Ch 11,12 - Unit Twelve THE CIVIL WAR Fort Sumter-One fort...

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Unit Twelve THE CIVIL WAR Fort Sumter—One fort that did not automatically surrender to the Confederates (as most other federal forts in the South did) was located just off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. Realizing that the fort could not hold out indefinitely against southern aggression, the commander of Ft. Sumter asked Lincoln for reinforcements. Lincoln realized that to reinforce the fort would be to appear as "invading" the South and initiating the war. Instead, he sent unarmed supply ships to Fort Sumter. Confederates realized that the supplies would enable Union soldiers to remain in place, commanding the best Southern port forever. They therefore decided to attack the fort before the supplies arrived (April 12-13, 1861). The bombardment, returned by the North, lasted 48 hours. Amazingly, there were no deaths on either side. Eventually, the fort surrendered when all its walls were down and the ammunition ran out. Now President Lincoln required that ALL states left in the Union must contribute soldiers to put down the rebellion. This had the negative effect of forcing reluctant secessionist states, like Virginia, out of the Union because they could never take arms against a sister southern state. The Confederacy was now complete with 11 states (South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas— the western part of Virginia fought for separation from the rest of the state in order to stay in the Union—West Virginia). NORTHERN ADVANTAGES In addition to a population advantage (22 million to 9), the Union enjoyed 81% of all of the nation’s industrial capacity, 61% of all railroad track, and 80% of the banking and capital. Most of the food producing states remained
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within the Union. Practically all naval vessels were stationed in the North, as well as merchant ships. The South tried desperately to provide for its own foodstuff and industrial needs, but it could not "catch up" in such a short time. Also very important was the established government of the North, while the South tried to create a government on the fly. SOUTHERN ADVANTAGES The South enjoyed the homefield advantage, knowing the terrain, having the support of the people, and needing less troop movement. Initially, the Confederacy fielded better military leaders. Since the military tradition was very strong in the South, a large percentage of the West Point Academy and the United States Army were from the South. These officers generally resigned from the U.S. Army to take positions in the Confederacy. The war was better supported in the South than it was in the North-many Southerners felt their very existence was at stake. The most important crop, cotton, was the domain of the South, although the Confederacy was never able to do much with this commodity once the Yankee blockade took effect. Perhaps most important to the South was the fact that their war objective was less difficult than that of the North. All they had to do was to fight a defensive war
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Ch 11,12 - Unit Twelve THE CIVIL WAR Fort Sumter-One fort...

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