The American Civil War

Timeline created by mandyh
In History
  • Period: to

    The American Civil War

  • Election of 1860

    Election of 1860
    Dissention in the Democratic Party led to the nomination of both Douglas (for the northern branch) and Breckinridge (for the southern branch) for the election of 1860, in which they ran against the Republican canidate, Lincoln, and the Constitutional Union Party canidate, Bell. Lincoln had the advantage of gaining the majority of electoral votes because of this split. Lincoln's victory made the disunion of the states inevitable, as the south refused to be governed by a Republican President.
  • Jefferson Davis

    Jefferson Davis
    Although he didn't support secession, Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as President of the Confederacy soon after the southern states left the union. While he was supposed to serve as president for a 6 year term, his inability to lead the Confederacy to victory ended his time in office. Most consider his flaws as a military leader to be his downfall, even with his substantial military experience prior to holding office. He was captured and imprisoned for two years shortly after the war's end.
  • Fort Sumter

    Fort Sumter
    The southern army cut off Fort Sumter from receiving necessary supplies. Lincoln announced that he was sending provisions to the fort, and that the south could either let them through or start a fight. The south chose the later, starting the Civil War. The fort was lost to southern troops. Lincoln's response was unprecedented as he used his authority to call the north together in efforts to quell the southern rebellion.
  • Winfield Scott and the Anaconda Plan

    Winfield Scott and the Anaconda Plan
    WInfield Scott was the Union General who suggested the Anaconda Plan to defeat the Confederacy. The Anaconda Plan consisted of blocking southern ports, and going down the Mississippi River to cut the south in two. The name "Anaconda" was chosen mostly for propaganda purposes as it creates a vision of suffocating one's enemies. While the Anaconda Plan did help the north gain victory, it's true value is often questioned.
  • The First Battle of Bull Run

    The First Battle of Bull Run
    Also called the First Battle of Manassas, the First Battle of Bull Run was an attempted attack on the Confederate capital of Richmond, VA. Troops on both sides were inexperienced- the north led by Gen. Irvin McDowell and the south by Gen. PGT Beauregard- and the Union seemed as though they could win, which would bring a swift end to the war. However, the southern troops were soon assisted by Col. Thomas Jackson, who helped turn the fight around, winning a Confederate victory.
  • Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson

    Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson
    Col. Jackson assisted Beauregard's faltering troops during the First Battle of Bull Run by helping the soldiers stand their ground. This earned him the nickname "Stonewall". He went on to become one of the Confederate Army's greatest leaders, and his death in 1863 (due to pneumonia) was a major setback for the south. His great tactical skills, however, were essential to the early southern victories of the war.
  • George B. McClellan

    George B. McClellan
    Union Gen. McClellan is perhaps most famous for leading the Union Army of the Potomac. He only served as general-in-chief briefly, as his Peninsula Campaign ended in disaster for the Union army. After surrendering to Gen. Lee of the Confederacy and bouts of insubordination with Lincoln, McClellan was removed from his position.
  • Robert E. Lee

    Robert E. Lee
    Although Lincoln offered him the position of leading the Union army, Lee decided to remain loyal to his home state of Virginia and support the Confederacy. He became the General for the Confederacy under Jefferson Davis, and he was the great tactitian behind the Confederacy's greatest victories. However, he was forced to surrender to the Union after a series of losses.
  • Monitor v Merrimac

    Monitor v Merrimac
    The Confederate warship, Merrimac, met up with the Union's wooden vessels in an attempt to break their blockade. Wooden ships were incapable of standing against the Merrimac, so, to protect their ship, the Minnesota, the Union brought out its warship, the Monitor. When the fighting resumed, neither side got the upper hand. While this naval battle produced an indeterminable winner, the amazing innovations showcased by the ironclad warships led to a worldwide revolution in ship construction.
  • Ulysses S. Grant

    Ulysses S. Grant
    Already a war veteran from the Mexican American war, Ulysses S. Grant joined the Union cause during the Civil War. He started by training new recruits, then worked his way up. Eventually, his victory at the Battle of Vicksburg earned him total control of the Union forces as Lincoln promoted him to lieutenant general. Gen. Grant went on to defeat Gen. Lee of the Confederacy multiple times, finally forcing his surrender at Appomattox Court House. Grant went o to serve as President after the war.
  • Battle of Antietam

    Battle of Antietam
    Also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, this was the single bloodiest day in the entirety of the Civil War. The Battle of Antietam was also the first major battle to be take place in the north. While tactically inconclusive, the Union claimed victory in this fight due to McClellan's mistakes in leading the south. This battle gave Lincoln the win he needed to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • Battle of Fredericksburg

    Battle of Fredericksburg
    This battle in the city of Fredericksburg, VA took place between Gen. Lee's Confederate troops and the Union's Gen. Burnside's Union army of the Potomac. The battle ended in a Confederate victory, as Burnside was forced to retreat after delayed deliveries of crucial supplies. The Union suffered from immense casualties.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    President Lincoln issued a statement freeing 3.1 million slaves in certain areas of the Confederacy, and eventually freeing all slaves as the Union army advanced into the south. This statement was more symbolic than practical, showing that Lincoln had full authority and he considered the Confederacy as part of the Union. HIs orders were not well received by the south, but he was forever seen as the savior of the enslaved people because of it.
  • Battle of Gettysburg

    Battle of Gettysburg
    This battle ended in a bittersweet Union victory as 50,000 lives were lost. The attack on Gettysburg, PA was led by Confederate Gen. Lee in an attempt to make a peace treaty with the north. Lee was ultimately unsuccessful, and his loss marked a turning point, as the southern troops never regained the offensive afterwards.
  • Battle of Vicksburg

    Battle of Vicksburg
    This battle was essential to the Union's success. Though they already controlled most of the Mississippi, the victory acheived by the Union after the seven week bombardment of Vicksburg gave them control of the entire Mississippi and Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Gen. Grant's fantastic victory was a true turning point in the Civil War.
  • Gettysburg Address

    Gettysburg Address
    Lincoln's historical speech, the Gettysburg Address, was short but meaningful. It marked the dedication of a new national cemetary to honor those who had fallen in the Battle of Gettysburg. In his speech, Lincoln reminded the American people of what the country stood for: equality. He sent the people a message that reminded them of what the founding fathers had fought for and why it was so worth protecting.
  • Sherman's March

    Sherman's March
    Gen. Grant sent out war veteran Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman to quite literally destroy the south. Sherman led 100,000 men on a march of destruction, burning down everything from cotton fields to barns to houses to bridges, to prevent the southern army from making use of these resources. The trail of destruction went from Tennesee to Sout Carolina, completely obliterating southern will to carry on.
  • Appomattox Courthouse

    Appomattox Courthouse
    Though he tried to negotiate for peace, Gen. Lee was forced to surrender to the Union army at Appomattox. Gen. Grant was gracious in victory, and merely sent Lee and his men home. This was significant because it showed that Lincoln, through his superior generals, was able to bring the United States back together.
  • Lincoln's Assassination

    Lincoln's Assassination
    President Lincoln and his wife, Mary, went to Ford's Theater to see "Our American Cousin". Actor John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer, shot Lincoln, who died the next morning. Booth was later captured, and it was discovered that he, along with Lewis Powell and George Atzerodt, was planning to also assassinate Secretary of State William H. Steward and VP Andrew Johnson (both attempts failed). Lincoln was the first president assassinated, and his loss was tragic for the American people.