The Civil War

  • Abraham Lincoln Elected President (First Term)

    Abraham Lincoln Elected President (First Term)
    Lincoln won only about a third of the popular vote, but 180 electoral votes, versus 123 votes of all the other candidates combined. He didn't get a single slave state vote in the electoral college, angering the southern states and eventually leading to the formation of the Confederate States of America.
  • The Confederate States of America is Formed

    The Confederate States of America is Formed
    As a result of Lincoln winning the election of 1860, the Confederate States of America formed, starting with South Carolina on December 20, 1860. Within a year, 11 other states enter the Confederacy.
  • Attack on Fort Sumter

    Attack on Fort Sumter
    This attack is widely accepted as the start of the Civil War. General Beauregard, the Confederate commander, demanded that the Union surrender Fort Sumter and consequently fired upon it when garrison commander Anderson refused. There were no casualties from the actual bombardment, but two were wounded and one killed because a cannon went off too soon during evacuation.
  • First Battle of Bull Run

    First Battle of Bull Run
    This was the first major battle of the Civil War. While the Union attempted to force the Confederates out, General Jackson held his ground. A man compared his steadfastness to a stone wall, creating the nickname "Stonewall" Jackson.
  • Trent Affair

    Trent Affair
    While on a British ship trying to enlist aid from England and France, Confederates James Murray Mason and John Slidell were captured by Union Captain Charles Wilkes. This act angered Britain, who demanded an apology from the Union and the immediate release of those two men.
  • U.S.S. Monitor vs C.S.S. Virginia

    U.S.S. Monitor vs C.S.S. Virginia
    The C.S.S. Virginia was the first ironclad ship to be created. During this confrontation, cannonballs from both ships deflected off of the sides, failing to be detrimental to either ship.
  • Battle of Shiloh

    Battle of Shiloh
    The Confederat forces attacked an unprepared Union army at Pittsburg Landing. Although they were taken by surprise, the Union managed to win. However, they also suffered greater casualties.
  • Union Capture of New Orleans

    Union Capture of New Orleans
    Capturing New Orleans was relatively easy for General David Farragut, since the troops who would have normally be defending the city were in Tennessee. The loss of New Orleans was a significant loss for the South, as it was their main port and largest city.
  • Seven Days' Battle

    Seven Days' Battle
    Here General McClellan failed to capture Confederate capital Richmond, Virginia, ending the Peninsular Campaign. Union casualties were around 16,000 and Confederate casualties were about 20,000.
  • Second Battle of Bull Run

    Second Battle of Bull Run
    General Jackson and General John Pope went head-to-head in Prince William County. After receiving reinforcements from General Longstreet, Jackson forced a Union retreat, giving the south a victory.
  • Battle of Antietam

    Battle of Antietam
    The casualties from this battle were greater than all the previous wars fought by the United States combined, making it the bloodiest single-day battle in American history. This was a major victory for the Union. President Lincoln used it to his advantage and introduced the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    After the Battle of Antietam, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which only freed slaves in states that had seceeded from the Union. It also allowed black men to enter into the Union army.
  • FIrst (Union) Conscription Act

    FIrst (Union) Conscription Act
    This draft was quite unpopular among the Americans. Most felt that it was infringing upon their free will and liberty. Also, they thought it unfair that the wealthy could pay their way out of it.
  • Siege of Vicksburg

    Siege of Vicksburg
    Major General Ulysses S. Grant cut off the city of Vicksburg for two weeks, prohibiting the importation of food and supplies into the city. General Pemberton surrendered on July 4 to keep the people from starving.
  • West Virginia Becomes a State

    West Virginia Becomes a State
    The people west of the Allegheny Mountains were not happy with Virginia's decision to secede from the Union. They decided to break away from that state on October 24, 1861 and wouldn't become a state until two years later.
  • Gettysburg Address

    Gettysburg Address
    This address was given by President Lincoln at the dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg. It was about two minutes long, but it is one of the most famous speeches in American history.
  • Battle of Chattanooga

    Battle of Chattanooga
    General Sherman reinforced General Grant's army, which enabled him to capture Orchard Knob and Lookout Mountain. Chattanooga was known as the "Gateway to the Lower South" and it became the base for Sherman's Atlanta Campaign.
  • Battle of Cold Harbor

    Battle of Cold Harbor
    This is, as General Grant says, the only attack he wished he had never ordered. The Union casualties were around 13,000 and Confederate casualties about 4,000.
  • Siege of Petersburg

    Siege of Petersburg
    General Grant surrounded the city for 9 months. The seige ended when Grant forces the Confederates to surrender at the Appomattox Court House.
  • Assassination of President Lincoln

    Assassination of President Lincoln
    While attending "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater, Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln was carried to Petersen's Boarding House, where he died the next morning.