Civil War Timeline


Abraham Lincoln Presidency, Emancipation Proclomation, Gettysburg Adress


Abraham Lincoln had very little formal education living on the frontier in Illinois. He used his time wisely, reading books when he was not on his father farm, to strengthen his knowledge. He went through tough trials during his childhood from being bullied because of his intelligence. Lincolns family traveled all over in hope of better health and financial aide.
Years later after serving in the Black Hawk War, he went to study law and become a lawyer. He had many attempts at a seat on the Illinois State Legislature; finally elected. He meets his wife Mary Todd and her four children one day at school in Springfield. They also faced many trials and tribulations throughout the years.
Lincoln joined the Republican party and the ongoing argument on sectionalism. Siding with anti-slavery and going with the Kansas-Nebraska act pushed southerns off his side.
On November 6, 1860, Lincoln won the presidential election without the support of a single Southern state. The election was not the PRIMARY cause of the Civil War, but it was one of the MAJOR. Instead of easily letting the southern stated secede, Lincoln put up a fight. His first inaugural address was an appeal to the rebellious states, seven of which had already seceded, to rejoin the nation.
The Civil War with the opening bombardment of Fort Sumter, South Carolina, on April 12, 1861. The civil war had begun and Lincoln had to make some hard decisions.
It was not until January 1, 1863, after the Union victory at the Battle of Antietam, that he issued his Emancipation Proclamation. This document was legally based on the President’s right to seize the property of those in rebellion against the State. IT only freed slaves in the southern states; Lincoln had no control there. The Emancipation Proclamation changed the war, making it in a Northern perspective; a fight both to preserve the Union and to end slavery. Abraham Lincoln ran again in the next race for President. He thought he had no chance since the war was still in effect. When he won he gave the speech at his inaugural. His one goal, he said, was “lasting peace among ourselves.” He called for “malice towards none” and “charity for all.” The war ended only a month later.
~~~The Revenue Act of 1862 established the United States' first income tax, largely to pay the costs of total war.The Morrill Act of 1862 established the basis of the state university system in this country, while the Homestead Act, also passed in 1862, encouraged settlement of the West by offering 160 acres of free land to settlers. He also started Thanksgiving and the department of agriculture. In another spill-over from the war, Lincoln restricted the civil liberties of due process and freedom of the press.
Lincolns Gettysburg Address was given on Nov 19,1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg. This speech took a huge affect on people in just a little over two minutes. The Address was referred to the Declaration of Independence. The five known manuscripts of the Gettysburg Address differ in a number of details and also differ from contemporary newspaper reprints of the speech.
~On April 14, 1865, while attending a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C., Abraham Lincoln was shot by Confederate sympathizer, John Wilkes Booth. His assassination was a bigger part of a plot to over throw the North union! Lincoln died the following day.

Stonewall Jackson

1861 - 1865

Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson was born January 21, 1824 in Clarksburg, Virginia.
He graduated from West Point in 1846. He began his official military career in the US Army as a brevet second lieutenant in the Mexican-American War from, where he first met Robert E.Lee. After, he was promoted to rank of major.
During the civil war he won the battle of bull run. Jackson organized extremely successful military maneuvers at Front Royal, Winchester, Cross Keys, and Port Republic in the spring of 1862. These led up to the Seven Days Battle around Richmond, where Jackson’s nonplussed performance on the outset gradually gained momentum. He also wen through in the second bull run. He received the name "Stonewall" from the refusal to surrender to the Union. He was shot by one of his own guys in battle by accident. He lost his arm from shot and then died from pneumonia.
Before the war he was a teacher at the Military Institute

Anaconda Plan

1861 - 1865

~Union General Wineild Scott
A navy of thirty-five available modern vessels, while it might be expected to produce substantial results by concentrated attacks at isolated points on the seaboard, or in engagements with the enemy's ships-of-war, counted for almost nothing as an effectual barrier to commerce along 3,000 miles of coast. No time was lost in announcing the intentions of the Government. On the 19th of April, six days after the fall of Sumter, the President issued a proclamation declaring the blockade of the Southern States from South Carolina to Texas. On the 27th the blockade was extended to Virginia and North Carolina(south). The plan was to split the Mississippi river and the confederacy into two parts.Blockade, in the ordinary sense, is purely an act of war. It means the closing of an enemy's ports, and the capture of all vessels, neutral or hostile, attempting to enter with knowledge of the blockade. The first is a blockade by notification; the second is a blockade in fact.

It was named after a snake that squeezes its prey to kill.

Jefferson Davis, Elected (Conf.)

Feb 9, 1861

Jefferson Finis Davis, the first and only President of the Confederate States of America, was a planter, politician and soldier born in Kentucky and raised in Mississippi. Davis was the tenth and youngest child of Revolutionary War soldier Samuel Davis and his wife Jane Cook Davis. Born June 3, 1808, he was heavily influenced by his oldest brother, Joseph, who saw to it that he was well educated. Davis attended college in Kentucky at Transylvania before entering the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1824.
~ Jefferson Davis' Inaugural Address discusses the reasons he believes to be the causes of succession. He also states his hopes for peace and prosperity between the Confederate States of America and the United States of America.
~Oct. 10, 1862 Davis asked Virginia to draft 4,500 blacks to complete fortifications at Richmond
Fighting at Harrodsburg and Danville Cross Roads, Kentucky
~March 18, 1865 Jefferson Davis signs law authorizing black men to serve in Confederate Army
~May 10 Confederate President Jefferson Davis captured by U.S. troops at Irwinville, Georgia
~Jefferson Davis was a 19th century U.S. senator
~Jefferson Finis Davis died in New Orleans, Louisiana on December 6, 1889

Fort Sumter, Start of Civil War

April 1861

~ When South Carolina seceded from the Union on December 20, 1860, United States Maj. Robert Anderson and his force of 85 soldiers were positioned at Fort Moultrie near the mouth of Charleston Harbor.
~On December 26, Anderson moved to Fort Sumter, South Carolina to protect him and his troops.
~Shortly after Lincoln was elected President, Anderson sent out a message that he was running low on food and supplies for his troops to survive.
~On Thursday, April 11, 1861, Confederate Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard sent aides to Anderson to demand the fort’s surrender. Anderson refused.
~ At 4:30 the next morning fires were shot at Fort Sumter. They did not stop until 34 dreadful hours later. THE CIVIL WAR HAD BEGUN!!!(Significance)
~ For the first two hours Anderson did not fire back because their ammunition was not suited for an equal fight. Union Capt. Abner Doubleday was honored the first shot of the day toward the Confederates.
~"The crashing of the shot, the bursting of the shells, the falling of the walls, and the roar of the flames, made a pandemonium of the fort," wrote Doubleday.
~ The shots were fired all day long. Since the Union had to conserve their materials the shots were less rapid.
~ Lieutenant, Norman J. Hall, was brave enough to expose himself and raise the flag back up after it had fell to the ground and wave their colors back high.
~On Saturday, April 13, Anderson surrendered the fort. Absolutely no soldiers were killed in battle.
~ Since Anderson generously surrendered the battle he was able to have a 100-gun salute before evacuating. The Salute was cut short 50-guns due to an accidental explosion that killed one and wounded the another. The salute was at 2:00 P.M. on April 14.
~ The men marched bravely out of the fort and onto a Union boat and was greeted in the North as hero's.
~This was an absolute CONFEDERATE VICTORY!

Robert E. Lee becomes commander of Virginia Forces

April 22, 1861

Lee was born into a Revolutionary War family. His father, Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee, was a hero in the war. Robert Lee was birthed in Stratford Hall, Virginia and graduated 2nd in his class out of the United States Military Academy. He was destined for a military career. A couple years later he married a relative of George Washington. Though his Dad fought many battles, Lee had not stepped one foot on a battlefield. Instead he was an officer in the Corps of Engineers, supervising and inspecting the construction of the nation's coastal defenses. Changing that statement, Lee served in the Mexican war in General Winfield Scott's staff earning 3 brevets of gallantry. This moved him up to the Colonel rank.
Lee took of to be the superintendent of West Point. After, he was asked to join James Brown in his abolitionist raid. Lee said no.
In the beginning of April 1861 Lincoln asked Lee to become the Commander of the Federal Forces, and he declined. After Virginia seceded, Lee refused to fight against his own land. Lee then turned and took the general commission of the newly found Confederate Army.
His first military engagement of the Civil War occurred at Cheat Mountain, Virginia on September 11, 1861. It was a Union victory but Lee’s reputation withstood the public criticism that followed.
Lee served many other jobs until serving as the commander of the Army of North Virginia. It was one of the most famous and successful armies. Lee knew that the key was a victory on Northern soil. That would get the best of the Union! He went on an invasion on Maryland, but with a misplace of the mapped out plan the war of Antietam had began. Coming to an agreement after the bloodiest one day battle in war, Lee fought many other mini battles to uphold his name.
After another attempt to beat the enemy on their soil at Gettysburg, Lee was put down again with a Union Victory. Lee offered to resign after the defeat, and Jefferson Davis declined! After the defeat of Vicksburg and Petersburg, Lee knew the confederacy was over. On April 9, 1865, Lee was forced to surrender his weary and depleted army to Grant at Appomattox Court House, effectively ending the Civil War.
Lee returned home on parole and eventually became the president of Washington College in Virginia (now known as Washington and Lee University). He remained in this position until his death on October 12, 1870 in Lexington, Virginia.

Ulysses S. Grant... Brigadier General

July 31, 1861

Born in Ohio, Grant had changes to his name later in life due to complications at the United States Military Academy. Graduating 21st out of 39 cadets, he was not a bright fellow. Despite his education records he proved himself widely in the Mexican war, winning two citations for gallantry and one for meritorious conduct. He was assigned many jobs stationed away from his family. Then did he begin drinking heavily forcing him to resign and move back home.
Spending many years back at home working as a farmer and a clerk at their family store in Illinois, Grant wanted to jump back in the military. When the Civil War began he jumped at his first chance to volunteer in the Union Army. He went in as the colonel of the 21st Illinois infantry; He was soon promoted to brigadier general in July 1861, and in September was given command of the District of Southeast Missouri.
His 1862 triumphs at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson in western Tennessee won him the nickname “Unconditional Surrender” Grant, and placed him before the public eye. On the other hand The Battle of Shiloh proved him wrong. Lincoln received messages to remove Grant or else. Lincoln refused be he said "The man can fight". The Confederated fought to the end and won that day.
Grant moved on to win many more victories including the battle of Vicksburg.
With Confederate forces unclear of his intentions, Grant sent a portion of his army under Gen. William T. Sherman to capture the state capital, Jackson. He also won the victory at Gettysburg, capturing the Mississippi River.
In March 1864, President Lincoln elevated Grant to the rank of lieutenant general, and named him general-in-chief of the Armies of the United States. Grant wanted to crush Robert E. Lee anyway possible! Finally after many other battles, Lee surrendered to Grant in 1865 leading to a Union Victory of the Civil war!After the Civil War, President Andrew Johnson named Grant Secretary of War over the newly reunited nation. In 1868, running against Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant was elected eighteenth President of the United States.
Grant finished out his term by viewing the world and losing all his money to a corrupted bank.

Battle of Antietam

September 16, 1862

On September 16, 1862, Maj. Gen. McClellan and his Union Army confronted Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Sharpsburg, Maryland. At dawn on September 17, Maj. General Joseph Hooker’s Union corps made a powerful assault on Lee’s army that began the Battle of Antietam. It was the single bloodiest day in American military history and the 1st major battle in the North. The Union had many advantages on the Confederacy. They would attack first toward the confederates forcing them to counterattack to save themselves from failure. The advantages went back and forth throughout this one day battle. Confederates held their ground at the Drunker Church, and the Union would hold up their ground on the middle of the battlefield. Neither sides advantages held up long enough.
Later, Maj. General Ambrose Burnside’s corps pushed across the bridge over Antietam Creek and managed to imperil the Confederate with difficulty. A.P. Hill’s division arrived from Harpers Ferry, and counterattacked, driving back Burnside and saving the day for the North. Lee was outrageously numbered in battle but still sent in his troops to fight.
During the night both sides of the army tended to the many wounded soldiers and mourned over the fallen. Even though NEITHER SIDE WON the battle, Lincoln called in a Union victory. Lee's failure to win the battle encouraged Lincoln to issue his Emancipation Proclamation(Significance).

Battle of Vicksburg

May 18, 1863

~May 18-July 4 1863
Grant and his troops had tried many attempts to capture the Mississippi River but was blocked by the rebel counter moves. Now the Union is sitting back to plan a way to sneak around and win.In late April 1863, Grant undertook a new and bold campaign against Vicksburg and the Confederate defenders under John Pemberton. Grant made a landing just below Vicksburg to surprise and hopefully take over. Grant pushed inward, stopping the threat of the confederates. He once again watched his sights on Vicksburg. When the Union won at Champion Hill and Big Black Bridge, it weakened Pemberton and let the union slide right through. The Federals tried the Rebel stronghold on May 19 and 22, but were slid back with great loss that Grant decided to stop just to avoid further loss of life. With the Mississippi River now firmly in Union hands, the Confederacy's fate was all but sealed. The Union had a huge victory and the Confederacy had nothing but cut off supplies. This was a major turning point in the war.

Battle of Gettysburg

July 1, 1863

Robert E. Lee led his Army of Northern Virginia in its second invasion of the North—the Gettysburg Campaign. He wanted to threaten Northern cities, weaken the North's appetite for war and, especially, win a major battle on Northern soil and strengthen the peace movement in the North. This drove his army to have high hopes in winning and taking over northern supplies. Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker was on his way with his Army to defeat Lee when he was relieved of command from Lincoln just 3 days before battle.Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade took the place and moved North between lee and Washington D.C to control. Lee heard word that Meade was there and concentrated on a plan to victory in Gettysburg. Union Army under Brig. Gen. John Buford slowed Lee down until the 1st and 11th infantry could show up and fight.
~~ 30,000 Confederates ultimately defeated 20,000 Yankees, who fell back through Gettysburg to the hills south of town--Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill.
Union made a fishhook shaped turn on Confederates, and the Confederates completely circled the Union. On the afternoon of July 2, Lee launched a heavy assault on the Union. Fighting raged at Devil's Den, Little Round Top, the Wheatfield, the Peach Orchard and Cemetery Ridge. Although the Confederates gained ground, the Union defenders still held strong positions by the end of the day and WON.Lee gave up on attempts to over throw Union, so he led his army on a retreat back to Virginia.
~~As many as 51,000 soldiers from both armies were killed, wounded, captured or missing in the three-day battle.
Four months after the battle, President Lincoln used the dedication ceremony for Gettysburg's Soldiers National Cemetery to honor the fallen Union soldiers in his Gettysburg Address.(Significance)It was a turning point of the war.

William T. Sherman (Begins Atlanta Campaign)

May 7, 1864

Sherman was born in Ohio and did not have much education. His father, who served in the supreme court, died and left his family to stay with friends and relatives. Graduating 6th in his class at the Unites States Military Academy, Sherman was anything but spectacular in his military career. Sherman did see some war experiences, but unlike most civil war men he did not serve in the Mexican War. When the Civil War began Sherman wanted to be in the action so he was appointed a colonel of the 13th United States Infantry. The Battle of First Manassas was Sherman's first combat. Although the Union army was defeated during the battle, President Abraham Lincoln was impressed by Sherman’s performance and he was promoted to brigadier general on August 7, 1861, ranking seventh among other officers at that grade. Sherman went through many replacements and battles to prove his loyalty and reputation. During the battle of Shiloh, Sherman commanded a division, but was overrun during the battle by Confederates under Albert Sydney Johnston. Despite the incident, Sherman was promoted to major general of volunteers on May 1, 1862. Sherman also played a role in the campaign to capture Vicksburg. After Ulysses S. Grant was promoted to commander of all the United States armies, Sherman was made commander of all troops in the Western Theatre, and began a warfare that would bring him great in history.
By 1864 Sherman had understood the preserving the Union and all about Lincolns plan. To achieve the end on helping the Union, he launched a campaign in Georgia that was defined as “modern warfare”. September 2, 1864 Sherman captured Atlanta, and helped Lincoln win reelection. Meanwhile (After he left his army to Thomas and Schofield) , Sherman cut off all communications to his army and commenced his now-famous “March to the Sea,"(nov 15) leaving in his wake a forty to sixty mile-wide path of destruction through the heartland of Georgia. On December 21, 1864 Sherman wired Lincoln to offer him an early Christmas present: the city of Savannah. Sherman had many more victories in battle. He went after SC when seceding from the Union. He finally accepted the surrender of southern states.
After the war, Sherman remained in the military and eventually rose to the rank of full general, serving as general-in-chief of the army from 1869 to 1883. Praised for his revolutionary ideas on "total warfare," William T. Sherman died in 1891.

Battle of Atlanta/Sherman's March to the Sea

Nov 15, 1864

General Grant arranged two campaigns for the year 1864. One, under his own immediate direction, was for the seizure of Richmond, the Confederate capital; the other was for the seizure of Atlanta, Ga., the focus of several converging railways. Atlanta was captured by Sherman, who entered it Sept. 2, 1864. Late in October Sherman prepared for a march through Georgia from Atlanta to Savannah.When he resolved to march through the heart of Georgia from Atlanta to the sea, he delegated to General Thomas full power over all the troops under his (Sherman's) command excepting four corps.
He wanted to destroy all confederacies capacity to resupply its troops. In the end he destroyed all railroads, crops, and livestock.