Portal:American Civil War

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The American Civil War (1861–1865) was a bitter sectional rebellion against the United States of America by the Confederate States of America, formed of eleven southern states' governments which moved to secede from the Union after the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States. The Union's victory was eventually achieved by leveraging advantages in population, manufacturing and logistics and through a strategic naval blockade denying the South access to the world's markets.

In many ways, the conflict's central issues – the enslavement of African-Americans, the role of constitutional federal government, and the rights of states  – are still not completely resolved. Not surprisingly, the Confederate Army's surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865 did little to change many Americans' attitudes toward the potential powers of central government. The passage of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the Constitution in the years immediately following the war did not change the racial prejudice prevalent among Americans of the day; and the process of Reconstruction did not heal the deeply personal wounds inflicted by four brutal years of war and more than 970,000 casualties – 3 percent of the population, including approximately 560,000 deaths. As a result, controversies affected by the war's unresolved social, political, economic and racial tensions continue to shape contemporary American thought. The causes of the war, the reasons for the outcome, and even the name of the war itself are subjects of much discussion even today.


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The United States Military Academy (USMA) is an undergraduate college in West Point, New York that educates and commissions officers for the United States Army. The Academy was founded in 1802 and graduated its first class in October of the same year. It is the oldest of the five American service academies. Sports media refer to the Academy as "Army" and the students as "Cadets"; this usage is officially endorsed. A small number of graduates each year choose the option of entering the United States Air Force, United States Navy, or United States Marine Corps. Before the founding of the United States Air Force Academy in 1955, the Academy was a major source of officers for the Air Force and its predecessors. Most cadets are admitted through the congressional appointment system. The curriculum emphasizes various fields in sciences and engineering.

This list is drawn from alumni of the Military Academy who served as general officers in the Confederate States Army (CSA), including three members of the Lee family of Virginia: Robert E. Lee (class of 1829), his son George Washington Custis Lee (class of 1854), and his nephew Fitzhugh Lee (class of 1856). Other notable Confederate generals include James Longstreet (class of 1842), Stonewall Jackson (class of 1846), and J.E.B. Stuart (class of 1854).

Other notable graduates include 2 Presidents of the United States, 18 astronauts, 4 heads of state, 74 Medal of Honor recipients, 70 Rhodes Scholars, and 3 Heisman Trophy winners. Among American universities, the Academy is fourth on the list of total winners for Rhodes Scholarships, seventh for Marshall Scholarships and fourth for Hertz Fellowships.

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Indian Territory in the American Civil War period occupied most of what is now the U.S. state of Oklahoma and served as an unorganized region set aside for Native American tribes of the Southeastern United States that had been removed from their lands. The area hosted numerous skirmishes and seven officially recognized battles involving Native American units allied with the Confederate States of America, Native Americans loyal to the United States government, and Union and Confederate troops. Officers and soldiers supplied to the Confederacy from Native American lands numbered at 7,860 and came largely from the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole nations. The Union did not incorporate Native Americans into its regular army.

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St. John Richardson Liddell (September 6, 1815 – February 14, 1870) was a prominent Louisiana planter who served as a general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He was an outspoken proponent of Southern emancipation of slaves. Liddell was murdered by a former Confederate Officer near his home in 1870. Liddell was born to a wealthy plantation family near Woodville, Mississippi. He was a schoolmate of future Confederate President Jefferson Davis, whom he would interact with several times during the early years of the Civil War on behalf of fellow general Albert Sidney Johnston. He attended the United States Military Academy in 1837, but resigned prior to graduating. Liddell then moved to Louisiana and established his own prosperous plantation, "Llanada." His famous feud with Charles Jones, which eventually led to his death, began in the 1850s.

Liddell held a reputation for being outspoken, and was well connected. In December 1864, he wrote a letter to Edward Sparrow, a Confederate Senator from Louisiana and chairman of the military Committee, expressing his conviction that the war was going against the Confederacy. He expressed the need for full emancipation of the slaves in order to secure foreign assistance. Although he admitted it may have been too late to act, he felt that emancipation may have also been a solution to the South's growing manpower crisis. Senator Sparrow showed the letter to General Robert E. Lee, who agreed with Liddell on all points, stating that "he could make soldiers out of any human being that had arms and legs".

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Credit: John L. Ransom

An illustration of Andersonville Prison, a Civil War prisoner-of-war camp, and is now the Andersonville National Historic Site

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Battle of CoffeevilleDakota Territory in the American Civil WarWyoming in the American Civil WarGeorge Yost CoffinCharles F. CollinsAndrew Wills GouldEbenezer MagoffinHenry C. MagruderHenry MauryJames AshbyGeorge A.H. BlakeAlbemarle CadyHenry Boynton ClitzWilliam Watts Hart DavisBenjamin D. FearingMoses HarrisCharles A. HickmanRichard Henry JacksonJohn H. KingWilliam Raymond LeeJohn LoveFrancis LowePeter S. MichieJohn Gibson ParkhurstGeorge Washington RainsPaul Joseph RevereThomas Grimke RhettJames B. SpeersCharles S. SteedmanHenry Dwight TerryCharles Stuart TriplerJames Henry Van AlenRequested American Civil War Medal of Honor recipients
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31st Maine Infantry Regiment56th Illinois InfantryBattle of Amelia SpringsBattle of BerryvilleBattle of Blair's LandingBattle of BoonsboroughBattle of Cabin CreekBattle of Fort Sumter IIBattle of Guard HillBattle of Middle Boggy DepotBattle of Rice's StationBattle of Simmon's BluffBattle of Summit PointBattle of Yellow BayouCharleston ArsenalEdenton Bell BatteryElmira PrisonFirst Battle of DaltonSamuel BentonBlackshear PrisonOrris S. FerryEdwin ForbesHiram B. GranburyHenry Thomas HarrisonBen Hardin HelmLouis Hébert (colonel)Benjamin G. HumphreysLunsford L. LomaxMaynard CarbineDaniel RugglesThomas W. ShermanHezekiah G. SpruillSmith Percussion CarbineEdward C. WalthallConfederate States Secretary of the NavyConfederate States Secretary of the TreasuryDelaware in the American Civil WarIronclad BoardUnited States Military RailroadKansas in the American Civil WarOther American Civil War battle stubsOther American Civil War stubs

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