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Portal:American Civil War

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A Rodman gun exhibited at the 1876 U.S. Centennial
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The American Civil War (1861–1865) was a sectional rebellion against the United States of America by the Confederate States, formed of eleven southern states' governments which moved to secede from the Union after the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States. The Union's victory was eventually achieved by leveraging advantages in population, manufacturing and logistics and through a strategic naval blockade denying the Confederacy access to the world's markets.

In many ways, the conflict's central issues – the enslavement of African Americans, the role of constitutional federal government, and the rights of states  – are still not completely resolved. Not surprisingly, the Confederate army's surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865 did little to change many Americans' attitudes toward the potential powers of central government. The passage of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the Constitution in the years immediately following the war did not change the racial prejudice prevalent among Americans of the day; and the process of Reconstruction did not heal the deeply personal wounds inflicted by four brutal years of war and more than 970,000 casualties – 3 percent of the population, including approximately 560,000 deaths. As a result, controversies affected by the war's unresolved social, political, economic and racial tensions continue to shape contemporary American thought. The causes of the war, the reasons for the outcome, and even the name of the war itself are subjects of much discussion even today.


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Lawrence Sullivan "Sul" Ross (September 27, 1838 – January 3, 1898) was the 19th Governor of Texas, a Confederate States Army general during the American Civil War, and a president of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. His family settled in the Republic of Texas within a year of his birth, and much of his childhood was spent on the frontier. His family later founded the town of Waco. As a teenager, Ross attended Baylor University and Florence Wesleyan University. On one of his summer breaks he suffered severe injuries while fighting renegade Comanches. After graduation Ross became a Texas Ranger, and in 1860 led troops in the Battle of Pease River, where he rescued Cynthia Ann Parker, who had been captured by the Comanches as a child.

When Texas joined the Confederacy, Ross joined the Confederate States Army. He participated in 135 battles and skirmishes and became one of the youngest Confederate generals. Following the Civil War, Ross briefly served as sheriff of McLennan County before resigning to participate in the 1875 Texas Constitutional Convention. With the exception of a two-year term as a state senator, Ross spent the next decade focused on his farm and ranch concerns. In 1887, he became the 19th governor of Texas. During his two terms, he oversaw the dedication of the new Texas State Capitol, resolved the Jaybird-Woodpecker War, and became the only Texas governor to call a special session to deal with a treasury surplus. Despite his popularity, he refused to run for a third term as governor. Days after leaving office, Ross became president of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University). He is credited with saving the school from closing, and his tenure saw a large expansion in college facilities and the birth of many school traditions. After his death, the Texas legislature created Sul Ross State University in his honor.

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Critical roles played by Indiana involved manpower, supply, and transportation. Despite significant Copperhead activity in the state and southern Indiana's ancestral ties to the Southern Confederacy, it did not secede from the Union. During the course of the war, Indiana contributed approximately 210,000 soldiers to the Union and millions of dollars to equip and supply them. Residents of Indiana, Hoosiers, served in every major engagement of the war and almost every engagement in the western theater. With rich agricultural yields and being the fourth most populated Union state, Indiana's participation was critical to northern success.

On the home front, the state experienced political strife when Governor Oliver P. Morton suppressed the Democrat-controlled state legislature, leaving the state without the authority to collect taxes. The state edged near bankruptcy during 1861, but the Governor chose to use private funds rather than rely on the Indiana General Assembly. The state experienced two minor raids and one major raid in 1863, which caused a brief panic in the capitol.

The American Civil War altered Indiana's society, politics, and economics, beginning a population shift northward and leading to a decline in the southern part of the state. The wartime tariffs led to an increase in the population's standard of living and began the growth of industry in the state.

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John Milton Chivington (January 27, 1821 – October 4, 1892) was a 19th century United States Army officer noted for his role in the New Mexico Campaign of the American Civil War and in the Colorado War. He was celebrated as the hero of the 1862 Battle of Glorieta Pass, and later became infamous for his role in the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre.

Chivington was born in Lebanon, Ohio. Drawn to Methodism, Chivington decided to become a minister and was ordained in 1844. During 1853, he worked in a Methodist missionary expedition to the Wyandot people in Kansas. Because of his outspoken hatred of slavery, Chivington received a threatening letter from pro-slavery members in his congregation in 1856. As a result the Methodist Church transferred Chivington to a parish in Omaha, Nebraska. In 1860 Chivington moved with his family to Denver, Colorado, having been made the presiding elder of the Rocky Mountain District of the Methodist Church.

When war broke out the following year, Colorado territorial governor William Gilpin offered him a commission as a chaplain, but Chivington refused it, saying he wanted to fight. Thus, he was made a major in the 1st Colorado Volunteers under Colonel John P. Slough. During Henry Hopkins Sibley's Texan offensive on the New Mexico Territory, Chivington led a 418-strong detachment to victory at Apache Canyon, and later captured Sibley's entire supply train during the Battle of Glorieta Pass. Chivington had completely reversed the result of the battle and Sibley's men reluctantly retreated all the way to Texas, never again to threaten New Mexico.

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Credit: Mathew Brady

Ambrose Burnside, a Union Army general who would go on to serve as Governor of Rhode Island and as a United States Senator representing the state

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The West Tennessee Raids
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Ebenezer MagoffinHenry MauryJames Ashby (soldier)Albemarle CadyBenjamin D. FearingCharles A. HickmanRichard Henry JacksonJohn LovePeter S. MichieThomas Grimke RhettJames B. SpeersCharles S. SteedmanBattle of Barton's StationBattle of Camp DaviesGeorge Peabody EsteyLawrence P. GrahamJoseph Hayes (general)Lewis Cass HuntThomas John LucasSullivan Amory MeredithWilliam Reading MontgomeryCharles Hale MorganByron Root PierceCalvin Edward PrattDaniel Henry RuckerFriend Smith RutherfordGustavus Adolphus SmithJames Hughes StokesWilliam Kerley StrongFrederick S. SturmbaughWilliam B. TibbitsDavis TillsonAdin Ballou UnderwoodFrancis Laurens VintonLouis Douglass WatkinsWilliam Denison WhippleRequested American Civil War Medal of Honor recipients
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Battle of BoonsboroughBattle of Cabin CreekBattle of Fort Sumter IIBattle of Guard HillBattle of Middle Boggy DepotBattle of Rice's StationBattle of Simmon's BluffBattle of Summit PointBattle of Yellow BayouCharleston ArsenalEdenton Bell BatteryElmira PrisonFirst Battle of DaltonSamuel BentonBlackshear PrisonOrris S. FerryEdwin ForbesHiram B. GranburyHenry Thomas HarrisonBen Hardin HelmLouis Hébert (colonel)Benjamin G. HumphreysLunsford L. LomaxMaynard CarbineDaniel RugglesThomas W. ShermanHezekiah G. SpruillSmith Percussion CarbineEdward C. WalthallConfederate States Secretary of the NavyConfederate States Secretary of the TreasuryDavid Henry WilliamsBattle of Rome Cross RoadsHenry Boynton ClitzDelaware in the American Civil WarIronclad BoardUnited States Military RailroadKansas in the American Civil WarSalisbury National CemeteryOther American Civil War battle stubsOther American Civil War stubs
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Battle of Lone JackJames S. RainsPreston Pond, Jr.Melancthon SmithFranklin Stillman NickersonThomas Gamble PitcherWilliam H. PenroseLewis B. Parsons Jr.Isaac Ferdinand QuinbyJames W. ReillyIsaac F. ShepardFrancis Trowbridge ShermanJames R. SlackJoseph Pannell TaylorHenry Goddard ThomasJames Henry Van AlenMelancthon S. WadeJames M. Warner
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1st Regiment New York Mounted Rifles and 7th Regiment New York Volunteer Cavalry
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1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment (Union)4th Maine Battery33rd Ohio Infantry110th New York Volunteer InfantryBattle of Hatcher's RunBattle of Grand GulfCamp DennisonConfederate coloniesCSS ResoluteDakota War of 1862Florida in the American Civil WarEthan A. Hitchcock (general)Fort Harker (Alabama)Gettysburg (1993 film)Iowa in the American Civil War
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