Civil War Timeline

  • Abraham Elected President

    The election of Abraham Lincoln worried many southerners. They thought that he would try to outlaw slavery, whereas he just wanted to stop the spread of it. This caused the secession of Southern states from the Union.
  • The Confederate States of America is Formed

    The Confederate States of America consisted of Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas when they seceded from the Union. Jefferson Davis was elected president. Questions like who owned the federal property in the Confederate States of America arose when they seceded.
  • Attack on Fort Sumter

    Attack on Fort Sumter
    The attack on Fort Sumter marked the beginning of the Civil War. The attack showed that maintaining peace wasn't possible anymore. Even though there weren't many casualties or violent impact, It sparked many feelings in Americans, such as the Northerners being outraged.
  • First Battle of Bull Run

    First Battle of Bull Run
    The First Battle of Bull Run, or First Manassas if you were from the south, was fought in Manassas, Virginia between McDowell's Union and Beuregard's Confederacy. The Confederates won. This was one of the first major battles of the Civil War and made the war real to many United States citizens.
  • Battle of Pea Ridge

    The Battle of Pea Ridge took place in Pea Ridge, Arkansas between the Samuel Curtis's Union army and Earl Van Dorn's Confederate army. The Union army learned of Van Dorn's plan leading to the killing of two Confederate generals, the capture of a Confederate colonel, a Union victory, and Union control over Missouri.
  • Battle of Shiloh

    Battle of Shiloh
    The Batttle of Shiloh took place in Shiloh, Tennessee where the Grant led Union battled the Beuregard led Confederacy. The Union won even though more Union men died then Confederate men, and they were unprepaired although they did receive reinforcements. This battle made people realize that it would be a bloody war with this battle's 23,746 deaths.
  • Union Captures New Orleans

    David Farragut moved his fleet of 13 ships past all of the forts in New Orleans and captured the Confederacy's most vital port. This led to Farragut continuing on and capturing parts of lower Mississippi.
  • Seven Days' Battles

    Seven Days' Battles
    The Seven Days' Battles took place between June 26, 1862 and July 1, 1862 in Virginia between McClellan and Lee. McClellan won on the first day but withdrew. The Confederacy lost overwhelmingly at Malvern Hill, but the Confederacy ultimately won and Richmond was saved. This showed how equal the two forces were.
  • Second Battle of Bull Run

    Second Battle of Bull Run
    The Second Battle of Bull Run took place between August 28, 1862 and August 30, 1862 between the Union forces led by John Pope, and the Confederate forces led by Robert Lee. This battle was the most important victory for the Confederates in Virginia.
  • Battle of Antietam

    Battle of Antietam
    The Battle of Antietam was fought at Sharpsburg, Maryland betweent the Union army led by George McClellan, and the Confederate army led by Robert Lee. The Union won the battle, which led to Abraham Lincoln issuing the Emancipation Proclamation. He was waiting for a Union victory to issue it.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    The Emancipation Proclamation was declared by Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862 and went into effect on January 1, 1863. It freed all Confederate slaves, but not the slaves in the states that didn't secede. Lincoln risked his reputation and possible his re-election opportunity with this.
  • Battle of Fredericksburg

    The Battle at Fredericksburg, Virginia was between Ambrose Burnside's Union and Robert Lee's Confederacy. This was General Burnside's failed attempt to take control of Falmouth near Fredericksburg.
  • Battle of Chancellorsville

    Battle of Chancellorsville
    The Battle of Chancellorsville took place in Chancellorsville, Virginia. General "Stonewall" Jackson died at the same time as this battle took place. This is also considered General Robert Lee's greatest victory.
  • Siege of Vicksburg

    Siege of Vicksburg
    The Siege of Vicksburg took place between May 18, 1863 and July 4, 1863. The Union army cut off the city leading to severe hunger in the town. The Confederate loss of this important stronghold in Mississippi led to the Confederacy being practically split.
  • West Virginia Becomes a State

    On June 20, 1863, West Virginia officially broke away from the Confederate state of Virginia. This was caused by the western part of Virginia being against secession.
  • Battle of Gettysburg

    Battle of Gettysburg
    The Battle of Gettysburg took place in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and was fought between Meade's Union army and Lee's Confederate army. This battle could've ended the Civil War if the Confederacy would've won.
  • Gettysburg Address

    Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863. He stressed that many people should consider the lives lost in the war. This speech "redifined the Civil War."
  • Battle of Spotsylvania

    The Battle of Spotsylvania was another Lee and Grant showdown, which took place at the Spotsylvania Court House. This battle resulted in vast Union casualties to very few Confederate casualties. Grant continued south and viewed the casualties optimisticly and saying that the Confederacy couldn't replace their dead soldiers.
  • Battle of Cold Harbor

    Battle of Cold Harbor
    The Battle of Cold Harbor was fought at Cold Harbor in Virginia. The Union army was led by Ulysses Grant, and Robert Lee for the Confederates. The Union army was looking to threaten Petersburg, but ultimately lost.
  • Surrender at Appomattox Court House

    Surrender at Appomattox Court House
    The Surrender at Appomattox Court House in Virginia was the last major battle of the Civil War. General Lee surrendered to General Grant ending the Civil War.