When was the U.S. Civil War and who fought?
150 years ago, 1861-65, our country fought a bloody fratricidal conflict. It's known by many names: "War Between the States", "The Second American Revolution","The Yankee Invasion", and of course "The American or U.S. Civil War".
Eleven states seceeded from the U.S. to form the country, Confederate States of America. The war was between the CSA, the "South", and the remaining states, the "North", of the U.S. The CSA's uniform was usually gray, while the North's blue.
Was it States Rights, slavery, trade & commerce, Abolition, the election of Abraham Lincoln? Or, all of them.
The answers and issues will be found in the many history books available. Check out my reading list below for ideas.
Intro Civil War, CW Links & Lists, CW Reading List, Wm Newlon's Journal Excerpts, List of Sunday Battles
A List of Sunday Battles (1861-65)
06/03/61 – USA victory at Battle of Philippi, Va.
06/10/61 – CSA victory at Battle of Big Bethel, Va.
06/24/61 – USA gunboats shell CSA positions at Mathias Pt., Va.
10/21/61 – Battle of Ball’s Bluff (Leestown), Va., a resounding defeat forUSA forces
04/08/62 – USA captures Island No. 10, Missouri.
07/15/62 – CSA ironclad Arkansas damages USA vessels near Vicksburg, Miss.
08/26/62 – Second Bull Run (Manassas), Va., Campaign begins.
07/01/63 – Battle of Gettysburg begins
07/22/63 – Battle of Manassas Gap, Va., CSA victory
08/12/63 – USA begins new offensive against forts in Charleston Harbor.
10/14/63 – Battle of Bristoe Station, Va., ends inconclusively.
11/25/63 – Three-day Battle of Chattanooga, Tenn., ends in USA victory.
05/27/64 – Battle of New Hope Church, Va., won by CSA.
06/03/64 – CSA victory at Battle of Cold Harbor, Va.
06/10/64 – Battle of Brice’s Crossroads, Miss., won by CSA.
06/17/64 – Gen. Grant begins Seige of Petersburg, Va.
07/22/64 – Battle of Atlanta, Ga., won by USA forces.
08/05/64 – USA wins naval battle of Mobile Bay, Alabama.
09/23/64 – Battle of Fisher’s Hill, Va., ends in USA victory.
02/16/64 – Battle of Nashville, Tenn., won by USA forces.
01/15/65 – USA forces take over Ft. Fisher, NC, capturing last CSA port
03/25/65 – CSA attack on Ft. Stedman, Petersburg, VA, fails.
USA begins Seige of Mobile, Alabama.
04/01/65 – Battle of Five Forks, Va., ends in USA victory.
My great grandfather volunteered on the Union side, the North, in the 3rd Iowa Infantry. Sergeant Newlon chronicles his Civil War experiences from April 1861 to August 1863 in two journals he carried with him.
Will describes the Third's movements through Missouri and Tennessee. All the while, Will pens the tedium and daily struggle of a Civil War soldier, the marching, drilling and dress parades, the cooking and camp making, the cold and heat, the fighting, and the loneliness.
The first journal, the smaller one, begins with his enlistment & muster in May '61, basic training in Keokuk,Iowa, and ends at Benton Barracks, St Louis, September 1862 to await orders to go south into Tennessee.
The second journal, the ledger book, cited in the "Blue&Gray" magazine, 2007 (vol. XXIV, issue 4), begins where the smaller one ended, Benton Barracks, February 1862. Will ends his writing in the Jackson, Tennessee Army Hospital, August 1863, as he recovers from a leg amputation, and awaits his discharge papers.
After the war Will Newlon returned to Winterset, Iowa and married his sweetheart, Lydia Ann Philbrick. Will & Lydia raised a large family, of which nine survived. Mary, a middle child, was my grandmother. She married Army 1st Lt. Clarence Roy Green in 1912; he later died in the First World War.
"Sabbath June 9th cont.
At 4 PM I attended Divine service at the Catholic Church. This building is well constructed & it being decorated with fine drawings and images of Christ & the Virgin Mary, giving it a grand appearance.
The Members, on coming in, knelt to the Virgin. The choir chanted the Vesper Hymn while the old priest responded, standing amid 24 lighted candles, with 2 boys on each side to put on and off his long robe. The choir discoursed the best music I ever heard in the state of Iowa... "
"...About 11 o'clock P.M. the City Guards of New Orleans, 17th Louisiana, charged in an open field upon our regiment. We remained lying in perfect silence until they approached within 150 yards of our line. When we opened upon them with a volley of musketry, it appeared to me as though half of them fell the first fire, and it was but a moment when there was none to be seen on the field but the dead and dying. The ground was literally covered with bodies. In many places they were lying one upon the other, but few of them escaped with their lives. Such a sight I never before witnessed and may God grant another such may never be fought on this continent by a civilized and enlightened people, is my prayer..."
"...The foe gradually fell back until he came to the Bridge across the Hatchie River. Here the fighting commenced in earnest. Men & horses were falling thick and fast until it seemed as though we were all to be slaughtered on the ground. Just at this stage of the action General[Edward O.] Ord (who had arrived a few hours previous and took command, he being the senior officer) was wounded and the command again devolved upon our old commander General Hurlbut. A charge was made. We were ordered to charge the bridge across theHatchie. The command was given:
'Charge Bayonets, Forward,
Double Quick, March!'
Such a sight I never before witnessed. The deadly messenger shot through the air like demands. The sky was darkened with shot and shell. The Earth trembled as though it would be sent in twain with the roar of musketry and the booming of cannon. The branches of trees were severed from the body by cannon balls. The wounded, dead and dying covered the ground; yet not a murmur was heard. 'Onward, Charge over the bodies of your dead comrades' was the cry of our brave generals..."
3d Sergeant William Clark Newlon
Co. G, 3d Iowa Inf.
Sgt Newlon's Civil War Narrative on pdf is available to museums, historical societies and researchers at no cost.
"...We had but marched over half a mile when we suddenly came upon the enemy in a heavy body of timber lying in ambush with strong fortifications. We were close upon them before we knew they were there. Bullets as thick as hail, they opened a fire upon us with three cannons and small arms. They had their cannons planted so as to command the road where our column was marching. On our right was an open marsh; on our left was a heavy body of timber. Here we were, in this position, no chance to flank them, for they were on our right and on our left. We turned our cannons upon them as they were flanking. The first shot mowed them down like a hurricane. Our artillerymen only succeeded in giving them three shots with the cannon when they were all killed and wounded but three, and that silenced the gun. During this time we kept up a volley of musketry..."
Civil War Links & Lists....
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Civil War Recipes
List of CW Battles by State
CIVIL WAR BATTLEFIELDS
CIVIL WAR GENERALS
ORIGINS OF THE CIVIL WAR
LIST OF CIVIL WARS
TENNESSEE STATE LIBRARY & ARCHIVES
MIKE LYNAUGH PHOTOS
Huntington Museum CW Photos
Civil War Music
BOOK MUSICIANS, Civil War Music
Davis Bridge Memorial Foundation, Inc
Battle of Gettysburg
Son of the South
Battle Reenactment- Blue Mills Landing
Civil War Photos, State Historical Library & Archives of Iowa
US Civil War Re-enactment Training
To Be Added....
List of "BlueandGray" sites
Blue and Gray Skirmish Association
Blue and Gray Education Society
History of the Civil War
Quilt Patterns using Civil War Fabrics
The Blue & Gray Rifle & Pistol Club
Great bluegrass music
A place to store your stuff
Malone’s Blue and Gray Marine
Blue & Gray Brewing Co.
An Oldsmobile Club of America
Blue & Gray Museum, No. Alabama
Blue and Gray Tour Guides
Blue Gray Towing Services.
To Be Added....
If you know of a "blue and gray" site send it to me.