V. The Modern Period, 1789–1914 > H. North America, 1789–1914 > 1. The United States, 1789–1877 > c. The Civil War
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
c. The Civil War
THE CIVIL WAR 1860-1865 (MAP)
1861, March
The Morrill tariff marked the beginning of successive tariff increases, which by 1864 reached duties of 47 percent.  1
MILITARY EVENTS. The Confederates, having seized Federal funds and property in the South, bombarded Fort Sumter on April 12–13, just as a relief expedition of the Federalists approached.  2
March 13
Great Britain recognized the Confederate states as belligerents.  3
April 15
Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to serve for three months and summoned Congress to meet on July 4. On May 3 he appealed for 42,000 men to serve for three years or for the duration of the war. General expectancy of a short conflict. The North had immense advantages: 23 states with a population of almost 23 million against 11 states with a white population of 5 million; the North possessed financial strength, manufacturing facilities, and extensive railway communications. The South was largely dependent on cotton growing and badly hampered by the blockade of the Confederate ports (proclaimed on April 19); from the beginning the South was on the defensive. However, the South was not without some advantages: Confederate soldiers were fighting on home terrain, slave labor freed a larger proportion of men to fight, and the martial tradition of the slaveholding class gave the South a military edge.  4
Within the first two weeks of war, women spearheaded the establishment of nearly 20,000 organizations to help supply troops with clothing, food, medicine, and spiritual support. Northern women eventually coordinated their efforts through a central body, the Sanitary Commission. Superintendent of nurses for the Union army, Dorothea Dix (1802–87) assured officials that she would recruit only women over age 30 and “plain in appearance.”  5
May 23
Gen. Benjamin Butler declared as contraband three slaves who escaped to his lines in Virginia and refused to return them to their master. By Aug., 1,000 contrabands had joined Butler's camp.  6
July 21
FIRST BATTLE OF BULL RUN. By July there were some 30,000 troops in and around Washington, under command of Gen. Winfield Scott. At Bull Run the federal army was routed. The effect of the battle was to open the eyes of the federalists and to introduce a period of more extensive and systematic preparation.  7
Lincoln signed the First Confiscation Act, authorizing the seizure of all property, including slaves, used to support the Confederacy. Also in August, an income tax of 3 percent was levied on all income in excess of $800.  8
Nov. 1
Gen. George B. McClellan (1826–85) was appointed to succeed Scott in command of the federal forces. McClellan's policy was one of cautious, careful preparation and reliance on numbers. He spent the winter training some 200,000 men (the Army of the Potomac) for a march on the Confederate capital, Richmond.  9
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.