Events of the Civil War

  • Lincoln elected President

    Lincoln elected President
    Abraham Lincoln, who had declared "Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free..." is elected president, the first Republican, receiving 180 of 303 possible electoral votes and 40 percent of the popular vote.
  • Period: to

    Civil War Era

  • Southern States Secede from the Union

    Southern States Secede from the Union
    South Carolina secedes from the Union. Followed within two months by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.
  • Ft. Sumter Attacked

    Ft. Sumter Attacked
    At 4:30 a.m. Confederates under Gen. Pierre Beauregard open fire with 50 cannons upon Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina. The Civil War begins.
  • Virginia secedes from the Union

    Virginia secedes from the Union
    Virginia secedes from the Union, followed within five weeks by Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina, thus forming an eleven state Confederacy with a population of 9 million, including nearly 4 million slaves. The Union will soon have 21 states and a population of over 20 million.
  • Battle of Bull Run

    Battle of Bull Run
    In the first major battle of the Civil War Confederate general Jackson held back the Union forces and earns the nickname "Stonewall" Jackson. The South gains its first major victory of the war.
  • Lincoln revokes unauthorized military proclamation of emancipation in Missouri

    Lincoln revokes unauthorized military proclamation of emancipation in Missouri
    President Lincoln revokes Gen. John C. Frémont's unauthorized military proclamation of emancipation in Missouri. Later, the president relieves Gen. Frémont of his command and replaces him with Gen. David Hunter.
  • President Lincoln issues General War Order No. 1

    President Lincoln issues General War Order No. 1
    President Lincoln issues General War Order No. 1 calling for all United States naval and land forces to begin a general advance by Feb 22, George Washington's birthday.
  • Victory for Grant in Tennessee

    Victory for Grant in Tennessee
    Victory for Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in Tennessee, capturing Fort Henry, and ten days later Fort Donelson. Grant earns the nickname "Unconditional Surrender" Grant.
  • Naval Warfare changes

    Naval Warfare changes
    The Confederate Ironclad 'Merrimac' sinks two wooden Union ships then battles the Union Ironclad 'Monitor' to a draw. Naval warfare is thus changed forever, making wooden ships obsolete.
  • Battle of Shiloh

    Battle of Shiloh
    The Battle of Shiloh, also known as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing, was a major battle in the Western Theater of the American Civil War. The two-day battle of Shiloh, the costliest in U.S. history up to that time, resulted in the defeat of the Confederate army. Union casualties were 13,047. Confederate casualties were 10,699.
  • The North takes New Orleans

    The North takes New Orleans
    17 Union ships under the command of Flag Officer David Farragut move up the Mississippi River then take New Orleans, the South's greatest seaport. Later in the war, sailing through a Rebel mine field Farragut utters the famous phrase "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"
  • Seven Days Battle

    Seven Days Battle
    The Seven Days Battles as Lee attacks McClellan near Richmond, resulting in very heavy losses for both armies. McClellan then begins a withdrawal back toward Washington.
  • Second battle of Bull Run

    Second battle of Bull Run
    75,000 Federals under Gen. John Pope are defeated by 55,000 Confederates under Gen. Stonewall Jackson and Gen. James Longstreet at the second battle of Bull Run in northern Virginia. The Union Army retreats to Washington.
  • Antietam

    Antietam
    The bloodiest day in U.S. military history as Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Armies are stopped at Antietam in Maryland by McClellan and numerically superior Union forces. By nightfall 26,000 men are dead, wounded, or missing. Lee then withdraws to Virginia.
  • Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation

    Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation
    Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves issued by President Lincoln.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    Lincoln's emancipation strategy The Emancipation Proclamation consists of two executive orders issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War. The first one, issued September 22, 1862, declared the freedom of all slaves in any state of the Confederate States of America that did not return to Union control by January 1, 1863. The second named ten specific states where it would be effective.
  • Chancellorsville

    Chancellorsville
    The Union Army under Gen. Hooker is decisively defeated by Lee's much smaller forces at the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia as a result of Lee's brilliant and daring tactics. Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson is mortally wounded by his own soldiers. Hooker retreats. Union losses are 17,000 killed, wounded and missing out of 130,000. The Confederates, 13, 000 out of 60,000.
  • Combahee River Raid

    Combahee River Raid
    Harriet Tubman videoHarriet Tubman became the first woman to lead an armed assault during the Civil War.Tubman guided three steamboats around Confederate mines in the waters leading to the shore. Once ashore, the Union troops set fire to the plantations, destroying infrastructure and seizing thousands of dollars worth of food and supplies. When the steamboats sounded their whistles, slaves throughout the area understood that it was being liberated.
  • Gettysburg

    Gettysburg
    GettysburgThe Battle of Gettysburg (July 1–3, 1863), fought in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as part of the Gettysburg Campaign, was the battle with the largest number of casualties in the American Civil War and is often described as the war's turning point. Union Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade's Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, ending Lee's invasion of the North.
  • Gettysburg Address

    Gettysburg Address
    Gettysburg address President Lincoln used the dedication ceremony for the Gettysburg National Cemetery to honor the fallen and redefine the purpose of the war in his historic Gettysburg Address
  • Chattanooga

    Chattanooga
    The Battle of Chattanooga opened the door for the invasion of the Deep South and the capture of Atlanta in 1864. In addition, the battle decimated the Army of Tennessee and forced Confederate President Jefferson Davis to relieve Bragg and replace him General Joseph E. Johnston.
  • Union Army begins campain towards the south

    Union Army begins campain towards the south
    The beginning of a massive, coordinated campaign involving all the Union Armies. In Virginia, Grant with an Army of 120,000 begins advancing toward Richmond to engage Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, now numbering 64,000, beginning a war of attrition that will include major battles at the Wilderness (May 5-6), Spotsylvania (May 8-12), and Cold Harbor (June 1-3).
  • Atlanta falls to Sherman's Army

    Atlanta falls to Sherman's Army
    September 1864, Sherman's men successfully captured Atlanta and continued to defend it through mid-November against Confederate forces led by John Hood. Before he set off on his famous March to the Sea on November 15, Sherman ordered that Atlanta's military resources, including munitions factories, clothing mills and railway yards, be burned. The fire got out of control and left Atlanta in ruins.
  • Lincoln re-elected president of the United States

    Lincoln re-elected president of the United States
    Abraham Lincoln is re-elected president, defeating Democrat George B. McClellan. Lincoln carries all but three states with 55 percent of the popular vote and 212 of 233 electoral votes. "I earnestly believe that the consequences of this day's work will be to the lasting advantage, if not the very salvation, of the country," Lincoln tells supporters.
  • Sherman's March to the Sea

    Sherman's March to the Sea
    Sherman's march to the seaSherman reaches Savannah in Georgia leaving behind a 300 mile long path of destruction 60 miles wide all the way from Atlanta. Sherman then telegraphs Lincoln, offering him Savannah as a Christmas present.
  • Confederate capitol of Richmond is evacuated

    Confederate capitol of Richmond is evacuated
    Grant's forces begin a general advance and break through Lee's lines at Petersburg. Confederate Gen. Lee evacuates Petersburg. The Confederate Capital, Richmond, is evacuated. Fires and looting break out. The next day, Union troops enter and raise the Stars and Stripes.
  • Confederate Army surrenders

    Confederate Army surrenders
    The CSA (Confederate States of America) effectively collapsed when Generals Robert E. Lee and Joseph E. Johnston surrendered their armies in April 1865. The last meeting of its Cabinet took place in Georgia in May. Union troops captured the Confederate President Jefferson Davis near Irwinville, Georgia on May 10, 1865. Nearly all remaining Confederate forces surrendered by the end of June, with the very last Confederate surrender taking place on November 6, 1865, aboard the CSS Shenandoah.
  • Lincoln shot!

    Lincoln shot!
    John Wilkes Booth shoots Lincoln while he is attending a play at Ford's theater with his wife. Lincoln dies the following day and Vice President Andrew Johnson assumes the presidency.
  • Victory Parade

    Victory Parade
    A victory parade is held in Washington along Pennsylvania Ave. to help boost the Nation's morale. The Nation is reunited as the Civil War ends. Over 620,000 Americans died in the war, with disease killing twice as many as those lost in battle. 50,000 survivors return home as amputees.