The American Civil War was a huge war in American history. The war consisted of several battles, and several issues were being fought over in this war… the main reason was the issue of slavery vs. abolition. This issue grew hotter and hotter, which played a large part in the southern states seceding one by one from the northern states that the US consisted of. These two groups formed the tow opposing sides of the American Civil War: The United States of America (the Union) in the north, and the Confederate States of America (the Confederates/Confederacy) in the south. This war claimed thousands of lives… around 620,000 lives were lost in this battle, and all of the lives lost were American! The sheer amount of lives lost is incredible. This is over 2 times the amount of American lives lost in war in the history of America, up to present day! Even the American lives lost in World War II cannot compete with the number of lives lost in the American Civil War!
The history behind the Civil War is incredibly important to understand the purpose and importance of the war. As people in the north started teaching and preaching abolition in the north, the slave trade in the south flourished, with cotton plantations all throughout. There was much strife and arguments between the north and south that several states broke off from the United States. These were the C. S. A., the Confederates. All was fine and dandy right now, besides the constant tension between the Union and the Confederacy. There was no warfare happening now. The Confederacy was originally formed from seven states, which, listed from first to last, were South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. Slavery flourished here.
In 1860, Abraham Lincoln won the presidential election as a Republican. He did not originally side with the abolitionists or the slavery supporters. He wanted to reunite America. If that required allowing slavery throughout the whole country, so be it. If that meant abolishing slavery as a whole, that would be fine for him, too. He really didn’t care.
The Unions had control of a fort on a small island off of Charleston, SC, and SC was under Confederate control. On April 12, 1861, the C. S. A. launched an attack on the fort, and a total of about 3,000 artillery shells were fired. This was the spark that started the American Civil War. During this skirmish, there were no deaths. It was only after the traditional departure ceremony that one man accidentally died in an explosion.
A series of battles began. The Civil War shifted from the the Confederate’s hands into the Union’s hands and back again. This happened for about 5 years, from the first battle at Ft. Sumter until the final battle at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia, where C. S. A. General Robert E. Lee surrendered to U. S. A. General Ulysses S. Grant. However, when the Battle of Gettysburg was fought, the victory of the Civil War was cemented into the hands of the Union.
Although learning about the different battles of the American Civil War was fun, I would have to say the ending of the war was my favorite part, but not because of who won the war (as I personally rooted for the Confederates the whole time although I knew they’d eventually lose), but because of HOW the war ended. Both generals Lee and Grant seemed to have a deep respect for each other, even though they were on opposing sides of the war. Grant and Lincoln not only prevented the Confederates from hanging for treason, but Grant also overstepped his military abilities granted to him by Lincoln in order to let them keep their sidearms and horses, but to also give them meal rations, as they were literally starving.
America was now whole again, much to Lincoln’s pleasure. America now started the long (but wildly successful) healing process, called the “Reconstruction”. And now, America has a much lower amount of racism than most other countries!