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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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2
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1answer
89 views

What were the casualties and ship damage on each side of the Battle of Plum Point Bend, Tennessee?

Specifically, how many were killed/wounded/missing on each side?
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1answer
134 views

Exactly how much of what did General Benjamin Butler seize from the Netherlands Consulate in New Orleans on May 10th, 1862? [closed]

There seems to be some conflicting reports over whether or not the amount was cash or specie, and exactly how much of it was seized.
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2answers
623 views

What is the difference between the union free state and the territories controlled by the federal government?

In the context of the American Civil War, I stumbled upon the so called territories controlled by the federal government. This map for example makes the distinction between them and the union free ...
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2answers
215 views

How did the James river serve as a natural defense during The US Civil War?

In a text I read it the following was stated: “Although Richmond's proximity to Washington, D.C., was hazardous strategically, Virginia's topography—the Appalachian Mountains and rivers, such as the ...
16
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6answers
5k views

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: ...
5
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1answer
3k views

Why did France support the Confederacy in the Civil War? [closed]

In the US Civil War, I've learned that France supported the south. If they had already banned slavery, why would they support the party fighting to keep it? Did they have any diplomatic or political ...
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2answers
346 views

Why didn't the zeal of social change brought by ending slavery continue after the US civil-war ended? [closed]

After the US civil war when slavery was (kinda) ended, is there a argument to be made that with the zeal of anti-slavery social change people must have been feeling that they, at least in the north, ...
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1answer
91 views

Accuracy of the Show “I Go On Singing”

I recently saw a show about the life of Paul Robeson called I Go On Singing. It was a good show, but it contained several assertions that made me wonder. Tens of thousands of slaves escaped to ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Why were cavalry raids so powerful during the American Civil War?

In reading McPherson's "Battle Cry of Freedom" he gives several examples of cavalry groups of less than 2000 men causing tremendous damage, seemingly with tremendous leverage. Why was the North so ...
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2answers
1k views

How did Jews feels in the Confederate States of America and what was their political position? [closed]

Was there any sort of legislated racial discrimination against Jews or not? Or, If not by law, maybe they were oppressed socially by so-called "rednecks"? Did they held any positions in the CSA ...
5
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1answer
584 views

Why didn't former slaves become low-wage workers after emancipation?

The Southern economy is often said to have been in shambles after slaves were emancipated since slavery was largely an economic enterprise. I've also read that former slaves had difficulty finding ...
8
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2answers
8k views

How did the Dred Scott Decision contribute to the Civil War?

I have read numerous times that the Dred Scott Decision led to the Civil War in the United States, but I have been unable to find sources to support this. It seems that the Dred Scott Decision chiefly ...
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Why were US “Cavalry” belt buckle backs filled with lead?

Growing up I heard it was so if need be you could swing them as a weapon at the end of the belt. I even heard soldiers would melt bullets to add more lead to their buckle to make it a better weapon. ...
3
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1answer
261 views

What was this a buckle for?

I got a buckle in Gettysburg around 1970 that looks like this: These are very widely known as civil war belt buckles. But the farmer/shopkeeper who sold it to me said it was actually not for the ...
6
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1answer
121 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
241 views

Virginia's ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment

A footnote on page 30 of this document says that the date of Virginia's ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment (which abolished slavery) was on the 9th of February, 1865. (If I recall correctly, ...
14
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5answers
45k views

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 ...
31
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10answers
14k views

Why were Civil War battle techniques so bloody, if the US had learned guerrilla fighting in the Revolutionary War?

My understanding (which could be wrong) is that armies in the U.S. civil war were "bloody" in the sense that soldiers did not retreat or were sent directly into fire, until one side was wiped out. If ...
7
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1answer
246 views

Was the Confederacy (effectively) down to six states after the capture of Vicksburg?

The Union capture of Vicksburg (and Port Hudson) in July, 1863, gave the North control over the whole Mississippi River, isolating the Confederate states west of this river: Arkansas, Louisiana, and ...
4
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3answers
522 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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3answers
3k views

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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5answers
3k views

Why did Gen. Lee (Civil War) surrender to the U.S?

I am sure, from different sources, that his men were willing to fight to the death, even if they were surrounded. Also, if they were willing to fight in the first place, because the issue was so ...
3
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3answers
431 views

Was the Abolition of Slavery in the United States perceived and advertised as an effort to improve race relations or as an improvement to labour laws?

Firstly, a note: This is a genuine question born of real curiosity, and not an attempt to belittle either the modern socialist cause or the difficulties faced by non-Caucasians in the pre-Abolition (...
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1answer
412 views

Was the U.S. Civil War unique regarding its relation to slavery? (people fighting for the freedom of a goup they were not part of) [closed]

Although the U.S. Civil War had multiple and complex causes, the question of slavery was a very important factor. As slavery was part of most civilizations on all continents (especially before the ...
6
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2answers
317 views

Were any of the historical figures of the American Civil War close at West Point?

I know many of them went to West Point around the same time. Do we know about their collegiate interactions with each other? Were Lee and Grant friends? Did Stonewall ever prank Custer?
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2answers
491 views

Why didn't SW Virginia join West Virginia?

When West Virginia seceded from Virginia, how come the southwestern part of what is now the Commonwealth of Virginia didn't join West Virginia when they are geographically and culturally a lot more ...
6
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3answers
4k views

Why did the southern states have to be readmitted?

If the fed gov't said that the southern states Secession ordinances were illegal & therefore void why did they have to be readmitted after the war?
8
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1answer
498 views

During the American Civil War, were cavalry units issued horses?

When a cavalry unit was raised during the Civil War, were the men issued with horses or did they use their personal horse? For example, 1st Arkansas cavalry (Union) was a western unit made up ...
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1answer
182 views

Which Union General identified the defensive value of Cemetery Hill?

Who was the first Union general to realize the significance of Cemetery Hill during the battle of Gettysburg (1863) as a defensive position: Buford, Reynolds, Howard, or Hancock? They each claim to be ...
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3answers
1k views

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?
8
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1answer
141 views

Which tax year was used to identify former Confederates belonging to the $20,000 exception of the 1865 Amnesty Proclamation?

The Amnesty Proclamation of 1865 granted near-universal amnesty to former Confederates in exchange for taking a loyalty oath; however, fourteen classes of individuals were excepted from amnesty, ...
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6answers
4k views

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 (...
3
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1answer
301 views

Did the Missouri Compromise Signify the Era of Good Feelings?

In their book, "Generations," William Strauss and Neil Howe (S&H) opine that there are occasional "Eras of Good Feelings," such as the original one (1815-1830), and similar periods following a "...
3
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4answers
513 views

In the American civil war, did junior officers join the battle with a rifle?

I was asked at a event event whether or not junior officers may have used a rifle or musket during battle. I haven't seen any evidence in several archive records I've searched. My speculation is that ...
5
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4answers
905 views

Why is the battle of Hampton Roads known as the Monitor vs the Merrimack?

The American Civil War battle of the ironclad warships which took place on the Elizabeth River in Virginia has several common names. One way which it is commonly referenced is as simply the "Monitor ...
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4answers
850 views

How effective were siege guns and gun boats compared to field artillery in the 19th century?

On the first day of the Battle of Shiloh, some 45,000 Confederates under General Albert Sydney Johnston caught 33,000 men of Union General Ulysees S. Grant by surprise. They overran (and captured) one ...
3
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1answer
96 views

What was the term to serve for 1861 confederate volunteers?

March 6, 1861 Confederate Congress act: "The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That... the President be, and he is hereby authorized to employ the militia, military and naval ...
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4answers
6k views

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 ...
6
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2answers
410 views

Were there any abolitionists imprisoned for being critical of the Congress or the President during the American Civil War?

It's been said that some 14K civilians were imprisoned without trial and that some 300 newspapers were temporarily shut down by the executive branch over the course of the Civil War. I'm wondering if ...
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3answers
9k views

What portion of Northerners were against slavery for humanitarian reasons in 1860 America?

In a Civil war History class, I heard that the percentage of people who favored the abolition of slavery was quite low in the North. Furthermore I understand that, at the time, some of the main ...
15
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2answers
5k views

Why wouldn't the South make salt from seawater during the American Civil War?

This article goes into some detail about the state of cooking in the Union and the Confederacy during the American Civil War. One of its interesting claims is that the South was suffering from a lack ...
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2answers
298 views

What capabilities did Southern soldiers in the American Civil War have to get news about the North?

My great-grandfather was a Confederate cavalry soldier fighting under Johnson's remaining forces after Lee's surrender. In his diary, he writes on April 18, 1865, "Good news today. Lincoln has been ...
4
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2answers
751 views

What factors made success a possibility for the South in the American Civil War? [closed]

I'm curious to know whether or not the southern States had a realistic chance of winning the Civil War. I understand they had a large slave force, but I doubt those slaves could've been forced to ...
6
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6answers
2k views

Did the Southern States make any attempt to secede from the Union through an act of Congress?

I have read the answers about the legality of southern secession - very helpful; thank you. In light of those, I have another question: Did the Southern States make any attempt to secede from the ...
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6answers
3k views

Mystery of the many-loaded muzzles

I recall, way back in high school, someone came to describe the American Civil War, show local artifacts, that sort of thing. I remember them mentioning that muzzle-loaded weapons had been found with ...
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4answers
6k views

Why did the north and south struggle to control the territories before the American Civil War?

Why was it even important to them that one extra state would be added to their collection? Couldn't they just let Kansas and Nebraska decide for themselves under the doctrine of "Popular Sovereignty"? ...
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3answers
1k views

What were the most common reasons why draft-age men were not conscripted for the Union Army?

Based on this question and an answer, it appears that although almost all southern white men of draft age were in the military during the Civil War, only about half of northerners were. For those in ...
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3answers
2k views

What percentage of men, ages 18 to 35, from the northern states served in the Union Army?

In my genealogy research, I can assume with some certainty that if a white southern family had sons born between 1835 and 1846 there is a pretty good chance that all of them will have served in the ...
10
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2answers
480 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 ...