Key events of the Civil War Era

  • Period: to

    Civil War Events Before 1863

  • Lincoln is elected

    When Abraham Lincoln is elected President, a new era of Republican leadership in Washington begins. With a divided Democratic party with canidates John C. Breckenridge and Stephen Douglas. Lincoln's unity in the Republican party proves victorious.
  • The First State Leaves the Union

    When Lincoln was elected President, many Southerners felt they weren't being treated fairly. With a history of nullification, South Carolina became the 1st state to seceed from the Union and form its own government. The government became known as the Confederate States of America
  • Confedercy is formed

    Delegates from South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana met in Montgomery, Alabama to form the Confederate States of America. Jefferson Davis was elected President of the Confederacy. In the Confederate's minds, they were seperate and of equal status as a sovereign nation like that of their Northern brothers.
  • Confederate Capitol Formed

    As four more states left the Union, the Confederacy was essentially finalized with 11 member states. The capitol of the CSA was moved to Richmond, Virginia, and major military, political, and economical decisions began to take place within the CSA. The capitol was relatively close to Washington and the Union government.
  • Fort Sumter Attacked

    The fort stationed in South Carolina was given reinforcement supplies by President Lincoln. Because the fort belonged to the North, the South took the reinforcements as a confrontation. With that attitude, the first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter.
  • The First Battle of Bull Run

    General Irvin McDowell attacked the Confederate troops stationed at Manassas Junction, Virginia. Initially, he was successful until the Confederates brought reinforcements. The blow was ultimately a big shock to Washington and brought a greater attention to the Civil War.
  • General George B. McClellan rises up in rank

    Lincoln made the 1st of several changes of commanders of the Union army by appointing McClellan. General McClellan was an exceptionally good at organization and training of the Union troops. He lead the Union until March 1862.
  • The Peninsular Campaign

    This failed attempt to capture Richmond was a result of the incoporation of Confederate reinforcements after an initial defeat. The Union was not able to achieve its hopeful stifling of the Confederacy. As a result, the Union army was taken aback and General Lee was able to fortify the Confederate forts.
  • Emancipation Proclamation delivered

    On New Years Day. President Lincoln delivered his famous proclmation of the freedom of slaves. The speech was the moral shifter of the Uion's goal in fighting the war, but it did little to actually emancipate the slaves. Slaves became part of the fighting as army men and soldiers in the Union.
  • Battle of Gettysburg

    The bloodiest battle of the Civil War, the results dratiscally changed the course of the war. The Confederacy was not able to be recognized by foreign nations as a result of the war. President Lincoln marked this site as a national (Union and Confederacy) mourning site and gave his famous Gettysburg Address.
  • Period: to

    Civil War Events After 1863

  • General Grant becomes Commander of the US army

    President Lincoln appointed General Ulysses S. Grant to become commander of the US army. Grant would eventually lead the Union to victory in the Civil War. Grant went on to become President, though he possessed more military leadership qualities.
  • Sherman captures Atlanta

    Using powerful tactics, Sherman commanded the Union army and attacked Atlanta. He completely destroyed the city and left the Confederates hopeless. He instituted his philosophy of total war on the lives of the Georgians.
  • Lincoln reelected President

    Lincoln was reelected President and the Republican ruling of the Union continued. Lincoln's election brought continuity to the Union. By retaining its leader, the Union was able to push its way to victory.
  • Robert E. Lee

    General Robert E. Lee becomes commander of the Confederate Army. Lee was a prominent leader, great military figure, and the best chance the Confederacy had to win. Soon after however, Lee joined General Grant to talk surrendering.
  • Union captures Columbia, Charleston, South Carolina

    In the capture of Columbia ad Charleston, South Carolina, the Union began its cutting off of the Confederacy. President Lincoln wanted Union troops to cut off the CSA right down the middle. By capturing these cities, the Union army began to do that and provided a spark fro the defeat of the Confederacy a few months later.
  • Free Slaves

    The Confederacy initiated the requirement to slaves saying they could be free if they fought in the war. This was a huge step towards eventual emancipation. The reality of the maneuver though, was that the Confederacy needed more men to fight the war they were losing.
  • Lee surrenders

    General Lee surrenders to the Union army at the Appomattox Court House. Union soldiers practically surrounded Richmond and thus forced General Lee to surrender. This ended the Civil War, but hostile tensions proved to continue.
  • Lincoln killed

    Days after the ending of war, President Lincoln was shot and killed by John Wilks Booth in Ford's Theater. The great emancipator died at a point where he had the greatest reputation. VP Andrew Johnson became President and was thrown into the shaky attitudes of citizens in the Union.
  • Battle of the Wilderness

    Generals Grant and Lee took part in a series of bloody battles over the course of several days. These battles proved to be brutal. Both sides lost numerous men, and the Civil War had begun to define itself as a war that would be costly to both sides.
  • Jefferson Davis Captured

    Jefferson Davis is captured and President Johnson declares the fighting between the two sides is officially over. The lone president of the CSA is captured, therefore the CSA became a power vacucum the Union was eager to recapture. Shortly after, President Johnson developed his reconstruction plan for allowing the confederate states back in the Union.