Civil War Players

Every war has many conditions and situations that lead up to the final declaration. In all cases, they are complex, and there are many people involved on all sides that contribute to and take part in a war, the battles, and the decisions.

The Civil War in the United States was brutal, with loss of life on both sides. The Northern States were aligned as the Union, and the Southern states were aligned as the Confederacy. While one President had been elected overall, the Confederacy rejected the Presidency as part of their secession from the Union.

  • President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was elected as the 16thPresident of the United States. He was the first member of the Republican Party to be elected as President, and his feelings against slavery were used by the southern states as a reason for leaving the Union. Lincoln held office for two terms, and during that time, the Confederacy was defeated by the Union, and the laws were written to abolish slavery. In 1865, Lincoln was assassinated and became the first American President to die that way.
  • Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) held the title of supreme Union general during the Civil War. His role was critical in defeating the Confederate troops. Grant would continue to become the 18thPresident of the United States, and he focused on getting reconstruction of the states that needed to be rebuilt and repaired after the war.
  • Robert E. Lee (1807-1870) held the title of Confederate general and was in charge of the Army of Northern Virginia. He continued to hold the title of war Supreme Commander of the Confederate troops that remained. Lee had a reputation of excellence as a general and was originally offered the Union army command that he rejected. Lee lived in Virginia, and when the state seceded, he took the role of Confederate general. In 1865 Lee surrendered to the Union, which marked the end of the Civil War. Lee was an enormous supporter of the North and South reconciliation. Lee later became President of today’s Washington and Lee University.
  • William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) was under the command of Ulysses S. Grant and served as a General during the Civil War. Sherman is most well-known for his “scorched earth policy” which, in 1864, included the burning and capture of Atlanta, Georgia. He was given the role of Commanding General of the Army when Grant became President of the United States. Sherman was responsible for creating the response from the military during the conflicts with the western Native American tribes.
  • Stonewall Jackson (1824-1863) was a Confederate general that was endeared by the southern states. During the Battle of Chancellorsville Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was accidentally shot by Confederate troops in what is called “friendly fire.” Although Jackson survived the incident, he lost the use of his left arm and died eight days later from complications from pneumonia. He was so popular with the Confederates that his death affected their morale.
  • Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) was one of the most influential African-American abolitionists, writers, and reformers in the history of the United States. Douglass was an escaped slave that became famous prior to and then during the Civil War. He was a writer and abolitionist fighting against slavery. Douglass’ most famous writing was the autobiography in 1845 called “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass,” that included an in-depth story about his life when he was a slave. The book continues to be read by students and adults today.
  • Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) was the 7thPresident of the United States. In 1831 the “Nullification Crisis” caused a problem between South Carolina and the Federal government. When South Carolina threatened to secede due to their complaints about tariffs, Jackson returned with threats of military intervention to stop them. Jackson didn’t believe that a state had the right to leave the Union and “nullify” the Federal laws in place that governed all states.


What was the name of Frederick Douglass’ most famous book?
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass


What was the name of the military policy of General Sherman that resulted in the capture and burning of Atlanta, Georgia?
Scorched earth policy

What military job was Robert E. Lee originally offered that he rejected?
Union Army commander

As the 7th President of the United States, what did Andrew Jackson threaten South Carolina with when they threatened to secede?
Military action

What were the influential roles that Frederick Douglass played in influencing public knowledge on slavery?
Abolitionist, writer, and reformer

How did Stonewall Jackson die?
Complications from pneumonia from being shot with “friendly fire.”