Lincolns Presidency

  • Nominated

    Abraham Lincoln is nominated to be the Republican candidate for President of the United States.
  • elected

    Abraham Lincoln is elected as 16th President of the United States, and is the first Republican. He receives 180 of 303 possible electoral votes and 40 percent of the popular vote.
  • States start to secede

    South Carolina secedes from the Union – followed within two months by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.
  • Leaves for the white house

    President-elect Lincoln gives a brief farewell to friends and supporters at Springfield and leaves by train for Washington, D.C. During the train trip, he is warned about a possible assassination attempt.
  • Inauguration ceremonies

    Inauguration ceremonies are held in Washington, D.C. President Lincoln delivers his First Inaugural Address.
  • The Civil War Begins

    Confederate artillery opens fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. The Civil War begins.
  • Lincoln Issues a Proclamation

    President Lincoln issues a Proclamation Calling Militia and Convening Congress.
  • Virginia Secedes

    Virginia secedes from the Union – followed within five weeks by North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas, thus forming an eleven-state Confederacy.
  • Proclamation of Blockades

    The President issues a Proclamation of Blockade against Southern ports.
  • Writ of Habeas Corpus

    The President authorizes the suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus.
  • Stephan A. Douglas

    June 3, 1861 - Political rival Stephen A. Douglas dies unexpectedly of acute rheumatism
  • Bull Run

    The Union suffers a defeat at Bull Run in northern Virginia. Union troops fall back to Washington. The President now realizes the war will be long.
  • George B. McClellan

    Lincoln appoints George B. McClellan as Commander of the Department of the Potomac.
  • Lincoln Signs a Law

    Lincoln signs a law freeing slaves being used by the Confederates in their war effort.
  • General John C. Fremont

    Lincoln revokes General John C. Frémont's unauthorized military proclamation of emancipation in Missouri.
  • Generla David Hunter

    Lincoln relieves General Frémont of his command and replaces him with General David Hunter.
  • McClellan as Commander of the Union

    Lincoln appoints General McClellan as Commander of the Union Army after the resignation of Winfield Scott.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    President Lincoln issues the final Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in territories held by Confederates.
  • Union Advance

    Lincon issues General War Order No. 1 calling for a Union advance to begin February 22nd.
  • Military Plans

    Lincoln writes a message to McClellan on a difference of opinion regarding military plans.
  • Lincoln Loses a Son

    The President's son Willie dies at age 11. The President's wife is emotionally devastated and never fully recovers.
  • Lincoln Takes Direct Command of the Union Army

    President Lincoln relieves McClellan as General-in-Chief and takes direct command of the Union armies.
  • Supprise Attack

    A Confederate surprise attack on General Ulysses S. Grant's troops at Shiloh on the Tennessee River results in a bitter struggle with 13,000 Union men killed and wounded and 10,000 Confederates. The President is then pressured to relieve Grant but resists.
  • McClellan Encouraged to Attack

    Lincoln writes a message to McClellan urging him to attack.
  • Abolishing Slavery

    Lincoln signs an Act abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia.
  • Federal Homestead Law

    Lincoln approves the Federal Homestead Law giving 160 acres of publicly owned land to anyone who will claim and then work the property for 5 years. Thousands then cross the Mississippi to tame the 'Wild West.'
  • Prohibiting Slavery

    Lincoln approves a Law prohibiting slavery in the Territories.
  • Second Battle of Bull Run

    The Union suffers a defeat at the second Battle of Bull Run in northern Virginia. The Union Army retreats to Washington, D.C. The President then relieves Union Commander, General John Pope.
  • Antietam

    General Robert E. Lee and the Confederate armies are stopped at Antietam in Maryland by McClellan and his numerically superior Union forces. By nightfall, 26,000 men are dead, wounded or missing - the bloodiest day in U.S. military history.
  • Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation

    The President issues a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves.
  • Replacing McClellan

    The President names Ambrose E. Burnside as Commander of the Army of the Potomac, replacing McClellan.
  • Fredericksburg

    The Army of the Potomac suffers a costly defeat at Fredericksburg in Virginia with a loss of 12,653 men. Confederate losses are 5,309.
  • Breif Message

    The President writes a brief message to the Army of the Potomac.
  • West Virginia

    The President signs a bill admitting West Virginia to the Union.
  • General Hooker

    The President appoints Joseph (Fighting Joe) Hooker as Commander of the Army of the Potomac, replacing Burnside.
  • Vicksburg

    General Ulysses S. Grant is placed in command of the Army of the West, with orders to capture Vicksburg.
  • National Banking System

    Lincoln signs a Bill creating a National banking system.
  • Military Consription

    Lincoln signs an Act introducing military conscription.
  • Battle of Chancellorsville

    The Union suffers a defeat in the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia. Famed Confederate General Stonewall Jackson is mortally wounded. Hooker retreats. Union losses are 17,000 killed, wounded and missing. Confederate losses are 13,000.
  • Grant Makes a Mistake

    A costly mistake by Grant results in 7,000 Union casualties in twenty minutes during an offensive against entrenched Confederates at Cold Harbor, Virginia.
  • George G. Meade

    The President appoints George G. Meade as Commander of the Army of the Potomac, replacing Hooker.
  • Battle of Gettysburg

    Confederate defeat in the Battle of Gettysburg marks the turning point of the war.
  • Vicksburg

    Vicksburg, the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi, is captured by the General Grant and the Army of the West.
  • Undelivered Letter

    Writes an undelivered letter to Meade complaining about his failure to capture Lee.
  • Retaliations

    Lincoln issues an Order of Retaliation.
  • Negro Troops

    The President meets with abolitionist Frederick Douglass who pushes for full equality for Union 'Negro troops.'
  • Chikamuaga

    A Union defeat at Chickamauga in Georgia leaves Chattanooga in Tennessee under Confederate siege. The President appoints General Grant to command all operations in the Western Theater.
  • Proclamation Of Amnesty

    The President issues a Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction for restoration of the Union.
  • Appointing New Positions

    President Lincoln appoints Grant as General-in-Chief of all the Federal armies. William T. Sherman succeeds Grant as Commander in the West.
  • Nominated for a second term

    Abraham Lincoln is nominated for a second term as president by a coalition of Republicans and War Democrats.
  • Volunteers for Military Service

    The President issues a call for 500,000 volunteers for military service.
  • Ohio Regiment

    Lincoln makes a speech to the 148th Ohio Regiment.
  • Shermans March

    Atlanta is captured by Sherman's army. Later, the President on advice from Grant, approves Sherman's 'March to the Sea.'
  • Shenandoah Valley

    A decisive Union victory by General Philip H. Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley.
  • Lincoln Re-elected

    Abraham Lincoln is re-elected as President, defeating Democrat George B. McClellan. Lincoln gets 212 of 233 electoral votes and 55 percent of the popular vote.
  • Gettysburg Address

    President Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address at a ceremony dedicating the Battlefield as a National Cemetery.
  • Savannah, Georgia

    Sherman reaches Savannah in Georgia leaving behind a path of destruction 60 miles wide all the way from Atlanta.
  • Second Inaugural Address

    Inauguration ceremonies in Washington, D.C. with President Lincoln delivering his Second Inaugural Address.
  • Kidnap Plot

    A kidnap plot by John Wilkes Booth fails when Lincoln doesn't arrive for a visit to the Soldiers' Home.
  • Appottamox

    The Civil War concludes as General Robert E. Lee surrenders his Confederate Army to General Ulysses S. Grant at the village of Appomattox Court House in Virginia.
  • Last Public Speech

    President Lincoln makes his last public speech which focuses on the problems of reconstruction. The United States flag 'Stars and Stripes' is raised over Fort Sumter.
  • Lincoln is Shot

    Lincoln and his wife Mary see the play "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater. About 10:13 p.m., during the third act of the play, John Wilkes Booth shoots the President in the head. Doctors attend to the President in the theater then move him to a house across the street. He never regains consciousness.
  • Lincoln Dies

    President Abraham Lincoln dies at 7:22 in the morning.
  • John Wikes Booth

    John Wilkes Booth is shot and killed in a tobacco barn in Virginia.
  • Lincoln Funeral

    Abraham Lincoln is laid to rest in Oak Ridge Cemetery, outside Springfield, Illinois.
  • 13th Amendment

    The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, passed by Congress on January 31, 1865, is finally ratified. Slavery is abolished.