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Civil War Timeline
Transcript of Civil War Timeline
Civil War Timeline
Election of 1860- November 6th, 1860
The Election of 1860 was one of the turning points in the beginning of the Civil War. In this election, Abraham Lincoln was elected president after having gained more votes in the electoral college (even though he got only 40% of the overall vote. The election was a four-way race between Northern Democrats, who's candidate was Stephen A. Douglas; Southern Democrats, who's candidate was John Breckinridge, the Constitutional Union party, who's candidate was John Bell, and of course the Republican party, who's candidate was Abraham Lincoln. The election was important because one of the major issues at the time was slavery, and the candidates all had differing views on hoe to deal with the issue at hand.
Lower South Secedes- December 20th, 1860
On December 20th, 1860, South Carolina seceded from the Union, becoming the first state to do so. Other states in the South joined Carolina a short while later, including Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. These states later joined the Confederate States of America, which heightened tensions between the North and the South.
Firing on Fort Sumter- April 12th, 1861
On April 12th, 1861, shots were fired on Fort Sumter in South Carolina. The shots were ordered by Confederate general P.G.T. Beauregard, after the fort was resupplied per orders of Lincoln. After a 34 hour battle, the fort was surrendered, with no casualties. The battle marked the first shots of the Civil War, which would continue until 1865.
Upper South Secedes- April/May 1861
In the spring of 1861, the states in the Upper South began to secede, joining the Confederate States of America. The last state to secede was North Carolina, who did so on May 20th, 1861.
Confederacy Seeks Help from Europe- May 1861
In May of 1861, the Confederacy attempted to seek help from Europe, specifically from Britain, as Europe depended on the South for cotton. The North tried to block these appeals, making an attempt to block international recognition of the Confederacy as a separate nation. Ultimately, the decision was made that the was was an internal conflict, and not an international issue.
First Battle of Bull Run- July 21st, 1861
The First Battle of Bull Run took place in Manassas Junction, Virginia. It was one of two battles here, both of which the Union lost. Many Southerners hoped that defeat at Bul Run would persuade the President to surrender to Confederate forces, but this is not the case.
Congress passes first Federal Income Tax- August 1861
On August 5th, 1861, Lincoln and Congress passed the first federal income tax to finance the war. The tax was a 3% tax on annual incomes over $800. The law was later repealed in 1871, but the 16th amendment was passed in 1909, imposing a permanent tax for the citizens of America.
Battle of Forts Henry and Donelson- February 6th, 1862
On February 6th, 1862, the Confederate forces at Fort Henry surrendered to Union forces. 10 days later, forces at Fort Donelson surrendered. These battles helped to effectively split the Confederacy, which in theory hastened the end of the war. The victories also helped to improve Northern morale.
The Confederacy imposes a draft- April 1862
In 1862 the First Confederate Conscription Act was passed, which would increase the size of the Confederate Army, to help the war effort. The act had mixed reactions, partially because the wealthy were exempt from the draft, and partially because it overrided the rights of individual states when it came to raising troops.
Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack- March 9th, 1862
On March 9th, 1862, the Union vessel USS Monitor engaged the CSS Merrimack in battle in Chesapeake Bay. Neither vessel won, but the battle was the first ever battle between two ironclads, which were relatively new inventions for their time.
Second Battle of Bull Run- August 29th, 1862
The second battle of Bull Run once again resulted in Confederate victory, which increased Confederate morale overall. In the battle, the Union Army had 16,054 men lost, while the Confederate Army had only 9,197 lost, which thus helped them win the battle.
Battle of Antietam- September 17, 1862
The Battle of Antietam took place near Antietam creek in Maryland. The battle is considered the bloodiest of the entire war, as each side lost more than 50% of their troops. The battle ended in a Union victory, severely lowering Confederate morale in the war effort as a whole.
Emancipation Proclamation- January 1st, 1863
The Emancipation Proclamation was passed by Abraham Lincoln on January 1st, 1863. The proclamation declared that slaves in all states were freed, and that this freedom was recognized by the United States and by its armed forces, which effectively abolished slavery.
Battle of Gettysburg- July 1st-3rd 1863
The battle of Gettysburg is considered by many to have been the turning point in the was for Union victory. The battle was the northernmost battle of the Civil War, and resulted in a Union victory. The battle began officially on July 1, and ended on July 3rd.
Siege of Vicksburg- May-July 4th 1863
The Siege, or Campaign, of Vicksburg, Mississippi was led by Ulysses Grant, and effectively cut off the Confederacy from supplies from Western regions. The Union army then celebrated the surrender on July 4th, Independence Day.
Sherman's March to the Sea- November- December 21st 1864
On November 16th, 1864, Union general William Tecumseh Sherman led 62,000 Union soldiers on a 285-mile march from Atlanta, GA to Savannah, GA. On the march, Union soldiers destroyed countryside and raided towns, getting rations and weapons for the army. The army reached Savannah on December 21st, 1864.
Thirteenth Amendment Proposed- February 1865
In February of 186h, the thirteenth amendment was proposed, which legally abolished slavery in the United States. The amendment was passed in February of 1865 by Abraham Lincoln.
Confederate Forces Surrender- April 9th, 1865
On April 9th, 1865, Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union general Ulysses Grant at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia. This marked the beginning of the end of the Civil War in the South, ending a four-year conflict.
Lincoln is Assassinated- April 14th, 1865
On April 14th, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, a Southern sympathizer, in Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. Booth was hoping to renew the conflict between North and South, but failed to do so for the most part, as Booth was captured a few days later after a large-scale manhunt for him.