Civil War Timeline

  • Grace Bedell

    Grace Bedell
    A 10 year-old girl writes to Lincoln. She advises him to grow a beard because it would make his face look better. Admediatly after this, its said that Lincoln started growing out his facial hair.
  • Abraham Lincoln was elected President

    Abraham Lincoln was elected President
    On election day Abraham Lincoln was elected President causing a split in United States history and enormous amount of discussion on the subject of slavery. This was because his views on slavery were different from the South.
  • Constitutional Union Party

    Constitutional Union Party
    This party was made up of Whigs who wanted to avoid disunion with the slavery issue. They teamed up with the Know-Nothing's and few Southern Democrats in hope of neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the issue of ending or continuing slavery so that sooner or later the subject would be pushed aside.
  • South Carolina Secedes

    South Carolina Secedes
    South Carolina secedes from the Union.
  • The South Secedes

    The South Secedes
    After Abraham Lincoln was elected President the southern states took this as a threat.The secession of South Carolina was followed by the secession of six more states -- Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas -- and the threat of secession by four more -- Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. These eleven states eventually formed the Confederate States of America.
  • Lincoln's Inauguration

    Lincoln's Inauguration
    On March 4th 1861 during his inauguration said he had no plans to end slavery in the South but would not accept any secession.
  • Fort Sumter

    Fort Sumter
    In April of 1861 the Civil War officially began with the Confederates attacking Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, North Carolina. This was the first incident that made the non-slave and slave states choose their sides.
  • West Virginia

    West Virginia
    Some of the Western countries did not wish to secede with the rest of the seceding states so they became their own state.
  • General McDowell is Replaced

    General McDowell is Replaced
    Suddenly aware of the threat of a protracted war and the army's need for organization and training, Lincoln replaced McDowell with General George B. McClellan.
  • Battle of Shiloh

    Battle of Shiloh
    On April 6, Confederate forces attacked Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant at Shiloh, Tennessee. Almost being defeted at the end of the day the Confederate forces were almost defeted but during the night, reinforcements arrived, and by the next morning the Union commanded the field. When Confederate forces retreated, the exhausted federal forces did not follow. Casualties were heavy -- 13,000 out of 63,000 Union soldiers died, and 11,000 of 40,000 Confederate troops were killed.
  • The Penninsular Campaign

    The Penninsular Campaign
    General McClellan's troops left northern Virginia to begin the Peninsular Campaign. By May 4, they occupied Yorktown, Virginia. At Williamsburg, Confederate forces prevented McClellan from meeting the main part of the Confederate army, and McClellan halted his troops, awaiting reinforcements.
  • "Stonewall" Jackson defeats Union forces

    "Stonewall" Jackson defeats Union forces
    Confederate General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, commanding forces in the Shenandoah Valley, attacked Union forces in late March, forcing them to retreat across the Potomac. As a result, Union troops were rushed to protect Washington, D.C.
  • The Seven Days of Battle

    The Seven Days of Battle
    Between June 26 and July 2, Union and Confederate forces fought a series of battles: Mechanicsville (June 26-27), Gaines's Mill (June 27), Savage's Station (June 29), Frayser's Farm (June 30), and Malvern Hill (July 1). On July 2, the Confederates withdrew to Richmond, ending the Peninsular Campaign.
  • Harper's Ferry

    Harper's Ferry
    Union General McClellan defeated Confederate General Lee at South Mountain and Crampton's Gap in September, but did not move quickly enough to save Harper's Ferry, which fell to Confederate General Jackson on September 15, along with a great number of men.
  • Antietam

    Antietam
    Confederate forces under General Lee were caught by General McClellan near Sharpsburg, Maryland. This battle proved to be the bloodiest day of the war; 2,108 Union soldiers were killed and 9,549 wounded -- 2,700 Confederates were killed and 9,029 wounded. The battle had no clear winner, but because General Lee withdrew to Virginia, McClellan was considered the victor.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    In 1861, Congress had passed an act stating that all slaves employed against the Union were to be considered free. In 1862, another act stated that all slaves of men who supported the Confederacy were to be considered free. Lincoln, aware of the public's growing support of abolition, issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, declaring that all slaves in areas still in rebellion were, in the eyes of the federal government, free.
  • The First Conscription Act

    The First Conscription Act
    This was an act making all men between the ages of 20 and 45 liable to be called for military service. Service could be avoided by paying a fee or finding a substitute. The act was seen as unfair to the poor, and riots in working-class sections of New York City broke out in protest.
  • The Battle of Chancellorville

    The Battle of Chancellorville
    Union General Hooker crossed the Rappahannock River to attack General Lee's forces. Lee split his army, attacking Union army in three places and almost completely defeating them. Hooker withdrew across the Rappahannock River, giving the South a victory, but it cost the Confederates many casualties.
  • The Battle of Chattanooga

    The Battle of Chattanooga
    On November 23-25, Union forces pushed Confederate troops away from Chattanooga. The victory set the stage for General Sherman's Atlanta Campaign
  • Grant's Wildnerness Campagin

    General Grant, promoted to commander of the Union armies, planned to engage Lee's forces in Virginia until they were destroyed. North and South met and fought in an inconclusive three-day battle in the Wilderness. Lee inflicted more casualties on the Union forces than his own army incurred.
  • Battle of Cold Harbor

    Battle of Cold Harbor
    Grant again attacked Confederate forces at Cold Harbor, losing over 7,000 men in twenty minutes. Although Lee suffered few casualties, his army never recovered from Grant's continual attacks. This was Lee's last clear victory of the war.
  • Confederate Troops Approach Washington D.C.

    Confederate General Jubal Early led his forces into Maryland to relieve the pressure on Lee's army. Early got within five miles of Washington, D.C., but on July 13, he was driven back to Virgina.
  • Abraham Lincoln is Re-Elected

    Abraham Lincoln is Re-Elected
    The Republican party nominated Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Jackson for President and Vice-President. Running against George B. McCellan and George Pendleton, Lincoln won and was re-elected for another term as President.
  • The Fall of the Confederacy

    Transportation problems and successful blockades caused severe shortages of food and supplies in the South. Starving soldiers began to desert Lee's forces, and although President Jefferson Davis approved the arming of slaves as a means of augmenting the shrinking army, the measure was never put into effect.
  • The Thirteenth Amendment is Accepted

    The Thirteenth Amendment is Accepted
    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.
  • Surrendur at Appomattox Courthouse

    Surrendur at Appomattox Courthouse
    General Lee's troops were soon surrounded, and on April 7, Grant called upon Lee to surrender. On April 9, the two commanders met at Appomattox Courthouse, and agreed on the terms of surrender. Lee's men were sent home on parole -- soldiers with their horses, and officers with their side arms. All other equipment was surrendered.
  • The Assasination of Abraham Lincoln

    The Assasination of Abraham Lincoln
    On April 14, as President Lincoln was watching a performance of "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., he was shot by John Wilkes Booth, an actor from Maryland obsessed with avenging the Confederate defeat. Lincoln died the next morning. Booth escaped to Virginia. Eleven days later, cornered in a burning barn, Booth was fatally shot by a Union soldier
  • Final Surrenders

    Remaining Confederate troops were defeated between the end of April and the end of May. Jefferson Davis was captured in Georgia on May 10.
  • The Liberator is Discontinued

    The Liberator is Discontinued
    The last issue of the newspaper "The Liberator" is printed.
  • Reconstruction Begins

    Congress removed the civilian governments in the South in 1867 and put the former Confederacy under the rule of the U.S. Army. The army conducted new elections where the freed slaves could vote while those who held leading positions under the Confederacy were denied the vote and could not run for office.
  • The 14th Amendment

    The 14th Amendment
    The 14th amendment has been ratified, giving slaves the right to citizenship.
  • Tennesse

    Tennesse is the first state to be readmitted to the Union following the Civil War.
  • General of the Army

    Congress makes General of the Army rank. Ranking Ulssyes S. Grant the first to hold that.
  • African American Males can Vote

    African American Males can Vote
    Congress gives African American males the right to vote in Washington, D.C., overcomming Johnson's veto to this bill.
  • The First Reconstruction Act

    The first reconstruction act sets up five military districts in the South, each under the control of a military commander. The Army Appropriations Act is passed, lessening Johnsons' control on the army. The final act passed is The Tenure Office Act which states that Johnson cannot remove cabinet members without the Senate's consent.
  • Alaska is Purchased

    Alaska is Purchased
    Alaska is purchased from Russia, this would be the second to last state to become a part of the USA.
  • Johnson's Impeachment

    Johnson's Impeachment
    Congress seeks to the impeachment of Andrew Johnson for his lack of intrest in forming reconstruction.