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American Civil War Part I 18611865


American Civil War. Part I. 1861-1865 ... Multiple reasons for the war. Beginnings of the Civil War. First great conflict of the Steam Age ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: American Civil War Part I 18611865

American Civil War Part I 1861-1865
It is well that war is so terrible we would
grow to fond of it. General Lee There is many
a boy here today who looks on war as all glory,
but boys, it is all hell. General Sherman
Reading Assignment
  • Jones, The Art of War in the Western World, pp.
    409 - 418

Learning Objectives
  • Know the professional development of military
    officers prior to the war.
  • Understand the significance of how the
    organizational makeup of both sides affect their
    military styles of leadership.
  • Know the different strategies used by the North
    and South.
  • Know the tactical and technological advances that
    increased combat effectiveness throughout the
  • Be able to identify the major strengths and
    weaknesses of Grant and Lees strategies.

  • Professional development of officers.
  • 1802 West Point is formed
  • In 55 of 60 largest battles, both sides were
    commanded by West Pointers.
  • Artillery and Infantry schools opened.
  • Professional staff begins in earnest
  • Greater independence for military leaders.
  • Politicians focus on strategy and are less
    involved in operational and tactical decisions.
  • Mexican War
  • Many leaders on both sides gain valuable
  • First great post-Industrial Revolution war.

Roots of Conflict
  • Slavery ?
  • States Rights?
  • Multiple reasons for the war

Beginnings of the Civil War
  • First great conflict of the Steam Age
  • The aim of the North was unconditional surrender
    - total victory
  • The aim of the South was independence through
  • It was a crusade that put to test the military
    development of the industrial revolution
  • Therefore, it opened a radically new chapter in
    the history of war

Coordinated and balanced economy vs. distorted,
agriculture-based economy
  • 23,000,000 population
  • Industrial economy
  • 109 manufacturing plants
  • 22,000 miles of railroad
  • 90 of industrial power
  • 9,000,000
  • includes 3.5 M slaves
  • Agricultural economy
  • Exports, not food.
  • 31,000 manufacturing plants
  • 9,000 miles of railroad
  • mostly export crops (cotton, tobacco) so food was

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Military Leadership Generals
  • 1,080 officers active
  • 286 went South (184 from West Point)
  • 900 West Pointers in civilian sector
  • 99 joined South
  • 55 of 60 largest battles were led by West Point
  • Three most qualified Union generals joined South
    (Lee and two Johnstons)
  • Masters of Napoleonic Warfare
  • Interior lines and turning movements for both
    offensive and defensive
  • Problem was that both sides used them and they
    were able to predict each others moves
  • Emphasis on Engineering as taught at USMA
  • Generals from both sides trained and had fought

Union Strategy
  • Aggressive offensive to crush the rebellion.
  • Attrition
  • Gen Winfield Scotts Anaconda Plan
  • Links economics and combat
  • Blockade and seizure of ports
  • Implemented piecemeal and half-heartedly
  • Take Richmond
  • Thought to be CSA center of gravity.
  • Ironworks
  • Urgency (3 month enlistments)
  • Dont allow Confederacy to rest.
  • Napoleonic tactics.

Confederate Strategy
  • Defend and delay until Union gives up.
  • Need support/intervention from Europe.
  • Emancipation Proclamation made foreign support
    politically unviable.
  • Used as a strategic weapon by Union?
  • Threaten Washington, and keep the war distanced
    from Richmond.
  • Sought decisive battle that would convince the
    Union it wasnt worth it (Gettysburg?).
  • Lee favored tactical defense.
  • Dug in regiment can tie down a division, allowing
    the remainder of forces to maneuver and attack.

Inventions/ Innovations
  • Telegraph
  • Davis uses to gather forces for Shiloh.
  • Fredericksburg sees first extensive use on the
  • Railway
  • Greatly changes logistics and strategic maneuver.
  • North had good system South had acceptable
    quantity, but no standardized track width.

  • Rifle (muzzle loader) greatly changes tactics,
    although most leaders are slow to grasp its
  • Cold Harbor
  • 2k dead in twenty minutes, another 5k wounded.
  • Calvary is not used to charge/exploit, but to
  • reconnaissance

Tactics and Cavalry
  • Tactics
  • Few breech loaded or magazine rifles
  • Almost exclusive use of muzzle loaded rifles
  • Offensive and defensive entrenchments (Roman
  • Tactical defense was most powerful
  • Did not agree with European view that heavy
    cavalry had a role on the battlefield
  • Cavalry should not charge rifle-armed infantry
  • Both sides had extensive cavalry units, South had
  • Dismounted to fight infantry
  • Carried Rifles, pistols and sabers
  • Rifle gave them a dismounted defensive power

Tactics and Cavalry
  • Cavalry and Strategy
  • Light Cavalry
  • Reconnaissance
  • Raids on railroads and communications
  • Confederacy halted two major Union advances by
    raiding their rail communications
  • Shock Action as a last resort
  • Calvary on Calvary

The Soldiers
  • North (semi-regular)
  • Marched Heavy (60 lbs)
  • Military rigidity and form of discipline
  • Maintaining line in open fields
  • Stay in our range but out of theirs
  • South (semi-guerrilla)
  • Marched Light (30-40 lbs)
  • Independent action on the battlefield
  • Move forward, back then rush without precision or
    order sweeping everything in front of them
  • Stay close to enemy, within our range

1861 1862
  • JAN - Secession begins in earnest. (SC first
    state to secede in Dec 1860).
  • FEB - Davis elected and inaugurated
  • MAR- Lincoln inaugurated Constitution of CSA
  • APR - Ft Sumter seized (12-14 April)
  • MAY- CSA declaration of war passed.
  • JUL - First Bull Run/Manassas (21st)
  • JAN- McClellan fired
  • MAR- Monitor and Merrimac
  • APR- Shiloh Lee assumes command
  • APR-AUG- Peninsular Campaign
  • SEPT- Antietam Emancipation Proclamation passed
    (takes effect Jan 63).
  • DEC- Fredericksburg

1863 1864
  • MAY- Chancellorsville/Siege of Vicksburg begins
  • JUN-JUL- Vicksburg falls Gettysburg
  • SEPT- Chickamauga
  • NOV- Chattanooga
  • FEB- Grant assumes command
  • MAY - Wilderness Campaign
  • JUN - Cold Harbor
  • NOV - Shermans March to the Sea Lincoln

  • APR Lee surrenders at Appomattox (9 April)
    Lincoln assassinated

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  • West Point Class of 1843
  • Mexican War
  • Spends first three years in West
  • Shiloh, Vicksburg, Chattanooga
  • 1864 Command of all Union forces.
  • Clausewitzian (even though On War had not been
  • Aggressively seek out and defeat the enemy by
    finding and destroying his centers of gravity.
  • Understood and applied Total War concept
  • Economics and combat.

  • West Point, Class of 1829
  • 2d in class w/ no demerits
  • Chief of Engineers during Mexican War.
  • Very best soldier I ever saw in the field.
  • Superintendent of West Point in early 50s.
  • Led Marines at Harpers Ferry.
  • Offered command of Union forces, but first
    loyalty was to his state (Virginia).
  • I could take no part in an invasion of the
    Southern states.
  • Started war as advisor to President Davis.

  • Placed in command in June 1862.
  • Secrets to success
  • Inspired incredible loyalty in his troops.
  • Student of military affairs with extensive
    practical experience.
  • Knew his opponents.
  • Weaknesses
  • Apathy about the Big Picture (politics, Western
  • Lack of clear guidance to subordinates and
    reluctance to give course corrections once
    battle started.

Impact on Future Conflicts
  • Expanding battlefield due to new technology.
  • Defense is favored.
  • fortification.
  • Beginnings of trend toward dispersal and
    increased individual combat.
  • Shift to Total War
  • Whole government had to be removed for success.
  • Civil and military targets.
  • Shermans March to the Sea.
  • Emancipation Proclamation.

  • 1. The professional development of military
    officers prior to the war.(West Point, Artillery
    and Infantry schools, greater independence for
    military leaders)
  • 2. The significance of how the organizational
    makeup of both sides affect their military styles
    of leadership.(Large manufacturing economy vs.
    Smaller agricultural economy)
  • 3. The different strategies used by the North
    and South. (North aggressive attrition style to
    crush Confederate center of gravity vs. South
    Defend and delay strategy until a hopefully
    decisive victory could be used as leverage on
  • 4. The tactical and technological advances that
    increased combat effectiveness throughout the
    war.(Rifle, telegraph, and railway)
  • 5. The major strengths and weaknesses of Grant
    and Lees strategies. (Grantaggressive total war
    tactics. Lee experienced, but apathetic about
    big pic. And unable to modify orders once fight
    was under way)