This document declared that all slaves in areas still in rebellion as of January 1, , would receive their freedom. The president had now made the ending of slavery one of the Union's war aims. Events continued to improve for the Union during This victory gave the Union control of the Mississippi River, effectively dividing the Confederacy in two.
Grant followed up this victory with another at the Battle of Chattanooga, freeing much of Tennessee from Confederate control. During , Grant assumed command of all Union forces. During the first three years of the war in the East, Union armies had repeatedly tried to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.
Why the Civil War Came, edited by Gabor S. Boritt
Grant determined that Richmond was unimportant. To win the war, he believed that the Union military had to defeat the Confederate military and force it to surrender. Nevertheless, he repeatedly attacked, refusing to retreat like earlier Union armies had done. Grant realized that the Union had many more men available for duty. He could much more easily replace his wounded and dead, eventually forcing Lee to surrender his dwindling Army of Northern Virginia. Grant's strategy was successful, and Lee surrendered on April 9, Sherman captured Atlanta, Georgia, in the fall of , and then embarked upon his "March to the Sea.
Sherman decided that the Union also had to break the will of the civilian population to win the war. This approach later came to be called "total war. Ohioans played an important role in the war effort.
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During the American Civil War, the State of Ohio provided the United States government with three types of military units: artillery units, cavalry units, and infantry units. Ohio supplied the federal government with more than regiments of men; not counting several companies that formed the basis of regiments in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Massachusetts. A total of , Ohioans served in the Union army for varying lengths of time. The federal government required each state to supply a set number of soldiers determined by the state's population.
Ohio exceeded the government's call for men by 4, soldiers. This number does not reflect the 6, men who paid a monetary fine to the government to escape military duty.
Ohio exceeded the federal government's requirements by more than fifteen thousand men. Ohio men fought in every major battle of the war. Within forty-eight hours of President Abraham Lincoln's call for volunteers in April , two Ohio infantry regiments already had departed for Washington, DC.
Ohio regiments also helped secure Kentucky and West Virginia for the North.
Out of War, a New Nation
Approximately 11, Ohio soldiers died from wounds received on the various battlefields, while another 13, men perished from diseases. Eighty-four of every one thousand Ohio men who served died in the war. Another forty-four for every one thousand deserted.
This was one of the lowest desertion rates in the Union states. Ohioans were divided over the war. Most Ohioans supported the nation's reunification, but some, known as Copperheads, vehemently opposed the war. Clement Vallandigham, a well-known Peace Democrat, came from Ohio. There were several reasons why these people did not support the Union war effort.
A sizable number of white Ohioans, especially those living along the Ohio River, had migrated to the state from slave holding states. While opponents of the war could not legally own slaves in Ohio, many of them had family members residing in the Confederacy who did own African American slaves.
These people often sympathized with slaveholders, agreeing with many white Southerners that the federal government did not have the power to limit slavery's existence. Some political opponents also feared that President Lincoln intended to free the slaves.
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Boritt , David W. In the early morning of April 12, , Captain George S. James ordered the bombardment of Fort Sumter, beginning a war that would last four horrific years and claim a staggering number of lives. Since that fateful day, the debate over the causes of the American Civil War has never ceased.
History of the American Civil War
What events were instrumental in bringing it about? How did individuals and institutions function? What did Northerners and Southerners believe in the decades of strife preceding the war? What steps did they take to avoid war? Indeed, was the great armed conflict avoidable at all?
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Why the Civil War Came brings a talented chorus of voices together to recapture the feel of a very different time and place, helping the reader to grasp more fully the commencement of our bloodiest war. From William W. Freehling's discussion of the peculiarities of North American slavery to Charles Royster's disturbing piece on the combatants' savage readiness to fight, the contributors bring to life the climate of a country on the brink of disaster.
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