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Fire Eaters

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Fire Eaters

A group of pro-slavery, extremist. Often politicians, they were from the South and urged the separation of southern states into a new nation.

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Crittenden Compromise

The first of compromise proposals submitted in hopes to prevent a civil war. This one was first submitted by Senator John J. C. of Kentucky. This plan was a proposal to reestablish the Missouri Compromise line and extend it westward to the Pacific coast. Slavery would be prohibited north of the line and permitted south of the line. Southerners in the Senate were willing to accept this plan, but the compromise would have required the northerners to abandon their most fundamental position--that slavery should not be allowed to expand-- and so they rejected it.

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Fort Sumter

Site of the opening engagement of the Civil War. Major Robert Anderson concentrated his units here, and, when Lincoln took office on March 4, 1861, it was one of only two forts in the South still under Union control. Learning that Lincoln planned to send supplies to reinforce the fort, on April 11, 1861, Confederate General Beauregard demanded Anderson's surrender, which was refused. On April 12, 1861, the Confederate Army began bombarding the fort, which surrendered on April 14, 1861. Congress declared war on the Confederacy the next day.

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Homestead Act

This allowed a settler to acquire as much as 160 acres of land by living on it for 5 years, improving it, and paying a nominal fee of about $30 - instead of public land being sold primarily for revenue, it was now being given away to encourage a rapid filling of empty spaces and to provide a stimulus to the family farm, turned out to be a cruel hoax because the land given to the settlers usually had terrible soil and the weather included no precipitation, many farms failed.

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Morrill Land Grant Act 1862

This transferred substantial public acreage to the state governments, which were to sell the land and use the proceeds to finance public education. This act led to many land-grant institutions.

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National Bank Acts 1863-64

New national bank that eliminated much uncertainty in the nation's currency. Existing banks could join if they invested 1/3 of its capital in government securities. In return, they would be able to issue US treasury notes as security. One of the only effective finances of war were bank loans and large financial interest. The acts eliminated the chaos that had long been involved in banking and created a uniform system of bank notes.

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Draft Riots

A series of violent disturbances in New York City that were the result of discontent with new laws passed by Congress to force men to fight in the ongoing American Civil War.

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Peace Democrats or Copperheads

Members of this political party opposed the Civil War.

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Habeas Corpus

Civil liberty that was suspended by Lincoln in defiance of the Constitution and Supreme Court's chief justice. This was done so that anti-Unionists could be summarily arrested.

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Union Party

Included all of the Republicans and the war Democrats. It excluded the copperheads and peace Democrats. It was formed out of fear of the republican party losing control. It was responsible for nominating Lincoln.

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1864 Election

Five political parties supported candidates for the presidency. They included the War Democrats, Peace Democrats, Copperheads, Radical Republicans, and the National Union Party. Each political party offered a different point of view on how the war should be run and what should be done to the Confederate states after the war. The National Union Party joined with Lincoln who won on the recent northern victories against the South.

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Confiscation Acts

Passed on August 6, 1861 and stated that any property belonging to confederates used in war could be seized by federal forces. Any slaves used by their masters to benefit the war would be freed.

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Emancipation Proclamation

After victory of Antietam Lincoln announces on the first of 1863 all slaves in the rebelling states would be free. Its aim was to injure the confederacy, threaten its property, heighten its dread, and hurt its morale.

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54th Mass. Infantry

A state militia in this state; it was the first state to enlist black soldiers; 180,000 blacks served (10%) but free blacks were only 1% of total Union population; this was an all-color regiment commanded by white officers and soldiers were not paid equally; still, proved that blacks can indeed fight battles

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Dorothea Dix

A reformer who worked hard to improve the treatment of the mentally ill. At the outbreak of the Civil War, she was appointed superintendent of women nurses for the United States.

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Clara Barton

She helped transform nursing from a lowly service into a respected profession- started the Red Cross.

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U.S. Sanitary Commission

Founded with the help of Elizabeth Blackwell, the government agency trained nurses, collected medical supplies and equipped hospitals in an effort to help the Union Army. It helped professionalize nursing and gave many women the confidence and organizational skills to propel the women's movement in the postwar years.

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Jefferson Davis

the President of the Southern Confederate States from 1860 to 1865 after their secession from the Union. During this time, he struggled to form a solid government for the states to be governed by. He worked hard with solidating the civil government and carrying out military operations.

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Food Drafts

This allowed soldiers from the Confederate army to take a specific amount of food from farms. Led to food riots.

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Ulysses Grant

A Northern general who helped gain victory for the Union. His first successful victories came at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson on the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers in February 1862. These victories opened a door for the Union to the rest of the south. Eventually he was given command of the Union forces attacking Vicksburg. This would be his greatest victory of the war. He was made General-in-Chief after several more impressive victories near Chattanooga. HIs final victory came when he defeated General Robert Lee.

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Benjamin Wade

A founder of the Republican Party and senator from Ohio from 1851 to 1869. A passionate abolitionist, he pressured President Lincoln throughout the Civil War to pursue harsher policies toward the South. He co-sponsored the Wade-Davis Bill in 1864, which required 50 percent of the registered voters of a southern state to take a loyalty oath as a precondition for restoration to the Union, rather than the 10 percent proposed by Lincoln.

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Braxton Bragg

A southern army general; troops under him and Edmund Kirby-Smith swept through eastern Tennessee in August; by September they were operating in Kentucky; a lack of coordination between the two Southern armies and his indecisiveness rendered the campaign fruitless.

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Robert E Lee

The General of the Confederate troops; he was prosperous in many battles; was defeated at Antietam in 1862 when he retreated across the Potomac; this halt of Lee's troops justified Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation; he was defeated at Gettysburg by General Meade's Union troops; surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865.

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Merrimac and Monitor

Confederates put iron plates on a former wooden U.S. wooden ship and turned it into an ironclad warship designed to ram the other ships; changed name to the Virginia; Union's ironclad arrived on March 9, 1862, the North South war battle ended in a draw.

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King Cotton Diplomacy

The South's political strategy during the Civil War; it depended upon British and French dependency on a specific southern crop to the extent that those two countries would help the South break the union blockade to get it.

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Trent Affair

In 1861 the Confederacy sent emissaries James Mason to Britain and John Slidell to France to lobby for recognition. A Union ship captured both men and took them to Boston as prisoners. The British were angry and Lincoln ordered their release.

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William Seward

U.S. senator and secretary of state under Abraham Lincoln. An avid opponent of slavery, he was a leading candidate for the Republican nomination in both 1856 and 1860. Later, as one of Lincoln's closest advisers, he helped handle the difficult tasks of keeping European nations out of the Civil War. He is best known, however, for negotiating the purchase of Alaska.

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William Quantrill

An Ohio native who grew up in the west. Became a captain in the Confederate army after organizing a group of mainly teenage boys to terrorize areas around Kansas-Missouri border with guerrilla war. They were exceptionally murderous. Most infamous for the siege of Lawrence Kansas killing 150 civilians, adults and children. He finally died at the hands of Union troops shortly after the war.

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Jayhawks

Used as a slang term for Kansas state citizens, this militia was notorious for its anti-slavery views and frequent violent outbursts.

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Winchester rifle

The lever-action rifles manufactured in America. They were amongst the earliest repeating guns.

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Telegraph corps

During the war, they were charged with maintaining communications between the federal government in Washington and the commanding officers of the far-flung units of the Union Army.

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First Battle of Bull Run

First major battle of the Civil War, in which untrained Northern troops and civilian picnickers fled back to Washington. This battle helped boost Southern morale and made the North realize that this would be a long war.

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Antietam

A strategic Union victory that allows Lincoln to issue the emancipation Proclamation, and it also ends the Confederacy's attemtpt to attack northwards, however it was the single bloodiest day in American history

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Gettysburg

Took place on July 1-3, 1863, between the Union army, led by Meade, and the Confederate army, led by Lee. After unsuccessful charges by Lee he had lost about a third of his army and on July 4 he retreated from here. The retreat was a great turning point in the war, never again were the weakened Confederate forces able seriously to threaten the Northern territory.

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Grant's Strategy

Union military policy involving the use of superior numbers and resources of Union army to defeat the south. Focus on elimination of Southern resources and wearing down Lee's forces.

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Pickett's Charge

After his first assault on Union forces failed, Lee ordered a second, larger effort. In what is remembered as this, a force of 15,000 Confederate soldiers advanced for almost a mile across open country while being swept by Union fire. Only about 5,000 made it up the ridge, and this remnant finally had to surrender or retreat.

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Sherman's march to the sea

Trek from Atlanta to South Carolina, he and his army applied a total warfare, scorched earth policy that led over a million dollars in damage and crushed the south.

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Appomattox Court House

Union had blocked all Lee's escape routes to the South and captured Richmond, Lee met Grant at a private home in Virginia and surrendered on April 8, 1865. Lincoln was assassinated 5 days later.

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