Military Procedures & Events--Invasions



In warfare, an army moving into an enemy’s home territory is often described as an invasion. During the American Civil War, most examples of military forces moving into enemy territory involved Union armies advancing into Confederate states. Some of these incursions were temporary, such as small cavalry raids to destroy Confederate supplies and even larger campaigns behind Confederate lines to harm Southern infrastructure (such as William T. Sherman’s “March Through Georgia”). However, Union victory in the Civil War depended upon the United States Army conducting offensive operations and occupying large portions of the South. These efforts split apart the Confederacy, placed secessionist communities back under federal control, and reduced the Confederate armies’ ability to wage war. Pro-secessionist Southerners considered these efforts to be federal invasions, and described communities captured by Union armies as being overrun. However, pro-Union Southerners cheered the arrival of Union soldiers, considering them liberators rather than invaders.

Although the Confederacy fought a defensive war, Southern military forces occasionally conducted incursions into northern communities. Robert E. Lee’s Maryland Campaign in 1862 (which culminated in the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862) was seen by many Marylanders as an invasion of their state. His second offensive campaign into the North, in the summer of 1863, was widely reported in the Northern press as a Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania. That campaign ultimately resulted in the Confederate defeat at the Battle of Gettysburg. (Wikipedia)

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