Mr. Raml and Mrs. Lord’s 8th graders have been busy learning about the Civil War during our ELearning weeks. We take this time to wish our 8th graders the best of luck in high school!
We also extend a HUGE thank you to our parents and students for all of their hard work during the entire year but especially these last few months of learning from home. We appreciate your efforts!
Our students concentrated on nine main objectives while learning about the Civil War:
Fact #1: The Civil War was fought between the Northern and the Southern states from 1861-1865. The American Civil War was fought between the United States of America and the Confederate States of America, a collection of eleven southern states that left the Union in 1860 and 1861. The conflict began primarily as a result of the long-standing disagreement over the institution of slavery.
Fact #2: Abraham Lincoln was the President of the United States during the Civil War. President Lincoln grew up in a log cabin in Kentucky. He worked as a shopkeeper and a lawyer before entering politics in the 1840s. Alarmed by his anti-slavery stance, seven southern states seceded soon after he was elected president in 1860—with four more states to soon follow. Lincoln declared that he would do everything necessary to keep the United States united as one country. He refused to recognize the southern states as an independent nation and the Civil War erupted in the spring of 1861. On January 1, 1863, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves in the areas of the country that “shall then be in rebellion against the United States.” The Emancipation Proclamation laid the groundwork for the eventual freedom of slaves across the country. Lincoln won re-election in 1864 against opponents who wanted to sign a peace treaty with the southern states. On April 14, 1865, Lincoln was shot by assassin John Wilkes Booth. Abraham Lincoln died at 7:22 am the next morning.
Fact #3: The issues of slavery and central power divided the United States. Slavery was concentrated mainly in the southern states by the mid-19th century, where slaves were used as farm laborers, artisans, and house servants. In the northern states, industry largely drove the economy. Many people in the north and the south believed that slavery was immoral and wrong, yet the institution remained, which created a large chasm on the political and social landscape.
Fact #4: The Civil War began when Southern troops bombarded Fort Sumter, South Carolina. When the southern states seceded from the Union, war was still not a certainty. Federal forts, barracks, and naval shipyards dotted the southern landscape. Many Regular Army officers clung tenaciously to their posts, rather than surrender their facilities to the growing southern military presence. President Lincoln attempted to resupply these garrisons with food and provisions by sea. The Confederacy learned of Lincoln’s plans and demanded that the forts surrender under threat of force. When the U.S. soldiers refused, South Carolinians bombarded Fort Sumter in the center of Charleston harbor. After a 34-hour battle, the soldiers inside the fort surrendered to the Confederates.
Fact #5: The North had more men and war materials than the South. At the beginning of the Civil War, 22 million people lived in the North and 9 million people (nearly 4 million of whom were slaves) lived in the South. The North also had more money, more factories, more horses, more railroads, and more farmland. On paper, these advantages made the United States much more powerful than the Confederate States. However, the Confederates were fighting defensively on territory that they knew well. They also had the advantage of the sheer size of the Southern Confederacy.
Fact #6: The bloodiest battle of the Civil War was the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Civil War devastated the Confederate states. In an effort to gather fresh supplies and relieve the pressure on the Confederate garrison at Vicksburg, Mississippi, Confederate General Robert E. Lee launched a daring invasion of the North in the summer of 1863. He was defeated by Union General George G. Meade in a three-day battle near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania that left nearly 51,000 men killed, wounded, or missing in action. While Lee’s men were able to gather the vital supplies, they did little to draw Union forces away from Vicksburg, which fell to Federal troops on July 4, 1863.
Fact #7: Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee did not meet on the field of battle until May of 1864. Arguably, the two most famous military personalities to emerge from the American Civil War were Ohio-born Ulysses S. Grant, and Virginia-born Robert E. Lee. The two men had very little in common. Lee was from a well -respected First Family of Virginia, with ties to the Continental Army and the founding fathers of the nation. While Grant was from a middle-class family with no marital or family political ties. By 1863, the two men were by far the best generals on their respective sides
Fact #8: The North won the Civil War. After four years of conflict, the major Confederate armies surrendered to the United States in April of 1865 at Appomattox Court House and Bennett Place. The war bankrupted much of the South, left its roads, farms, and factories in ruins, and all but wiped out an entire generation of men who wore the blue and the gray. More than 620,000 men died in the Civil War, more than any other war in American history.
Fact #9: After the war was over, the Constitution was amended to free the slaves, to assure “equal protection under the law” for American citizens, and to grant black men the right to vote. During the war, Abraham Lincoln freed some slaves and allowed freedmen to join the Union Army as the United States Colored Troops. It was clear to many that it was only a matter of time before slavery would be fully abolished. As the war drew to a close, but before the southern states were re-admitted to the United States, the northern states added the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution. The amendments are also known as the “Civil War Amendments.” The 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the United States, the 14th Amendment guaranteed that citizens would receive “equal protection under the law,” and the 15th Amendment granted black men the right to vote. The 14th Amendment has played an ongoing role in American society as different groups of citizens continue to lobby for equal treatment by the government.
Mrs. Shari Lord
8th Grade Science and History
Huron Middle School