Civil War Timeline

Timeline created by Anthony_Cusimano
In History
  • Underground Railroad

    The "railroad" was started by free blacks and white abolitionists, and allowed slaves to hide in a secret network to get to the North. Thousands of slaves were able to escape.
  • Missouri Compromise

    A series of agreements led by Henry Clay making Maine a free state and Missouri a slave state. The President at the time was James Monroe. Goal: ease tension between north/south
  • San Felipe de Austin

    It was the first colony in Texas founded by Stephen F. Austin. His father received a grant from spain to found a colony, but died. Stephen then created the colony in 1821, and soon 20,000 settlers were in Texas.
  • Mexico abolishes slavery

    Mexico insisted that Texans free their slaves, but Texas, a slave state, did not agree. This caused conflict in the southern US.
  • The Liberator

    A radical, white abolitionist named William Lloyd Garrison established his own paper, the Liberator, to proclaim his demand for reform and abolition.
  • Nat Turner's Rebellion

    A slave from Virginia, Nat Turner, led a rebellion with over 50 people, attacking 4 plantations and killing 60 whites. They were later captured and executed.
  • Stephen F. Austin goes to jail

    Stephen F. Austin presented petitions to Mexico advocating for more self-governing in Texas. However, he was arrested for inciting revolution.
  • Texas Revolution

    Mexico suspended local powers in Texas, and Stephen F. Austin saw war as the only way. Texans revolted, and one of the battles was The Alamo, which was a fort and mission.
  • Oregon Trail

    2 Methodist Missionaries traveled along this trail from Missouri to Oregon proving that it was possible to travel this far of a distance by wagon. The journey took multiple months to complete.
  • Manifest Destiny

    Americans believed that the growth of the US to the Pacific Ocean was inevitable and predestined by God. It was a major motive in further expansion.
  • The North Star

    Frederick Douglass, who escaped from slavery, wrote his own antislavery newspaper called the North Star. He advocated for abolition with hopes of having no violence.
  • Texas enters the US

    After the Mexican American War, Texas was annexed by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. It became a slave state.
  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

    The US won the Mexican American War, and Mexico agreed to the Rio Grande being the new border, and the US bought states such as California from Mexico
  • Harriet Tubman

    She was a former slave who became one of the most well-known "conductors" on the underground railroad. She made 19 trips back to the South and saved over 300 people.
  • Compromise of 1850

    As slavery conflicts worsened and the South threatened to secede from the nation, Henry Clay created a compromise to please North and South. North: California would be a free state. South: improved fugitive slave act. Popular sovereignty was placed in Utah and New Mexico.
  • Fugitive Slave Act

    This allowed slave owners to search in free states for their escaped slaves, and bring them back. Captured blacks did not get trial by jury, and people who helped them escaped were fined $1000. Northerners either didn't well enforce it, or tried to go against it.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Harriet Beecher Stowe published Uncle Tom's Cabin stressing that slavery was a moral struggle. The book displayed her anger towards slavery and stirred up abolitionists to protest. Southerners saw it as an attack.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    It split Kansas into Nebraska in the north and Kansas in the south, and established popular sovereignty in both regions. The whole area, however, was in the northern area, so there was conflict over whether it should be free.
  • Dred Scott v. Sandford

    Dred Scott was a slave whose owner took him to the North and back. He sued, saying that he should be considered free, but the court voted against him saying that he could never be a citizen.
  • Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas Debates

    Lincoln challenged Douglas to a series of debates regarding the issue of slavery. They agreed on abolition, but Douglas believed in popular sovereignty, and Lincoln did not want slavery at all.
  • John Brown's raid/Harpers Ferry

    Abolitionist John Brown obtained financial backing from Northern abolitionists and led a band of 21 men (both black and white) into Harpers Ferry, Virginia to seize the federal arsenal. John Brown was later killed.
  • Abraham Lincoln becomes president

    Lincoln had moderate views, and tried to please both the North and South. Although he got less than half of the votes, the US was so divided that he was able to win.
  • Formation of the Confederacy

    Southern states believed they lost their political voice, so they formed their own union. It was made up of South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. Mississippi senator Jefferson Davis became their president.
  • Attack on Fort Sumter

    The confederacy began seizing federal forts, and by Lincoln's election, there were only 4 forts not seized. The south's attack on the most important fort, Fort Sumter began the Civil War.
  • Battle of Bull Run

    The first bloodshed occured in the small creek, Bull Run, 25 miles from Washington D.C. After going back and forth, the Southerners won. This resulted in Lincoln setting up enlistments and appointing General George McClellan to lead Union troops.
  • Income Tax

    The war boosted Northern economy by supporting manufacturing for supplies needed in wartime. However, wages and standards of living declined. Congress used income tax to help pay for the war by taking a percentage from peoples' wages.
  • Battle at Antietam

    Confederate General Lee made plans to advance into Maryland, but a Union soldier found his plans in a cigar. General McClellan pursued Lee and fought on the creek called the Antietam. This was the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with over 26,000 deaths. McClellan didn't finish off the Confederate army, however, and was removed from command.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Lincoln used his power as commander in chief to seize Southern supplies, and more importantly, slaves. Lincoln proclaimed that all slaves were now free. This gave moral support to soldiers, and they saw that there was so compromise anymore.
  • Conscription

    Because the war was getting more tense over time, conscription was imposed which allowed for soldiers to be drafted into the army. This caused riots in the north.
  • Battle at Gettysburg

    The most decisive battle of the war was fought in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Southern soldiers collided with Union soldiers, and a battle erupted. The fight went on for 3 days and caused 23,000 Union and 28,000 Confederate deaths or injuries. However, the Union took the win.
  • Gettysburg Address

    Lincoln spoke at the dedicated cemetery at Gettysburg, and helped unify the nation. His speech made people desire one connected nation over a collection of separate states.
  • Battle at Vicksburg

    Union General Ulysses S. Grant fought to take Vicksburg, a Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River. Grant made multiple attempts, but finally succeeded eventually. The Union troops blocked in Vicksburg, and the city's residents ran out of supplies. The Confederate army surrendered.
  • Sherman's March

    Ulysses S. Grant chose William Tecumseh Sherman as commander of the Mississippi military division. Sherman led troops through Georgia in a path of destruction waging total war. They burned every house, business, and railroad with a goal of making the South "sick of war". The march had a decimating effect on the South.
  • Surrender at Appomattox Court House

    Union troops captured Richmond, the Confederate capital. Lee and Grant then met in a town called Appomattox Court House to discuss surrender. Grant paroled Confederate soldiers and sent them home with their possessions as well as 3 days of rations. With generous terms, the South surrendered and the war was over.
  • Thirteenth Amendment

    This amendment abolished slavery in all states, and was created because the Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves behind Confederate lines.
  • Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

    Five days after Lee surrendered, Lincoln went to Ford's theatre with his wife, but was shot dead by John Wilkes Booth, who was later found and killed. Booth was a southern sympathizer. This was the first presidential assassination and emotionally affected the north.
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    Abolition

    It was a series of reforms in a movement to abolish slavery. It was inspired by the Second Great Awakening where religious beliefs inspired social change.
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    Santa Fe Trail

    A 780 mile route from Missouri to New Mexico where traders every spring would travel across with wagons filled with goods.
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    Mexican-American War

    After the battle of the Alamo, Americans fought Mexico to annex Texas and conquer land in westward expansion. The US won, and bought the Mexican cession by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.