History Primary Source

Sherman-Hood-Atlanta Correspondence – Part 8

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., September 14, 1864.

General J. B. HOOD, C. S. Army,
Commanding Army of Tennessee:

        GENERAL: Yours of September 12 is received and has been carefully perused. I agree with you that this discussion by two soldiers is out of place and profitless, but you must admit that you began the controversy by characterizing an official act of mine in unfair and improper terms. I reiterate my former answer, and to the only new matter contained in your rejoinder I add, we have no negro allies” in this army; not a single negro soldier left Chattanooga with this army or is with it now. There are a few guarding Chattanooga, which General Steedman sent to drive Wheeler out of Dalton. I was not bound by the laws of war to give notice of the shelling of Atlanta, a “fortified town” with magazines, arsenals, foundries, and public stores. You were bound to take notice. See the books. This is the conclusion of our correspondence, which I did not begin, and terminate with satisfaction.
 

I am, with respect, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN, 
Major-General, Commanding.

History Primary Source

Sherman-Hood-Atlanta Correspondence – Part 6

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., September 12, 1864.

JAMES M. CALHOUN, Mayor, E. E. RAWSON, and S. C. WELLS,
Representing City Council of Atlanta:

        GENTLEMEN: I have your letter of the 11th, in the nature of a petition to revoke my orders removing all the inhabitants from Atlanta. I have read it carefully, and give full credit to your statements of the distress that will be occasioned by it, and yet shall not revoke my orders, simply because my orders are not designed to meet the humanities of the case, but to prepare for the future struggles in which millions of good people outside of Atlanta have a deep interest. We must have peace, not only at Atlanta but in all America. To secure this we must stop the war that now desolates our once happy and favored country. To stop war we must defeat the rebel armies that are arrayed against the laws and Constitution, which all must respect and obey. To defeat these armies we must prepare the way to reach them in their recesses provided with the arms and instruments which enable us to accomplish our purpose. Now, I know the vindictive nature of our enemy, and that we may have many years of military operations from this quarter, and therefore deem it wise and prudent to prepare in time. The use of Atlanta for warlike purposes is inconsistent with its character as a home for families. There will be no manufactures, commerce, or agriculture here for the maintenance of families, and sooner or later want will compel the inhabitants to go. Why not go now, when all the arrangements are completed for the transfer, instead of waiting till the plunging shot of contending armies will renew the scenes of the past month? Of course, I do not apprehend any such thing at this moment, but you do not suppose this army will be here until the war is over. I cannot discuss this subject with you fairly, because I cannot impart to you what I propose to do, but I assert that my military plans make it necessary for the inhabitants to go away, and I can only renew my offer of services to make their exodus in any direction as easy and comfortable as possible. You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty and you cannot refine it, and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace.  But you cannot have peace and a division of our country. If the United States submits to a division now it will not stop, but will go on until we reap the fate of Mexico, which is eternal war. The United States does and must assert its authority wherever it once had power. If it relaxes one bit to pressure it is gone, and I know that such is the national feeling. This feeling assumes various shapes, but always comes <ar78_419> back to that of Union. Once admit the Union, once more acknowledge the authority of the National Government, and instead of devoting your houses and streets and roads to the dread uses of war, and this army become at once your protectors and supporters, shielding you from danger, let it come from what quarter it may. I know that a few individuals cannot resist a torrent of error and passion such as swept the South into rebellion, but you can part out so that we may know those who desire a government and those who insist on war and its desolation. You might as well appeal against the thunder-storm as against these terrible hardships of war. They are inevitable, and the only way the people of Atlanta can hope once more to live in peace and quiet at home is to stop the war, which can alone be done by admitting that it began in error and is perpetuated in pride.
        We don’t want your negroes or your horses or your houses or your lands or anything you have, but we do want, and will have, a just obedience to the laws of the United States. That we will have, and if it involves the destruction of your improvements we cannot help it. You have heretofore read public sentiment in your newspapers that live by falsehood and excitement, and the quicker you seek for truth in other quarters the better for you. I repeat then that by the original compact of government the United States had certain rights in Georgia, which have never been relinquished and never will be; that the South began war by seizing forts, arsenals, mints, custom-houses, &c., long before Mr. Lincoln was installed and before the South had one jot or title of provocation.  I myself have seen in Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi hundreds and thousands of women and children fleeing from your armies and desperadoes, hungry and with bleeding feet. In Memphis, Vicksburg, and Mississippi we fed thousands upon thousands of the families of rebel soldiers left on our hands and whom we could not see starve. Now that war comes home to you, you feel very different. You deprecate its horrors, but did not feel them when you sent car-loads of soldiers and ammunition and molded shells and shot to carry war into Kentucky and Tennessee, and desolate the homes of hundreds and thousands of good people who only asked to live in peace at their old homes and under the Government of their inheritance. But these comparisons are idle. I want peace, and believe it can now only be reached through union and war, and I will ever conduct war with a view to perfect an early success. But, my dear sirs, when that peace does come, you may call on me for anything. Then will I share with you the last cracker, and watch with you to shield your homes and families against danger from every quarter. Now you must go, and take with you the old and feeble, feed and nurse them and build for them in more quiet places proper habitations to shield them against the weather until the mad passions of men cool down and allow the Union and peace once more to settle over your old homes at Atlanta.

Yours, in haste,
W. T. SHERMAN, 
Major-General, Commanding.

History Primary Source

Sherman-Hood-Atlanta Correspondence – Part 7

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE,
September 12, 1864.

Maj. Gen. W. T. SHERMAN, 
Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:

        GENERAL; I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 9th [10th] instant, with its inclosure, in reference to the women,  children, and others whom you have thought proper to expel from their homes in the city of Atlanta. Had you seen proper to let the matter rest there, I would gladly have allowed your letter to close this correspondence, and without your expressing it in words would have been willing to believe that whilst “the interests of the United States,” in your opinion, compelled you to an act of barbarous cruelty, you regretted the necessity, and we would have dropped the subject. But you have chosen to indulge in statements which I feel compelled to notice, at least so far as to signify my dissent and not allow silence in regard to them to be construed as acquiescence. I see nothing in your communication which induces me to modify the language of condemnation with which I characterized your order. It but strengthens me in the opinion that it stands” pre-eminent in the dark history of war, for studied and ingenious cruelty.” Your original order was stripped of all pretenses; you announced the edict for the sole reason that it was “to the interest of the United States.” This alone you offered to us and the civilized world as an all-sufficient reason for disregarding the laws of God and man. You say that “General Johnston himself, very wisely and properly, removed the families all the way from Dalton down,” It is due to that gallant soldier and gentleman to say that no act of his distinguished career gives the least color to your unfounded aspersions upon his conduct.  He depopulated no villages nor towns nor cities, either friendly or hostile. He offered and extended friendly aid to his unfortunate fellow-citizens who desired to flee from your fraternal embraces. You are equally unfortunate in your attempt to find a justification for this act of cruelty either in the defense of Jonesborough, by General Hardee, or of Atlanta by myself. General Hardee defended his position in front of Jonesborough at the expense of injury to the houses, an ordinary, proper, and justifiable act of war. I defended Atlanta at the same risk and cost. If there was any fault in either case, it was your own, in not giving notice, especially in the case of Atlanta, of your purpose to shell the town, which is usual in war among civilized nations. No inhabitant was expelled from his home and fireside by the orders of General Hardee or myself, and therefore your recent order can find no support from the conduct of either of us. I feel no other emotion than pain in reading that portion of your letter which attempts to justify your shelling Atlanta without notice under pretense that I defended Atlanta upon a line so close to town that every cannon shot, and many musket balls from your line of investment, that over-shot their mark went into the habitations of women and children. I made no complaint of your firing into Atlanta in any way you thought proper. I make none now, but there are a hundred thousand witnesses that you fired into the habitations of women and children for weeks, firing far above and miles beyond my line of defense. I have too good an opinion, founded both upon observation and experience, of the skill of your artillerists to credit the insinuation that they for several weeks unintentionally fired too high for my modest field-works, and slaughtered women and children by accident and want of skill.
        The residue of your letter is rather discussion. It opens a wide field for the discussion of questions which I do not feel are committed to me. I am only a general of one of the armies of the Confederate States, charged with military operations in the field, under the direction of my superior officers, and I am not called upon to discuss with you the causes of the present war, or the political questions which led to or resulted from it. These grave and important questions have been committed to far abler hands than mine, and I shall only refer to them so far as to repel any unjust conclusion which might be drawn from my silence. You charge my country with “daring and badgering you to battle.” The truth is, we sent commissioners to you respectfully offering a peaceful separation before the first gun was fired on either side. You say we insulted your flag. The truth is we fired upon it and those who fought under it when you came to our doors upon the mission of subjugation. You say we seized upon your forts and arsenals and made prisoners of the garrisons sent to protect us against negroes and Indians. The truth is, we, by force of arms, drove out insolent intruders, and took possession of our own forts and arsenals to resist your claims to dominion over masters, slaves, and Indians, all of whom are to this day, with a unanimity unexampled in the history of the world, warring against your attempts to become their masters. You say that we tried to force Missouri and Kentucky into rebellion in spite of themselves. The truth is my Government, from the beginning of this struggle to this hour, has again and again offered, before the whole world to leave it to the unbiased will of these States and all others to determine for themselves whether they will cast their destiny with your Government or ours? and your Government has resisted this fundamental principle of free institutions with the bayonet, and labors daily by force and fraud to fasten its hateful tyranny upon the unfortunate freemen of these States. You say we falsified the vote of Louisiana.  The truth is, Louisiana not only separated herself from your Government by nearly a unanimous vote of her people, but has vindicated the act upon every battle-field from Gettysburg to the Sabine, and has exhibited an heroic devotion to her decision which challenges the admiration and respect of every man capable of feeling sympathy for the oppressed or admiration for heroic valor. You say that we turned loose pirates to plunder your unarmed ships. The truth is, when you robbed us of our part of the navy, we built and bought a few vessels, hoisted the flag of our country, and swept the seas, in defiance of your navy, around the whole circumference of the globe. You say we have expelled Union families by thousands. The truth is not a single family has been expelled from the Confederate States, that I am aware of, but, on the contrary, the moderation of our Government toward traitors has been a fruitful theme of denunciation by its enemies and many well-meaning friends of our cause. You say my Government, by acts of Congress, has “confiscated all debts due Northern men for goods sold and delivered.” The truth is our Congress gave due and ample time to your merchants and traders to depart from our shores with their ships, goods, and effects, and only sequestrated the property of our enemies in retaliation for their acts, declaring us traitors and confiscating our property wherever their power extended, either in their country or our own. Such are your accusations, and such are the facts known of all men to be true.
        You order into exile the whole population of a city, drive men, women, and children from their homes at the point of the bayonet, under the plea that it is to the interest of your Government, and on the claim that it is an act of “kindness to these families of Atlanta.” Butler only banished from New Orleans the registered enemies of his Government, and acknowledged that he did it as a punishment. You issue a sweeping edict covering all the inhabitants of a city and add insult to the injury heaped upon the defenseless by assuming that you have done them a kindness. This you follow by the assertion that you will “make as much sacrifice for the peace and honor of the South as the best born Southerner.” And because I characterized what you call a kindness as being real cruelty you presume to sit in judgment between  me and my God and you decide that my earnest prayer to the Almighty Father to save our women and children from what you call kindness is a “sacrilegious, hypocritical appeal.” You came into our country with your army avowedly for the purpose of subjugating free white men, women, and children, and not only intend to rule over them, but you make negroes your allies and desire to place over us an inferior race, which we have raised from barbarism to its present position, which is the highest ever attained by that race in any country in all time. I must, therefore, decline to accept your statements in reference to your kindness toward the people of Atlanta, and your willingness to sacrifice everything for the peace and honor of the South, and refuse to be governed by your decision in regard to matters between myself, my country, and my God. You say, “let us fight it out like men.” To this my reply is, for myself, and, I believe, for all the true men, aye, and women and children, in my country, we will fight you to the death. Better die a thousand deaths than submit to live under you or your Government and your negro allies.
        Having answered the points forced upon me by your letter of the 9th [10th] of September, I close this correspondence with you, and notwithstanding your comments upon my appeal to God in the cause of humanity, I again humbly and reverently invoke His Almighty aid in defense of justice and right.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. B. HOOD, 
General.

History Primary Source

Sherman-Hood-Atlanta Correspondence – Part 5

ATLANTA, GA., September 11, 1864.

Maj. Gen. W. T. SHERMAN:

        SIR: We, the undersigned, mayor and two of the council for the city of Atlanta, for the time being the only legal organ of the people of the said city to express their wants and wishes, ask leave most earnestly, but respectfully, to petition you to reconsider the order requiring them to leave Atlanta. At first view it struck us that the measure would involve extraordinary hardship and loss, but since we have seen the practical execution of it so far as it has progressed, and the individual condition of the people, and heard their statements as to the inconveniences, loss, and suffering attending it, we are satisfied that the amount of it will involve in the aggregate consequences appalling and heart-rending. Many poor women are in advanced state of pregnancy; others now having young children, and whose husbands, for the greater part, are either in the army, prisoners, or dead. Some say, “I have such an one sick at my house; who will wait on them when I am gone?” Others say, “what are we to do? We have no house to go to, and no means to buy, build, or rent any; no parents, relatives, or friends to go to.” Another says, “I will try and take this or that article of property, but such and such things I must leave behind, though I need them much.” We reply to them, “General Sherman will carry your property to Rough and Ready, and General Hood will take it thence on,” and they will reply to that, “but I want to leave the railroad at such place and cannot get conveyance from there on.”
        We only refer to a few facts to try to illustrate in part how this measure will operate in practice. As you advanced the people north of this fell back, and before your arrival here a large portion of the people had retired south, so that the country south of this is already crowded and without houses enough to accommodate the people, and we are informed that many are now staying in churches and other outbuildings. This being so, how is it possible for the people still here (mostly women and children) to find any shelter? And how can they live through the winter in the woods? No shelter or subsistence, in the midst of strangers who know them not, and without the power to assist them much, if they were willing to do so. This is but a feeble picture of the consequences of this measure. You know the woe, the horrors and the suffering cannot be described by words; imagination can only conceive of it, and we ask you to take these things into consideration. We know your mind and time are constantly occupied with the duties of your command, which almost deters us from asking your attention to this matter, but thought it might be that you had not considered this subject in all of its awful consequences, and that on more reflection you, we hope, would not make this people an exception to all mankind, for we know of no such instance ever having occurred; surely none such in the United States, and what has this helpless people done, that they should be driven from their homes to wander strangers and outcasts and exiles, and to subsist on charity? We do not know as yet the number of people still here; of those who are here, we are satisfied a respectable number, if allowed to remain at home, could subsist for several months without assistance, and a respectable number for a much longer time, and who might not need assistance at any time. In conclusion, we most earnestly and solemnly petition you to reconsider this order, or modify it, and suffer this unfortunate people to remain at home and enjoy what little means they have.

Respectfully submitted.
JAMES M. CALHOUN, 
Mayor.

E. E. RAWSON, 
S.C. WELLS, 
Councilmen

History Primary Source

Sherman-Hood-Atlanta Correspondence – Part 4

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., September 10, 1864.

General J. B. HOOD, C. S. Army, Comdg. Army of Tennessee:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date [9th], at the hands of Messrs. Ball and Crew, consenting to the arrangements I had proposed to facilitate the removal south of the people of Atlanta who prefer to go in that direction. I inclose you a copy of my orders, which will, I am satisfied, accomplish my purpose perfectly. You style the measure proposed “unprecedented,” and appeal to the dark history of war for a parallel as an act of “studied and ingenious cruelty.” It is not unprecedented, for General Johnston himself, very wisely and properly, removed the families all the way from Dalton down, and I see no reason why Atlanta should be excepted. Nor is it necessary to appeal to the dark history of war when recent and modern examples are so handy. You, yourself, burned dwelling-houses along your parapet, and I have seen to-day fifty houses that you have rendered uninhabitable because they stood in the way of your forts and men. You defended Atlanta on a line so close to town that every cannon shot and many musket shots from our line of investment that overshot their mark went into the habitations of women and children. General Hardee did the same at Jonesborough, and General Johnston did the same last summer at Jackson, Miss. I have not accused you of heartless cruelty, but merely instance these cases of very recent occurrence, and could go on and enumerate hundreds of others and challenge any fair man to judge which of us has the heart of pity for the families of a “brave people.” I say that it is kindness to these families of Atlanta to remove them now at once from scenes that women and children should not be exposed to, and the “brave people”  should scorn to commit their wives and children to the rude barbarians who thus, as you say, violate the laws of war, as illustrated in the pages of its dark history. In the name of common sense I ask you not to appeal to a just God in such a sacrilegious manner; you who, in the midst of peace and prosperity, have plunged a nation into war, dark and cruel war; who dared and badgered us to battle, insulted our flag, seized our arsenals and forts that were left in the honorable custody of peaceful ordnance sergeants; seized and made “prisoners of war” the very garrisons sent to protect your people against negroes and Indians long before any overt act was committed by the, to you, hated Lincoln Government; tried to force Kentucky and Missouri into rebellion, spite of themselves; falsified the vote of Louisiana, turned loose your privateers to plunder unarmed ships; expelled Union families by the thousands; burned their houses and declared by an act of your Congress the confiscation of all debts due Northern men for goods had and received. Talk thus to the marines, but not to me, who have seen these things, and who will this day make as much sacrifice for the peace and honor of the South as the best born Southerner among you. If we must be enemies, let us be men and fight it out, as we propose to do, and not deal in such hypocritical appeals to God and humanity. God will judge us in due time, and He will pronounce whether it be more humane to fight with a town full of women, and the families of “a brave people” at our back, or to remove them in time to places of safety among their own friends and people.

W. T. SHERMAN, 
Major-general, Commanding.

History Primary Source

Sherman-Hood-Atlanta Correspondence – Part 3

HDQRS. ARMY OF TENNESSEE, OFFICE CHIEF OF STAFF,
September 9, 1864.

Maj. Gen. W. T. SHERMAN.
Commanding U.S. Forces in Georgia:

GENERAL: Your letter of yesterday’s date [7th] borne by James M. Ball and James R. Crew, citizens of Atlanta, is received. You say therein “I deem it to be to the interest of the United States that the citizens now residing in Atlanta should remove,” &c. I do not consider that I have any alternative in this matter. I therefore accept your proposition to declare a truce of two days, or such time as may be necessary to accomplish the purpose mentioned, and shall render all assistance in my power to expedite the transportation of citizens in this direction. I suggest that a staff officer be appointed by you to superintend the removal from the city to Rough and Ready, while I appoint a like officer to control their removal farther south; that a guard of 100 men be sent by either party, as you propose, to maintain order at that place, and that the removal begin on Monday next. And now, sir, permit me to say that the unprecedented measure you propose transcends, in studied and ingenious cruelty, all acts ever before brought to my attention in the dark history of war. In the name of God and humanity I protest, believing that you will find that you are expelling from their homes and firesides the wives and children of a brave people.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. B. HOOD, 
General.

History Primary Source

Sherman-Hood-Atlanta Correspondence – Part 2

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., September 7, 1864.

General HOOD, 
Commanding Confederate Army:

GENERAL: I have deemed it to the interest of the United States that the citizens now residing in Atlanta should remove, those who prefer it to go South and the rest North. For the latter I can provide food and transportation to points of their election in Tennessee, Kentucky, or farther north. For the former I can provide transportation by cars as far as Rough and Ready, and also wagons; but that their removal may be made with as little discomfort as possible it will be necessary for you to help the families from Rough and Ready to the cars at Lovejoy’s. If you consent I will undertake to remove all families in Atlanta who prefer to go South to Rough and Ready, with all their movable effects, viz, clothing, trunks, reasonable furniture, bedding, &c., with their servants, white and black, with the proviso that no force shall be used toward the blacks one way or the other. If they want to go with their masters or mistresses they may do so, otherwise they will be sent away, unless they be men, when they may be employed by our quartermaster. Atlanta is no place for families or non-combatants and I have no desire to send them North if you will assist in conveying them South. If this proposition meets your views I will consent to a truce in the neighborhood of Rough and Ready, stipulating that any wagons, horses, or animals, or persons sent there for the purposes herein stated shall in no manner be harmed or molested, you in your turn agreeing that any cars, wagons, carriages, persons, or animals sent to the same point shall not be interfered with. Each of us might send a guard of, say, 100 men to maintain order, and limit the truce to, say, two days after a certain time appointed. I have authorized the mayor to choose two citizens to convey to you this letter and such documents as the mayor may forward in explanation, and shall await your reply.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN, 
Major-General, Commanding.

History Primary Source

Sherman-Hood-Atlanta Correspondence – Part 1

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Atlanta, Ga., September 20, 1864.

Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, Chief of Staff, Washington, D.C.:

GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to submit copies of a correspondence between General Hood, of the Confederate army, the mayor of Atlanta, and myself touching the removal of the inhabitants of Atlanta. In explanation of the tone which marks some of these letters I will only call your attention to the fact that after I had announced my determination General Hood took upon himself to question my motive. I could not tamely submit to such impertinence, and I have seen that in violation of all official usage he has published in the Macon newspapers such parts of the correspondence as suited his purpose. This could have had no other object than to create a feeling on the part of the people, but if he expects to resort to such artifices I think I can meet him there too. It is sufficient for my Government to know that the removal of the inhabitants has been made with liberality and fairness; that it has been attended by no force, and that no women or children have suffered, unless for want of provisions by their natural protectors and friends. My real reasons for this step were, we want all the houses of Atlanta for military storage and occupation. We want to contract the lines of defenses so as to diminish the garrison to the limit necessary to defend its narrow and vital parts instead of embracing, as the lines now do, the vast suburbs. This contraction of the lines, with the necessary citadels and redoubts, will make it necessary to destroy the very houses used by families as residences. Atlanta is a fortified town, was stubbornly defended and fairly captured. As captors we have a right to it. The residence here of a poor population would compel us sooner or later to feed them or see them starve under our eyes. The residence here of the families of our enemies would be a temptation and a means to keep up a correspondence dangerous and hurtful to our cause, and a civil population calls for provost guards, and absorbs the attention of officers in listening to everlasting complaints and special grievances that are not military. These are my reasons, and if satisfactory to the Government of the United States it makes no difference whether it pleases General Hood and his people or not.

I am, with respect, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN, 
Major-General, Commanding

Historical Primary Source

Robert E. Lee Resignation Letter to General Winfield Scott

To General Winfield Scott

Commander-in-Chief, United States Army

Arlington, Washington City P.O.

April 20, 1861

General:

Since my interview with you on the 18th instant I have felt that I ought not longer to retain my commission in the Army.  I therefore tender my resignation, which I request you will recommend for acceptance.

It would have been presented at once, but for the struggle it has cost me to separate myself from a service to which I have devoted all the best years of my life & all the ability I possessed.

During the whole of that time, more than 30 years, I have experienced nothing but kindness from my superiors, & the most cordial friendship from my companions.  To no one Genl have I been as much indebted as to yourself for the uniform kindness & consideration, & it has always been my ardent desire to merit your approbation.

I shall carry with me to the grave the most grateful recollections of your kind consideration, & your name & fame will always be dear to me.  Save in the defence of my native State, I never desire again to draw my sword.

Be pleased to accept my most earnest wishes for the continuance of your happiness & prosperity & believe me most truly yours.

R.E. Lee

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 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

 

Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson :: Chapter 16: We Must Free the Slaves or Be Ourselves Subdued 

Thought Questions

  • How did Lee’s initial victories effect the abolition of slavery? 
  • How did the Union army and recruitment evolve after Lee’s initial victories?
  • How did the Confederate army and recruitment evolve after Lee’s initial victories? 
  • How did the role of state militias effect Army recruitment in the North and South?
  • How was conscription received in the North and South?
  • What were the three Republican factions that developed around the issue of slavery in 1862?
  • In what ways did the role of white abolitionists compare and contrast with black abolitionists in 1862? 
  • How did military developments accelerate the process of decision making regarding slavery?
  • In what ways and locations was American control exerted in areas suffering insurrection in1862? 
  • What was the idea of “compensated” emancipation and how was it ironic? 
  • How was slavery a factor in the 1862 elections? 

Primary Sources

Continue Reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

 

Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson :: Chapter 15: Billy Yank’s Chickasaw Blues 

Thought Questions

  • Why does the author use the chapter title “Billy Yank’s Chickasaw Blues”?
  • Why did Lincoln prioritize the liberation of eastern Tennessee? 
  • How is the myth of “Stonewall” Jackson different from the history of Thomas Jackson?
  • What was Robert E. Lee’s Offensive-Defensive strategy? 
  • Why did Lee’s strategy work especially well against George McClellan?
  • How did Jeb Stuart’s cavalry contribute to Lee’s plans?
  • In what ways did the role of women change with the coming of war? How was the experience similar and different in the northern and southern states? 
  • How did wartime medical services develop in the north and south? 
  • How did disease effect the American and southern soldiers? 

Chapter Thought / Response Quotes

  • “Jackson’s Valley campaign won renown and is still studied in military schools as an example of how speed and use of terrain can compensate for inferiority of numbers.”
  • “Thus while the battle of Mechanicsville had been a tactical defeat for the South, it turned out to be a strategic victory.”
  • “But McClellan was a whipped man mentally.”
  • “One reason for the high casualties of Civil War battles was the disparity between traditional tactics and modern weapons.” 

Articles

Primary Sources

 

Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson :: Chapter 14: The Sinews of War 

Thought Questions

  • How did the southern states react to conscription?
  • What is intended by the phrase “rich man’s war, poor man’s fight” and how does this reflect on the institution of slave holding? 
  • What is does the author mean by using Hamiltonian means to accomplish Jeffersonian ends and how did Jefferson Davis use this logic?
  • How does the leadership of Jefferson Davis compare to President Lincoln’s in the early phases of the insurrection? 
  • In what ways did the institution of martial law effect life in the southern states?
  • How did martial law in the southern states reflect an extension of the institutions and methods of slave holders to the free white population? 
  • How did the southern states attempt to use debt as a weapon of war? How does this foreshadow nationalist European debt clearing in 20th century inter-war period? (If interested, see Part 1 of “Wages of Destruction” by Adam Tooze)
  • What effect did direct taxation and inflation have on the southern and northern states during the war?
  • How were bonds and paper notes used in the North and South to finance the war? 
  • How did southern inflation effect the feelings of “rich man’s war, poor man’s fight”?
  • In what ways were Jews made scapegoats for southern economic distress and populist anger? (Antisemitism existed in both North and South how it impacted the north and south differently is the issue. Chapter 20 will discuss northern antisemitism.) 
  • Who was Benjamin Butler and how did he earn the label “beast”? 
  • What were the Legal Tender Acts and Internal Revenue Acts? 
  • How did the 37th Congress implement the pre-war Whig agenda of internal improvements? 

Primary Sources

 

Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson :: Chapter 13: The River War in 1862 

Thought Questions

  • Why was the river network around Cairo of strategic value? 
  • Why were the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers of strategic value? 
  • How did Grant and Foote work together in the river war of 1862? 
  • How did Northern industry begin to effect the Civil War during this period? 
  • Describe the events around the battles of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson?
  • Compare the leadership of Halleck, Buell, Grant and Foote with their opposites in the insurrection? 
  • Who was John B. Floyd and what was his role in the Buchanan administration and how did he act at the end of his term?
  • When asked what was Grant’s response to “terms of surrender” by rebels? 
  • How did the River War effect Albert Sidney Johnson and the forces he led? 
  • Describe the events around the victory at the Battle of Pea Ridge
  • How did American victories in 1862 expose critical weaknesses in the political, social and military leadership in the rebellion? 
  • Describe the events around the battle of Shiloh in 1862 and the failures in American leadership?
  • What effect did “seeing the elephant” have on American soldiers and rebels? What effect did it have on public opinion? 
  • How did Grant’s reputation change after the battle of Shiloh? How did Lincoln’s opinion of Grant change? 
  • Describe the events around the liberation of Memphis and New Orleans? 
  • What was occurring in the east during the time of the River War? 
  • How did the events of 1862 demonstrate the weakness of George McClellan? 

Primary Sources

 

 

Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson :: Chapter 12: Blockade and Beachhead: The Salt-Water War, 1861– 1862 

Thought Questions

  • Describe the role the United States Navy played in the opening phase of the Civil War
  • How was the naval blockade successful and how was it unsuccessful? 
  • Describe the events and after effects of the battle of the Monitor and Merrimack (Virginia)? 
  • Where does the term “sideburns” come from? 
  • What role did Europeans play in the blockade and southern “embargo”?
  • How did southern pirates and blockade runners effect the war and influence the outcome? 
  • How was the Northern blockade of southern ports and the declaration of insurrection contradictory under international law? 
  • In 1862 how much southern agriculture was devoted to food production? How did cotton agriculture effect the food supply to the southern population? 
  • Who were William Seward and Charles Francis Adams Sr?

Articles

Primary Sources

 

 

Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson :: Chapter 11: Farewell to the Ninety Days’ War 

Thought Questions

  • What were “Contrabands” and what role did they play in the early era of the Civil War?
  • Describe the role General George McClellan played in the early era of the Civil War? What were his strengths and weaknesses? 
  • What factors did Lincoln have to consider when outlining American war goals in the early Civil War era? 
  • How was the Civil War connected to the Southern institution of slavery?
  • How was Northern racism in America connected with the Civil War? 
  • Why did Grant refer to McClellan as a “mystery”?
  • What were the difficulties the Confederate insurrectionists faced in developing an army and navy? 

Articles

Primary Sources

 

Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson :: Chapter 10: Amateurs Go to War 

Thought Questions

  • What was the primary root issue of the rebellion and how did the other secondary issues (such as states’ rights and internal improvements) directly related to this primary root issue?
  • What effect did Fort Sumter have on public opinion in the Union and Confederate States?
  • What did the United States initially see as the goal of the anticipated “short war”? 
  • How did the states in rebellion initially see the goal of the anticipated “short war”? 
  • As the understanding that the war would not be short or easy began to enter public consciousness, how were the war aims of the United States and Confederate rebellion effected?
  • What does this quote from Lincoln’s message to Congress on July 4, 1861 mean and what was its purpose: 
  • “Two points in it, our people have already settled— the successful establishing, and the successful administering of it. One still remains— its successful maintenance against a formidable internal attempt to overthrow it. . . . This issue embraces more than the fate of these United States. It presents to the whole family of man, the question, whether a constitutional republic, or a democracy . . . can or cannot, maintain its territorial integrity, against its own domestic foes.” 
  • How did Americans that remained loyal to the United States during the war view the struggle as a continuation of the American Revolution?
  • How did individuals that rebelled against the United States view their actions as a continuation of the American Revolution?
  • Who were “Black Republicans”, what were their goals and motivations, and why did they arouse extremism in the slave states? 
  • What was the theory of “Gradual Emancipation” and what role did it fill in the anti-slavery movement? 
  • Describe the development of the American Army and Navy at the start of the insurrection? 
  • Describe the development of the armies and navies in areas in rebellion that were created at the start of insurrection?
  • What was the importance of the upper south to the insurrection and why did the United States see them as key to preserving the Union? 
  • What role did the existing industry and infrastructure have on the start of the war? 
  • What role did human resources (such as training and knowledge) have on the start of the war? 

Primary Sources

Articles

 

Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson :: Chapter 9: Facing Both Ways: The Upper South’s Dilemma 

Thought Questions

  • How did the upper southern states respond to the election of 1860 and the developing insurrection in the lower southern states?
  • How was the upper south divided in its response to the crisis of succession and united regarding “Black Republicans”?
  • How did Southern Unionists view the beginning of the insurrection and how was this reaction different from succession crisis prior to armed revolt? 
  • How did Virginians respond to the news of the attack on Fort Sumter and how did they symbolically express their support for the insurrection? 
  • Describe the events and reasoning that took place before, during and in response to the Virginia Succession Convention
  • Using Winfield Scott and Robert Lee as examples, why did some southern United States Army Officers remain loyal to the United States and why did some southerners abandon their oaths and commitments to the United States? How were their backgrounds and experiences similar and different? 
  • Considering the context of his earlier statements and feelings about succession and insurrection, why did Lee chose to formally resign his commission instead of abandoning his position without notice in time of war as some other southern officers did? 
  • How did the process of succession proceed after Virginia joined the insurrection? 
  • Describe the unique circumstances around succession and the states of Maryland and Delaware? 
  • Why did Lincoln consider Kentucky critical to saving the Union and what role did the Ohio River play in American efforts to defeat succession? 
  • How did the Northern states begin to respond to insurrection in the south? 
  • How did Missouri react to the outbreak of insurrection in the southern states and how did it build on previous insurrections in Missouri? 
  • In what ways did Virginia begin to divide at the outbreak of succession?
  • How was Tennessee divided between its eastern and western regions and Alabama between its northern and southern regions? 

Primary Sources

 

Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson :: Chapter 8: The Counterrevolution of 1861 

Thought Questions

  • Describe the events in South Carolina in December 1860 and the events that followed
  • What did the Buchanan administration do regarding succession from the election to the inauguration of Lincoln?
  • Who were the groups of “conditionalists”, “cooperationists” and “fireeaters” and their goals? 
  • How was Unionism different in the North and South? 
  • Create a topical outlines of the South Carolina, Mississippi and Texas declarations of succession. What common themes and language do they contain? What do these themes indicate about the cause of and attitude toward succession? 
  • What meaningful differences exist between the United States Constitution and the Constitution for the Provisional Government of the Confederate States? How do these differences reflect the themes found in the ordinances of succession? 
  • Now did New York City reflect the division in the country and develop in the Copperheads?
  • How did different Americans interpret the creation of the states and nation from the colonies differently and what meaning did they attach to these beliefs? 
  • How did the Mississippi River (and Ohio River) play a role in resistance to succession? 
  • What challenges did the United States face in the opening phases of the armed insurrection?
  • What steps did President Buchanan recommend to the Northern states to prevent succession?
  • What was the attitude and intentions of Abolitionists and “go in peace” Republicans towards succession? 
  • What were the Crittenden Compromise Amendments and what do they tell us about the cause of the Civil War and the role slavery played in it? 
  • What was the original 13th Amendment? 
  • How did New Mexico and the Far West effect succession? 
  • What were the differences between the Upper and Lower South on Insurrection? 
  • What were the characteristics of the Confederate Constitution that made it different from the American Constitution? 
  • What were the main points and subjects of President Lincoln’sInaugural  Address?
  • How did Lincoln address the issue of Slavery and the Southern Insurrection? 
  • What were the main points and subjects of Jefferson Davis’ appointment Address? 
  • How did Davis address the issue of Slavery and the Southern Insurrection?
  • Describe the events around the start of armed insurrection at Fort Sumter 
  • How did Major Robert Anderson of Kentucky contrast with Southern officers that abandoned the United States at the start of succession? 
  • How did the beginning of armed insurrection against the United States effect the loyalty and attitudes of United States Army and Navy Officers? 
  • What was the wording of the 1830 Oath of Allegiance taken by officers of the Untied States Army? 
  • What were the obligations undertaken by United States Army officers upon taking the 1830 American Oath of Allegiance? 
  • How did the Officer American Oath of Allegiance change between 1789 and 1830? 

Primary Sources

Articles

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