November 2010 marked the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln being elected President. It marked the era of change about to come. The country and each individual’s life was about to take a dramatic and historical turn. The country was on the steps of the Civil War.
The hard fought political battle was only the beginning of the tensions to come. Lincoln won the election without carrying one Southern state. Lincoln was a Republican. The Democratic party split into two sections for the election. One was Northern and the other Southern. This paved the way for one of the greatest Presidents in US history to come to office. Within a month of the election, Southern states started declaring secession from the union.
South Carolina was the first to secede from the union before New Year’s day in 1861. Soon other Southern States followed. These States began to seize US forts and arsenals throughout the South. The North did little to prevent this. The south took over about thirty forts and over 3000 guns. This all amounted to a cost of about 20 million dollars to the North.
Soon the Southern States, along with Jefferson Davis, drafted a new constitution. Davis was elected President and Alexander Stephens was elected Vice President.
At first, it appeared Lincoln and the North would not oppose the secession of the South. The first few months of 1961 were relatively quiet.
With 128 men under his command at Fort Sumner in the harbor of Charleston South Carolina, Major Robert Anderson decided not to vacate the fort. At 4:20 am on April 12, 1861, Fort Sumner was fired on and the war began.
In June of 1861, the State of West Virginia was formed. Half of the State refused to secede to the South. This lead to the splitting of the State. The State stayed split until June 20, 1863. At that time it was admitted as a new State of the Union.
The first major land battle was at Bull Run. It was the first of two battles there. Bull Run was located in Virginia. The battle took place on July 21, 1861. General Irvin McDowell was ordered to advance on Confederate troops at Manassas Junction. In the early stages, the Northern troops held the upper hand. However, eventually the Confederate army chases the Union troops back towards Washington DC.
All of this started in November of 1860.