Civil war

Civil War Timeline

  • Abolition

    The movement to abolish slavery, became the most important of a series of reform movements in America.
  • Missouri Compromise 1820-1821

    Missouri Compromise 1820-1821
    Maine was admitted as a free state and Missouri should be admitted as slave state. Louisiana Territory was split into two parts. South of the line slavery was legal. North of the line slavery was banned (except missouri).
    President: James Monroe
  • San Felipe de Austin

    San Felipe de Austin
    Main settlement of the colony named in honor of Stephen F. Austin. Established in 1821. Stephan established it a colony where "no drunkard, no gambler, no profane, wearer, and no idler" would be allowed.
  • Mexico abolishes slavery

    Mexico abolishes slavery
    Many of the settles were Southerners who had brought slaves with them to Texas even though Mexico had abolished slavery. This was a cultural difference between the region and it's government.
  • Nat Turner's Rebellion

    Nat Turner's Rebellion
    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.
  • The Liberator

    The Liberator
    Written by Willian Lloyd Garrison. Made to deliver an uncompromising demand: immediate emancipation.
  • Stephen F. Austin goes to jail

    Stephen F. Austin goes to jail
    Santa Anna had Austin imprisoned for inciting revolution, in a way this led to the Texas Revolution.
  • Oregon Trail

    Oregon Trail
    Stretched from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon City, Oregon. Marcus and Narcissa Whitman. Proved wagons could travel on the Oregon Trail.
  • Texas Revolution

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

    Manifest Destiny
    Expressed a belief that the United States was ordained to expand to the Pacific Ocean and into Mexican and Native American territory.
  • Texas enters the United States

    Texas enters the United States
    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
  • Mexican-American War

    Mexican-American War
    pitted a politically divided and militarily unprepared Mexico against the administration of U.S. President James Polk, who believed the United States had a “manifest destiny” to spread across the continent to the Pacific Ocean. A border skirmish along the Rio Grande started off the fighting and was followed by a series of U.S. victories. When the dust cleared, Mexico had lost about one-third of its territory, including nearly all of present-day California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.
  • The North Star

    The North Star
    Frederick Douglas wrote it. An antislavery newspaper. He named it
    The North Star, after the star that guided runaway slaves to freedom.
  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgp

    Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgp
    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.
  • Harriet Tubman

    Harriet Tubman
    After Tubman’s owner died, she heard rumors that she was about to be sold. Fearing this possibility, Tubman decided to make 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.
  • Compromise of 1850

    Compromise of 1850
    To please the North, the compromise provided that California be admitted to the Union as a free state. To please the South, the compromise proposed a new and more effective fugitive slave law. To placate both sides, a provision allowed popular sovereignty, the right to vote for or against slavery, for residents of the New Mexico and Utah territories.
  • Fugitive Slave Act

    Fugitive Slave Act
    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.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin
    Harriet Beecher Stowe was the author. Stressed
    that slavery was not just a political contest, but also a great moral struggle. The book stirred Northern abolitionists to
    increase their protests against the Fugitive Slave Act, while Southerners criticized the book as an attack on the South.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    Kansas-Nebraska Act
    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. Congressional debate was bitter. Some Northern congressmen
    saw the bill as part of a plot to turn the territories into slave states.
    Southerners strongly defended the proposed legislation
  • Dread Scott v. Standford

    Dread Scott v. Standford
    Dred Scott’s slave master had brought him from Missouri to live for a time in free territory and in the free state of Illinois. Returned to Missouri. Scott believed that because he had lived in free territory, he
    should be free. He sued in federal court for his freedom. The court ruled against him, and he appealed to the Supreme Court.
    The Supreme Court ruled that African Americans were not and could never be citizens. Thus, Dred Scott had no right even to file a lawsuit and remained enslaved.
  • Underground Railroad

    Underground Railroad
    Free African Americans and white abolitionists developed a
    secret network of people who would, at great risk to themselves, hide fugitive slaves. “Conductors” on the routes hid fugitives in
    secret tunnels and false cupboards, provided them with food and clothing, and escorted or directed them to the next “station.” Once fugitives reached the North, many chose to remain there. Others journeyed to Canada to be completely out of reach of their “owners.”
  • Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas Debates

    Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas Debates
    To counteract Douglas, Lincoln challenged the man
    known as the “Little Giant” to a series of debates on the issue
    of slavery in the territories. Douglas accepted the challenge,
    and the stage was set for some of the most celebrated debates
    in U.S. history. Neither wanted slavery in the territories,
    but they disagreed on how to keep it out. Douglas believed deeply in
    popular sovereignty. Lincoln, on the other hand, believed that slavery
    was immoral. Douglas won the Senate seat.
  • John Brown's raid/Harper's Ferry

    John Brown's raid/Harper's Ferry
    Troops put down the rebellion. Later, authorities tried Brown and put him to death. Public reaction to Brown’s execution was immediate and intense in both sections of the country. In the North, bells tolled, guns fired salutes, and huge crowds gathered to hear fiery speakers denounce the South. He led a band of 21 men, black and white, into Harpers Ferry, Virginia. His aim was to seize the federal arsenal there and start a general slave uprising.
  • Santa Fe Trail

    Santa Fe Trail
    Stretched 780 miles from Independence, Missouri, to Sante Fe in the Mexican province of New Mexico.
  • Abraham Lincoln becomes President

    Abraham Lincoln becomes President
    Although he pledged to halt the further spread of slavery, he also
    tried to reassure Southerners that a Republican administration would not “interfere with their slaves, or with them, about their slaves. Lincoln emerged as the winner with less than half the popular
    vote and with no electoral votes from the South. He did not even appear on the ballot in most of the slave states because of Southern hostility toward him. The outlook for the Union was grim.
  • Formation of the the Confederacy

    Formation of the the Confederacy
    Delegates from the secessionist states met in Montgomery, Alabama, where they formed the Confederate States of America, or Confederacy. They also drew up a constitution that closely resembled that of the United States, but with a few notable differences. The most important difference was that it “protected and recognized” slavery in new territories.
  • Attack on Fort Sumter

    Attack on Fort Sumter
    “ Having defended Fort Sumter for thirty-four
    hours, until the quarters were entirely burned,
    the main gates destroyed by fire, . . . the magazine
    surrounded by flames, . . . four barrels
    and three cartridges of powder only being
    available, and no provisions but pork remaining,
    I accepted terms of evacuation . . . and
    marched out of the fort . . . with colors flying
    and drums beating . . . and saluting my flag
    with fifty guns."
  • Battle of Antietam

    Battle of Antietam
    McClellan ordered his 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.
  • Battle of Bull Run

    Battle of Bull Run
    Near the little creek of Bull Run, just 25 miles from Washington, D.C. The battle was a seesaw affair. In the morning the Union army gained the upper hand, but the Confederates held firm.In the afternoon Confederate
    reinforcements helped win the first Southern victory. Fortunately for the Union,
    the Confederates were too exhausted to follow up their victory with an attack on
    Washington. Still, Confederate morale soared. Many Confederate soldiers, confident that the war was over.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation. The proclamation did not free any slaves immediately because it applied only
    to 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.
  • 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
    A tax that takes a specified percentage of an individual’s income.
  • Gettysburg Address

    Gettysburg Address
    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 to take Vicksburg, one of the two remaining Confederate strongholds on the Mississippi River. Vicksburg itself was particularly important because it rested
    on bluffs above the river from which guns could control all water traffic. The Union had achieved another
    of its major military objectives, and the Confederacy was cut in two
  • Battle at Gettysburg

    Battle at Gettysburg
    When Confederate soldiers led by A. P. Hill encountered several brigades of Union cavalry under the command of John Buford, an
    experienced officer from Illinois. Buford ordered his men to take defensive positions on the hills and ridges surrounding the town. When Hill’s troops marched toward the town from the west, Buford’s men were waiting. The shooting attracted more troops and both
    sides called for reinforcements. Losses: 23,000 Union men and 28,000
    Confederates were killed or wounded.
  • Sherman's March

    Sherman's March
    Sherman began his march southeast through Georgia to the sea, creating a wide path of destruction. His army burned almost every house in its path and destroyed livestock and railroads. Sherman was 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 the ocean, Sherman’s forces—followed by 25,000 former slaves—turned north to help Grant “wipe out Lee.”
  • Thirteenth Amendment

    Thirteenth Amendment
    It was ratified at the end of 1865. The U.S. Constitution now
    stated, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime where of the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.”
  • Surrender at Appomattox Court House

    Surrender at Appomattox Court House
    Grant paroled Lee’s soldiers and sent them home with their possessions and three days’ worth of rations. Officers were permitted to keep their side arms. Within a month all remaining Confederate resistance collapsed. After four long years, the Civil War was over.
  • Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

    Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
    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. During its third act, a man
    crept up behind Lincoln and shot the president
    in the back of his head.
    Lincoln, who never regained consciousness.