Synopsis by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
In 1862, Confederate Generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee came to prominence. Jackson and 18,000 troops successfully pinned down two armies with more than twice as many soldiers in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Lee assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia after General Joseph E. Johnston was severely wounded during the battle of Seven Pines. Lee faced General John Pope at the Second Battle of Manassas, a Union defeat that found Lincoln once again turning to George B. McClellan for military leadership. When the general failed to pursue Lee's army after the battle of Antietam, however, the president permanently removed McClellan from command. As the war continued, abolitionists and African-American leaders like Frederick Douglass pressured the president to recognize abolishing slavery as the central issue. Lincoln had insisted that the conflict was about preserving the Union, not about slavery, but five days after the battle of Antietam, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation also shifted the moral cause of the war, making it less likely that England or France would aid the South.
war, Confederate, political-tension, slavery, Union-Army, Civil-War [US], freedom