Civil War Annotated Timeline


Missouri Compromise

March 1 1820

An agreement passed between pro-slavery supporters and abolitionists.

Texan Independence

March 21 1836

The Texas Declaration of Independence was the formal declaration of the Republic of Texas announcing its independence from Mexico.

Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago

1846 - 1848

This treaty was a treaty of peace between the US and Mexico

Mexican War

April 25 1846 - February 2 1848

The Mexican-American war was a conflict between the US and Mexico due to the US annexation of Texas.

Compromise of 1850

September 1850

This compromise diffused the 4-year conflict between the South (slave states) and the North (no slaves)

Uncle Tom's Cabin

March 20 1852

Uncle Tom's Cabin was an anti-slavery novel published in 1852. It was written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, an active abolitionist.

Kansas-Nebraska Act

May 30, 1852

This act created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska.

Dredd Scott Decision

March 6 1857

A decision by the US supreme court that people of African descent that were brought into the US as slaves, were not US citizens.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate

August 21 1858 - October 15 1858

A series of 7 debates between the Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln and the incumbent Senator Stephen Douglas.

John Brown's Raid

October 16 1859 - October 18 1859

An attempt by white abolitionist John Brown to start an armed slave revolt by seizing a US Arsenal at Harper's Ferry, VA.

Election of Lincoln

November 6 1860

Before Lincoln's inauguration, seven Southern states seceded from the Union.

Secession of South Carolina

December 20 1860

South Carolina was the first Southern state to secede from the US union after President Lincoln's inauguration.

Firing on Fort Sumter

April 12 1861 - April 14 1861

The attack on Fort Sumter, SC was the first attack of the Civil War.


April 6 1862 - April 7 1862

The Battle of Shiloh was a major battle in the Western theatre in the Civil War. The Union won this battle.


September 17 1862

This battle is credited as being the bloodiest battle in US history. There were 23,000 casualties on each side. The battle's victory was inconclusive, but the Union had a strategic victory.


May 18 1863 - July 4 1863

The final military action in the Vicksburg campaign. The Union won this battle.


July 1 1863 - July 3 1863

This battle had the largest number of in the American Civil war. The Union won.

Appomattox Court House

April 9 1865

The Union won this battle and the Army of Northern VA surrendered.