The Second American Civil War (1877-1883) was a multi-party war that occurred within the United States after the Battle of Washington, which triggered the war when the Republican Party re-took power in a coup. It ended with the defeat of the Democratic Union in June, 1883.
The principal fighting occurred between the Republican Party, often in temporary alliance with other pro-Unity groups, and the forces of the Blue Union - the loosely-allied anti-Republican forces. Many foreign armies warred against the US Army, most notably the United Kingdom and Mexico. The Second Mexican-American War is often viewed as a theatre of the conflict. Other nationalist and regionalist political groups also participated in the war, such as the Red Army, the Native American Union, and warlords such as Eugene Smith.
The most intense fighting took place from 1978 to 1880. Major military operations ended on October 25th 1882 when the US Army occupied Seattle, previously held by the Democratic Coalition Government. The last enclave of Blue forces was in Whatcom County, Oregon, where General Robert E. Lee did not capitulate until January 17th, 1883.
In the aftermath of the Battle of Washington, the Republicans secured control of the capital district on October, 1877. President Hayes declared a "national emergency", and directed the United States Army to begin an immediate armed takeover of cities and villages throughout the United States. In January 1878, the Republicans had both Congress and the Supreme Court dissolved, proclaiming the Executive Branch as the new, complete government of America. Prior to than, both Congress and the Supreme Court where Democratic and had saw the Republican takeover "unconstitutional" and "outright illegal".
The Republicans decided to make a deal immediately with the Democratic Party, and prevent an all-out civil war from occurring. On 16 December 1877 a treaty was signed between the Republicans and Democrats in New York City, and peace talks began. As a condition for peace, the Democrats wanted the White House and the restoration of Congress and the Supreme Court, greatly upsetting more radical Republican leaders. William Wheeler, representing the Republicans in New York, refused at first to sign the treaty while continuing to observe a unilateral cease fire, following the policy of "No war, no peace".
In view of this, on 18 February 1878, the Democrats formed an army- the Democratic Coalition- and revolted against the Republican-controlled US Army. The Democrats also began a deadly, 11-day siege on Washington- which was the only area of the country where all-out war was occurring. Signing a formal peace treaty was the only option in the eyes of the Republicans. They also understood that the impending resistance- such as the Southern States- were more dangerous than the concessions of the treaty, which Hayes viewed as temporary anyway.
The Republican Party acceded to a peace treaty and the formal agreement, the Treaty of New York, was ratified on 6 March 1878. The Republicans viewed the treaty as merely a necessary and expedient means to end the war. Therefore, they ceded the White House to Democratic candidate Samuel Tilden. Even though Tilden had the White House, it meant little. He could not prevent a civil war from occurring (which was his platform all along) because as the Treaty of New York was signed, total war began to spread to more areas of the country. Tilden's laws meant nothing. The US Army 500,000 soldiers surrounding Washington. Essentially, it was a political victory for the Democrats but military for the Republicans.
Following the Treaty of New York, the Republican Party banned all other political parties except the Democratic Party (which had little say anyway). In a move known as the Second Secession, on March 10th 1878, the Southern states declared independence from the United States. They formed- once again- the Confederate States of America. Georgia, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland (outside the Washington area), Delaware, New Jersey, and Indiana all declared independence. Notice how not only Southern States were in the Confederacy, but some Northern states. The Northern states in the CSA did not mind allying with the Southern states- they believed that the state governments had the right to choose whether they wanted slavery or not. These Northern states voted Democratic in the election of 1876, and were opposed to Republican total rule of the country. The CSA's military forces, bolstered by foreign influence and led by General Robert E. Lee, became known as the Blue Movement (sometimes referred to as the "White Army"), and they controlled significant parts of the United States for most of the war.
All over the country, as the US Army ignored traditional laws and chaos swept North America, numerous "Red Armies" formed- these armies were established to "protect" small towns and locals from more destructive larger armies, such as the US Army, the Blue Army, and the foreign forces of Britain and Mexico. More significant was the emergence of an anarchist political and military movement known as the Native American Tribal Army (not recognized by the others and referred to as the Indian Rebellion) led by Sitting Bull. The NATA, which counted numerous Native Americans in its ranks, played a key part in cancelling Stonewall Jackson's planned offensive towards Washington during 1879, by diverting US forces to fight in the Great Plains theatre of the conflict.
Foreign powers also expressed their dismay at the Bolsheviks, (1) upset about fighting spreading across the border into British Canada, (2) worried about a possible American-German alliance (Germany had recently defeated France in the 1871 Franco-Prussian War), and perhaps most importantly (3) they wanted to make sure the United States remained weak and could not carry out imperialistic ambitions. In late 1879, British forces invaded Republican-held New England, and Mexican forces invaded Arizona and New Mexico- territory they had lost about 35 years earlier in the First Mexican-American War. The US Army defeated these foreign invasions. By 1820, after a powerful blockade and African-American rebellion in the South, the Confederacy capitulated. The US Army secured California and the Southwest the following year. Blue Army forces retreated to the Northwest, the last stronghold they had.
The majority of the fighting ended in 1880 with the defeat of General Stonewall Jackson in Florida, but a notable resistance in certain areas continued until 1883. The Confederacy's provisional headquarters in Bellingham, Oregon, fell on January 17th, 1883. Due to its proximity to Vancouver, the Blue forces were able to hold out with British support until that date.