John Brown once said, Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose tights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, - I submit; so let it be done! He believed that the only way to rid slavery from the United States was through bloodshed. He was right in saying this because on April 12, 1861, the American Civil War began. It was the most destructive war ever fought in the Western Hemisphere. In terms of human life it was also one of the most costly wars.
There were many different reasons for the Civil War, slavery being the predominant reason. The immediate reason for the Civil War was the fight between the north and south over Fort Sumter. Lincoln had given South Carolina the choice of either permitting the fort to hold out or open fire with its shore batteries. In reply, the southerners commenced fire. The attack on Fort Sumter and its capture angered many northerners and began a patriotic fight to save the union.
One of the first major battles of the Civil War was the Battle of Bull Run. Federal troops, amounting to 30,000 marched from Washington, D.C., to attack the Confederate forces positioned near Bull Run Creek at Manassas Junction, Virginia. The Union forces were close to victory until Confederate reinforcements sent Union troops into a retreat back to Washington. This battle boosted moral of the South and lowered the North s. The North s hope for a short war was shattered.
The Battle of Antietam illustrates how bloody the Civil War actually was. Lee led his army across the Potomac into enemy territory. He hoped that a major Confederate victory in the North would convince Britain to support the Confederacy. McClellan, commander of the Union army had intercepted Lee s plan and the invading Confederates at Antietam Creek. This was the bloodiest day of all battles that went on during the Civil War. Total casualties for both sides amounted up to over 26,000 men, either being killed, wounded, captured or missing.
The Battle of Gettysburg was also one of the bloodiest battles. On July 1,1863 Lee and the Confederate army surprised the Federals at Gettysburg. Through the days of battle much of the Confederate army was destroyed because of Lee s determination to win the war. Much of the Confederates were left for dead and the few that remained alive retreated to Virginia. This battle was one of the most crucial battles of the war and also one of the bloodiest. The number of casualties was the greatest for this battle, adding up to over 50,000 men killed, wounded, missing or captured.
A month before Lee surrendered his army President Lincoln was assassinated. His assassination shocked and horrified many. This was the final act of brutality during the time period of the Civil war.
John Brown was correct in saying that the only way to rid the United States of slavery is through slavery. The fighting between the north and south over slavery states and slavery free-states had to end. Through the loss of lives, the destruction of land and homes, and the assassination of the president the Americans rid themselves of slavery