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The American Civil War': Role of Abraham Lincoln in Civil War Essay

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Kat Smutz’s book, The American Civil War, is about the Civil War and the details on what happened from the beginning to the end of the war. Abraham Lincoln was elected as the sixteenth president on November 6, 1860. The Civil War started at 4:30 Friday morning, on the 12th of April, 1861.The first actual engagement was the bombardment of Fort Sumter, between Union and Confederate forces. This was not for the benefit of slaves, but for the preservation of the Union.

Abraham Lincoln knew that the nation was going to be in pieces during the war. He needed to create an Army to fight through the Civil War. Brevet Lieutenant General Winfield Scott was a commanding general of the Armies of the United States when war came. Scott managed to supervise recruitment and training to build the army in order to wage war with the South. Who then knew he was going to have to step down and requested Lincoln that a man named Robert Edward Lee needed to be his top commander. Lee’s personal opinions which were that his home state of Virginia would follow the slave states and opt for secession, left him in a confusing position when he was offered the command of the major general of the Union Army. He did not want to go against his state so that is why he resigned later on in the future. Lincoln’s priority was to keep the Union together and was always searching for a general who would end the war quickly. Scott’s health forced him to resign after the Union defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run in Virginia. Winfield Scott was replaced by General George B. McClellan. This general had shown great promise because he was very confident. He then spent too much time planning and preparing, to where the opportunity to face the enemy had passed. General Ulysses S. Grant was then in the position as the general and was popular with his men, but not with other officers. Grant did not fit in well, but he got the job done.

In the months of January and February 1861, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas all secede from the Union. On February 4, in Montgomery, Alabama there was a convention held to form a provisional government and adopt a constitution that protects slavery. Former US senator from Mississippi, Jefferson Finis Davis is the provisional president of the Confederate States of America. Alexander Spephens from Georgia is his vice president. February 18th Davis and Stephans were inaugurated. On March 4, 1861, Lincoln was sworn in as president. Winfield Scott offers General Robert E. Lee the position in common with the Union Army. When the Confederate States of America declares a state of war May 6, Arkansas secedes, and Lee resigns from the Union Army because he can’t raise his hand against his state and family. The First Battle of Bull Run took place July 21, 1861, and was the first major battle of the Civil War. Missouri is prevented from seceding from the Union when Lincoln declares martial law and suspends the writ of habeas corpus. The writ of habeas corpus is a writ issued by a court directing one who holds another in custody to produce the person before the court for a specified purpose.

The USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia engaged in a battle at Hampton Roads that ended in a stalemate on March 9, 1862. In 1862 the Federal Income Tax Act was approved as President Abraham Lincoln called for 300,000 volunteers for a three year service. The Battle of Second Bull Run, led Confederate Troops to victory August 28-30. Then, Lee takes the war north across the Potomac into Maryland. The bloodiest day of the American Civil War goes down on September 17, 1862, in Sharpsburg, Maryland also known as the Battle of Antietam. A preliminary Emancipation Proclamation was issued freeing only slaves held in the Confederate States on September 22, 1862. At the end of 1862, the USS Monitor sank off Cape Hatteras.

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In the year of 1863 of the Civil War, the year started out with Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation. The US Congress approved the Federal Draft Act on March 3. In Chancellorsville, Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson was wounded by his own men, and then died eight days later. General Lee had then lost one of his best generals. On July 1, the Battle of Gettysburg started in Pennsylvania, which only lasted 3 days. In the city of New York hundreds are killed during draft riots. The town of Lawrence, Kansas gets raided by William Quantrill and his band of guerrillas. Abraham Lincoln attended the dedication of the memorial in Gettysburg where his comments became known as the Gettysburg Address.

January 19, 1864, Arkansas adopts an anti-slavery constitution. In February 1864, CSS Hunley sank the USS Housatonic off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. Sherman began his march toward the city of Atlanta, Georgia on May 7. Abraham Lincoln was elected for a second term as president of the United States in the year of 1864. The Siege of Atlanta begins in the middle of July. On August 5, 1864, David Farragut defeated the Confederate Navy in the Battle of Mobile Bay. November 8, Abraham Lincoln is re-elected into presidency with Andrew Johnson being his vice-president. The March to the Sea started when Sherman abandoned Atlanta in November.

At the end of January 1865, the US House of Representatives passes the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery throught the United States. Sherman occupies Charleston, South Carolina, without resistance. March 4, 1865 Lincoln was inaugurated for his second term of presidency. The Confederate Congress authorized the recruitment of African American soldiers on March 13. McLean moved from his home near the battlefield of Bull Run to escape the war, but then he later said the war began in his front yard and ended in his front parlour. On April 9, Lee surrendered to Grant at the home of Wilmer McLean in Appomattox, Virginia. Four years later to the day April 26, 1865, when he yielded at Fort Sumter, Major Robert Anderson returned to accept surrender of the fort. Later that evening, Lincoln was fatally shot on April 26, 1865 by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. Abraham Lincoln later died after being shot, so Andrew Johnson is now President of the United States. Boston Corbett then shoots John Wilkes Booth in a barn near Bowling Green, Virginia. On May 13, 1865, the last shots of the American Civil War were fired in the Battle of Palmito Hill in Texas. Johnstom proclaims amnesty for all Southern citizens who pledge allegiance to the US. In the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, eight people are convicted of conspiracy by a military tribunal. Half are sentenced to prison terms and the other half are executed. Mary Surratt, an American boarding house owner in Washington D.C. is executed and found guilty of conspiracy. She was the first woman to be executed by the Federal government. The Thirteenth Amendment to abolish slavery is declared ‘in effect’.

The book The American Civil War by Kat Smutz, is a story that would be necessary to read if you are wanting to know the details, timeline, and what happened during the Civil War. Kat Smutz was a very good author and gave a very good amount of details about the American Civil War.

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