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Major Events of the Civil War
Transcript of Major Events of the Civil War
(cc) image by jantik on Flickr
Fort Sumter 1861
Abebraham Lincoln Elected President 1860
Battle of Antietam 1862
Emancipation Proclamation 1863
Battle of Vicksburg 1863
Battle of Gettysburg 1863
Appomattox Court House 1865
Assassination of Lincoln 1865
Battle of Bull Run/Manassas 1861
Sherman's March 1864
Lincoln Reelected 1864
Democrats split over the issue of slavery.
Northern Democrats elect Stephen Douglas.
Southern Democrats elect John Breckenridge.
Republicians elect Abraham Lincoln.
Constitutional Union Party elects John Bell.
Election of 1860
Battle of Fort Sumter
April 12-14, 1861
Charleston, South Carolina
Union- Major Robert Anderson
Confederate- General P.G.T. Beauregard
Confederate officials called for a Union surrender of the fort. Lincoln refused to surrender and sent supplies to reinforce the fort. Confederate troops began bombing the fort on April12. After 34 hours of constant shelling, Union forces finally surrender the fort. This marked the beginning of the Civil War. As the soldiers were leaving, a cannon was fired to salute the American flag. The explosion killed one soldier and wounded four others.
Battle of Bull Run/ Manassas
July 21, 1861
Manassas Junction, Virginia
Brigadier General Irvin McDowell
Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard
Pressed by President Lincoln to engage forces, McDowell leads Union forces against the Confederates. After a long day of fighting Union forces must retreat when they sustain heavy losses. Thus ending the first major land battle of the Civil War with a Confederate victory.
Battle of Fort Wagner 1863
Union- Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan
Confederate- General Robert E. Lee
While the Union outnumbered the Confederate almost 2 to 1, this battle was pretty much a stalemate with neither side gaining any significant advantage. The fighting on the 17th is recorded as the single bloodiest day of fighting in American with 22,000 causalties. Poloitically, President Lincoln calls this a victory and used this battle to accounce the Emancipation Proclamtion.
Battle of Antietam 1862
The Price of Civil War
Early in the war, few people in the North (let alone in the border slave states) would have accepted abolition of slavery as a Union war aim. But by mid-1862, as thousands of slaves fled to join invading Union troops invading the South, President Lincoln was convinced it had become good military strategy.
Soon after the Union victory at Antietam, he issued a preliminary proclamation declaring that on January 1, 1863, all slaves in the rebellious states "shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free."
While the Emancipation Proclamation did not actually free a single slave, it was a vital turning point in the war, transforming the fight to preserve the Union into a battle for the principle of human freedom.
July 1-3, 1863
Union- General George Meade
Confederate- General Robert E. Lee
Batttle of Gettysburg
One of the largest and bloodiest battles of the Civil War. General Lee led his troops North in an effort to move the fighting out of the South and weaken the Union. Forces assembled at Gettysburg and fighting broke out between to small forces west of town. The Confederates won day one of fighting. The Union retreated to a ridge of hills south of town. There they formed a "fish hook" line of defense on the hills. The last two days of fighting would concentrate on the hills. Day 2 saw the Confderates attacking the ends of the line. Day 3 saw the Confederates charge the center of the line, "Pickett's Charge". After heavy losses the Confederates were forced the retreat. There were over 51,000 causalities from the battle.
Place: Vicksburg, Mississippi
Date: May 18 - July 4, 1863
Leaders: Union- Major General Ulysses S. Grant
Confederate- Lieutenant General John Pemberton
Action: After a several failed attempts to take Vicksburg by force, Grant landed just south of Vicksburg at Bruinsburg. He quickly defeated the Confederates at the fort at Grand Gulf and used that as his base. Grant then chooses to surround Vicksburg and play a waiting game. 6 weeks after the siege begins Pemberton must surrender Vicksburg in order to keep everyone alive.
Battle of Vicksburg
Place: Morris Island, South Carolina
Date: July 18 - September 7, 1863
Leaders: Union- Brigadier General Quincy Gillmore
Confederate- Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard
Battle at Fort Wagner
Action: Brig. Gen. Gillmore was assigned to capture Charleston, S.C. Gillmore's plan was to attack Charleston through by the water. First he wanted to seize Morris Island, then bombard Cummings Point, which would allow for the destruction of Fort Sumter. After destroying Sumter, there would be little resistance in taking over Charleston.
The attack started on July 10, 1863. Union forces quickly took 3/4 of Morris Island. Gillmore decided to lay a bombardment on Fort Wagner to weaken its forces. On July 18, a massive assault lead by the 54th Massachusetts attacked Fort Wagner. Because of the well defensed fort, the Confederate soldiers were ready for the attack. After a brutal day and night of fighting, the Union lost 1,515 soldiers while the Confederates lost 174 men.
The battled ended with a long seige of Fort Wagner when the Confederates finally left on Septmeber 7, 1863.
Date: May 1864- April 1865
Place: Georgia, South and North Carolina
Leader: Union: Major General William T. Sherman
Action: After becoming the commander of the Western campaign, Sherman made a decision to commit "total warfare." Sherman believed that if his army could destroy the morale and supplies of the South, the South would be easier to conquer. Therefore, he marched his army through Georgia and the Carolinas burning and/or stealing all supplies in their path. This "March to the Sea" would take them through Atlanta (September 1864) to Savannah (December 1864) and then north through Columbia, S. Carolina (February 1865) and finally into Bentonville, North Carolina (March 1865). A month later Confederate General Joseph Johnston surrendered all of his forces in Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas.
Sherman's total warfare becomes the basis for war worldwide even up until today.
Sherman's March 1864
Candidates: Republicans: Abraham Lincoln
Democrats: George B. McClellan
Events: Since the war had been raging for almost 4 years, many Northerners were looking for its end. Early in the election, many of these people had thoughts of backing McClellan. After several Union victories and Sherman's capturing of Atlanta, Lincoln won in a landslide defeating McClellan 212 electoral votes to 21.
The reelection of Lincoln allowed Sherman to continue his March to the Sea. Less than 6 months later the war ends. A few weeks after his inauguration, Lincoln is shot and killed by John Wilkes Booth.
Lincoln Gets Reelected
Date: March 29- April 9, 1865
Place: Appomattox Court House, Virginia
Leaders: Union- General Ulysses S. Grant
Confederate- General Robert E. Lee
Action: Knowing his army was out manned and badly in need of supplies, General Lee began looking for a way to retreat and form a better battle plan. Unfortunately, the Union army harassed and chased the Confederates around Virginia. Finally at Appomattox Court House, Grant surrounded Lee and Lee had no other choice but surrendered to the Union leader effectively ending the Civil War. A day later Grant and Lee met again so Lee could obtain 28,231 pardons for his men so they could go home.
Confederate Surrender at Appomattox Court House
Place: Ford's Theatre, Washington D.C.
Date: April 14, 1865
The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
Action: President Lincoln and his wife chose to watch a play at Ford's Theatre entitled "Our American Cousin." During the play, a Confederate sympathizer named John Wilkes Booth enters Lincoln's balcony seats and shoots him in the back of the head. Booth jumps out of the balcony and brakes his leg, but does manages to get away. Lincoln is taken across the street to a private house where he dies early the next morning.
Booth wanted to help the Southern cause and initially planned to kidnap the President with the help of others, but the plan failed because the president did not show up at the kidnapping point. Before another plan can be developed, the Confederacy surrenders. So Booth with the help of his friends, plan an assassination plot on Lincoln, his Vice President, and his Sectary of State. Booth was the only person to execute the plans successfully. After 12 days of searching for Booth, he and a friend were discovered in a Virginia farmhouse. Federal troops set the farmhouse on fire. The friend surrenders but Booth remains inside. Booth then is shot in the neck and carried outside. Booth eventually dies from the wounds. Including Booth, 7 people are convicted of the assassination plot against President Lincoln. Including Dr. Samuel Mudd for caring for Booth's broken leg (this is where the phase "Your name is Mud" comes from) and Mary Surratt (the first woman put to death by the federal government) because she own the boardinghouse where the meetings took place.
Birth of the Confederacy
December 20, 1860- April 9, 1865
South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina
The South was outraged over the election of Lincoln and seven states secede from the Union immediately. After the attack on Fort Sumter, four more states secede. Jefferson Davis is elected president. In his Inaugural Address, he states that the South secession was founded in the Declaration of Independence. Whereas, "the idea that government rest upon the consent of the governed, and that it is the right of the people to alter or abolish a government whenever it becomes destructive of the ends for which it was established." Davis, also, emphasized that teh South had no aggressive designs since the South was primarily agricultural and the North was industrial.
Lincoln's responded in his Inaugural Address that he had no desire to interfere with slavery in the South. He warned the South that the Constitution did not allow for a State to leave the Union without a compromise between all states under the Constitution.
The Anaconda Plan
- The North's strategy
to surround and strangle the South
By using a naval blockade and attacking the
Mississippi River and Virginia.
Ulysses S Grant
- Final General of the Union forces
Robert E Lee-
General of the Confederacy
- 1st African American to receive the Medal of Honor; 54th Massachusetts
- 1st Spanish American to receive the Medal of Honor; Seaman U.S.S. Santiago de Cuba
-Confederate General known for his stubborn style of fighting
William T Sherman
- Union General given the command to march through Georgia in order to cut the Confederacy in half
1st all black regiment in the Union Army. Given credit as an equal troop after Battle of Fort Wagner
Faces of the Civil War
- President of Confederacy
- President of Union
John Wilkes Booth
- man who shot Lincoln