History Involving Georgia and Other States
12 April 1861 : The Civil War begins
The bloodiest four years in American history begin when Confederate shore
batteries under General P.G.T. Beauregard open fire on Union-held Fort
Sumter in South Carolina's Charleston Bay. During the next 34 hours, 50
Confederate guns and mortars launched more than 4000 rounds at the poorly
supplied fort. On April 13, U.S. Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort.
Two days later, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling
for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to quell the Southern "insurrection.
As early as 1858, the ongoing conflict between North and South over the
issue of slavery had led Southern leadership to discuss a unified separation
from the United States. By 1860, the majority of the slave states were
publicly threatening secession if the Republicans, the anti-slavery party,
won the presidency. Following Republican Abraham Lincoln's victory over the
divided Democratic Party in November 1860, South Carolina immediately
initiated secession proceedings. On December 20, the South Carolina
legislature passed the "Ordinance of Secession" which declared that "the
Union now subsisting between South Carolina and other states, under the name
of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved." After the declaration
South Carolina set about seizing forts arsenals and other strategic
locations within the state. Within six weeks, five more Southern
South Carolina's lead.
In February 1861, delegates from those states convened to establish a
unified government. Jefferson Davis of Mississippi was subsequently elected
the first president of the Confederate States of America. When Abraham
Lincoln was inaugurated on March 4, 1861, a total of seven states (Texas had
joined the pack) had seceded from the Union and federal troops held only
Fort Sumter in South Carolina, Fort Pickens off the Florida coast and a
handful of minor outposts in the South. Four years after the Confederate
attack on Fort Sumter, the Confederacy was defeated at the total cost of 620
000 Union and Confederate soldiers dead.
1864 : The Fort Pillow Massacre
During the American Civil War, Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest's
Confederate raiders attack the isolated Union garrison at Fort Pillow,
Tennessee overlooking the Mississippi River. The fort, an important part of
the Confederate river defense system, was captured by federal forces in 1862
Of the 500-strong Union garrison defending the fort, more than half the
soldiers were African-Americans.
After an initial bombardment, General Forrest asked for the garrison's
surrender. The Union commander refused and Forrest's 1,500 cavalry troopers
easily stormed and captured the fort, suffering only moderate casualties.
However, the extremely high proportion of Union casualties--
more than 100 seriously wounded--raised questions about the Confederates'
conduct after the battle. Union survivors' accounts, later supported by a
federal investigation, concluded that African-American troops were massacred
by Forrest's men after surrendering. Southern accounts disputed these
findings and controversy over the battle continues today.
The enlistment of African-Americans into the Union army began after the
enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, and by the
war's end 180,000 African Americans had fought in the Union army and 10,000
in the navy.
1865 : Surrender of Mobile, Alabama
The last major Confederate port city falls when Mobile, Alabama surrenders
to Union troops
1945 : President Roosevelt dies
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the longest serving president in American history
dies of a cerebral hemorrhage three months into his fourth term.
In 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, Governor Roosevelt of New
York was elected the 32nd president of the United States. In his inaugural
address in March 1933, President Roosevelt promised Americans that "the only
thing we have to fear is fear itself" and outlined his "New Deal"--an
expansion of the federal government as an instrument of employment
opportunity and welfare. Although criticized by the business community,
Roosevelt's progressive legislation improved America's economic climate, and
in 1936 he swept to re-election.
During his second term, he became increasingly concerned with German and
Japanese aggression and so began a long campaign to awaken America from its
isolationist slumber. In 1940with World War II raging in Europe and the
Pacific, Roosevelt agreed to run for an unprecedented third term. Re-elected
by Americans who valued his strong leadership, he proved a highly effective
commander in chief during World War II. Under Roosevelt's guidance, America
became, in his own words, the "great arsenal of democracy" and succeeded in
shifting the balance of power in World War II firmly in the Allies' favor.
In 1944, with the war not yet won, he was re-elected to a fourth term.
Three months after his inauguration, while resting at his retreat in Warm
Springs, Georgia, Roosevelt died of a massive cerebral hemorrhage at the age
of 63. Following a solemn parade of his coffin through the streets of the
nation's capital, his body was buried in a family plot in Hyde Park, New
York. Millions of Americans mourned the death of the man who led the United
States through two of the greatest crises of the 20th century: the Great
Depression and World War II. Roosevelt's unparalleled 13 years as president
led to the passing of the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which
limited future presidents to a maximum of two consecutive elected terms in
©copyright Genealogy Trails 2008-2016