A.P. U.S. History Notes
Chapter 22: “The Furnace of the Civil War”
~ 1861 – 1865 ~
Bull Run Ends the “Ninety-Day War”
called for 75,000 militiamen on April 15, 1861, he and
just about everyone else in the North expected a swift war lasting about 90 days, with a quick
suppression of the South to prove the North’s superiority and end this foolishness.
On July 21, 1861, ill-trained Yankee recruits swaggered out toward
to engage a
smaller Confederate unit.
The atmosphere was like that of a sporting event, as Congressmen gathered in picnics.
However, after initial success by the Union, Confederate reinforcements arrived and,
’s line holding, sent the Union soldiers into disarray.
Battle of Bull Run
showed both sides that this would not be a short, easy war.
“Tardy George” McClellan and the Peninsula Campaign
Later in 1861, command of the
Army of the Potomac
(name of the Union army) was given to
34 year old General
George B. McClellan
, an excellent drillmaster and organizer of troops
but also a perfectionist who constantly believed that he was outnumbered, never took risks,
and held the army without moving for months before finally ordered by Lincoln to advance.
Finally, he decided upon a water-borne approach to Richmond, called the
, taking about a month to capture
before coming to the Richmond.
At this moment, President Lincoln took McClellan’s expected reinforcements and sent
them chasing Stonewall Jackson, and after
’s Confederate cavalry rode
McClellan’s army, Southern General
Robert E. Lee
Seven Days’ Battles
—on June 26 to July 2 of 1862.
The victory at Bull Run ensured that the South, if it lost, would lose slavery as well,
and it was after this battle that Lincoln began to draft an emancipation proclamation.
The Union strategy now turned to total war:
Suffocate the South through an oceanic blockade.
Free the slaves to undermine the South’s very economic foundations.
Cut the Confederacy in half by seizing control of the Mississippi River.
Chop the Confederacy to pieces by marching through Georgia and the Carolinas.
Capture its capital,
Try everywhere to engage the enemy’s main strength and grind it to submission.
The War at Sea
The Union blockade started leakily at first, but it clamped down later.
Britain, who would ordinarily protest such interference in the seas that she “owned,”
recognized the blockade as binding, since Britain herself often used blockades in her wars.