Sample Scholarship Essays

The Civil War

.. ts. After dark, Lee ordered the battered Army of Northern Virginia to withdraw across the Potomac into the Shenandoah Valley. Another battle is the Battle of Fredricksburg. On November 14, 1862 Burnside, now in command of the Army of the Potomac, sent a corps to occupy the vicinity of Falmouth near Fredericksburg.

The rest of the army soon followed. Lee reacted by positioning his army on the heights behind the town. On December 11, Union engineers laid five pontoon bridges across the Rappahannock under fire. On the 12th, the Federal army crossed over, and on December 13, Burnside mounted a series of assaults on Prospect Hill and Marye’s Heights that resulted in a lot of casualties. Meade’s division, on the Union left flank, briefly broke into Jackson’s line but was driven back by a counterattack.

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Union generals C. Feger Jackson and George Bayard, and Confederate generals Thomas R.R. Cobb and Maxey Gregg were killed. On December 15, Burnside called off the offensive and recrossed the river, ending the campaign. Burnside initiated a new offensive in January 1863, which quickly bogged down in the winter mud. The abortive Mud March and other failures led to Burnside’s replacement by Major General Joseph Hooker in January 1863.

Another was the Battle of Chancellorsville. On April 27, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker led the V, IX, and XII Corps on a campaign to turn the Confederate left flank by crossing the Rappahannock and Rapidan Rivers above Fredericksburg. Passing the Rapidan via Germanna and Ely’s Fords, the Federals concentrated near Chancellorsville on April 30 and May 1. The III Corps was ordered to join the army via United States Ford.

Sedgwick’s VI Corps and Gibbon’s division remained to demonstrate against the Confederates at Fredericksburg. In the meantime, Lee left a covering force under Maj. Gen. Jubal Early in Fredericksburg and marched with the rest of the army to confront the Federals. As Hooker’s army moved toward Fredericksburg on the Orange Turnpike, they encountered increasing Confederate resistance.

Hearing reports of overwhelming Confederate force, Hooker ordered his army to suspend the advance and to concentrate again at Chancellorsville. Pressed closely by Lee’s advance, Hooker adopted a defensive posture, thus giving Lee the initiative. On the morning of May 2, Lt. Gen. T.J.

Jackson directed his corps on a march against the Federal left flank, which was reported to be hanging in the air. Fighting was sporadic on other portions of the field throughout the day, as Jackson’s column reached its jump-off point. At 5:20 pm, Jackson’s line surged forward in an overwhelming attack that crushed the Union XI Corps. Federal troops rallied, resisted the advance, and counterattacked. Disorganization on both sides and darkness ended the fighting.

While making a night reconnaissance, Jackson was mortally wounded by his own men and carried from the field. J.E.B. Stuart took temporary command of Jackson’s Corps. On May 3, the Confederates attacked with both wings of the army and massed their artillery at Hazel Grove. This finally broke the Federal line at Chancellorsville.

Hooker withdrew a mile and entrenched in a defensive U with his back to the river at United States Ford. Union generals Berry and Whipple and Confederate general Paxton were killed; Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded. On the night of May 5-6, after Union reverses at Salem Church, Hooker recrossed to the north bank of the Rappahannock. This battle was considered by many historians to be Lee’s greatest victory. The Battle of Vicksburg is the next battle in line. In May and June of 1863, Major General Ulysses S.

Grant’s armies converged on Vicksburg, investing the city and entrapping a Confederate army under General John Pemberton. On July 4, Vicksburg surrendered after prolonged siege operations. This was the climax of one of the most brilliant military campaigns of the war. With the loss of Pemberton’s army and this important stronghold on the Mississippi, the Confederacy was effectively split in half. Grant’s successes in the West boosted his reputation, leading ultimately to his appointment as General-in-Chief of the Union armies. Then there was the Battle of Chickamauga.

After the Tullahoma Campaign, Rosecrans renewed his offensive, aiming to force the Confederates out of Chattanooga. The three army corps comprising Rosecrans’ s army split and set out for Chattanooga by separate routes. In early September 1863, Rosecrans consolidated his forces scattered in Tennessee and Georgia and forced Bragg’s army out of Chattanooga, heading south. The Union troops followed it and brushed with it at Davis’ Cross Roads. Bragg was determined to reoccupy Chattanooga and decided to meet a part of Rosecrans’s army, defeat them, and then move back into the city.

On the 17th he headed north, intending to meet and beat the XXI Army Corps. As Bragg marched north on the 18th, his cavalry and infantry fought with Union cavalry and mounted infantry which were armed with Spencer repeating rifles. Fighting began in earnest on the morning of the 19th, and Bragg’s men hammered but did not break the Union line. The next day, Bragg continued his assault on the Union line on the left, and in late morning, Rosecrans was informed that he had a gap in his line. In moving units to shore up the supposed gap, Rosencrans created one, and James Longstreet’s men promptly exploited it, driving one-third of the Union army, including Rosecrans himself, from the field.

George H. Thomas took over command and began consolidating forces on Horseshoe Ridge and Snodgrass Hill. Although the Rebels launched determined assaults on these forces, they held until after dark. Thomas then led these men from the field leaving it to the Confederates. The Union retired to Chattanooga while the Rebels occupied the surrounding heights. The last battle in the Civil War was the Battle of Cold Harbor. On May 31, 1864 Sheridan’s cavalry seized the crossroads of Old Cold Harbor. Early on June 1, relying on their new repeating carbines and weak strengthening, Sheridan’s troopers threw back an attack by Confederate infantry.

Confederate reinforcements arrived from Richmond and from the Totopotomoy Creek lines. Late on June 1, the Union Corps reached Cold Harbor and assaulted the Confederate works with some success. By June 2, both armies were on the field, forming on a seven-mile front that extended from Bethesda Church to the Chickahominy River. At dawn June 3, the Corps, followed later by the IX Corps, assaulted along the Bethesda Church-Cold Harbor line and were slaughtered at all points. Grant commented in his journal that this was the only attack he wished he had never ordered.

The armies confronted each other on these lines until the night of June 12, when Grant again advanced by his left flank, marching to James River. On June 14, the II Corps was ferried across the river at Wilcox’s Landing by transports. On June 15, the rest of the army began crossing on a 2,200-foot long pontoon bridge at Weyanoke. Abandoning the approaches to Richmond, Grant sought to shift his army quickly south of the river to threaten Petersburg. (The Battlefields of the Civil War).

One of the biggest parts of the Civil war was the music. 1860 was one of the most musical decades in American history, and in no other war than the Civil War did music play such an important role among the soldiers. Robert E. Lee wrote in 1864, I don’t believe we can have an army without music. A certain type of music called AmeriMusic was founded in 1996 for the purpose of offering a wide variety of music of primarily American origins as performed by classically trained musicians. The founder, Douglas Jimerson, was trained as an opera singer, pianist, and musicologist.

(The Civil War Homepage) The Civil War is said to be the first true modern war. This conflict brought forth the use of the first air force, hot air balloons, and machine guns. The War was also the first to be reported and presented with photography. In addition, it was the first total war, meaning war was not only inflicted on soldiers, but civilians, land and cities as well. More important than, perhaps, any of the above characteristics is the role that women played in this terrible four-year conflict.

Unlike any war before this, women played an enormous part in the lives of soldiers’, family and home life, and they had a significant hand in how the War progressed and eventually ended. With the men running off left and right to sign up for the cause, women were left behind to carry out the man’s duties at home. As the War progressed, many women of the South had to take on the work of the slaves who had either been freed, or run away. Both the departures of the men and the slaves transformed the women’s lives to more than existence of domesticity. Women saw the War as an opportunity to be leaders in the fight for abolition and equality. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B.

Anthony were organizers of the National Women’s Loyalty League which called for a constitutional amendment to end slavery. They fought for the woman’s right to vote, argued against differences in pay between men and women in manufacturing jobs, and fought for the right to be nurses in the effort to ease the pain that this War was inflicting. In addition to all this, women went as far as to be spies and soldiers for both sides. Knowing that women were not able by law to enlist as soldiers, some disguised themselves as men and served in both the Union and Confederate Armies. Many who did this were able to avoid getting caught, and served until either getting wounded or until the War’s end.

Other women decided that being a spy was the best way to serve, and there were dozens of Southern, female spies in Washington DC, as well as one Northerner being in the Confederate White House. Probably the most significant role of women was nursing. Thousands of women at the War’s outset left their homes to take care of dying soldiers. At first, many men were angered by this new role, and felt that it was unlady-like for women to care for naked and enlisted men. As the war raged on, however, and casualties were coming in at ever increasing numbers, demand for women nurses skyrocketed, and even those doctors who protested so loudly against women being in the operating rooms with them had to silence themselves. The United States Sanitary Commission, organized by the women of the North, ran kitchens, distributed medical supplies and inspected army camps to insure a standard of cleanliness.

Over 3,000 Union women became unpaid nurses during the conflict, and Dorthea Dix, appointed head of the nursing corps, went unpaid for the entire four years at her post. Southern nurses were equally as vital to their cause setting up the largest, most efficient hospital on either side in Richmond, Virginia. When talking about the Civil War, it is too often spoke of as a man’s war, fighting on the battlefields or serving on ship in the navy. Men ran the shows in both Washington and Richmond, recruited the soldiers, and organized the supply lines and military operations. It was the women, however, who were the lifelines of the Union and Confederacy. It was the women who tended the wounded tirelessly, ensured sanitary conditions and fought for causes that men were unable and possibly unwilling to fight for.

The women’s role in the Civil War is just as significant as the man’s, and this fact should not be left out. (Women in the Civil War) Of course we all know how it ends. Slavery is now abolished and after a long history of racism and segregation, we are more unified now than we were then. There are still the occasional “Hate Crimes” that are crimes attacking one particular race. Although our world will never be in perfect harmony with each other, we will never forget the turmoil and bloodshed of the thousands of men who died for our present day freedom. History.

The Civil War

The Civil War
On paper the North was far stronger than the South. It had two and a
half times as many people, and it possessed far more ships, miles of
railroad, and manufacturing enterprises. Southerners, however, had the
advantage of fighting on home ground with better military leadership. But
Union superiority in manpower was not so great as the gross figures suggest.

Half a million people scattered from Dakota to California, could make no
substantial contribution to Union strength. And every year Union regiments
were sent to the West to fight Indians. Hundreds of thousands of Americans
in loyal border states and in southern Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois worked
or fought for southern independence. Though, every state furnished men for
the other side, there was little doubt that more Federals than Confederates
“crossed over.”
The South had superior officer personnel. For twenty years before
Lincoln’s inauguration, southern officers had dominated the U.S. Army.
Another source of southern confidence was cotton. Secession leaders
expected to exchange that staple for the foreign manufactured goods they

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The South’s most important advantage was that it had only to defend
relatively short interior lines against invaders who had to deal with long
lines of communication and to attack a broad front. The Confederacy also
had no need to divert fighting men to tasks such as garrisoning captured
cities and holding conquered territory.

In a short war, numerical superiority would not have made much of a
difference. As the war continued, however, numerical strength became a
psychological as well as a physical weapon. During the closing years of the
conflict, Union armies, massed at last against critical strongholds,
suffered terrible casualties but seemed to grow stronger with every defeat.

Any staggering Confederate losses sapped the southern will to fight. Every
material advantage of the North was magnified by the fact that the Civil
War lasted years instead of months. Money and credit, food production,
transport, factories, clothing (boots)–it took time to redirect the
economy to the requirements of war, especially because these requirements,
like the length of the war, were underestimated.Words
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