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  • The American Civil War, Jefferson Davis
    fiercely all Northern claims that slavery was cruel Elected to Public Office He was elected a representative to Congress in 1845 but he resigned the next year when the Mexican War broke out He became a colonel of Mississippi volunteers and served under his former father in law now General Taylor At the battle of Buena Vista Davis and his regiment probably saved the American army from defeat Davis was severely wounded This action made him widely known as the hero of Buena Vista It also convinced him that he was a military genius This belief later handicapped him in his relations with Confederate commanders In 1847 Mississippi sent him to the United States Senate His ability as a speaker soon made him a Democratic leader championing the South and slavery In 1851 he resigned to run for governor of Mississippi He was defeated but he re entered public life when Franklin Pierce became president in 1853 Davis became secretary of war serving until the end of Pierce s term in 1857 Mississippi again sent him to the Senate By this time the tension between the North and the South over slavery was at fever heat Davis took an unyielding attitude in favor of slavery In 1860 he helped nominate a proslavery Democrat John C Breckinridge to run against both Abraham Lincoln the Republican nominee and Stephen A Douglas the northern Democratic nominee This party split caused Lincoln to be elected President of the Confederacy Southern bitterness made secession inevitable On Jan 21 1861 Davis made an impassioned speech to the Senate and resigned When the Southern states formed the Confederacy he hoped to be named commander of the Confederate forces Instead he was named president He was inaugurated on Feb 18 1861 Despite poor health Davis assumed his new

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/davis.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • The American Civil War, Nathaniel Banks
    the department June 11 July 19 1861 commanding Department of the Shenandoah July 25 August 17 1861 commanding division Military District of the Potomac August 17 October 3 1861 commanding division Army of the Potomac October 3 1861 March 13 1862 commanding 5th Corps Army of the Potomac March 13 April 4 1862 again commanding Department of the Shenandoah April 4 June 26 1862 commanding 2nd Corps Army of Virginia June 26 September 4 1862 commanding Military District of Washington Army of the Potomac September 7 October 27 1862 commanding 19th Corps Department of the Gulf December 16 1862 August 20 1863 commanding the department December 17 1862 September 23 1864 and April 22 June 3 1865 With no prior military experience he was in divisional and departmental command near Washington early in the war In the Shenandoah Valley he was routed by Stonewall Jackson and due to his tremendous loss of supplies was dubbed Commissary Banks by the Confederates As part of Pope s army he was again defeated at Cedar Mountain by Jackson and was at 2nd Bull Run After a brief stint in the capital s defenses he went to New Orleans to replace Benjamin F Butler

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/nathaniel_banks.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • The American Civil War, Ambrose Everett Burnside
    Four days later he was commissioned a brigadier general and organized an expedition against the North Carolina coast For his successes at Roanoke Island and New Bern he was awarded a second star and was offered command of the main Union army following McClellan s failure on the Peninsula Refusing this he detached part of his corps to the aid of Pope in the 2nd Bull Run Campaign Again offered command following that debacle he again declined and was given charge of the lst and 9th Corps during the Maryland operations He fought at South Mountain and then at Antietam where his two corps were placed on opposite ends of the Union battle line He nonetheless remained in wing command over the 9th Corps a cumbersome arrangement that may explain his slowness in attacking at the Stone Bridge The delay allowed A P Hill s Confederate division to come up from Harpers Ferry and contain the Union breakthrough With McClellan s removal he was assigned to the command of the army He hesitated but was convinced that he had no alternative but to obey the order His advance upon Fredericksburg was rapid but later delays some not his fault allowed Lee to concentrate along the heights and easily repulse the Union attacks Upset by the failure of his plan Burnside declared that he himself would lead an assault by his old corps He was talked out of it but relations between the commander and his subordinates were strained Accepting full blame he offered to retire but this was refused The next month he launched his ill fated Mud March which bogged down before it was fairly underway This time he asked that several officers be relieved of duty and court martialed and also offered to resign The latter was accepted

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/ambrose_burnside.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • The American Civil War, John Buford, (1826-1863)
    assignments included captain 2nd Dragoons since March 9 1854 captain 2nd Cavalry change of designation August 3 1861 major and assistant adjutant general November 12 1861 brigadier general USV July 27 1862 commanding Cavalry Brigade 2nd Corps Army of Virginia July 27 September 12 1862 commanding Reserve Brigade Cavalry Corps Army of the Potomac February 12 May 22 1863 commanding the division May 22 27 June 9 August 15 and September 15 November 21 1863 and major general USV to rank from July 1 1863 After staff duty in the Washington defenses he obtained a position on Pope s staff in northern Virginia He was rewarded with a brigadier s star and command of a brigade of cavalry While leading this at 2nd Bull Run he suffered a wound The next spring he was commanding the Reserve Brigade which was composed mainly of regular army units and took part in Stoneman s raid during the Chancellorsville Campaign He directed the division at Brandy Station Aidie Middleburg and Upperville It was two of his brigades that initiated the fighting at Gettysburg northwest of the town He was able to hold off the Confederate assaults until the arrival of Union infantry and

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/john_buford.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • The American Civil War, Daniel Butterfield (1831 - 1901)
    1862 commanding the division November 1 16 1862 commanding the corps November 16 December 25 1862 major general USV November 29 1862 chief of staff Army of the Potomac January July 3 1863 colonel 5th Infantry July 1 1863 chief of staff 11th and 12th Corps Army of the Cumberland October 1863 April 14 1864 and commanding 3rd Division 20th Corps Army of the Cumberland April 14 June 29 1864 Leading his regiment of militia the first to cross the Long Bridge into Virginia he later commanded a brigade of Patterson s army About this time he was given a commission in one of the new regular army regiments In the Peninsula Campaign he earned a Congressional Medal of Honor awarded in 1892 for the carrying of the flag of the 3rd Pennsylvania at Gaines Mill He was also wounded in this action While the army was encamped at Harrison s Landing he experimented with bugle calls designing a special call for his brigade to be played before the regular calls to avoid confusion with those of other commands He is also somewhat questionably credited with originating Taps His subsequent rise was rapid commanding a brigade at 2nd Bull Run and a corps by Fredericksburg When Hooker was given command of the army Butterfield by now a major general was made his chief of staff It was during this period that the army headquarters was termed a combination of bar room and brothel Most officers considered the culprits to be Hooker Daniel E Sickles and Butterfield During the fighting at Chancellorsville Butterfield was left behind at Falmouth to coordinate the actions of the two wings and communicate with Washington With Meade s taking command of the army a few days before Gettysburg he reluctantly kept Butterfield as his staff chief

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/daniel_butterfield.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • The American Civil War, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
    Offered a year s travel with pay in Europe in 1862 to study languages Chamberlain instead volunteered his military services to Maine s governor He was soon made lieutenant colonel of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment His extraordinary Civil War career is much admired today thanks to books like John J Pullen s The Twentieth Maine and Alice R Trulock s biography In the Hands of Providence documentaries like Ken Burns s The Civil War and novels like Michael Shaara s The Killer Angels which was made into the movie Gettysburg with Jeff Daniels portraying Chamberlain From Antietam in 1862 to the triumphal grand review of the armies in May of 1865 Chamberlain saw much of the war in the East including 24 battles and numerous skirmishes He was wounded six times once almost fatally and had six horses shot from under him He is best remembered for two great events the action at Little Round Top on the second day of Gettysburg 2 July 1863 when then Colonel Chamberlain and the 20th Maine held the extreme left flank of the Union line against a fierce rebel attack and the surrender of Lee s Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox when Grant chose Chamberlain to receive the formal surrender of weapons and colors 12 April 1865 Always a chivalrous man Chamberlain had his men salute the defeated Confederates as they marched by evidence of his admiration of their valor and of Grant s wish to encourage the rebel armies still in the field to accept the peace Brevet Major General Chamberlain returned briefly to his academic duties at Bowdoin but was soon elected as a popular war hero to four terms as governor of Maine helping establish a century of domination of Maine politics by the Republican Party Chamberlain was never a member of the inner circle of the party and was distrusted by its leading politicians but in his years as chief executive he helped establish the new agricultural and technical college at Orono tried to attract investment into a state whose economy was beginning to decline and persuaded Scandinavian immigrants to take up farming at New Sweden and elsewhere in Maine He continued to live in Brunswick taking the train to Augusta as state business required Rather than go into finance or railroads like so many young Civil War generals former Governor Chamberlain returned to Bowdoin he was to spend far more of his life as an educator than as a soldier In 1871 he was persuaded to accept the presidency of the college at a low point in its fortunes Remembering the engineering skills of West Point trained officers and trying to adjust to a new age Chamberlain reshaped the curriculum to include modern scientific and engineering subjects a short lived experiment that produced at least one very famous alumnus the polar explorer Admiral Robert Peary Class of 1877 Chamberlain s wartime experience had made him accustomed to giving orders and seeing them obeyed This inflexibilty

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/Chamberlain.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • The American Civil War, George Armstrong Custer (1839 - 1876)
    1864 temporarily commanding the division July 15 August 4 and November 25 December 20 1863 commanding lst Brigade lst Division Cavalry Corps Army of the Potomac March 25 August 6 1864 and Army of the Shenandoah August 6 September 26 1864 temporarily commanding 2nd Cavalry Division Army of West Virginia serving with the Army of the Shenandoah September 26 30 1864 commanding 3rd Division Cavalry Corps Army of the Shenandoah September 30 1864 January 5 1865 and January 30 March 25 1865 and Army of the Potomac March 25 May 22 1865 and major general USV April 15 1865 Serving during the first two war years on the staffs of Generals McClellan and Pleasonton Custer saw action in the Peninsular Antietam and Chancellorsville campaigns Given his own star he was assigned command of the Michigan cavalry brigade and with it took part in the Gettysburg Bristoe and Mine Run campaigns At Gettysburg he remained with General Gregg east of town to face jeb Stuart s threat to the Union rear although he was previously ordered to the south The combined Union force defeated Stuart In Grant s Richmond drive in 1864 Custer participated in the fight at Yellow Tavern where Stuart was mortally wounded Transferred to the Shenandoah Valley with his men he played a major role in the defeat of Early s army at Winchester and Cedar Creek commanding a division at the latter Returning to the Army of the Potomac in early 1865 he fought at Five Forks and in the Appomattox Campaign His victories against the rebel cavalry came at a time when that force was a ghost of its former self Custer was brevetted in the regulars through grades to major general for Gettysburg Yellow Tavern Winchester Five Forks and the Appomattox Campaign In addition he

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/george_armstrong_custer.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • The American Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant
    to cut the Confederacy in two by winning the Mississippi Valley The first major success came the next year in the battle of Shiloh in southern Tennessee In two days of desperate fighting April 6 and 7 1862 Grant pushed the Confederate forces back to Corinth in Mississippi Losses on both sides were heavy Grant was severely criticized for his conduct in this battle because he had failed to anticipate an attack by the enemy but President Lincoln said I can t spare this man he fights Grant made no excuses but spent the rest of 1862 making plans to take Vicksburg the great Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River that served as a transportation point for the Confederacy Vicksburg was a brilliant operation and showed Grant at his best The fort surrendered unconditionally on July 4 1863 a day after the battle of Gettysburg Five days later Port Hudson fell Grant s son Frederick 13 years old was with him in the Vicksburg campaign Grant said He looked out for himself in every battle As a reward for Vicksburg Grant was given supreme command of all the armies in the West When he returned to Tennessee he set out to relieve a Federal army penned up in Chattanooga The Confederates occupied the heights of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge which controlled the approaches to the city On November 24 and 25 the Federal troops stormed the heights and the Confederates fled into Georgia All Tennessee was now captured and the power of the Confederacy west of the Alleghenies was effectively broken On to Richmond Meanwhile the war in the East had been dragging Lincoln still looking for a general to match against Robert E Lee asked Grant to come to Washington In March 1864 Grant arrived at his hotel alone except for his son Frederick Richard Henry Dana met him there and wrote I saw that the ordinary scrubby looking man with a slightly seedy look cigar in mouth had a clear blue eye and a look of resolution as if he could not be trifled with The next day Lincoln showed his confidence in Grant by appointing him lieutenant general commanding all the Federal armies Grant himself took command of the armies in the East On May 4 1864 the army crossed the Rapidan Grant hoped to pass unmolested through the tangled forest of the Wilderness but Lee attacked and Grant s army suffered appalling losses Grant however did not turn back I propose he said to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer Lee was to find that Grant did not retreat after a defeat or rest after a victory The next year in April the Confederate capital Richmond Va was occupied and Lee surrendered The next week Lincoln was assassinated Grant was now the man of the hour He Is Elected President Grant went to Washington to disband the army In April 1866 congress revived for him the rank of full general

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/Ulysses%20Grant.htm (2016-02-11)
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