The American Civil War (1861–1865) was a separatist conflict between the United States Federal government (the "Union") and eleven Southern slave states that declared their secession and formed the Confederate States of America, led by President Jefferson Davis. The Union, led by President Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party, opposed the expansion of slavery and rejected any right of secession. Fighting commenced on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces attacked a Federal military installation at Fort Sumter in South Carolina.
During the first year, the Union asserted control of the border states and established a naval blockade as both sides raised large armies. In 1862 large, bloody battles began, causing massive casualties as a result of new weapons and old battlefield tactics. In September 1862, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation made the freeing of the slaves a war goal, despite opposition from northern Copperheads who tolerated secession and slavery. Emancipation ensured that Britain and France would not intervene to help the Confederacy. In addition, the goal also allowed the Union to recruit African-Americans for reinforcements, a resource that the Confederacy did not dare exploit until it was too late. War Democrats reluctantly accepted emancipation as part of total war needed to save the Union. In the East, Robert E. Lee rolled up a series of Confederate victories over the Army of the Potomac, but his best general, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, was killed at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863. Lee's invasion of the North was repulsed at the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania in July 1863; he barely managed to escape back to Virginia. In the West, the Union Navy captured the port of New Orleans in 1862, and Ulysses S. Grant seized control of the Mississippi River by capturing Vicksburg, Mississippi in July 1863, thus splitting the Confederacy.
By 1864, long-term Union advantages in geography, manpower, industry, finance, political organization and transportation were overwhelming the Confederacy. Grant fought a number of bloody battles with Lee in Virginia in the summer of 1864. Lee won most of the battles in a tactical sense but on the whole lost strategically, as he could not replace his casualties and was forced to retreat into trenches around his capital, Richmond, Virginia. Meanwhile, William Sherman captured Atlanta, Georgia. Sherman's March to the Sea destroyed a hundred-mile-wide swath of Georgia. In 1865, the Confederacy collapsed after Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House; all slaves in the Confederacy were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. Slaves outside Confederate control were freed by state action or by the Thirteenth Amendment.
The full restoration of the Union was the work of a highly contentious postwar era known as Reconstruction. The war produced about 970,000 casualties (3% of the population), including approximately 620,000 soldier deaths—two-thirds by disease. The causes of the war, the reasons for its outcome, and even the name of the war itself are subjects of lingering controversy even today. The main results of the war were the restoration and strengthening of the Union, and the end of slavery in the United States.
Note: The above description pertains to the American Civil War as it unfolded in OTL, as well as all timelines with a POD after 1865.
American Civil War in Crosstime TrafficEdit
American Civil War in Days of InfamyEdit
Although it had been over for nearly 80 years, the American Civil War was still a hot topic in the US, especially in the south, who referred to it as "The War Between the States," or “The War of Damnyankee Aggression.” Although many southerners preferred not to talk about the war, they still liked to remember the fight they put up.
American Civil War in "Lee at the Alamo"Edit
In the story "Lee at the Alamo", the American Civil War begins in much the same way, with several southern states seceding from the Union after the election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency. However, things noticeably change early in February, 1861 when United States Army Lt. Colonel Robert E. Lee elects to defend the Union garrison at the Alamo from Texas Militia and Confederate forces under the command of Benjamin McCulloch. This "second" Battle of the Alamo thus becomes the first battle of the Civil War, rather than Fort Sumter. The course of the story sees Lee opting to remain with the Union and fighting in the West. As the story ends in April, 1861, the final course of the war is undescribed.
American Civil War in "Must and Shall"Edit
The Great Rebellion ended in defeat for the Confederate States. The United States, still seething from the shooting death of President Abraham Lincoln at the hands of a sniper on July 12, 1864 as he inspected the ramparts at Fort Stevens north of Washington, D.C., imposed a harsh retribution on the South, so harsh that by the 1940s, the South was still a region on the verge of rebellion.
American Civil War in Southern VictoryEdit
See War of Secession
American Civil War in The Guns of the SouthEdit
American Civil War in "The Last Reunion"Edit
American Civil War veterans from the vanquished South began periodic reunions in the early twentieth century.