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Portal:American Civil War

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The American Civil War (1861–1865) was a sectional rebellion against the United States of America by the Confederate States, 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 Confederacy 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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Three antiquated cannons in a row in a grassy field
Cannons on the site of Fort Stedman where the 29th saw heavy combat on March 25, 1865.

The 29th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was an infantry regiment in the Union army of the United States during the American Civil War. The regiment was organized in December 1861 when three new companies were attached to a battalion of seven Massachusetts companies that had been in active service since May 1861. These seven companies had been recruited to fill out the 3rd Massachusetts and 4th Massachusetts regiments and had signed on for three years of service. When the 3rd and 4th Massachusetts were mustered out in July 1861, the seven companies that had signed on for three years were grouped together to form a battalion known as the Massachusetts Battalion. Finally, in December 1861, three more companies were added to their roster to form a full regiment and the unit was designated the 29th Massachusetts.

The regiment took part in 29 battles and four sieges in a variety of theaters of the war. After their early service at Fortress Monroe in Virginia, the 29th was attached, in the spring of 1862, to the Army of the Potomac during the Peninsular Campaign as part of the famed Irish Brigade. The 29th had the distinction of being the only regiment of non-Irish ethnicity to serve in that brigade. In January 1863, the IX Corps (including the 29th Massachusetts) was transferred to Kentucky and engaged in operations against Confederate guerillas. In the summer of 1863, the IX Corps was again transferred and took part in the Siege of Vicksburg and the Siege of Jackson, Mississippi. In the fall of 1863, IX Corps took part in the Knoxville Campaign which resulted in the defeat of Confederate forces in eastern Tennessee. The spring of 1864 saw the IX Corps and the 29th Massachusetts once again returned to duty with the Army of the Potomac, just in time to take part in the Overland Campaign and the Siege of Petersburg. During the Siege of Petersburg, the unit suffered their worst casualties of the war in the Battle of Fort Stedman on March 25, 1865. Read more...

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U.S. President Lincoln insisted that construction of the United States Capitol continue during the Civil War.

Washington, D.C., during the American Civil War was the nerve-center of the Union war effort, which rapidly turned it from a small city into a major capital with full civic infrastructure and strong defenses.

The shock of Union defeat at First Bull Run, with demoralized troops wandering the streets of the capital, caused President Lincoln to order extensive fortifications and a large garrison. This required an influx of troops, military suppliers and building contractors, which would set up a new demand for accommodation, including military hospitals. The abolition of slavery in D.C. in 1862 also attracted many freedmen to the city. Except for one attempted invasion by Confederate cavalry leader Jubal Early in 1864, the capital remained impregnable. Read more...

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Black and white portrait of John C. Breckinridge, middle-aged, dark hair

John Cabell Breckinridge (January 16, 1821 – May 17, 1875) was an American lawyer, politician, and soldier. He represented Kentucky in both houses of Congress and became the 14th and youngest-ever vice president of the United States, serving from 1857 to 1861. He was a member of the Democratic party. He served in the U.S. Senate during the outbreak of the American Civil War, but was expelled after joining the Confederate Army. He was appointed Confederate secretary of war in 1865.

Breckinridge was born near Lexington, Kentucky to a prominent local family. After serving as a non-combatant during the Mexican–American War, he was elected as a Democrat to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1849, where he took a states' rights position against interference with slavery. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1851, he allied with Stephen A. Douglas in support of the Kansas–Nebraska Act. After reapportionment in 1854 made his re-election unlikely, he declined to run for another term. He was nominated for vice president at the 1856 Democratic National Convention to balance a ticket headed by James Buchanan. The Democrats won the election, but Breckinridge had little influence with Buchanan and, as presiding officer of the Senate, could not express his opinions in debates. He joined Buchanan in supporting the pro-slavery Lecompton Constitution for Kansas, which led to a split in the Democratic Party. In 1859, he was elected to succeed Senator John J. Crittenden at the end of Crittenden's term in 1861. Read more...

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Attention needed
...to referencing and citation  • ...to coverage and accuracy  • ...to structure  • ...to grammar  • ...to supporting materials 
Popular pages
Full list
Cleanup needed
The West Tennessee Raids
Requested articles
Henry MauryJames Ashby (soldier)Benjamin D. FearingCharles A. HickmanRichard Henry JacksonJames B. SpeersCharles S. SteedmanBattle of Barton's StationLawrence P. GrahamJoseph Hayes (general)Lewis Cass HuntThomas John LucasSullivan Amory MeredithWilliam Reading MontgomeryCharles Hale MorganByron Root PierceCalvin Edward PrattDaniel Henry RuckerJames Hughes StokesWilliam Kerley StrongFrederick S. SturmbaughWilliam B. TibbitsDavis TillsonFrancis Laurens VintonLouis Douglass WatkinsWilliam Denison WhippleJosiah W. BissellRequested American Civil War Medal of Honor recipients
Expansion needed
Battle 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 TreasuryDavid Henry WilliamsBattle of Rome Cross RoadsHenry Boynton ClitzDelaware in the American Civil WarIronclad BoardUnited States Military RailroadKansas in the American Civil WarSalisbury National CemeteryRufus DaggettEbenezer MagoffinOther American Civil War battle stubsOther American Civil War stubs
Images needed
Battle of Lone JackJames S. RainsPreston Pond, Jr.Melancthon SmithFranklin Stillman NickersonThomas Gamble PitcherLewis B. Parsons Jr.Isaac Ferdinand QuinbyJames W. ReillyIsaac F. ShepardFrancis Trowbridge ShermanJames R. SlackJoseph Pannell TaylorHenry Goddard ThomasMelancthon S. WadeJames M. Warner
Merging needed
1st Regiment New York Mounted Rifles and 7th Regiment New York Volunteer Cavalry
Citations needed
1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment (Union)4th Maine Battery33rd Ohio Infantry110th New York Volunteer InfantryBattle of Hatcher's RunBattle of Grand GulfCamp DennisonConfederate coloniesCSS ResoluteDakota War of 1862Florida in the American Civil WarEthan A. Hitchcock (general)Fort Harker (Alabama)Gettysburg (1993 film)Iowa in the American Civil WarFanny Titus Hazen
Translation needed
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