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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. (Full article)

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Greenbrier County in West Virginia

The Sinking Creek Raid took place in Greenbrier County, Virginia (now West Virginia) during the American Civil War. On November 26, 1862, an entire Confederate army camp was captured by 22 men from a Union cavalry during a winter snow storm. The 22 men were the advance guard for the 2nd Loyal Virginia Volunteer Cavalry, which was several miles behind. This cavalry unit was renamed 2nd West Virginia Volunteer Cavalry in 1863, after West Virginia became a state.

The Confederates, who were the rebels in the American Civil War, had an army camp near the foot of a mountain in Sinking Creek Valley. Their camp contained about 500 soldiers, who were surprised by the small group of Union cavalry men. Many of the rebels did not have their weapons loaded. The Union cavalry raced into the camp with sabers drawn, and quickly convinced the rebels to surrender in exchange for their lives. Over 100 rebel soldiers were taken prisoner. More than 100 horses and about 200 rifles were also captured, in addition to supplies and tents. (Full article...)

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The American state of Virginia became a prominent part of the Confederacy when it joined during the American Civil War. As a Southern slave-holding state, Virginia held the state convention to deal with the secession crisis, and voted against secession on April 4, 1861. Opinion shifted after the Battle of Fort Sumter on April 12, and April 15, when U.S. President Abraham Lincoln called for troops from all states still in the Union to put down the rebellion. For all practical purposes, Virginia joined the Confederacy on April 17, though secession was not officially ratified until May 23. A Unionist government was established in Wheeling and the new state of West Virginia was created by an act of Congress from 50 counties of western Virginia, making it the only state to lose territory as a consequence of the war.

In May, it was decided to move the Confederate capital from Montgomery, Alabama, to Richmond, Virginia, in large part because regardless of the Virginian capital's political status its defense was deemed vital to the Confederacy's survival. On May 24, 1861, the U.S. Army moved into northern Virginia and captured Alexandria without a fight. Most of the battles in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War took place in Virginia because the Confederacy had to defend its national capital at Richmond, and public opinion in the North demanded that the Union move "On to Richmond!" The successes of Robert E. Lee in defending Richmond are a central theme of the military history of the war. The White House of the Confederacy, located a few blocks north of the State Capitol, became home to the family of Confederate leader, former Mississippi Senator Jefferson Davis. (Full article...)

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The Battle of Shiloh (also known as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing) was an early battle in the Western Theater of the American Civil War, fought April 6–7, 1862, in southwestern Tennessee. The Union Army of the Tennessee (Major General Ulysses S. Grant) had moved via the Tennessee River deep into Tennessee and was encamped principally at Pittsburg Landing on the west bank of the Tennessee River, where the Confederate Army of Mississippi (General Albert Sidney Johnston, P. G. T. Beauregard second-in-command) launched a surprise attack on Grant's army from its base in Corinth, Mississippi. Johnston was mortally wounded during the fighting; Beauregard took command of the army and decided against pressing the attack late in the evening. Overnight, Grant was reinforced by one of his divisions stationed farther north and was joined by three divisions from the Army of the Ohio (Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell). The Union forces began an unexpected counterattack the next morning which reversed the Confederate gains of the previous day.

On April 6, the first day of the battle, the Confederates struck with the intention of driving the Union defenders away from the river and into the swamps of Owl Creek to the west. Johnston hoped to defeat Grant's army before the anticipated arrival of Buell and the Army of the Ohio. The Confederate battle lines became confused during the fighting, and Grant's men instead fell back to the northeast, in the direction of Pittsburg Landing. A Union position on a slightly sunken road, nicknamed the "Hornet's Nest" and defended by the divisions of Brig. Gens. Benjamin Prentiss and William H. L. Wallace, provided time for the remainder of the Union line to stabilize under the protection of numerous artillery batteries. Wallace was mortally wounded when the position collapsed, while several regiments from the two divisions were eventually surrounded and surrendered. Johnston was shot in the leg and bled to death while leading an attack. Beauregard acknowledged how tired the army was from the day's exertions, and decided against assaulting the final Union position that night. (Full article...)

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Henry MauryJames Ashby (soldier)Bluffton expeditionBenjamin D. FearingCharles A. HickmanRichard Henry JacksonJames B. SpeersCharles S. SteedmanBattle of Barton's StationLawrence P. GrahamThomas John LucasSullivan Amory MeredithCharles Hale MorganCalvin Edward PrattDaniel Henry RuckerJames Hughes StokesFrederick S. SturmbaughWilliam B. TibbitsDavis TillsonFrancis Laurens VintonAction at NinevehRequested American Civil War Medal of Honor recipientsInternational response to the American Civil WarSpain and the American Civil WarRed River Campaign Confederate order of battleSavannah Campaign Confederate order of battleNative Americans in the American Civil War (currently disambiguation after deletion)1st Battalion, Mississippi Mounted Rifles (Union)Battle of Lafayette
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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 MagoffinConfederate Quartermaster-General's DepartmentOther American Civil War battle stubsOther American Civil War stubs
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Battle of Lone JackPreston Pond, Jr.Melancthon SmithHenry Goddard ThomasMelancthon S. Wade
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1st Regiment New York Mounted Rifles and 7th Regiment New York Volunteer Cavalry
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1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment (Union)4th Maine Battery33rd Ohio Infantry110th New York Volunteer InfantryBattle of Hatcher's RunCamp 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
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