Fort Sumter 1861
On April 12, 1861—Confederate artillery fired the first shots of the U.S. Civil War on Fort Sumter, a Federal stronghold
At the mouth of
Charleston Harbor in South Carolina.
General grant v General Lee
The slave trade meant many millions of black people were transported to America,
They were used in the southern states as cheap labour,
This proved to be economically successful for the cotton industry,
But amongst the people of the north this did not find favour.
The ill-use of millions of black people in the south,
Was regarded by those in the north as an abomination,
This feeling became prevalent amongst the politicians,
The result of this was finally to divide the nation.
Abraham Lincoln was elected president in eighteen sixty,
At that time eleven of the southern states seceded,
They formed themselves into the confederate states,
From then on all hopes of peace gradually receded.
Lincoln was asked to evacuate the post at Fort Sumner,
But Lincoln refused to allow his troops to withdraw,
The Southern army fired shots at the fort,
This was the opening of the American Civil War.
Patriotic fervour swept through the North and South,
The armies of both factions were deployed,
The Southern States were fighting for independence,
The Northern States to ensure their authority was restored.
The first major battle took place at Bull Run in North Virginia,
Pierre Beauregard led the Southern Army in the fight,
At first the Northern Army drove the Southerners back,
But they rallied and put the Northern Army to flight.
This defeat stiffened the Northern Army’s resolve,
Thousands of men volunteered to meet their country’s need,
Abraham Lincoln appointed George McClellan to take command,
He trained the men into soldiers he was proud to lead.
In March of 1862 the North attacked Richmond in Virginia,
This was the second major conflict of the war,
But after many weeks of fighting against the army of Robert. E. Lee,
McClellan realised it was stalemate, and decided to withdraw.
The Northern Army in the west was faring much better,
In February Grant’s army took Fort Donelson in Western Tennessee,
In April the two armies met on the fields of Shiloh,
This was a bloody battle in which no one could claim a victory.
Both armies had paid dearly with lives lost in this battle,
By late eighteen sixty-two both sides were counting the cost,
Both Governments had resorted to conscription,
Fearing that without support their cause would be lost.
At first only a few northerners thought abolition of slavery was important,
That is until the 1st of January of sixteen sixty-three,
When Abe Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation,
Which said that all slaves should be set free.
Following this the Union Army made advances,
With the result that many slaves were set free,
Two hundred thousand of them joined the Union Force.
They were most grateful to get their liberty.
Financing the war became something of a problem,
Both Governments began to distribute paper money,
In addition heavy taxes were imposed on the civil population,
At the same time they both borrowed heavily.
For the next two years the advantage shifted back and forth,
Grant captured Vicksburg on the river Mississippi,
The south was cut into two along the riverbanks,
Lincoln said “The Father of Waters again goes unvexed to the sea.
The turning point of the war came at Gettysburg,
When Lee crossed into northern territory hoping for a victory,
Lee’s forces were savagely beaten back and routed,
After this the northern forces gained the ascendancy.
The war lasted for nearly two more years,
Grant and Sherman’s armies advanced into the confederacy,
In August eighteen sixty-four Sherman captured Atlanta,
This victory helped Lincoln to retain the presidency.
His opponent had been George McClellan,
A former general who fought on a platform advocating peace,
At this stage the Northern States demanded total victory,
They had no wish that the war should cease.
Sherman expelled most of the citizens from Atlanta,
Then a great part of the city was destroyed by fire,
Sherman set out through Savannah to reach the sea,
When he got there he turned north to Carolina.
At the same time Grant defeated the army in North Virginia,
In eighteen sixty-five the confederates evacuated Richmond City,
For four years this had been stoutly defended,
Its evacuation indicated the North had total victory.
On April 9th the Southern States surrended,
Everywhere there were scenes of jubilation,
The news provoked joy in the Northern States,
In the South there was a feeling of humiliation.
On the evening of April 14th, only five days later,
Lincoln relaxed by visiting the theatre with his wife,
A southern patriot John Wilkes Booth sought revenge for the defeat,
His shot was responsible for taking Lincoln’s life.
Through these four long years of Civil War,
Six hundred thousand men dies in action or from disease,
The war ended slavery and subdued the South,
At last the country was once more at peace.