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The American Civil War Essay

1139 words - 5 pages

The United States has been involved in many wars throughout history. Americans have fought and died in many wars such as the war for independence in World War I to Desert Storm.
One of the bloodiest wars in our nation’s history is without a doubt is the Civil War. Prior to the beginning of the Civil War, the country was divided by the issue of slavery. When President Lincoln was elected to office, several states seceded from the Union. During this war, “Over six hundred thousand men died, and hundreds of thousands more bore the scars of war.” (Russell "Civil War." Encyclopedia of American Studies) The War started in April of 1861, The country expected this war to be brief when the Confederacy only 100 miles away from Washington D.C. in Richmond Virginia. President Lincoln asked for 75,000 troops with an enlistment of only 90 days. Little did he know the war would span four years. Most people in the north went to war to preserve the Union and not over the issue of slavery.

The Union had several advantages during the war. The Union had twenty-one million people against the Souths nine million, which included three and a half million slaves. Most of the industrial center was located in the north. This meant the Union could produce more weapons, ammunition and other supplies need to win the war. The Navy was also in control of the Union, which would be used to blockade any aid from abroad. Despite the North having all of these advantages, the South would prove to be a fierce and formidable opponent through out the war.

The first shots of the war were fired on April 12th, 1861, “Confederate batteries opened fire on Fort Sumter and continued for 34 hours” (www.civilwar.org) and eventually this fort would fall to Confederate forces. The First battle July 21 in the Battle of Bull Run which resulted in approximately 48,000 soldiers killed, wounded or declared missing and a Confederate victory. The battle of Antietam, which took place on Sept. 17th, 1862, “was the Bloodiest One Days battle in American History.” (WK_16 Civil War & Reconstruction PowerPoint slide 3) where more than 23,000 soldiers died or were missing after 12 hours battle. This battle war technically a draw, but was considered a victory by the Union. This gave President Lincoln the opportunity to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared all states in rebellion would lose all of their slaves. In the eyes of many, The Emancipation Proclamation gave the Union a new reason to fight, the freedom of slaves.

In the beginning, Union Soldiers did not want African Americas to serve in the Army. “After the second Confiscation Act, Union generals formed black regiments in New Orleans and on the Sea Island off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia” (The Enduring Vision 499). Without these black soldiers, President Lincoln believed the War would not last long. “By the spring of 1865, nearly 200,00 African Americans were serving with the Union.”( WK_16 Civil War & Reconstruction...

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