Questions tagged [american-civil-war]

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

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Civil WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION [closed]

Explain how Reconstruction opened up political opportunities and other leadership roles to former slaves, But ultimately failed, due to both determined Southern resistance (But ultimately failed, ...
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Did the King of Siam offer war elephants to the Union during the Civil War?

I have read many sources stating that Lincoln refused an offer for war elephants during the Civil War. I have also read that this was not true. I was hoping that this site could shed some light on the ...
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Is there any truth to my family's story about “Cooper's Pie Wagon”?

According to family lore, my great-uncle Dr. John Cooper "was a surgeon on Gen. Sherman's and Gen. Fremont's staffs. Credited with the invention of the ambulance; soldiers nicknamed it as Cooper's "...
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At what point after the war did Confederate money begin to attain value again?

At the start of the U.S. Civil War, the Confederate States of America began to print their own money. Almost immediately it began to lose value due to inflation (except in 1864). By the end of the ...
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Before the Civil War, did the USA ever offer something like a “5-year plan” for the South to abolish slavery?

Before the U.S. Civil War broke out, did the North ever offer any sort of gradual slavery abolishment deal to the South, instead of demanding that the South stop slavery immediately? I imagine the ...
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Were exchanged prisoners from Elmira taken to a single or multiple exchange points?

Were exchanged prisoners from Elmira taken to a single or multiple exchange points? My gg-grandfather died en-route after being exchanged in February, 1865. Would he have been in route to City Point ...
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What defenses did Lee leave behind when the Army of Northern Virginia left for Gettysburg?

When Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia marched northwest to the Shenandoah Valley in June 1863, how strong (how many men, cannons, etc.) was the force they left opposing the Army of the Potomac ...
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How much damage did Farragut do to Confederate supplies in spring/summer 1863?

In March 1863 Farragut ran the batteries at Port Hudson and began disrupting Confederate operations between Vicksburg and Port Hudson. Shelby Foote seems to suggest that it was this operation that ...
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How to make sense of Civil War regiment reports?

I'm reading through my book on the 48th VA Infantry by John D. Chapla and interspersed throughout the book are these reports that I'm having a hard time making sense of. http://imgur.com/yrLex9q I ...
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What caused the Mule Shoe salient?

I have a few ancestors that fought in the 48th VA Infantry Regiment, most of whom were captured at Mule Shoe during the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. The Mule Shoe was a half-mile long, mile-...
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To what extent has the United States become (in 1870) the nation that it originally set out to be? [closed]

I was thinking about this for a while. I know that the US never intended to abolish slavery at that time, but it still happened. Is that even relevant? Some of the things I thought that they ...
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How detailed were American Civil War medical records of the types of diseases that various soldiers had?

The Northern armies evidently kept at least somewhat detailed statistics on how many of their soldiers were sick. Shelby Foote's The Civil War: A Narrative recalls one incident where the Army of the ...
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Why is Jackson's valley campaign considered a Confederate victory?

Wikipedia article on the campaign I'm curious why Jackson's valley campaign is considered a victorious Confederate campaign. Yes, Jackson won almost all the battles that were fought, but as I ...
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What was the South actually afraid Lincoln or Congress would do that precipitated the Civil War?

While the US Civil War was fought over slavery, it doesn't appear that an interpretation of law from the 19th century supports the notion that Congress or the President could have eliminated slavery ...
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What were the circumstances surrounding Forrest's injury at Shiloh?

In Shelby Foote's, "The Civil War", he describes how Nathan Bedford Forrest was injured during the organized rebel retreat from Shiloh on day 2. According to Foote, Forrest and his troopers ...
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Why did Lincoln wait to issue the Emancipation Proclamation?

(Apologies in advance: not being American, while I've read up somewhat about the military aspects of the Civil War, I am somewhat unclear as to its political dimension.) Lincoln did not declare the ...
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Did Frederick Douglass affect British policy during the American Civil War?

In his recent biography of Douglass, David Blight talks about Douglass’s trips to England prior to the war. He explains the Douglass was well received, but doesn’t give insight into any effect this ...
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Which “Walker” is Thoreau referring to in “A Plea for Captain John Brown”?

“If Walker may be considered the representative of the South, I wish I could say that Brown was the representative of the North. He was a superior man.” Excerpt From: Henry David Thoreau. A Plea ...
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Why did Robert E. Lee say that George McClellan was the best general he ever faced?

In administration, preparation, and morale, he may have been excellent, but in starting campaigns he was ruinously cautious and in battles he was reluctant to sustain casualties. In the the Peninsula ...
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An American Civil War battle where a general was ordered to advance to a certain point and wait . . . so waiting was all he did?

I'm trying to pin down something I once read about what went wrong with the Union's plans for a certain battle in the American Civil War. I think I once read a few paragraphs about this in a book by ...
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How did messages get back and forth between ship and shore during the Battle of Cherbourg?

In volume 3 of Shebly Foote's book on the American Civil war, he mentions that once out to sea, Winslow got a message from France about Semmes's intentions. Does that mean there were boats going back ...
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Where can I find a personal account of freedom of a slave in America after 1863

The Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 declared free all slaves in the Confederacy. In 1865 the 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the whole country. I am familiar with the context. What I am ...
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Is this a US Civil War uniform?

Image is a photo of an original tin type (photographic method introduced in 1856, in popular production until roughly 1867), hat appears to be U.S. Civil War - Union, "X" patch on right front breast ...
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Why did the Confederacy think they could win the American Civil War?

The early Confederacy (The 7 founding states) attacked Fort Sumter in April 1861, starting the American Civil War. The Confederacy knew this would lead to war with the Union, yet they seemed to be ...
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What was the effect of the Civil War on the cost of cotton?

If you look at contemporary sources discussing slavery as practiced in the antebellum American South, a couple recurring themes pop up again and again: Cotton. Cotton farming requires large amounts ...
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What prompted Lincoln to change his mind about ending slavery?

Prior to the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln asserted that he would not end slavery in the South and that he was not in favor of racial equality. Yet, by 1863 he signed the “Emancipation Proclamation” ...
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Why did Heth go towards Gettysburg on July 1, 1863?

In Shelby Foote's book about the civil war, he indicates that General Henry Heth send his men into Gettysburg looking after a "supply of shoes". They ran into Buford's men, Heth approached A.P. Hill, ...
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How did Lincoln know to stick with Grant before the completion of the Vicksburg campaign?

I'm reading Shelby Foote's book on the Civil War and something struck me: Lincoln was sticking by Grant, whom he'd never met, well before his big victories at Vicksburg and Chattanooga. How did ...
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Did Lincoln “usurp” his war powers?

In a previous question I made the statement that Lincoln "usurped" his war powers during the civil war. This statement was controversial and elicited thoughtful comments. I thought I would open up a ...
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What did the Emancipation Proclamation exactly do?

I'm a bit confused about what Lincoln's proclamation did exactly. It's thought by some the Emancipation Proclamation gave all slaves the status of free. However from reading the introduction of the ...
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How well were the African soldiers equipped in the civil war?

I know that Africans ( former slaves) were used on both sides during the civil war (later in the north than in the south I think) now my question is this: how were the African soldiers equipped during ...
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How professional and well equipped were US Civil War soldiers?

Essentially, what the question says - did the war cause Americans to become better at war than the Eurasian powers (Germany, France, England, Russia, Japan, whatever, I am just making up a list) at ...
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Why did Confederate General Forrest leave the KKK?

I've watched a video with a simplified version of General Nathan Bedford Forrest's history. It was in the context of contemporary pressure to remove statues of Confederate leaders. At the request of ...
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Why was it necessary to maintain a balance of power between the Slave and Free states?

As said in the title, why was there a need to maintain the balance of power between the Slave states and Free States by keeping them equal in number, before the American Civil War? Both the Clay ...
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How could a deserter go West in 1863?

A man deserted from the Armory Square Hospital in DC in Feb 1863. His next recorded presence was in 1865 Iowa when he got married under an assumed name. I am curious to know how he might have made it ...
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Are there historical instances of property rights not being respected/acknowledged between U.S. states, territories, and the federal government?

Some of the controversies leading up to the American Civil War were whether the U.S. States had to recognize the slave property of other States (e.g., maintaining them in a state of slavery, or ...
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Were there many foreigners fighting during the American civil war?

Apart from Philippe d'Orléans and his brother, as well as Patrick Cleburne, were there many foreigners fighting during the American civil war ? Any other famous cases ?
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Why was the North willing to go to war over Slavery?

[edited] According to Washington Post, "There is a consensus among historians that the root cause of the Civil War was slavery". Assuming that slavery was indeed the root cause, I can understand why ...
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Did the North give the South its debt after Civil War ended?

In discussions with a colleague of mine many years ago, concerning the American Civil War (aka the War Between the States), he mentioned that “... the North left/gave all the [financial] debt to the ...
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Meaning of Civil War term “playout”?

I am reading Gettysburg The Last Invasion by Guelzo and it is recounted that a captain advised a sergeant to make sure that men who were chronic "playouts" be taken into the fight or killed by the ...
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Edmund Burke vs Thomas Paine [closed]

Historical figures are regularly assigned designations left or right. As Edmund Burke, and Thomas Paine were leading antagonists with these designations at the latter half of the 18th century. Here ...
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Pre civil-war, did the north ever make any attempts to stop the underground railroad? [closed]

Did Northern authorities before the Civil War make any attempts to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act and/or stop the Underground Railroad?
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Was John S. Mosby the model/motivation/template for John Carter?

I've always suspected this but have never seen any concrete proof. Was the fictitious Edgar Rice Burroughs character John Carter based on the civil war hero/villain John S. Mosby? Mosby was arguable ...
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Were Confederate pikes just a curious item to laugh at?

If you check this video you can see many Confederate pikes being unearthed. There are also other videos featuring high-tech Confederate pikes. Were these meant just to entertain troops in the field? ...
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American presidents on secession legality?

I am writing article (in Russian) on secession legality, and would like to include and analyze expressed opinions of antebellum American Presidents on the subject. My favorite is Andrew Jackson’s ...
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Emancipation Proclamation in a tweet

Today is the 155th anniversary of the signing (but not the release) of the Emancipation Proclamation. Critics remarked even at the time that it didn't free a single slave, since it only applied to ...
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Would occupying Big Round Top have been a good idea for the Confederates?

A lot of attention was given at the end of the 19th century to the "what if" the Confederates occupied the Little Round Top at Gettysburg, but there's the Big Round Top nearby and the Confederates ...
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How did the American Civil War help the U.S economy recover from the Panic of 1857 given that civil wars are extremely destructive?

From the Wikipedia article on the Panic of 1857: Beginning in September 1857, the financial downturn did not last long; however, a proper recovery was not seen until the American Civil War. ...
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Could the 1864 US presidential election have been postponed?

This article on HistoryNet makes the following observation about the 1864 election: The 1864 race for the White House was the United States’ first presidential election during wartime. Proposals to ...
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During the 1850’s and 60’s, was the free North (and its cause in the U.S. Civil War) considered more virtuous than the slave-holding South?

During the 1850’s and 60’s, was the free North (and its cause in the U.S. Civil War) considered more virtuous than the slave-holding South? Do we find authors or politicians in the U.K. or France ...