South carolina was the first southern state to secede

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South Carolina was the first Southern state to secede. Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas quickly followed. They formed the Confederate States of America, and selected Jefferson Davis to lead them. Just before his inauguration, Davis clearly stated the need for a show of strength to the North and also that the time for compromise was over. "The time for compromise has now passed! The South is determined to maintain her position, and make all who oppose her smell Southern powder and feel Southern steel!" said Davis. The Union would now have to fight to preserve itself. War had become inevitable Military Consequences of War What Were the Military Consequences of the Civil War? After the Southern states seceded, the Confederate army moved to take over forts, post offices, and other federal offices in the South. On April 12, Davis ordered an attack on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina. The Confederates shelled the fort with artillery. The fort's commander, Major Anderson, surrendered. The result of this attack was the beginning of the Civil War. Robert E. Lee
Jefferson Davis's most valuable commander was Robert E. Lee. Lee opposed secession and thought slavery was immoral, but he joined the Confederate army out of his loyalty to Virginia. Lee secured crucial Confederate victories, despite having fewer soldiers and greater casualties than his opponent, General George McClellan. Lee successfully defended the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia in the Seven Days' Battle in 1862. He next moved to attack Washington, D.C. by marching into western Maryland. The result was the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest single-day battle of the war. The Confederates retreated, but McClellan was too cautious to pursue. As a consequence, Lincoln fired McClellan. Lee was also the commander at the Battle of Gettysburg. There, his losses were so great that the Confederacy would never recover. Ulysses S. Grant Lincoln's most valuable commander was Ulysses S. Grant. Grant's troops laid siege to Vicksburg, Mississippi, in the spring of 1863. Frontal assaults on this key city failed. He shelled the city and starved its inhabitants into submission. A few days later, Port Hudson, Louisiana, also fell. As a result, the Union gained control of the Mississippi River, and the South was cut in two. William Tecumseh Sherman In March 1864, Grant appointed William Tecumseh Sherman as commander of the military division of the Mississippi. Grant and Sherman believed in total war. Total war meant fighting not just an enemy's army and navy. War had to be waged against the civilian population that provided food, weapons, and other support for the opponent. Sherman employed the idea of total war in Georgia. As Confederate troops attempted to surround him, he had his troops march southeast from Atlanta. Along the way, they lived off the land and cut a wide swath of destruction everywhere they went. Soldiers in Sherman's march burned homes, destroyed fields, killed farm animals, and damaged rail lines in an attempt to destroy the morale of the

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