The Second American Civil War is gradually coalescing into an observable phenomenon. The lines are being drawn and people are taking sides in noticeable ways. As it now stands, we have something of a “cold war” going on as it once existed between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Espionage, intelligence breaches, clandestine black bag operations, fifth column saboteurs, and the like. But important questions remain: As the war continues, how will the conflict evolve? Will it escalate? If so, what will be the flashpoint that puts it in full motion? Will it turn into a full-fledged armed conflict? As the storm clouds gather, a short history retrospective might shed some light on things to come.
November 6, 1860, President Lincoln is elected President of the United States. South Carolina would be the first state to secede from the Union a mere six weeks later. In January, five more states would follow. In February, Texas votes for secession and joins the newly established Confederate States of America. A constitution is ratified and former Senator and U.S. Secretary of War Jefferson Davis is appointed President of the Confederacy. Lincoln has yet to be inaugurated.
One month after Lincoln’s March 4 inauguration, Fort Sumter is bombarded by Confederate troops. Union troops are forced to surrender. Virginia secedes days later. On April 19, Lincoln issues a “Proclamation of Blockade Against Southern Ports” that formally recognizes “an insurrection against the Government of the United States.”
In June, two limited military engagements in Virginia, the “Battle of Sewell’s Point” and the “Battle of Aguia Creek” are fought to inconclusive results. The war spreads to West Virginia, and Missouri, resulting in the first two Union victories. Confederate forces achieve their first victory in the “Battle of Big Bethel” in Virginia.
On July 21, four months after President Lincoln is sworn in, the “First Battle of Bull Run” becomes the first major battle of the war. The First American Civil War would continue for the next three and a half years.
Thankfully, our current conflict has not yet approached military proportions, anti-Trump riots notwithstanding. These are little more than angry tantrums from an infantilized sector of the population who understand nothing of survival and self-sufficiency. In military terms they don’t even qualify as skirmishes. And these melodramatic posers don’t come close to being a genuine insurgency.
All Americans should pray that it stays this way. And we should always remember the words of General William Tecumseh Sherman:
“I am sick and tired of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.”
But make no mistake. There is a major fight coming. Perhaps it will stay in the courts, and among our legislators, perhaps not. Is reconciliation possible? There may be a remote chance of that, but it looks more and more like each side of the growing divide have no intention of backing down. America hasn’t faced this kind of disunity since 1861.