The Changing War
The Civil War began as a purely military effort with limited political objectives. The North was fighting for reunification, and the South for independence. But as the war progressed, the Civil War gradually turned into a social, economic and political revolution with unforeseen consequences.
The Union war effort expanded to include not only reunification, but also the abolition of slavery. To achieve emancipation, the Union had to invade the South, defeat the Confederate armies, and occupy the Southern territory.
Stories from The Changing War
Showing results 1-5 of 9
Manassas National Battlefield Park
Dozens of wounded Federal troops found shelter inside the massive walls of the Stone House during both Battles of Manassas. Its location at the junction of two major turnpikes put it in the center of battle each time. Read more
Among the technical innovations to come out of the Civil War were advancements in the methods the armies had to communicate among themselves. Signal flags, torches and rockets were used to pass along messages and reconnaissance, while codes and ciphers ensured that the messages wouldn't be intercepted and read by the enemy. Read more
Fort Monroe National Monument
In the early months of the Civil War, slaves were fleeing to Union lines seeking freedom but emancipation was not yet a stated war aim of President Lincoln. At Fort Monroe, General Benjamin Butler came up with a creative solution to this difficult situation. Read more
Antietam National Battlefield
As a result of the Union victory at the Battle of Antietam, Abraham Lincoln was able to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, making the Civil War a fight to end slavery as well as preserve the Union. Read more
Begun as a purely military effort with the limited political objectives of reunification (North) or independence (South), the Civil War transformed into a social, economic and political revolution with unforeseen consequences. As the war progressed, the Union war effort steadily transformed from a limited to a hard war; it targeted not just Southern armies, but the heart of the Confederacy's economy, morale, and social order-the institution of slavery. Read more