up to this time. Why did Grant impose trust in him?

c. What was the result of Hood's attacks?

§§ 424-426.--a. What was the real object of Sherman's march to the sea?

b. Describe the destruction of Hood's army. What does it show as to Thomas's ability?

c. What did Sherman's army accomplish on its way to the sea?

§§ 427-430.--a. Compare the conditions of the two armies in Virginia. Explain the advantages of the Confederates.

b. Describe the battle of the Wilderness, noting the conditions favorable to the Confederates.

c. Describe the movement to the James. What advantages had Grant not possessed by McClellan?

§§ 431, 432.--a. Why was Petersburg important?

b. How did Lee try to compel the withdrawal of Grant? Why did he not succeed?

c. Describe Sheridan's work in the Shenandoah Valley. Read a short account of Sheridan's career to 1865, and state his services to the Union cause.

§§ 433.--a. How had Sherman's victories affected the blockade?

b. What aid had Great Britain given to the Confederates? Why did she not give more assistance?

§§ 434, 435.--a. How did Sherman's occupation of Raleigh affect Lee?

b. Describe the condition of Lee's army. How was its capture accomplished?

§ 436.--a. Why was Lincoln's death a terrible loss to the South?

b. Why is he the greatest of all Americans?


a. Review the steps which led to the war for the Union.

b. What were Lincoln's personal views as to slavery? Why could he not carry them out?

c. What were Lincoln's leading characteristics? Give illustrations to support your view.

d. Study Grant's military career and try to find out why he succeeded where others failed.

e. Arrange a table of the leading campaigns, giving dates, leaders, end to be attained, important battles, and result.

f. Give the two most important battles of the war. Why do you select these?


a. Life in Southern prisons.

b. The Shenandoah Valley in the war.

c. Any important battle or naval action, or leading general, or naval commander.

d. The part played by your own state or town in the war, or the history of one of your state regiments.


A few days spent upon a study of the field of war will save a great deal of time. Channing's Students' History will enable the teacher to indicate the most important strategic points. Maps have been sparingly provided in this book, as the simple plans in Dodge's Bird's-eye View can easily be reproduced on the blackboard. In general, campaigns should be studied rather than battles.

Pictures relating to this period are easily obtainable and may be freely used. It is an excellent plan to ask some veteran to describe his experiences, and the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic will often lend material aid in making the war real to the pupils. Grant's career should be especially studied, and the reasons for his successes carefully noted.

Indeed, the study of this period may well center around Lincoln and Grant. Lincoln's inaugurals are too difficult to be studied thoroughly. But the teacher can easily select portions, as the last paragraph of the second inaugural. Lincoln's Gettysburg Address should be learned by every pupil, and his letter to Greeley (Students' History, p. 539) will throw a flood of light on Lincoln's character. In studying this period, as well as other periods, it is better to dwell on the patriotism and heroism of our soldiers, sailors, and statesmen than to point out their mistakes and personal faults.

Literature is so rich in reference to this time that nothing more than the mention of the works of Lowell, Whittier, Holmes, and Longfellow is needed.

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