Category Archives: Civil War

US History: Week Three

English: Abraham Lincoln - Photo taken in Feb....

Abraham Lincoln by Mathew Brady. (Wikipedia)

Monday: begin notes on Civil War, hmwk Anaconda Plan and p 248 #5,6

Tuesday: View NYC video on A. Lincoln’s Cooper Union and NYC Draft Riots. Hmwk is to read A. Lincoln’s Cooper Union Speech (1860) and 2nd Inaugural Speech (1865) by Friday.

Wednesday: Discussions on the Civil War

Thursday: Failures of Reconstruction and beginnings of the West.

Friday: States quiz Group 2, Begin watching parts of Dances with Wolves.

CW 150: Secession, Timing, and Purpose

Flag of Virginia

Image via Wikipedia

During the time following the attack on Ft. Sumter but before the Battle of Bull Run, the country held its breath and began to find out what secession really means. No one was truly surprised when Firebrands in GA and SC began to push the slave holding aristocracy towards secession in the Deep South. Lincoln could see that the regional disillusionment of the Union was just that, regional. However his next move would be the tipping point between a wider more consuming war or simply a militia driven attack on the aristocrats.

Lincoln’s action of calling for militias to give their allegiance to the Federal government and then march through other states to attack major cities in the South, Charleston, Atlanta, and Birmingham, was a radical idea but not unheard-of. Additionally, the comments of Alexnder Stephens explaining GA secession as, “the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—subordination to the superior race—is his natural and normal condition,” show that for many the war was about SlaveryAristocracy, and maybe State’s Rights. Thus, the actions of border states in April and May of 1861 appear just as radical as Lincoln asking the common man to fight the Slave holding Aristocracy of the the Deep South. If I were a Virginian at this moment in history, I would have been terrified knowing that the armies of the Federal Government, amassing within the federal district, would be marching through my towns and down my roads to attack “The South.”

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CW 150: Battle of Fort Sumter

Bombardment of the Fort by the Confederates.

Image via Wikipedia

On this day the battle of Ft. Sumter took place. This would become the first battle of the war. Even though the battle resulted in only one casualty. This minor loss would encourage southern resolve for the next few months as the secession process would continue and the war would happen.

The modern irony of this sesquicentennial is that all Federal Parks may be closed at times this year because of the government shutdown while the annual federal budget is still being negotiated. The current shutdown was overted but there are still more challenges to a long term budget yet to be decided.

Information contained in this article was fact checked using the online sources Wikipedia and CWPT. As well as works by Shelby Foote, James M. McPhersonBruce Catton, James I. Robertson Jr., and William C. Davis.

CW 150 Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of th...

Image via Wikipedia

Today, should be an awesome celebration of the American spirit. Abraham Lincoln took office on this day in 1861 and would become one of the most revered men in the history of the US. His election is the last catalyst to move southern leaadership to begin secession. South Carolina would be the first and Lincoln responded accordingly, he never surrendered. The Southern cause was one of simple philosophy, keep fighting until Lincoln and the rest of the Republican Party was voted out of Congress. This plan would fail and Lincoln would see that the country stay whole and “give that last full measure of devotion” to the country he loved.

One of the funniest ironies of this american giant is the idea that he was always famous. When he traveled to NYC to campaign for the nomination, no one met him at the wharf, the hotel, or the caucus floor on the first day of debate.

Information contained in this article was fact checked using the online sources Wikipedia and CWPT. As well as works by Shelby Foote, James M. McPhersonBruce Catton, James I. Robertson Jr., and William C. Davis.

CW 150 Bleeding Kansas and Harpers Ferry,WV

John Steuart Curry, Tragic Prelude, (1938–40),...

Image via Wikipedia

At first glance, most would look at this and wonder, “How do Kansas and WV have anything to do with the Civil War?” Well by a strange and odd stroke of luck, a man by the name of John Brown connected the two states together during the bloodied period of years leading up-to the war.

Bleeding Kansas

Following the KA-Ne Act of 1854, both states were given the opportunity to decide their own will on slavery, this was known as the popular soverignty option. As a result, slave owners from MO flooded into the border areas between the two states. Quickly groups of raiders, the most well known under the leadership of William Quantrill, began attack abolitionist towns on the KA side of the Missouri R. On the KA side abolitionist began to arm themselves as well, the most well known being John Brown and Henry Ward Beecher; however, Brown would have a violent side never seen in Beecher.

Brown and several of his sons, under the cover of darkness, attacked slave onwers in their sleep. As a result of the growing violence, the senate began to question the validaty of the KA-NE Act and wondered if a new resolution on slavery and statehood should be penned. During a heated debate on in US Senate on the slaavery subject, Preston Brooks (D-SC) almost beat Charles Sumner (R-MA) to death. (Sumner by no means was innocent of the matter he had refereed to Brooks’s family members with sexual innuendo and animal husbandry references.)  KA would later vote and become a free state (January 29,1861) after four yaers of local fighting and the deployment of US Army garrisons to stop the action.

Harpers Ferry

John Brown and his sons saw this as a great success but were on the run for murder. They left KA and went into hiding. During this time he contacted Harriet Tubman and Fredrick Douglass asking for their support in creating an armed slave revolt in northwestern VA. They concocted a plan to attack the US armory at Harpers Ferry, VA. After stealing the large rifle cache, they would then arm slaves in a revolt that would spread across VA and hopefully the South. Needless to say the actions would be desastorous for his family. By the time it was over, John Brown would be hung for treason against the state of VA and several others as well. By the day of the hanging, Brown would write this note,

“I John Brown am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty, land: will never be purged away; but with Blood. I had as I now think: vainly flattered myself that without very much bloodshed; it might be done.”

Irony would find this situation very interesting. The US Army sent to attack the raiders was commanded by Col. Robert E Lee and Lt. Col JEB Stuart. This would be the last combat command for both men before entering the man as commanders in the Confederate Army. The trial was popularized in newspapers; so much, that a large audience attended the hanging, one of the views was John Wilkes Booth. The actions of Brown would actually divide the abolitionist cause and many would write opinion pieces in the New England newspapers abhorring the idea of violence against fellow citizens to end slavery. He was hung in December of 1860 only five months before the siege of Ft. Sumter would formally begin the war.

Information contained in this article was fact checked using the online sources Wikipedia and CWPT. As well as works by Shelby Foote, James M. McPhersonBruce Catton, James I. Robertson Jr., and William C. Davis.


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