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American Civil War in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address


The American Civil War occurred between 1861 and 1865. Without a doubt, it is one of the darkest political upheavals in the history of the United States. However, the remarkable war led to the collapse of the Confederacy States thus making it easier for the leaders to bring the states together and establish a single nation. The Civil War also made Abraham Lincoln a great man in the history of America. The American people will always remember Lincoln’s efforts and achievements.

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The Civil War was a major historical event that led to the abolition of slavery in the United States. The war took place between 1861 and 1865 and resulted in the deaths of over 600,000 fighters. The war also led to the collapse of the American Confederacy. The Confederacy included the southern “slave states”. These states encouraged the slave ownership in order to increase cotton production. However, many people in the country were against the slavery. This discussion presents my personal reflections on the Civil War and memorable facts of this historic event.

The Greatness of the Civil War

From a personal perspective, I observe that the Gettysburg Address by Lincoln is a masterpiece speech explaining the background of the Civil War in details. From the speech, I learned that Lincoln considered the war against slavery as one of the necessary means for getting freedom. The war was, therefore, a major task aimed at establishing a new nation for all people. According to Lincoln, it was the right time for the people of American to come together and fight for the birth of a new nation (Gettysburg Address, 2003).

The other notable thing is that Lincoln believed strongly that the world might never forget about the war, because it was a necessary step aimed at abolishing slavery in the country (Gettysburg Address, 2003). I learned that the war was the only solution towards achieving happiness. During the war, the soldiers spent a lot of time in their camps. They completed various routine and tedious work in their camps. It was mandatory for them to complete different roles and activities (Daily Life of Civil War Soldiers, 2013). It was also mandatory for the soldiers to stay awake in order to survive all forms of terror. Despite such challenges, the soldiers stood strong and eventually achieved their goals.

The other outstanding fact from the readings is that life was rather difficult for the recruited men and soldiers. Most of the soldiers slept in tents and carried their baggage on their backs. However, the outstanding fact was that hope did not abandon the soldiers. The other interesting aspect of the Civil War was that the soldiers had to overcome boredom since it was a major challenge during the wartime (Daily Life of Civil War Soldiers, 2013). The soldiers spent many hours playing various games such as draughts, cards, and chess. Most of these “games of chance” are still common today.

As indicated in the book “Team of Rivals”, Abraham Lincoln became a successful president whose efforts ended the slavery in America. He also reconciled most of the conflicting personalities and eventually won the Civil War. Lincoln later became the president of the United States. It is also interesting to note that Lincoln retained most of his rivals in the cabinet because he believed they had most of the required skills. He appointed New York Senator William H. Seward, Ohio Governor Salmon P. Chase, and Missouri’s elder statesman Edward Bates in to his cabinet as the secretary of state, the secretary of the treasury and the attorney general respectively although they had competed with him for republican presidential nomination.

Throughout the war, Lincoln marshaled and managed all the armies in order to win a convincing victory. Emancipation was a radical issue that later became the focus of the war. Some conservative members thought emancipation would deter union formation. He had to get everyone on his view. He did this through his step by step approach (Team of Rivals, 2012). He stood so firm on this issue, that when called his cabinet to tell them that he wanted to make the emancipation proclamation, he didn’t want them to vote on it instead to just listen.

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Lincoln understood that slavery was both inhumane and provided military advantage to the south. Lincoln initiated the constitution amendment and eventually oversaw the passage of the 13th Amendment to the American Constitution (Team of Rivals, 2012). This new amendment abolished slavery and eventually led to the end of the war. From these readings, it would be agreeable that Abraham Lincoln was a great politician whose efforts secured the rights of all slaves and African American citizens. Personally, I believe that slavery was a major challenge because it affected many people in the slave states.


The class readings taught me how the Civil War was the greatest political crisis and catastrophic war in the country’s history. Abraham Lincoln also remains my greatest leader whose political abilities and personality traits made it easier for him to marshal the Union Army against the Confederacy Army. That being the case, it remained clear that the Civil War was a necessary undertaking because it reshaped the history of America. It is also interesting to understand how the soldiers and the leaders were ready to transform America and ensure the government of the people did not perish. This was the only way to establish a new epoch in the country. Most of the interesting facts about the Civil War have presented a new meaning to me.

Reference List

Daily Life of Civil War Soldiers. (2013). Web.

Gettysburg Address. (2003). 

Team of Rivals. (2012). 

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