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Union Soldiers Gain Victories

While McClellan was drilling his troops so as to have them ready to take Richmond, other Union generals were trying to get possession of the Southern forts along the Cumberland, Tennessee, and Mississippi rivers. For instance, Commodore Foote and General Grant took Fort Henry (1862). Next, after three days' very hard fighting at Fort Donelson… Read More

Rutherford B. Hayes

Grant was succeeded in the White House by Rutherford B. Hayes, the nineteenth President of the United States (1877). Hayes had taken a brave part in the Civil War, had been governor of Ohio, and was greatly respected for his many good qualities. When called to be President, Hayes frankly said that in government positions… Read More

Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln never pretended to be either wise or clever, but his life motto was “to do his level best,” and he manfully put it into practice. He did not like to hear all the quarreling that was going on, and always did all he could to stop it. But when he thought a thing right… Read More

More Slave States

Now, no one had a right to force the Southern states to set the slaves free, except—some people said—the President, in time of war. But the Northerners thought it was bad enough to have slaves in the states which already existed. You know that when Missouri was admitted as a slave state, it was decided… Read More

Slaves Fight for Union

The Confederate States paid no attention at all to the Emancipation Proclamation, so the Negroes dared claim their freedom only when the Union troops were near enough to protect them. Besides, the greater part of the colored people could not read, and did not even know they had been declared free until told the joyful… Read More

Milard Fillmore

Several interesting things happened while Fillmore was President. For instance, it was then that the first measures were taken to build a railroad from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean. This road was to make the journey so short and easy that there would be no more need of crossing the continent in emigrant wagons… Read More

Abolition Societies

There was one institution in our country which many people had long felt should be stopped. This was slavery. Even in 1688 the Quakers declared it was wrong, and made the first petition to have it ended. This opinion spread little by little, until, as you know, laws were made in several states, stopping or… Read More

Guerilla Chief, John Morgan

The North knew very little of the actual hardships of warfare; for, with the exception of Antietam in Maryland and Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, there had been no great battles on its soil. It is true that General Bragg, the hero of Buena Vista, had made a raid in Kentucky, but he had been driven by… Read More

Erie Canal

New roads were made in many directions, bridges were built over rivers and brooks, and the National Pike or Cumberland Road made traveling easy between the Potomac and Ohio rivers. Stagecoaches now ran regularly between the principal cities, and steamboats began to appear on all the large lakes and rivers. Along the roads and down… Read More

Ulysses S. Grant

Two questions arose with Great Britain while Grant was President, which might have made trouble. But, instead of fighting, some of the best statesmen of both countries made a treaty at Washington (1871), saying that the difficulties should be decided by arbitration. A board of distinguished men, therefore, met at Geneva, in Switzerland, to settle… Read More