Civil War Timeline

  • Compromise of 1850

    5 separate bills put in place to settle a four-year confrontation between southern slave states and the northern free states which was regarding the territories that the US acquired during the Mexican-American War.
  • The Kansas Nebraska Act

    Act that let citizens in Kansas and Nebraska to decide whether or not they would be a slave state or a free state.
  • Dredd Scott Decision

    Dredd Scott went to trial to sue for his freedom, and ultimately the court decided that all people of African decent could not be US citizens and therefore could not sue.
  • Bleeding Kansas

    Period of time (1854-1858) when the Kansas territory was the site of bloody battles fighting over whether or not Kansas should be a free or slave state.
  • Lincoln - Douglas Debates

    Series of seven debates between Abrham Lincoln (R) and Stephen Douglas (D) attempting to win control of Illinois legislature. Both were running for Senate. Slavery was discussed in all seven debates.
  • Lincoln's Election

    Lincoln was elected president in 1860 for the Republican party. He had an anti-slavery expansion platform. He would not yield federal property within the Southern states.
  • Fort Sumter

    The surrender of Fort Sumter started the American Civil War.
  • Bull Run

    First major battle on land of the armies in Virginia.
  • Harpers Ferry

    John Brown led an uprising in Virginia with 18 men. Local forces attacked back and eventually Robert E. Lee came and captured Brown. Brown was hung for treason in December.
  • Antietam

    George McClellan led an army against Robert E. Lee's forces. The bloodiest single day in American military history ended in a draw, but eventuallt the Confederate retreat gave Abraham Lincoln the victory he desired before issuing the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Freed the slaves that were in the southern slave states, but did not free the (smaller number of) slaves that were in the Union states of the north.
  • Gettysburg and Gettysburg Address

    Robert E. Lee's Confederate army fought against General George G. Meade's Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg. There were more than 50,000 total casualties.
  • Andersonville Prison

    Andersonville Prison was built as a place to hold Union soldier during the fourteen months that it was in use. There were more than 45,000 Union soldiers that were held there. Around 13,000 were killed of disease, malnutrition, overcorwding, etc.
  • Surrender at Appomattox Court House

    Union soldiers surrounded Confederates while on their way to food supplies, and eventually Robert E. Lee surrendered his troops to General Grant.
  • Assasination of Abraham Lincoln

    Lincoln was assasinated by John Wilkes Booth in April of 1865, five days after the end of the American Civil War.
  • Reconstruction

    After the freeing of 4 million slaves, America began a period of reconstruction. But rebuilding the south after the war was proven to be difficult. Under the administration of President Andrew Johnson, new southern state legislatures passed restrictive “black codes” to control the labor of former slaves. Outrage in the North over these codes eroded support for the approach known as Presidential Reconstruction and led to the triumph of the radical republican party.