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Content Reading Guide: The Civil War: The Fighting Escalates
The Battle of Bull Run occurred 25 miles South of Washington D.C. on July 21st, 1861. General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson led the South to a victory. However, Jackson did not invade Washington D.C. because he wanted merely to defend the South from the North. Lincoln added more solders and appointed George McClellan as general for the Union near D.C. In February of 1862, Union leader Ulysses S. Grant invaded western Tennessee. By June of 1862, Grant’s men had gained control of most of the Mississippi River.
In the Spring of 1862, McClellan led the Union toward Richmond. McClellan stumbled upon General Robert E. Lee’s written strategy and initiated a counter attack on the South. McClellan attacked Lee when he was separated from Stonewall Jackson. Lee retreated. McClellan refused to attack Lee as he fled and felt pursuing Lee would be too costly. Lincoln fired McClellan for not pursuing Lee and crushing his troops.
The South thought Britain would have to join them due to their abundant supply of cotton. However, Britain really needed wheat and corn, not more cotton. Also, abolitionism was very popular in Britain and many British citizens asserted that slavery was cruel, wicked, and inhumane.
Abolitionist feelings grew in the North as the war continued. Lincoln capitalized on this and began noticeably to connect the North’s goals with abolition. Lincoln’s title as commander and chief gave him the power to order soldiers to take enemy resources. On January 1st, 1863 he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which meant soldiers could free the slaves of the South, but NOT in the Border States.
“I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within these said designated States and parts of States are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive Government of the United States, including military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.”
The Emancipation Proclamation