Tagged Questions

the civil war that took place between the northern and southern states of the United States between 1861-65.

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4
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0answers
42 views

What was the congressional level of support for Emancipation Proclamation?

Wikipedia covers pretty extensively the political details surrounding the 13th Amendment, including difficulties in passing it in the House. However, it doesn't note what the level of Congressional ...
-3
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0answers
23 views

Start of the Civil War? [on hold]

What were the most important factors in the start of the Civil War?
7
votes
1answer
193 views

Was slavery really on the way out in the antebellum USA?

Gail Jarvis, in an encomium to the Dunning School writes: William A. Dunning fervently opposed slavery but his reading of the trends of the times led him to the conclusion that the institution ...
6
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2answers
499 views

Can anyone identify this Union commander?

At the beginning of the first episode of the PBS documentary series about the US Civil War the narrator describes some of the main characters without giving their names. One was 'a professor from ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Did Wright or Pickett set the high-water mark for the CSA Advance on Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg?

According to Henry Pfanz's book, The Second Day, there is a historical dispute as to how far General Ambrose Wright took his brigade of Georgians up Cemetery Ridge during the second day of the Battle ...
5
votes
1answer
96 views

Once formed, could a Confederate militia company find replacements to remain an effective force? How?

As I understand it, Confederate militia companies were formed of 100 men recruited at the beginning of the war often from within the same county. Disease, battle losses and desertions obviously took ...
0
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2answers
173 views

How do modern historians evaluate Sherman's “Total War”?

A major element of Sherman's march to the sea was his army's burning southern farms and cities. The rationale for what Sherman called "Total War," approved by Grant and Lincoln, was that it would ...
3
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1answer
187 views

Did the Founding Fathers believe that states had the right to secede?

This question is a follow-up to the Founding Fathers and the Civil War question. Although the Constitution dictates how a state may join the Union, there is no written provision for secession. Did ...
5
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1answer
71 views

Escape attempts from Elmira POW Camp (Civil War)

My great-grandfather was a POW held first at Point Lookout and transferred to Elmira. Family legend has it that he attempted an escape digging a tunnel with a spoon. I know that there were seventeen ...
23
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9answers
6k views

Was the American Civil War the “bloodiest civil war in history”?

I heard something like that once on some TV documentary, but I'm second guessing that there must have been a caveat for just the Americas, or otherwise qualified it as, "in modern history", or as a ...
0
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2answers
90 views

How did Farragut know he could get his fleet through the Confederate line of “torpedos” at Mobile Bay?

At the Battle of Mobile Bay, Adm. David G. Farragut commanded an 18-vessel fleet that included two monitors and his own wooden-hulled flagship, USS Hartford. The entrance to Mobile Bay was guarded by ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Would Wright's attack on Cemetery Ridge have succeeded if Posey had covered Wright's Left Flank?

On the Second Day of the Battle of Gettysburg, the Third Confederate Brigade under Brig. Gen. Ambrose Wright (serving under Anderson's Division) charged from Seminary Ridge into Union forces holding ...
5
votes
3answers
160 views

Was there really a labor shortage in the USA until 1970?

After watching several video lectures made by Richard D. Wolff I noticed he frequently draws historical events as evidence to base his arguments on. One thing he mentions frequently (in several ...
6
votes
3answers
154 views

Where did the term “Radical Republican” come from?

Where did the term "Radical Republican" come from? I know that Radical Republicans is term for a group of Republicans in the early Republican party in the mid 1800s, but was the term used at the time ...
5
votes
2answers
278 views

In Civil War Reenactments why do people walk across the battlefield

Mostly all Civil War movies/reenactments you come across a scene that goes as follows... Union/Confederacy are advancing in an open field towards the enemy but are walking as cannonballs and what not ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

Gettysburg: What was in the letter?

I've just watched the wonderful movie "Gettysburg" and couldn't help noticing the stuff in the opening about the letter... That the Confederates had prepared a letter that should be put on President ...
1
vote
1answer
643 views

Why were the people from the Southeast in the US so different from the rest of the US? [closed]

People in the Southern US seem to me more racist and have rebelled against the rest of US. What were the reasons there has been such a distinctive split in attitudes, like the split between two ...
3
votes
2answers
531 views

Why wasn't the American civil war fought between slaves and masters?

If the American civil war is about liberating the slaves, then it might make sense to expect the war to be fought between slaves and masters. In theory, the slaves should be the ones fighting for ...
10
votes
2answers
259 views

Is it true that slavery was banned from discussion on the Senate and/or House floor before the American Civil War?

In one of the latter years of my undergraduate program I read/heard from one of my classes that discussing the slave trade/slavery on either the Senate and/or House floor (I forget which) was banned. ...
4
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2answers
165 views

How good were Confederate resupply capabilities during the Gettysburg campaign?

At dinner, the other night, I discussed the battle of Gettysburg with a foreign-born friend, who observed: "The way you describe the battle of Gettysburg, if Pickett's charge had succeeded on the ...
11
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3answers
264 views

Why did the Union army favor a “western” route to approaching Richmond during the American Civil War

Anyone can answer this question, but I am particularly interested in hearing from people with a knowledge of northern Virginia geography. For the Union, much of the focus of the Civil War was ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

The first use of submarines, and the appearance of “modern” submarines

The first submarines surfaced (excuse the pun) during or around the American Civil War. The question I have comes in a few parts: Did the submarines seen in the American Civil War prompt any change ...
2
votes
3answers
181 views

What are exceptions to the hypothesis that “climate determined ”regional“ loyalties in the U.S. Civil War”?

Besides the fact that "North" implies "cold," and "South implies "hot," I was struck by the fact that Lincoln won absolute majorities (in a four way race) in 16 states wholly or partially above the ...
7
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3answers
244 views

Could the Confederates have done better at Gettysburg if they had put cavalry in front of, rather than behind, Pickett's charge?

On at least two occasions when cavalry was used in charges, it was "wiped out." These include the (in)famous charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava, and Marshal Ney's cavalry charge at Waterloo. ...
3
votes
6answers
422 views

Has the American Civil War led to any significant innovations in 19th-century warfare?

The American Civil War (1861–1865) was a major conflict with a long string of battles. Has it led to any innovations in 19th-century warfare? It has been pointed out that it may have been the first ...
6
votes
4answers
345 views

Was the American Civil War the first to include multiple multi-day battles?

Looking at wikipedia reveals that there were plenty of multi-day battles in the American Civil War. I looked at its article on the Crimean War, which as far as I know was the previous significant ...
4
votes
4answers
280 views

What were General Johnston's options during the Atlanta campaign?

A Confederate death knell in the Civil War was the capture of Atlanta by the North's General William T. Sherman. Arguably the turning point of the Atlanta campaign was when Confederate President ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

What was Gen. Buford's ultimate objective at the Battle of Gettysburg?

On the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Gen. Buford and the Union cavalry were initially defending the ridges to the north and west of the town. Even after Gen. Reynolds arrived with the Union I ...
8
votes
2answers
619 views

What uniforms did each of the American Civil War regiment wear during First Bull Run / First Manassas

During the American Civil War battle First Bull Run / First Manassas, regiments of both sides turned up in either the gray militia uniform or the blue 1858 regulation uniform, in addition to any ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

What did sectionalism have to do with the American civil war? [closed]

I've been writing an essay for school and I've been wondering what did sectionalism have to do with the American Civil War? Does sectionalism include the Missouri Compromise and the breaking away of ...
-1
votes
3answers
413 views

In the US Civil War, what factors contributed to the Union having such a numerical advantage over the Confederacy?

For example, why opposing slavery is more appealing than perpetuating it? I am looking for a historical pragmatic answer rather than a "moral" answer. Or why bother uniting? Why more states and their ...
6
votes
1answer
426 views

Why was cricket's popularity in USA a casualty of Civil War?

"Cricket was by far the biggest sport [in the USA] in this period," Tim Lockley, an expert in American history at Warwick University, told the Guardian in 1999. "Then the civil war started in 1861, ...
4
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4answers
435 views

General Sherman's March to the Sea [closed]

When historians look back on General Sherman's infamous "March to the Sea" what conclusions do they draw about his campaign? Do they interpret the evidence as indicating that Sherman's march did ...
6
votes
1answer
760 views

After the American Civil War, which states had the most problems with rejoining the Union?

Once the American Civil war ended, did some states encounter more difficulty than others when it came to rejoining the Union? What circumstances or conditions might have contributed to their issues?
8
votes
1answer
171 views

What did the sympathies lie of the US Navy around the time of the American Civil War?

Around the time of the American Civil War the land military (that is the Army) had its sympathies on the cause of the Confederacy, in my opinion, due to the make up of the military officers of the ...
8
votes
2answers
311 views

How many soldiers were present at the charge down Little Round Top?

The events of July 2, 1863 have been discussed endlessly, from Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels to the film Gettysburg. Since reading the book and seeing the film many times, I can't help but wonder ...
6
votes
1answer
196 views

During the American Civil War, could you send mail to someone across the border?

Before the Civil War, there was mail service between all the different states. During the war, could you still send a letter from, say New York to Georgia, or did the post office shut down services ...
29
votes
15answers
8k views

Was the secession of the Confederate states illegal?

Putting aside their reasons for wanting to do so and all the emotional responses they would provoke, was the secession of states from the Union to eventually form the Confederacy an illegal act in ...
23
votes
6answers
2k views

Why did Civil War officers tell their men to “aim low”?

I'm listening to Gettysburg by Stephen W. Sears and the officers on both sides seem to always exhort their men to "aim low". For instance, General John Gibbon told his 2nd Division infantry: Do ...
7
votes
3answers
543 views

Founding Fathers and the American Civil War

I was reading an article and was wondering if there is anything out there to indicate that the Founding Fathers saw the potential for conflict regarding these specific points: Economic and ...
11
votes
5answers
235 views

Attempts to return the War to the South's favor after Gettysburg

With regards to the Union victory at Gettysburg being the turning point of the American Civil War: Were there any major Confederate victories after the battle of Gettysburg? Did the Confederacy ever ...
13
votes
3answers
288 views

Why did George McClellan fail to act?

I'm watching Ken Burns' The Civil War, and he paints a picture of George McClellan as someone who was perfectly prepared to score significant victories against the Confederacy, but simply decided to ...
4
votes
2answers
314 views

Breakdown of casualty causes in American Civil War

What was the general breakdown of casualties per their cause during American Civil War? E.g. bullets vs. artillery vs. edged weapons vs. disease vs. natural death. Did that breakdown change in ...
6
votes
4answers
517 views

Does Grant's use of attrition tactic support his reputation as a general?

In 1864, General Ulysees S. Grant began the "final campaign" against Richmond using a war of attrition. That's because of the Union's 2-to-1 numerical advantage against a qualitatively superior ...
11
votes
2answers
461 views

Why did the Monitor and Merrimac (aka Virginia) have such radically different designs?

This is something that's always baffled me. You have one ship that appears to sit just above the water with one little canon on a turret (the Monitor) and a second that sits high and is brimming with ...
15
votes
4answers
17k views

Why did the southern states secede from the U.S.?

Lincoln's election precipitated the secession, but didn't they have enough congressional power to continue things much as they were? It seems in the preceding two decades the slave states had managed ...
8
votes
3answers
384 views

Why did Robert E. Lee stop offensive maneuvers?

According to the Wikipedia article on the Battle of Gettysburg, after that battle Robert E. Lee stopped making offensive maneuvers and rather started reacting to Union offensives. Is this 100% true, ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

Which Confederate State provided the most troops in the American Civil War?

Of all the states that elected to secede during the American Civil War, which one had the largest number of citizens who actually fought for the Confederacy? I would also be interested if anyone could ...
18
votes
2answers
498 views

What led to the first fight in the American Civil War?

After Lincoln was elected president 11 states seceded from the Union to form the Confederate States of America. What circumstances surrounding this secession led to the first battle of the war, and ...