“1861” describes the events of that year, which began with the appointment of Jefferson Davis as president of the Confederacy. Following the Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter, Lincoln called for troops, appointed George McClellan to command Union forces, and imposed a blockade against the South. The first battles were chaotic. Union forces (“Yankees”) benefited from greater manpower and technology; Southerners (“Rebels”) had a stronger military tradition and familiar terrain. Although the war did not begin with the aim of abolishing slavery, the institution played a role in military and diplomatic developments. Abolitionists hoped that Union war aims would transform into a struggle against slavery.