Civil War Timeline


Dred Scott Decision

March 6, 1857

The Dred Scott decision was a legal case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a slave (Dred Scott) was not entitled to his freedom. African Americans were not and could never be citizens of the U.S.

Abraham Lincoln becomes President

November 6, 1857

Abraham Lincoln becomes the 16th president of the United States.

Secession of South Carolina

December 20, 1860

South Carolina seceded from the U.S. because their way of life, based on slavery, was threatened by the election of Abraham Lincoln.

Confederacy is Formed

February 4, 1861

The Confederate States of America was composed of 11 southern states. These states seceded from the Union to preserve slavery and the state's rights.

Firing on Fort Sumter

April 12, 1861

Confederate forces won the battle of Fort Sumter.

The Fall of Richmond

May 20, 1861

The Confederacy moved the government to Richmond, with that, Richmond was the Confederacy's new capital.

Battle of Bull Run ( First Manassas )

July 21, 1861

The Battle of Bull Run was the first major land battles of the armies in Virginia. This battle was won by the Confederacy.

Emancipation Proclamation

January 1, 1862

The Emancipation Proclamation stated that if the Union won the war, slaves would be set free.

Battle of Second Manassas

August 28, 1862 - August 30, 1862

The Battle of Second Manassas was also won by the Confederacy.

Battle of Antietam

September 17, 1862

The Battle of Antietam results in a Union victory.

Battle of Gettysburg

July 1, 1863 - July 3, 1863

The Union wins the Battle of Gettysburg.

Battle of Chattanooga

November 23, 1863 - November 25, 1863

This battle was won by the Union.

Surrender at Appomattox

April 9, 1865

The Surrender of Appomattox was located at the House of Wilmor McLean in the village of Appomattox Court House. It was one of the last battles of the Civil War. Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his troops to Union General Ulysses S. Grant in the front parlor of Wilmer McLean’s home in Appomattox Court House, Virginia, effectively ending the American Civil War

Abraham Lincoln's Assassination

April 14, 1865

He was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on Good Friday at Ford's Theater in Washington, DC.