Saturday, June 26, 2010

In Some Cases, Slow and Steady Does Not Win the Race....

Meanwhile, back in the East......things were pretty terrible.

They were still trying to reach Richmond, so General McClellan had an idea....

It was a good idea, but McClellan was a little slow on the uptake which often frustrated Lincoln.

Finally, McClellan and his men moved out. He had around 100,000 troops when they met up with 15,000 Confederate soldiers in Yorktown. 100,000 v. 15,000, should have been an easy win, but nope, not for McClellan.

He wanted more troops from Lincoln, Lincoln said no and told him to stop being a wuss.

Of course, McClellan ignored Lincoln and curled into the fetal position for a month until he decided to finally go to Yorktown.

The Confederates turned around and went towards Richmond, but because of McClellan's delay, the Confederates were able to gather more troops.

The Union were still traveling when, OMG! The Confederates attacked when the Union forces were on opposite sides of a river.

This was the Battle of Seven Pines, neither side won, but both sides suffered heavy losses.

Once again, McClellan waited for reinforcements and while he was waiting, Robert e. Lee knew McClellan was a "wait around Wanda", so he sent Stonewall Jackson to fight in the Shenandoah. This left Lee really short handed, but he pretty much knew McClellan wouldn't act.

Then the Confederates decided to be tricksters and let it out that they were going to attack Washington D.C. Lincoln heard this and told McClellan reinforcements to stay in D.C.

This is what the Confederates were hoping for.

Jackson returned to Lee and no reinforcements were coming to McClellan. Confederates attacked, these battles lasted for 7 days, they called it the Seven Day's Battle, they were very clever.

The Union won 4 of these battles, but still, under McClellan's orders, they retreated.

While McClellan was doing nothing, Lincoln sent another General, John Pope, to Northern Virginia.

Lincoln told McClellan to attack and trap Lee's forces. Guess what..?

He didn't do it. Then Lincoln told him to join Pope's troops in Virginia.

Lee decided to strike before the two armies combined. They met in Mananas and fought. Pope was defeated.

Ironically enough, it was pretty much the same place the Union lost their first battle a year earlier. The Union had lost the 2nd Battle of Bull Run.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

New Orleans

The Confederates did not believe the Union could capture New Orleans. There were two forts on opposite sides of the river, there was no way a ship could go unseen.

The Union ships tried to outgun the forts for six days to no avail. Then, Admiral David Farragut, had an idea. They would go past the forts under the cover of night, much like ninjas, but on boats.

On April 24, 1862 at 2:00 a.m., Farragut made his move. They were doing ok until the moon came out and turned Farragut into a werewolf....

Ok, that didn't happen, but because of the moon, the Confederates could see the ships and they opened fire.

Despite some damage, the Union made it through and arrived in New Orleans with little resistance.

Farragut went from New Orleans to Baton Rouge to Natchez Mississippi, while another Union fleet came south from Missouri to meet up. However, there was still another obstacle. this was the town of Vicksburg, Mississippi and it was high on a bluff.

This job would be left up to Ulysses S. Grant.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Grant in the West

Meanwhile, out by the Mississippi River....

There was a pretty awesome new weapon called an ironclad. The Union had them on the Mississippi River, these were armored gun boats.

These boats were virtually invincible against the Confederate cannon fire.

The man behind the action in the Mississippi River Valley was General Ulysses S. Grant, he was kicking butt and taking names.

Grant, gunboats, and 15,000 troops moved up the Tennessee River and took Fort Henry, a confederate controlled fort, like it was nothing.

Then they headed to Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River.

This battle went on for three days and the Confederate General wanted to negotiate. Grant wasn't having this, he said...

In layman's terms, he said, "Oh hells naw".

The Confederates knew they were dealing with an intense guy, so they gave up.

This was reported in newspapers and Grant was seen as a hero.

The defeat of these two forts opened up the Western Confederacy and made the Mississippi easier to get to and attack.

Grant's next stop was a town called Corinth, Mississippi, which was located on the Tennessee River where 40,000 Confederate soldiers were waiting.

On the way, Grant stopped off in Pittsburgh Landing, Tennessee to wait on 25,000 more troops.

The Confederates decided to surprise the Union instead of wait.

No, not that kind of surprise.

The Confederates took the Union off guard and pushed them back to the Tennessee River. Someone suggested to Grant that they retreat, he wasn't having it.

The extra troops Grant was waiting on finally arrived and Grant attacked. The Confederates were out numbered and retreated. This became known as the Battle of Shiloh.

Shiloh ended with the Union losing 13,000 soldiers and the Confederates losing more than 10,000. To give this a better perspective, during this two day battle, one of every four soldiers were killed our wounded.

The Union win at Shiloh made it possible for the Union to take the Mississippi River and split the Confederacy in half.

100,000 Union soldiers were gathering at Pittsburgh Landing and 24 wooden ships entered the river from the Gulf of Mexico. Why?

To Capture New Orleans....

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The First Battle of Bull Run

The first time the two armies met in battle was near Manassas Junction, Virginia which was by the stream of Bull Run. The battle would be known as, Bull Run.

35,000 Union soldiers were marching towards Richmond, but they were kind of slow due to the fact that they were not used to all the marching.

The Confederates knew they were coming, so they brought in 11,000 troops to add to the 22,000 that were already there.

The locals also heard there would be a battle, so , like any other normal person, they packed a picinic and went to check it out while enjoying their lunch.

Both the Union General, McDowell and the Confederate General, Beauregard, had planned the best they could, but the soldiers had never been in combat, and things turned into chaos. The spectators fled...

Another Confederate troop arrived on the scene. The leader was General Thomas Jackson, he and his men were able to stand their ground and stop the Union.

Someone described Jackson as, "standing there like a stonewall," which would become his nickname, Stonewall Jackson.

Things weren't going well for the Union, they were falling back and then General Beauregard ordered for his men to charge.

The Union retreated, the first battle of Bull Run was over. The Confederates had 2,000 casualties while the Union had 2,900.

After this, the people of the United States realized the war would not be short and that having a picnic during battles wouldn't be a good idea. Sandwiches and blood didn't mix well.

Lincoln called for a million more volunteers and named a new general to the lead, George McClellan.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cotton Diplomacy

Since Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy, the Union figured if it went down, the Confederacy would follow.

Even though the North had more people and more factories, the South was fighting for a cause.

They felt as though they were fighting for their freedom to live their way of life, just like the patriots during the Revolution.

Another aspect in which the South was better than the North was in its military leaders. You may have heard of a guy named Robert E. Lee, he was a pretty big deal.

The Confederacy also thought they had a pretty big thing with their cotton, after all, it is the fabric of our lives. They figured since they exported a lot of it to England and France, those countries would recognize the Confederate States of America as an independent nation and help them out.

This was known as Cotton Diplomacy and they were sure it would work.

But, of course, it didn't.

Great Britain and France didn't recognize the Confederate States of America as independent. This made the south mad, so they refused to export their cotton.

They thought this was a great plan and rubbed their hands together in an evil way cackling, waiting for Great Britain and France to crawl back and beg for their cotton.

Once again, this didn't work. The British and French were appalled by the "blackmail" attempt so they did their cotton business with Egypt.

Cotton Diplomacy was a failure.