No President really wants to enter into their term with a war at hand and yet this is exactly what Abraham Lincoln found himself faced with. As the first Republican, and 16th President of the United States to Abraham fell the task of leading a nation through Civil War.
While the country was indeed in a state of ill-ease it was Abraham Lincoln’s election as President in 1860 that finally tipped the nation into a state of civil war. When Abraham Lincolin became President the southern states seceded and war began.
Fighting began at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861 when Union troops were fired upon. Lincoln called on the states to ‘preserve the union’ and states needed to take sides. Virginia was the first to declare secession, followed by others.
For Abraham war was always a frustration and took up nearly all his time as President. Most historians agree that this was often due to the lack of being able to find a good General. The Union took its first major defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run under General McClellan.
Gettysburg was a battle that cost over 10,000 lives on both sides. Abraham Lincoln’s short but passionate address at the dedication to the cemetery there remains one of his most famous speeches.
For Abraham civil war was a hated necessity. There are many quotes from his speeches and letters that support this. He wanted peace and liberty for his nation but was determined that the underlying fundamentals of the constitution be upheld and recognized that the Union represented these.
While Abraham Lincoln was definitely in favor of the abolition of slavery it is said that he believed only the Commander in Chief during wartime could free slaves, but he did sign the Confiscation Act. In discussing a draft of the Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln is stated as saying that “As a fit and necessary military measure” -“all persons held as a slaves in the Confederate states will thenceforward, and forever, be free.” This statement, among other things, has led many to question Lincoln’s moral motives, though there are no doubt strong enough quotes as to his feelings about slavery elsewhere.
The Blockade was another major move in the Abraham war effort. It was intended to cut off supplies to the South. Those who crossed those boundaries came to be known as ‘blockade runners’.
Eventually General Ulysses S. Grant was found and the Union was able to drive home its victory. For Abraham war would soon be over. While fighting continued for a while in other places, when General Robert E. Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865 the Civil War was effectively over.