US Civil War

1519 Words Sep 30th, 2014 7 Pages
The American Civil War created the nation of the United States as we know it today. The bloodiest war in the history of the nation, the victory was a combination of many factors and many battles that finally resulted in a Union victory. But why would a nation engage in combat so fiercely that more Americans were lost in the one war than in the American Revolution, WW1, WW2 and the Vietnam War combined?

The main cause of the American Civil War was slavery. According to historian David Goldfield, “Both Northerners and Southerners recognized slavery as the immediate cause of the Civil War” and even Abraham Lincoln acknowledged this fact in his second inaugural address by saying, “An eighth of the whole population were coloured slaves, not
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Lasting all day, and beginning the next at daybreak, the leaders had only a small Methodist chapel in which to convene to discuss potential rapid strategizing. Due to the Southerners’ element of surprise and the Northerners’ superior force, it became the most costly battle of the war to date with 23 000 dead, injured or captured, and with around equal numbers on both sides. It was then the South were to suffer a great defeat at the Battle of Antietum – Lee marched a force of 40 000 strong to Maryland on 4th September, 1862, only to be met with huge numbers of General George McClellan’s troops. 23 000 were killed in a single day, and General Lee was forced to retreat back to Virginia. After these major humiliations, it was months before the first real turning point of the war when the tide began to turn towards a Union success. Although politically the Union made some impact with the release of the Emancipation Proclamation on 1st January, 1863, in reality, there was little change in the secessionist states and the war dragged onwards. An excellent execution of division tactics by Lee resulted in a Confederate victory over the new Union commander Hooker at the Battle of the Wilderness, but at a cost of 24 000 casualties. From May to July 1863, Grant laid siege to the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, starving the population and firing shots at any soldiers who appeared on the walls of the town. After a naval landing, commander Pemberton’s force of 23 000 met Grant’s
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