Abraham Lincoln is elected President, with Hannibal Hamlin as his Vice President.
As a consequence of Lincoln’s election, a special convention of the South Carolina legislature votes to secede from the Union.
Mississippi (Jan 9), Florida (Jan 10), Alabama (Jan 11), Georgia (Jan 19), Louisiana (Jan 26) and Texas (Feb 1).
The "Star of the West," a civilian ship secretly carrying Union supplies to Fort Sumter, is fired on by students at the Citadel
Kansas is admitted as a state with a constitution prohibiting slavery.
Delegates from six seceded states meet in Montgomery, Alabama, to form a government and elect Jefferson Davis President of the Confederate States of America.
Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated as the sixteenth President of the United States.
Lincoln declares a state of insurrection and calls for 75,000 volunteers to enlist for three months of service.
Virginia secedes from the Union (April 17), followed within five weeks by Arkansas (May 6), North Carolina (May 20) and Tennessee (June 8), thus forming an eleven state Confederacy with a population of 9 million, including nearly 4 million slaves. The Union will soon have 21 states and a population of over 20 million.
Lincoln orders a blockade of all Confederate ports.
Colonel Robert E. Lee resigns his commission in the United States Army
Richmond becomes the capital of the Confederacy.
Lincoln, in a speech to Congress, states the war is..."a People's contest...a struggle for maintaining in the world, that form, and substance of government, whose leading object is, to elevate the condition of men..." The Congress authorizes a call for 500,000 men.
The Union navy seizes Confederate commissioners to Great Britain and France—James A. Mason and John Slidell—from the British steamer Trent, inflaming tensions between the United States and Great Britain
Conscription is adopted in the Confederacy.
Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune publishes The Prayer of Twenty Millions, a plea for Lincoln to liberate slaves in the Union.
President Lincoln issues the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.
Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, which declares that slaves in the seceded states are now free.
Lincoln signs the federal draft act
Stonewall Jackson succumbs to wounds received at Chancellorsville.
Violent riots erupt in New York City in protest of the draft.
Lincoln delivers his Gettysburg Address, in which he reiterates the nation’s fundamental principle that all men are created equal.
Lincoln is reelected President, with Andrew Johnson as Vice President.
Congress passes the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolishes slavery throughout the United States.
Lincoln is inaugurated as President for a second term.
Union troops occupy Richmond
Robert E. Lee surrenders the Army of Northern Virginia to Grant at Appomattox.
John Wilkes Booth shoots President Lincoln at Ford’s Theater; Secretary of State William H. Seward is stabbed and wounded in an assassination attempt inside his Washington home.
Andrew Johnson becomes the 17th President of the United States.
Joseph E. Johnston surrenders to William T. Sherman in North Carolina
John Wilkes Booth is shot in a barn in Virginia and dies
Despite the fact that there were still small pockets of resistance in the south, the president declared that the armed resistance was "virtually" ended and that nations or ships still harboring fugitives would be denied entry into U.S. ports. Also that persons found aboard such vessels will no longer be given immunity from prosecution of their crimes.
Jefferson Davis is captured and taken prisoner near Irwinville, Georgia.
In New Orleans, terms of surrender are offered to General E. Kirby Smith, commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department, on May 26. His acceptance on June 2 formally ends Confederate resistance.
All eight conspirators are convicted for the assassination of President Lincoln; four are sentenced to death.
A general engagement involving field armies in which a commander achieved a vital strategic objective. Such a result might include an indisputable victory on the field or be limited to the success or termination of a campaign offensive. Decisive battles had a direct, observable impact on the direction, duration, conduct, or outcome of the war.
Confederate victory: Beauregard takes Charleston Federal fort, first battle of American Civil War.
Confederate victory: McDowell loses to J.E. Johnston, Beauregard; Jackson named "Stonewall".
Confederate victory: Union forces lose, first major battle west of the Mississippi.
Union victory: Confederate army under Simon Bolivar Buckner surrenders to Grant, Union gains control of Cumberland River.
Union victory: Union victory by Pope over John P. McCown
Union victory: Union victory by Samuel Ryan Curtis over Earl Van Dorn ensured continued Union control of Missouri
Union victory: Confederate fort surrenders after Union artillery bombardment.
Confederate tactical victory. Union strategic victory. Dubbed the "Gettysburg of the West".
Union victory: Grant and reinforcements under Buell repulse Albert Sidney Johnston and P.G.T. Beauregard, but the Union lost more men.
Union victory: Decisive battle for possession of New Orleans.
Union victory: Union forces capture town, Beauregard tricks Union in order to escape to Tupelo.
Confederate victory: "Stonewall" Jackson defeats Nathaniel P. Banks.
Confederate victory: (Seven Days) Lee defeats McClellan.
Union victory: (Seven Days) McClellan defeats Lee but withdraws after battle.
Confederate victory: Lee defeats Pope's Army of Virginia
Inconclusive: Strategic Union victory. McClellan ends Lee's invasion of North, bloodiest single day of the war.
Union victory: Tactically indecisive battle that ended Braxton Bragg's Kentucky campaign.
Confederate victory: Lee beats back repeated frontal assaults by Burnside.
Union victory: Forces fight to a draw.
Confederate victory: Lee defeats Hooker's Army of Potomac, Jackson mortally wounded.
Union victory: Grant defeats Confederates.
Union victory: the siege ends; Grant accepts surrender of second Confederate army.
Union victory: last Confederate stronghold on Mississippi surrenders.
Union victory: Lee loses to Meade, Pickett's Charge fails, ends second invasion of North. Confederate army arrived in Gettysburg to resupply army, unaware of Union army nearby.
Confederate victory: Bragg defeats Rosencrans, George Thomas of US anointed "The Rock of Chickamauga"
Union victory: Grant defeats Braxton Bragg and relieves Union forces besieged in Chattanooga.
Confederate victory: Banks Union Red River Campaign halted by the Confederates.
Inconclusive: Grant and Lee meet inconclusively.
Inconclusive: Grant and Lee meet inconclusively, Grant writes to Halleck, "I propose to fight it out in this line if it takes all summer".
Confederate victory: Lee repulses Grant, Confederate general says "This is not war, this is murder".
Confederate victory: Lee repulses Grant at back door to Richmond.
Confederate victory: Lee defeats Burnside.
Union victory: David Farragut takes port, says "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead".
Union victory: WIliam J. Hardee's Confederates defeated, resulting in Atlanta's fall the following day.
Union victory: Sheridan defeats Early, several officers killed or wounded on both sides.
Union victory: Sheridan defeats Early, drives Confederates from Shenandoah Valley.
Union victory: Union forces win decisive battle to take control of Missouri.
Sherman leaves Atlanta and begins his "march to the sea," in an attempt to demoralize the South and hasten surrender.
Savannah falls to Sherman's army without resistance. Sherman gives the city to Lincoln as a Christmas present.
Union victory: Hood attacks Schofield but suffers crushing losses; "Pickett's Charge of the West".
Union victory: Thomas attacks and virtually destroys Hoods' Confederate Army of Tennessee.
Union victory: Union takes fort.
Union victory: Sherman defeats Confederates.
Union victory: Lee attempts to break siege.
Union victory: Sheridan routs Confederates.
Union victory: Union forces capture fort outside of Mobile.
Union victory: Grant defeats Lee
Union victory: Lee's forces surrounded. He subsequently surrenders.