What struggles did the North face at the beginning of the Civil War?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The North faced some struggles at the beginning of the Civil War. Two of these struggles were a lack of preparation for the war and overconfidence. Since most of the military schools were in the South, many of our better generals fought for the Confederacy. Our best general, Robert E. Lee, said he would fight for whatever side his home state of Virginia joined. When Virginia seceded, Lee fought for the South.

Most northerners believed this war would be a quick and easy victory for the Union. When the first battle was fought at Bull Run, many northerners went to watch the battle as if they were going on a picnic. They expected a decisive northern victory. When the South won the battle, these spectators had to scramble to get back to safe territory. The northerners completely underestimated the South. This wouldn’t be a quick and easy war.

The North also had to conquer the South to end the war. The South had to fight a defensive war and keep the North out of their land. The South didn’t have to invade the North. This presented more issues for the North to face from a military perspective.

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