Civil War

  • Abraham Lincoln Inaugurated

    Abraham Lincoln Inaugurated
    Following tradition, Lincoln left the Willard’s Hotel in Washington DC, boarded a carriage, and departed for the Capitol, where his inauguration took place. Abraham Lincoln, a “kentucky-born lawyer,” was elected the sixteenth president of the United States after Lincoln won the 1860 with 180 electoral votes.
  • South Carolina Secedes

    South Carolina Secedes
    South Carolina was the first of many other southern states to leave the Union. Saying they were the “first to act” South Carolina met in Charleston, and unanimously voted on the state’s secession from the Union, which led to the creation of the Confederate States of America.
  • Attack on Fort Sumter

    Attack on Fort Sumter
    Brig. Gen. Beauregard, in command of the attacking confederate forces, demanded the surrender of the Union garrison of Fort Sumter. When the Union soldiers refused the Confederates opened fire, and the fort was eventually forced to surrender. Although there were no casualties, this was the first open bombardment of the Civil War.
  • Virginia Secedes

    Virginia Secedes
    Virginia was torn between dedication to the Union or Confederates, as they were proud Americans but had always been considered southerners. But after the "secession winter" of 1860–61 and Virginia’s ongoing debate of whether or not to secede, delegates met at a convention in Richmond, and after the Battle of Fort Sumter Virginia voted on secession.
  • 1st Battle of Bull Run

    1st Battle of Bull Run
    One of the first major battles of the Civil War and also called the First Manassas, this battle was fought between rigadier General Joseph E. Johnston's Union forces and General P.G.T. Beauregard's Confederates. Beauregard's troop were outnumbered by the Union soldiers, but when they broke through the Union right flank they were able to drive the Union troops back in a choaotic retreat, resulting in a Confederate Victory.
  • Battle of the Monitor and the Merrimac

    Battle of the Monitor and the Merrimac
    Also called the Battle of Hampton Roads, this was a naval battle fought between the Confederate ship Virginia and the Union ship the Merrimac. The confederate’s ship was reconstruction of a fallen Union ship, and was fixed with a battering ram while the Union ship was created with a rotating turret, making the battle the first ironclad naval battle in history. The result of the skirmish was draw, with Virginia retired first.
  • Battle of Shiloh

    Battle of Shiloh
    The Union forces who occupied Pittsburg Landing were unprepared for the attack that was brought upon by General Albert Sidney Johnston and his Confederates. The Union soldiers were able to hold off the enemy, however, until General Buell's army and other reinforcements arrived, and but Johnston was killed by a stray bullet the Union Army pushed back against the Confederates and forced them to retreat back toward Corinth.
  • McClellan Returns to Washington After the Peninsula Campaign

    McClellan Returns to Washington After the Peninsula Campaign
    Major General George B. McClellan returned to Washington after his Peninsula Campaign, the strategy against the Confederates to take their capital of Richmond, Virginia. McClellan and his men did not capture the city, even after the many battles they fought against General Lee and the Confederate Army.
  • 2nd Battle of Bull Run

    2nd Battle of Bull Run
    One of the most significant battles of the Civil War, the 2nd Battle of Bull Run was a two day battle, during which the Union attacked General John Pope’s Union army first, and the North retaliated. Although Jackson’s Confederate army was outnumbered they were able to finally push Pope’s army back and almost cut off their escape, although the Union army was able to retreat across Bull Run and towards Washington.
  • Battle of Antietam

    Battle of Antietam
    Known as “the bloodiest day in American history,” Antietam was fought by Major General George B. McClellan and his Union troops against General Robert E. Lee and his famous (or soon to be) General Thomas Jackson. The battle was fought in one day, and although it was considered a draw the Confederates did retreat across the Potomac River and suffered 23,100 casualties, and was therefore, at least in the eyes of the Union, considered a victory.
  • Battle of Fredericksburg

    Battle of Fredericksburg
    This battle was the Civil War’s first urban combat, as it was fought on the streets of Fredericksburg. General Burnside, the Union commander, attempted a diversion during the battle, which split his forces up and ultimately led to a Confederate victory, with Burnside and his men’s retreat.
  • Emancipation Proclamation Takes Effect

    Emancipation Proclamation Takes Effect
    From his run for presidency Lincoln always stated that the slave states had nothing to fear, and he only intended to stop the spread of slavery, not abolish it. But with this act he contradicted himself, as it freed all slaves in the states that were still in rebellion. His argument being that he followed the Constitution in the sense of it granting liberty to all, the Emancipation Proclamation stated that those slaves would be "then, thenceforward, and forever free."
  • Battle of Chancellorsville

    Battle of Chancellorsville
    General Robert E. Lee led the Confederate army, and split his already inferior number in half and sent some of his troops to intercept Hooker’s Union troops and then sent the rest of his men in a feint. This fooled the Union soldiers and eventually led to a Confederate victory, a triumph that was to be General Lee’s last great victory.
  • Battle of Gettysburg

    Battle of Gettysburg
    General Robert E. Lee, with almost 75,000 men, had invaded Pennsylvania when he encountered Union troops. This began a battle during which the Confederates droves the Union Soldiers across Gettysburg and up Cemetery Hill, but there they stopped and dueled, creating huge casualty rates for both sides. General Lee lost about a third of his men before retreating back to Virginia, and the Union forces received heavy losses as well.
  • Surrender of Vicksburg

    Surrender of Vicksburg
    After laying siege to the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, for forty-seven say, the Confederate forces finally surrendered. Many did not believe that the surrender took place, and it was therefore proved when the Union banner was hoisted from the city courthouse.
  • Battle at Fort Wagner

    Battle at Fort Wagner
    The initial attack Fort Wagner began seven says before, but failed. Therefore another attack ensued, with the Union forces beginning a bombardment against the fort early in the morning. Then, after several failed assaults by Union troops Colonel Shaw led his all-black 54th Regiment forward, making the battle famous his men fought courageously and just as well as their fellow white soldiers. Although the fort was not captured respect and acknowledgment for black troops was gained as a result.
  • Lincoln Delivers Gettysburg Address

    Lincoln Delivers Gettysburg Address
    Lincoln’s shortest and most famous speech, the Gettysburg Address was delivered at the Gettysburg Military Cemetery Ceremony in Virginia. Spoken shortly after the battle of Gettysburg Lincoln’s words were considered inspiring and wonderful to some, while to others it was offensive and informal. However, it has become infamous as a result.
  • Cold Harbor

    Cold Harbor
    Union Army of the Potomac, led by General Grant launched an attack on the General Lee’s Confederate Army Northern Virginia stationed at Cold Harbor, Virginia. General Grant displayed fighting style during this battle, as his militaristic strategy allowed his troops small victories during the battle, although the outcome of the battle was a confederate victory when both sides negotiated a cease-fire after several days of siege-warfare.
  • Sherman Set out for Sea

    Sherman Set out for Sea
    General Sherman and his Union troops set out for their march towards the sea, planning to use the scorched earth policy in order to cause destruction on the Confederate farms and homes. This march would make General Sherman a hero in the North and hated in the South; some thought his policy too harsh, but he and his troops began their march regardless.
  • Atlanta Burns to the Ground

    Atlanta Burns to the Ground
    As part of the Union Military Strategy, the Union Army’s leader, General W. T. Sherman, ordered the burning of the City of Atlanta, Georgia. The general ordered all public buildings, machine shops, arsenals, and depots burned to the ground, essentially destroying the city and beginning Sherman’s famous March to the Sea.
  • Sherman Reaches Savannah

    Sherman Reaches Savannah
    After cutting a swath of destruction miles wide and many miles long, using the scorched earth policy to burn and destroy the homes, towns, and farms in their path, General Sherman and his Union troops eventually reached Savanna. Sherman’s March to the Sea was part of Sherman’s military strategy to cause the Confederate soldiers reason to stop fighting and return home, in order to help the women and children whose homes were destroyed by the March.
  • Lincoln Deliver's 2nd Inaugural Address

    Lincoln Deliver's 2nd Inaugural Address
    Delivered during the final days of the Civil War, Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address took place at the Capital with thousands of spectators watching. Bad weather before the Inauguration caused the grounds to be muddy and wet, but Lincoln’s words were “inspiring,” and the crowd watched as he took the oath of office and gave his Inaugural Address, which was greatly praised by the people and fellow politicians.
  • Richmond (the Confederate Capital) Falls

    Richmond (the Confederate Capital) Falls
    The Confederate Capital of Richmond, Virginia, had been under siege for several weeks by the Union Army, but the Confederate leaders finally decided to leave the city rather than have their soldiers stay and continue to be killed. The Confederates therefore retreated, setting fire to the city as they left, attempting to deny the Union from using anything in their capital against them. The Union, however, put out the fires before too much of the city had been destroyed, and Richmond formally surr
  • Robert E Lee Surrenders Commission

    Robert E Lee Surrenders Commission
    Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union troops in Appomattox, Virginia, after he was cut off from the rest of the Confederate Army. He wrote a letter to U. S. Grant stating his willingness to surrender, and he and his 28,000 troops with his officers and men being spared and his starving troops were given Union rations.
  • Surrender at Appomattox

    Surrender at Appomattox
    With his army surrounded, high casualties and virtually no rations, General Lee realized that he had no choice but to surrender. He sent word to General Grant of the Union Army, and they met at the Appomattox Court House, resulting in Confederate surrender (although Grant respected Lee and allowed the troops to keep most of their possessions, and even gave the men rations), and signaled th beginning of the end of the Civil War.