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Portal:American Civil War

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Charleston in the American Civil War
Charleston, South Carolina suffered late in the war
United states confederate flag hybrid.png

The American Civil War (1861–1865) was a sectional rebellion against the United States of America by the Confederate States, formed of eleven southern states' governments which moved to secede from the Union after the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States. The Union's victory was eventually achieved by leveraging advantages in population, manufacturing and logistics and through a strategic naval blockade denying the Confederacy access to the world's markets.

In many ways, the conflict's central issues – the enslavement of African Americans, the role of constitutional federal government, and the rights of states  – are still not completely resolved. Not surprisingly, the Confederate army's surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865 did little to change many Americans' attitudes toward the potential powers of central government. The passage of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the Constitution in the years immediately following the war did not change the racial prejudice prevalent among Americans of the day; and the process of Reconstruction did not heal the deeply personal wounds inflicted by four brutal years of war and more than 970,000 casualties – 3 percent of the population, including approximately 560,000 deaths. As a result, controversies affected by the war's unresolved social, political, economic and racial tensions continue to shape contemporary American thought. The causes of the war, the reasons for the outcome, and even the name of the war itself are subjects of much discussion even today.


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UncleTomsCabinCover.jpg
Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in 1852, the novel had a profound effect on attitudes toward African Americans and slavery in the United States, so much so in the latter case that the novel intensified the sectional conflict leading to the American Civil War.

Stowe, a Connecticut-born teacher at the Hartford Female Academy and an active abolitionist, focused the novel on the character of Uncle Tom, a long-suffering Black slave around whom the stories of other characters—both fellow slaves and slave owners—revolve. The sentimental novel depicts the cruel reality of slavery while also asserting that Christian love can overcome something as destructive as enslavement of fellow human beings.

Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century (and the second best-selling book of that century, following the Bible) and is credited with helping fuel the abolitionist cause in the 1850s. In the first year after it was published, 300,000 copies of the book were sold in the United States alone. The book's impact was so great that when Abraham Lincoln met Stowe at the start of the American Civil War, Lincoln is often quoted as having declared, "So this is the little lady who made this big war." The book, and even more the plays it inspired, also helped create a number of stereotypes about Blacks, many of which endure to this day. These include the affectionate, dark-skinned mammy; the Pickaninny stereotype of black children; and the Uncle Tom, or dutiful, long-suffering servant faithful to his white master or mistress. In recent years, the negative associations with Uncle Tom's Cabin have, to an extent, overshadowed the historical impact of the book as a "vital antislavery tool."

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Among the roles encompassed by the slave state of Virginia were breadbasket, battlefield, and national capitol. Virginia began a convention about secession on February 13, 1861 after six states seceded to form the Confederate States on February 4. The convention deliberated for several months, but, on April 15 Lincoln called for troops from all states still in the Union in response to the firing on Fort Sumter. On April 17, 1861 the convention voted to secede. With the entry of Virginia into the Confederacy, the decision to move the Confederate capital from Montgomery, Alabama to Richmond was made on May 6 and enacted on May 29. Virginians ratified the articles of secession on May 23. The following day, the Union army moved into northern Virginia and captured Alexandria without a fight.

The first and last significant battles were held in Virginia. The first major battle of the Civil War occurred on July 21, 1861; Union forces attempted to take control of the railroad junction at Manassas for use as a supply line, but the Confederate Army had moved its forces by train to meet the Union. The Confederates won the First Battle of Manassas (known as "Bull Run"in Northern naming convention) and the year went on without a major fight. The war was largely brought to conclusion by the surrender of the Confederacy's largest army, the Army of Northern Virginia, at Appomattox Courthouse.

Richmond was the second capital of the Confederate States of America, after being moved from Montgomery, Alabama. The White House of the Confederacy, located a few blocks north of the State Capital, was home to the family of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. In April 1865, Richmond was burned by a retreating Confederate Army and was returned to Northern control. Virginia was administered as the "First Military District" during the Reconstruction period (1865-1870) under General John Schofield. The state formally rejoined the Union on January 26, 1870.

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James Patton Anderson (February 16, 1822 – September 20, 1872) was an American doctor and politician, most notably serving as a United States Congressman from the Washington Territory, a Mississippi state legislator, and a delegate at the Florida state secession convention to withdraw from the United States. He served in the American Civil War as a general in the Confederate States Army, at one time commanding the Army of Tennessee.

He studied law at Montrose Law School in Frankfort, Kentucky, and was admitted to the bar in 1843, establishing a practice in Hernando in DeSoto County, Mississippi. He also entered the state's militia forces with the rank of captain in 1847. He later served in the Mexican–American War. Anderson later entered politics, serving in the Mississippi state legislature and befriending Jefferson Davis, a fellow former Mississippi volunteer officer in the U.S. Army. When Davis became Secretary of War, he appointed Anderson as U.S. Marshal for the Washington Territory. Anderson relocated there to Olympia and served as marshal for several years before being selected to represent the territory in the 34th Congress as a Democrat.

After his two-year term, concerned that the Union was collapsing, he moved back to the South to the state of Florida, living as a plantation owner near Monticello; he entitled his estate "Casa Bianca." He was an active participant in the Florida state secession convention. Soon after Florida's secession, Anderson was one of three deputies (delegates) from Florida to the Provisional Confederate Congress, beginning February 4 and resigned on May 2. He accepted a commission as the colonel of the 1st Florida Infantry on April 1, and initially served under Braxton Bragg in Pensacola. There he commanded the 2nd Brigade in the Army of Pensacola.

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The burning of Columbia, South Carolina, February 17, 1865.jpg
Credit: William Waud

A Harper's Weekly illustration of the capture and burning of Columbia, South Carolina, an important political and supply center for the Confederate States Army

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The West Tennessee Raids
Requested articles 
Charles F. CollinsAndrew Wills GouldEbenezer MagoffinHenry MauryJames Ashby (soldier)Albemarle CadyBenjamin D. FearingCharles A. HickmanRichard Henry JacksonJohn LovePeter S. MichieThomas Grimke RhettJames B. SpeersCharles S. SteedmanBattle of Barton's StationBattle of Camp DaviesGeorge Peabody EsteyLawrence P. GrahamJoseph Hayes (general)Lewis Cass HuntThomas John LucasSullivan Amory MeredithWilliam Reading MontgomeryCharles Hale MorganByron Root PierceCalvin Edward PrattDaniel Henry RuckerFriend Smith RutherfordGustavus Adolphus SmithJames Hughes StokesWilliam Kerley StrongFrederick S. SturmbaughWilliam B. TibbitsDavis TillsonAdin Ballou UnderwoodFrancis Laurens VintonLouis Douglass WatkinsWilliam Denison WhippleRequested American Civil War Medal of Honor recipients
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Battle of BoonsboroughBattle of Cabin CreekBattle of Fort Sumter IIBattle of Guard HillBattle of Middle Boggy DepotBattle of Rice's StationBattle of Simmon's BluffBattle of Summit PointBattle of Yellow BayouCharleston ArsenalEdenton Bell BatteryElmira PrisonFirst Battle of DaltonSamuel BentonBlackshear PrisonOrris S. FerryEdwin ForbesHiram B. GranburyHenry Thomas HarrisonBen Hardin HelmLouis Hébert (colonel)Benjamin G. HumphreysLunsford L. LomaxMaynard CarbineDaniel RugglesThomas W. ShermanHezekiah G. SpruillSmith Percussion CarbineEdward C. WalthallConfederate States Secretary of the NavyConfederate States Secretary of the TreasuryDavid Henry WilliamsBattle of Rome Cross RoadsHenry Boynton ClitzDelaware in the American Civil WarIronclad BoardUnited States Military RailroadKansas in the American Civil WarSalisbury National CemeteryOther American Civil War battle stubsOther American Civil War stubs
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Battle of Lone JackJames S. RainsPreston Pond, Jr.Melancthon SmithJohn Donelson MartinFranklin Stillman NickersonThomas Gamble PitcherWilliam H. PenroseLewis B. Parsons Jr.Isaac Ferdinand QuinbyHugh Thompson ReidJames W. ReillyIsaac F. ShepardFrancis Trowbridge ShermanJames R. SlackJoseph Pannell TaylorHenry Goddard ThomasJames Henry Van AlenMelancthon S. WadeJames M. WarnerBenjamin J. HillPeter Burwell StarkeHenry Harrison WalkerDavid A. WeisigerClaudius C. WilsonAllen ThomasRobert C. Tyler
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1st Regiment New York Mounted Rifles and 7th Regiment New York Volunteer Cavalry
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1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment (Union)4th Maine Battery33rd Ohio Infantry110th New York Volunteer InfantryBattle of Hatcher's RunBattle of Grand GulfCamp DennisonConfederate coloniesCSS ResoluteDakota War of 1862Florida in the American Civil WarEthan A. Hitchcock (general)Fort Harker (Alabama)Gettysburg (1993 film)Iowa in the American Civil War
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