Major Events That Happened During the Civil War
Reconstruction of the devastated south was very important. The Civil War was over. The North had claimed victory and now the time was at hand to claim the spoils that war rewards. A monumental task lay in front of the victors; the Northern leaders were scrambling trying to put the pieces of a war-torn nation back in place. Where to begin? Reconstruction.
The term refers to the rebuilding of something usually that was destroyed or diminished by an outside-unforeseen enemy. This was not the case, for the Union leaders who now had the unenviable job of reconnecting a country so ravaged by war, brother against brother.
President Lincoln was at the helm of the rebuilding effort and he alone was to lead the country back from the dark ages of war. This is not to say that Lincoln did not have assistance, for he did and some of that assistance was negative. Feuding factions within the Union threatened to bring the country to the brink of sheer destruction. A country that is still licking its gaping wounds was a vulnerable one at best.
President Lincoln realized this and knew what he had to do in order to save the red, white, and blue. Thousands of men had sacrificed their lives from both sides in one of the bloodiest conflicts the country could ever know. Regardless of the future wars, and they were traumatic, dramatic, casualty-filled battles on foreign soil, none would compare to the loss of life as the Civil War. Reconstruction was on the Presidents mind and not much else.
How to reconstruct the destroyed south? That was the main goal of the Reconstruction effort. The North had to devise a way to reinvent the South in everything that is required for a country. Commerce, residential, shipping, and farming. So many important points of interest and none more important as the one that was the cause of the war, slavery. The idea of slavery, which had been abolished by the Union victory, needed to be enforced.
That meant that troops were to be positioned in the South all through the sector. Dissent and hatred of the Boys in Blue, ran deeper than in the war itself. Not only did the South resent the North for all that had transpired during the war, they must now house, feed, and entertain the occupying force. The amendments of the Constitution, 13,14, and 15, outlawed all forms of slavery in the entire United States.
A great first step that had come with a heavy price. The free black slaves numbered in the millions, four million to be exact. That is a huge influx of humanity, new citizens that had to be counted, indoctrinated into the country that once had enslaved them.
The African-Americans that now found themselves on the street with nowhere to go were left to their own devices. What were they to do? Some actually stayed on as free-slaves as they had nowhere else to go. The irony of freedom. Free but still enslaved. A new dark age was creeping into the spotlight. Redemption.
This was what the South had in mind. The abolition of slavery was a Northern mandate. Resentment still ran deep, deep as the Mississippi. Something was brewing in the slave quarters and in the white houses of the plantation owners, and it was not good. It was a great start, yet, in itself, not the best solution. Time would prove that.
January 1, 1863
By the President of the United States of America:
Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:
“That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.
“That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States.”
Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:
Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.
And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.
And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.
And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.
And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.
By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
Civil War Food riots were the result of shortages of food in the South.
Now technically there really weren’t any food shortages in the south. In fact there was an abundance of food in the south.
The problem was it just wasn’t getting to anybody. With the Federals blocking supply routes and the railroad system in shambles it was very difficult to get a piece of corn from a farm to a city.
It got so bad that in Richmond Virginia in 1863 a mob of women and children raided the retail district of flour, other food, and clothing.
It got very serious when the mob started to steal jewelry, fine clothes, and rob banks, now that’s just getting greedy.
The mayor of Richmond had to show up and threaten the mob by saying he was going to have the army open fire on them.
Well that threat didn’t quite work.
It wasn’t until Jefferson Davis arrived on the scene and had to plead with the crowd to stop stealing and just go home.
He must have been pretty convincing because the crowd did break up and leave.