Civil War

  • Compromise of 1850

    Compromise of 1850
    Henry Clay was brought back for one last rodeo, negotiating the massive package that would eventually become the Compromise of 1850. This contained multiple concessions to all sides to try and reach a state of pseudo-peace. The most important pieces was the abolishment of the slave trade in DC, admission of California as a free state, settling of the Texan southern border, and reinforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin
    This was a groundbreaking novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe that spurred the abolitionist cause. It was told from the perspective of a former slave (Uncle Tom) but contained other harrowing stories that added fuel to the abolitionist flame. The novel went on to become one of the best-selling books in the 19th century, second only to the Bible
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    Kansas-Nebraska Act
    Stephen Douglas wanted the transcontinental railroad to be routed through his home state of Illinois, but this would require the unorganized land near Missouri to become states. He chose to make two states, Kansas and Nebraska,. To settle slavery, he chose to let the states decide using popular sovereignty. This led to much conflict over slavery in the newly formed states.
  • Dred Scott v Sandford

    Dred Scott v Sandford
    Dred Scott was a slave that went with his master to Illinois, a non-slave state. He then moved to Missouri, another non-slave state. Scott sued his owner under two statutes, one on wrongful enslavement and one on having slaves from other states. The Supreme Court ruled that the lawsuit was illegitimate because Scott was property and not free.
  • Election of 1860

    Election of 1860
    In the North, Democrats weren't on the ballot, and in the South, the Republicans weren't. In the end, the Republican Party got their first victory, electing Abraham Lincoln to the presidency. He would serve throughout the Civil War.
  • First Wave of Secessions

    For years, South Carolina had been threatening to secede from the Union, whether over the nullification crisis or slavery. The election of Lincoln pushed South Carolina over the edge, making them the first state to secede from the Union. Soon, several other states joined them to form the Confederacy.
  • Firing on Fort Sumter

    Firing on Fort Sumter
    Fort Sumter was the last remaining Union stronghold in the Confederacy, and was soon moved in on by Confederate soldiers, bringing the start of the Civil War
  • Final Confederate States

    There were still eight slave states left in the Union after the capture of Fort Sumter. However, as Lincoln asked the Union to mobilize on the Confederacy, many of these states left the Union to join their proslavery compatriots. Three slave states remained.
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    Union Blockade of South

    The South was an incredibly agrarian society and lacked the infrastructure to operate without connection to the outside world. To leverage this weakness, the Union blockaded Confederate ports to starve the South of the necessary resources
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    Civil War

    The Civil War was the deadliest war in American History. It began over conflicts between the North and South on slavery. Abraham Lincoln led the Union, with General Ulysses S. Grant, while Jefferson Davis headed the Confederacy with General Robert E. Lee.
  • First Battle of Bull Run

    First Battle of Bull Run
    A tattered Union army met the Confederates for the first major battle of the war at Bull Run. Though it appeared like the Union could have won, the combination of incompetent soldiers and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's timely defense led to the first defeat of the war for the Union. A direct result of this war was the installment of General McClellan, who trained the Union soldiers
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    Peninsular Campaign

    The Peninsular Campaign was an effort by General McClellan to take the Confederate capital of Richmond through the peninsula in the southeastern section of Virginia. This was a massive land offensive, but McClellan's overly cautious nature let General Lee and Stonewall Jackson build up a defense to repel the attacks. This was a failure for the Union
  • Battle of Shiloh

    Battle of Shiloh
    In 1862, the Confederates made a push towards the Union to try and break through their defenses. As they started making leeway, the Union got the necessary reinforces and were able to counter the Confederate advances. This back and forth fighting was incredibly deadly, with hundreds of casualties racking up on both sides
  • Second Battle of Bull Run

    Second Battle of Bull Run
    Frustrated with the failures in the Peninsular Campaign, Lincoln appointed John Pope to take over the Richmond offensive and defend Washington DC. His first test was the Second Battle of Manassas or Bull Run. He tried to push was he thought was a retreating Confederate Army, but Lee and Jackson flanked and destroyed his army. This was another defeat in a long string of defeats for the Union
  • Battle of Antietam

    Battle of Antietam
    McClellan failed to take initiative and act when he found Lee's plans wrapped around a cigar. This indecisiveness led to his firing by Lincoln and appointment of General Burnside. However, by this time, Lee had built up a defense, and when the two armies met at Antietam, the result was the bloodiest single day battle of the war. Burnside ordered a disastrous offensive that decimated his troops. Though the Union emerged victorious, it was Pyrrhic at best.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    The Emancipation Proclamation came into effect in 1863 and freed all slaves, not only in the Union, but also in the Confederacy. However, the language of the proclamation meant that the Union would have to win for anything to come of the Emancipation. The last slaves in the Union were freed June 19th of that year.
  • Conscription Act

    Conscription Act
    As fighting continued to drag on, the Union was losing soldiers and commitment from the public. Officials realized that something would need to be done to supplement the army, and signed the Conscription Act, instituting a lottery draft for able men of age. This led to rioting in many big cities, as rich men could pay off their lottery spot, forcing poor farmers and laborers to take the brunt of the fighting effort.
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    Battle of Chancelorsville

    Lincoln was growing frustrated with his generals, finally appointed General Hooker to lead the armies. Yet again, a new general was shredded by the Confederate Army, this time at Chancellorsville. The Confederates had assembled strong positioning and overpowered the Union army. Though they came away with a win, they lost one of their biggest contributors. Stonewall Jackson was accidentally shot by one of his own men, and died soon after from pneumonia after getting his arm amputated.
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    Siege of Vicksburg

    Vicksburg was the last city that needed to fall for the Union to take control of the Mississippi. General Grant settled in for a siege, and after over 40 days, the Union prevailed and officially split the Confederacy in two through their anaconda plan. This success also vaulted Grant into prominence.
  • Battle of Gettysburg

    Battle of Gettysburg
    Following a string of Confederate victories, General Lee decided that he would try to push to Washington DC. He finally met resistance at the small town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The ensuing 3-day battle was a turning day for the war. The Union was able to hold strong in their defense. General Pickett of the Confederates tried to suckerpunch the Union defenses, but Pickett's Charge was a suicide, leading to the biggest Confederate defeat of the war.
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    Sherman's March to the Sea

    After taking the Mississippi, General Grant authorized General William Tecumseh Sherman to wage total war on the South as he moved through Georgia to Savannah. This consisted to destroying everything the army came across, decimating the Southern will to continue fighting.
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    Grant's Movements to Richmond

    General Grant tried numerous times to take Richmond. He decided that he had the numbers to just throw men at the Confederate army to run out their resolve. He was criticized greatly for his wanton disregard for human life, but after a year of perseverance, he finally broke through.
  • Lee's Surrender

    Lee's Surrender
    General Lee was getting closed in on from multiple sides by the Union army. After his reinforcements fell, he realized that his time was up. He called for a meeting with General Grant at Appomattox Courthouse and surrendered his army, effectively ending the Civil War.
  • Assassination of Lincoln

    Assassination of Lincoln
    After the surrender of General Lee, Lincoln finally got out for an evening of enjoyment with his wife at Ford Theater. However, this day of celebration was marred with death when a Confederate sympathizer named John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln in the head, thinking that the war was not over yet. Lincoln died the next morning.