The Civil War

The American Civil War was fought between the southern states and the northern states. The southern states didn't want the North telling them what to do or making laws they didn't want. As a result, many southern states decided to break away and form their own country called the Confederacy. The North, however, wanted to stay as one united country; and so a war began. The Civil War, and the major events leading up to the war, lasted from 1860 to 1865.


The Raid at Harpers Ferry

10/16/1859 - 10/17/1859

Abolitionist John Brown attempts to start a slave rebellion by taking over the Harpers Ferry arsenal. The uprising is quickly put down and John Brown is hanged for treason. Many people in the North, however, consider him a hero.

Abraham Lincoln is elected the 16th President of the United States

11/06/1860 - 11/07/1860

Abraham Lincoln was from the northern part of the country and wanted to put an end to slavery. The southern states didn't want him president or making laws that would affect them.

South Carolina secedes from the Union

12/20/1860 - 12/21/1860

South Carolina became the first state to secede, or leave, the United States. They decided to make their own country rather than be part of the USA. Within a few months several other states including Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana would also leave the Union.

The Confederate States of America is formed

02/09/1861 - 02/10/1861

The southern states form their own country called the Confederate States of America. Jefferson Davis is their president.

The Confederacy fires on Fort Sumpter, officially starting the Civil War

04/12/1861 - 04/13/1861

Union Blockade

04/19/1861 - 04/20/1861

Abraham Lincoln announces the Union Blockade where the Union Navy will attempt to keep supplies from entering or leaving the Confederacy. This blockade will weaken the Confederacy later in the war.

Emancipation Proclamation

01/01/1863 - 01/02/1863

President Lincoln issues an executive order freeing many slaves and laying the groundwork for the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The Battle of Gettysburg

06/01/1863 - 06/05/1863

A major battle where the North not only wins the battle, but starts to win the Civil War.

General Sherman captures Atlanta

09/02/1864 - 09/03/1864

General Sherman captures the city of Atlanta, Georgia. Later in the year he would march to the sea and capture Savannah, Ga. On his way he would destroy and burn much of the land his army passed through.

General Lee surrenders to General Grant

04/04/1865 - 04/05/1865

General Lee, the leader of the Confederate Army, surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant at The Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

President Lincoln Assassinated

04/16/1865 - 04/17/1865

While attending the Ford's Theatre, President Lincoln is shot and killed by John Wilkes Booth.

Jefferson Davis captured

05/10/1865 - 05/11/1865

Confederate President Jefferson Davis is captured never Irvinville, GA.