The American Civil War

  • Extension of secession and the formation of the Confederacy

    Extension of secession and the formation of the Confederacy
    Following South Carolina: Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas all commit to secession in 1861; as SC did on 1860. These states form the Confederate States of America, elect Jefferson Davis as their president and draft a constitution which mimics that of the United States except for an explicit endorsement of slavery.
  • Period: to

    US Civil War

  • Lincoln become president

    Lincoln become president
    Abraham Lincoln is sworn in as 16th President of the United States of America. Lincoln calls for peace with the erring seceding states, stating that 'though passions may have strained' the North and South 'must not be enemies' but friends.
  • Fort Sumter

    Fort Sumter
    The first exchange of fire in the Civil War takes place off the coast of South Carolina at Fort Sumter, a garrison that had been occupied by Kentuckian Unionists. Lincoln, under public pressure, sends provisions to the previously unmanned garrison and notifies the Secessionists of his intentions. Jefferson Davis takes the decision to fire on the unarmed boat which leads to the surrender and evacuation of the Federal troops.
  • Lincoln summons the troops

    Lincoln summons the troops
    Lincoln calls on the Northern states to supply a 75,000 strong militia that would serve for three months, enough time, he believes, to restore the Union. Lincoln justifies this resort to force by stating that the issue had become 'too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings.' That day, minor skirmishes occur in western Virginia. Also, he summoned a special session of Congress for July 4.
  • Border States Secede

    Border States Secede
    Hostilities at Fort Sumter force Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina to side with the Confederacy. As the Confederacy expands, Jefferson Davis struggles to maintain social unity; its members seceding in order to assert their individual rights. For the rest of the conflict, Lincoln fights to hold onto the remaining Border States of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri.
  • First Battle of Bull Run

    First Battle of Bull Run
    This is the first major battle of the Civil War and it occurred when public and political demands pushed the Union army, which was unprepared, into battle in Virginia. Consequently, this ensures a Confederate victory.
  • The Trent Affair

    The Trent Affair
    British public opinion is divided over the Civil War, but economic ties with America are strong and the British are keen to regain an influence in the New World. Two Confederate commissioners, on their way to persuade the British to support the Southern cause, are halted by a Union naval commander. Britain reacts strongly, threatening a war that neither Britain nor the Union wants, but is eventually appeased by Union efforts.
  • Battle of Shiloh

    Battle of Shiloh
    Confederate surprise attack on Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's unprepared troops at Shiloh on the Tennessee River results in a bitter struggle with 13,000 Union killed and wounded and 10,000 Confederates, more men than in all previous American wars combined. The president is then pressured to relieve Grant but resists. "I can't spare this man; he fights," Lincoln says.
  • Enlisting black soldiers

    Enlisting black soldiers
    The thirty-seventh Congress approves of the enrolment of black troops in the Union militias out of a compulsion 'to use all the physical force' at their disposal. This constitutes a marked departure from a policy of turning away black soldiers keen to enlist.
  • Second Battle of Bull Run

    Second Battle of Bull Run
    Generals Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson and Robert E. Lee defeat the Union army and send them back to Washington, D.C. once more.
  • The Battle of Antietam

    The Battle of Antietam
    This battle put Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia against Union General George McClellan’s Army of the Potomac and was the culmination of Lee’s attempt to invade the north. The battle’s outcome would be vital to shaping America’s future, and it remains the deadliest one-day battle in all American military history (26,000 men are dead, wounded, or missing). The resolution was the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation issued by Lincoln.
  • Battle of Fredericksburg

    Battle of Fredericksburg
    Army of the Potomac under Gen. Burnside suffers a costly defeat at Fredericksburg in Virginia with a loss of 12,653 men after 14 frontal assaults on well-entrenched Rebels on Marye's Heights. "We might as well have tried to take hell," a Union soldier remarks. Confederate losses are 5,309.
  • The Emancipation Proclamation

    The Emancipation Proclamation
    President Lincoln issues the final Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in territories held by Confederates and emphasizes the enlisting of black soldiers in the Union Army. The war to preserve the Union now becomes a revolutionary struggle for the abolition of slavery.
  • The First Conscription Act

    The First Conscription Act
    The nation’s first conscription act is passed by Congress. The wealthy take advantage of a three hundred dollar exemption fee to avoid serving.
  • Battle of Chancelorsville

    Battle of Chancelorsville
    The Union Army under Gen. Hooker is decisively defeated by Lee's much smaller forces at the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia as a result of Lee's brilliant and daring tactics. Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson is mortally wounded by his own soldiers. Hooker retreats. Union losses are 17,000 killed, wounded and missing out of 130,000. The Confederates, 13, 000 out of 60,000.
  • Stonewall's death

    Stonewall's death
    The South suffers a huge blow as Stonewall Jackson dies from his wounds, his last words, "Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees."
    "I have lost my right arm," Lee laments.
  • Battle of Gettysburg

    Battle of Gettysburg
    The tide of war turns against the South as the Confederates are defeated at the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania.
  • Siege of Vicksburg

    Siege of Vicksburg
    General Ulysses S Grant reverses his ailing fortunes at Vicksburg, Mississippi, risking separation from his supply lines in order to exploit a Confederate vulnerability. The manoeuvre and subsequent siege is successful, and Grant splits the Confederate army the day after Lee’s defeat at Gettysburg.
  • The New York City riots

    The New York City riots
    The arrival of draft officers in New York City spurs rioting. In the wake of the Emancipation Proclamation, tensions rise amongst the urban poor in the North as they fear competition for work when the newly freed slaves migrate. Working-class and mostly Irish men in New York, already frustrated with a severe fall in wages, refuse to be drafted to fight and three days of violent protest break out, Troops from Gettysburg are sent to the city to restore order.
  • Battle of Chickamauga

    Battle of Chickamauga
    A decisive Confederate victory by Gen. Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee at Chickamauga leaves Gen. William S. Rosecrans' Union Army of the Cumberland trapped in Chattanooga, Tennessee under Confederate siege.
  • The Gettysburg Address

    The Gettysburg Address
    Lincoln arrives at Gettysburg to speak at the dedication ceremony for the Gettysburg war dead. The speech is only two minutes long, makes strong reference to the language of the Declaration of Independence and emphasises the unity of the nation. Later that year, Lincoln offers amnesty to Confederate soldiers who will pledge loyalty to the Union.
  • Battle of Chattanooga

    Battle of Chattanooga
    The Rebel siege of Chattanooga ends as Union forces under Grant defeat the siege army of Gen. Braxton Bragg. During the battle, one of the most dramatic moments of the war occurs. Yelling "Chickamauga! Chickamauga!" Union troops avenge their previous defeat at Chickamauga by storming up the face of Missionary Ridge without orders and sweep the Rebels from what had been though to be an impregnable position. "My God, come and see 'em run!" a Union soldier cries.
  • Battle of Cold Harbor

    Battle of Cold Harbor
    A costly mistake by Grant results in 7,000 Union casualties in twenty minutes during an offensive against fortified Rebels at Cold Harbor in Virginia.
    Many of the Union soldiers in the failed assault had predicted the outcome, including a dead soldier from Massachusetts whose last entry in his diary was, "June 3, 1864, Cold Harbor, Virginia. I was killed."
  • Capture of Atlanta

    Capture of Atlanta
    Under General William Sherman’s command, the Union army captures the Confederate stronghold of Atlanta and embark on a campaign of destruction aimed at breaking the will of the Confederate army."Atlanta is ours, and fairly won," Sherman telegraphs Lincoln. The victory greatly helps President Lincoln's bid for re-election.
  • Lincoln is re-elected

    Lincoln is re-elected
    Abraham Lincoln is re-elected as the president, defeating Democrat George B. McClellan. Lincoln carries all but three states with 55 percent of the popular vote and 212 of 233 electoral votes. "I earnestly believe that the consequences of this day's work will be to the lasting advantage, if not the very salvation, of the country," Lincoln tells supporters.
  • Fort Fisher and the last days of the Confederacy

    Fort Fisher and the last days of the Confederacy
    Union forces capture Fort Fisher in North Carolina, strengthening a Union blockade which has caused devastating food and clothing shortages in the South. Laws against conspiracy are tightened and habeas corpus suspended in order to stop Confederate desertions; Jefferson Davis even makes a desperate bid to arm the slaves which is rejected by his Congress.
  • Lee Surrenders

    Lee Surrenders
    Gen. Robert E. Lee surrenders his Confederate Army to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at the village of Appomattox Court House in Virginia. Grant allows Rebel officers to keep their sidearms and permits soldiers to keep horses and mules. "After four years of arduous service marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources," Lee tells his troops.
  • Lincoln shot

    Lincoln shot
    The Stars and Stripes is ceremoniously raised over Fort Sumter. That night, Lincoln and his wife Mary see the play "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater. At 10:13 p.m., during the third act of the play, John Wilkes Booth shoots the president in the head. Doctors attend to the president in the theater then move him to a house across the street. He never regains consciousness. President Abraham Lincoln dies at 7:22 in the morning.
  • Assuming the presidency

    Assuming the presidency
    Vice President Andrew Johnson assumes the presidency after President Abraham Lincoln's murder. He came to be the 17° president of the United States
  • The Thirteenth Amendment ratified

    The Thirteenth Amendment ratified
    After a great deal of political wrangling, the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolishing slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishing for a crime is ratified.