Civil War Timeline

  • Period: to

    Civil War

  • Abraham Lincoln elected president

    Abraham Lincoln elected president
    Receiving a majority of votes, Abraham Lincoln is elected President. He spoke out against the half-slave, half-free government.

    Significance: It led to the southern secession which had been threatened if the Republicans gained the White House and Lincoln was Republican.
  • The Battle at Fort Sumter

    The Battle at Fort Sumter
    The South army attacks Fort Sumter, where the North army is staying. The North surrenders after an overwhelming amount of bullets that met the camp from the Confederate army.
    Significance: In this the North realized that the south wasn't just going to be a defensive army.
  • Lincoln Orders Blockade Against the South

    Lincoln Orders Blockade Against the South
    This blockade was put into place to prevent the south of getting needed supplies.

    Significance: It helped the North later in the war when the rural south had trouble getting supplies compared to the industrialized north.
  • The First Battle at Bull Run

    The First Battle at Bull Run
    It was the first major land battle of the Civil War.

    Significance: After the south won by breaking the North's right flank, it gave them a surge of confidence. The north was very shocked and taken aback realizing the war would not be easily won.
  • The Monitor vs. Virginia

    The Monitor vs. Virginia
    The Monitor was responsible blockading the Norfolk area for the North when the Virginia came. The Virginia had already sunk two ships for the North. It ended up being a draw.
    Significance: The Monitor prevented the Virginia from gaining control of Hampton Roads which preserved the blockade.
  • The Battle of Shiloh

    The Battle of Shiloh
    The South launched a surprise attack on Grant's forces in southwestern Tennessee.

    Significance: The south were successful the first day (April 6th) but were unable to hold their position and were forced back, resulting in a Union victory. A lot of people from both sides died, around a total of 23,000.
  • The Seven Days Battles

    The Seven Days Battles
    When the Union army was invading, the southern army drove them away from Richmond and down the Virginian Penisula. But the Northern army got in a good defensive position which resulted in them landing in pretty safe territory.
    Significance: The South was using an offensive strategy again, but it did not work very well and resulted in a long battle where many of their men died.
  • The Second Battle of Bull Run

    The Second Battle of Bull Run
    The south launched an attack at the federal supply base in Manasses; they seized supplies and burned the place of storage, then hiding in the woods. The North then battled the south on the 29th, where both sides had many losses. The next day, the rest of Lee's army arrived and launched a counterattack resulting in the North withdrawling to Washington that night.
    Significance: There were many more people fighting in the 2nd Bull Run than in the 1st.
  • The Battle of Antietam

    The Battle of Antietam
    The North gathered on one side of the Antietam river while the South gathered on the other side. Steady fighting occured and many people died, but both sides held their ground.
    Significance: After burrying the dead, the South retreated to Virginia giving Lincoln time to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • The Emancipation Proclamation is Issued

    The Emancipation Proclamation is Issued
    Lincoln issued the preliminary proclamation saying that all of the slaves in the Confederate States of America would be set free.
    Significance: This angered Southerners and also hurt them because it weakened the forces in Europe that wanted to intervene to help the South.
  • The Emancipation Proclamation Takes Effect

    The Emancipation Proclamation Takes Effect
    None of the Confederate states agree to the preliminary proclamation so on January 1st, 1863 the Slaves were ordered to be set free. A lot of them joined the Union and the Navy.

    Significance: It also made it impossible for countries like Great Britain and France to back the Confederacy. It unified and strengthened Lincoln's party, the Republicans, helping them stay in control for a long time.
  • The Battle at Chancellorsville

    The Battle at Chancellorsville
    The South won decisively, and were half the size of the Unions army at that time. He had his forces split up and attack the Northern forces. The Union army fell back into a defensive position, and Lee took advantage splitting his forces in half again which made the Union troops retreat. Something bad that happened to the South was when Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson was mortally wounded by friendly fire.
    Significance: Considered to be Gen. Robert Lee's best victory
  • The Battle of Gettysburg

    The Battle of Gettysburg
    Considered to be the turnpoint of the war, with the most casualties ever in Civil War history. The Union army defeated attacks by the Southern army.
    Significance: It was the turnpoint of the war, and ended the Confederate army's invasion of the North.
  • The Siege of Vicksburg

    The Siege of Vicksburg
    Lasted for a long time. Confederate forces were trying to defend themselves when the Union surrounded them which resulted in the south surrendering, and Union getting the Mississippi River splitting the Confederacy in half.
    Significance: Another great win for the North and considered to be the turnpoint of the war. It also split the Confederacy in half.
  • Gettysburg Address

    Gettysburg Address
    A speech by Abraham Lincoln 4 months after the Battle of Gettysburg dedicated to the soldiers.
    Significance: It is one of the most well-known speeches in American History, and although it is well-known, the exact words are still disputed.
  • The Battle of Chattanooga

    The Battle of Chattanooga
    Union forces drove the South forces led by Bragg out of Tennessee which eliminated Confederate control of Tennessee.
    Significance: It opened the door to an invasion of the deep south for the Union army and it would eventually lead to Sherman's Atlanta Campaign.
  • Grant Takes Over Union Army

    Grant Takes Over Union Army
    After having great success in the West, Ulysses Grant was given the role of commanding the Eastern army. With his aggressive methods, he restructured the Union army for the push to Virginia.
    Significance: Once Grant was General, the Union used its dominant numbers to surround and attack the Confederacy. He changed a lot of things including the generals in command, but it benifitted the army in the end.
  • The Battle of Atlanta

    The Battle of Atlanta
    Wanting to sieze the important rail and supply center of Atlanta, Union troops overwhelmed and defeated Confederate forces.
    Significance: After this battle Sherman would take is men on a March at Sea towards Savannah, which was a very risky feat.
  • Abraham Re-elected as President

    Abraham Re-elected as President
    Abraham Lincoln rain for a second term as President against George McClellan, his former top general, who ran as a peace candidate. Lincoln won by a lot.
    Significance: This was the first time since 1832 that a President was re-elected however Lincoln's term wouldn't last long...
  • Sherman Begins March to Sea

    Sherman Begins March to Sea
    It started with Union Forces led by Gen. Sherman leaving Atlanta Georgia, the city they captured, and heading North towards Ulysses Grant.
    Significance: It was very risky because there were no ways of communication or supplies. They are also driving the Southern army North where they will later trap them.
  • The Fall of Savannah

    The Fall of Savannah
    As Sherman and his crew marched along the sea, they came to where they wanted to, Savannah. With Confederate troops already waiting for them. Sherman got gunboats on the coast and mouths of rivers causing The Confederates to withdraw across the Savannah River.
    Significance: On Christmas, Shermon was able to notify Lincoln that they had Savannah and were doing very well.
  • The 13th Amendment

    The 13th Amendment
    The 13th Amendment abolishes slavery, and makes it so people don't have to serve you or work for you unless they want to.

    Significance: The Senate passed it but the House did not. Lincoln made sure that it would be passed and it eventually was. It, along with the 14th and 15th Amendments, expanded the Civil Rights of Americans. Slaves officially had to be free.
  • Occupy Richmond

    Occupy Richmond
    With Richmond being the Confederate capital, the Union army has been trying to target it. Finally they came up successful.
    Significance: Richmond is the main place for the Confederate army which was a big loss when the Union took it.
  • Robert Lee Surrenders

    Robert Lee Surrenders
    After a long, terrible war with many casualties or deaths, Lee surrenders to Grant at Appommatox Court House. People urged him to try the guerilla warfare to keep the Southern belief alive, but he refused.
    Significance: Even though Lee lost, he helped the United States join North and South together again, and was greatly adored by not only the South, but the North as well. After this, the slaves would be free, and the war over.
  • Lincoln Shot

    Lincoln Shot
    John Wilkes Booth and other conspirators devised a master plan to assassinate Lincoln, his vice president Johnson, and the Secretary of State Seward. Only the plan to kill Lincoln worked, the other two did not.
    Significance: This plan was to stimulate the Confederates cause and get them to start fighting but it didn't work and he got caught and killed by a Union soldier.