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The Civil War major milestones

  • Election of 1860

    Election of 1860
    The Election of 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected president on November 6, 1860. Southerners associated the Republican Party with abolition and worried about the South's loss of power in Congress. The southerners warned that if the Republicans won the presidential election, they would secede. When Lincoln won, the South seceded on December 20, 1860.
  • The Seccession of the South

    The Seccession of the South
    The South Secedes After Abraham Lincoln was elected president, South Carolina seceded from the Union on December 20, 1860 along with Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas on February 1, 1860. Delegates from these states met three days later in Montgomery, Alabama, and formed the Confederate States of America, or the Confederacy. They then wrote a constitution and elected Jefferson Davis as their president.
  • Confederate attack on Fort Sumter

    Confederate attack on Fort Sumter
    Confederate Attack on Fort Sumter Confederates began bombarding Fort Sumter which was a federal fort at the entrance to Charleston Harbor in South Carolina. When the fort surrendered, Lincoln stated that the seceded southern states were in rebellion. The Civil War had begun.
  • The First Battle of Bull Run

    The First Battle of Bull Run
    First Battle of Bull Run This battle took place about 25 miles southwest of Washington, along a stream called Bull Run. The Union troops drove the Confederates back first. The Confederate soldiers rallied, or charged, behind General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. More southern troops arrived causing the Union army to retreat to Washington. Any hopes that anyone had of a quick end to the war were gone.
  • The Battle of Shiloh

    The Battle of Shiloh
    The Battle of Shiloh General Ulysses S. Grant, who was the most important figure in the western region, led his troops into Tennessee. The Confederates caught him by surprise on April 6, and pushed the Union army back at this battle. More Union soldiers arrived during the night, and Grant counterattacked and forced the Confederates to retreat the next day.
  • The Seven Days' Battles

    The Seven Days' Battles
    Seven Days' Battles June 26, 1862, was when General Robert E. Lee attacked General George B. McClellan in what became known as the Seven Days' Battles. The Confederates suffered many casualities, or losses, but finally forced McClellan to retreat. Then General John Pope was ordered by Lincoln to advance on Richmond from Washington. Robert E. Lee caught the Union army off guard causing Pope's army to fall apart at the Second Battle of Bull Run.
  • The Battle of Antietam

    The Battle of Antietam
    The Battle of Antietam Lee's forces were hoping to win a Confederate victory on Union soil as they began crossing into Maryland. The two armies met along Antietam Creek in Maryland. This battle was the bloodiest single-day battle of the war and in U.S. history. This was also an important victory for the Union, but Lee lost almost a third of his troops and couldn't advance any farther.
  • The Emancipation Proclamation

    The Emancipation Proclamation
    Emancipation Proclamation After the victory at Antietam, Lincoln issued this proclamation which called for all slaves in nonoccupied areas in rebellion against the Union to be freed on January 1, 1863. Congress allowed about 180,000 African Americans to serve in the Union army during the war.
  • The Battle of Gettysburg

    The Battle of Gettysburg
    The Battle of Gettysburg Confederate and Union troops started this battle by clashing at the town of Gettysburg. The Confederates then pushed the Union line back, but the Union turned back a major Confederate assault the next day. General George Pickett was ordered by Lee to attack on July 3, but most of his men were killed or captured. Lincoln dedicated the Union to winning the war with the famous Gettysburg Address.
  • The Re-election of Abraham Lincoln

    The Re-election of Abraham Lincoln
    The Re-election of Lincoln While General Grant was in command of Union forces, Union troops seiged Petersburg, Virginia, in June. In September, General Sherman captured Atlanta, Georgia. These successful events helped Lincoln win re-election.
  • Appomattox Courthouse

    Appomattox Courthouse
    Appomattox Courthouse General Grant broke through General Lee's defenses at Petersburg. General Lee then surrendered to Grant in the town of Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865, ending the Civil War. Many Americans died during the four years of the Civil War. The Civil War is known as the deadliest conflict in U.S. history.