The American Civil War Portal
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.
William Tecumseh Sherman
was an American soldier
. He served as a General
in the Union Army
during the American Civil War
, for which he received recognition for his outstanding command of military strategy
as well as criticism for the harshness of the "scorched earth
" policies that he implemented in conducting total war
against the Confederate States
. Military historian Basil Liddell Hart
famously declared that Sherman was "the first modern general".
Sherman served under General Ulysses S. Grant in 1862 and 1863 during the campaigns that led to the fall of the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg on the Mississippi River and culminated with the routing of the Confederate armies in the state of Tennessee. In 1864, Sherman succeeded Grant as the Union commander in the western theater of the war. He proceeded to lead his troops to the capture of the city of Atlanta, a military success that contributed to the re-election of President Abraham Lincoln. Sherman's subsequent march through Georgia and the Carolinas further undermined the Confederacy's ability to continue fighting. He accepted the surrender of all the Confederate armies in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida in April 1865.
When Grant became president, Sherman succeeded him as Commanding General of the Army (1869–83). As such, he was responsible for the conduct of the Indian Wars in the western United States. He steadfastly refused to be drawn into politics and in 1875 published his Memoirs, one of the best-known firsthand accounts of the Civil War.
Grand Parade of the States
was a border state
which sent troops, officers, and supplies to both opposing sides, had its star on both flags, had state governments representing each side, and endured a neighbor-against-neighbor intrastate war even within the larger national war.
By the end of the Civil War, Missouri had supplied nearly 110,000 troops for the Union Army and about 40,000 troops for the Confederate Army. Counting minor engagements, actions and skirmishes, Missouri saw over 1,200 distinct fights occurring in all areas of the state, from the Iowa and Illinois border in the northeast to the edge of the state in the southeast and southwest on the Arkansas border. Only Virginia and Tennessee exceeded Missouri in the number of engagements within the state boundaries. Conflicts and battles in the war were divided into three phases, starting with the Union eviction of Governor Jackson and pursuit of Sterling Price and his Missouri State Guard in 1861; a period of neighbor-versus-neighbor bushwhacking guerrilla warfare from 1862 to 1864; and finally Sterling Price's attempt to retake the state in 1864. The biggest battle in the war west of the Mississippi River was the Battle of Westport at Kansas City in 1864.
Gabriel James Rains
(June 4, 1803 – September 6, 1881) was a career United States Army
officer and a brigadier general
in the Confederate States Army
during the American Civil War
. Born in June 1803 in New Bern, North Carolina
, his younger brother, George Washington Rains, was also a brigadier general in the Georgia Militia, and the two were known as "the Bomb Brothers" for their creation and use of land mines
, booby traps
, and other explosives
. Rains graduated from the United States Military Academy
at West Point, New York
in 1827, 13th in his class. Among his classmates were Leonidas Polk
, Napoleon Bonaparte Buford
, and Philip St. George Cooke
He was promoted to lieutenant colonel of regulars on June 5, 1860, but resigned his commission on July 31, 1861, and joined the Confederate States Army, in which he was commissioned a brigadier general. Rains led a division at the Battle of Wilson's Creek, and fought at the battles of Shiloh and Perryville. Rains was wounded during the Battle of Seven Pines, and was singled out by Maj. Gen. Daniel Harvey Hill for a successful flanking maneuver that turned the tide of battle in favor of the Confederates. Rains was then placed in command of the conscription and torpedo bureaus at Richmond. He organized the system of torpedoes and mines that protected the harbors of Charleston, Savannah, Mobile and other port cities, and invented an early land mine that was successfully used in battle.