American Civil War some basics
Posted 25 September 2006 - 09:53 AM
The Civil War remains to this day the bloodiest war in American history. at least 630,000 men were killed, wounded captured or went missing. Some historians believe the toll could have been even higher, no one will ever know for sure. To put the casualties in perspective the number is at least equal to the casualties of every American war from the American Revolution to Vietnam and possibly as high as all wars up to the present time.
The Union, or the northern states, usually named it's armies after rivers.
Army of the Potomac
Army of the James
Army of the Cumberland-originally Army of the Ohio
Army of *THE* Tennessee (named for the river and not to be confused with the Confederate Army of Tennessee)
-An exception to the rule is the short lived Army of Virginia which became part of the Army of the Potomac after the first Battle of Bull Run/Manassas.
The Confederacy, the eleven southern states, named it's armies after places, but sometimes rivers.
Army of Northern Virginia
Army of Tennessee
Army of the Shenandoah
Army of Mississippi
Both sides usually organized their armies as follows:
1 Corps = 2-3 Divisions
1 Division = 2-3 Brigades
1 Brigade = 4 to 5 Regiments
1 Regiment = 10 Companies (1,100 officers and men)
Also, during the Fredericksburg Campaign the Union Army of the Potomac used something called a "Grand Division", composed of two or more Corps. This didn't work and was never used again.
The standard weapon for the Union during the war was the .58 Springfield
the Confederate States Army often used either the same or the .577 Enfield, imported from England.
There were many different cannon used during the war and many varieties of ammunition used by each cannon. The best website I have seen on the subject of artillery in the Civil War is
Posted 25 September 2006 - 10:54 PM
The principal armies in the eastern theater were Army of the Potomac (USA) (which had five commanders during the war: Irvin McDowell, George McCellan, Ambrose Burnside, Joseph Hooker, George Meade. In 1864 Grant was named General in Chief of all Union armies in the field. He made his headquarters with the Army of the Potomac rather than in Washington D.C. George Meade was still officially in direct command of the Army of the Potomac during this phase of the war. Meade offered to step down and allow Grant direct control over the Army, but Grant retained Meade as commander.) and Army of Northern Virginia (CSA) under the command of General Robert E. Lee.
The western theater covered the area from the mountains to the Mississippi River. Each side had several armies in the western theater over the course of the war. The Army of the Tennessee (USA) was commanded by Ulysses S. Grant until he was ordered to Chattanooga, Tennessee in November, 1863, at which time William T. Sherman assumed command. The Army of the Ohio (USA) was renamed Army of the Cumberland after the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky in October 1862. This Army was commanded by Don Carlos Buell, William Rosecrans, and later George Thomas before being reorganized prior to the the Atlanta campaign.
The Army of the West, Army of Mississippi or Army of THE Mississippi was organized on March 5, 1862. On November 20, 1862, it was renamed the Army of Tennessee. It was commanded by Albert Sidney Johnston and Pierre Gustave Touttaint de Beauregard until after the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee, April 6 and 7, 1862. Thereafter it was under command of General Braxton Bragg.
Posted 24 October 2006 - 02:13 AM
Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States on Nov. 6, 1860. South Carolina succeeded from the Union December 20. South Carolina was the first state to succeed. Charleston, SC was and is to this day one of the principal ports of the southern U.S. At the time of succession there were two forts on islands in Charleston harbor: Ft. Sumter and smaller Ft. Moultrie which were held by the United States Army. Ft. Moultrie was abandoned on Dec. 26. at which time the soldiers there moved to reinforce Ft. Sumter. The Confederate government demanded that fort Sumter be abandoned, but the Union government was determined to hold onto the fort. In January, 1861 the ship Star of the West attempted to resupply the fort but was driven off by cannon fire from the mainland.
The Confederate attack on Fort Sumter began on April 12. The following is from Wikiepedia:
The Civil War had begun. By the time of the the attack four states had succeeded and another seven succeeded after Ft. Sumter. Nobody on either side believed that the war would last very long. Lincoln called for 90 militias to be mustered into service to fight. These would be sent home and reorganized into 3 year regiments after the first Battle of Bull Run (AKA Manassas).
Posted 26 November 2006 - 02:48 AM
The first major battle of the Civil War was fought in Virginia, near the Manassas, Virginia railway junction, after which the battle is called (or First Bull Run, named after the flowing stream on the battlefield, if of the Union persuasion). The armies in this first battle were not very large by later Civil War standards. The Federal forces under Brigadier General Irvin McDowell were organized into four divisions (five, if one includes Runyan's division), of about 30,000 men. These divisions were commanded by Tyler, Hunter, Heintzelman, (Runyan), and Miles. The Confederate command structure was somewhat more unwieldy, including two "armies", with no division structure and thirteen independent brigades under Bonham, Ewell, Jones, Longstreet, Cocke, Early, Holmes, Kershaw, Evans, Jackson, Bartow, Bee, Smith, and a cavalry brigade under Stuart. The Confederate Army of the Potomac was under the command of Brigadier General Pierre G. T. Beauregard, and the Army of the Shenandoah was commanded by Brigadier General Joseph E. Johnston. These two forces would equal McDowell's strength.
Interestingly enough, each commander had planned to initiate an attack on the other side with a feint attack on the enemy's right flank and a massed attack on the opposite flank. Had this been done simultaneously, and both been successful in their purpose, the two armies would have simply pivoted around each other and ended up in each other's rear, able to march unopposed to Washington or Richmond, as the case may be. As it turned out, the general least successful in initiating this movement was the winner.
Posted 26 November 2006 - 03:26 AM
Thanks for making it so easily to understand!!! :thumbsup:
Would love to read more
Posted 26 November 2006 - 05:34 PM
After the Union defeat at the first battle of Bull Run/Manassas the 90 day regiments were sent home and 3 year enlistments became standard until late in the war. Nobody in the north or the south believed that the war would last very long or be very bloody. This is why the U.S. government only recruited men for a 90 enlistment. General Irvin McDowell was relieved of command and replaced by General George McClellan. He would constantly be at odds with the Lincoln administration for not advancing against the enemy. He continually asked for more men and equipment. Eventually he had more than 100,000 men crammed into camps around the city of Washington D.C. but before he could move, General McClellan came down with typhoid in December 1861. It would be months before the Army of the Potomac would march south to fight the Confederacy.
In March 1862 McClellan put 120,000 men and all of their supplies and equipment aboard ships and sailed down the Potomac to Chesapeake Bay and then to the tip of the peninsula between the York and James Rivers in Virginia. He intended to march up the peninsula and capture Richmond.
Problems arose from the start. The army was marching through swamps that favored defense. The army moved slow when it moved at all. Every time the Union's huge siege guns (giant cannons basically) the rebels moved just out of range, starting the whole process over again. In late May it heavy rains made conditions even worse. A river called the Chickahominy runs through the middle of the peninsula and it divided the Union army. The rain swollen river would be a barrier blocking reinforcement from one side of the army to the other. By the end of May the Union Army of the Potomac was finally at the very outskirts of Richmond.
On May 31 the Battle of Fair Oaks began. The Confederates attempted to drive the Union army back down the peninsula but the attack failed. On June 1 General Joseph E. Johnston was wounded, so Confederate president Jefferson Davis appointed his military advisor Robert E. Lee to be the new commander. McClellan, moving slow as usual, failed to counterattack after Fair Oaks. This gave Lee time to strengthen the Army of Northern Virginia.
Rather than allow Richmond to be besieged Lee on June 25 launched a series of attacks known as the Seven Days battles. The Confederates fooled the Union into believing that they had a powerful force on the Confederate right, south of the Chickahominy. Actually, Lee had moved nearly his entire army to the the left end of his line across the river. Over the next week the Confederate army would attack and defeat the Union army at Mechanicsville, Gaines Mill, Savage's Station, White Oak swamp, Glendale and finally Malvern Hill, which due to superior Union artillery was a defeat for Lee's army. McClellan abaondoned any plan of taking Richmond and began thinking about saving his army.
You could write several thousand pages on these events, people have done it, so this is a very basic overview. Feel free to correct or add to any of this. The photos are public domain photos from Wikipedia.
Posted 04 September 2007 - 03:18 AM
Having seized the initiative from Union General McClellan, Lee moved his army north to Manassas, the scene of a previous battle the year before, and defeated a Union force under the command of General John Pope on August 30, 1862. The confederate victory at the Second Battle of Bull Run/Manassas came just as McClellan's army was returning to Washington from the Peninsula Campaign. Had McClellan's and Pope's armies been able to unite earlier, they would outnumbered the Confederates 180,000 men to around 60,000. As a result of the Union defeat General Pope was relieved of command and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia began the first invasion of the north, crossing the Potomac River at White's Ford.
On the subject of Bull Run/Manassas: During both battles there was heavy fighting on a hill owned by a Henry family. The site is now known as Henry House Hill. During the first battle widow Judith Henry, age 85, stayed at her home and was killed when Union artillery hit the house. Some people claim she is still there, haunting the place. Here is a video from the site. I'll let you judge for yourself. Link to Youtube video
I cannot say that I am an expert or even close to it on this particular battlefield, so this segment is kind of brief :stupid:
Posted 04 September 2007 - 04:52 AM
Meanwhile, in the west Ulysses S. Grant had moved an army, the Army of the Tennessee, up the river by that name to a site called Pittsburgh Landing in the state of Tennessee a few miles north of the Mississippi state line and the town of Corinth. The Memphis and Charleston Railroad, the only railroad connecting the eastern and western confederacy, went through Corinth and the confederates had to defend this vital rail link. That is why a confederate army of more than 40,000 men was at Corinth. The original Union plan called for massing the Army of the Tennessee at Pittsburgh Landing while marching the army of the Ohio with an additional 17,000 soldiers overland and then across the Tenn. River. The entire force would then attack Corinth and the railroad.
The region around the landing was mostly wilderness in 1862 but there were a few cabins and a methodist church called Shiloh Church. The area would forever be remembered as Shiloh. Ironically, Shiloh means "place of peace" in Hebrew, but on April 6 and 7, 1862, the area would be the scene of some of the fiercest fighting of the entire American Civil War.
Not waiting for the Union force to attack, confederate general Albert Sidney Johnston ordered an attack on the Union position at Pittsburgh Landing. After delays that cost several days, the attack began on April 6 and caught the Union army completely by surprise. The confederate advance had been spotted but Union commanders refused to believe that the confederates would attack.
A "sunken" road crossed the confederate line of advance. Here Union soldiers stubbornly fought off numerous attacks all day long on April 6. This position became known as "The Hornet's Nest" and is possibly the bloodiest site on one of the bloodiest battlefields of the war. (There are stories of paranormal occurrences to this day at the Hornet's Nest.) During this phase of the battle the confederate commander, Albert Sydney Johnston,was mortally wounded. General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard then took command.
LINK TO SOME PHOTOS OF HORNET"S NEST AS IT LOOKS TODAY:
The Hornet's Nest position was overrun by the confederates at around 5:00pm. Grant had assembled a so-called "last line" to prevent being pushed into the river which included more than 60 cannon. At dusk Beauregard decided against attacking this line, a decision that remains controversial to this day.
Overnight Union reinforcement arrive and on the morning of April 7 Grant orders a counterattack. After several more hours of fierce fighting, Union troops regained most of the ground lost the day before. Beauregard gave the order to withdraw to Corinth around 1:00pm.
The total number of men killed, injured or captured during the Battle of Shiloh exceeded 23,000. At least 3,400 were killed and many more died of their injuries.
Posted 05 February 2012 - 08:50 PM
2. You are the champion of not dealing with your problems.
3. Idiots are fun. That's why every village wants one.
4. If you talk to God you're religious. If God talks to you, you're psychotic
Posted 10 March 2012 - 12:46 AM
This was a work in progress, then they did an upgrade to the board that lost a BUNCH of posts and some, but not all, were salvaged somehow. I hadn't bothered to update beyond what is there.
Feel free to add to or critique what we have so far.