U.S. History
Material Type:
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
  • Civil War
  • History
  • Ohs0432
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    Education Standards

    The Civil War 1860-1865

    The Civil War 1860-1865


    "The American Civil War, the bloodiest in the nation’s history, resulted in approximately 750,000 deaths. The war touched the life of nearly every American as military mobilization reached levels never seen before or since... The Civil War was a defining event in the history of the United States and, for the Americans thrust into it, a wrenching one." -The American Yawp, Chap. 14 Introduction

    [Image: 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Color Guard - Ohio History Connection]

    Learning Objectives

    • Identify and describe the factors that led to the Civil War.
    • Explain the reasons Southern states seceded from the Union.
    • Describe the early battles of the Civil War, and explain how they revealed the presumptuousness of both the Confederate and Union sides.
    • Identify and describe the political opposition and challenges to Abraham Lincoln's administration during the Civil War, including the Copperheads and Draft Riots, and explain Lincoln's responses to those challenges.
    • Describe the Battle of Antietam, explaining how President Lincoln was able to use the battle's outcome to justify issuing the Emancipation Proclamation.
    • Identify the turning points of the war that occurred in 1863, and explain how the war's outcome was influenced by these developments.
    • Explain what is meant by the term "total warfare," and describe ho this term applied to the latter years of the Civil War.
    • Describe the circumstances leading Robert E. Lee to surrender teh Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomatox Court House, and why the Confederacy collapsed soon afterward.

    Module Supplemental Readings & Multimedia





    Fort Sumter & Causes


    Medical Care

    Naval War

    Women & the War



    Glossary of Key Terms

    Antietam: Battle in the Civil War that was the impetus behind Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation to prevent foreign intervention.  The September 17, 1862 engagement it the single bloodiest day in American military history.

    Army of Northern Virginia: The most successful Confederate army, commanded by General Robert E Lee.

    Army of the Potomac: The main Union Army in the Eastern Theater of the Civil War. Its dual mission was to defeat the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and safeguard Washington, DC.

    Border States: The four slave states -- Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware -- that did not secede during the Civil War.

    Bull Run: First major battle of the Civil War and a victory for the South that dispelled the North’s notion of a swift victory. 

    Confederate States of America: Government established after seven Southern states seceded from the Union, later joined by four more states from the Upper South.

    Copperheads: Northern Democrats who obstructed the war effort attacking Abraham Lincoln, the draft and emancipation.

    Emancipation Proclamation: Declared all slaves in rebelling states to be free but did not affect slavery in non-rebelling Border States.

    Fort Sumter: South Carolina location where Confederate forces fired the first shots of the Civil War in April of 1861, after Union forces attempted to provision the fort.

    Gettysburg:  Civil War battle in Pennsylvania that ended in Union victory and which the Confederacy managed to invade the North again.

    greenbacks: Paper currency (printed in green) issued by the United States during the Civil War. They were legal tender by law, but were not backed by gold or silver.

    Homestead Act: A federal law that gave settlers 160 acres of land in the west for about $30 if they lived on it for five years and improved it by building a house on it.

    Merrimack and Monitor: Confederate and Union ironclads, respectively, whose successes against wooden ships signaled an end to wooden warships.

    New York draft riots: Uprising, mostly of working-class Irish-Americans, in protest of the draft. Rioters were particularly incensed by the ability of the rich to hire substitutes or purchase exemptions.

    Sherman's march: Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's destructive march through Georgia, purposely targeting infrastructure and civilian property to diminish morale and undercut the Confederate war effort.

    Vicksburg: Two-and-a-half-month siege of a Confederate fort on the Mississippi River that fell to Ulysses S. Grant and gave the Union Army control of the Mississippi River and splitting the South in two.