War Within a War
In the midst of the Civil War, a thirty-year conflict began as the federal government sought to concentrate the Plains Indians on
reservations. Violence erupted first in Minnesota, where, by 1862, the Santee Sioux were confined to a territory 150 miles long and just 10 miles wide. Denied a yearly payment and agricultural aid promised by treaty, these people rose up in August 1862 and killed more than 350 white settlers at New Ulm. Lincoln appointed John Pope (1822-1892), commander of Union forces at the Second Battle of Bull Run, to crush the uprising. Pope promised to deal with the Sioux "as maniacs or wild beasts, and by no means as people with whom treaties or compromises can be made."
When the Sioux surrendered in September 1862, 1808 were taken prisoner and 303 were condemned to death. Defying threats from Minnesota's governor and a Senator who warned of the indiscriminate massacre of Indians if all 303 convicted Indians were not executed, Lincoln commuted the sentences of most, but did finally authorize the hanging of 37. This was the largest mass execution in American history, but Lincoln lost many votes in Minnesota as a result of his clemency.
In 1864, fighting spread to Colorado, after the discovery of gold led to an influx of whites. In November, 1864, a group of Colorado volunteers, under the command of Colonel John M. Chivington (1821-1894), fell on a group of Cheyennes at Sand Creek, where they had gathered under the governor's protection. "We must kill them big and little," he told his men. "Nits make lice" (nits are the eggs of lice). The militia slaughtered about 150 Cheyenne, mostly women and children.
The United States achieved independence in part because foreign countries such as France and Spain, entered the war against Britain on the American side. The Confederacy, too, hoped for foreign aid. In a bold bid to win European support, the Confederacy sought to win a major victory on northern soil.
In September 1862, Lee launched a daring offensive into Maryland. No one could be sure exactly what Lee planned to do. But in an incredible stroke of luck, a copy of Lee's battle plan (which had been wrapped around three cigars) fell into the hands of Union General George B. McClellan. After only a brief delay, on September 17, 1862, McClellan forces attacked Lee at Antietam Creek in Maryland.
The Battle of Antietam (which is sometimes referred to as the Battle of Sharpsburg) produced the bloodiest single day of the Civil War. Lee suffered 11,000 casualties; McClellan, 13,000. Lee was forced to retreat, allowing the North to declare the battle a Union victory. But Union forces failed to follow up on their surprise success and decisively defeat Lee's army.
Lincoln deeply mistrusted McClellan, an obsessively cautious general and a Democrat who bitterly opposed the Emancipation Proclamation and who called Lincoln the "Gorilla." Lincoln was outraged by the statement of one Union officer, Major John J. Key, whose brother was a key McClellan adviser, that it was not the objective of the war to crush the Confederate army. Instead, Key implied, the goal was simply to drag the war out until both sides gave up and the Union could be restored with slavery intact. Key was the only officer to be dismissed from
service for uttering disloyal sentiments.
The Significance of Names
During the Civil War, the Union and Confederate armies tended to give battles different names. Thus the battle known to the Union as Bull Run was called Manassas by the Confederacy. Similarly, the Battle of Antietam was known by the Confederacy as the Battle of Sharpsburg. In general, the North tended to name battles and armies after bodies of water (such as the Army of the Potomac or the Army of the Mississippi), while the Confederacy tended to name battles after towns and armies after land areas (such as the Army of North Virginia or the Army of Kentucky). It seems plausible that the Confederacy used such names to
convey a sense that its soldiers were defending something of pivotal importance: their homeland.
Ďaľšie referáty z kategórie
Civil War (Občianska vojna v USA) - complete version
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Zdroje: Digital History