Civil War

  • First Republican President

    Lincoln becomes the first republican elected by recieving 180 of 303 possible electoral votes and 40 percent of the popular vote.
  • Period: to

    Civil War Era

  • Seceding States

    South Carolina secedes from the Union. Followed within two months by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. These states together created the confederacy.
  • A New Leader

    Jefferson Davis, a former US Army officer and graduate from West Point, becomes president of the condeferacy.
  • The First Republican Leader

    Abraham Lincoln is sworn in as the 16th president of the United States.
  • Where It All Began

    At 4:30 A.M. Confederate soldiers under the command of General Pierre Beauregard open fire with 50 cannons upon Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina. This action made by the confederacy gave the big push to start the Civil War.
  • 1st Proclamation for Militiamen

    President, Abraham Lincoln, issues a proclamation calling for 75,000 militiamen, and also summoning a special session of Congress for July 4th.
  • Lee's Offer

    Robert E. Lee, son of a revolutionary War hero and a 25 year distinguished veteran of the United States Army and former superintendent of West Point, is offered the command of the Union Army. Lee declines this offer.
  • More Seceding States from the Union

    Virginia secedes from the Union, and following this state within 5 weeks is: Arkansasm Tennessee, and North Carolina, thus forming an 11 state confederacy with a population of 9 million, including 4 million slaves.
    The Union will soon has 21 states and a population of over 20 Million.
  • 2nd Proclamation - The Blockade

    President Lincoln issues a proclamation to blockade against the Southern Ports. For the duration of the war, the blockade limits the ability of the rural South to stay well supplied in their war against the industrialized North.
  • Lee's Resignation, and A New Offer Arises

    Robert E. Lee resigns his commision in the United States Army. Lee states at his resignation, "I cannot raise my hand against my birthplace, my home, my children." After Lee's resignation he journeys to the Confederacy, Virginia to be exact. The confederacy offers Lee the command of the military and naval forces of Virginia, and he accepts.
  • Lincolnn Special Congress Session

    Lincoln, in a speech to Congress, states that the war is..."a People's contest..a struggle for maintaining in the world, that form, and substance of government, whose leading object is to elevate the condition of men." The Congress authorizes a call for 500,000 men.
  • The Union Defeated at Bull Run

    The Union Army under the command of General Irvin McDowell suffers a defeat at Bull Run, 25 miles southwest of Washington.
    Confederate General, Thomas J. Jackson, earns the nickname "Stonewall," as his brigade resists Union Attacks. Union troops fall back to Washington. This makes Lincoln's perspective on the duration on the War change, finally realizing that this war was going to be long.
  • The Replacement for McDowell

    President Lincoln appoints George B. McClellan as commander of the Department of the Potomac, replacing General McDowell.
  • McClellan's Statements On His New Position

    McClellan tells his wife, "I find myself in a new and strange position here: President, Cabinet, General Scott, and all deferring to me. By some strange operation of magic I seem to have become the Power of the land."
  • Fremont Gets Revoked

    President Lincoln revokes General John C. Fremont's unauthorized military prclamation of emancipation in Missouri. Later, the president relieves General Fremont of his command and replaces him with General David Hunter.
  • McClellan Appointed as Head-In-Command

    President Lincoln appoints McClellan as general-in-chief of all Union forces after the resignation of the aged Winfield Scott. Lincoln tell McClellan, "..the supreme command of the Army eill entail a vast labor upon you." McClellan responds, "I can do it all."
  • An International Dpilomatic Crisis

    The beginning of an international diplomatic crisis for President Lincoln as two Confederate officials were sailing toward England, are seized by the U.S. Navy. England, the leading world power, demands their release, threatening war. Lincoln eventually gives in and orders their release in December. "One war at a time," Lincoln remarks.
  • War Order No. 1

    President Lincoln issues General War Order No. 1, calling for all United States naval and land forces to begin a general advance by February 22, which is George Washington's birthday.
  • "Unconditional Surrender"

    Victory for General Ulysses S. Grant, in Tennessee, capturing Fort Henry, and ten days later Fort Donelson. Grant earns the nickname "Unconditional Surrender."
  • President Lincoln's Son Dies from Fever

    President Lincoln is struck with grief as his beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, dies from a fever, it was probably caused by polluted drinking water in the White House.
  • Ironclads

    The Confederate Ironclad, "Merrimac," sinks two wooden Union ships then battles the Union Ironclad, "Monitor," to a draw. Naval warfare is thus changed forever, making wooden ships obsolete.
  • Advancing

    The Peninsular Campaign begins as McClellan's Army of the Potomac advances from Washington down the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay to the Peninsular South of the Confederate Capital of Richmond, Virginia then begins an advance toward Richmond.
    Everntually, President Lincoln temporarily relieves McClellan as general-in-chief and takes direct command of the Union Armies.
  • A Surpirse Attack

    Confederates surprise attack General Ulysses S. Grant's unprepared troops at Shiloh on the Tennessee River results in a bitter struggle with 13,000 Union killed and wounded and 10,000 Confederates, more men than in all previous American wars combined. The president is then pressured to relieve Grant but resists. "I can't spare this man; he fights," Lincoln says.
  • Farragut Takes New Orleans

    17 Union ships under the command of Flag Officer David Farragut, move up the Mississippi River then take New Orleans, the South's greatest seaport. Later in the war, sailing through a Rebel mine field Farragut utters the famous phrase; "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"
  • The Battle of Seven Pines

    General Joseph E. Johnston's Army attacks McClellan's troops in front of Richmond and nearly defeats them. Johnston is badly wounded during this battle.
  • Lee Takes Command

    General Robert E. Lee assumes command, replacing the wounded Johnston. Lee then renames his force the Army of Northern Virginia. McClellan is not impressed, saying Lee is "likely to be timid and irresolute in action."
  • Lincoln Hands Down The Task of General-In-Cheif

    After four months, his own general-in-chief, President Lincoln hands over the task to General Henry W. (Old Brains) Halleck.
  • The Seven Days Battle

    Lee attacks McClellan near Richmond, resulting in very heavy losses for both armies. McClellan then begins a withdrawal back toward Washington.
  • Second Battle of Bull Run

    75,000 Federals under General John Pope are defeated by 55,000 Confederates under General Stonewall Jackson and General James Longstreet at the second battle of Bull Run in northern Virginia. Once again the Union Army retreats to Washington. The president then relieves Pope.
  • Lee Invades

    Lee invades the North with 50,000 Confederates and heads for Harpers Ferry, located 50 miles North-West of Washington.
    The Union Army, 90,000 strong, under the command of McClellan, persues Lee.
  • Antietam

    The bloodiest day in U.S. military history, as General Robert E. Lee, and the Confederate Armies, are stopped at Antietam, in Maryland, by McClellan, and numerically superior Union forces. By nightfall 26,000 men are dead, wounded, or missing. Lee then withdraws to Virginia.
    Confederate dead by the fence bordering Farmer Miller's 40 acre Cornfield at Antietam where the intense rifle and artillery fire cut every corn stalk to the ground, "as closely as it could have been done with a knife."
  • Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation

    Frees slaves, this is issued by President Lincoln.
  • Lincoln Visits Antietam

    President Lincoln visits General George McClellan at Antietam, Maryland.
  • A New Potomac Leader

    The president replaces McClellan with General Ambrose E. Burnside, as the new Commander of the Army of the Potomac. Lincoln had grown impatient with McClellan's slowness to follow up on the success at Antietam, even telling him, "If you don't want to use the army, I should like to borrow it for a while."
  • Fredericksburg

    The Army of the Potomac, under General Burnside, suffers a costly defeat at Fredericksburg, in Virginia, with a loss of 12,653 men after 14 frontal assaults on well entrenched Rebels on Marye's Heights. "We might as well have tried to take hell," a Union soldier remarks.
    Confederate losses are 5,309.
    "It is well that war is so terrible - we should grow too fond of it," states Lee during the fighting.
  • Abolition of Slavery

    President Lincoln issues the final Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in territories held by Confederates and emphasizes the enlisting of black soldiers in the Union Army. The war to preserve the Union now becomes a revolutionary struggle for the abolition of slavery.
  • Fighting Joe Leads The Potomac

    The president appoints General Joseph (Fighting Joe) Hooker as Commander of the Army of the Potomac, replacing Burnside.
  • Orders To Capture Vicksburg

    General Grant is placed in command of the Army of the West, with orders to capture Vicksburg.
  • The Draft Changes

    The U.S. Congress enacts a draft, affecting male citizens aged 20 to 45, but also exempts those who pay $300 or provide a substitute. "The blood of a poor man is as precious as that of the wealthy," poor Northerners complain.
  • Chancellorsville

    The Union Army, under General Hooker, is decisively defeated by Lee's much smaller forces at the Battle of Chancellorsville, in Virginia, as a result of Lee's brilliant and daring tactics. Confederate General Stonewall Jackson is mortally wounded by his own soldiers. Hooker retreats. Union losses are 17,000 killed, wounded and missing out of 130,000. The Confederates, 13, 000 out of 60,000. "I just lost confidence in Joe Hooker," said Hooker later about his own lack of nerve during the battle.
  • Stonewall Jackson Dies

    The South suffers a huge blow as Stonewall Jackson dies from his wounds, his last words, "Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees."
    "I have lost my right arm," Lee laments.
  • The Second Invasion On The North

    General Lee, with 75,000 Confederates, launches his second invasion of the North, heading into Pennsylvania in a campaign that will soon lead to Gettysburg.
  • The Army of The Potomac Recieves Another Leader

    President Lincoln appoints General George G. Meade as commander of the Army of the Potomac, replacing Hooker. Meade is the 5th man to command the Army in less than a year.
  • Gettysburg

    The tide of war turns against the South as the Confederates are defeated at the Battle of Gettysburg, in Pennsylvania.
  • Vicksburg Surrenders

    Vicksburg, the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River, surrenders to General Grant and the Army of the West after a six week siege. With the Union now in control of the Mississippi, the Confederacy is effectively split in two, cut off from its western allies.
  • Returning Gettysburg Soldiers Restore Order in New York

    Anti-draft riots in New York City include arson and the murder of blacks by poor immigrant whites. At least 120 persons, including children, are killed and $2 million in damage caused, until Union soldiers returning from Gettysburg restore order.
  • Black Soldiers

    "Negro troops" of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment under Colonel Robert G. Shaw assault fortified Rebels at Fort Wagner, South Carolina. Colonel Shaw and half of the 600 men in the regiment are killed.
  • Trying to get Equality Amogst the Union's "Negro Soldiers"

    The president meets with abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, who pushes for full equality for Union "Negro troops."
  • A Raid in Lawrence, Kansas

    At Lawrence, Kansas, pro-Confederate William C. Quantrill and 450 pro-slavery followers raid the town and butcher 182 boys and men.
  • Chickamauga

    A decisive Confederate victory by General Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee at Chickamauga leaves General William S. Rosecrans' Union Army of the Cumberland trapped in Chattanooga, Tennessee under Confederate siege.
  • Grant, Appointed to Command All Operations in the Western Theater

    The president appoints General Grant to command all operations in the Western Theater.
  • A National Cemetery

    President Lincoln delivers a two minute Gettysburg Address at a ceremony dedicating the Battlefield as a National Cemetery.
  • Chattanooga

    The Rebel siege of Chattanooga ends as Union forces under Grant defeat the siege army of General Braxton Bragg. During the battle, one of the most dramatic moments of the war occurs. Yelling "Chickamauga! Chickamauga!" Union troops avenge their previous defeat at Chickamauga by storming up the face of Missionary Ridge without orders and sweep the Rebels from what had been though to be an impregnable position. "My God, come and see 'em run!" a Union soldier cries.
  • The 13th Amendment

    The U.S. Congress approves the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, to abolish slavery. The amendment is then submitted to the states for ratification.
  • The War Goes On..

    A peace conference occurs as President Lincoln meets with Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens at Hampton Roads in Virginia, but the meeting ends in failure - the war will continue.
    Only Lee's Army at Petersburg and Johnston's forces in North Carolina remain to fight for the South against Northern forces now numbering 280,000 men.
  • Grant Leads All of the United State's Armies

    President Lincoln appoints General Grant to command all of the armies of the United States. General William T. Sherman succeeds Grant as commander in the West.
  • A Coordinated Campaign

    The beginning of a massive, coordinated campaign involving all the Union Armies. In Virginia, Grant with an Army of 120,000 begins advancing toward Richmond to engage Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, now numbering 64,000, beginning a war of attrition that will include major battles at the Wilderness (May 5-6), Spotsylvania (May 8-12), and Cold Harbor (June 1-3). In the west, Sherman, with 100,000 men begins an advance toward Atlanta to engage Joseph E. Johnston's 60,000 strong Army of Tennessee.
  • Cold Harbor

    A costly mistake by Grant results in 7,000 Union casualties, in twenty minutes! During an offensive attack against fortified Rebels at Cold Harbor in Virginia.
    Many of the Union soldiers in the failed assault had predicted the outcome, including a dead soldier from Massachusetts whose last entry in his diary was, June 3, 1864, Cold Harbor, Virginia.
  • The Missed Opportunity

    Union forces miss an opportunity to capture Petersburg and to cut off the Confederate rail lines. As a result, a nine month siege of Petersburg begins with Grant's forces surrounding Lee.
    The Union had a 13-inch mortar "Dictator" mounted on a railroad flatcar at Petersburg. Its 200-pound shells had a range of over 2 miles.
  • A Rebel Battle

    At Atlanta, Sherman's forces battle the Rebels now under the command of General John B. Hood, who replaced Johnston.
  • A Challenge Arises

    Democrats nominate George B. McClellan for president to run against Republican incumbent Abraham Lincoln.
  • Atlanta is Captured

    Atlanta is captured by Sherman's Army. "Atlanta is ours, and fairly won," Sherman telegraphs Lincoln. The victory greatly helps President Lincoln's bid for re-election.
  • A Union Victory

    A decisive Union victory by Cavalry General Philip H. Sheridan, in the Shenandoah Valley, over Jubal Early's troops.
  • Lincoln is Re-Elected

    Abraham Lincoln is re-elected president, defeating Democrat George B. McClellan. Lincoln carries all but three states with 55 percent of the popular vote and 212 of 233 electoral votes. "I earnestly believe that the consequences of this day's work will be to the lasting advantage, if not the very salvation, of the country," Lincoln tells supporters.
  • March To The Sea

    After destroying Atlanta's warehouses and railroad facilities, Sherman, with 62,000 men begins a March to the Sea. President Lincoln on advice from Grant approved the idea. "I can make Georgia howl!" Sherman boasts.
  • Victory at Nashville

    Hood's Rebel Army of 23,000 is crushed at Nashville by 55,000 Federals, including Afican American troops. They were under General George H. Thomas.
    The Confederate Army of Tennessee ceases as an effective fighting force.
  • A Christmas Present For Lincoln

    Sherman reaches Savannah in Georgia leaving behind a 300 mile long & 60 mile wide path of destruction, all the way from Atlanta. Sherman then telegraphs Lincoln, offering him Savannah as a Christmas present.
  • The 13th Amendment

    The U.S. Congress approves the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, to abolish slavery. The amendment is then submitted to the states for ratification.
  • Period: to

    The War Goes On..

  • The War Continues..

    A peace conference occurs as President Lincoln meets with Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens at Hampton Roads in Virginia, but the meeting ends in failure...the war will continue.
    Only Lee's Army at Petersburg and Johnston's forces in North Carolina remain to fight for the South against Northern forces now numbering 280,000 men.