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Portal:American Civil War

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The American Civil War (1861–1865) was a sectional rebellion against the United States of America by the Confederate States, formed of eleven southern states' governments which moved to secede from the Union after the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States. The Union's victory was eventually achieved by leveraging advantages in population, manufacturing and logistics and through a strategic naval blockade denying the Confederacy access to the world's markets.

In many ways, the conflict's central issues – the enslavement of African Americans, the role of constitutional federal government, and the rights of states  – are still not completely resolved. Not surprisingly, the Confederate army's surrender at Appomattox on April 9,1865 did little to change many Americans' attitudes toward the potential powers of central government. The passage of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the Constitution in the years immediately following the war did not change the racial prejudice prevalent among Americans of the day; and the process of Reconstruction did not heal the deeply personal wounds inflicted by four brutal years of war and more than 970,000 casualties – 3 percent of the population, including approximately 560,000 deaths. As a result, controversies affected by the war's unresolved social, political, economic and racial tensions continue to shape contemporary American thought. The causes of the war, the reasons for the outcome, and even the name of the war itself are subjects of much discussion even today. (Full article)

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A drawing of Neosho as she appeared in 1863

The Neosho-class monitors were a pair of ironclad river monitors laid down in the summer of 1862. After completion in mid-1863, both ships spent time patrolling the Mississippi River against Confederate raids and ambushes as part of Rear Admiral David Porter's Mississippi Squadron. Both ships participated in the Red River Campaign in March–May 1864, although Osage supported the capture of Fort DeRussy in March and participated in the Battle of Blair's Landing in April. Osage was grounded on a sandbar for six months after the end of the campaign while Neosho resumed her patrols on the Mississippi. The latter ship supported the Union Army's operations on the Cumberland River and provided fire support during the Battle of Nashville in December.

Osage, after being refloated and repaired, was transferred to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron in early 1865 for the campaign against Mobile, Alabama. During the Battle of Spanish Fort in March 1865 she struck a mine and rapidly sank. The ship was later salvaged and sold in 1867. Neosho was decommissioned after the war and remained in reserve until sold in 1873. (Full article...)

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The state of Rhode Island during the American Civil War remained loyal to the Union, as did the other states of New England. Rhode Island furnished 25,236 fighting men to the Union Army, of which 1,685 died. The state used its industrial capacity to supply the Union Army with the materials needed to win the war. Rhode Island's continued growth and modernization led to the creation of an urban mass transit system and improved health and sanitation programs. (Full article...)

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Prince Romerson (c. 1840 – March 30, 1872) was a Union Army soldier of Native Hawaiian descent. One of the "Hawaiʻi Sons of the Civil War", he was among a group of more than 100 documented Native Hawaiian and Hawaii-born combatants who fought in the American Civil War while the Kingdom of Hawaii was still an independent nation.

Living in the American Northeast before the war, Romerson enlisted in the Union Navy in 1863 as part of the Blockading Squadrons responsible for maintaining the blockade of the ports of the Confederacy. After being discharged from naval service, he reenlisted in the Union Army under the 5th Regiment Massachusetts Colored Volunteer Cavalry, a United States Colored (USCT) regiment, and was promoted to the rank of sergeant on June 1, 1864. Romerson fought with the 5th USCC until the end of the war. Illness prevented him from continuing with his regiment's reassignment to Clarksville, Texas, and he was mustered out in 1865. After the war, like many former USCT veterans, he remained in the army on the frontier as one of the Buffalo Soldiers. He died in 1872. (Full article...)


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