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Famous American Civil War Battles

By: Bronnie Vaughn

The American Civil War was a time when the nation was divided into two groups. One side fought for freedom and the abortion of slavery while the other fought for their perceived birthright of slave ownership. It was the most unprecedented event in America’s history where the union between Northern and Southern states was really tested.  The war itself ravaged cities, towns and states and has seen more than 620,000 casualties suffering on both sides. That number far exceeds American deaths from the Revolution to the Iraq War.

For military historians, the Civil War had several battles that defined the character and personal strategy of different generals. From Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant to Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, each specific battle displayed the audacity and personality of each one. Unlike the battles of today, where modern weapons play an important part, the battles of the civil war were decided by fast and swift maneuvers on an enemy’s flank or exposing and attacking a weak side.  It has been said that the American Civil War had a couple of battles that affected the outcome of the whole war. Out of the many battles during those trying times, three battles deserve recognition from all the rest.

The First Battle of Bull Run was the first large-scale battle fought by the Union and Confederates during the American Civil War. The battle, fought on July 21, 1861, pitted the inexperienced troops of both sides to the realities of war. The Union army led by Brigadier General Irvin McDowell crossed into Bull Run to face Confederate generals Joseph Johnston and P. Beauregard. The battle ended as the Union army fled back to Washington D.C. This battle displayed the lack of preparedness of both armies.

The Battle of Antietam, fought on September 17, 1862 was the battle between the Union armies and Confederate armies near Sharpsburg, Maryland and Antietam Creek. This battle also marked the first major battle to take place on the Union side of the North/South line. The casualties for that day mounted to an all time high of 23,000 casualties. Shortly after the battle, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

Of all the battles fought during the Civil War, nothing had a more permanent impact on the outcome of the war than the Battle of Gettysburg. Fought July 1 to July 3, 1863 in the area surrounding the town of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. It was the last offensive ever made by the Confederates led by commanding officer, General Robert E. Lee.  This battle claimed the largest number of casualties in the war with the estimated number of deaths at 57,225 from both sides. This battle also marked General Lee’s last attempt to invade the Northern States.

All of the other Civil War battles are well worth mentioning, but did not have the impact of the above three battles. Each of these battles played such a major role in the direction of the war that if one battle had of had a different outcome the war could well have ended differently, changing the course of America’s history.

About the Author
Originally from Texas, My son and I now live in the mountains of Arizona. We have 3 online stores the 1st of which is http://bikertshirtsandtanks.com which sells a complete line of Harley Davidson and other biker apparel. The 2nd store is http://toybuildingbricks.com and offers all Lego toy building sets. Last but not least is http://www.civil-war-costumes.com offering Civil War Costumes and authentic replica Civil War reenactment uniforms and other gear.
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