Civil War Annotated Timeline

  • Fort Sumter

    Fort Sumter
    Confederate General Beauregard ordered that the Union forces at Fort Sumter in Charleston Bay, South Carolina surrender. Shots were then fired, although they were not effective. On the 13th, Union Major Anderson surrendered and evacuated the next day. Although no one was killed, it was considered the first engagement of the Civil War and a Confederate win.
  • First Battle of Bull Run

    First Battle of Bull Run
    Union General Irvin McDowell planned to attack Confederate forces that were guarding a railroad juction in Manassas, Virginia. The Union forces were inadequately trained however. They took two days just to march 22 miles south. The Confederates were given reenforcements around 4 P.M. and dissolved the Union line and won.
  • Battle of Hampton Roads

    Battle of Hampton Roads
    On March 8, the Confederate ironclad Virginia stormed into Hampton Roads and sank the Cumberland and ran the Congress aground. Then, the Union ironclad Monitor arrived and engaged in the first ironclad battle. There was no clear winner however.
  • Battle of Shiloh

    Battle of Shiloh
    Confederate General Johnston's men attacked an unprepared Union General Grant's men at Pittsburg. Surprisingly, the Union forces managed to hold until Union General Buell brought reeinforcements. Johnston was killed by a stray bullit and the Confederates were forced to retreat to Corinth after a Union counterattack led by Grant.
  • Second Battle of Bull Run

    Second Battle of Bull Run
    A Federal column was passing across Confederate General Jackson's front, and he ordered his men to attack it in order to draw Union General John Pope's men into battle. Pope was confident that he had trapped Jackson at Brawner Farm after a day of fighting so he concentrated most of his army on Jackson. The next day, Pope launched a few charges on Jackson's position near an unfinished railroad. The Confederates won the battle and it was considered the most decisive battle in the NVC.
  • Battle of Antietam

    Battle of Antietam
    Confederate General Robert E. Lee crossed the Potomac into Sharpsburg, Maryland, and a battle between his men and Union General George B. McClellan started. The battle lasted for two day and there was no declared winner but the Union considered it a victory. The Confederate Army was forced to retreat back across the Patomac and after the battle Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • battle of fredericksburg

    battle of fredericksburg
    On November 14, Burnside sent a corps to occupy Falmouth near Fredericksburg. The rest of the Army followed and Lee put his Army of both sides of the town. On December 13, Burnside mounted a series of unsuccessful attacks resulting in many casualties. The Confederates won the battle.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    The first part of the proclamation, given on September 22, 1863, ordered the rebels to join the Union by January 1, or all slaves in the south would be free. Obviously, the rebels did not give in. Few slaves were actually freed though because most of the Union forces could not enforce this law because they were too far away.
  • Siege of Vicksburg

    Siege of Vicksburg
    Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s armies converged on Vicksburg, investing the city and entrapping a Confederate army under Lt. Gen. John Pemberton. Vicksburg surrendered on July 4. The Union won and gained more control of the Mississippi River enabling them to travel deeper into the south.
  • Battle of Chancelorsville

    Battle of Chancelorsville
    On April 27, Union General Hooker led three corps to turn the Confederate left flank by crossing two rivers above Fredericksburg. As Hooker's Army moved closer to Fredericksburg, they encountered more Confederate forces. Hooker then ordered his men to concentrate back to Chancelorsville. The battle resulted in a Confederate victory although General "Stonewall" Jackson was killed.
  • Battle of Gettysburg

    Battle of Gettysburg
    Two Confederate brigades were moving in to occupy the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, which happened to be controlled by a Union cavalry brigade. This was unknown however. The Confederates moved in from the Northwest at about 8 in the morning and expected little resistant, but were surprised with the Union force. Union General Buford's men were able to hold the Confederates for about an hour while waiting for reeinforcements. The fighting raged on until July 3 with a Union victory.
  • Siege of Atlanta

    Siege of Atlanta
    Confederate General Hood was determined to attack Union General McCpherson's Army of the Tennessee. He withdrew into Atlanta's inner line enticing Union General Sherman to follow. Hood sent William J. Hardee with his corps on a fifteen-mile march to hit the unprotected Union left and rear, east of the city. The time was miscalculated and Hardee was late. The Union won the battle and took Atlanta.
  • Surrender at Appamatox Courthouse

    Surrender at Appamatox Courthouse
    Six days earlier, the Confederate capitol of Richmond, Virginia was captured by the Union. Lee had no choice but to surrender to Grant's Army. A meeting was held that lasted two and a half hours and ended with a Confederate surrender and the end of the Civil War.
  • Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

    Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
    Abraham Lincoln was attending a play at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. on the night of April 14, 1865. John WIlkes Booth slipped in Lincoln's suite with his pistol drawn, and fired one shot into the back of Lincoln's head. He died at about 7:22 the next morning. Booth was captured twelve days later.
  • Ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment

    Ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment
    The thirteenth amendment states that slavery, unless used as a punishment for crime, is illegal and that all slaves are free.