The Military Experience
The battles and campaigns of the Civil War were waged over four years across a front spanning 2,000 miles. Leaders on both sides improvised and innovated, trying to achieve a decisive battlefield victory. New technologies forced changes in tactics that evolved warfare and transformed the experience of soldiers in the field and navies on the waters.
Despite the massive military effort and the innovations on both sides, ultimately it became clear that the Civil War would not be settled on the battlefield alone. Military victories could not resolve a conflict between two sides mobilized against one another politically, socially, philosophically, economically, and emotionally.
Stories from The Military Experience
Showing results 6-10 of 51
No president up to that point in American history was called on to be commander-in-chief like Abraham Lincoln. From monitoring the War Department telegraph office to selecting of commanding generals and developing military strategy, Lincoln guided the nation through its darkest hour. Read more
Petersburg, Virginia was a major supply hub for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Interestingly, half the population of this city, whose rail lines would prove so essential to the survival of Richmond, was comprised of both free African Americans and slaves. As the war closed in on this community, these individuals would play a critical role. Read more
Fort Davis National Historic Site
Following the Civil War, permanent African American regiments were constructed in the United States Army. Although segregated due to race, these regiments served with honor and distinction, and helped to tame the Wild West. 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
When the Civil War began President Lincoln's primary concern was preventing the fracturing of the nation. But in 1862, with a shaky northern economy, fading optimism for victory, and growing fears of foreign intervention, Lincoln began to see freeing the slaves, not as a constitutional dilemma or a moral choice, but as a way of regaining momentum in the war. Read more