Battle of Caving Banks

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Flags_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America#Third_National_Flag
Flags_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America#Third_National_Flag
Specifications of the third Confederate national flag

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)

   Featured article

M1857 12-pounder Napoleon at Gettysburg National Military Park

The M1857 12-pounder Napoleon or Light 12-pounder gun or 12-pounder gun-howitzer was a bronze smoothbore muzzleloading artillery piece that was adopted by the United States Army in 1857 and extensively employed in the American Civil War. The gun was the American-manufactured version of the French canon obusier de 12 which combined the functions of both field gun and howitzer. The weapon proved to be simple to produce, reliable, and robust. It fired a 12.03 lb (5.5 kg) round shot a distance of 1,619 to 1,680 yd (1,480 to 1,536 m) at 5° elevation. It could also fire canister shot, common shell, and spherical case shot. The 12-pounder Napoleon outclassed and soon replaced the M1841 6-pounder field gun and the M1841 12-pounder howitzer in the U.S. Army, while replacement of these older weapons was slower in the Confederate States Army. A total of 1,157 were produced for the U.S. Army, all but a few in the period 1861–1863. The Confederate States of America utilized captured U.S. 12-pounder Napoleons and also manufactured about 500 during the war. The weapon was named after Napoleon III of France who helped develop the weapon. (Full article...)

   Grand Parade of the States

Indiana, a state in the Midwest, played an important role in supporting the Union during the American Civil War. Despite anti-war activity within the state, and southern Indiana's ancestral ties to the South, Indiana was a strong supporter of the Union. Indiana contributed approximately 210,000 Union soldiers, sailors, and marines. Indiana's soldiers served in 308 military engagements during the war; the majority of them in the western theater, between the Mississippi River and the Appalachian Mountains. Indiana's war-related deaths reached 25,028 (7,243 from battle and 17,785 from disease). Its state government provided funds to purchase equipment, food, and supplies for troops in the field. Indiana, an agriculturally rich state containing the fifth-highest population in the Union, was critical to the North's success due to its geographical location, large population, and agricultural production. Indiana residents, also known as Hoosiers, supplied the Union with manpower for the war effort, a railroad network and access to the Ohio River and the Great Lakes, and agricultural products such as grain and livestock. The state experienced two minor raids by Confederate forces, and one major raid in 1863, which caused a brief panic in southern portions of the state and its capital city, Indianapolis.

Indiana experienced significant political strife during the war, especially after Governor Oliver P. Morton suppressed the Democratic-controlled state legislature, which had an anti-war (Copperhead) element. Major debates related to the issues of slavery and emancipation, military service for African Americans, and the draft, ensued. These led to violence. In 1863, after the state legislature failed to pass a budget and left the state without the authority to collect taxes, Governor Morton acted outside his state's constitutional authority to secure funding through federal and private loans to operate the state government and avert a financial crisis. (Full article...)

   Featured biography

Neal Dow (March 20, 1804 – October 2, 1897) was an American Prohibition advocate and politician. Nicknamed the "Napoleon of Temperance" and the "Father of Prohibition", Dow was born to a Quaker family in Portland, Maine. From a young age, he believed alcohol to be the cause of many of society's problems and wanted to ban it through legislation. In 1850, Dow was elected president of the Maine Temperance Union, and the next year he was elected mayor of Portland. Soon after, largely due to Dow's efforts, the state legislature banned the sale and production of alcohol in what became known as the Maine law. Serving twice as mayor of Portland, Dow enforced the law with vigor and called for increasingly harsh penalties for violators. In 1855, his opponents rioted and he ordered the state militia to fire on the crowd. One man was killed and several wounded, and when public reaction to the violence turned against Dow, he chose not to seek reelection.

Dow was later elected to two terms in the Maine House of Representatives, but retired after a financial scandal. He joined the Union Army shortly after the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, eventually attaining the rank of brigadier general. He was wounded at the siege of Port Hudson and later captured. After being exchanged for another officer in 1864, Dow resigned from the military and devoted himself once more to prohibition. He spoke across the United States, Canada, and Great Britain in support of the cause. In 1880, Dow headed the Prohibition Party ticket for President of the United States. After losing the election, he continued to write and speak on behalf of the prohibition movement for the rest of his life until his death in Portland at the age of 93. (Full article...)

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