Civil War Timeline


Compromise of 1850

January 20 1850

Amended Fugitive Slave Act and abolished slave trade in Washington DC. Tried to avert conflict between the North and South. By Senator Henry Clay.

Kansas-Nebraska Act

May 30, 1854

Allowed new states to choose to be free or slave states by the people settled there.

Dred Scott Case


Only 2nd time an Act of Congress was labeled as “Unconstitutional”.

Lincoln Elected 1st term

November 6, 1860

First Republican President.

South Carolina Secedes

December 20 1860

Mississippi Secedes

January 9 1861

Florida Secedes

January 10 1861

Alabama Secedes

January 11 1861

Georgia Secedes

January 19 1861

Louisiana Secedes

January 26 1861

Texas Secedes

February 1 1861

Lincoln's First Inaugural Address

March 4 1861

Fort Sumter

April 12, 1861 - April 14, 1861

Union garrison shot, but was significantly outgunned. Confederate win.

Virginia Secedes

April 17, 1861

1st Battle of Bull Run

July 21, 1861

Close to Washington DC. Had about 18,000 poorly trained soldiers on each side. Confederate Win.

Monitor and Merrimack (The Battle of Hampton Roads)

Mar 8 1862 - Mar 9 1862

(Battle of Hampton Roads) The major significance of the battle is that it was the first meeting in combat of Ironclad Warships. Indecisive stalemate


April 6, 1862 - April 7, 1862

Confederate army attack first, and then the Union counterattacks. Union victory.

Harper's Ferry

September 12 1862 - September 15 1862

Lee charged North to capture Maryland, and “Stonewall” Jackson tries to defend. Confederate Win.


September 16 1862 - September 18 1862

Near Sharpsburg, Maryland. This was the Confederate retreat Lincoln wanted before giving the Gettysburg Address.

McClellan Fired

November 5 1862

Was slow at attacking Robert E. Lee.


December 12 1862 - December 15 1862

“Butcher”. Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Emancipation Proclamation

January 1, 1863

Freed slaves from 10 states. Made all slaves that run to the north legally free.


April 30 1863 - May 6 1863

Lee’s “Perfect” battle due to his decision to split his army. Confederate Victory.


May 18, 1863 - July 4, 1863

Last major Confederate stronghold on Mississippi. Ulysses S. Grant and the Union forces by pushed the Confederate army led by John C. Pemberton to the defensive lines surrounding Vicksburg, Mississippi. Union Victory.


July 1 1863 - July 3 1863

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Union set up, and confederates attacked from north and south, but the Union soldiers held them off. On day 3 the Confederates surrendered. Union victory.

Fort Wagner

July 18, 1863

Tough beachhead defense made by the Confederates. Union: 1,515 casualties to Confederate's: 174 casualties.

Grant takes Command

March 10, 1864

Appointed by Lincoln to be Lieutenant general of the US Army.

Cold Harbor

May 31, 1864 - June 12, 1864

Near Mechanicsville, Virginia. Union had 2 times the men, and still lost. Grant says he regrets the final attack. Confederate Victory.

Lincoln Reelected

November 8 1864

Reelected during 4th year of the Civil War.

Sherman's "March to the Sea"

November 15 1864 - December 21 1864

(Savannah Campaign). Marched deep into the south without supply lines. Union Victory

Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

March 4 1865

Fall of Richmond

April 3, 1865

Long and last final part of the Civil War. Union Victory.


April 9, 1865

Fought at Appomattox Court House Union victory.

Assassination of Lincoln

April 15 1865

John Wilkes Booth Murdered Lincoln in Ford's Theater.