The American Civil War Portal
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.
George Brinton McClellan
(December 3, 1826 – October 29, 1885) was a major general
during the American Civil War
. He organized the famous Army of the Potomac
and served briefly (November 1861 to March 1862) as the general-in-chief of the Union Army
. Early in the war, McClellan played an important role in raising a well-trained and organized army for the Union
. However, although McClellan was meticulous in his planning and preparations, these attributes may have hampered his ability to challenge aggressive opponents in a fast-moving battlefield environment. He chronically overestimated the strength of enemy units and was reluctant to apply principles of mass, frequently leaving large portions of his army unengaged at decisive points.
Although the majority of modern historians assess McClellan poorly as a battlefield general, a small but vocal faction of historians maintain that McClellan was indeed a highly capable commander, but his reputation suffered unfairly at the hands of pro-Lincoln partisans who needed a scapegoat for the Union's setbacks. Thus, his legacy defies easy categorization. After the war, Ulysses S. Grant was asked to evaluate McClellan as a general. He replied, "McClellan is to me one of the mysteries of the war."
Grand Parade of the States
The U.S. state of Arkansas
joined the Confederate States
, and provided a source of troops, supplies, and military and political leaders for the Confederacy. Arkansas had become the 25th state of the United States
, on June 15, 1836, entering as a slave state
Arkansas was still a wilderness in most areas, rural and sparsely populated. As a result, it did not have early military significance when states began declaring secession
from the Union
During the secession crisis, but before Arkansas had seceded and before the onset of any fighting, the Federal Arsenal in Little Rock became a potential flash point. The small Federal garrison was forced to evacuate after a demand by Arkansas Governor Rector that the arsenal be turned over to state authority. At the beginning of 1861, the population of Arkansas, like several states of the Upper South, was not keen to secede on average, but they were also opposed to Federal coercion of seceded states. This was shown by the results of state convention referendum in February 1861. The referendum passed, but the majority of the delegates elected were conditional unionist in sympathy, rather than outright secessionist. This changed after the Confederacy attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina, and Abraham Lincoln called for troops to put down the rebellion. The move toward open war shifted public opinion into the secessionist camp, and Arkansas seceded from the Union on May 6, 1861. Despite its relative lack of strategic importance, the state was the scene of numerous small-scale battles during the Civil War.
Włodzimierz Bonawentura Krzyżanowski [vwɔˈd͡ʑimjɛʂ kʂɨʐaˈnɔfski]
(Wladimir Krzyzanowski; July 8, 1824 – January 31, 1887) was a Polish
military leader and a brigade
commander in the Union Army
during the American Civil War
. He played a role in the July 1863 Battle of Gettysburg
in helping push back an evening assault by the famed Louisiana Tigers
on the Union defenses atop East Cemetery Hill
Krzyżanowski was born in Rożnowo, Grand Duchy of Posen, into an old Polish noble family that bore the Świnka coat of arms, and whose roots reached back to the 14th century and ownership of the village of Krzyżanowo near Kościan. Krzyżanowski's father and both uncles had fought for Polish independence under Napoleon's banners, and his brother fought in the November 1830 Uprising.
In Washington, D.C., Krzyżanowski enlisted as a private two days after President Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers in early 1861. He recruited a company of Polish immigrants, which became one of the first companies of Union soldiers. Krzyżanowski then moved his company to New York City and enlisted more immigrants and soon became colonel of the 58th New York Infantry regiment, listed in the official Army Register as the "Polish Legion".