Lincoln with top hat

Clay's Impeccable Civil War Timeline

  • Battle of Fort Sumter

    Battle of Fort Sumter
    The Battle of Fort Sumter took place near Charleston, S. Carolina, on April 12-13, 1861. Confederate forces, led by Brig. General P.G.T. Beauregaurd, surrounded the fort and aimed their guns toward Fort Sumter. This became the first real crisis new president Lincoln had to field. He informed the Gov. of South Carolina, Francis Pickens, he was sending supply ships. In return, he was given an ultimatum to evacuate. The Union refused, the South started bombardment, and the Union fort was lost.
  • First Battle of Bull Run

    First Battle of Bull Run
    The First Battle of Bull Run was fought on July 21, 1861, in Prince William County, Virginia, near Manassas. The Confederates were led by Brig. Gen. Beauregard and the Union was led by Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell. Because of public pressure to end the war early and storm the Confederate capital of Richmond, McDowell marched across Bull Run toward Richmond. The Confederates were at the losing end, and Brig. Gen. Joseph Johnston soon showed up with reinforcements. Confederates easily win.
  • Battle of Hampton Roads

    Battle of Hampton Roads
    March 8-9, 1862, near the Chesapeake Bay, VA- The battle was important, yet had no clear winner, because no two ironclad ships had ever been different sides and ended in a draw. The ironclads were revolutionary and had 3 main guns which could turn 360 degrees. The South's goal was to break the Union blockade around Virginia. The Union had the USS Monitor, and defended the USS Minnesota from the CSS Virginia. Union was led by L.Goldsborough and J.Marston, Fed's led by F.Buchanan and C.Jones.
  • Battle of Shiloh

    Battle of Shiloh
    Fought on April 6-7, 1862, in Hardin County, Tennessee. During the first day, Conf. Gen's Albert Johnston and Beauregard made a surpise attack on Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant while camped at Pittsburg Landing, along the Tenn. River. They were trying to push Grant from the river and into the swamps before reinforcements from Maj. Gen. Beull could get there, and half succeeded. They had the upperhand, until Grant fell back a different way. Johnston was killed, and on the second day, Union wins.
  • Battle of Antietam

    Battle of Antietam
    Fought Sept. 17th and slightly carried over onto the 18th, at Sharpsbug and Antietam Creek, MD. Very strategic battle with the North getting the "strategic" victory though no winner is determined. 23,000 total people are killed, making the Antietam the single-day bloodiest battle in American history. Although R. Lee fought perfectly, Maj. Gen.'s McClellan and Burnside's numbers were able to trap Lee and force him to retreat back into VA, giving Lincoln chance to give Emancipation Proclamation.
  • Battle of Fredericksburg

    Battle of Fredericksburg
    The Battle of Fredericksburg was fought from Dec.11-15, 1862 in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Gen. Robert E. Lee led the Confederacy against Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside. The Union lost twice as many men as the Feds. Burnside had planned to cross the Rappahannock River, but Lee beat him to the spot and opened fire. Heavy losses are taken by the Union, and the day is remembered as one the day is remembered as one of the most one sided battles in the entire war. The South picks up another win.
  • Battle of Chancellorsville

    Battle of Chancellorsville
    Fought on April 30- May 6, 1863, in Spotsylvania County, VA, near the village of Chancellorsville. The Union, led by Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, was taking on the Confederate Army, led by Gen. Robert E. Lee. The Union outnumbered the South more than 2 to 1. Lee's victory, despite losing Lt. Gen. Stonewall Jackson to friendly fire, proved to show the gutsy success was no fluke. Over 30,000 men are killed total in theis Battle.
  • Battle of Gettysburg

    Battle of Gettysburg
    Fought on July 1- July 3, 1863, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Gettysburg is the bloodiest battle in the entire Civil War. Union Maj. Gen. George Meade defeated General Robert E. Lee, which was often considered the single greatest turning point of the war. On the third day of battle, Lee was forced to retreat after the famous Pickett's Charge, named after Maj. Gen. Pickett of the Confederacy. The charge was repulsed by rifle and artillary fire. Lee would retreat back to Virginia.
  • Siege of Vicksburg

    Siege of Vicksburg
    The Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi took place from May 18 to July 4, 1863. Major General Ulysses S. Grant with the help primarily from Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, forced Confederate General John C. Pumberton into the city of Vicksburg. After 40 days without reinforcements or supplies, the South finally surrendered the battle. Almost 30,000 Southerners were taken captive. Combined with Robert E. Lee's Loss at Gettysburg the day before, many say that this was the turning point of the war.
  • Battle of Chickamauga

    Battle of Chickamauga
    Sept. 19-20, 1863, Catoosa and Walker Counties of SE Tennessee and NW Georgia- The Confed. was led by Gen. Braxton Bragg and the Union was led by Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans. It's the most significant loss to the Union on the western side. In casualties, it's second only to the Battle of Gettysburg. After success of his Tullahoma Campaign, Rosecrans gathered his troops and planned to force Bragg out of Chattanooga. Bragg decides to take on Union in two parts, and ends up retreating in city.
  • Battle of the Wilderness

    Battle of the Wilderness
    Fought on May 5-7, 1864, in Spotsylvania and Orange County, Virginia. First battle of Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's Overland Campaign. Grant made it into a war of attrition against Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and Confederate capital of Richmond. Technically, no one was victorious, but Grant did disengage Lee and continue on the offensive. Heavy casualties were taken on both sides, close to 1,800 for the North and over 1,100 for the south.
  • Battle of Spotsylvania Court House

    Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
    The Battle of Spotsylvania was fought from May 8- May 21, 1864. Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant led the Union, and Gen. Robert E. Lee led the Confederacy. Following a costly and fruitless fight during the Battle of the WIlderness, the Union retreated and marched south. They lured the Confederacy into a more favorable battlefield. Lee's men, only half in number, beat Grant's men there and started entrenching. The Union lost over 1,800 men and the South lost over 1,300, resulting in another stalemate.
  • Sherman's March to the Sea

    Sherman's March to the Sea
    Major General William Tecumseh Sherman's March to the Sea took place from November 15th to December 21st of 1864. This is the first (and only) time total warfare is used in the American Civil War. After burning Atlanta, Georgia, Sherman Marched to the port city of Savannah. On his way he burned, consumed, destroyed everything his men came across. Livestock, crops, railroads, homes, roads, etc. He and Lt. General Grant agreed for the Union to prevail, the South had to be broken in every way.
  • Seige of Petersburg

    Seige of Petersburg
    June 9, 1864 - March 25, 1865, Petersburg, Virginia - Unlike a traditional siege, the Siege of Petersburg was a 9 month battle of trench warfare. The Union, led by Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant with Maj. Generals Meade and Butler, tried desperately cut off Petersburg's supply to the Confederate capital of Richmond. The Confederacy was led by General Robert E. Lee and Major Generals Beauregard, Longstreet, Ewell, Hill and Anderson. After long, strenuous fighting, on March 25, 1865, the Union won.
  • Lincoln's Assassination

    Lincoln's Assassination
    14 April 1865- Successful attempt made on Abraham Lincoln's life by well known actor John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln was the first president to be assassinated. He was shot in the back of the head by Booth's Philadelphia Derringer. He died the next day. Also that night, an unsuccessful attempt was made on Secretary of State William Steward's life. President Andrew Johnson would carry out the rest of Lincoln's second presidential term.