Civil War Analysis


Civil War

1861 - 1865


1863 - 1877


Kansas-Nebraska Act


proposed to let territorial settlers decide the future of slavery

Army in Kansas

May 21, 1856

U.S. Senator David Rice Atchison of Missouri commanded a proslavery army to haul artillery and laid west to the antislavery bastion of Lawrence, Kans.

3 days after

May 24, 1856

Senator Charles Sumner of Mass., an antislavery leader, had been clubbed nearly to death by South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks while sitting at his desk in the Senate chamber after delivering a speech "The Crime Against Kansas."

Dred Scott Decision

March 6, 1857

The Supreme Court tried to answer the question in favor of slave-holders.
Settlers in Kansas passed competing constitutions, one slave and one free, and the battle over which one Congress should accept splintered the Democratic Party.

Stephan A. Douglas


Failed to reunite the Democrats.
It opened the door to a Lincoln victory.

Presidential election

November 1860

Southern states wanted to declare their independence.

the South secedes

Feb 1861

the South creates Confederate Constitution and seizes federal forts

Lincoln's Inauguration

march 4, 1861

Lincoln said he had no plans to end slavery in those states where it already existed, but he also said he would not accept secession.
He hoped to resolve the national crisis without warfare.

Fort Sumter

April 12, 1861

Captain George S. James sent the first mortar round arcing toward Fort Sumter, South Carolina. Beginning of the war.

First Battle of Bull Run

July 21, 1861

General-in-Chief Winfield Scott advanced on the South before adequately training his untried troops.
Scott ordered General Irvin McDowell to advance on Confederate troops stationed at Manassas Junction, Virginia. McDowell attacked on July 21, and was initially successful, but the introduction of Confederate reinforcements resulted in a Southern victory and a chaotic retreat toward Washington by federal troops.

War order

January 27, 1862

President Lincoln issued a war order authorizing the Union to launch a unified aggressive action against the Confederacy.
General McClellan ignored the order.

Peninsula Campaign

March 1862

General George B. McClellan, new commander of the Union army in the East, insisted that his troops be given a long period of training and discipline before going to battle. His army invaded Virginia.
The Union army was stopped as a result of brilliant tactical moves by Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
After 5 months McClellan was forced to retreat.

Monitor vs. Merrimac

March 1862

In an attempt to reduce the North's great naval advantage, Confederate engineers converted a scuttled Union frigate, the U.S.S. Merrimac, into an iron-sided vessel rechristened the C.S.S. Virginia.
On March 9, in the first naval engagement between ironclad ships, the Monitor fought the Virginia to a draw, but not before the Virginia had sunk two wooden Union warships off Norfolk, Virginia.


September 17, 1862

Confederate forces under General Lee were caught by General McClellan near Sharpsburg, Maryland. This battle proved to be the bloodiest day of the war.
The battle had no clear winner, but because General Lee withdrew to Virginia, McClellan was considered the victor.
The battle convinced the British and French, who were contemplating official recognition of the Confederacy, to reserve action, and gave Lincoln the opportunity to announce his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation (September 22), which would free all slaves in areas rebelling against the United States, effective January 1, 1863.

The Battle of Fredericksburg

December 1862

Vicksburg Campaign

May 1863

Gettysburg Campaign

June 1863 - July 1863

West Virginia

June 20, 1863

People in the western counties of Virginia did not wish to secede along with the rest of the state. This section of Virginia was admitted into the Union as the state of West Virginia.

Battle of Cold Harbor

June 1864

Lee's last clear victory

Presidential election

November 1864

Abraham Lincoln Is re-elected

13th Amendment


Slaves gained freedom.

Fort Fisher

January 1865

North Carolina

The Fall of the Confederacy

January 1865

Transportation problems and successful blockades caused severe shortages of food and supplies in the South.

Sherman's Marches

February 1865

Union General Sherman moved from Georgia through South Carolina, destroying almost everything in his path

Surrender at Appomattox

April 1865

General Lee's troops were soon surrounded, and on April 7, Grant called upon Lee to surrender. On April 9, the two commanders met at Appomattox Courthouse, and agreed on the terms of surrender.
Lee's men were sent home on parole - soldiers with their horses, and officers with their side arms. All other equipment was surrendered.

Assassination of President Lincoln

April 14, 1865

President Lincoln was watching a performance of "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., he was shot by John Wilkes Booth, an actor from Maryland obsessed with avenging the Confederate defeat.
Lincoln died the next morning. Booth was fatally shot by a Union soldier. Nine other people were involved in the assassination; four were hanged, four imprisoned, and one acquitted.