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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6
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1answer
173 views

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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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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Why did Lincoln's election prompt the Southern states to secede?

I've just finished Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals. The presentation of the book suggested that the Southern states seceded as a response to Lincoln's election. I am confused by that timing: ...
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446 views

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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2answers
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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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1answer
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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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0answers
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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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2answers
149 views

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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Did the Confederate States use a plain oval CS buckle during the Civil War?

The discussion at treasurenet.com has some well informed people on it. But one point it raises is not confirmed by anyone who seems to know. (The link comes from Why were US "Cavalry" belt ...
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1answer
298 views

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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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 ...
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2answers
860 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 ...
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12answers
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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 ...
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1answer
146 views

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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1answer
236 views

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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1answer
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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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3answers
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What portion of tariffs was paid by Southern states before American Civil War?

My question is very narrow and specific: I am looking for records on value of imported goods unloaded at Northern ports (predominantly NY) and subsequently transported to South and sold to Southern ...
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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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1answer
113 views

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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2answers
394 views

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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5answers
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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 ...
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4answers
884 views

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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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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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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1answer
419 views

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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What is the context of Lincoln saying: “if I could save the union without freeing any slave I would do it”

Lincoln said (emphasis mine): Executive Mansion, Washington, August 22, 1862. Hon. Horace Greeley: Dear Sir. I have just read yours of the 19th. addressed to myself through the New-York ...
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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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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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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 ...
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4answers
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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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2answers
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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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What reasons did the Confederacy have for believing they would have a quick victory?

At the beginning of the U.S. Civil War, both sides were very confident in a quick and easy victory. I can see why the North would think so: they had a better trained army, better infrastructure (...
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1answer
162 views

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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1answer
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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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3answers
964 views

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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1answer
119 views

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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3answers
879 views

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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1answer
753 views

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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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 ...
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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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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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4answers
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How did McClellan's and Grant's strategies vary when capturing Richmond?

The two Generals, George B. McClellan and Ulysses S. Grant were very different as leaders of the Union Army. What were the differences between their strategies when trying to capture the capital of ...
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525 views

What was middle class family life like in post-civil war Georgia?

I'm researching middle class family life in Georgia immediately after the US Civil war. What was life like for middle class families? What were the common themes/experiences?
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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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1answer
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What were the regimental colors of the 18th NY Infantry Regiment?

Im desperatively searching for the regimental colors belonging to the 18th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, which fought on the Union side during the Maryland Campaign. It's a relatively ...
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5answers
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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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3answers
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Post-war indictment of ex-Confederates in the Confederate States of America

Why was the Confederate president, Jefferson Davis, or any other Confederate soldier, not tried for high treason?
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463 views

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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1answer
610 views

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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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 ...