The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War
As a graduate history instructor, I found this book to be a refreshing view of history. It's nice to read some critical reasoning that goes against the popular biases by presenting facts that are conveniently over-looked by many others. I highly recommend this book to high school seniors and college undergraduates as an excellent basis to their understanding of the war.
Abraham Lincoln is elected sixteenth President of the United States. On receiving the news of Lincoln's election, the South Carolina legislature calls a special state convention to meet at Columbia on December 20. On that date, by unanimous vote, South Carolina secedes from the Union. The first "repeating" rifle in the U.S. is produced by Oliver F. Winchester. The first relay on the Pony Express Mail Service leaves St. Joseph, Missouri, and arrives in Sacramento, California. Joseph Smith restored the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Eighth census: U.S. population - 31,443,321.
Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas join South Carolina in seceding from the Union. These seven states form a new southern union, setting up a provisional government called the Confederate States of America. Jefferson Davis of Mississippi is elected President of the Confederacy for a six-year term. Confederate forces open fire on U.S. Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina; the fort surrenders on April 14. President Lincoln calls for a 75,000 man militia to suppress the "insurrection," this move provokes four remaining southern states, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina, to secede and join the Confederacy. The first transcontinental telegraph line is completed, bringing to an end the Pony Express.
January 1861 -- The South Secedes. When Abraham Lincoln, a known opponent of slavery, was elected president, the South Carolina legislature perceived a threat. Calling a state convention, the delegates voted to remove the state of South Carolina from the union known as the United States of America. The Secession of South Carolina was followed by the secession of six more states -- Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas -- and the threat of Secession by four more -- Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. These eleven states eventually formed the Confederate States of America. Ordinances of Secession
February 1 Texas seceded from the Union.
February 13 The Virginia secession convention assembled in Richmond. Called for by a special session of the General Assembly, the group convened to determine whether Virginia should secede from the Union.
February 1861-- The South Creates a Government.
At a convention in Montgomery, Alabama, the seven seceding states created the ConfederateConstitution, a document similar to the United States Constitution, but with greater stress on the autonomy of each state. Jefferson Davis was named provisional president of the Confederacy until elections could be held.
February 1861-- The South Seizes Federal Forts.
When President Buchanan -- Lincoln's predecessor -- refused to surrender southern federal forts to the seceding states, southern state troops seized them. At Fort Sumter, South Carolina troops repulsed a supply ship trying to reach federal forces based in the fort. The ship was forced to return to New York, its supplies undelivered.
March 4 1861-- Lincoln's Inauguration.
At Lincoln's inauguration the new president said he had no plans to end slavery in those states where it already existed, but he also said he would not accept secession. He hoped to resolve the national crisis without warfare.
April 1861 -- Attack on Fort Sumter When President Lincoln planned to send supplies to Fort Sumter, he alerted the state in advance, in an attempt to avoid hostilities. South Carolina, however, feared a trick. On April 10, 1861, Brig. Gen. Beauregard, in command of the provisional Confederate forces at Charleston, South Carolina, demanded the surrender of the Union garrison of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.
The Garrison commander Anderson refused. On April 12, Confederate batteries opened fire on the fort, which was unable to reply effectively. At 2:30 p.m., April 13, Major Anderson surrendered Fort Sumter, evacuating the garrison on the following day.
The bombardment of Fort Sumter was the opening engagement of the American Civil War. Although there were no casualties during the bombardment, one Union artillerist was killed and three wounded (one mortally) when a cannon exploded prematurely when firing a salute during the evacuation.
From 1863 to 1865, the Confederates at Fort Sumter withstood a 22 month siege by Union forces. During this time, most of the fort was reduced to brick rubble. Fort Sumter became a national monument in 1948.
June 1861-- West Virginia Is Born. Residents of the western counties of Virginia did not wish to secede along with the rest of the state. This section of Virginia was admitted into the Union as the state of West Virginia on June 20, 1863.
June 1861-- Four Slave States Stay in the Union. Despite their acceptance of slavery, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri did not join the Confederacy. Although divided in their loyalties, a combination of political maneuvering and Union military pressure kept these states from seceding.
July -- First Battle of Bull Run.
Public demand pushed General-in-Chief Winfield Scott to advance on the South before adequately training his untried troops. Scott ordered General Irvin McDowell to advance on Confederate troops stationed at Manassas Junction, Virginia. McDowell attacked on July 21, and was initially successful, but the introduction of Confederate reinforcements resulted in a Southern victory and a chaotic retreat toward Washington by federal troops.
July 1861-- General McDowell Is Replaced.
Suddenly aware of the threat of a protracted war and the army's need for organization and training, Lincoln replaced McDowell with General George B. McClellan.
July - November -- A Blockade of the South.
To blockade the coast of the Confederacy effectively, the federal navy had to be improved. By July, the effort at improvement had made a difference and an effective blockade had begun. The South responded by building small, fast ships that could outmaneuver Union vessels. On November 7, 1861, Captain Samuel F. Dupont's warships silenced Confederate guns in Fort Walker and Fort Beauregard. This victory enabled General Thomas W. Sherman's troops to occupy first Port Royal and then all the famous Sea Islands of South Carolina.
August 21 -- Confederate Assignments
Brig General Roswell S. Ripley CS Army Assigned to command of the Dept. South Carolina
Brig General John B. Grayson CS Army assigned to command of Dept of Middle and East Florida
A Concise History
The best collection of Civil War visuals ever assembled in one 75-minute program. A breathtaking and first-hand account of the war. Great DVD Bonuses
History Channel Presents
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The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns
The saga of celebrated generals and ordinary soldiers, a heroic and transcendent president and a country that had to divide itself in two in order to become one
The Illustrated Battle Cry of Freedom
The Civil War Era
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Six Years of Hell
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While Harpers Ferry was an important location during the Civil War, in most Civil War books it's a sideshow of something larger. John Brown's raid, Lee's invasions of 1862 & 1863 as well as Early's 1864 raid are all covered in depth
The Official Virginia
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Civil War Musket
Wood & Steel Frontier Rifle Designed After The Original Rifle,
This Civil War Musket replica has been designed after the original rifle of its era. Measures approximately 37 inches long. Each is constructed with a solid one-piece wood stock, painted steel barrel and die-cast parts.
Civil War Model 1851 Naval Pistol
Engraved Silver Tone / Gold Tone Finish and Wooden Grips - Replica of Revolver Used by Both USA / Union and CSA / Confederate Forces
Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History
Definitive Reference Work, this volume, rich with over 500 illustrations, 75 maps, and 250 primary source documents, offers more than 1,600 entries that chart the war's strategic aims, analyze diplomatic and political maneuvering, describe key military actions, sketch important participants, assess developments in military science, and discuss the social and financial impact of the conflict.
Secret Six: The True Tale of the Men Who Conspired with John Brown
The story of how Brown was covertly aided by a circle of prosperous and privileged Northeasterners who supplied him with money and weapons, and, before the raid, even hid him in their homes while authorities sought Brown on a murder charge. These men called themselves the Secret Six.
Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862
The Battle of Shiloh was one of the most critical battles in American History. Some of the biggest figures of the Civil War - Grant, Sherman, Johnston, Bragg, Beauregard, Buell - they all fought there. As Grant would write in his memoirs, before Shiloh, Americans on both sides of the Mason Dixon line believed that the war could still be a short limited affair.
Shiloh: A Novel by Shelby Foote
One of the best novels of the American Civil War. Foote is able to capture not only the sense of the battle, but the spirit of the soldiers who fought there. A study of the human condition and how it deals with the horrors of war
Rose O'Neale Greenhow, Civil War Spy
Fearless spy for the Confederacy, glittering Washington hostess, legendary beauty and lover, Rose Greenhow risked everything for the cause she valued more than life itself