The Civil War

  • Attack on Fort Sumter

    Attack on Fort Sumter
    In 1861, Confederate troops launched an attack on Fort Sumter. The attack on this federal outpost in Charleston, South Carolina sparked the Civil the Civil War. Confederate troops were attacking the fort as it was a federal outpost occupied by Union troops.
  • First Battle of Bull Run

    First Battle of Bull Run
    The First Battle of Bull Run occurred on July 21, 1861. It was the first major battle of the Civil War. This battle is also known as the Battle of Manassas. It ended in a Confederate victory and destroyed the Union’s hopes of ending the war quickly.
  • Trent Affair

    Trent Affair
    The USS San Jacinto, under the command of Captain James of the Union army, halted the British trip the Trent, a mail ship. The ship was headed for Confederate lands for diplomatic reasons. This affair was a close call for war between Great Britain and the Union during the Civil War.
  • Battle of Shiloh

    Battle of Shiloh
    The Battle of Shiloh took place on April 6, 1862 in Tennessee. Union General Ulysses S. Grant defeated the Confederate army under Robert E. Lee. Because of this victory, the Union army gained greater control on the Mississippi River Valley.
  • Battle of Seven Pines

    Battle of Seven Pines
    The Battle of Seven Pines (also known as the Battle of Fair Oaks) took place on May 31st, 1862 and ended June 1st, 1862. This is another inconclusive battle that led to the Seven Days' Battle and Union retreat. Both sides roughly had the same amount of casualties and neither side had any big, major accomplishments.
  • Battle of Antietam

    Battle of Antietam
    The Battle of Antietam happened in Maryland in September of 1862. Union General McClellan defeated Confederate General Lee’s northward advance. This is also the single, most bloody single-day battle of the Civil War.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    In September of 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, officially freeing all slaves in the Confederate states. The proclamation was favored by abolitionists, claiming that there was no point in fighting the war without reaching a point of consistency in the United States and outlawing slavery in throughout the country.
  • First (Union) Conscription Act

    First (Union) Conscription Act
    In March, Congress approved a draft. Men were allowed to buy their way out of the draft, but they had to pay $300. Many of the people were unable to buy their way out of the draft. These drafts caused riots and the people were not happy with them.
  • Battle of Chancellorsville

    Battle of Chancellorsville
    The Battle of Chancellorsville took place in April 1863 in Virginia. The battle resulted in a Confederate victory, but at a high cost. The army lost their beloved Confederate officer, General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.
  • Siege of Vicksburg

    Siege of Vicksburg
    In mid-May of 1863, General Grant led his troops to the city of Vicksburg and cut it off from everything. As time went on, the town eventually ran out of supplies needed to surive, such as food. They survived by eating things such as horses, dogs, and rats. On July 4th, Pemberton finally surrendered. After his surrender, Grant sent food to the solidiers and civilians.
  • West Virginia becomes a state

    West Virginia becomes a state
    During the Civil War, West Virginia broke away from Virginia. It was the only state to form by succession. It was considered a key border state during the war.
  • 54th Massachusetts Infantry

    54th Massachusetts Infantry
    The 54th Massachusetts Infantry included many free African Americans. In July 1863, the regiment charged South Carolina's Fort Wagner. However, the 54th Massachusetts Infantry failed. Half of the regiment was killed, wounded, or captured.
  • Battle of Chickamauga

    Battle of Chickamauga
    The Battle of Chickamauga began on September 19th, 1863, and ended a day later on September 20th. This battle is considered the most significant defeat of the Union. It involved the second highest number of casualties. On the first day, the Union line was not broken. On the second day, the Union was forced to retreat.
  • Gettysburg Address

    Gettysburg Address
    On November 19th, 1863 Lincoln gave the Gettsyburg Address, which was a speech where he recognized the Union solidiers and honored them. This is one of the most famous speeches in history. In the speech, Lincoln refers to the Declaration of Indepence and the ideals of liberty, equality, and democracy. This speech helped Lincoln greatly and renewed the commitment of winning the Civil War.
  • Sherman’s March to the Sea

    Sherman’s March to the Sea
    William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union army began a march from Tennessee south in order to take Atlanta, Georgia in 1862. Along with 100,000 troops, Sherman was in sight of Atlanta by July. On September 2, 1864, Atlanta fell to the Union siege.
  • Battle of Spotsylvania

    Battle of Spotsylvania
    The Battle of Spotsylvania lasted for two weeks, It was the second major battle of the Overland Campaign. This battle had almost 32,000 casualties, making it one of the top five battles of the Civil War (casualty-wise.) On the last day of the battle, Lee did not fall for Grant's trap. The result of the battle was inconclusive.
  • Battle of Cold Harbor

    Battle of Cold Harbor
    The Battle of Cold Harbor is often remembered as one of the bloodiest battles. On May 31st, the Union seized the crossroads of Cold Harbor and held it against Confederate attacks. Fortifications were made and attacked. Grant said, "I have always regretted that the last assault at Cold Harbor was ever made. ... No advantage whatever was gained to compensate for the heavy loss we sustained." The Battle of Cold Harbor resulted in a Confederate victory.
  • The Siege of Petersburg

    The Siege of Petersburg
    Unlike classic military sieges, the Siege of Petersburg was a trench warfare. Grant tried to attack Petersburg and when that failed, he created trench lines that were 30 miles long, from the eastern outskirts of Richmond, Virginia, to around the eastern and southern outskirts of Petersburg. Lee surrendered once supply lines were cut, stopping it before a true siege begun. It was a Union victory.
  • Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse

    Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse
    On April 9, 1865, the Confederate army under General Robert E. Lee surrendered to the Union army under General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia. This surrender brought the end of the Civil War. Lee and his soldiers were permitted to keep their swords and horses.
  • Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

    Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
    On April 14, 1865, Lincoln was attending a play with his wife at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. A southerner named John Wilkes Booth snuck into the president’s theater booth and shot Lincoln there. He died early the next morning in a boarding house across the street.