Civil War Timeline Project

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    The Underground Railroad

    The Underground Railroad was a network of people, African American as well as white, offering shelter and aid to escaped slaves from the South. It developed as a convergence of several different clandestine efforts. The exact dates of its existence are not known, but it operated from the late 18th century to the Civil War, at which point its efforts continued to undermine the Confederacy in a less-secretive fashion.
  • Compromise of 1850

    Compromise of 1850
    Senator Henry Clay introduced a series of resolutions on January 29, 1850, in an attempt to seek a compromise and avert a crisis between North and South. As part of the Compromise of 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act was amended and the slave trade in Washington, D.C., was abolished.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin is Published

    Uncle Tom's Cabin is Published
    Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, is published. The novel sold 300,000 copies within three months and was so widely read that when President Abraham Lincoln met Stowe in 1862, he reportedly said, “So this is the little lady who made this big war.”
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    'Bleeding Kansas'

    Bleeding Kansas, Bloody Kansas or the Border War was a series of violent civil confrontations in the United States between 1854 and 1861 which emerged from a political and ideological debate over the legality of slavery in the proposed state of Kansas.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    Kansas-Nebraska Act
    The Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed by the U.S. Congress on May 30, 1854. It allowed people in the territories of Kansas and Nebraska to decide for themselves whether or not to allow slavery within their borders. The Act served to repeal the Missouri Compromise of 1820 which prohibited slavery north of latitude 36°30´.
  • Dred Scott Decision

    Dred Scott Decision
    On this day in 1857, the United States Supreme Court issues a decision in the Dred Scott case, affirming the right of slave owners to take their slaves into the Western territories, therebynegating the doctrine of popular sovereignty and severely undermining the platform of the newly created Republican Party.
  • Election of 1860

    Election of 1860
    United States presidential election of 1860, American presidential election held on Nov. 6, 1860, in which Republican Abraham Lincoln defeated Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas, and Constitutional Union candidate John Bell.
    https://www.britannica.com/event/United-States-presidential-election-of-1860
  • Secession of Southern States

    Secession of Southern States
    The force of events moved very quickly upon the election of Lincoln. South Carolina acted first, calling for a convention to secede from the Union. State by state, conventions were held, and the Confederacy was formed. Within three months of Lincoln's election, seven states had seceded from the Union.
    www.ushistory.org/us/32e.asp
  • Fort Summer is Fired Upon

    Fort Summer is Fired Upon
    The fort had been the source of tension between the Union and Confederacy for several months. After South Carolina seceded on December 20, 1860, the state demanded the fort be turned over but Union officials refused. A supply ship, the “Star of the West,” tried to reach Fort Sumter on January 9, but the shore batteries opened fire and drove it away.
  • Battle at Bull Run

    Battle at Bull Run
    On July 21, 1861, Union and Confederate armies clashed near Manassas Junction, Virginia, in the first major land battle of the American Civil War. Known as the First Battle of Bull Run (or Manassas), the engagement began when about 35,000 Union troops marched from the federal capital in Washington, D.C. to strike a Confederate force of 20,000 along a small river known as Bull Run.
  • Battle at Shiloh

    Battle at Shiloh
    Also known as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing, the Battle of Shiloh took place from April 6 to April 7, 1862, and was one of the major early engagements of the American Civil War (1861-65).
    https://www.history.com/topics/american-civil-war/battle-of-shiloh
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    Seven Days Battle

    The Seven Days Battle or Seven Days Campaign took place from June 25 to July 1, 1862 and featured six different battles along the Virginia Peninsula east of Richmond. The Union Army of the Potomac, led by Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, was over 100,000 men strong yet was steadily driven away from the ultimate goal of Richmond and back to the James River by Confederates led by a new field commander—Gen. Robert E. Lee.
  • Battle of Antietam

    Battle of Antietam
    The Battle of Antietam, also called the Battle of Sharpsburg, occurred September 22, 1862, at Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Maryland. It pitted Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia against Union General George McClellan’s Army of the Potomac and was the culmination of Lee’s attempt to invade the north. The battle’s outcome would be vital to shaping America’s future, and it remains the deadliest one-day battle in all American military history.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free."
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    Battle of Vicksburg

    Battle of Vicksburg, also called the Siege of Vicksburg, was the culmination of a long land and naval campaign by Union forces to capture a key strategic position during the American Civil War. Abraham Lincoln recognized the significance of the town situated on a 200-foot bluff above the Mississippi River. Capturing Vicksburg would sever the Trans-Mississippi Confederacy from that east of the Mississippi River/open the river to Northern traffic along its entire length.
  • Battle at Gettysburg/Gettysburg Address

    The Gettysburg Address is a speech delivered by Abraham Lincoln at the November 19, 1863, dedication of Soldier's National Cemetery, a cemetery for Union soldiers killed at the Battle Of Gettysburg during the American Civil War.
    www.historynet.com/the-gettysburg-address
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    Reconstruction

    The Union victory in the Civil War in 1865 may have given some 4 million slaves their freedom, but the process of rebuilding the South during the Reconstruction period (1865-1877) introduced a new set of significant challenges.
  • Lincoln's Assassination

    Lincoln's Assassination
    Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, murderous attack on Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., on the evening of April 14, 1865. Shot in the head by Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln died the next morning
  • South Surrenders

    South Surrenders
    The surrender signed on April 26, 1865 surrendered more than 89,000 Confederate soldiers, becoming the largest surrender of the American Civil War. The last battle was at Palmito Ranch, Texas, May 12-13, 1865. It was a Confederate victory.