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President Abraham Lincoln

  • The Election of 1860

    The Election of 1860 was the 19th quadrennial presidential election. Abraham Lincoln, running for the Republican Party, came out successful and became the reigning president during the Civil War.His election served as an immediate call for the civil war to begin due to Lincoln's views on slavery.
  • Union Blockade

    The Union blockade in the American Civil War was a naval strategy by the United States to prevent the Confederacy from trading. Lincoln placed the blockade on the ports of: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas. This blockade action called on a Union victory.
  • Lincoln's First Inaugural Address

    In Lincoln's inaugural address he promised to not interfere with the institution of slavery and he pledges to suspend the duties of the federal government temporarily in areas of hostility. Lincoln focused heavily on reassuring the southern states that the president would not try and strip there slaves away from them.
  • Lincoln Call 75,000 Militia

    On April 15th, 1861 Lincoln called on 75,000 Militia to serve for three months following the surrender of Fort Sumter. This was the beginning of the Civil War.
  • Virginia Secedes

    In response to Lincoln's decision to use force in South Carolina, Virginia secedes from the nation, followed by three other upper Southern states: North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas. Four border slave states remain in the Union.
  • Arkansas secedes

    Arkansas secedes from the Union.
  • 1861 Message to Congress

    In his July 4, 1861, message to Congress, President Abraham Lincoln defended his calling up the militia and suspending habeas corpus. Lincoln explained the urgent need of a military response to preserve the Union, and he requested additional troops and funds. Lincolns message was read in the U.S. Capital.
  • Battle of Bull Run

    On July 21st 1861, Lincoln hears about the Union Army defeat at the Battle of Bull Run. The Union's defeat in battle of Bull Run was better than a victory because: the defeat caused Northerners to face up to the reality of a long, difficult war. As a result of the Union loss in the Peninsula Campaign: Lincoln began to draft the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • Hosts Dinner at The White House

    On August 3 1861, Lincoln hosted a dinner at the White House inviting Prince Napoleon of France. Lincoln's invitation towards the Prince allows France to be neutral during the American Civil War.
  • General George B. McClellan

    On November 1st 1861, Abraham Lincoln places General George B. McClellan in command over Union troops succeeding General Winfield Scott.
  • Agreement on Trent Affair

    On November 8, 1861, Charles Wilkes, a U.S. Navy Officer, captured two Confederate envoys aboard the British mail ship, the Trent. The U.S. boarding party took Mason, Slidell, and their secretaries as prisoners, but allowed the Trent to depart for England. On December 25 of 1861, Lincoln came to an agreement over the affair.
  • Secretary of War

    On January 1st of 1862, President Abraham Lincoln nominated Edwin M. Stanton as Secretary of War replacing the previous Secretary, Simon Cameron.
  • Supreme Court Associate Justice

    Lincoln nominated Noah H. Swayne of Ohio as a U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice.
  • Slavery abolished in DC

    Slavery is abolished in District of Columbia.
  • Attack on Norfolk, Virginia

    From May 5-12, President Abraham Lincoln visited Fort Monroe and even participated in the Attack on Norfolk.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture

    On May 15, 1862 President Lincoln approved the establishment of the US Department of Agriculture.
  • Homestead Act

    Approves the Homestead Act, giving homesteads to settlers on government lands
  • Visits with Generals

    Visits Fredericksburg, Virginia to meet with General McDowell and Colonel Haupt and on June 24 of 1862 he Visited West Point, New York, to meet with General Winfield Scott.
  • Robert E. Lee Commander

    General Robert E. Lee is appointed commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia after his predecessor is wounded.
  • Introduction of Emancipation Proclamation

    Lincoln announces to his cabinet his intention to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. By this point, he believes the border states will remain in the Union. Lincoln decides to wait to address the nation publicly, however, hoping to introduce his proclamation after a more favorable military battle.
  • Second Battle of Bull Run

    The Second Battle of Bull Run takes place. Generals Stonewall Jackson and Lee prove too much for the Union troops under General John Pope, who retreat to Washington, D.C. The battle leads to huge Union losses.
  • Battle of Antietam Creek

    The Battle of Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Maryland, occurs, and becomes the bloodiest one-day engagement of the Civil War. General Lee invades the North in an attempt to isolate Washington, D.C., but finds himself trapped by General McClellan's union forces. The Union is aided by Lee's orders, left by a Confederate soldier at a campsite. Nearly 5,000 men are killed and 18,000 wounded. McClellan fails to follow Lee's retreat, and a frustrated Lincoln consequently removes him from his command.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Following the Confederate defeat at Antietam, Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, to go into effect on January 1, 1863. In the document, Lincoln frees all slaves in Confederate or contested areas of the South. Slaves in non-Confederate border states and in parts of the Confederacy under Union control are not included. European public opinion sides with Lincoln and the Union.
  • Battle of Fredericksburg

    The Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, marks a grave defeat for the Union. General Lee and his Confederate troops defeat General Burnside. Union losses number more than 12,600, while Confederate casualties rise to 5,300.
  • Emancipation Proclamation Goes Into Effect

    On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. With it, he freed all slaves in Confederate or contested areas of the South. However, the Proclamation did not include slaves in non-Confederate border states and in parts of the Confederacy under Union control
  • The battle of Murfreesboro

    The Battle of Murfreesboro occurs. It was a union victory and had the most numbers of casualties from both sides.
  • Stonewall Wounded

    General Stonewall Jackson is wounded in the Battle of Chancellorsville, accidentally shot by his own troops; his left arm must be amputated. Jackson catches pneumonia and dies on May 10.
  • Arizona

    The territory of Arizona is formed from the Territory of New Mexico
  • National Banking Act

    The National Banking Act, designed by Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, creates the system for a national bank. To supervise, Congress creates the “controller of the currency” position, which is first given to Hugh McCulloch on May 9, 1863.
  • Battle of Chancellorsville

    Near the District of Columbia, in Virginia, the Battle of Chancellorsville takes place. General Lee wins a brilliant victory over Union General Joseph Hooker. Following his success, Lee decides to begin a second invasion into the North.
  • West Virginia

    West Virginia is admitted to Union as the thirty-fifth state
  • Battle of Gettysburg

    The Battle of Gettysburg occurs. In his invasion, Lee makes a bid to take Washington, D.C., from the west. General Meade meets him at Gettysburg. After two days of battle, Lee sends General Picket and 15,000 men on a charge across Cemetery Ridge. July 5th, Lee's troops retreat, never to return to the North. The South suffers greatly with nearly 30,000 killed, wounded, or missing; the North endures 23,000 casualties. Meade fails to pursue the retreating Confederate troops, frustrating Lincoln
  • Vicksburg Captured

    After an engagement of months, General Ulysses S. Grant finally captures Vicksburg, Mississippi, a Confederate stronghold. Using the tactics of “total war,” Grant feeds his troops on Southern crops and starves Vicksburg and its defenders into submission. Capturing Vicksburg gives the Union control over the entirety of Mississippi. Shortly thereafter, Lincoln appoints Grant his lieutenant general, announcing, “Grant is my man, and I am his the rest of the war.”
  • Sherman's March begins

    After burning Atlanta, General Sherman begins his notorious 300-mile march to the sea with 62,000 men. Traveling roughly ten miles a day, the Union troops ravage the countryside, leaving a path of destruction fifty miles wide; they capture Savannah in late December. Sherman then turns toward South Carolina
  • Gettysburg Address

    Lincoln makes his famous Gettysburg Address -- consisting of three short paragraphs -- on the bloodstained battlefield. Ceremonies take place which include the dedication of a national cemetery.
  • Lincoln's Second Term

    The Republican National Convention nominates President Lincoln for second term. Andrew Johnson is nominated as his new vice president.
  • Confederates Evacuate Atlanta

    Confederates under General John Hood evacuate from Atlanta, Georgia. The next day, Union forces led by General William Tecumseh Sherman occupy the city. Grant's colleague, Sherman will continue his run through Georgia, utilizing the tactics of “total warfare.”
  • Lincoln Re-Elected

    Following decisive Union victories by Admiral Farragut in Alabama and General Sherman in Atlanta, Abraham Lincoln is reelected as President of the United States, with Andrew Johnson as his vice president. Along with 55 percent of the popular vote, Lincoln wins 212 electoral votes to McClellan's 21.
  • 13th Amendment

    With Lincoln's influence, the House of Representatives approves the Thirteenth Amendment, which calls for the emancipation of all slaves and no compensation to their owners. The amendment was passed by the Senate in 1864 but failed to receive the necessary votes in the House. By December of 1865, enough states ratify the amendment to make it constitutionally binding.
  • Robert E. Lee in overall command

    The Confederate Congress in Richmond gives Robert E. Lee overall command of the Confederate armies. Previously, President Jefferson Davis had served as commander.
  • Freedman's Bureau created

    Congress creates the Freedmen's Bureau to help Southern blacks affected by the war. The Bureau supplies blacks with food, clothing, and medical care, and will orchestrate the placement of freedmen on abandoned lands.
  • Lincoln Inaugurated

    Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated as president for his second term while Andrew Johnson succeeds Hannibal Hamlin as vice-president.
  • Surrender at Appomattox

    After Union forces capture much-needed Confederate supplies at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders to General Grant, marking the end of the Civil War.
  • Lincoln Shot

    Actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth shoots President Lincoln at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., at around 10:15 p.m.
  • Lincoln Dies

    Abraham Lincoln dies at 7:22 a.m. in the home of William Petersen. Vice President Andrew Johnson is sworn in as the seventeenth President of the United States. He had been shot by an assassin the night before and died of a head wound early on the morning of the 15th.