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Why the Union Won the Civil War

Of Grant/Meade's final campaign in Virginia which led eventually to Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House in April 1865, Ayers et al. said "while the North had an inexhaustible supply of men, the South did not" (504).

Perhaps Lincoln's most grievous error was in keeping at his side in the East General George McClellan. The latter was a superb organizer and motivator of his men. He won the key defensive battle of Antietam in September 1862. However, Catton said that McClellan "had practically all the virtues in a war leader--except one--he did not like to fight" (87). Neither Grant, who had been cashiered from the Army because of drunkenness and who had been a failure in civilian life, nor Sherman, who some thought was mentally unstable, were likely heroes but both proved to be outstanding commanders. Perret

quoted Lincoln on Grant: "as soon as I put a man in command of the army, [he] put the responsibility of success or failure on me . . . Now it isn't so with Grant (359). Farragut's dashing style led to the Union Navy's capture of key Confederate ports, such as Mobile Bay and New Orleans.

As a war leader, Lincoln was in a class by itself. Lincoln occasionally trampled on civil liberties, when necessity so indicated, but Perret said "the war power was Lincoln' creation"

(xv). Elected in 1860 with a minority of votes, Lincoln's skills at fashioning compromises and in articulating the Union cause enabled the Union to patch together sufficient internal cohesion and unity to wage a long and bloody war. Internal disunity was just as great a threat in the North as in the South. As the war dragged on, and casualties mounted, opponents of the war, ranging from antiwar Democrats to outright traitors, the Copperheads, gained influence. The 1863 Conscription Act was unpopular, especially among poor immigrants, who incited the New York City Draft Riot Acts of July 1863 which Ayers et al. said was "the largest [riot] the United States...

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Why the Union Won the Civil War. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:28, August 18, 2017, from
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