AP - C15 Notes _2 - Gatesville High School

Chapter 15
Secession and the Civil War
How could the US function as a country if its
members could come and go as they pleased?
The War Starts
– Fort Sumter in Charleston, South
• if Lincoln did not resupply the fort, it
would have to be abandoned,
acknowledging the authority of the
Confederate government
– Lincoln – told the governor he was
sending food, but no soldiers or
– Davis – ordered General P.G.T.
Beauregard to demand the Fort
surrender or take it by force;
opened fire for a 34-hour
• by firing on federal property, the
Confederates had committed an act
of open rebellion and Lincoln had no
choice but to respond
– division between North and South
would not be settled peacefully
Adjusting to Total War
• “total war” – involving every aspect of society
– a test of societies, economies, and political
– a battle of wits between generals and military
• North – could achieve its aim of restoring the
Union only by defeating the South
– would end up being a long war
• the Confederacy put up “a hell of a fight”
Prospects, Plans, and Expectations
• North had an enormous edge in population,
industrial capacity, and railroad mileage
– had to invade and conquer the South
• South had some advantages
– Confederacy needed only to defend its territory successfully
– faced a less serious supply problem
– could choose the time and place of combat
• take advantage of familiar terrain and a friendly civilian population
– southern leaders defined their cause as defense of their
homeland against an alien invader
• appealed to the patriotism of a white population
• was widely assumed
that Southerners
would make better
fighting men than
– farm boys used to
riding and shooting
• most of the large
proportion of highranking officers in
the U.S. Army were
of southern origin
– resigned to accept
• Southerners
confidently expected
that their armies
would be better led
• believed major foreign powers such as
England and France would come to the aid of
the South
– their industrial economies depended on southern
• both sides tried to find the best way to capitalize on
their advantages and compensate for their limitations
• Confederate military – stay on the defensive or seek a
sudden and dramatic victory by invading the North
– chose a mainly defensive war
• primary strategic orientation was defensive, an “offensive defense”
• Northern military planners had greater
– optimists believed the war could be won quickly
and easily by sending an army to capture the
capital at Richmond
• “On to Richmond” solution died on the battlefields –
clear that difficult terrain and an ably led, hard-fighting
Confederate army blocked the way
• aged General Winfield Scott
– commanded the Union
army during the early
months of the war –
recommended an “anaconda
– great boa constrictor that
would squeeze the South into
submission by blockading the
southern coasts, seizing
control of the Mississippi, and
cutting off supplies of food
and other necessary
• the West became the main
focus of military operations
• Lincoln decided on a two-front
– keep the pressure on Virginia
– authorize an advance down the
Mississippi Valley – aim to isolate
Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana
– importance on the coastal
blockade and expected naval
operations to seize the ports
through which goods entered
and left the Confederacy
• plan of applying pressure and
probing for weaknesses at several
points simultaneously
• took maximum advantage of the
North’s superiority in manpower
and matériel
– required better military leadership
Mobilizing the Home Fronts
• both sides had problems
in trying to create the
vast support systems
needed by armies in the
• both had more
volunteers than could be
armed and outfitted
– recruiting was done
primarily by states, who
were reluctant to
surrender control of the
forces they had raised
• a short and easy war wasn’t going to happen
and the pool of volunteers began to dry up
– early recruits had been enrolled for short terms
and were reluctant to re-enlist
• Confederacy passed a conscription law –
Union edged toward a draft as well
• materials of war relied mainly on private industry
– North – contracted with private firms and individuals to
supply the army
• there was a lot of corruption and inefficiency
– shoddy uniforms that disintegrated in a heavy rain, defective rifles, and
broken-down horses unfit for service
– by 1863 – factories and farms were producing more than
enough to provision the troops without significantly
lowering the living standards of northern civilians
• because of the South’s
weakness of their industrial
base, they depended on the
outside world for most of their
manufactured goods
– as the Union blockade became
more effective had to rely
increasingly on a governmentsponsored crash program to
produce war materials
• built its own munitions plants
• Confederate Ordnance Bureau
– headed by General Josiah
Gorgas, succeeded in
procuring sufficient
armaments to keep southern
armies well supplied
throughout the conflict
• Southern agriculture failed to meet the
challenge though
– planters were reluctant to shift from staples that
could not be exported to foodstuffs the were
• inadequacy of the South’s internal
transportation system – limited rail network
– most new lines were aimed at the movement of
troops rather than the distribution of food
• well armed,
Confederate soldiers
were increasingly
– civilians were rioting to
protest shortages of
• Confederate
commissary resorted to
the impressment of
available agricultural
produce well below the
market value
– policy eventually had to
be abandoned
• question of how to finance an enormously
costly struggle
– special war taxes
• neither side was willing to resort to the heavy
taxation that was needed
– more willing to die for their government than pay
for it
• floating loans and bonds
• both sides
inflated the
currency by
printing large
quantities of paper
money that could
not be redeemed
in gold and silver
– runaway inflation
was the inevitable
• was less severe in
the North because
of the strength of
its economy
• Confederacy faced a severe shortage of readily disposable
– land and cotton could not easily be turned into rifles and
– southern treasury had to accept payments “in kind”
– Confederate “assets” eventually consisted of bales of cotton that
were unexportable because of the blockade
• rate of inflation soared
– took a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a purse full of goods
Political Leadership: Northern Success
and Southern Failure
• how much democracy
and individual
freedom could be
permitted when
military success
required an
exercise of
government authority
• both constitutions
made the president
commander in chief
of the army and navy
• Lincoln was especially
bold in assuming new
executive powers
– expanded the regular
army and advanced
public money to
private individuals
without authorization
by Congress
– declared martial law
– enabled the military to
arrest civilians
suspected of aiding
the enemy
• suspended the writ of
habeas corpus
– felt it was necessary
because of mob attacks on
Union troops passing
through Baltimore
– enabled the government to
arrest Confederate
sympathizers and hold them
without trial
– extended this authority to
all parts of the U.S. where
“disloyal” elements were
– willingness to interfere with
civil liberties was
unprecedented and possibly
– Lincoln viewed it as a
“necessity” to justify a
flexible interpretation of his
war powers
• the Lincoln administration showed restraint and tolerated a
broad spectrum of political dissent
– government closed down a few newspapers for brief periods
– anti-administration journals were allowed to criticize the
president and his party
– some were arrested for pro-Confederate activity
– “Peace Democrats” – called for restoration of the Union by
negotiation rather than force
• showed the persistence of vigorous two-party competition in
the North
• Lincoln was adept at the art of party leadership and
was able to accommodate various factions and
define party issues and principles in a way that
would encourage unity and dedication to the cause
– held the party together by persuasion, patronage, and
flexible policymaking
• Jefferson Davis – was
a less effective war
– defined his powers as
commander in chief
narrowly and literally
– assumed personal
direction of the armed
– left policymaking for
the mobilization and
control of the civilian
population primarily
to the Confederate
• lack of initiative and
leadership in dealing with
the problems of the home
• devoted little attention to
a deteriorating economic
situation that caused great
hardship and sapped
Confederate morale
• more serious problem of
internal division and
• refrained from declaring
martial law
– applied only in limited
areas and for short periods
Jefferson Davis Inauguration
• Davis’s political and popular support eroded
– opposed and obstructed by state governors
• resisted conscription and other Confederate policies that
violated the tradition of states rights
• did not have an organized party behind him, and the
Confederacy never developed a two-party system
– difficult to mobilize the support required for hard
decisions and controversial policies
North vs. South
twice as much railroad
– made movement of troops, food, and
supplies quicker and easier
twice as many factories
– better able to produce guns,
ammunition, shoes, etc. for army
economy balanced between farming
and industry
more money
functioning experienced government
small army and navy already in place
two-thirds of population
– 22 million to 9 million
– more men available
sufficient labor force to stay behind for
farm and factory work
more natural resources
very urban
23 states
• military colleges in South
• majority of nation’s trained
officers from South
• best military officers
– Robert E. Lee
• did not need to initiate military
– maintain defensive position and not
be beaten
• fighting to preserve way of life,
and right to self-government
– convinced they were right
• fighting for home
• trading relationship with Europe
– British and French sympathies
• long coastline difficult to blockade
• 11 states
North vs. South
• not into the war
• not in complete agreement
over the abolition of slavery
• lost most good military
• small navy
• long coastline hard to
• southern slaves, although a
large part of the population
were not any help
– 3.5 million
• little industry and factory
• very rural
– Union Military Strategies
• General Winfield Scott - naval blockade, choke off the
Confederacy; gain control of Mississippi and cut
Confederacy in two
• Anaconda Plan – after a type of snake that coils around
its victims and crushes them to death
– Confederate War Strategies
• prepare and wait
• war of attrition – one side inflicts continuous loses on
the enemy in order to wear down its strength
– Tactics and Technology
• bullet-shaped ammunition – drifted less than a round
ball (older type)
• rifling – spiral groove cut on the inside of a gun barrel,
makes bullet pick up spin, so it goes faster and
straighter (500 yards, not 100 – muskets)
– reloaded and fired faster than muskets
• shells – devices that exploded in the air or when they
hit something
• canister – special type of shell filled with bullets

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