Lincoln portrait

American Civil War, the First Year

By mdleess
  • South Carolina Secedes

    A convention in Charleston on Dec. 20, 1860, declared, "We, the people of the State of South Carolina, in convention assembled, do declare and ordain...that the Union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States, under the name of 'the United States of America,' is hereby dissolved."
  • Mississippi Secedes

  • Florida Secedes

  • Alabama Seceds

  • Georgia Secedes

  • Louisiana Secedes

  • Texas Secedes

  • Lincoln's Inauguration

    Lincoln's Inauguration
    At Lincoln's inauguration on March 4, the new president said he had no plans to end slavery in those states where it already eisted, but he also said he would not accept secession. He hoped to resolve the national crisis without warfare.
  • Confederate Constitution Adopted

    Confederate Constitution Adopted
    The Constitution of the Confederate States of America, adopted on March 11, was the supreme law of the Confederacy until the conclusion of the Civil War. The original document rests at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va.
  • Attack on Fort Sumter

    Attack on Fort Sumter
    Fort Sumter and its loyalist commander, Robert Anderson, are fired upon by confederate forces after Anderson offers to surrender the fort. The shelling of Fort Sumter was the first military action of the war.
  • Arkansas Secedes

  • Lincoln Declares Blockade of Southern Ports

    Lincoln Declares Blockade of Southern Ports
    On April 19, Lincoln proclaimed a blockade of the South, which would restrict 3,500 miles of Southern shipping and navy lines, including 12 major ports, between 1861 and 1865.
  • North Carolina Secedes

  • Tennessee Secedes

  • West Virginia is Born

    West Virginia is Born
    Residents of the western counties of Virginia did not wish to secede along with the rest of the state. This section of the state would eventually be admitted into the Union as West Virginia on June 20, 1863.
  • First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas)

    First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas)
    Public demand encouraged General-in-Chiel Winfield Scott to advance on the South before his troops were adequately trained. Although initially successful in a battle at Manassas Junction, Va., Northern troops were repulsed and routed toward Washington
  • Top General Replaced

    Top General Replaced
    Following McDowell's embarassing defeat at Bull Run, President Lincoln appoints George B. McClellan as the commander of the Army of the Potomac, defenders of Washington, D.C., the capital of the Union.
  • Sea-to-Land Military Action

    Sea-to-Land Military Action
    On Nov. 7, Union Captain Sauel F. Dupont's warships silenced Confederate guns in Fort Walker and Fort Beauregard, two Confederate strongholds in South Carolina. General Thomas W. Sherman advances with the support of navy shelling, and occupy Port Royal and other South Carolina costal islands.