CHAPTER XXVIII. THE CIVIL WAR, 1861-1863

THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA. - After Lincoln's election, the cotton states, one by one, passed ordinances declaring that they left the Union. First to go was South Carolina (December 20, 1860), and by February 1, 1861, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas had followed. On February 4 delegates from six of these seven states met at Montgomery, Alabama, framed, a constitution, [1] established the "Confederate States of America," and elected Jefferson Davis [2] and Alexander H. Stephens provisional President and Vice President. Later they were elected by the people.

LINCOLN'S POLICY. - President Buchanan did nothing to prevent all this, and such was the political situation when Lincoln was inaugurated (March 4, 1861). His views and his policy were clearly stated in his inaugural address: "I have no purpose directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists.... No state on its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union.... The Union is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability I shall take care that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the states.... In doing this there need be no bloodshed or violence, and there shall be none unless it be forced upon the national authority.... The power confided in me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the government."

FORT SUMTER CAPTURED. - Almost all the "property and places" belonging to the United States government in the seven seceding states had been seized by the Confederates. [3] But Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor was still in Union hands, and to this, Lincoln notified the governor of South Carolina, supplies would be sent. Thereupon the Confederate army already gathered in Charleston bombarded the fort till Major Anderson surrendered it (April 14, 1861). [4]

THE WAR OPENS. - With the capture of Fort Sumter the war for the Union opened in earnest. On April 15 Lincoln called for seventy-five thousand militia to serve for three months. [5] Thereupon Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas seceded and joined the Confederacy. The capital of the Confederacy was soon moved from Montgomery to Richmond, Virginia.

In the slave-holding states of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri the Union men outnumbered the secessionists and held these states in the Union. When Virginia seceded, the western counties refused to leave the Union, and in 1863 were admitted into the Union as the state of West Virginia.

THE DIVIDING LINE. - The first call for troops was soon followed by a second. The responses to both were so prompt that by July 1, 1861, more than one hundred and eighty thousand Union soldiers were under arms. They were stationed at various points along a line that stretched from Norfolk in Virginia up the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River to Harpers Ferry, and then across western Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri. South of this dividing line were the Confederate armies. [6]

Geographically this line was cut into three sections: that in Virginia, that in Kentucky, and that in Missouri,

BULL RUN. - General Winfield Scott was in command of the Union army. Under him and in command of the troops about Washington was General McDowell, who in July, 1861, was sent to drive back the Confederate line in Virginia. Marching a few miles southwest, McDowell met General Beauregard near Manassas, and on the field of Bull Run was beaten and his army put to flight. [7] The battle taught the North that the war would not end in three months; that an army of raw troops was no better than a mob; that discipline was as necessary as patriotism. Thereafter men were enlisted for three years or for the war.

General George B. McClellan [8] was now put in command of the Union Army of the Potomac, and spent the rest of 1861, and the early months of 1862, in drilling his raw volunteers.

CONFEDERATE LINE IN KENTUCKY DRIVEN BACK, 1862. - In Kentucky the Confederate line stretched across the southern part of the state as shown on the map. Against this General Thomas was sent in January, 1862. He defeated the Confederates at Mill Springs near the eastern end. In February General U. S. Grant and Flag-Officer Foote were sent to attack, by land and water, Forts Donelson and Henry near the western end of the line. Foote arrived first at Fort Henry on the Tennessee and captured it. Thereupon Grant marched across country to Fort Donelson on the Cumberland, and after three days' sharp fighting forced General Buckner to surrender. [9]

SHILOH OR PITTSBURG LANDING. - The Confederate line was now broken, and abandoning Nashville and Columbus, the Confederates fell back toward Corinth in Mississippi. The Union army followed in three parts.

1. One under General Curtis moved to southwestern Missouri and won a battle at Pea Ridge (Arkansas).

2. Another under General Pope on the banks of the Mississippi aided Flag- Officer Foote in the capture of Island No. 10. [10] The fleet then passed down the river and took Fort Pillow.

3. The third part under Grant took position very near Pittsburg Landing, at Shiloh, [11] where it was attacked and driven back. But the next day, being strongly reënforced, General Grant beat the Confederates, who retreated to Corinth. General Halleck now took command, and having united the second and third parts of the army, took Corinth and cut off Memphis, which then surrendered to the fleet in the river.

BRAGG'S RAID. - And now the Confederates turned furiously. Their army under General Bragg, starting from Chattanooga, rushed across Tennessee and Kentucky toward Louisville, but after a hot fight with General Buell's army at Perryville was forced to turn back, and went into winter quarters at Murfreesboro. [12]