Four Years at War
Neither side knew at the initial firing that the Civil War would last four years and rank among the bloodiest wars ever fought. Although the issue of slavery loomed large, it didn't by any means diminish the goal of reconciling the country. Lincoln, to his credit, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the Confederate government, insisting instead that it was a rebellion that could be quelled.
Lincoln's resolve was to the North's advantage, for he became the towering symbol in body and in deed of the nation's strength. While the North enjoyed other advantages in terms of population, troops, and resources, the South found it far easier to defend its territory than to invade. The North had to push forth, carrying battles south in order to cripple the South's capacity to wage war. Of course, this proved to be more costly and time-consuming. Strategically, the South felt it could learn from the example set in the Revolutionary War: to win meant exhausting the other side, dragging out the conflict until the North would no longer want to commit resources to the effort.
Early in the Civil War, Lincoln removed Brigadier General Irvin McDowell from his command of the federal army and placed Major General George B. McClellan in the role. While McClellan restored morale and raised the caliber of the fighting forces, he lacked decisiveness and was very slow.
Union soldiers dressed in blue government-issued uniforms, whereas the South's official color was gray. However, as some clothing worn by Confederate soldiers came from Union casualties or their own clothing reserves, the dress code varied a bit.
Even in 2000, South Carolina's allegiance to its Confederate past was strong. Angry protests surrounded the flying of the Confederate battle flag over South Carolina's statehouse dome between 1962 and 2000. On July 1, 2000, the flag was moved from the dome to another location on the statehouse lawn.