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US Civil War Battles

Ask questions here about the hundreds of battles that occurred between the Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865.

3,821 Questions
Business & Finance
US Civil War
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US Civil War Battles

What side was the confederate army on north or south?

The Confederates were the south.

The Union were the north.

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US Civil War
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US Civil War Battles

Was Pennsylvania part of the Union or the Confederacy?

The Union - very much so.

Pennsylvania had a strong free-soil tradition, and its border with slave-owning Maryland was the Mason-Dixon line that separated North from South.

Lee placed a high priority on invading Pennsylvania, both for strategic and symbolic reasons.

When he twice failed in this, at Antietam and then Gettysburg, he would shake his first at the sky. "Even the skies are against me in Pennsylvania!" he wailed.

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In which state were the most US Civil War battles fought?

Virginia with more than a 100 or maybe more than 200 battles! It was the home to a lot of Civil War battles because of it's place. It is right between the North and South (Union and Confederacy) therefore is an easy battle area. The first battle, the battle of Bull Run, was fought in Virginia, although, the last battle was not. Virginia had seceded from the Union later than most states, mainly because there were a lot of debating. Virginia (or rather the confederacy) was home to a lot of famous generals such as Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and Robert E. Lee.

In addition, the fact that each sides capitol city was a mere 100 miles apart seemed to accentuate the need for conflicts in order to place pressure on each side of the war.

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US Civil War Battles
US Civil War Generals

Why did Civil War generals use Napoleon Bonaparte's famous military strategies?

At the time Napoleonic tactics were a widespread and accepted military doctrine in many military institutions around the world and Napoleon's campaigns had widespread influence on the western world. These tactics were feverishly taught at West Point where a majority of the American generals were taught. So much so that students were required to learn French to be able to translate the reading material given to them on Napoleon. You also have to understand that for over 20 years Napoleon and his French armies dominated the other powers of Europe and defeated multinational coalitions brought up to defeat him so it would make sense they would be studied and emulated by future generations. Many military commanders in the American Civil War also idolized and emulated Napoleon and his tactics along with dreams of glory and grandeur. The basic point of Napoleonic tactics was to have masses of infantry in shoulder to shoulder ranks usually three men deep to maximize their firepower against the enemy. Unfortunately technology had far outpaced the tactics by this time. By this time most weapons used rifling which greatly increased the accuracy of artillery and muskets as well as the minie-ball which resulted in the horrendous casualties during battles. By wars end these tactics had been largely abandoned such as the Siege of Petersburg which quickly transformed into trench warfare and a lesson Europe would wait to learn in World War One.

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US Civil War Battles
Second Battle of Bull Run

How did General Pope manage to convince himself that Jackson's forces advancing on his flank were in fact retreating at the Second Battle of Manassas?

Lee had split his forces, and Pope hoped to get between Lee and Jackson and destroy them piecemeal. But Jackson was too quick for him. He chased Jackson all over northern Virginia, with Jackson always "retreating" and being gone when Pope got there. But then Jackson was ready to occupy Pope while Lee closed in, and so he advanced. Pope had no clue that anything had changed until he found himself engaged. Overconfidence and wishful thinking may have played a part, too, as it did with General Hooker at Chancellorsville.

Jackson made his stand behind an old railroad cut, where he held Pope off until Longstreet's corps stole up on his flank, who hit Pope like a thunderbolt, rolling his forces up.

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What two modes of transport were fought for control over in the US Civil War?

The Union sought control over rivers that were located in the South. By doing so, it curtailed Confederate use of these rivers to transport soldiers and supplies. The Union wanted to also use these rivers for the same purpose and aid their invasions of enemy territories. Railroads were also used for the same purposes. So they were areas of contention. Now, also the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, both on the coast states of the Confederacy, were used to transfer cotton to Europe by the South and also to receive supplies to Southern ports. Therefore, control of the aforementioned bodies of water was ongoing.

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Battle of Gettysburg
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How were people affected by civil war?

First of all it ended slavery in the south and from it spreading to the territories in the west. It re-united the United States of America.

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US Civil War Battles
US Civil War Generals

Why was the Battle of Stone's River an important battle of the US Civil War?

The US Civil War Battle of Stone's River was important in several ways. The first element of this battle to consider was the high number of casualties that were suffered on both sides. The three day battle was also noteworthy in that Confederate General Braxton Bragg had no qualms about being the aggressor and initiated a strong assault on December 31, 1862. Further more it displayed an element that is seldom given credit in historical accounts in the war, namely artillery. The account of this battle is also important in that it was a battle in the Western Theater that is so often downplayed in comparisons to battles fought in the East.

Some key elements of the battle are as follows:


1. At dawn on December 31, Confederate General William J. Hardee begins an assault against Union troops commanded by General Alexander McCook. At first Rebels push back the Federals but later their defense stiffens. Bragg would like to finish off the left flank of the widely spread Union force and sends in General Leonidas Polk to make the assault a rout;

2. At dawn on January 1, 1863, Union General Horatio Phillips Van Cleve crosses Stone's River. He must change all of his plans in that General McCook needs reinforcements from McClelve who remains under pressure.

3. Union General Rosencrans's entire battle plans are now changed as he must insure that McCleve can help McCook from being destroyed;

4. Van Cleve's forces help, however, the assault by Hardee and Polk continue to push back McCook's unit. The good news for the Union is that General Sheridan holds the Nashville Pike and the Federals rally;

5. Union generals Thomas and Crittenden and Thomas Have been brought in to stop the Confederate's advance;

6. On the far easter front of the battle, Bragg himself leads an assault on the Union's left flank;

7. Bragg's early success weakens as once again Union troops rally and now Bragg is under heavy artillery fire and cannot remain in that position; and

8. Bragg chooses to disengage and retreat to Tullahoma, Tennessee.


The battle is over and both sides claim victory in what military historians label the battle as a technical draw.


The importance of this battle significant to Washington DC, as it has claimed a victory not long after it tremendous loss at Fredericksburg in Virginia. The importance of artillery is highlighted and from a Union prospective, at that time, Bragg's attempt to recapture important territory in Tennessee has been ended.



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History of the United States
North Carolina
US Civil War Battles

When was the North Carolina union admitted?

21 November 1789.

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War and Military History
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What were the goals of the North and South in the Civil War?

The South had only to avoid losing the war.

The North had to conquer as much of the South as was necessary to put down the insurgency, which turned out to be quite a lot of it.

The constitution has a clause that states that any rights not granted by the states to the federal government are reserved for the states. There is no language that I'm aware of that grants states the right to secede; the issue is not addressed in that document. A lot of things were left out of it with the idea that they could be resolved as needed.

A secession crisis occurred in the New England states during the War of 1812, and there might have been some noise about it during Jefferson's Embargo about 1809.

I don't see how depletion of natural resources was even an issue; there was a whole continent to plunder and they had barely scratched the surface.

The North had about three times the population of the South, if you didn't count the slaves.

The South's goal was to establish themselves as an independent republic. The North's goal was to maintain the union and, later on, abolish the institution of slavery. Michael Montagne

The South's aim in seceding was to develop an independent republic - the Confederacy. Their war aims were to defend themselves, their land and their way of life (slavery!)

The south fought the war because they believed each state had rights that were guaranteed by the constitution. Southerners were already beginning to look at abolishing slavery, since 90 per cent owned no slaves. One of the rights in the constitution is the right to leave the union if a state decides to. The first state to threaten to leave was Massachusetts in the early 1800's. The north decided to invade because of a growing population, and had depleted most of their natural resources. The slavery issue was really not the main reason for the war.

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History of the United States
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Where was the first battle of the Civil War?

Fort Sumter then First Battle of Bull Run

There are varying opinions on what qualifies as the first battle of the Civil War. Fort Sumter was the first conflict and it led to the Civil War. But the First Battle of Bull Run was the first major land battle of the Civil War.

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Who were some of the military leaders in the Civil War?

General Ulysses S. Grant (union) -also became a US President General Robert E. Lee (rebel) General Stonewall Jackson (rebel) 1.GRANT 2.LEE 3.SHERMAN There were many leaders on both sides of the war. The top two leaders were Ulysses S. Grant (Union) and Robert E. Lee (Confederate). Some other significant leaders include Stonewall Jackson (Confederate), Sherman(Union), Chamberlin (Union), and others. In November, 1861 George McClellan, who was only 34 years old, was made commander in chief of the Union Army. Lincoln appointed "Fighting Joe" Hooker to the command of the Army of the Potomac on January 25, 1863. On 28th June, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln appointed George Meade to replace General Joseph Hooker in charge of the Army of the Potomac.

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Battle of Gettysburg
US Civil War Battles

Who fought during the Civil War?

The eleven Southern states which were attempting to secede from the union and form the Confederate States of America on one side and the rest of the United States on the other. Michael Montagne

the 11 southern states and the northern states. the south was trying to secede from the union.

(who ever ed that ^ up there, needs to learn how to spell,

people use this for s that we expect to be spelt right.

please check your spelling first.

thanks!)

The eleven Southern states, which were attempting to secede from the union (known as the United States of America) to form their own union (to be known as the Confederate States of America).

(to whoever wrote 2: secede is the correct word and it is spelled correctly. In addition, spelt is a form of grain - I think you wanted "spelled.")

An Extension on the :

The Confederate States of America (AKA The Confederacy//The Southern states) fought against the Union States (loosely also known as the "Northern States").

Confederate States consisted of: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina.

O 3 O2:The union eventually let the African-Americans fight in the 54th - Massecusetts, the first black regiment. They attacked Fort Wegener, a southern fort, where the Regiment Leader, Robert Shaw, commanded them. He was killed, along with 60% of the regiment. The other 40% was forced into slavery. Pres. Lincoln then allowed all blacks to participate in the Civil War, after the 54th Massechusetts almost captured the fort by themselves.
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Battle of Gettysburg
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What Southern officers fought with the Union during the Civil War?

There were many Southern / Northern crossings. One general fought with the North and changed sides to the South! One big name was General Thomas of Virginia who fought with the North. For the South, look no further than the Northerner Pemberton who surrendered Vicksburg to Grant.

David Farragut was also a Southerner who fought for the North. His state escapes me, but he won the battle of Mobile Bay, and during that battle, it was he who said "Damn the torpedos. Full speed ahead." Winfield Scott was also a Southerner, but other than proposing the Anaconda Plan and serving as General in Chief of Northern Armies(for him a desk position) until McClellan succeeded him, he didn't do all that much, and certainly never saw battle.

: John Gibbon was from North Carolina, had a brother in the rebel army, but fought in the Army of the Potomac the whole war as a brigadier/major general.

Montgomery C. Meigs was another Southerner who stayed loyal to the Union. He was from Georgia, but remained in the US Army where he attained the rank of Brevet Major General (permanent rank of Brigadier General) and served as the Quartermaster General of the US Army. Meigs is best remembered for one thing. He was particularly incensed at Southern officers who deserted to join the Confederate army, and he hated Robert E. Lee in particular. So, when the time came to establish a new cemetery to bury Union soldiers killed in battle (the cemeteries in Washington, D.C. being full), Meigs selected Arlington, which at the time belonged to Robert E. Lee. The land was confiscated, and Arlington National Cemetery was established.

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Why was the battle of Fort Sumter important?

The Battle that forced the surrender of Fort Sumter in April of 1861 was of significant importance for both sides in the conflict that lay ahead. Up until that point, the Confederacy had simply taken over with no conflict various Federal post offices and small garrison of Federal troops. The lack of violence did not whip up in the North any strong desire to now make a fight of what many believed would be a settled situation once cooler heads in the South would prevail. And, President Lincoln became the US president with only a minority of popular votes ( the Electoral College was landslide ). Most Northerners wanted no violence, many had no position on slavery either.

Lincoln realized that to provoke any sort of "battle" might be an error, in fact he said it himself. Earlier before Fort Sumter he stated he had no intent to cause a conflict. He knew however, that as president he would have to protect the Federal properties taken away and halt the rebellion before it became a real rebellion. The impatience of President Jefferson Davis and the anger that was always part of South Carolina ( Since Andrew Jackson ) prevailed and now a major fort was attacked. This aroused the public in the North and in a few months a major civil war was at hand. Thus, the importance of Fort Sumter.

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US Civil War Battles

What was the Union's three part strategy for winning the Civil War?

1. capture the Mississippi river. 2.Blockade the southern ports. 3. Capture Richmond Virginia.

This was known as the Anaconda plan (because it was supposed to strangle the confederacy!)

The Anaconda plan was rejected as it would take too long. Later, certain aspects of Anaconda would be installed. Little credit was given to Winfield Scott's original Anaconda plan.

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What were the names of the first two ironclad ships to engage in battle during the US Civil War in 1862?

At the Battle of Hampton Roads in 1862, the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia engaged in the first battle of ironclads. Although a technical draw, the Virginia had to return to dock for repairs. Its earlier assaults on wooden Union warships would not be repeated.

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Why did the US Civil War last so long?

The Civil War probably lasted so long, because the South had a lot more determination and hard-fighting farm boys than the North reckoned on.

attritionit wasa war of attrition, these always ake longer than "go-kill-em-all' wars

After Robert E. Lee captured John Brown, he was asked by President Abraham Lincoln to join the Union and be the commander for war. However, Robert refused the offer, putting Viriginia, his home state in first priority. His decision changed history, for if he had gone with the Union, the war would have been over more sooner. Because he led the Confederate, the Confederate was able to last that long

Several FactorsFirst off, the vast majority of troops in BOTH armies were farm boys. And once they had training and experience, the soldiers of both armies were of about equal ability, though the South had more capable generals of higher rank earlier in the war than the Union--and this is a big reason why the war lasted so long. Another important reason was the sheer size of the South, about 700,000 square miles over a 1,000 mile front. This made a quick Northern victory impossible, despite its advantages in manpower and resources. Also, the rifled musket was the main small arm of the war and it gave much more power to the defender than the attacker, given the tactics used in the war. Since the South fought a mainly defensive war, this made Union offensives slower and more difficult.
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What was the Union's three part plan for winning the US Civil War?

The Union's plans to end the Southern rebellion were altered often and were complex at various times during the war.It is clear that the Union wished to control the Mississippi River and blockade Southern ports. This plan however did not truly effect the outcome of the war in that the Southern ports were difficult to blockade and control of the Mississippi River did not force the surrender of the Confederates.

Gaining control of the Rebel capital of Richmond was one of the first goals of the Union. That began with the First and later the Second Battle of Bull Run. Those operations failed.

The battle in between the Bull Runs was the Union disaster at Fredricksburg and at Chancellorsville.

Also, the failed Peninsula campaign did not capture Richmond. By the time Richmond was captured the war was already almost over and thus did not play a role in the war's outcome. In fact, the Union's efforts there were embarrassing to say the least.

Also the Emancipation Proclamation as a "war measure" did not affect the war's outcome.

Boiled down to three parts, it's now clear that the strategy to win the war was the following:


1. Defeat Confederate armies in the field, and not waste time on Richmond;

2. Using the overall strategy o exhaustion, hampered the needed war supplies to reach Southern armies; and

3. Destroying or controlling the South's railway system to impede its transportation of troops to deter the South's use of "interior lines" to take advantage in major battles.

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When did the US Civil War begin?

The events leading to the beginning of the US Civil War began on April 12, 1861. Confederate forces bombarded US Fort Sumter in the Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. The fort was forced to surrender. President Lincoln then called for 75,000 volunteers to end the Southern Rebellion. The US Supreme Court ruled that the conflict officially began in July 1861 when Lincoln called the US Congress together to authorize funds and supplies to end the rebellion. For the South the war began in May of 1861, when the Confederate congress recognized that a state of war existed between the Confederate States of America and the United States.

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Military Terminology
US Civil War Battles

Where can you find civil war cannon balls?

You can find one of them embedded in the wall of a very gracious guest-house in Vicksburg, called Cedar Grove - a vivid reminder of the great siege of 1863.

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Was R.S. Garnett a union soldier?

R.S. Garnett was Robert Selden Garnett and he was a Confederate general and he was the first Confederate general killed during the Civil War. His cousin, Richard Brooke Garnett was killed during Pickett's Charge on July 3, 1863.

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What was the first major land battle of the US Civil War?

On July 21, 1861, the first major land battle took place at Manassas Junction, near the stream of Bull Run. Union forces, led by General McDowell hastily put together, faced Confederate forces led by generals PT Beauregard and Johnston. The Union had 36,000 troops and the two combined armies of the South had 32,000 troops. This was the largest battle ever in the Western Hemisphere. To the surprise of many, the South won the battle.

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Who won the Battle of Fort Sumter?

The newly-formed Confederate States of America's first general officer, Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard, led the forces (estimated to be 500) who relentlessly bombarded the significantly outgunned union forces (85 men) under U.S. Major Robert Anderson, beginning the siege at 4:30 a.m on April 12, 1861, and ending 34 hours later. President Abraham Lincoln immediately called for 75,000 volunteers to step up and suppress the rebellion, which prompted four southern slave states to join the Confederacy.

The Confederates won

The Confederates under the command of General PT Beauregard bombarded the fort for about 14 hours then Major Anderson surrendered the fort. The only casualty was a Union horse!!!

Fort Sumter was an act of Southern rebellion that in a short period of time would become the US Civil War.

As the fort was surrounded by Southern cannon fire, it was forced to surrender. This was a wise move as it prevented loss of life.

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US Civil War Battles

Where was the first battle of the US Civil War fought in South Carolina?

The first armed conflict that soon led to the US Civil War was the Confederate bombardment of the Federal Fort Sumter in the Charleston harbor. The fort surrendered and President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to serve three months to end the rebellion.

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