It can be argued that the defeat at Gettysburg cost the Confederate army the Civil War. Due to a misunderstanding between General Lee and Longstreet, the Confederate army placed their victory at Gettysburg in jeopardy. First, General Longstreet's plan was to march into the Pennsylvania, draw the superior Army of the Potomac out of its fortifications around Washington; then, outmaneuver the larger, slower Union force and get between them and Washington. Lastly the confederate army would, find some high ground between the Army of the Potomac and Washington to defend, so the Union would be forced to attack in order to rescue their lines of communication with the capital. The fighting at Gettysburg began largely as an accident when, on July 1, a column of Confederate troops moving south ran into and engaged the forward cavalry elements of the Union army.
Union forces at the fort were running short of supplies and, unless they were reprovisioned, would have to evacuate. Lincoln knew that to surrender Sumter would be to abandon his commitment to preserving the Union, so he sent a relief expedition, telling Confederates that there would be no attempt to send troops or munitions unless the supply ships were attacked. The Confederates faced a dilemma: If they allowed the ships through, they would be submitting to federal authority, but taking the fort would make them the aggressors. The decision was made on April 12. When Fort Sumter's Union commander refused the southern order to surrender, Confederate shore batteries began shelling the fort, which surrendered on April 14, 1861.
The Union army was taken by surprise the first day when the Confederate Army unexpectedly attacked, but after Union reinforcements arrived the fighting virtually ended in a tie. Lasting for two days, April 6 and 7 of 1862, casualties for both sides exceeded 20,000. The Battle of Shiloh was a message to both the North and South that the Civil War was for real. General Grant was anxious to maintain the momentum of his victory at Fort Donelson. His army had moved up to a port on the Tennessee River called Pittsburg Landing in preparation for an attack on Corinth, Mississippi, where the Confederate troops were located.
At first he attempted to take the city from the north, but his attack by sea failed at Chickasaw Bluffs on December 29th 1862. He later tried to cut a path through the swamps north of the town, but the task proved to be impossible. His final attempt to attack Vicksburg was a daring one, he first had his men move south of Vicksburg and then he, under the cover of night, had his boats float across the Mississippi. Grant then implemented a strategy he learned in the Mexican War from General Winfield Scott, cutting himself off from everything but ammunition and medical supplies. (Grant’s Greatest Battles) He then charged inland and attacked and forced back Joseph E. Johnson’s forces near Jackson.
Lee had thought over this matter for days, and finally decided to resign from the union forces and offer his help to the confederacy. When Lee reached Richmond, Virginia had succeeded and they had a... ... middle of paper ... ...hrew strong attacks at the union forces, but was repulsed with heavy losses. The battle of Gettysburg was the largest battle ever fought in North America. He was criticized for attempting an impossible battle, the union forces had and advantageous position and more men. After Gettysburg, Lee retreated back to Virginia for the rest of the war.
In the summer of 1862, the confederates found themselves as the aggressors. In the Eastern Theater, Lee’s army of Northern Virginia had driven the Union Armies away from the Confederate capital, Richmond and was preparing to invade Maryland. In the western theater, the confederate armies were also moving strong, into Kentucky. Due to the war France and Britain were feeling the strain as cotton from the southern states was starting to diminish. President Lincoln was thinking of taking a risky step to seal victory.
Introduction July 19, 1861 started the first major land battle of the American Civil War. Battle of Bull run started after a complex web of economic, political, moral, and constitutional issues that the country was facing over many years. Accelerated by northern opinion, as expressed by editorials and Congressional speeches, General McDowell and General Patterson who were fighting for the North attacked the south. Although some knew that the troops in the North weren’t ready, many believed that one battle would decide the fate of the war thus ending it. On the Confederate side General Johnston reinforced General Beauregard forces while General McDowell was enroute to Manassas.
In his inaugural address Lincoln proclaimed it was his duty to maintain the Union; a month later the Civil War began. Although Lincoln did many great things for our country, his vital role in the Civil War is what most likely lead to his assassination. Many people believe that the main reason for the Civil War was to end slavery. However, it is known that Lincoln proclaimed that the reason for the Civil War was to maintain the Union and that he had no intension of ending slavery where it had existed. While Lincoln was trying to maintain the Union the start of the Civil War caused four more states (Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee) to leave the Union.
The North lacked aggressive generals during the first two years of the Civil War. The siege and claiming of Vicksburg Mississippi changed that fact, and proved to Lincoln, Grant was the desirable general to command the Union Forces. At Vicksburg, Grant attacked the enemy over and over until he obtained his goal: “Grant has gone down to history as a bludgeon general, a general who eschew manoeuvre and who with head down, seeing red, charged his enemy again and again like bull.” J.F.C. Fuller writes on Grant’s tactics and as the general-in-chief of the United States Army, in this quote he is talking about Grant aggressive tactics in battle, siege, or campaign. Grant knew that if he did not turn, face, and fight the ‘enemy’ than the war would never be resolved.
Then going over the remainder of the war and how Vicksburg’s fall effected it. After all of the researching I found the answer. Without supplies an army can’t function and the Confederates relied on one location for that. The battle of Vicksburg was the most important battle in the Civil War because it cut off the supply route between the two divisions of the Confederates. If Robert E. Lee’s army actually did win the battle of Gettysburg but lost Vicksburg, the outcome of the war would have been the same.