The Civil War in Documents
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: Ohio University Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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Series Editors’ Preface
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The Civil War in the Great Interior series focuses on the Middle West, as the complex region has come to be known, during the most critical era of American history. In his Annual Message to Congress in December of 1862, Abraham Lincoln identified “the great interior region” as the area between the Alleghenies and the Rocky Mountains, south of Canada and north of the “culture of cotton.” Lincoln
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The Civil War was far more than a series of battles. Before the guns of war blazed, a generation of men and women argued about the place of slavery and of African Americans in the politics, economics, and social fabric of the nation and of the state of Indiana. The war itself affected almost every aspect of the lives of Hoosiers, from the material conditions of their lives to the emotional conditions of their ...
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This project began when Christine Dee and Marty Hershock invited Richard to prepare a volume on Indiana, and much appreciation goes to them for that invitation. Richard contacted Steve early in the project, recognizing that Steve’s strength in the history of Indiana during the Civil War would be a valuable asset. Any historical project depends on the archivists who preserve and make accessible ...
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... that drove the Civil War—slavery and the right of a people to determine their own institutions—had animated politics in Indiana from its territorial stage. Indeed, both issues played roles in pushing Hoosiers toward statehood, as the citizens of the Indiana territory attempted to wrest control of their homes from federal oversight, a federal oversight that included persons—William Henry Harrison and others—who sought a means to introduce slavery into the ...
1. The Politics of Slavery
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... the Ohio River from the slave state of Kentucky, Indiana was never geographically far from the institution of slavery. Slaveholders and their slaves sometimes laid over at the various river towns along the Ohio, planters and enslaved Africans transited Indiana bound for the slave state of Missouri, and Africans stealthily entered the state in search of freedom, settling in the ...
2. The Election of 1860 and Secession
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... of 1860 opened with the reverberations of John Brown’s raid still ringing. For many Southerners, the raid and the conflicts over Kansas had reinforced the perception that no one in the North, not even the Democrats, could be trusted. In April, the Democrats met in Charleston; Stephen A. Douglas was the likely nominee, but he lacked the two-thirds majority needed for the ...
3. Choosing Sides, Making an Army
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... the Confederates’ Wring on Fort Sumter helped unite a divided state, much as it did throughout the North. If many Democrats thought that Republicans had not given peace enough of a chance, they also believed that about the Confederacy, whose choice to fire on American troops signaled their unwillingness to compromise. The first days of the war saw Hoosiers coming ...
4. The Front Lines
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... and seamen from Indiana who fought to preserve the Union had many and various experiences. Soldiers marched through all the states of the rebel South, fighting scores of battles and skirmishes, occupying and pacifying a restive, hostile population, and restoring federal authority over the landscape. Likewise, men who enlisted in the United States Navy served on oceangoing ships, blockading Southern ports, chasing rebel blockade-runners and Confederate naval ships, and ...
5. The Home Front
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... on the home front came from the absence of over half of all Hoosier adult men. Nowhere was this absence felt more keenly than on the farms of Indiana, where nearly 200,000 worked as farmers and farm laborers in 1860, over half the state’s employed workforce of 336,000.1 While many older male farmers remained at home, their sons and the younger men who made up the bulk of the farm labor pool were the state’s primary source for troops ...
6. Race, Slavery, and the Emancipation Proclamation
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... to the American Civil War. The people at the time of the war—its participants—believed that slavery was the critical issue leading to secession. Moreover, for Americans the issue of slavery was embedded in a complex matrix of race and racial hostility existing since the beginning of European settlement in the New World. The people of Indiana ascribed the source of the war to slavery. ...
7. The Battle to Control State Government
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... Douglas Democrats, led by Joseph Wright, had joined the Republicans in the “Union Party” fusion, the remaining Democrats retained high hopes for the midterm elections in 1862. Still a strong party, they were aided by the poor progress of the federal war effort through much of 1861 and into 1862. While optimism flourished as federal forces in the west succeeded in occupying parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, western Virginia, and Louisiana, the ...
8. The Morgan Raid
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... offered little protection to the people of Indiana during the Civil War. Relatively narrow and often fordable in numerous places during summer and periods of drought, the river was a porous barrier to chaos, mayhem, and murder. From the earliest days of the rebellion, southern Indiana residents feared that Southern armies would sweep northward across the Ohio to pillage and kill. Federal and state authorities received countless pleas for protection. ...
9. Dissent, Violence, and Conspiracy
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... was fought all over Indiana—in courthouses, city and town streets, saloons, churches, schoolhouses and playgrounds; in Welds, forests, and swamps—wherever people met, congregated, argued, and disputed. Beyond being merely a military struggle fought in the South between warring armies, the Civil War was first and foremost a political struggle between two competing ideologies, ...
10. War’s End
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... in the fall elections of 1864 was followed by triumph on the battlefield. Marginalized by revelations of conspiracies in their ranks, Democrats retained little voice in the political realm. The conspiracy trials also dampened dissent within the state, and the late 1864 and 1865 drafts came off without much conflict, despite Governor Morton’s fear of serious resistance. When news of Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House reached ...
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Publication Year: 2009