Civil War Timeline

  • The Missouri Compromise

    The Missouri Compromise
    The Missouri Compromise was a compromise that stopped attempts to ban slavery’s growth over the country by admitting Missouri as a slave state in exchange for a law that made it illegal to own slaves above of 36°30′ (a certain point and above). The 16th United States Congress passed the compromise on March 3, 1820, and James Monroe (the 5th U.S president), signed it on March 6, 1820.
  • Nat Turner's Rebellion

    Nat Turner's Rebellion
    Nat Turner’s Rebellion was a rebellion led by a group of slaves that occurred in Southampton County, Virginia. On August 21, 1831, Nat Turner and the other rebels killed about 55-65 people. The rebellion was ended by slave owners on August 23 (at Belmont Plantation), but Turner survived for more than two months after it ended. On the morning of August 23, 1831, Nat Turner was eventually found and hanged on November 11 in Jerusalem, Virginia.
  • Wilmot Proviso

    Wilmot Proviso
    The Wilmot Proviso was an unsuccessful proposal in the United States Congress to ban slavery in territory from Mexico in the Mexican–American War. The Wilmot Proviso was one of the major conflicts leading to the Civil War. Congressman David Wilmot came up with the idea and it was first presented to the House of Representatives. His proviso passed the house twice but failed in the senate, resulting in his proposal to never take effect.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin
    Uncle Tom’s Cabin is an anti-slavery novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe. The novel was published in 1852 and had a huge effect on how everyone else viewed slavery in the U.S. The novel features Uncle Tom, a black slave who has been suffering for a very long time & throughout the story the other characters develop around him. It was the #1 selling novel of the 17th century and shows what slavery was really like. It really affected some people as it resulted to lots of people helping the union.
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    Bleeding Kansas

    Bleeding Kansas was a series of violent civil fights in Kansas Territory spanning from 1854-1859. The legality of slavery in Kansas is what sparked these series of violent events. The "Border ruffians" who were for slavery and "Free-Staters" who were against slavery were mainly the ones carrying out conflicts that went from assaults, murders, and raids in the Kansas and Missouri territory. This was significant as it caused even more tension before the civil war.
  • The Lincoln-Douglas Debates

    The Lincoln-Douglas Debates
    The Lincoln–Douglas debates were a series of seven debates (August to October of 1858) between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas for the senate from Illinois. Slavery was the main topic of discussion during these debates due to how it was affecting the country. They focused especially on if slavery should be permitted in the new states that were being founded. This was very significant because it paved the way for Lincoln's presidency and lots of his ideas were heard and spread.
  • John Brown's Raid

    John Brown's Raid
    John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry was a raid effort by John Brown that lasted from October 16-18, 1859. He and his crew tried to take over Harpers Ferry, Virginia to instigate a slave revolt in the south. The U.S marines who were lead by Israel Greene defeated Brown's crew after a few long days. Brown was executed less than two months later. His raid was yet another big battle before the war and his beliefs of violence as a solution to slavery carried on to lots of other people.
  • Fort Sumter

    Fort Sumter
    Early on the morning of April 12, 1861, Confederate guns opened fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina. Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort the next afternoon which secured the victory for the confederates. With this battle, the war between the North and the South had officially started.
  • Battle of Big Bethel

    Battle of Big Bethel
    The Battle of Big Bethel was one of the earliest battles of the war. It took place on June 10, 1861 at the Virginia Peninsula. To stop the union troops from advancing further South, John B. Magruder was sent down as the commander of a confederate army. The battle resulted in a confederate victory which helped give the South some leverage in the war.
  • First Battle of Bull Run

    First Battle of Bull Run
    The First Battle of Bull Run was the first major battle of the Civil War. Although Confederates were outnumbered, the experience of the Confederate soldiers proved to outweigh the union's troops as the Confederates took advantage and won the huge battle.
  • Battle of the Ironclads

    Battle of the Ironclads
    On March 8, 1862, a battle of the ironclads occurred over water. The battle was named after Ironclads because those were the ships that were fighting against each other. The two ships fought for multiple hours. Both of the ships weren't falling apart and they kept firing at each other. Eventually, both ships backed down and there was no real winner at the end of the battle.
  • Shiloh

    Shiloh
    On April 7, 1862, the Battle of Shiloh in Pittsburgh Landing, Tennessee ended with a big victory for the union. With more than 23,000 dead and wounded, the two-day long battle was the bloodiest fight up to that day in history. This really showed the country how this conflict will be bigger than anyone imagined at the time.
  • Antietam

    Antietam
    On September 17, 1862, The Battle of Antietam (also known as the battle of Sharpsburg) was one of the biggest battles on union turf. It was a very rough battle, but the Union ended up victorious. The battle ended with a total of 22,717 dead, wounded, or missing.
  • Fredericksburg

    Fredericksburg
    From December 11, 1862 – December 15, 1862, The Battle of Fredericksburg took place and to this day stands as one the Confederates best victories. Led by General Robert E. Lee, the Army of Northern Virginia faced the Union forces led Major General Ambrose Burnside. General Burnside kept on releasing attack that had too much risk with too little reward and as a result, the Union ended up with more than twice the amount of troops dead compared to the Confederates.
  • Chancellorsville

    Chancellorsville
    The week-long Battle of Chancellorsville (spanning from April 30 to May 6 of 1863) was another huge victory for Robert E. Lee and the Confederates during the Civil War. This battle was also known as the battle in which Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was fatally wounded.
  • Vicksburg

    Vicksburg
    The Siege of Vicksburg (May 18, 1863-July 4, 1863) was a significant battle that solidified General Ulysses S. Grant's reputation and fame. After a very long and tiring battle, General Grant and the rest of the Union troops secured victory. This was a significant battle because it also helped show how the Union could be on a road to take control after some harsh losses to the Confederates.
  • Gettysburg

    Gettysburg
    The battle of Gettysburg, (July 1-3 1863), was a major battle in the Civil War. The Union had absolutely taken control over the Confederate soldiers, with over 18,000 injured. This battle is one of the most analyzed and looked at battles in all of our U.S history due to the fact that this was the turning point of the war, as the tide really started to shift towards the Union.
  • Appomattox Courthouse

    Appomattox Courthouse
    On April 9, 1865, the Confederate army of North Virginia surrendered at the McLean House near the Appomattox Court House, which signaled that the end of the war had finally come. After four years of harsh and hectic battle, the Union had rose to the top and came out victorious.
  • Lincoln Assassination

    Lincoln Assassination
    On the morning of April 15, 1865, 16th President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln went with Henry Rathbone and others to go see a play at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. While the play was running, John Wilkes Booth rushed up the stairs and crept into the back of Lincolns booth. At this moment, tragedy struck. John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln in the head. This was just days after the agreement at the Appomattox Courthouse and happened for revenge purposes.
  • The Peculiar Institution

    The Peculiar Institution
    The Peculiar Institution is a non-fiction book about slavery written by Kenneth M. Stampp in 1956. The book describes multiple facets of slavery in the southern states in the U.S that occurred from the 1600s-1800s. The book focuses on the slave trade and the labor systems of the southern economy. The book really helped show others what slaves went through before and during the war in the South.