Preparation for war
Preparation for war took some time; it took about three months for Confederate troops and the Union to meet again. They met at the First battle known as the Battle of Bull which was fought in Virginia, that is between Richmond and Washington D.C. During this war, the Union forces were defeated and compelled to retreat (Keegan, 2011). This retreating shocked the Northerners and made them adequately prepare for the struggle to come. The battle of Shiloh was led by General Grant of the Union against Confederate forces in Tennessee, and it was a bloody battle where tens of thousands lost their lives (Fleche, 2012). The battle of Antietam was led by General Lee and made an aggressive momentum to try and defeat the Union in its stronghold, but they were defeated and was one of the bloodiest wars in American history (Keegan, 2011). General Lee retreated to the Confederate territory. Even after being defeated, Lee had a great victory at the battle of Chancellorsville. The battle of Vicksburg was led by Grant in Mississippi where the trapped Confederates caved in into Grant’s demand for an unconditional surrender giving the Union control of the Mississippi river. Lincoln commemorated the victory at Gettysburg with a speech dedicating the site as a national cemetery (Keegan, 2011).
African-Americans fought in the civil war both in the confederate and union fronts. Over 179, 000 African-American men served in over 160 units on the union side (Fleche, 2012). Many were posted in the navy and support missions. In the confer ants side, these men still served as slaves mostly in labor positions. Free black men did volunteer at the onset of the civil war for service with the union (Keegan, 2011). The African-Americans were involved in mobile hospitals for the soldiers, in the engineering, artillery and cavalry departments. They also served in relief roles such as cooks, nurses, and blacksmiths. They were not given arms initially, but they were used to build fortifications and perform camp duties. They also served as scouts and spies to the union army. The northern and the southern sections of the United States developed along different lines. There were various generals commissioned in the civil war on both the union and Confederate sides. Some of the famous household names include E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant and Stonewall Jackson among others. These generals along with many other minor and major commanders led troops and helped decide the outcome of the war (Keegan, 2011).
The main reasons towards the civil war included: social, economic and political differences between the North and the South (Fleche, 2012). This includes the inflammatory piece of legislation passed with the support of Northern politicians which imposed a tax duty on imported goods making everything purchased from the South to rise nearly half in price. The south has been used to shipping its cotton to France and England and in return receiving boatloads of cheap European goods (Tindall & Shi, 2016). Slavery was a burning issue, and it led to the disruption of the union over the debate of its future. This led to secession leading to war between the North and the South. The south required slaves as laborers on their farms since they were agrarian oriented. The north had gradually abolished slavery. This was declared as a necessary evil and had to be eliminated. Abraham Lincoln’s election led o tensions as many people joined Lincoln’s party who opposed slavery to form a new political entity, the Republicans (Tindall & Shi, 2016). The South feared that the Republicans could abolish slavery since Lincoln was viewed as an opponent of the expansion of slavery. The abolition movement gained popularity since it also advocated for the abolishing of slavery nationwide (Tindall & Shi, 2016).
The little town of Gettysburg was forever changed by the war. The battlefield contained the bodies of more than 75,000 dead soldiers and several thousand horses of the Union’s Army of Potomac and the Confederacy army of Northern Virginia (Keegan, 2011). The stench of rotting bodies made many people ill. The burial of the dead in an orderly and dignified manner became a high priority for the few residents of Gettysburg and other war-torn areas. The attack on Washington by Robert Lee was the bloodiest single day of the war in American history where over 23,000 Americans were killed. Things changed both in the North and the South after the war (Keegan, 2011). The north did tend to flourish more than the south in areas of infrastructure and industrial development (Tindall & Shi, 2016). People from the north had vast amounts of natural resources which favored industrialization. To the south, the climate and the soil supported agriculture and had slaves as the workforce. Up north slavery was completely abolished. The main cities were divided to the north such as New York whereas in the south there were no large cities and most of the ones that existed were located on rivers, coats and sipping ports such as New Orleans to export agricultural produce (Tindall & Shi, 2016).