Civil War Timeline - Isabel Melo

  • Period: to

    Civil War Timeline

  • Pony Express

    Pony Express
    The Pony Express was an American express mail service that used relays of horse-mounted riders.
  • Abraham Lincoln is elected president

    Abraham Lincoln is elected president
    Abraham Lincoln is elected sixteenth president of the United States, the first Republican president in the nation who represents a party that opposes the spread of slavery in the territories of the United States.
  • 1860 US Presidential Election

    1860 US Presidential Election
    1860 United States presidential election: Abraham Lincoln elected president and Hannibal Hamlin vice president with only 39% of the vote in a four man race.
  • Senator James Chestnut Jr. resigns

    Senator James Chestnut Jr. resigns
    South Carolina Senator James Chestnut Jr. resigns his seat in the U.S. Senate.
  • Senator James Henry Hammond resigns

    Senator James Henry Hammond resigns
    South Carolina Senator James Henry Hammond resigns his seat in the U.S. Senate.
  • Funds to Arm the State

    Funds to Arm the State
    Georgia legislature appropriates $1,000,000 to arm the state
  • Secession Convention

    Secession Convention
    The first Secession Convention meets in Columbia, South Carolina.
  • Crittenden Compromise

    Crittenden Compromise
    The Crittenden Compromise was an unsuccessful proposal to permanently enshrine slavery in the United States Constitution, and therefore make it unconstitutional for future congresses to end slavery.
  • South Carolina secedes from the Union

    South Carolina secedes from the Union
    South Carolina becomes the first state to secede from the Union
  • Major Robert Anderson evacuates

    Major Robert Anderson evacuates
    Major Robert Anderson evacuates Fort Moultrie for Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor
  • Secessionist forces in South Carolina fire at the USS

    Secessionist forces in South Carolina fire at the USS
    Secessionist forces in South Carolina fire at the USS Star of the West, forcing it to withdraw.
  • Mississippi secedes from the Union

    Mississippi secedes from the Union
    Mississippi secedes from the Union
  • Florida secedes from the Union

    Florida secedes from the Union
    Florida secedes from the Union
  • Alabama secedes from the Union

    Alabama secedes from the Union
    Alabama secedes from the Union
  • Georgia secedes from the Union

    Georgia secedes from the Union
    Georgia secedes from the Union
  • Louisiana secedes from the Union

    Louisiana secedes from the Union
    Louisiana secedes from the Union
  • Texas secedes from the Union

    Texas secedes from the Union
    Texas secedes from the Union
  • Secessionist states establish the Confederate States of America

    Secessionist states establish the Confederate States of America
    Secessionist states establish the Confederate States of America
  • Jefferson Davis elected Provisional President of the Confederacy

     Jefferson Davis elected Provisional President of the Confederacy
    Jefferson Davis elected Provisional President of the Confederacy
  • The Corwin Amendment

    The Corwin Amendment
    The Corwin Amendment enshrining slavery forever, is passed by congress. It is not ratified.
  • McClellan Loses Command

    McClellan Loses Command
    On March 8, President Lincoln—impatient with General McClellan's inactivity—issued an order reorganizing the Army of Virginia and relieving McClellan of supreme command. McClellan was given command of the Army of the Potomac, and ordered to attack Richmond. This marked the beginning of the Peninsular Campaign.
  • The Battle of Shiloh

    The Battle of Shiloh
    On April 6, Confederate forces attacked Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant at Shiloh, Tennessee. By the end of the day, the federal troops were almost defeated. Yet, during the night, reinforcements arrived, and by the next morning the Union commanded the field. When Confederate forces retreated, the exhausted federal forces did not follow. Casualties were heavy—13,000 out of 63,000 Union soldiers died, and 11,000 of 40,000 Confederate troops were killed.
  • The Peninsular Campaign

    The Peninsular Campaign
    In April, General McClellan's troops left northern Virginia to begin the Peninsular Campaign. By May 4, they occupied Yorktown, Virginia. At Williamsburg, Confederate forces prevented McClellan from meeting the main part of the Confederate army, and McClellan halted his troops, awaiting reinforcements.
  • "Stonewall" Jackson Defeats Union Forces

    "Stonewall" Jackson Defeats Union Forces
    Confederate General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, commanding forces in the Shenandoah Valley, attacked Union forces in late March, forcing them to retreat across the Potomac. As a result, Union troops were rushed to protect Washington, D.C
  • The Battle of Seven Pines (Fair Oaks)

    The Battle of Seven Pines (Fair Oaks)
    On May 31, the Confederate army attacked federal forces at Seven Pines, almost defeating them; last-minute reinforcements saved the Union from a serious defeat. Confederate commander Joseph E. Johnston was severely wounded, and command of the Army of Northern Virginia fell to Robert E. Lee.
  • A New Commander of the Union Army

    A New Commander of the Union Army
    On July 11, Major-General Henry Halleck was named general-in-chief of the Union army.
  • Pope's Campaign

    Pope's Campaign
    Union General John Pope suffered defeated at the Second Battle of Bull Run on August 29-30. General Fitz-John Porter was held responsible for the defeat because he had failed to commit his troops to battle quickly enough; he was forced out of the army by 1863.
  • Harper's Ferry

    Harper's Ferry
    Union General McClellan defeated Confederate General Lee at South Mountain and Crampton's Gap in September, but did not move quickly enough to save Harper's Ferry, which fell to Confederate General Jackson on September 15, along with a great number of men and a large body of supplies.
  • Antietam

    Antietam
    On September 17, Confederate forces under General Lee were caught by General McClellan near Sharpsburg, Maryland. This battle proved to be the bloodiest day of the war. The battle had no clear winner, but because General Lee withdrew to Virginia, McClellan was considered the victor.
  • The Battle of Fredericksburg

    The Battle of Fredericksburg
    General McClellan's slow movements, combined with General Lee's escape, and continued raiding by Confederate cavalry, dismayed many in the North. On November 7, Lincoln replaced McClellan with Major-General Ambrose E. Burnside. Burnside's forces were defeated in a series of attacks against entrenched Confederate forces at Fredericksburg, Virginia, and Burnside was replaced with General Joseph Hooker.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    In 1861, Congress had passed an act stating that all slaves employed against the Union were to be considered free. In 1862, another act stated that all slaves of men who supported the Confederacy were to be considered free. Lincoln, aware of the public's growing support of abolition, issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, declaring that all slaves in areas still in rebellion were, in the eyes of the federal government, free.
  • The First Conscription Act

    The First Conscription Act
    Because of recruiting difficulties, an act was passed making all men between the ages of 20 and 45 liable to be called for military service. Service could be avoided by paying a fee or finding a substitute. The act was seen as unfair to the poor, and riots in working-class sections of New York City broke out in protest. A similar conscription act in the South provoked a similar reaction.
  • The Battle of Chancellorsville

    The Battle of Chancellorsville
    On April 27, Union General Hooker crossed the Rappahannock River to attack General Lee's forces. Lee split his army, attacking a surprised Union army in three places and almost completely defeating them. Hooker withdrew across the Rappahannock River, giving the South a victory, but it was the Confederates' most costly victory in terms of casualties.
  • The Vicksburg Campaign

    The Vicksburg Campaign
    Union General Grant won several victories around Vicksburg, Mississippi, the fortified city considered essential to the Union's plans to regain control of the Mississippi River. On May 22, Grant began a siege of the city. After six weeks, Confederate General John Pemberton surrendered, giving up the city and 30,000 men. The capture of Port Hudson, Louisiana, shortly thereafter placed the entire Mississippi River in Union hands. The Confederacy was split in two.
  • The Gettysburg Campaign

    The Gettysburg Campaign
    Confederate General Lee decided to take the war to the enemy. On June 13, he defeated Union forces at Winchester, Virginia, and continued north to Pennsylvania. General Hooker, who had been planning to attack Richmond, was instead forced to follow Lee. Hooker, never comfortable with his commander, General Halleck, resigned on June 28, and General George Meade replaced him as commander of the Army of the Potomac.
  • The Battle of Chickamauga

    The Battle of Chickamauga
    On September 19, Union and Confederate forces met on the Tennessee-Georgia border, near Chickamauga Creek. After the battle, Union forces retreated to Chattanooga, and the Confederacy maintained control of the battlefield.
  • The Siege of Knoxville

    The Siege of Knoxville
    The difficult strategic situation of the federal armies after Chickamauga enabled Bragg to detach a force under Longstreet to drive Burnside out of eastern Tennessee. Burnside sought refuge in Knoxville, which he successfully defended from Confederate assaults. These views, taken after Longstreet's withdrawal on December 3, include one of Strawberry Plains, on his line of retreat.
  • Hooker Appointed Commander

    Hooker Appointed Commander
    By January 1863, Lincoln recognized that General Burnside had lost the confidence of the Federal army. Summoning Joseph Hooker to the White House, Lincoln named him the new head of the Army of the Potomac. President Lincoln used the opportunity to warn Hooker that his earlier criticism of General Burnside, and the withholding of his support, had undermined the morale of the troops he now commanded.
  • The Battle of Chattanooga

    The Battle of Chattanooga
    On November 23-25, Union forces pushed Confederate troops away from Chattanooga. The victory set the stage for General Sherman's Atlanta Campaign.
  • Lookout Mountain, Tennessee

    Lookout Mountain, Tennessee
    Lookout Mountain rises nearly 2,000 feet above the Tennessee River at Chattanooga. This rocky outcropping was a popular spot for soldiers to pose for a portrait. One of the men gathered here with his telescope has been identified as Union officer, Major Charles S. Cotter, chief of artillery in the 1st Ohio Light Artillery Regiment. His regiment fought in the Battles of Stones River, Chickamauga, and Chattanooga.
  • Grant's Wilderness Campaign

    Grant's Wilderness Campaign
    General Grant, promoted to commander of the Union armies, planned to engage Lee's forces in Virginia until they were destroyed. North and South met and fought in an inconclusive three-day battle in the Wilderness. Lee inflicted more casualties on the Union forces than his own army incurred, but unlike Grant, he had no replacements.
  • The Battle of Spotsylvania

    The Battle of Spotsylvania
    General Grant continued to attack Lee. At Spotsylvania Court House, he fought for five days, vowing to fight all summer if necessary.
  • The Siege of Petersburg

    The Siege of Petersburg
    General Benjamin F. Butler's command was in the vacinity of Petersburg as early as May 11, missing its opportunity to capture this vital railroad center; but the photographs are all from the later days when Butler was holding a fortified line on both sides of the James and extending nothward as far as the Market or River Road running into Richmond. The photographs follow Butler's lines from south to north, and then, after the evacuation of Richmond, record the Confederate defenses on the James.
  • The Battle of Cold Harbor

    The Battle of Cold Harbor
    Grant again attacked Confederate forces at Cold Harbor, losing over 7,000 men in twenty minutes. Although Lee suffered fewer casualties, his army never recovered from Grant's continual attacks. This was Lee's last clear victory of the war.
  • Confederate Troops Approach Washington, D.C.

    Confederate Troops Approach Washington, D.C.
    Confederate General Jubal Early led his forces into Maryland to relieve the pressure on Lee's army. Early got within five miles of Washington, D.C., but on July 13, he was driven back to Virginia.
  • General William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign

    General William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign
    Union General Sherman departed Chattanooga, and was soon met by Confederate General Joseph Johnston. Skillful strategy enabled Johnston to hold off Sherman's force—almost twice the size of Johnston's. However, Johnston's tactics caused his superiors to replace him with General John Bell Hood, who was soon defeated. Hood surrendered Atlanta, Georgia, on September 1; Sherman occupied the city the next day. The fall of Atlanta greatly boosted Northern morale.
  • Abraham Lincoln Is Re-Elected

    Abraham Lincoln Is Re-Elected
    The Republican party nominated President Abraham Lincoln as its presidential candidate, and Andrew Johnson for vice-president. Sherman's victory in Atlanta boosted Lincoln's popularity and helped him win re-election by a wide margin.
  • General William T. Sherman's March to the Sea

    General William T. Sherman's March to the Sea
    General Sherman continued his march through Georgia to the sea. In the course of the march, he cut himself off from his source of supplies, planning for his troops to live off the land. His men cut a path 300 miles in length and 60 miles wide as they passed through Georgia, destroying factories, bridges, railroads, and public buildings.
  • Sherman at the Sea

    Sherman at the Sea
    After marching through Georgia for a month, Sherman stormed Fort McAllister on December 13, 1864, and captured Savannah itself eight days later. These seven views show the former stronghold and its dismantling preparatory to Sherman's further movement northward. This operation was ordered on December 24, and General William B. Hazen [2d Division, 15th Corps] and Major Thomas W. Osborn, chief of artillery, completed the task by December 29, storing the guns at Fort Pulaski.
  • Hood before Nashville

    Hood before Nashville
    Continuing his policy of taking the offensive at any cost, General John B. Hood brought his reduced army before the defenses of Nashville, where it was repulsed by General George H. Thomas on December 15-16, in the most complete victory of the war. If the dates borne by the first two items are correct, the photographs were taken in the course of battle.
  • Fort Fisher, North Carolina

    Fort Fisher, North Carolina
    After Admiral David D. Porter's squadron of warships had subjected Fort Fisher to a terrific bombardment, General Alfred H. Terry's troops took it by storm on January 15, and Wilmington, North Carolina, the last resort of the blockade-runners, was sealed off. Timothy H. O'Sullivan promptly recorded the strength of the works and the effects of the bombardment.
  • Sherman Marches through North and South Carolina

    Sherman Marches through North and South Carolina
    Union General Sherman moved from Georgia through South Carolina, destroying almost everything in his path.
  • The Defenses of Washington

    The Defenses of Washington
    By 1865, the Defenses of Washington included 68 forts, supported by 93 detached batteries for field guns, 20 miles of rifle pits, and covered ways, wooden blockhouses at three key points, 32 miles of military roads, several stockaded bridgeheads, and four picket stations.
  • Fallen Richmond

    Fallen Richmond
    By April 1865, the Confederate government realized the siege was almost over and abandoned the city lest they be captured. The retreating Confederates chose to burn military supplies rather than let them fall into Union hands; the resulting fire destroyed much of central Richmond.
  • Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse

    Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse
    General Lee's troops were soon surrounded, and on April 7, Grant called upon Lee to surrender. On April 9, the two commanders met at Appomattox Courthouse, and agreed on the terms of surrender. Lee's men were sent home on parole—soldiers with their horses, and officers with their side arms. All other equipment was surrendered.
  • The Assassination of President Lincoln

    The Assassination of President Lincoln
    On April 14, as President Lincoln was watching a performance of "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., he was shot by John Wilkes Booth, an actor from Maryland obsessed with avenging the Confederate defeat. Lincoln died the next morning. Booth escaped to Virginia. Eleven days later, cornered in a burning barn, Booth was fatally shot by a Union soldier. Nine other people were involved in the assassination; four were hanged, four imprisoned, and one acquitted.
  • Final Surrenders among Remaining Confederate Troops

    Final Surrenders among Remaining Confederate Troops
    Remaining Confederate troops were defeated between the end of April and the end of May. Jefferson Davis was captured in Georgia on May 10.
  • The Fall of the Confederacy

    The Fall of the Confederacy
    Transportation problems and successful blockades caused severe shortages of food and supplies in the South. Starving soldiers began to desert Lee's forces, and although President Jefferson Davis approved the arming of slaves as a means of augmenting the shrinking army, the measure was never put into effect.
  • The Grand Review of the Army

    The Grand Review of the Army
    The Army of the Potomac paraded on May 23, and the Army of Georgia on May 24. Unfortunately most of the photographs, thought to have been taken by Brady himself, fail to distinguish either the unit or the day.
  • The Execution of Captain Henry Wirz

    The Execution of Captain Henry Wirz
    The notorious superintendent of the Confederate prison at Andersonville, Georgia, was tried by a military commission presided over by General Lew Wallace from August 23 to October 24, 1865, and was hanged in the yard of the Old Capitol Prison on November 10.
  • The great fire of Portland, Maine

    The great fire of Portland, Maine
    The Great Fire of Portland, Maine kills two and leaves 10,000 homeless in the worst fire in an American city at this time.
  • Tennessee

    Tennessee
    Reconstruction: Tennessee becomes the first U.S. state to be readmitted to the Union following the American Civil War.
  • General of the Army

    General of the Army
    The U.S. Congress passes legislation authorizing the rank of General of the Army (modern-day "5-star general"); Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant becomes the first to have this rank.
  • Metric Act of 1866

    Metric Act of 1866
    The Metric Act of 1866 becomes law and legalizes the use of the metric system for weights and measures in the United States.
  • The National Union Convention

    The National Union Convention
    The National Union Convention is held in Philadelphia with hopes to reconcile the Radical Republicans in Congress with the Reconstructionist policies of President Andrew Johnson.
  • Civil War declared over

    Civil War declared over
    President Johnson formally declares Civil War over.
  • Western Union Telegraph Expedition

    Western Union Telegraph Expedition
    Western Union Telegraph Expedition to Alaska begins its second season, the first after the death of Robert Kennicott
  • Reno Gang

    Reno Gang
    The Reno Gang commits the first train robbery in the United States, taking a total of $13,000.
  • Second Plenary Council

    Second Plenary Council
    The Second Plenary Council of American Roman Catholic bishops is held in Baltimore.
  • House of Representatives elections

    House of Representatives elections
    House of Representatives elections: Despite President Andrew Johnson's Swing Around the Circle tour, the Republican Party wins in a landslide.
  • Nebraska becomes a state

    Nebraska becomes a state
    On March 1, 1867, President Andrew Johnson reluctantly signed the proclamation declaring Nebraska's statehood. The signing ended the life of a territory which thirteen years earlier had been organized amid controversy.
  • Tenure of Office Act

    Tenure of Office Act
    The Tenure of Office Act was a United States federal law in force from 1867 to 1887 that was intended to restrict the power of the president to remove certain office-holders without the approval of the Senate.
  • Reconstruction Acts

    Reconstruction Acts
    Reconstruction Acts, U.S. legislation enacted in 1867–68 that outlined the conditions under which the Southern states would be readmitted to the Union following the American Civil War
  • Alaska Purchase from Russia

    Alaska Purchase from Russia
    On March 30, 1867, the United States reached an agreement to purchase Alaska from Russia for a price of $7.2 million. The Treaty with Russia was negotiated and signed by Secretary of State William Seward and Russian Minister to the United States Edouard de Stoeckl."Seward’s Folly"
  • Jefferson Davis Released

    Jefferson Davis Released
    Jefferson Davis was imprisoned at Fort Monroe, Virginia for two years. He was never tried for treason, but was released on bond in May 1867. After being released, Davis and his family traveled for some time in Europe before returning to the American South.
  • Queen Victoria Reigns

    Queen Victoria Reigns
    1867 marked Queen Victoria of England’s thirtieth year as ruler of the British Empire. Already widowed, the queen faced a difficult period of personal life, but her empire flourished. Imperialism marked global politics and interactions, creating (or setting the stage) for future conflicts, expansionist quarrels, and wars of conquest.
  • The Grange founded

    The Grange founded
    The Grange, officially named The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, is a social organization in the United States that encourages families to band together to promote the economic and political well-being of the community and agriculture.
  • Defense of the Kansas Frontier

    Defense of the Kansas Frontier
    In the 1800s, before the nation expanded across the continent, the western border of Missouri was the American frontier. To its west, Kansas was known as a permanent Indian Territory for both the Plains Indians and other tribes who were forcibly sent to the region following decades of land disputes.
  • Medicine Lodge Treaty

    Medicine Lodge Treaty
    Among its provisions, the Medicine Lodge Treaty relegated the Cheyenne to lands south of Fort Larned. The treaty also allowed the tribes to collect annuities, or gifts, from the government. To the US government, gifts were less expensive than war.
  • Emperor Meiji In Japan

    Emperor Meiji In Japan
    Half-way around the globe from England, a new ruler came to power in 1867. Emperor Meiji began to rule Japan and usher in many changes for this Asian nation. Under Emperor Meiji’s leadership, Japan emerged from centuries of isolationism and experienced political, social, and industrial revolutions. Japan enter the “modern era” and the world stage as a powerful, rising nation who would have vast influence on events and geography in the 20th Century.
  • A court of impeachment

    A court of impeachment
    A court of impeachment is organized in the United States Senate to hear charges against President Andrew Johnson.
  • Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute

     Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute
    The Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute is established in Hampton, Virginia.
  • Andrew Johnson is acquitted

     Andrew Johnson is acquitted
    President Andrew Johnson is acquitted during his impeachment trial, by one vote in the United States Senate.
  • Memorial Day

    Memorial Day
    Memorial Day is observed in the United States for the first time (it was proclaimed on May 5 by General John A. Logan).
  • States readmitted to the U.S.

    States readmitted to the U.S.
    Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina are all readmitted to the U.S.
  • Wyoming Territory

    Wyoming Territory
    Wyoming Territory is organized.
  • 14th Amendment to the United States

     14th Amendment to the United States
    The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution is adopted, guaranteeing African Americans full citizenship and all persons in the United States due process of law.
  • U.S. presidential election

     U.S. presidential election
    U.S. presidential election, 1868: Ulysses S. Grant defeats Horatio Seymour in the election.
  • Indian Wars

    Indian Wars
    Indian Wars – Battle of Washita River: In the early morning, United States Army Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer leads an attack on a band of Cheyenne living on reservation land with Chief Black Kettle, killing 103 Cheyenne.
  • Pardon

    Pardon
    President Andrew Johnson grants unconditional pardon to all Civil War rebels.