Civil War Timeline

  • Abolition

    Abolition, the movement to abolish slavery, became the most important of a series of reform movements in America.
  • Missouri Compromise

    Missouri Compromise
    Behind the leadership of Henry Clay, Congress passed a series of agreements in 1820–1821 known as the Missouri Compromise. Under these agreements, Maine was admitted as a free state and Missouri as a slave state. The rest of the Louisiana Territory was split into two parts. The dividing line was set at 36°30´north latitude. South of the line, slavery was legal. North of the line—except in Missouri—slavery was banned. President James Monroe
  • Harriet Tubman

    Harriet Tubman
    One of the most famous conductors was Harriet Tubman,
    born a slave in Maryland in 1820/1821. In 1849, after Tubman’s
    owner died, she heard rumors that she was to be sold. Fearing
    this, Tubman made a break for freedom and succeeded in reaching Philadelphia. Shortly after passage of the Fugitive Slave Act, Tubman resolved to become a conductor on the Underground Railroad. In all, she made 19 trips back to the South and is said to have helped 300 slaves—including her own parents—flee to freedom.
  • Santa Fe Trail

    Santa Fe Trail
    One of the busiest routes was the Santa Fe Trail, stretched 780 miles from Independence, Missouri, to Santa Fe in the Mexican province of New Mexico. Each spring from 1821 through 1860s,
    American traders loaded their covered wagons with goods
    and set off to Santa Fe. For about first 150 miles, traders traveled individually. After, fearing attacks by Native Americans, traders banded into organized groups of up to 100 wagons.
    Cooperation, though, came to an abrupt end when Santa Fe came into view
  • San Felipe de Austin

    San Felipe de Austin
    Austin’s father, Moses Austin, received land grant from Spain to establish colony between Brazos and Colorado rivers but died before completing. Stephen obtained permission from Spain and Mexico to carry out his father’s project.The main settlement of colony is San Felipe de Austin.In 1821 he established a colony where “no drunkard, no gambler, no profane swearer, and no idler” would be allowed.
  • Mexico Abolishes Slavery

    Mexico Abolishes Slavery
    The Protestant Anglo settlers spoke English instead of Spanish. Furthermore, many of the settlers were Southerners, who had brought slaves with them to Texas. Mexico, which had abolished slavery in 1829, insisted in vain that the Texans free their slaves.
  • The Liberator

    The Liberator
    William Lloyd Garrison became the editor of an antislavery paper in 1828. Three years later he established his own paper, The Liberator, to deliver an uncompromising demand: immediate emancipation.
  • Nat Turner's Rebellion

    Nat Turner's Rebellion
    Some slaves rebelled against their condition of bondage. One of the most prominent rebellions was led by Virginia slave Nat Turner. In August 1831, Turner and more than 50 followers attacked four
    plantations and killed about 60 whites. Whites eventually captured and executed many members of the group, including Turner.
  • Stephen F. Austin Goes to Jail

    Stephen F. Austin Goes to Jail
    Austin had traveled to Mexico City late in 1833 to present petitions to Mexican president Antonio López de Santa Anna for greater self-government for Texas. While Austin was on his way home, Santa Anna had Austin imprisoned for inciting revolution. Told people of Texas to form own state.
  • Oregon Trail

    Oregon Trail
    The Oregon Trail stretched from Independence,Missouri, to Oregon City, Oregon. It was blazed in 1836 by two Methodist missionaries named Marcus and Narcissa Whitman. By driving their wagon as far as Fort Boise (near present-day Boise, Idaho), they proved that wagons could travel on the Oregon Trail. Following the Whitmans’ lead, many pioneers migrated west on the Oregon Trail.
  • Texas Revolution

    Texas Revolution
    The 1836 rebellion in which Texas gained its independence from Mexico.
  • Manifest Destiny

    Manifest Destiny
    Many Americans began to believe that their movement westward was predestined by God. Expressed the belief that the United States was ordained to expand to the Pacific Ocean and into Mexican and Native American territory. Many Americans also believed that this destiny was manifest, or obvious and inevitable.
  • Texas Enters the United States

    Texas Enters the United States
    The Treaty of Velasco, which granted independence to Texas. Most Texans hoped that the United States would annex their republic, but U.S. opinion divided along sectional lines.Southerners wanted Texas in order to extend slavery, which already had been established there. Northerners feared that the annexation of more slave territory would tip the uneasy balance in the Senate in favor of slave states and prompt war with Mexico.On December 29, 1845,Texas entered the Union.
  • Mexican-American War

    Mexican-American War
    Mexican-American War between the United States and Mexico (April 1846–February 1848) stemming from the United States’ annexation of Texas in 1845 and from a dispute over whether Texas ended at the Nueces River (Mexican claim) or the Rio Grande (U.S. claim).
  • The North Star

    The North Star
    Frederick Douglass began his own antislavery newspaper. He named it The North Star, after the star that guided runaway slaves to freedom.
  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

    Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
    After about a year of fighting, Mexico conceded defeat. On February 2,1848, the United States and Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.Mexico agreed to the Rio Grande as the border between Texas and Mexico and ceded the New Mexico and California territories to the United States. The United States agreed to pay $15 million for the Mexican cession, which included present day California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, most of Arizona, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming.
  • Compromise of 1850

    Compromise of 1850
    Clay’s compromise contained provisions to appease Northerners and Southerners. To please North, the compromise provided California be admitted to the Union as a free state. To please South, the compromise proposed a new and more effective fugitive slave law. a provision allowed popular sovereignty, the right to vote for or against slavery, for residents of the New Mexico and Utah territories. in September the Compromise of 1850 became law. the crisis over slavery in the territories had passed.
  • Fugitive Slave Act

    Fugitive Slave Act
    Under the law, alleged fugitive slaves were not entitled to a trial by jury. In addition, anyone convicted of helping a fugitive was liable for a fine of $1,000 and imprisonment for up to six months.
  • Underground Railroad

    Underground Railroad
    free African Americans and white abolitionists developed a secret network of people who hid fugitive slaves. “Conductors” on the routes hid fugitives in secret tunnels and false cupboards, provided them with food and clothing, and escorted them to the next “station.” Once fugitives reached North, many remain there. Others journeyed to Canada to be completely out of reach of their “owners.” Shortly after Fugitive Slave Act, Tubman became conductor on the Underground Railroad.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin
    Harriet Beecher Stowe published her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which stressed that slavery was not just a political contest, but also a great moral struggle. Uncle Tom’s Cabin expressed her lifetime hatred of slavery.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    Kansas-Nebraska Act
    Senator Stephen Douglas introduced a bill in Congress on January 23, 1854, that would divide the area into two territories: Nebraska in the north and Kansas in the south. If passed, the bill would repeal the Missouri Compromise and establish popular sovereignty for both territories.
  • Dred Scott v. Sanford

    Dred Scott v. Sanford
    Dred Scott slave whose owner took him from the slave state to free territory. Scott appealed to Supreme Court for freedom on grounds that living in free state and free territory made him free. March 6, 1857, Supreme Court ruled against. He lacked legal standing to sue in federal court because he wasn't a citizen. Court ruled being in free territory didn't make slave free. Fifth Amendment protected property, including slaves. For territories to exclude slavery = to deprive slaveholders property.
  • Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas Debates

    Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas Debates
    Lincoln vs Douglas debates on slavery in territories for US Senate. Neither want slavery, disagreed on solutions. Douglas popular sovereignty. Lincoln slavery immoral not expect individuals give up slavery Congress abolished. Lincoln ask settlers of territory vote to exclude slavery before territory became state? Dred Scott decision no territories exclude slavery. Popular sovereignty. Douglas FreeSoilers they elect reps who not enforce slave property laws.Douglas won Senate seat
  • John Brown's Raid/ Harpers Ferry

    John Brown's Raid/ Harpers Ferry
    abolitionist John Brown believed time uprisings in US. Brown got financial backing from Northern abolitionists. night October 16 1859 led band 21 men into Harpers Ferry, Virginia. aim to seize federal arsenal and start general slave uprising. troops stop rebellion. authorities executed him. Public reaction was immediate in country. North bells tolled guns fired salutes huge crowds gathered to hear speakers denounce South. South mobs assaulted whites who suspected of holding antislavery views.
  • Abraham Lincoln Becomes President

    Abraham Lincoln Becomes President
    pledged to halt further spread of slavery reassure Southerners that Republican administration would not “interfere with their slaves, or with them, about their slaves.” The Democratic Party split over slavery. Northern Democrats doctrine of popular sovereignty. Southern Democrats supported the Dred Scott decision. Former Know-Nothings and Whigs from the South organized the Constitutional Union Party. Lincoln winner with less than half the popular vote and with no electoral votes from South.
  • Conscription

    As the fighting intensified, heavy casualties and widespread desertions led each side to impose conscription, a draft that forced men to serve in the army. In the North, conscription led to draft riots, the most violent of which took place in New York City.
  • Income Tax

    Income Tax
    As the Northern economy grew, Congress decided to help pay for the war by collecting the nation’s first income tax, a tax that takes a specified percentage of an individual’s income.
  • Attack on Fort Sumter

    Attack on Fort Sumter
    April 18, 1861, Major Robert Anderson traveling by ship from Charleston, SC, to NYC. Anderson wrote report describe recent command. Confederacy was formed soldiers secessionist state began seize fed installations. By Lincoln’s inauguration March 4, 1861, four Southern forts remained Union. The most important Fort Sumter, on island in Charleston harbor. Lincoln decided not abandon or reinforce Fort Sumter. would send in “food for hungry men.” At 4:30 A.M. April 12, Confederate batteries attack
  • Formation of the Confederacy

    Formation of the Confederacy
    Lincoln’s victory convinced Southerners lost political voice in national gov. South Carolina seceded from Union December 20, 1860. Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana,Texas. February 1861, delegates from secessionist states met Montgomery, Alabama, where formed Confederate States of America/ Confederacy. made constitution like US difference was it “protected and recognized” slavery new territories. Confederates elected past senator Jefferson Davis Mississippi as pres
  • Battle of Bull Run

    Battle of Bull Run
    The first bloodshed on the battlefield occurred near the little creek of Bull Run, 25 miles from Washington, D.C. morning Union army gained the upper hand, but Confederates held firm, inspired by General Thomas J. Jackson. In the afternoon Confederate reinforcements helped win first Southern victory. Fortunately for Union, Confederates too exhausted to follow up victory with attack on Washington.
  • Battle of Antietam

    Battle of Antietam
    McClellan ordered men to pursue Lee, and the two sides fought on September 17 near a creek called the Antietam. The clash proved to be the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with casualties
    totaling more than 26,000. The next day, instead of pursuing the battered Confederate army into Virginia and possibly ending the war, McClellan did nothing. As a result, Lincoln removed him from command. Union won
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    Lincoln decided just as he could order the Union army to take Confederate supplies, he could authorize army to emancipate slaves. January 1, 1863, Lincoln issued Emancipation Proclamation.The proclamation did not free slaves immediately because it applied only areas behind Confederate lines, outside Union control. Nevertheless, for many, the proclamation gave the war a moral purpose by turning the struggle into a fight to free the slaves. It also ensured that compromise was no longer possible.
  • Gettysburg Address

    Gettysburg Address
    In November 1863, a ceremony was held to dedicate a cemetery in Gettysburg. There, President Lincoln spoke for a little more than two minutes. According to some contemporary historians, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address “remade America.” Before Lincoln’s speech, people said, “The United States are . . .” Afterward, they said, “The United States is . . .” In other words, the speech helped the country to realize that it was not just a collection of individual states; it was one unified nation.
  • Battle at Vicksburg

    Battle at Vicksburg
    Union general Ulysses S. Grant fought take Vicksburg, one of the two Confederate strongholds on Mississippi River. Vicksburg guns could control all water traffic. May 1863, set up a steady barrage of artillery, shelling the city from both the river and the land for several hours a day, forcing the city’s residents into caves that they dug out of the yellow clay hillsides. Confederate command of Vicksburg asked Grant for terms of surrender. The city fell July 4. Confederacy was cut in two.
  • Battle at Gettysburg

    Battle at Gettysburg
    Near town of Gettysburg, in southern PA, most decisive battle of war fought. Battle of Gettysburg began July 1 when Confederate soldiers led by A. P. Hill encountered several brigades of Union cavalry under command of John Buford. shooting attracted more troops and both sides called reinforcements. The Confederates attacked Union lines. Believing they silenced Union guns, Confederates charged. Northern artillery renewed barrage and infantry fired on rebels. After battle, Lee gave up. North won.
  • Sherman's March

    Sherman's March
    William Sherman commander of military division Mississippi. Grant’s strategy decimate Lee’s army in Virginia while Sherman raided Georgia.1864, Sherman march southeast through Georgia to sea. army burned almost every house in path destroyed livestock railroads. Sherman determined to make Southerners “so sick of war that generations would pass away before they would again appeal to it.” By mid-November he had burned most of Atlanta. After reaching ocean, Sherman’s forces help Grant “wipe out Lee.
  • Surrender at Appomattox Court House

    Surrender at Appomattox Court House
    April 3, 1865, Union troops conquered Richmond Confederate capital. Southerners abandoned city the day before, setting it afire to keep Northerners from taking it. April 9, 1865, in Virginia town Appomattox Court House, Lee and Grant met at private home to arrange Confederate surrender. Grant paroled Lee’s soldiers and sent them home with their possessions and three days’ worth of rations. Officers were permitted to keep side arms. Confederate resistance collapsed. 4 yrs The Civil War was over.
  • Thirteenth Amendment

    Thirteenth Amendment
    After some political maneuvering, the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified at the end of 1865. The U.S. Constitution now stated, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.”
  • Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

    Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
    On April 14, 1865, five days after Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, Lincoln and his wife went to Ford’s Theatre in Washington to see a British comedy, Our American Cousin. Lincoln, who never regained consciousness, died on April 15. After the shooting, the assassin, John Wilkes Booth—a 26-year-old actor and Southern sympathizer.