The American Civil War in pictures (part 2), 1861-1865

The second part of the American Civil War photo collection covers people from the Civil War: generals, slaves, civilians, politicians and soldiers who lived through those turbulent years.

Although photography was still in its infancy, war correspondents produced thousands of images, bringing the harsh realities of the frontline to the fore in a new and clear way.

John Brown:  An ardent, itinerant fanatic who violently crusaded against slavery in the 1850s. To prevent the area from becoming a slave state, Brown moved with his family to Kansas in the mid-1850s.

In 1856, he and a band of vigilantes helped spark the Bleeding Kansas Crisis, when they slaughtered five frontline gangsters in the Potawatomi Massacre. Three years later, Brown led another group of men at Harpers Ferry Raid to incite a slave revolt. He was captured during the raid and hanged shortly before the 1860 election. Brown's death was rejoiced in the South but mourned in the North.

James Buchanan: A pro-Southern Democrat who became the fifteenth President of the United States in 1856. Buchanan nominated John Fremont of the new Republican Party and Millard Fillmore, former chairman of the Know-Nothing Party, to be the U.S. President. history.

During his tenure, Buchanan supported the Lecompton Constitution to admit Kansas as a slave state, faced the Panic of 1857, and did nothing to prevent South Carolina's secession from the Union.

Jefferson Davis: A former senator from Mississippi who was elected as the union's first president in 1861. Overworked and less appreciated by his fellow Confederates, Davis fought throughout the Civil War to unite the Southern states under a central government.

Stephen Douglas: An influential Democratic senator and presidential candidate from Illinois. Douglas pushed the Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 through Congress to entice railroad developers to build a transcontinental rail line to the north.

The act opened the Kansas and Nebraska territories to slavery and thus effectively repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820. A champion of popular sovereignty, he announced his Freeport Doctrine in 1858 in the Lincoln–Douglas debate against Abraham Lincoln.

Although Douglas was the most popular Democrat, members of the Southern Party refused to nominate him for the presidency in 1860 because they rejected the Lecompton Constitution to make Kansas a slave state.

As a result, the party split: the Northern Democrats nominated Douglas, while the Southern Democrats nominated John C. Breckinridge. In the 1860 election, Douglas toured the country in an attempt to save the Union.

Ulysses S. Grant: The Union's top general in the Civil War, who would later become the eighteenth U.S. Army chief. Became President. Nicknamed "Unconditional Surrender", he waged total war against the South in 1863 and 1864.

Robert E. Lee: Possibly the most brilliant general in the US Army in 1860, who turned down Abraham Lincoln's offer to command Union forces in favor of commanding the Army of Northern Virginia for the Union.

Although Lee loved the United States, he felt he had to stand with his native state of Virginia. His defeat at the Battle of Gettysburg proved to be the turning point in the war on the North's side. To end the Civil War, Lee met Ulysses S. at Appomattox Courthouse in April 1865. Unconditional surrender of the Confederacy to Grant.

Abraham Lincoln: A former Illinois lawyer who became the sixteenth President of the United States in the election of 1860. Because Lincoln was a Republican and associated with the abolitionist cause, his election prompted South Carolina to secede from the Union.

Lincoln, who believed that the states had never actually left the Union legally, fought the war until the South surrendered unconditionally. During the war, in 1863, Lincoln issued a largely symbolic Emancipation Proclamation to free all slaves in the South. At the end of the war, in April 1865, Lincoln's visit to Washington, D.C. He was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.

George McClellan: A young, first-class U.S. Army general who commanded a Union army against the Confederates during the Civil War. Unfortunately, McClellan proved overly cautious and was always reluctant to engage Confederate forces at a time when Abraham Lincoln badly needed a military victory to satisfy northern public opinion.

McClellan did manage to defeat Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Antietam in 1862, which gave Lincoln the opportunity to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln eventually fired McClellan, however, when the general began to publicly criticize the president's ability to command. In 1864, McClellan ran for president as a Peace Democrat on a platform for peace against Lincoln but was defeated.

Franklin Pierce: Fourteenth President of the United States, elected as a slavery Democrat from New England in 1852. Pierce combined his desire for the empire and westward expansion with the desire to find new slave territories in the south.

He tacitly supported William Walker's attempt to seize Nicaragua and used the Ostend Manifesto to seize Cuba from Spain. Pierce also oversaw the opening of trade relations with Japan upon the return of Commodore Matthew Perry, and authorized the Gadsden Purchase from Mexico in 1853.

William Tecumseh Sherman: Ulysses S. A close friend of Grant who served as a general in the Union Army during the Civil War. Sherman, like Grant, understood that the war would only be won if Union forces broke the Southern public's will to fight. Sherman is known for the total war that he and his expeditionary force waged south during their March to the Sea.

Charles Sumner: A Massachusetts senator who delivered an anti-slavery speech in the wake of the Bleeding Kansas Crisis in 1856. In response, Sumner was nearly put to death on the Senate floor by Preston Brooks of the South Carolinian Congressman. The attack indicated how some Southerners viewed the issue of popular sovereignty and slavery.

Zachary Taylor: A hero of the Mexican War who became the second and last Whig president in 1848. To avoid controversy over the westward expansion of slavery in the Mexican season, Taylor campaigned without a solid platform. He died after only sixteen months in office and was replaced by Millard Fillmore.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.