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Civil War Timeline

By vlab
  • Surrender of Fort Sumter

    Surrender of Fort Sumter
    After South Carolina seceded from the Union, the "country" had been in a kind of standoff. The Confederates eventually attacked, firing on the Union's Fort Sumter. The fort subsequently became heavily crippled, and was forced to surrender despite the only casualty being a Confederate horse. With this battle, the Civil War had officially begun.
  • First Battle of Bull Run

    First Battle of Bull Run
    This was the first major land battle of the Civil War. Union troops attacked Confederate troops at Manassas, by the river Bull Run. Eventually the Union was forced to retreat back to their capital; this gave the South confidence and the North dread, as they realized the potential the war had to be a long and bloody one.
  • Battle of Antietam

    Battle of Antietam
    This was the first battle fought on northern soil, headed by Lee and McClellan. The Union was able to defend their home turf against the Confederates, though McClellan didn't do the damage he could have. Abraham Lincoln was finally able to issue the Emancipation Proclamation after this Union victory (though the battle's result was technically inconclusive). It was and still is the bloodiest day in American history (22,000 casualties).
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    By this point, Lincoln had perceived abolition as the right thing to do, both moral-wise and military-wise. With the Union victory at Antietam, he was able to issue the document that declared all slaves in the rebellious states free (in this way, he wouldn't upset the support from the border states). It didn't actually free any slaves, but it changed the feel of the war.
  • Battle of Chancellorsville

    Battle of Chancellorsville
    In this battle, Lee was facing Hooker, whose troops far outnumbered his own. Due to his superior strategy, however, the battle resulted in a Confederate victory.
  • Period: to

    Battle of Chancellorsville

  • Stonewall Jackson is killed

    Stonewall Jackson is killed
    After the Confederate victory at the Chancellorsville, Jackson patrolled the territory - he was shot, however, by his own side's weapons unintentionally, and died from pneumonia from his wounds.
  • Lee is defeated at Gettysburg

    Lee is defeated at Gettysburg
    This was Lee's second Northern invasion. On the third and final day of the battle, Lee tried to break Union lines - he failed miserably, however, and was forced to retreat back to Virginia. This was a big victory for the Union.
  • Grant captures Vicksburg

    Grant captures Vicksburg
    Grant had been winning battles along the Mississippi River all this time with the hopes of cutting on the east Southern states from the west's food supplies. After finally winning Vicksburg from siege, the last remaining Confederate stronghold on the MI River surrendered, and the Union gained entire control of the river. After this victory, Lincoln named Grant commander of the Army of the Potomac.
  • Gettysburg Address

    Gettysburg Address
    Delivered at the dedication ceremony for the National Cemetery of Gettysburg, Lincoln's concise speech blew away featured speaker Edward Everett's two-hour speech. Through powerful repitition, Lincoln inspired the country through Declaration of Independence references and ensuring the preservation of the Union.
  • Sherman burns Atlanta

    Sherman burns Atlanta
    Sherman was plowing his way from Atlanta to Savannah by scorching everything in his path ("March to the Sea"). By destroying Atlanta, Sherman destroyed not only a major economic hub for the South, but also the hope for many of the Confederates.
  • Richmond is captured

    Richmond is captured
    Grant had been trying to capture the great Confederate capital of Richmond for a while, and finally he was able to defeat Lee. While the South was devastated, the North celebrated.
  • Surrender at Appomattox

    Surrender at Appomattox
    Lee had finally surrendered to Grant, and the two planned to meet up in the Appomattox Court House in Virginia to discuss terms. While Lee arrived in proper dress and attire, Grant showed up in a sloppy state. "The Gentlemen's Agreement" consisted of support for the Southern troops, who were to give up their weapons, as they once again became citizens of the United States.
  • Lincoln is assassinated

    Lincoln is assassinated
    John Wilkes Booth, a famous actor, concocted a Confederate plot that involved killing all major Union leaders within the same hour. While Lincoln was enjoying a play at Ford's Theatre, Booth slithered his way in and acted at the precise moment, shooting Lincoln in the head and leaping to the ground on the run, proclaiming "Sic semper tyrannis (ever thus to tyrants), the South is avenged!" Eventually he would be caught and killed, though Lincoln would die the next morning at the Peterson House.
  • Andersonville Prison is liberated

    Andersonville Prison is liberated
    The Confederacy created this prison when the Union POWs became too great. Slaves were used to construct the walls. When prisoner exchanges were suspended, the prison's capacity far exceeded its limit. Conditions were soon out of control, and many prisoners died. After the camp was finally liberated at the end of the war, the prison's superintendent, Henry Wirz, was tried, convicted, and executed for war crimes (the only person to be so during the Civil War).