Sample History Paper on The American Civil War

The American Civil War

In the early morning of April 12, 1861, a serious war erupted in the U.S., what became to be known as the American Civil War. The war pitted rebels who were against the decision to abolish slavery and those who support the decision (White, 2018). The war began with an invasion of Fort Sumter by the rebels from the south. Luckily, the first encounter at Fort Sumter did not result in a massive loss of lives. The biggest advantage of the encounter is that it paved the way for one of the deadliest wars in the history of America. This was followed by a prolonged fight between troops from the north and south with the southern troops winning the first encounter under the command of P.G.T. Beauregard.

President Lincoln’s Role

A few weeks after Robert Anderson surrendered to Confederate troops, several states came up with the resolution of leaving the Union with these including states such as Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Arkansas (Keegan, 2011). With the realization of the imminent war, the then U.S. president Abraham Lincoln called for approximately 75,000 militiamen who were to serve for three months and help the Union in the war against the Confederacy (Keegan, 2011). Lincoln’s first major decision was to proclaim a naval blockade of the Confederate states. His argument was that the Confederate states were not legally constituted as a sovereign country but were states that were acting in rebellion. President Lincoln pushed for a $2 million financial support to help raise troops that were to take part in the war. In response, the Confederacy hired around 100,000 soldiers who were to help in the war with the figure gradually rising to 400,000 given the intensity of the war.

Border States

A number of states surrounding the Confederacy strongly opposed the idea of secession, and these included: Maryland, Missouri, Delaware, and Kentucky. Maryland’s decision to remain with the Union came after the legislature’s vote in favour of staying in the Union. On the other hand, it was against the hostilities that were witnessed in the Confederacy forcing it close its rail lines to prevent their use during the war.

The Real War

The real war between the Union and the Confederacy began in 1862 with several battles taking place in states such as Tennessee, Virginia, and Maryland. By 1864, the overall goal by the Northern states to use minimal war and diplomacy to end the war was abandoned for total war aimed at destroying the South. A series of invasions and attacks were witnessed between 1862 and 1865. Confederacy troops were overpowering the Union troops until Ulysses S. Grant took command and became the general in chief of all Union armies in 1864. Serious battles were then witnessed in several places including Cold Harbour, Petersburg, The Wilderness, and Spotsylvania. Under the leadership of Grant, the head of the Confederate troops, Robert E. Lee, was captured and taken to Appomattox in April 1865 (Keegan, 2011).

Union’s Victory in the War

Union troops enjoyed a series of victories over Confederate troops, a prospect attributed mainly to the haplessness of the Confederate generals. Between 1864 and 1865, there was the invasion of the Confederate heartland of South Carolina and Georgia. The outcome of the invasion is that the South’s economic infrastructure as well as its armies were destroyed. By the Spring of 1865, every crucial Confederate army had surrendered to the Union. The Confederate President Jefferson Davis was then capture in May 1865 although he collapsed ushering an end of the war.




White, R. C. (2018, January 12). Seeing the Civil War From the Ground Up. Retrieved from

Keegan, J. (2011). The American Civil War. Random House. Retrieved from