United States Civil War

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    United States Civil War

  • Davis Against Popular Soveriegnty

    Davis Against Popular Soveriegnty
    Mississippi Senator Jefferson Davis argues in the Senate that the Federal government can't ban slavery in the territories, but must protect slaveholders there. Although he does not expect agreement, he wants to unite the Democrat members for the upcoming presidential election against Stephen Douglas and popular sovereignty.
  • Lincoln Condemns Slavery

    Lincoln Condemns Slavery
    In a speech at the Cooper Institute in New York, Abraham Lincoln condemns slavery and insists that the Federal government should take action. He believes Congress should pass laws against slavery.
  • Democratic Party Divided

    Democratic Party Divided
    The Democratic Party holds its convention in Charleston, SC. When the idea of running for pro-slavery is rejected, representatives from 8 southern states leave. The remaining members are unable to agree on a candidate after their exit.
  • Constitutional Union Party

    Constitutional Union Party
    Former members of the American and Whig parties gather in Baltimore, MD, to form the Constitutional Union party. They nominate John Bell of Tennessee for president.
  • Lincoln Nominated

    Lincoln Nominated
    The Republican convention in Chicago, IL, nominates Abraham Lincoln as its presidential candidate The party is for the prohibition of slavery in the territories, but against abolition in the states.
  • Southern Democrats Walk Out

    Southern Democrats Walk Out
    The Democrat convention in Baltimore, MD, nominates Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois as its presidential candidate. John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky leads a southern faction of the Party and walk out of the convention
  • Lincoln Elected President

    Lincoln Elected President
    Lincoln is the first Republican President, receiving 180 of 303 possible electoral votes and 40 percent of the popular vote. He beat out the Democratic canidate John C. Breckinridge.
  • Buchanan Has No Answer

    Buchanan Has No Answer
    President James Buchanan, meets with his cabinet to prepare for the State of the Union address to Congress. He wants compromise, but his cabinet is split between Northern and Southern views about secession, so he doesn't have an answer to the national crisis
  • President Buchanan's State of the Union

    President Buchanan's State of the Union
    President Buchanan delivers his State of the Union message to Congress. He says the slave states and their rights shouldn't be changed. He also says that secession is unlawful. Buchanan's proposals are insufficient to northerners and southerners because it condemns secession and does not give a definite solution to slavery.
  • South Caroline Secedes

    South Caroline Secedes
    South Carolina is the first state to secede from the Union. They voted unanimously 169-0 in their legislature. The South is angry about Lincoln's election and how they do not have power in government anymore.
  • Georgia Secedes

    Georgia Secedes
    Georgia decided to secede to join the Confederacy. They opposed the Union and how they tried to force their rules on the South. It was the 5th state to secede.
  • Jefferson Davis President of the Confederate States of America

    Jefferson Davis President of the Confederate States of America
    The Confederate States of America are formed with Jefferson Davis as its President. He is a West Point graduate and fromer U.S Army officer.
  • Lincoln Takes Office

    Lincoln Takes Office
    Abraham Lincoln is sworn in as 16th President of the United States of America. His election is a big factor in the South's decision to secede.
  • Fort Sumter Attacked

    Fort Sumter Attacked
    Under Gen. Pierre Beauregard, Confederates open fire with cannons on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina. No one dies from the battle but the Civil War officially begins.
  • Call to Enlist

    Call to Enlist
    Lincoln issues a Proclamation calling for 75,000 men to serve the Union in War. Robert E. Lee is offered a commanding job but turns it down in favor of supporting his beloved Virginia.
  • Virginia Secedes

    Virginia Secedes
    Virginia decided to secede after Lincoln called for the enlistment of 75,000 soldiers into the army to fight the Confederacy. They strongly opposed the idea of war and did not want to fight as part of the Union.
  • Lee Resigns From U.S. Army

    Lee Resigns From U.S. Army
    Robert E. Lee resigns from the U.S. Army. Lee then goes to Richmond, Virginia,and accepts and offer to lead Confederate military and naval forces in Virginia.
  • North Carolina Secedes

    North Carolina Secedes
    North Carolina decided to secede to join the Confederacy. They opposed the Union and how they tried to force their rules on the South. The surrounding states had also already seceded from the Union as well.
  • Tennessee secedes from the Union

    Tennessee secedes from the Union
    Tennessee decided to secede to join the Confederacy. They opposed the Union and how they tried to force their rules on the South.
  • Union Loss at Bull Run

    Union Loss at Bull Run
    The Union Army under Gen. Irvin McDowell is defeated at Bull Run, 25 miles from Washington. Confederate Gen. Thomas J. Jackson earns the nickname "Stonewall,"
  • Grant Captures Fort Henry

    Grant Captures Fort Henry
    General Ulysses S. Grant invades Tennessee, capturing Fort Henry. It is a significant victory for the North in their quest to control the West.
  • Grant Captures Fort Donelson

    Grant Captures Fort Donelson
    Ten days after the battle of Fort Henry, Grant captured Fort Donelson. Grant earned the nickname "Unconditional Surrender" because he would only accept surrender if his enemy completely gave up.
  • Confederates Win Battle of Seven Pines

    Confederates Win Battle of Seven Pines
    The Battle of Seven Pines as Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's Army attacked McClellan's troops near Richmond and almost defeated them. Unfortunately, Johnston is badly wounded in combat.
  • Lee Takes Charge of Army

    Lee Takes Charge of Army
    Gen. Robert E. Lee takes over as commander of Northern Virginia, replacing the wounded Johnston. McClellan is not impressed and believes the North will still win.
  • 2nd Bull Run

    2nd Bull Run
    75,000 Federals under Gen. John Pope are defeated by 55,000 Confederates under Gen. Stonewall Jackson and Gen. James Longstreet at the second battle of Bull Run. The Union Army retreated to Washington and the president dissmissed General Pope from his duties.
  • Lee Moves North

    Lee Moves North
    Lee invaded the North with 50,000 Confederates and headed for Harpers Ferry, whcih was relatively close to Washington. McClellan's Army of 90,000 persue Lee.
  • Battle of Antietam

    Battle of Antietam
    The bloodiest day in U.S. military history as Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Armies are stopped at Antietam in Maryland by McClellan and his superior Union forces. By nightfall 26,000 men are dead, wounded, or missing. Lee then retreats to Virginia. It is the single bloodiest day of the war.
  • Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation

     Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation
    President Lincoln issues a Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves. It was important to Lincoln that he erased all doubt of his ultimate goal in freeing the slaves.
  • McClellan Replaced

    McClellan Replaced
    The president replaces McClellan with Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside as the new Commander of the Army of the Potomac. Lincoln grew impatient with McClellan's slowness to follow up on the success at Antietam.
  • Defeat at Fredericksburg

    Defeat at Fredericksburg
    Under Gen. Burnside, the Army of the Potomac are defeated at Fredrericksburg. The North suffer almost 13,000 casualties while the South loses about 5,000.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    President Lincoln issues the final Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in territories held by Confederates and He hopes because of this blacks will enlist in the Union Army. The war now becomes a fight for the abolition of slavery.
  • Grant in Charge

    Grant in Charge
    General Grant is placed in command of the Army of the West. He is given orders to capture Vicksburg.
  • The Draft

    The Draft
    The U.S. Congress enacts a draft, affecting men between 20 and 45, but also exempts people who pay $300 or provide a substitute. Poor Northerners complain it is unfair the rich can pay the large sum to not fight.
  • Battle of Chancellorsville

    Battle of Chancellorsville
    The Union Army under Gen. Hooker is defeated by Lee's smaller forces at the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia because of Lee's brilliant tactics. Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson is mortally wounded by his own soldiers. Hooker is then forced to retreat.
  • Stonewall Jackson Dies

    Stonewall Jackson Dies
    The South suffers a huge blow when Stonewall Jackson dies from his wounds from the Battle of Chancellorsville. The South lost one of it's best generals in Jackson.
  • Meade in Control

    Meade in Control
    Lincoln hires General George G. Meade as commander of the Army of the Potomac, replacing Hooker. Meade is the 5th man to command the Army in less than a year.
  • Battle of Gettysburg

    Battle of Gettysburg
    The turning point of the war against the South happens at the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, where the Confederates are defeated by Union forces and sustain heavy losses.
  • Vicksburg Surrenders

    Vicksburg Surrenders
    The last Confederate stronghold, Vicksburg, surrenders to General Grant and the Army of the West after a six week blockade. The Union gained control of the Mississippi, and the Confederacy was split in two, cut off from its western allies.
  • Draft Riots

    Draft Riots
    Anti-draft riots break out in New York City including arson and the murder of blacks by poor white immigrants. At least 120 people, including children, are killed and there is two-million dollars in damage until Union soldiers can restore order.
  • President Meets Douglass

    President Meets Douglass
    President Lincoln meets with abolitionist Frederick Douglass. They discuss full equality for Union Negro troops who are facing discrimination from other soldiers.
  • Grant is Promoted

    President Lincoln appoints General Grant to command all of the armies of the United States. General William Tecumseh Sherman succeeds Grant as commander in the West.
  • Cold Harbor Confederate Victory

    Cold Harbor Confederate Victory
    Grant makes a costly blunder resulting in 7,000 Union casualties in twenty minutes during a raid on the Confederates at Cold Harbor, Virginia. Many of the Union soldiers predicted the outcome and knew they would be killed.
  • Siege on Petersburg

    Siege on Petersburg
    Union forces miss a great opportunity to capture Petersburg and cut off the Confederate supply lines. As a result, a nine month siege of Petersburg begins where Grant ultimately overpowers Lee.
  • Battle in Atlanta

    Battle in Atlanta
    Sherman's forces battle the Confederates at Atlanta, now under the command of General John Hood, who replaced Johnston. The battle will last several months that finally result in a Union victory in September.
  • Union Captures Atlanta

    Union Captures Atlanta
    Sherman's Army captures Atlanta. The victory greatly helps President Lincoln's hopes of being re-elected. It boosts the Union's morale.
  • Victory at Shenandoah Valley

    Victory at Shenandoah Valley
    The Union wins a crucial victory with General Philip H. Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley over the Confederates. It continues the North's streak of victories over the South.
  • Lincoln Re-Elected

    Lincoln Re-Elected
    Abraham Lincoln is re-elected president, defeating his former commanding general, Democrat George McClellan. Lincoln was propelled back to office after a string of victories helped boost national confidence in his ability to lead.
  • March to the Sea

    March to the Sea
    After destroying Atlanta's supply network and railroads, Sherman and his men begin their March to the Sea. President Lincoln approved the idea after being persuade by Grant.
  • Union Victory at Nashville

    Union Victory at Nashville
    Confederate General Hood's Army is crushed at Nashville by Federals soldiers including Negro troops under General George H. Thomas. The Confederate Army of Tennessee is severely weakened by the defeat and is ineffective for the rest of the war.
  • Savannah Captured

    Savannah Captured
    Sherman finally reaches Savannah, Georgia leaving behind a 300 mile path of utter destruction all the way from Atlanta. Then Sherman telegraphs Lincoln, offering him Savannah as an early Christmas present.
  • Thirteenth Amendment Passed

    Thirteenth Amendment Passed
    The U.S. Congress passes the Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, to abolish slavery. The amendment is then given to the states for ratification. It is a monumental step towards equality for blacks.
  • Failed Peace Talks

    Failed Peace Talks
    A peace conference between President Lincoln and Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens takes place at Hampton Roads, Virginia. Unfortunately it ends in failure so the war continues.
  • Lincoln's 2nd Inauguration

    Lincoln's 2nd Inauguration
    At his 2nd Inauguration, President Lincoln gives a speech that is still remembered today. He famously said," With malice toward none; with charity for all...let us strive on to finish the work we are in... lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."
  • Confederate's Last Stand

    Confederate's Last Stand
    The last offensive for Lee's Army of Northern Virginia starts with an attack on the heart of Grant's Army at Petersburg. It is the South's last effort at before being defeated by the Union a week later.
  • Richmond Captured

    Richmond Captured
    Grant's forces advance and break through Lee's lines at Petersburg. Lee issues an evacuation of Petersburg. The Confederate Capital, Richmond, is also evacuated. Chaos breaks out through the South. The next day, Union troops enter the Southern capital and raise the Stars and Stripes.
  • Lee Surrenders

    Lee Surrenders
    General Robert E. Lee surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia. Grant allows Confederates to keep their weapons, horses and return home.
  • Lincoln Shot

    Lincoln Shot
    Lincoln and his wife Mary go see the play "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater to relax after the end of the Civil War. During the third act of the play, John Wilkes Booth sneaks into the president's box and shoots the Lincoln in the head. try to save him and moves him to a house across the street but he never regains consciousness.
  • Lincoln Dies

    Lincoln Dies
    President Abraham Lincoln dies at 7:22 in the morning from his wounds the night before. Vice President Andrew Johnson is sworn in as the 17th president.
  • John Wilkes Booth is Killed

    John Wilkes Booth is Killed
    John Wilkes Booth is shot and killed at Garrett Farm, Virginia twelve days after shooting the President. He is one of the most infamous criminals in American History.
  • The Thirteenth Amendment is Ratified

    The Thirteenth Amendment is Ratified
    The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, passed on January 31, by Congress, is finally ratified. Slavery is officially abolished throughout America.
  • Observe Lincoln's Death

    Observe Lincoln's Death
    The first formal observation of President Lincoln's birthday is held in Washington, D. C.. It is almost one year after his death and the end of the Civil War. President Andrew Johnson attends the observation.
  • Black Civil Rights Established

    Black Civil Rights Established
    Congress gives Freedmen's Bureau more power in making sure blacks are treated well. It now would have the power to prosecute people who deny blacks of their civil rights and would give food, clothing and shelter to people in need. Pres. Johnson vetoes the bill, but Congress overrides the veto on July 10th.
  • Congress Accepts Confederates Back

    Congress Accepts Confederates Back
    Congress accepts the ruling from the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, to admit confederate states only after being admitted back in by Congress itself. It also sets guidelines for readmission.
  • War Over in 10 States

    War Over in 10 States
    President Johnson declares an end to the war in 10 states including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
  • Congress Buys Ford's Theater

    Congress Buys Ford's Theater
    Congress finds $100,000 to buy Ford's Theater. It houses the Army Medical Museum, the Office of the Surgeon General and War Department records until 1893. Later, it is turned into a museum where tourists can visit the place Lincoln was shot.
  • Tennessee Ratifies Amendment

    Tennessee Ratifies Amendment
    Tennessee is the first state to ratify the 14th Amendment. This provides blacks with American citizenship.
  • Tennessee Readmitted to the Union

    Tennessee Readmitted to the Union
    Tennessee is accepted back into the Union. The decision was partly based on there willingness to cooperate. They were the first ones to ratify the 14th Amendment.
  • Investigate KKK

    Investigate KKK
    The U. S. Secret Service begins an investigation into the Ku Klux Klan. The KKK is a group of white supremacists who used violence to keep black men from voting. They created terror among black communities around the country.
  • Race Riots

    Race Riots
    On July 30, 1864, angered by the Black Codes in Louisiana, and by the legislature's refusal to give black men the right to vote, Radical Republicans gathered . Former confederates, aided by the New Orleans police, feared that the state would fall out of Southern, white control, so they attacked the gathering. Local police, rather than assisting those under attack, participated. Thirty-four blacks and three white Radicals were killed.
  • War Offically Over

    War Offically Over
    The war is officially over when war with Texas is declared over. Since all the former confederate states are declared not in a state of war, this date is technically the end of the Civil War
  • 15th Amendment Passed

    15th Amendment Passed
    The right to vote for is given to blacks after Congress overrides President Johnson's veto in Washington, D.C.. Congress has complete control over the government because radical Republicans have the majority in both the House and Senate.
  • Kentucky Rejects 14th Amendment

    Kentucky Rejects 14th Amendment
    Kentucky rejects ratifying the 14th Amendment. They are still influenced by old Southerners who do not believe blacks should be given citizenship because they are not people.
  • Blacks Vote

    Blacks Vote
    Suffrage is granted to all males over 21 in the United States. This includes all black men who were under slavery. Women of all races were still not allowed to vote.
  • 1st Reconstruction Act

    1st Reconstruction Act
    The First Reconstruction Act is passed by Congress over President Johnson's veto. It divides all the former confederate states with "provisional" governments into 5 military districts, except Tennessee, was accepted back into the Union. Each state would be governed by a military General appointed by the President. To gain readmission into the Union a state would have to ratify the 14th Amendment.
  • Tenure of Office Act

    Tenure of Office Act
    Congress passes the Tenure of Office Act, denying the President's the right to remove officials who had been appointed with the consent of Congress. This gives Congress complete control over all decisions in the Reconstruction.
  • Votes Rejected

    Votes Rejected
    In Alexandria, Virginia, 1,000 black votes are rejected even though the Reconstruction Act is law. It is one of the first steps the country takes to fulfill the process of rebuilding.
  • 5th Military District

    5th Military District
    General Philip Sheridan takes command of the 5th Military district including Louisiana and Texas. He selects New Orleans as his main point of operation.
  • 2nd Reconstruction Act

    2nd Reconstruction Act
    Congress passes the Second Reconstruction Act over President Johnson's veto. It gives military governors the right to establish state meetings for readmission into the Union. Blacks are represented in the meetings and have the right to vote.
  • Committee on Reconstruction

    Committee on Reconstruction
    House Select Committee on Reconstruction is appointed. Their jobs are to help the rebuilding of America to be fair and run smoothly.
  • 3rd Reconstruction Act

    3rd Reconstruction Act
    Congress passes the Third Reconstruction Act over President Johnson's veto. It confirms military district commanders authority of the to remove former Confederate State's officials from office.