By the latter part of the 1850's the young nation of the United States of America stood on the precipice of a cataclysmic dissolution. The decade was a period of bad presidents and broken promises that combined to tilt the scales toward war. Editorial rhetoric in partisan newspapers inflamed the ever increasing hostilities between North and South. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 overturned the Missouri Compromise and led to an escalation of violence between pro-slavery elements and abolitionists.
"A house divided against itself cannot stand."
Abraham Lincoln, June 1858
By the time Abraham Lincoln began his term as president of the United States, Jefferson Davis had already been sworn in as president of the newly formed Confederate States. At that time the Confederacy only consisted of seven states; South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Louisiana. When Fort Sumter fell, President Lincoln called out 75,000 militia to supress powerful combinations opposing the laws of the United States. Shortly afterwards he ordered a naval blockade of Southern ports. These actions inflamed the citizens of Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and Arkansas and they angrily refused to furnish men for "making war on the South". These four states seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy, making it a powerful entity for the first time.
Briefly, in 1858 considered a run for president of the United States.
Elected President of the United States in 1860.
Main Causes That Led to the War
1. Economic Developements in America
2. Individual States Rights vs Strong Federal Government
3. The Slavery Issue
4. Kansas-Nebraska Act
5. John Brown's Raid
6. 1860 Presidential Election
NORTHERN MILITARY LEADERS
1. Ullyses S. Grant
2. William T. Sherman
3. George B. McClellan
4. Phillip Sheridan
5. George G. Meade
6. William Rosecrans
7. Joshua Chamberlain
SOUTHERN MILITARY LEADERS
1. Robert E. Lee
2. T. J. "Stonewall" Jackson
3. James Longstreet
4. Albert Sidney Johnston
5. Joseph E. Johnson
6. J.E.B. Stuart
7. Nathan Bedford Forrest
On March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln was sworn in as the sixteenth president of the United States of America. Only the states were no longer united. Seven states had seceded from the Union and others were threatening to do so. At the time Lincoln repeated the Presendential oath, the young Confederacy had already called for 100,000 volunteers . Yet, despite this, Lincoln did not consider that the seven seceded states had left the Union. In his inaugural address he issued a plea to Americans that: "Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection."
Lincoln must have known though, that it was too late for pleas and they would fall on deaf ears. Fort Sumter, the Federal stronghold guarding the entrances to Charleston's harbors,posed a Fresh insult to South Carolina and the rest of the Confederate states with each new dawn. The Confederacy meant to obtain the fort by any means necessary either by negotiation or by force. It was here that the flames of war would be kindled.
At four-thirty A.M. on April 12, 1861, Confederate forces under the command of Brig. Gen. Pierre G.T. Beauregard, CSA opened fire with a mortar shot and within minutes shore batteries ringing the harbor began firing on the fort.
The barrage from the Southern artillery lasted for 34 hours. The Confederates poured more than 3000 shells into Fort Sumner. The Union troops under the command of Maj. Robert Anderson, USA, Returned fire the best that they could.
On April 14 the Union garrison marched out of Fort Sumner as the band played " Yankee Doodle " and a 50-gun salute preceded the lowering of the American flag.One gunner was killed and another was mortally wounded when a cannon discharged prematurely. Theirs were the only lives lost.
Gen. PGT Beauregard, CSA, Studied artillery under Maj, Robert Anderson, USA, at West Point while the major was instructing at the United States Military Academy.
The next day, April 15, 1861, Lincoln called out 75,000 militia to suppress uprisings of powerful forces who opposed the stance of the Federal Government. A little later he ordered the blockade of Southern ports.
Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas then seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy. This was vital to the new nation. The C.S.A. grew to 11 states, increased it's population by about 80 per cent, gained much needed ironworks and other vital industries while acquiring a buffer to potect the lower states as they developed an industrial base.
How far we have progressed???