APUSH Timeline Project


Thesis Statement

1861 - 1870

African Americans shaped the course and consequences of the Civil War politically, through the amendments and proclamations pertaining to them; economically, through joining the military; and socially, through the race riots and development of the Ku Klux Klan due to them.

Abraham Lincoln in Office

03/05/1861 - 4/14/1865

Elected in 1860 then reelected in 1864. Served until his presidency was ended abruptly by John Wilkes Booth's bullet in his head. Undoubtedly the most prominent and important figure during the civil war.

Civil War

April 12 1861 - April 9, 1865

Civil War begins between the Union and the Confederates with a bloody battle at Fort Sumter. The Civil War only ends at the Appomattox Court House when General Robert E. Lee surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant.

Lincoln Killed

April 14, 1865

John Wilkes Booth assassinates Lincoln in Ford's Theater.


Lincoln Issues Emancipation Proclamation


In the aftermath of the Battle of Antietam, Lincoln issues the
Emancipation Proclamation that would free all
enslaved Africans in Confederate territory as a matter of
“military necessity.” Lincoln had been waiting for a Union Victory to issue such an important statement, and seized the opportunity after the battle of Antietam

Emancipation Proclamation Takes Effect


Slaves are freed in confederate states and encouraged to enlist in the Union Army. This added a moral meaning to the war, making it a war to free the slaves rather than a war to stop the South from seceding.

Thirteenth Amendment Ratified


Thirteenth Amendment abolishes slavery in the United States. At this point, slavery only existed in Delaware, Missouri, and Kentucky.

Fourteenth Amendment Ratified


Fourteenth Amendment grants African Americans citizenship, due process, and equal protection.

First Black Members of Congress Elected


African Americans James Lewis, John Willis Menard, and
P.B.S. Pinckney are elected to Congress but are not seated. This is a huge breakthrough for the African American community. They are still shown disrespect by not being seated, but they now have a say in the forming of laws for their country.

Fifteenth Amendment Ratified


Third of the three reconstruction Amendments. Granted African Americans the right to vote for the United States Government.


Butler's Decree

May 24 1861

At Fort Monroe, Union general Benjamin Butler decrees that Union soldiers will treat Confederate slaves as "contraband", or property, and that they will seize them.

Confiscation Act

August 6, 1861

Congress passes the First Confiscation Act

Southern Economy Crash

1862 - 1869

The inflation due to war and the freeing of the slaves caused a huge crash in the Confederate economy. Slaves were the backbone of the South's economic prosperity. Without them, and with the dramatic effects of total war, the South took a huge monetary blow.

Equal Pay for Black Soldiers


Congress proclaims equal pay for all black soldiers who were
free when the war began.


First Engagement of Blacks in Civil War


First Kansas Colored Volunteers repulse Confederates at
Battle of Island Mound; the first known engagement of Black
troops in the Civil War.

Draft Riots

July 13, 1863

Draft opponents riot in New York City, killing 105, destroying
$2 million in property. The riot ends when
Union troops return from Gettysburg.

Black Civilians Massacred

April 12, 1864

Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest leads 2500 men
against Fort Pillow, which was held by 292 Black soldiers and
285 White soldiers. As the Blacks surrender, the Confederates
open fire with their muskets and bayonets. Civilian men, women, and children are slaughtered. Totally, 200 Black people, civilians and soldiers, are killed.

Freedmen's Bureau Established


Freedmen's Bureau established in Congress. Intended to operate as a form of welfare for the recently freed blacks. Provided food, clothing, medical care, and education.

Ku Klux Klan


Ku Klux Klan forms in Pulaski, Tennessee. They make it their prime motive to terrorize both white supporters of black rights and black freedmen. They violently enforce their message through fear and killing.

Race Riot in Memphis

May 1, 1866

Memphis race riot takes place. 46 freedpeople and 2
white people killed.