Civil War 1860-1865


Union Capture and Occupation of Meridian

february 14,1864 - february 20,1864

Union forces under William T. Sherman enter the city of Meridian, Mississippi after a successful month of campaigning through the central part of the state. The capture of this important southern town, well known for its industry and storage capabilities, severely hampers the efforts of Confederate commanders to sustain their armies in the deep south, Georgia and west of the Mississippi River.

First Successful Submarine Attack of the Civil War

february 17, 1864

The CSS H.L. Hunley, a seven-man submergible craft, attacked the USS Houstonic outside of Charleston, South Carolina. Struck by the submarine's torpedo, the Housatonic broke apart and sank, taking all but five of her crew with her. Likewise, the Hunley was also lost and never heard from again until discovered in 1995 at the spot where it sank after the attack.

Andersonville Prison Camp

February 27, 1864

In Georgia, Camp Sumter Prison Camp opens. Universally referred to as Andersonville Prison Camp, it will become notorious for overcrowded conditions and a high death rate among its inmates.

Ulysses Becomes General

March 2, 1864

Ulysses S. Grant is appointed lieutenant general, a rank revived at the request of President Lincoln. Grant assumes command of all Union Armies in the field the following day.

The Red River Campaign begins

March 10, 1864

As part of an overall Union strategy to strike deep into various parts of the Confederacy, a combined force of army and navy commands under General Nathaniel Banks begins a campaign on the Red River in Louisiana.

Battle of Sabine Crossroads

April 8, 1864

Louisiana the first major battle of the Red River Campaign in Louisiana.

Battle of Pleasant Hill

April 9,1864

The Union Army under Banks defeats the attempt by Confederate forces under General Richard Taylor to drive them out of Louisiana. Unfortunately, the result of the campaign would be less than desired as it drew to a close in the first week of May with Confederates still in firm control of most of the state.

Capture of Fort Pillow

April 12, 1864

After a rapid raid through central and western Tennessee, Confederate cavalry under Nathan Bedford Forrest attacked and overwhelmed the Union garrison at Fort Pillow, located on the Mississippi River. Among those garrisoning the fort were African American troops, many of whom were murdered by Forrest's angered troopers after they had surrendered. The affair was investigated and though charges of an atrocity were denied by Confederate authorities, the events at Fort Pillow cast a pall over Forrest's reputation and remained an emotional issue throughout the remainder of the war and after.

Battle of the Wilderness

May 4, 1864 - May 5, 1864

The opening battle of the "Overland Campaign" or "Wilderness Campaign". General Ulysses S. Grant, accompanying the Army of the Potomac under General Meade, issued orders for the campaign to begin on May 3. Lee responded by attacking the Union column in the dense woods and underbrush of an area known as the Wilderness, west of Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Beginning of the Atlanta Campaign

May 7, 1864

With three Union armies under his command, General William T. Sherman marched south from Tennessee into Georgia against the Confederate Army of Tennessee under General Joseph Johnston, the objective being the city of Atlanta.

Battle of Spotsylvania Court House

May 8, 1864 - May 21, 1864

Lee successfully stalls Grant's drive toward Richmond.

Battle of Yellow Tavern

May 11, 1864

Six miles north of Richmond, Confederate cavalry under General J.E.B. Stuart blocked a force of Union cavalry under General Philip Sheridan. General Stuart was mortally wounded during the encounter.

Battle of Resaca

May 13, 1864 - May 15, 1864

General Sherman's armies are blocked at Resaca by General Johnston's Army of Tennessee. After two days of maneuvering and intense fighting, Johnston withdraws. Sherman will advance but take precautions against ordering any further massed assaults where high casualties may occur.

Battle of Cold Harbor

June 1, 1864 - June 3, 1864

Relentless and bloody Union attacks fail to dislodge Lee's army from its strong line of defensive works northeast of Richmond.