Battle of Stones River
The Battle of Stones River was a battle fought from December 31, 1862, to January 2, 1863, in Middle Tennessee, as the culmination of the Stones River Campaign in the Western Theater of the American Civil War. Of the major battles of the war, Stones River had the highest percentage of casualties on both sides. Although the battle itself was inconclusive, the Union Army's repulse of two Confederate attacks and the subsequent Confederate withdrawal were a much-needed boost to Union morale after the defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg, it dashed Confederate aspirations for control of Middle Tennessee. Union Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans's Army of the Cumberland marched from Nashville, Tennessee, on December 26, 1862, to challenge General Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee at Murfreesboro. On December 31, each army commander planned to attack his opponent's right flank, but Bragg struck first. A massive assault by the corps of Maj. Gen. William J. Hardee, followed by that of Leonidas Polk, overran the wing commanded by Maj. Gen. Alexander M. McCook.
A stout defense by the division of Brig. Gen. Philip Sheridan in the right center of the line prevented a total collapse and the Union assumed a tight defensive position backing up to the Nashville Turnpike. Repeated Confederate attacks were repulsed from this concentrated line, most notably in the cedar "Round Forest" salient against the brigade of Col. William B. Hazen. Bragg attempted to continue the assault with the division of Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge, but the troops were slow in arriving and their multiple piecemeal attacks failed. Fighting resumed on January 2, 1863, when Bragg ordered Breckinridge to assault the well-fortified Union position on a hill to the east of the Stones River. Faced with overwhelming artillery, the Confederates were repulsed with heavy losses. Falsely believing that Rosecrans was receiving reinforcements, Bragg chose to withdraw his army on January 3 to Tullahoma, Tennessee; this caused Bragg to lose the confidence of the Army of Tennessee. After the Battle of Perryville in Kentucky on October 8, 1862, Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg's Army of Mississippi withdrew to Harrodsburg, where it was joined by Maj. Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith's army of 10,000 on October 10.
Although Bragg's newly combined force was up to 38,000 veteran troops, he made no effort to regain the initiative. Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell, the Union commander at Perryville, was passive and refused to attack Bragg. Frustrated with his prospects in Kentucky and low on supplies, Bragg withdrew from Kentucky through the Cumberland Gap, passed through Knoxville and Chattanooga, turned northwest, stopped in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, his army, joined with Smith's Army of Kentucky and together renamed the Army of Tennessee as of November 20, took up a defensive position northwest of the city along the West Fork of the Stones River. During a visit by Confederate President Jefferson Davis on December 16, Bragg was ordered to send the infantry division of Maj. Gen. Carter L. Stevenson to Mississippi to assist in the defense of Vicksburg; the loss of Stevenson's 7,500 men would be sorely felt in the coming battle. Bragg reorganized his army, Kirby Smith left for East Tennessee. Bragg commanded two corps, under Maj. Gen. William J. Hardee and Maj. Gen. Leonidas Polk (divisions of Maj. Gens.
Benjamin F. Cheatham and Jones M. Withers, a cavalry command under Brig. Gen. Joseph Wheeler. Bragg had to deal with a command problem that became typical for him during the war: a virtual revolt of his senior generals, who petitioned Jefferson Davis to relieve him in favor of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, the commander of all armies in the Western Theater. Davis refused to relieve the rebellious generals. On the Union side, President Abraham Lincoln had become frustrated with Buell's passivity and replaced him with Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans, victor of the recent battles of Iuka and Corinth. Rosecrans moved his XIV Corps to Nashville and was warned by Washington that he too would be replaced if he did not move aggressively against Bragg and occupy eastern Tennessee. However, Rosecrans took ample time to resupply his army, he did not begin his march in pursuit of Bragg until December 26. While Rosecrans was preparing in Nashville, Bragg ordered Col. John Hunt Morgan to move north with his cavalry and operate along Rosecrans's lines of communications, to prevent him from foraging for supplies north of Nashville.
The Battle of Hartsville, at a crossing point on the Cumberland River about 40 miles upstream from Nashville was an incident in Morgan's raid to the north, before Rosecrans had the bulk of his infantry forces on the move. The small battle that followed Morgan's surprise attack was an embarrassing Union defeat, resulting in many captured Union supplies and soldiers; the Union engaged in a strategic cavalry raid. On December 26, the day Rosecrans marched from Nashville, a small force under Brig. Gen. Samuel P. Carter raided the upper Tennessee Valley from Manchester, Kentucky; until January 5, Carter's men destroyed railroad bridges and fought a few skirmishes, including a serious one on December 28 at Perkins's Mill. But none of the cavalry raids, Confederate or Union, had any significant effect on the Stones River Campaign; the Army of the Cumberland marched southeast the day after Christmas in three columns, or "wings", towards Murfreesboro, they were harassed by Wheeler's Confederate cavalry along the way, which delayed their movements.
History of the United States (1789–1849)
George Washington, elected the first president in 1789, set up a cabinet form of government, with departments of State and War, along with an Attorney General. Based in New York, the new government acted to rebuild the nation's financial structure. Enacting the program of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, the government assumed the Revolutionary war debts of the states and the national government, refinanced them with new federal bonds, it paid for the program through new taxes. The nation adopted a Bill of Rights as 10 amendments to the new constitution; the Judiciary Act of 1789 established the entire federal judiciary, including the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court became important under the leadership of Chief Justice John Marshall, a federalist and nationalist who built a strong Supreme Court and strengthened the national government; the 1790s were contentious, as the First Party System emerged in the contest between Hamilton and his Federalist party, Thomas Jefferson and his Republican party.
Washington and Hamilton were building a strong national government, with a broad financial base, the support of merchants and financiers throughout the country. Jeffersonians opposed the new national Bank, the Navy, federal taxes; the Federalists favored Britain, embattled in a series of wars with France. Jefferson's victory in 1800 opened the era of Jeffersonian democracy, doomed the upper-crust Federalists to marginal roles; the Louisiana Purchase from Napoleon in 1803 opened vast Western expanses of fertile land, which met the needs of the expanding population of yeomen farmers whom Jefferson championed. The Americans declared war on Britain to uphold American honor at sea, to end the Indian raids in the west, as well as to seize Canadian territory. Despite incompetent government management, a series of defeats early on, Americans found new generals like Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, Winfield Scott, who repulsed British invasions and broke the alliance between the British and the Indians that held up settlement of the Old Northwest.
The Federalists, who had opposed the war to the point of trading with the enemy and threatening secession, were devastated by the triumphant ending of the war. The remaining Indians east of the Mississippi were kept on reservations or moved via the Trail of Tears to reservations in what became Oklahoma; the spread of democracy opened the ballot box to nearly all white men, allowing the Jacksonian democracy to dominate politics during the Second Party System. Whigs, representing wealthier planters, merchants and professionals, wanted to modernize the society, using tariffs and federally funded internal improvements; the Jacksonians wanted expansion—that is "Manifest Destiny"—into new lands that would be occupied by farmers and planters. Thanks to the annexation of Texas, the defeat of Mexico in war, a compromise with Britain, the western third of the nation rounded out the continental United States by 1848. Howe argues that the transformation America underwent was not so much political democratization but rather the explosive growth of technologies and networks of infrastructure and communication—the telegraph, the post office, an expanding print industry.
They made possible the religious revivals of the Second Great Awakening, the expansion of education and social reform. They modernized party politics and sped up business by enabling the fast, efficient movement of goods and people across an expanding nation, they transformed a loose-knit collection of parochial agricultural communities into a powerful cosmopolitan nation. Economic modernization proceeded thanks to profitable cotton crops in the South, new textile and machine-making industries in the Northeast, a fast developing transportation infrastructure. Breaking loose from European models, the Americans developed their own high culture, notably in literature and in higher education; the Second Great Awakening brought revivals across the country, forming new denominations and increasing church membership among Methodists and Baptists. By the 1840s increasing numbers of immigrants were arriving from Europe British and Germans. Many settled in the cities, which were starting to emerge as a major factor in the economy and society.
The Whigs had warned that annexation of Texas would lead to a crisis over slavery, they were proven right by the turmoil of the 1850s that led to the Civil War. George Washington, a renowned hero of the American Revolutionary War, commander of the Continental Army, president of the Constitutional Convention, was unanimously chosen as the first President of the United States under the new U. S. Constitution. All the leaders of the new nation were committed to republicanism, the doubts of the Anti-Federalists of 1788 were allayed with the passage of a Bill of Rights as the first ten amendments to the Constitution in 1791; the first census, conducted by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, enumerated a population of 3.9 million, with a density of 4.5 people per square mile of land area. There were only 12 cities of more than 5,000 population, as the great majority of the people were farmers. Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1789. At the time, the act provided for a Supreme Court of six justices, three circuit courts, 13 district courts.
It created the offices of U. S. Marshal, Deputy Marshal, District Attorney in each federal judic
Dred Scott v. Sandford
Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U. S. 393, was a landmark decision of the U. S. Supreme Court in which the Court held that the U. S. Constitution was not meant to include American citizenship for black people, regardless of whether they were enslaved or free, therefore the rights and privileges it confers upon American citizens could never apply to them; the plaintiff in the case was Dred Scott, an enslaved black man whose owners had taken him from Missouri, a slave-holding state, into the Missouri Territory, most of, designated "free" territory by the Missouri Compromise of 1820. When his owners brought him back to Missouri, Scott sued in court for his freedom, claiming that because he had been taken into "free" U. S. territory, he had automatically been freed, was no longer a slave. Scott sued first in Missouri state court, he sued in U. S. federal court, which ruled against him by deciding that it had to apply Missouri law to the case. He appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court. In March 1857, the Supreme Court issued a 7–2 decision against Dred Scott.
In an opinion written by Chief Justice Roger Taney, the Court ruled that black people "are not included, were not intended to be included, under the word'citizens' in the Constitution, can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States." Taney supported his ruling with an extended survey of American state and local laws from the time of the Constitution's drafting in 1787 purporting to show that a "perpetual and impassable barrier was intended to be erected between the white race and the one which they had reduced to slavery." Because the Court ruled that Scott was not an American citizen, any federal lawsuit he filed automatically failed because he could never establish the "diversity of citizenship" that Article III of the U. S. Constitution requires for an American federal court to be able to exercise jurisdiction over a case. After ruling on these issues surrounding Scott, Taney continued further and struck down the entire Missouri Compromise as a limitation on slavery that exceeded the U.
S. Congress's powers under the Constitution. Two justices—John McLean and Benjamin Robbins Curtis—dissented from the Court's opinion, writing that the majority's historical survey was inaccurate and that legal precedent showed that some black people had been citizens at the time of the Constitution's creation, that the majority's opinion went too far in striking down the Missouri Compromise. Although Chief Justice Taney and several of the other justices hoped that the ruling would settle the slavery controversy, dividing the American public, its effect was the complete opposite. Taney's majority opinion "was greeted with unmitigated wrath from every segment of the United States except the slave holding states." Rather than settling the controversy, the decision proved to be a contributing factor in the outbreak of the American Civil War four years in 1861. After the Union's victory in 1865, the Court's rulings in Dred Scott were superseded by direct amendments to the U. S. Constitution by the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery, by the first clause of Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which reads: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
The Supreme Court's decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford is denounced by modern scholars. Many contemporary lawyers, most modern legal scholars, consider the ruling regarding slavery in the territories to be obiter dictum and not a binding precedent. Bernard Schwartz says it "stands first in any list of the worst Supreme Court decisions—Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes called it the Court's greatest self-inflicted wound." Junius P. Rodriguez says it is "universally condemned as the U. S. Supreme Court's worst decision." Historian David Thomas Konig says it was "unquestionably, our court's worst decision ever." In the late 1810s, a major political debate arose over the creation of new American states from the vast territory the United States had acquired from France in 1803 through the Louisiana Purchase. The debate involved whether the new states would be "free" states like the existing Northern states, in which slavery would be illegal, or whether they would be "slave" states like the existing Southern states, in which slavery would be legal.
The Southern states wanted the new states to be slave states in order to enhance their own political power, but the Northern states opposed this for their own political reasons, as well as their moral concerns over allowing the institution of slavery to expand. In 1820, the U. S. Congress passed an agreement known as the "Missouri Compromise", intended to resolve the dispute; the Compromise created Missouri out of a portion of the Louisiana Purchase territory and admitted it into the Union as a slave state, but at the same time prohibited slavery in the rest of the territory that lay north of the Parallel 36°30′ north. The legal effects of a slaveowner taking his slaves from Missouri into the free territory north of the 36°30′ north parallel, as well as the constitutionality of the Missouri Compromise itself came to a head in the Dred Scott case. Dred Scott was born a slave in Virginia in 1795. Little is known of his early years, his owner, Peter Blow, moved to Alabama in 1818, taking his six slaves along to work a farm near Huntsville.
In 1830, Blow gave up farming and settled in St. Louis, where he sold Scott to U. S. Army surgeon Dr. John Emerson. After purchasing Scott, Emerson took him to Fort Arms
Battle of Fort Sumter
The Battle of Fort Sumter was the bombardment of Fort Sumter near Charleston, South Carolina by the Confederate States Army, the return gunfire and subsequent surrender by the United States Army, that started the American Civil War. Following the declaration of secession by South Carolina on December 20, 1860, its authorities demanded that the U. S. Army abandon its facilities in Charleston Harbor. On December 26, Major Robert Anderson of the U. S. Army surreptitiously moved his small command from the vulnerable Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island to Fort Sumter, a substantial fortress built on an island controlling the entrance of Charleston Harbor. An attempt by U. S. President James Buchanan to reinforce and resupply Anderson using the unarmed merchant ship Star of the West failed when it was fired upon by shore batteries on January 9, 1861. South Carolina authorities seized all Federal property in the Charleston area except for Fort Sumter. During the early months of 1861, the situation around Fort Sumter began to resemble a siege.
In March, Brigadier General P. G. T. Beauregard, the first general officer of the newly formed Confederate States Army, was placed in command of Confederate forces in Charleston. Beauregard energetically directed the strengthening of batteries around Charleston harbor aimed at Fort Sumter. Conditions in the fort, growing dire due to shortages of men and supplies, deteriorated as the Union soldiers rushed to complete the installation of additional guns; the resupply of Fort Sumter became the first crisis of the administration of the newly inaugurated U. S. President Abraham Lincoln following his victory in the election of November 6, 1860, he notified the Governor of South Carolina, Francis W. Pickens that he was sending supply ships, which resulted in an ultimatum from the Confederate government for the immediate evacuation of Fort Sumter, which Major Anderson refused. Beginning at 4:30 a.m. on April 12, the Confederates bombarded the fort from artillery batteries surrounding the harbor. Although the Union garrison returned fire, they were outgunned and, after 34 hours, Major Anderson agreed to evacuate.
There were no deaths on either side as a direct result of this engagement, although a gun explosion during the surrender ceremonies on April 14 caused two Union deaths. Following the battle, there was widespread support from both North and South for further military action. Lincoln's immediate call for 75,000 volunteers to suppress the rebellion resulted in an additional four southern states declaring their secession and joining the Confederacy; the battle is recognized as the first battle that opened the American Civil War. On December 20, 1860, shortly after Abraham Lincoln's victory in the presidential election of 1860, South Carolina adopted an ordinance declaring its secession from the United States of America and, by February 1861, six more Southern states had adopted similar ordinances of secession. On February 7, the seven states adopted a provisional constitution for the Confederate States of America and established their temporary capital at Montgomery, Alabama. A February peace conference met in Washington, D.
C. but failed to resolve the crisis. The remaining eight slave states declined pleas to join the Confederacy; the seceding states seized numerous Federal properties within their boundaries, including buildings and fortifications. President James Buchanan took no military action in response. Buchanan was concerned that an overt action could cause the remaining slave states to leave the Union, while he acknowledged there was no constitutional authority for a state to secede, he could find no constitutional authority for him to act to prevent it. Several forts had been constructed in Charleston's harbor, including Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie, which were not among the sites seized initially. Fort Moultrie on Sullivan Island was the oldest—it was the site of fortifications since 1776—and was the headquarters of the U. S. Army garrison. However, it had been designed as a gun platform for defending the harbor, its defenses against land-based attacks were feeble; when the garrison began clearing away the dunes, the papers objected.
Major Robert Anderson of the 1st U. S. Artillery regiment had been appointed to command the Charleston garrison that fall because of rising tensions. A native of Kentucky, he was a protégé of Winfield Scott, the general in chief of the Army, was thought more capable of handling a crisis than the garrison's previous commander, Col. John L. Gardner, nearing retirement. Anderson had served an earlier tour of duty at Fort Moultrie and his father had been a defender of the fort during the American Revolutionary War. Throughout the fall, South Carolina authorities considered both secession and the expropriation of federal property in the harbor to be inevitable; as tensions mounted, the environment around the fort resembled a siege, to the point that the South Carolina authorities placed picket ships to observe the movements of the troops and threatened to attack when forty rifles were transferred to one of the harbor forts from the U. S. arsenal in the city. In contrast to Moultrie, Fort Sumter dominated the entrance to Charleston Harbor and, though unfinished, was designed to be one of the strongest fortresses in the world.
In the fall of 1860 work on the fort was nearly completed, but the fortress was thus far garrisoned by a single soldier, who functioned as a lighthouse keeper, a small party of civilian construction workers. Under the cover of darkness on December 26, six days after South Carolina decla
Battle of Nashville
The Battle of Nashville was a two-day battle in the Franklin-Nashville Campaign that represented the end of large-scale fighting west of the coastal states in the American Civil War. It was fought at Nashville, Tennessee, on December 10–19, 1864, between the Confederate Army of Tennessee under Lieutenant General John Bell Hood and Federal forces under Major General George H. Thomas. In one of the largest victories achieved by the Union Army during the war, Thomas attacked and routed Hood's army destroying it as an effective fighting force. Hood followed up his defeat in the Atlanta Campaign by moving northwest to disrupt the supply lines of Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman from Chattanooga, hoping to challenge Sherman into a battle that could be fought to Hood's advantage. After a brief period of pursuit, Sherman decided to disengage and to conduct instead his March to the Sea, leaving the matter of Hood's army and the defense of Tennessee to Thomas. Hood devised a plan to march into Tennessee and defeat Thomas's force while it was geographically divided.
He pursued Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield's army from Pulaski to Columbia and attempted to intercept and destroy it at Spring Hill; because of a series of Confederate command miscommunications in the Battle of Spring Hill, Schofield was able to withdraw from Columbia and slip past Hood's army at Spring Hill unscathed. Furious at his failure at Spring Hill, Hood pursued Schofield to the north and encountered the Federals at Franklin behind strong fortifications. In the Battle of Franklin on November 30, Hood ordered 31,000 of his men to assault the Federal works before Schofield could withdraw across the Harpeth River and escape to Nashville; the Union soldiers repulsed multiple assaults and inflicted over 6,000 casualties on the Confederates, which included a large number of key Confederate generals, doing heavy damage to the leadership of the Army of Tennessee. Schofield withdrew from Franklin during the night and marched into the defensive works of Nashville on December 1, there coming under the command of Thomas, who now had a combined force of 55,000 men.
By and large, his troops were veterans, the IV Corps under Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Wood and Schofield's XXIII Corps having fought in the Atlanta campaign and Maj. Gen. Andrew J. Smith's "Detachment of the Army of the Tennessee" having fought at Vicksburg, in the Red River Campaign, at the Tupelo against S. D. Lee and Nathan Bedford Forrest, in Missouri against Sterling Price. While Wilson's cavalry had combat experience, most of it had been of the wrong kind at the hands of Nathan Bedford Forrest, John Hunt Morgan, or Joe Wheeler. Only Maj. Gen. James B. Steedman's Division lacked experience, it was composed of garrison troops and railroad guards from Tennessee and Georgia and included eight regiments of United States Colored Troops. Union forces had been constructing defensive works around Nashville since the time the city was occupied in February 1862. By 1864, a 7-mile-long semicircular Union defensive line on the south and west sides of the city protected Nashville from attacks from those directions.
The line was studded with the largest being Fort Negley. The trench line was extended to the west after December 1; the Cumberland River formed a natural defensive barrier on the east sides of the city. Smith's troops had arrived by river on November 30, their transports had been escorted by a powerful fleet of tinclad and ironclad gunboats. Thus, the river barrier was well-defended. From east to west the defensive line was manned by the Steedman's division, the XXIII Corps, the IV Corps, Smith's XVI Corps Detachment. Given the fact that the Federal Army was composed of troops from the Army of the Cumberland, the Army of the Ohio, the Army of the Tennessee, the District of Etowah, the Post of Nashville, the force in Nashville had no official name. Hood's Army of Tennessee arrived south of the city on December 2 and took up positions facing the Union forces within the city; as he was not nearly strong enough to assault the Federal fortifications, Hood opted for the defensive. Rather than repeating his fruitless frontal attack at Franklin, he entrenched and waited, hoping that Thomas would attack him.
After Thomas had smashed his army against the Confederate entrenchments, Hood could counterattack and take Nashville. The Confederate line of about four miles of fortifications faced the southerly facing portion of the Union line. From right to left were the corps of Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Cheatham, Lt. Gen. Stephen D. Lee, Lt. Gen. Alexander P. Stewart. Cavalry commanded by Brig. Gen. James R. Chalmers was off to the southwest of the city; the Confederate left flank was secured by five small detached redoubts, each having two to four guns with garrisons of about 150 men each. Hood made a serious strategic error before the battle. On December 2, he sent the three brigades of William B. Bate's Division of Cheatham's Corps to attack the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad between Nashville and Murfreesboro as well as the Federal garrison in the latter city. Three days he sent an additional two brigades of infantry and two divisions of cavalry, all under Forrest's command, to reinforce Bate. Hood believed this diversion would draw Thomas out of the Nashville fortifications, allowing Hood to either defeat Thomas in detail or to seize Nashville by a coup de main once its garrison was depleted.
While the railroad between Nashville and Murfreesboro was broken in a number of places, the Murfreesboro garrison drove off the Confederates in the Third Battle of Murfreesboro on December 7. Furthermore, Thomas was not
Jackson's Valley Campaign
Jackson's Valley Campaign known as the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862, was Confederate Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's spring 1862 campaign through the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia during the American Civil War. Employing audacity and rapid, unpredictable movements on interior lines, Jackson's 17,000 men marched 646 miles in 48 days and won several minor battles as they engaged three Union armies, preventing them from reinforcing the Union offensive against Richmond. Jackson suffered a tactical defeat at the First Battle of Kernstown against Col. Nathan Kimball, but it proved to be a strategic Confederate victory because President Abraham Lincoln reinforced the Union's Valley forces with troops, designated for the Peninsula Campaign against Richmond. On May 8, after more than a month of skirmishing with Banks, Jackson moved deceptively to the west of the Valley and drove back elements of Maj. Gen. John C. Frémont's army in the Battle of McDowell, preventing a potential combination of the two Union armies against him.
Jackson headed down the Valley once again to confront Banks. Concealing his movement in the Luray Valley, Jackson joined forces with Maj. Gen. Richard S. Ewell and captured the Federal garrison at Front Royal on May 23, causing Banks to retreat to the north. On May 25, in the First Battle of Winchester, Jackson defeated Banks and pursued him until the Union Army crossed the Potomac River into Maryland. Bringing in Union reinforcements from eastern Virginia, Brig. Gen. James Shields recaptured Front Royal and planned to link up with Frémont in Strasburg. Jackson was now threatened by three small Union armies. Withdrawing up the Valley from Winchester, Jackson was pursued by Shields. On June 8, Ewell defeated Frémont in the Battle of Cross Keys and on the following day, crossed the North River to join forces with Jackson to defeat Shields in the Battle of Port Republic, bringing the campaign to a close. Jackson followed up his successful campaign by forced marches to join Gen. Robert E. Lee for the Seven Days Battles outside Richmond.
His audacious campaign elevated him to the position of the most famous general in the Confederacy and has been studied since by military organizations around the world. In the spring of 1862 "Southern morale... was at its nadir" and "prospects for the Confederacy's survival seemed bleak." Following the successful summer of 1861 the First Battle of Bull Run, its prospects declined quickly. Union armies in the Western Theater, under Ulysses S. Grant and others, captured Southern territory and won significant battles at Fort Donelson and Shiloh, and in the East, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's massive Army of the Potomac was approaching Richmond from the southeast in the Peninsula Campaign, Maj. Gen. Irvin McDowell's large corps was poised to hit Richmond from the north, Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks's army was threatening the Shenandoah Valley. However, Jackson's Confederate troops were in "excellent spirits," laying the foundation for his performance in the Valley that spring, which helped derail the Union plans and re-energize Confederate morale elsewhere.
During the Civil War, the Shenandoah Valley was one of the most strategic geographic features of Virginia. The watershed of the Shenandoah River passed between the Blue Ridge Mountains on the east and the Allegheny Mountains to the west, extending 140 miles southwest from the Potomac River at Shepherdstown and Harpers Ferry, at an average width of 25 miles. By the conventions of local residents, the "upper Valley" referred to the southwestern end, which had a higher elevation than the lower Valley to the northeast. Moving "up the Valley" meant traveling southwest, for instance. Between the North and South Forks of the Shenandoah River, Massanutten Mountain soared 2,900 feet and separated the Valley into two halves for about 50 miles, from Strasburg to Harrisonburg. During the 19th century, there was but a single road that crossed over the mountain, from New Market to Luray; the Valley offered two strategic advantages to the Confederates. First, a Northern army invading Virginia could be subjected to Confederate flanking attacks pouring through the many wind gaps across the Blue Ridge.
Second, the Valley offered a protected avenue that allowed Confederate armies to head north into Pennsylvania unimpeded. Early in the Valley Campaigns of 1864. In contrast, the orientation of the Valley offered little advantage to a Northern army headed toward Richmond, but denying the Valley to the Confederacy would be a significant blow. It was an agriculturally rich area—the 2.5 million bushels of wheat produced in 1860, for example, accounted for about 19% of the crop in the entire state and the Valley was rich in livestock—that was used to provision Virginia's armies and the Confederate capital of Richmond. If the Federals could reach Staunton in the upper Valley, they would threaten the vital Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, which ran from Richmond to the Mississippi River. Stonewall Jackson wrote to a staff member, "If this Valley is lost, Virginia is lost." In addition to Jackson's campaign in 1862, the Valley was subjected to conflict for the entire war, most notably in the Valley Campaigns of 1864.
Stonewall Jackson's command, the Valley District of the Department of Northern Virginia, expanded during the campaign as reinforcements were added, starting with a force of a mere 5,000 effectives and reaching an eventual peak of 17,000 men. It remained, however, g
The Lincoln–Douglas debates were a series of seven debates between Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate for the United States Senate from Illinois, incumbent Senator Stephen Douglas, the Democratic Party candidate. At the time, U. S. senators were elected by state legislatures. The debates previewed the issues that Lincoln would face in the aftermath of his victory in the 1860 presidential election. Although Illinois was a free state, the main issue discussed in all seven debates was slavery in the United States. In agreeing to the official debates and Douglas decided to hold one debate in each of the nine congressional districts in Illinois; because both had spoken in two—Springfield and Chicago—within a day of each other, they decided that their "joint appearances" would be held in the remaining seven districts. The debates were held in seven towns in the state of Illinois: Ottawa on August 21 Freeport on August 27 Jonesboro on September 15 Charleston on September 18 Galesburg on October 7 Quincy on October 13 Alton on October 15The debates in Freeport and Alton drew large numbers of people from neighboring states, as the issue of slavery was of monumental importance to citizens across the nation.
Newspaper coverages of the debates were intense. Major papers from Chicago sent stenographers to create complete texts of each debate, which newspapers across the United States reprinted in full, with some partisan edits. Newspapers that supported Douglas edited his speeches to remove any errors made by the stenographers and to correct grammatical errors, while they left Lincoln's speeches in the rough form in which they had been transcribed. In the same way, pro-Lincoln papers edited Lincoln's speeches, but left the Douglas texts as reported. After winning a plurality of the voters but losing in the legislature, Lincoln edited the texts of all the debates and had them published in a book; the widespread coverage of the original debates and the subsequent popularity of the book led to Lincoln's nomination for President of the United States by the 1860 Republican National Convention in Chicago. The format for each debate was: one candidate spoke for 60 minutes the other candidate spoke for 90 minutes, the first candidate was allowed a 30-minute "rejoinder."
The candidates alternated speaking first. As the incumbent, Douglas spoke first in four of the debates. Stephen Douglas was first elected to the United States Senate in 1846. In 1858, he was seeking re-election for a third term. During his time in the Senate, the issue of slavery was raised several times with respect to the Compromise of 1850; as chairman of the committee on territories, Douglas argued for an approach to slavery termed popular sovereignty. Decisions about whether slavery was permitted or prohibited within certain states and territories had been made at a federal level. Douglas was successful with passage of the Kansas–Nebraska Act in 1854. Abraham Lincoln, like Douglas, had been elected to Congress in 1846, he served one two-year term in the House of Representatives. During his time in the House, Lincoln disagreed with Douglas and supported the Wilmot Proviso, which sought to ban slavery in new territory. Lincoln returned to politics in the 1850s to oppose the Kansas–Nebraska Act, help develop the new Republican party.
Before the debates, Lincoln said that Douglas was encouraging his fears of amalgamation of the races with enough success to drive thousands of people away from the Republican Party. Douglas tried to convince the Democrats, that Lincoln was an abolitionist for saying that the American Declaration of Independence did apply to blacks as well as whites. Lincoln called a self-evident truth "the electric cord... that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together" of different ethnic backgrounds. Lincoln argued in his House Divided Speech that Douglas was part of a conspiracy to nationalize slavery. Lincoln said that ending the Missouri Compromise ban on slavery in Kansas and Nebraska was the first step in this direction, that the Dred Scott decision was another step in the direction of spreading slavery into Northern territories. Lincoln expressed the fear. Both Lincoln and Douglas had opposition. Although Lincoln was a former Whig, the prominent former Whig Judge Theophilus Lyle Dickey said that Lincoln was too tied to the abolitionists, supported Douglas.
But Democratic President James Buchanan opposed Douglas for defeating the Lecompton Constitution, which would have made Kansas a slave state, set up a rival National Democratic party that drew votes away from him. The main theme of the Lincoln–Douglas debates was slavery the issue of slavery's expansion into the territories, it was Douglas's Kansas–Nebraska Act that repealed the Missouri Compromise's ban on slavery in the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, replaced it with the doctrine of popular sovereignty, which meant that the people of a territory could decide for themselves whether to allow slavery. Lincoln said that popular sovereignty would perpetuate slavery. Douglas argued that both Whigs and Democrats believed in popular sovereignty and that the Compromise of 1850 was an example of this. Lincoln said that the national policy was to limit the spread of slavery, mentioned the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which banned slavery from a large part of the modern-day Midwest