Secession and Military Stalemate 1861-1862
Following Lincoln’s election in November of 1860 secessionist fervor swept through the Deep South.
The union collapsed first in South Carolina the home of Calhoun nullification and states’ rights.
Robert Rhett and other fire eaters had demanded secession since the compromise of 1850.
In February secessionists met in Montgomery Alabama to proclaim a new nation The Confederate States of America.
Meanwhile the Union Government floundered.
Buchanan declared secession a legal right and that the federal government did not have the power to restore the Union by force.
The Crittenden Compromise had two parts. The first was that Congress allowed a slavery protection in any state where it already existed. The second part extended the Missouri Compromise to the California border.
The Upper South Chooses Sides
The upper south chose quickly. When Lincoln sent forces to resupply Fort Sumter. Jefferson Davis and his provisional government decided to seize the fort. The Confederate forces opened fire on April 12 and on the 15th Lincoln called for 75,000 state militiamen.
Northerners responded with enthusiasm.
Whites in the middle and border southern states now had to choose between the Union and Confederacy.
On April 17 1861 a convention approved secession by a vote.
In October 1861 yeomen overwhelmingly voted to create a breakaway territory, West Virginia which joined the union in 1863.
Lincoln ordered the union to occupy Maryland and arrest Confederates and released them after the Union had control of Maryland.
In Kentucky where secessionists and Unionist were balanced Lincoln moved cautiously and allowed for the confederates to trade until 1861.
Setting War Objectives and Devising Strategies
Speaking as provisional president of the Confederacy in April 1861 Jefferson Davis compared the goals of the south to those of the patriots.
Lincoln responded by calling the south as being a rebellion against the repressive government, Americas great contribution to history.
Lincoln hoped to attack the confederate capital of Richmond Virginia to end the rebellion. In July 1861 Lincoln ordered General McDowell and his army of 30k to attack Beauregard’s force of 20k.
There was a Confederate victory at Bull Run that showed the strength of the rebellion.
In late June Lee launched a ferocious attack that lasted 6 days and led to 20k causalities to the Union’s army’s 10k.
After this Lee went on the offensive.
In Maryland after devastating battle is the location of bloody lane where a road was filled with 3 bodies deep.
The battle at Antietam remains the bloodiest bate in a single day in US history on September 17 1862.
About 13k died from both sides together.
In public Lincoln called Antietam a Union Victory but privately criticized McClellan for not fighting Lee to the bitter end.
The Confederate were optimistic they had won stalemate in the East.
Meanwhile the Union in the upper south was successful.
In February 1862 the union army used an innovative tactic to take Tenn. And Miss. And Ulysses S. Grant led to a Union Victory at Shiloh.
Three weeks later Union Naval forces struck the Confederacy from the Gulf of Mexico.
Toward Total War
The military carnage in 1862 reveal end that the war would be long and costly.
During summer of 1862 Lincoln abandoned comprise and peace and instead turned toward total war. That centralized the Union government and put everything into the war.
The Confederate Congress legally banded draft conscription. Which made it so that made new recruits have to serve for 3 years and existing soldiers serve the rest of the war.
One exemption was one Whiteman for every 20 slaves.
In some states they incorporated habeas corpus that made aribarty arrest illegal.
Often there were bribes as well thanks to the militia act of 1862 which paid new recruits up to 600 people. The union allowed you to avid service by paying 300 or offering a substitute.
The union won most of its support form