The American Civil War and Reconstruction Era Mid Nineteenth Century American History Reading and Study Group

Chapter 24: If It Takes All Summer (Part 1: Wilderness) :: The Battle Cry Of Freedom By James McPherson

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “if victorious, we have everything to hope for in the future. If defeated, nothing will be left for us to live for.”
  • “They use a man here,” wrote a weary Massachusetts veteran, “just the same as they do a turkey at a shooting match, fire at it all day and if they don’t kill it raffle it off in the evening; so with us, if they can’t kill you in three years they want you for three more—but I will stay.”
  • “Such another depraved, vice-hardened and desperate set of human beings never before disgraced an army,”
  • “a Massachusetts officer reported that forty of the 186 “substitutes, bounty-jumpers . . . thieves and roughs” who had been assigned to his regiment disappeared the first night after they arrived. This he considered a blessing”
  • “shall ever be elected or not depends upon . . . the battle-fields of 1864,” predicted a Georgia newspaper. “If the tyrant at Washington be defeated, his infamous policy will be defeated with him.”
  • “acted independently and without concert, like a balky team, no two ever pulling together,”
  • “Those not skinning can hold a leg.” … “But the leg-holders bungled their jobs”
  • “in these dense, smoke-filled woods”
  • “In the smoke-filled woods Longstreet went down with a bullet in his shoulder fired by a Confederate. Unlike Jackson he recovered, but he was out of the war for five months.”
  • “The Federals held their ground and the fighting gradually died toward evening as survivors sought to rescue the wounded from cremation.”
  • ““I am heartily tired of hearing what Lee is going to do,” Grant told the brigadier. “Some of you always seem to think he is suddenly going to turn a double somersault, and land on our rear and on both our flanks at the same time. Go back to your command, and try to think what we are going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do.””
  • “It was not “another Chancellorsville . . . another skedaddle” after all. “Our spirits rose,” recalled one veteran who remembered this moment as a turning point in the war. Despite the terrors of the past three days and those to come, “we marched free. The men began to sing.””

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “”Upon the progress of our arms,” said Lincoln late in the war, “all else chiefly depends.”
  • Describe the appointment of Grantoverall commander of American forces and his reorganization of American military plans
  • Describe the Battle of the Wilderness and how it lead to its culminating battle
  • How did Grant begin to coordinate American military efforts in different theaters for greater impact?
  • What responsibility did Sherman have in the plans around the Battle of the Wilderness
  • What responsibility did Sheridan have in the plans around the Battle of the Wilderness
  • What responsibility did Butler have in the plans around the Battle of the Wilderness
  • What responsibility did Meade have in the plans around the Battle of the Wilderness
  • What responsibility did Sigel have in the plans around the Battle of the Wilderness
  • React and Respond: “Union’s three best generals—Grant, Sherman, Sheridan”
  • In what ways did Confederates attempt to maintain the manpower of its forces?
  • In what ways did the United States maintain the manpower of the Army?
  • Explain and Expand: “But there were flaws in the Union sword and hidden strengths in the Confederate shield.”
  • What is the significance of: “In Sherman’s campaign for Atlanta in 1864 the number of men protecting his rail communications 450 miles back to Louisville nearly equaled the number of front-line soldiers he could bring against the enemy.”
  • Explain and Expand: “If this happened, the South might well seize victory from the jaws of defeat.”
  • Explain and Expand: “This latter group experienced the usual aversion to risk-taking during their final weeks in the army”
  • Describe the Confederate reaction “Southern leaders discerned these flaws in their foe’s sword.”
  • Explain and Expand: “If southern armies could hold out until the election, war weariness in the North might cause the voters to elect a Peace Democrat who would negotiate Confederate independence.”
  • React and Respond: ““Lee’s Army will be your objective point,” Grant instructed Meade. “Wherever Lee goes, there will you go also.””
  • React and Respond: “to move against Johnston’s army, to break it up, and to get into the interior of the enemy’s country as far as you can, inflicting all the damage you can against their war resources.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The southerners’ local knowledge now came into play.”
  • Explain and Expand: “But instead of heading north they turned south.”

Articles and Resources

The American Civil War and Reconstruction Era Mid Nineteenth Century American History Reading and Study Group

Chapter 23: When This Cruel War Is Over :: The Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Because measures were supported or opposed by parties, voters could identify those responsible for them and register their approval or disapproval at the polls by voting a party ticket.”
  • “Davis could not invoke party loyalty and patronage in behalf of his policies, as Lincoln could. Opposition to the Davis administration became personal or factional and therefore difficult to deal with.”
  • “Toombs in 1863 lashed out at Davis as a “false and hypocritical . . . wretch” who had “neither the ability nor the honesty to manage the revolution.” The government’s financial policy, said Toombs, was “pernicious,” “ruinous,” “insupportable”; the impressment of farm products was “force and fraud”; conscription had “outraged justice and the constitution.” “The road to liberty for the white man does not lie through slavery,” thundered Toombs in November 1863. “Mr. Davis’s present policy will overthrow the revolution in six months.””
  • “What will we have gained when we have achieved our independence of the Northern States,” asked Brown rhetorically, “if in our efforts to do so, we have . . . lost Constitutional Liberty at home?”
  • “You have allowed your antipathy to Davis to mislead your judgment,” Senator Herschel Johnson told the vice president. “You are wrong in view of your official position; you are wrong because the whole movement originated in a mad purpose to make war on Davis & Congress;—You are wrong because the movement is joyous to the enemy, and they are already using it in their press.”
  • “There has been a good many N. Carolinians shot in this army for desertion,” wrote a private. “Old traitor Holden is Responsible for the most of it. . . . I think the N C soldiers passing through Raleigh on Furlough ought to stop and hang the old son of a bitch.””
  • “Black men could vote in only six northern states, and the possibility of them doing so elsewhere was no more popular among many northern voters than the prospect of emancipation had been a year or two earlier.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe the circumstances of the elections for the Confederate Congress in the fall of 1863
  • Compare and Contrast: The different political structures in North and South
  • What were the consequences of the lack of political parties in the early Confederacy
  • How did the erosion of the political system in the North prior to the war become a wartime strength?
  • Compare and Contrast: The strength of party and the strength of section and state
  • What were the primary issues during the Confederate elections of 1863
  • Describe the nature of the Confederate elections in 1863
  • Explain and Expand: “In the North such men were called copperheads; in the South they were known as reconstructionists or tories.”
  • Describe the relationship between Alexander Stephens and the Davis administration?
  • Describe the purpose and nature of the “peace” negotiation parties in the South. How did this backfire and expose itself?
  • Explain and Expand: “While the dissidents in Georgia hoped for peace through victory, in North Carolina a part of the opposition seemed to want peace through reconstruction. … The western part of the state resembled east Tennessee and West Virginia in socio-economic structure and unionist leanings.”
  • Explain and Expand: ““That despot” Lincoln had already made clear that the South could have peace only by “emancipating all our slaves, swearing allegiance and obedience to him and his proclamations, and becoming in point of fact the slaves of our own negroes.””
  • What were the arguments for and against the passage of a law to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in Confederate controlled areas?
  • What were Lincoln’s views on reconstruction in 1863
  • In what ways did Southern morale impact Lincoln’s decision making regarding reconstruction
  • Explain and Expand: “One piece lost but not lamented was slavery; another that must go was the prominent role played in southern politics by the old state’s-rights secessionists. Beyond this, however, a spectrum of opinions could be found in the Republican party concerning both the process and substance of reconstruction.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Of Kentucky birth and moderate antislavery persuasion, Lincoln had been a Whig and had maintained cordial relations with southern Whigs and unionists almost to the end in 1861.”
  • Explain and Expand: ““leaves the large landed proprietors of the South still to domineer over its politics, and makes the negro’s freedom a mere sham.” When these pardoned Confederates gained control of their states, Phillips continued, “the Revolution may be easily checked with the aid of the Administration, which is willing that the negro should be free but seeks nothing else for him. . . . What McClellan was on the battlefield—’Do as little hurt as possible!”—Lincoln is in civil affairs—’Make as little change as possible!’” … “The whole system of the Gulf States [must] be taken to pieces,” said Phillips. “The war can be ended only by annihilating that Oligarchy which formed and rules the South and makes the war—by annihilating a state of society.” “
  • Compare and Contrast: Lincoln’s views on reconstruction and Congressional views on reconstruction in 1863
  • Compare and Contrast: The limits of wartime Presidential emancipation and reconstruction policies
  • Explain and Expand: “Louisiana seemed to offer the best prospect for an early test of Lincoln’s policy.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The Negro suffrage issue was part of a larger debate over who constituted the “loyal” population of a state for purposes of reconstruction.”
  • What was the “Freedmen’s Inquiry Commission” and how did it eventually led to the establishment of the “Freedmen’s Bureau” in the last days of the war.
  • Explain and Expand: “The platform dealt with the divisive reconstruction issue by ignoring it”

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

The Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson :: Chapter 22: Johnny Reb’s Chattanooga Blues

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “They will be ready to fight a magnificent battle when there is no enemy there to fight.” 
  • “Great God! What does it mean? . . . There is bad faith somewhere. . . . Our Army held the war in the hollow of their hand & they would not close it.” 
  • Describe the events surrounding the liberation of Arkansas
  • “I have stood your meanness as long as I intend to. You have played the part of a damned scoundrel. . . . If you ever again try to interfere with me or cross my path it will be at the peril of your life.”
  • “Slavery was intended as a special blessing to the people of the United States”
  • “‘irrepressible conflict’ between white and black laborers. . . . Let every vote count in favor of the white man, and against the Abolition hordes, who would place negro children in your schools, negro jurors in your jury boxes, and negro votes in your ballot boxes!”
  • “You are dissatisfied with me about the negro,” wrote the president. But “some of the commanders of our armies in the field who have given us our most important successes, believe the emancipation policy, and the use of colored troops, constitute the heaviest blow yet dealt to the rebellion. You say you will not fight to free negroes,” continued Lincoln. “Some of them seem willing to fight for you; but, no matter. Fight you, then, exclusively to save the Union. I issued the proclamation on purpose to aid you in saving the Union.” When this war was won, concluded the president, “there will be some black men who can remember that, with silent tongue, and clenched teeth, and steady eye, and well-poised bayonet, they have helped mankind on to this great consummation; while, I fear, there will be some white ones, unable to forget that, with malignant heart, and deceitful speech, they have strove to hinder it.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe the events around Chattanooga in 1863 and what effect they had on American and Confederate forces?
  • How did Meade fail to follow up American victory at Gettysburg and what were the consequences?
  • How did events evolve in Tennessee in 1862-63?
  • What role did Chickamauga Creek play in the battle of Chickamauga?
  • Describe the events around the Battle of Chickamauga 
  • How did the Confederate leaders use disinformation to their advantage against American forces?
  • What role did logistics play in the Battle of Chickamauga?
  • In what ways did Grant impact the newly formed Division of the Mississippi?
  • What was the miracle at Missionary Ridge?
  • What is a “military crest” and a “topological crest”and how is it significant? 
  • Describe the events around Longstreet’s attack against Knoxville and The Battle of Fort Sanders
  • How did the second half of 1863 bring disappointment to the South’s foreign diplomacy? 
  • How did the victories in 1863 impact the political situation in the North?
  • Who was Clement Vallandigham?
  • How did the New York draft riot impact public opinion in the North?
  • What was the  54th Massachusetts Infantry and what was their social significance in the North and South?
  • What was significant about Lincoln’s Letter to James C. Conkling August 26, 1863?

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

The Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson :: Chapter 21: Long Remember: The Summer of ’63

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “the country is already disheartened over the lack of success on the part of our armies. . . . If we went back so far as Memphis it would discourage the people so much that bases of supplies would be of no use: neither men to hold them nor supplies to put in them would be furnished. The problem for us was to move forward to a decisive victory, or our cause was lost. No progress was being made in any other field, and we had to go on.”
  • “The bravery of the blacks completely revolutionized the sentiment of the army with regard to the employment of negro troops . I heard prominent officers who formerly in private had sneered at the idea of negroes fighting express themselves after that as heartily in favor of it.”
  • ““I think Lee’s Army, and not Richmond, is your true objective point,” he wired Hooker. “If he comes toward the Upper Potomac, follow on his flank, and on the inside track. . . . Fight him when opportunity offers.” With the head of the enemy force at Winchester and the tail still back at Fredericksburg, “the animal must be very slim somewhere . Could you not break him?””
  • “Pointing to Cemetery Hill, he said to Longstreet: “The enemy is there , and I am going to attack him there.” Longstreet replied: “If he is there, it will be because he is anxious that we should attack”
  • “the results of this victory are priceless. . . . The charm of Robert Lee’s invincibility is broken. The Army of the Potomac has at last found a general that can handle it, and has stood nobly up to its terrible work in spite of its long disheartening list of hard-fought failures. . . . Copperheads are palsied and dumb for the moment at least. . . . Government is strengthened four-fold at home and …” 

Thought Questions

  • Why was Vicksburg a symbolic “Gibraltar” on the Mississippi?
  • Describe the problems Grant experienced in approaching Vicksburg
  • How did Sherman’s later campaigns reflect Grant’s philosophy at Vicksburg
  • Who was Benjamin Gierson and What role did cavalry play in the battle of Vicksburg?
  • Why was it important for Grant to eliminate Jackson Mississippi before Vicksburg?
  • Why did the Confederates occupy rather than retreat from Vicksburg?
  • What role did river / wetlands geography play in the battle and siege of Vicksburg?
  • What role did Black American soldiers play in the battle of Vicksburg? How were they treated in Confederate captivity? 
  • What role did Joseph Johnson play in the Battle of Vicksburg? How did this reflect his behavior later in the war?
  • What was “tunnel” warfare and how was this reflected in World War I?
  • In what ways was the parole of insurrectionists an act of psychological warfare?
  • How did Union soldiers and insurrectionists react to each other after the battle?
  • Why was the liberation of Vicksburg a turning point in the war? How was the Summer of ’63 a turning point in the war?
  • How did the battle of Vicksburg cement the Lincoln Grant Sherman relationship? 
  • How did the battle of Vicksburg damage the relationship between Jefferson Davis and his western commanders?
  • Explain and Evaluate the expression “The Union won the war in the West, but almost lost it in the East” 
  • How did the events of the Summer of ’63 cement the Davis Lee Longstreet relationship? 
  • Who was General “Fighting” Joe Hooker and what role did he play in the eastern Summer of ’63 campaigns? 
  • Compare and Contrast the use and effectiveness of American and insurrectionist cavalry? How were horses of importance personally (outside of warfare) to both Lee and Grant?
  • How was the training and discipline instilled in the Army of the Potomac by General McClellan important at this point in the war? How were McClellan and Hooker paired? 
  • Who was Jubal Early? Why is he sometimes portrayed as a “likable Confederate”? 
  • Explain why the phrase “get at those people” encapsulates Lee’s (and the Army of Northern Virginia) feelings about the war
  • Explain Lee’s plan to crush the American forces at Chancellorsville 
  • How did Joe Hooker fulfill Lee’s expectations at Chancellorsville?
  • Explain the multiple failures of General Hooker in the Summer of ’63 
  • Who was General Dan Sickels and how was he paired with Joseph Hooker? 
  • What were the main Union armies fighting in the Summer of ’63 and Compare and Contrast the the commanders of each
  • What was the purpose of Lee’s invasion of Pennsylvania?
  • What were the expectations of the rebelling states in the invasion of Pennsylvania?
  • In what ways and why was Lee’s invasion of Virginia a plundering expedition and slave raid? 
  • Why did General George Meade assume command of the Army of the Potomac?
  • Explain the significance of shoes, soldiers and Gettysburg
  • In what ways did the battle of Gettysburg take on a momentum of its own almost as soon as it started?
  • What issues and decisions divided and in some ways married Lee and Longstreet at Gettysburg?
  • Describe the unfolding of the Battle of Gettysburg
  • Who was James Longstreet and why was he vilified?|
  • Describe the geography and significance of Cemetery Ridge in the Battle of Gettysburg
  • Who was George Pickett and what was his role and significance in the Battle of Gettysburg?
  • Compare and Contrast the caution of Hooker and Meade
  • Who was Alexander Stephens and what role did he play in the Summer of ’63? 
  • Explain the impact of the Summer of ’63 on North and South 
  • Compare and Contrast the tangible impact of Vicksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg 

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

The Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson :: Chapter 20: Fire In The Rear

Thought Questions

  • In what ways did the North have a “Fire in the rear”?
  • In what ways did the South have a “Fire in the rear”?
  • Compare and Contrast the domestic problems in the North and South in 1862-63 
  • How was the American Civil War also a conflict between East and West?
  • Describe the antiwar movement in the North and South
  • Who was Clement L. Vallandigham? What was the platform of the Peace Democrats?
  • Where did the label “Copperhead” come from?
  • Describe the circumstances in the Butternut regions of the Midwest during the Civil War?
  • -What did the the National Banking Act do and How did it impact the war effort? 
  • Could a speech be treason? 
  • Could a military court try a civilian? 
  • Did a general, or for that matter a president, have the power to impose martial law or suspend habeas corpus in an area distant from military operations where the civil courts were functioning? 
  • How did the tides of war impact the Peace Democrats?
  • In what ways did people in the North and South express their opposition to the draft?
  • How did Lincoln and Davis approach dealing with draft resistance? 
  • Why was New York City a center of anti-draft sentiment?
  • What was the state of southern cotton production in 1862-63?
  • Why didn’t the South convert more land from cotton to food production?
  • How did “trading with the enemy” impact the American and southern war effort?
  • Describe the conflict between Grant and the Jews
  • Describe the conflict over Benjamin Butler in New Orleans

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Shall we sink down as serfs to the heartless, speculative Yankees,” asked an Ohio editor , “ swindled by his tariffs , robbed by his taxes, skinned by his railroad monopolies?”
  • “The policy of this country,” added Senate Finance Committee Chairman John Sherman, “ought to be to make everything national as far as possible; to nationalize our country so that we shall love our country.”
  • “The years of real passion on the bank issue, however, belonged to the 1830s and 1890s. In 1863, hostility to emancipation was the principal fuel that fired antiwar Democrats. On this issue, also, New England was the main enemy. The “Constitution-breaking, law-defying, negro-loving Phariseeism of New England”had caused the war, said Samuel S. Cox. “In the name of God,”cried a former governor of Illinois in December 1862, “no more bloodshed to gratify a religious fanaticism.”An Ohio editor branded Lincoln a “half-witted usurper”and his Emancipation Proclamation “monstrous, impudent, and heinous … insulting to God as to man, for it declares those ‘equal’whom God created unequal.”” 
  • “Another letter advised an Illinois soldier “to come home, if you have to desert, you will be protected— the people are so enraged that you need not be alarmed if you hear of the whole of our Northwest killing off the abolitionists.””
  • “At this juncture Jefferson Davis himself arrived and climbed onto a cart to address the mob. He commanded their attention by taking several coins from his pocket and throwing them into the crowd. He then told them to go home so that the muskets leveled against them could be turned against the common enemy— the Yankees. The crowd was unmoved, and a few boys hissed the president. Taking out his watch, Davis gave the rioters five minutes to disperse before he ordered the troops to fire. Four minutes passed in tense silence. Holding up his watch, the president said firmly: “My friends, you have one minute more .” This succeeded. The rioters melted away. Davis pocketed his watch and ordered the police to arrest the ringleaders. Several of these were later convicted and briefly imprisoned. Military officials ordered newspapers to make no mention of the riot in order not “to embarrass our cause [or] to encourage our enemies .” The lead editorial in the Richmond Dispatch next day was entitled “Sufferings in the North.”” 
  • “He made clear to them his commitment to reunion through an armistice and negotiations. Southerners replied that they would accept peace only on the basis of independence. If Vallandigham thought the Union could be restored by compromise, they declared, he was “badly deluded.” In a confidential interview with a Confederate agent, Vallandigham said that if the South “can only hold out this year … the peace party of the North would sweep the Lincoln dynasty out of existence.” Vallandigham clung to his hope for eventual reunion, but left this agent with the impression that if the South refused to come back “then possibly he is in favor of recognizing our independence.” 

Articles and Resources

 

Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson Chapter 19: Three Rivers in Winter, 1862–1863

Thought Questions

  • What was Ambrose Burnside’s plan for the Army of the Potomac upon taking command?
  • Describe the events around The Battle of Fredericksburg 
  • How did geography, weather and terrain effect the fighting in the winter of 1862-63?
  • How were Republicans in the Senate reacting to the progress of the war?
  • What problems did Jefferson Davis encountered during the winter of 1862-63?
  • How did confederate cavalry effect the campaigns of Grant and Rosecrans?
  • What were “political generals” and how did they impact the war in the North and South? 
  • Describe the conflict between Bragg’s Army of Tennessee and the American Army of the Cumberland under Rosecrans
  • Who was John C. Breckinridge?
  • Describe the events around the Battle of Stones River and the reaction in the North and South?
  • Describe the events around General Grant and Vicksburg in the winter of 1862-63?

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “But McClellan as usual protested that he could not act until his supply wagons were full and his soldiers reorganized. Halleck threw up his hands in despair. He knew that the Army of Northern Virginia was in worse shape than the Army of the Potomac. “I am sick, tired, and disgusted” with McClellan’s inactivity, wrote Halleck in October. “There is an immobility here that exceeds all that any man can conceive of. It requires the lever of Archimedes to move this inert mass.” Republicans shared Halleck’s impatience . “What devil is it that prevents the Potomac Army from advancing?” asked the editor of the Chicago Tribune on October 13 . “What malign influence palsies our army and wastes these glorious days for fighting? If it is McClellan, does not the President see that he is a traitor?””
  • “The carpet of bodies in front of the stone wall left an indelible mark in the memory of one soldier who helped bury the dead during a truce on December 15. The corpses were “swollen to twice their natural size, black as Negroes in most cases.” Here lay “one without a head, there one without legs, yonder a head and legs without a trunk … with fragments of shell sticking in oozing brain, with bullet holes all over the puffed limbs.” This terrible cost with nothing accomplished created a morale crisis in the army and on the homefront. Soldiers wrote home that “my loyalty is growing weak…. I am sick and tired of disaster and the fools that bring disaster upon us… . All think Virginia is not worth such a loss of life. … Why not confess we are worsted, and come to an agreement?” The people “have borne, silently and grimly, imbecility, treachery, failure, privation, loss of friends,” declared the normally staunch Harper’s Weekly,” but they cannot be expected to suffer that such massacres as this at Fredericksburg shall be repeated.””
  • “A private reported that the men “seem to look upon him as a friendly partner of theirs, not as an arbitrary commander.” Instead of cheering him when he rode by, they were likely to “greet him as they would address one of their neighbors at home. ‘Good morning , General,’‘Pleasant day, General,’ and like expressions are the greetings he meets everywhere. … There was no nonsense, no sentiment; only a plain business man of the republic, there for the one single purpose of getting that command over the river in the shortest time possible.””

Articles and Resources

 

 

Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson :: Week 18 :: John Bull’s Virginia Reel

Thought Questions

  • Why does the author title the chapter “John Bull’s Virginia Reel”?
  • How were France and Britain impacted by the war?
  • In what ways did France and Britain react to the war differently?
  • What was France’s role in Mexico during this time and how did it impact their position on the war?
  • How were the issues of “Democracy” and “Aristocracy” involved in European thinking about the war?
  • How did President Lincoln use the war powers granted to him by Congress to attack slavery?
  • What were the provisions and conditions of the Emancipation Proclamation?
  • How did Congress begin to enact Constitutional emancipation during this time? 
  • Compare and Contrast the purpose and effect of War Emancipation and Constitutional Emancipation? 
  • How did the Emancipation Proclamation and Abolition impact European positions towards the United States?
  • How did the battle of Antietam and military developments impact European positions towards the United States?

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Henry Hotze confessed frustration at his failure to win support from this class whose economic self-interest would seem to have favored the South. “The Lancashire operatives,”wrote Hotze, are the only “class which as a class continues actively inimical to us… . With them the unreasoning . . . aversion to our institutions is as firmly rooted as in any part of New England. . . . They look upon us, and . . . upon slavery as the author and source of their present miseries.”The American Minister Charles Francis Adams echoed this appraisal. “The great body of the aristocracy and the commercial classes are anxious to see the United States go to pieces,”wrote Adams in December 1862, while “the middle and lower class sympathise with us”because they “see in the convulsion in America an era in the history of the world, out of which must come in the end a general recognition of the right of mankind to the produce of their labor and the pursuit of happiness”
  • “in the words of John Stuart Mill, “would be a victory of the powers of evil which would give courage to the enemies of progress and damp the spirits of its friends all over the civilized world.” 5 A German revolutionary living in exile in England also viewed the American war against the “slave oligarchy ” as a “world-transforming . . . revolutionary movement.”“The working-men of Europe,” continued Karl Marx, felt a kinship with Abraham Lincoln, “the single-minded son of the working class. . . . As the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy for the middle class, so the American anti-slavery war will do for the working classes.””
  • “The Earl of Shrewsbury looked upon “the trial of Democracy and its failure” with pleasure. “The dissolution of the Union [means] that men now before me will live to see an aristocracy established in America.””
  • “If by some remote and hateful chance the North did manage to win, said the Morning Post, “who can doubt that Democracy will be more arrogant, more aggressive, more levelling and vulgarizing, if that be possible, than ever before.””

Primary Sources

Articles

 

Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson :: Chapter 17: Carry Me Back To Old Virginy

I see Antietam misspelled often easy to remember: An-Tie-Tam. Bloodiest single day of battle in American History. This is the horrible high point of Americans tearing each other to pieces. 

Thought Questions

  • What does the author say the four tasks were that faced Halleck after the liberation of Corinth?
  • Why was the liberation of East Tennessee of importance to Lincoln? 
  • How did pro-union sentiment in Northern Alabama effect military operations?
  • How did pro-union sentiment in Kentucky effect military operations? 
  • Describe the events in the western theater during 1862 and how they led to Antietam
  • How did the war in the west become “Carry Me Back To Old Virginy”?
  • Describe the events around Antietam?
  • How did armed looting and destruction of non-combatant resources effect the Northern and Southern armies and civilians?
  • Compare and contrast the role and conditions of railroads during the war for Northern and Southern forces 
  • Compare and contrast the role and conditions of water transport during the war for Northern and Southern forces 
  • Compare and contrast McClellan and Buell with Lee and Longstreet
  • Compare and contrast Grant and Sherman with Lee and Longstreet
  • What role did Northern and Southern cavalry play in the war in the west?

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Railroads are the weakest things in war,” declared Sherman; “a single man with a match can destroy and cut off communications.” Although “our armies pass across and through the land, the war closes in behind and leaves the same enemy behind,” Sherman continued. It was the fate of any “railroad running through a country where every house is a nest of secret, bitter enemies” to suffer “bridges and water-tanks burned, trains fired into, track torn up” and “engines run off and badly damaged.”
  • “Kentuckians, I have entered your State . . . to restore to you the liberties of which you have been deprived by a cruel and relentless foe. . . . If you prefer Federal rule, show it by your frowns and we shall return whence we came. If you choose rather to come within the folds of our brotherhood, then cheer us with the smiles of your women and lend your willing hands to secure you in your heritage of liberty.”
  • “The casualties at Antietam numbered four times the total suffered by American soldiers at the Normandy beaches on June 6, 1944.” 

Articles and Resources

 

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