Civil War

The Civil War (1861-1865) has been called the Second American Revolution, the War of the Rebellion, the War between the States, the War for Southern Independence, the Rich Man's War and the Poor Man's Fight, the War to Save the Union, and after it was over, many in the South referred to it as "The Lost Cause." It was also called a struggle between national sovereignty and states' rights.

To achieve separation, a convention of delegates from six of the cotton-growing states (Texas was added later) met at Montgomery, Alabama, February 4, 1861, and established a government under the title of "The Confederate States of America." On March 21,1861, Alexander H. Stephens, Vice-President of the Confederacy declared: “The Confederacy's foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the Negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and moral condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth."

The Civil War began when Southern troops attacked Fort Sumter, South Carolina, in April 1861. Although the military battles ended on April 9, 1865 after  Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Court House, the major issues that had started the war were never resolved.

Legacy Stories from the Americans All Heritage Honor Roll

We are pleased to host and share these legacy stories created by honorees’ family, friends and associates. They, like us, appreciate that heritage and culture are an integral part of our nation's social fabric and want to help students participate effectively in our nation's economy, workforce and democracy.

Language
State
Last Name of Individual
First Name of Individual
Group name

Civil War: Andersonville Angel, Irish History Georgia (c.1802 - February 6, 1871) American History, Civil War, Irish Catholic Priest, Prison

Rev. Peter Whelan, administrator of the Savannah diocese, distinguished himself as a chaplain for the Montgomery Guards, an Irish company in the First Georgia Volunteer Regiment, named for one of America’s earliest heroes—Irish-born Revolutionary General Richard Montgomery.  In 1862, The Montgomery Guards were bombed into surrender by Union forces and though he was offered freedom, Rev. Whelan chose to remain with the prisoners.

Civil War: Battle of Antietam, Irish History Maryland (September 17, 1862 - September 22, 1862) Revolutionary War Battle, American History, Irish

The bloodiest day in American history took place during the Civil War and the Irish had a major part in the Union victory that day. It took place at Antietam on September 17, 1862, and it was the victory that emboldened President Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. Foremost among Union forces was the Irish Brigade led by Irish-born Gen. Thomas F Meagher.

Fredericksburg, Texas Texas (c.1845 - ?) German Settlers, American Town, Gillespie County, Civil War, American History, Nimitz

Fredericksburg, the county seat of Gillespie County, is seventy miles west of Austin in the central part of the county. The town was one of a projected series of German settlements from the Texas coast to the land north of the Llano River, originally the ultimate destination of the German immigrants sent to Texas by the Adelsverein. In August 1845 John O. Meusebach left New Braunfels . . . 

Civil War: Beauvoir--The Jefferson Davis Home & Presidential Library Mississippi (February 19, 1879 - ?) American History, Civil War, Confederate, Presidential Library,

Throughout the years, Beauvoir has boasted a long and grand literary tradition. From the accomplished writing skills of those who lived there to the extensive library collections that have been housed on the grounds, Beauvoir has a great history of libraries. Of course, Sarah Dorsey, Jefferson Davis, his daughter Winnie, his wife Varina, and even some veterans like Prentiss Ingraham were all successful in their writing ventures.

Civil War: Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 54th Massachusetts (March 13, 1863 - August 4, 1865) Carney, Glory, Hallowell, Medal of Honor, Military, Shaw, Fort Wagner

On January 26, 1863, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton authorized Massachusetts Governor John Albion. Andrew to create volunteer companies of artillery "for duty in the forts of Massachusetts and elsewhere, and such corps of infantry for the volunteer military service as he may find convenient.

Timeline of the Civil War: Background and Causes South Carolina (April 12, 1961 - April 9, 1865) Union, Confederacy, slavery, Lincoln, Douglas, Brown, Stowe, Taney, Scott, succession, Tubman, Andersonville, Pennington, Truth, Davis, Fifty-Fourth, 54th

The Civil War is one of the most complex, studied and written about events in U.S. history and was fought from April 12, 1861 to April 9, 1865. Although many theories have been considered, it is now generally agreed that the main cause of the conflict was the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of Black people.

Timeline of the Civil War: Abolition and the Underground Railroad, 1700 to 1865, Part 1 Maryland (January 1, 1700 - December 31, 1865) Abolition, African American, American History, Antislavery, Civil Rights, Constitutional Amendments, Discrimination, Desegregation, Education, Equality, Negro, Plessy, Public Laws, Quaker, Riots, Segregation, Slavery, Underground Railroad, Women's Rights

To live freely and participate in society is a right many take for granted. Throughout U.S. history, acquiring and maintaining civil rights has been a difficult struggle for many groups. We have created timelines that highlight their struggles. Each group of entries cannot exceed 2,000 words, so the timeline dates are structured accordingly.

Timeline of the Civil War: Abolition and the Underground Railroad, 1700 to 1865, Part 2 Maryland (January 1, 1700 - December 31, 1865) Abolition, African American, American History, Antislavery, Civil Rights, Constitutional Amendments, Discrimination, Desegregation, Education, Equality, Negro, Plessy, Public Laws, Quaker, Riots, Segregation, Slavery, Underground Railroad, Women's Rights

To live freely and participate in society is a right many take for granted. Throughout U.S. history, acquiring and maintaining civil rights has been a difficult struggle for many groups. We have created timelines that highlight their struggles. Each group of entries cannot exceed 2,000 words, so the timeline dates are structured accordingly.

Timeline of the Civil War: Major Battles and Reconstruction Maryland (April 12, 1861 - April 9, 1865) Civil Rights Act, Confederacy, Davis, Emancipation-Proclamation, Ft.-Sumter, Fifteenth, Fourteenth, Grant, Ironsides, Jim Crow, Lee, Lincoln, Separate-but-Equal, Slavery, Succession, Supreme Court, Surrender, Thirteenth, Amendment, Union, Vote

The Civil War is one of the most complex, studied and written about events in U.S. history and was fought from April 12, 1861 to April 9, 1865. Although many theories have been considered, it is now generally agreed that the main cause of the conflict was the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of Black people.

Timeline of the Civil War: Summary Maryland (April 12, 1861 - April 9, 1865)

The Civil War has been called the Second American Revolution, the War of the Rebellion, the War between the States, the War for Southern Independence, the Rich Man's War and the Poor Man's Fight, the War to Save the Union, and after it was over, many in the South referred to it as "The Lost Cause." It was also called a struggle between national sovereignty and states' rights.

Post-Civil War: Birth of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) Tennessee (May 1866 - ?) African American, Blacks, Carpetbaggers, Catholic, Civil Rights Communists, Confederate, Fraternity, Jewish, Neo-Nazi, Racism, Radical Reconstruction, Republican, Scalawags, Secrecy, Slaves, Terrorists, White Supremacy

Originally the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was established innocuously enough as a social organization by six ex-Confederate officers in the small Southern town of Pulaski, Tennessee in the early summer of 1866. Prior to 1868, the KKK essentially assumed a defensive posture aimed at protecting the white community from the perceived threats represented by Union Leaguers and the state militia. It quickly became one of the nation's most deadly domestic terrorist organizations. 

Civil War: Black Codes Summary (Pre-Jim Crow Laws) South Carolina (c.1865 - ?) American History, Apprentice, Civil Rights, Code Noir, Felony, Freedman’s Bureau, Legislature, Louisiana, Mississippi, Mulattoes, Negroes, Penal Laws, Slavery, South Carolina, Vagrant Laws, White Supremacy

Before the Civil War, Northern states prohibiting slavery enacted laws like the slave codes to discourage free Blacks from residing in those states. Blacks were denied equal political rights, including the right to vote, attend public schools and receive equal treatment under the law. In the first two years after the Civil War, white-dominated Southern legislatures passed their own Black Codes modeled after the earlier slave codes.

Honorable Jefferson Finis Davis Mississippi (June 3, 1808 - December 6, 1889) Scottish-Irish, Veteran, Politician, U.S. Congress, Mexican War, U.S. Secretary of War,  President of the Confederate States of America

Jefferson Davis’ life includes being a West Point graduate, a U.S. Representative and Senator, a Mexican War hero and a U.S. Secretary of War.  He also served as the only President of the Confederate States of America for which he was indicted for treason—but never tried—and imprisoned for two years. On October 17, 1978, a joint resolution passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Jimmy Carter restored Davis' citizenship, effective December 25, 1868.

Rev. James William Charles Pennington New York (c.1807 - October 22, 1870) African-American, Presbyterian, Writer, Minister, Abolitionist, Civil War

Born into slavery on the eastern shore of Maryland in 1807, James William Charles Pennington escaped from slavery in 1828 and settled for a time in New York and later became the first black student admitted to Yale, although he was not officially enrolled, and is reported to only have limited use of the library. Although ordained as a minister in the Congregational Church, he later served Presbyterian Churches in many states.

Sojourner Truth Michigan (c.1797 - November 26, 1883) African-American, Methodist, Abolitionist, Author, Women’s Rights Activist, Civil War, Detroit Housing Project

Sojourner Truth was born c. 1797 as “Isabella Baumfree” to Elizabeth and James Baumfree, slaves on a Dutch settlement owned by Colonel Johannes Hardenbaugh, in Swartekill, Ulster County, New York. One of 12 children, she spent her early years serving various masters and never learned to read and write. slave, Thomas, owned by the Dumonts.

Harriet "Minty" Tubman Maryland (c.1822 - June 14, 1914) African American, Underground Railroad, conductor, abolitionist, Union spy, civil war, slavery, suffrage, scout, nurse, civil rights

Born, c.1822, into slavery on a slave-breeding plantation on Maryland's Eastern Shore, she was named Araminta “Minty” Ross by her enslaved parents, Ben Ross, and Harriet (“Rit”) Green. Rit’s mother was owned by Mary Pattison Brodess, whose inherited Harriet when Mary’s mother, Atthow Pattison, died in 1797. Rit was a house cook on the plantation and her father . . .