Civil War Timeline. October 16, 1859, to April 15, 1865.
October 16, 1859, to April 15, 1865
From October 16th to the 18th , 1859, John Brown attacked the federal armory and arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. He planned to arm slaves with the weapons, but he was stopped by Robert E. Lee. Most of Brown’s men were killed or captured.
President of the C.S.A.
On December 20, 1860, South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union.
In January of 1861 Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana seceded.
Jefferson Davis is inaugurated as the President of the Confederate States of America, and Texas secedes from the Union in February
Fort Sumter, in South Carolina, was fired upon by the Confederate forces on April 12, 1861 at 4:30 a.m. The Unions forces surrendered, but the Civil War had begun.
Arkansas, North Carolina, and Virginia seceded in May of 1861.
Tennessee followed suit in June of 1861
The first battle of the Civil War took place at Bull Run in Virginia. The Union Army was so sure of a victory that people came from all over to watch. Women brought picnic baskets and blankets. The whole war was supposed to be this one battle with a Union Victory and it would all be over.
The Confederates almost retreated, however one soldier said, “Look, there stands Jackson like a stone wall” “Lets rally around Jackson”. The Confederates fought and drove the Union forces back. This was the beginning of a long, bloody, and costly war.
On April 6, 1862, Confederate Generals Johnston and Beauregard headed to West Tennessee. Their intent was to surprise Union General Grant’s men by attacking and driving the Federals west into the swamps of Owl Creek.
General Grants men headed toward the river instead. They held steadfast against the Confederates.
By mid afternoon in April 7th, General Johnston was killed by a stray bullet.
With the reinforcements of Federal General Buell’s division fighting began anew.
General Beauregard rallied his men, but when all seemed hopeless he ordered a retreat.
As a result of the Battle of Shiloh, both sides realized this would be a very long war.
The Battle of Shiloh April 6-7, 1862
Confederate LeadersUnion Leaders
Robert E. Lee George McClellan
Thomas “Stonewall Jackson Ambrose Burnside
This was the “single bloodiest day of the entire War.” (The American Journey p. 472)
The Confederates retreated, but McClellan did not follow Lincoln’s orders to “destroy the rebel army” Neither side could claim victory. Lincoln replaced McClellan with Ambrose Burnside.
Now the Federals had two reasons to fight. One to preserve the union and the other to put an end to slavery.
"If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that."
The Emancipation Proclamation
January 1, 1863
http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Emancipation_Proclamation.aspx---- Public Domain
May 1-4, 1863
Union General: Joseph Hooker
Confederate General: Robert E. Lee
The Union forces are defeated by the smaller force of the Confederates due to Lee’s strategies.
Unfortunately, on May 2, General Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded by friendly fire. He was only 39 years old. His death had a profound outcome of the Battle of Gettysburg.
Robert E. Lee said to Jackson. “I have lost my right arm”
Jackson’s last words …"Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees."
This battle took place in a small town in Pennsylvania. General
Robert E. Lee met up accidentally with the Union
General George G. Meade.
It was a battle that lasted for 3 days and more men died in this battle than any other.
If Stonewall Jackson had not died previously, the outcome may have been different.
One civilian died in this battle. Her name was Mary Virginia Wade, better known as Jennie. A shot went through the house into her kitchen on July 3, 1863. The shot hit her while she was baking bread for Union soldiers. She was only 20 years old. Her fiancé was also killed in this battle.
This battle was considered a victory for Meade’s union forces and is known as the turning point in the civil war.
The following is the address delivered by President Lincoln at the dedication of the cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we can not dedicate--we can not consecrate--we can not hallow-- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain--that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Union General William Tecumseh Sherman left Chattanooga and was headed toward Georgia. He met up with Confederate General Joseph Johnston. Even though Johnston held off Sherman’s force he was replaced by General John Bell Hood.
John Bell Hood already had issues. He had lost the use of one of his arms and one of his legs. He had to be tied to his saddle to keep from falling off. He was also very doped up on pain medicine.
After this, General Sherman’s began his 300 mile march to the sea. His troops made a path 60 miles wide, and on the way they destroyed bridges, railroads, and public buildings. He ended up in Savannah, Georgia and offered it to President Lincoln as a Christmas present.
The Northern states overwhelmingly voted Lincoln president for a second term. His opponent was democrat George B. McClellan. Even though McClellan was a general and could organize and train an army, he couldn’t defeat Robert E. Lee in Virginia.
This is the only known picture of Lincoln giving a speech. This is his 2nd inaugural speech given on March 4, 1865.
Robert E. Lee realized the South no longer had a chance at winning this war. He and Grant sent notes back and forth to each other on April 8th and into the morning of the 9th.
Grant was dressed casually and Lee was in formal dress.
Lee surrendered to Grant and then left to tell his men.
John Wilkes Booth was an out of work actor. His first plan was to capture Lincoln. Since he never accomplished this he set about assassinating him.
Lincoln was in Ford’s theater watching a play called “Our American Cousin”. Right at a time when the play when Booth knew everyone would laugh he shot Lincoln in the back of the head.
Lincoln was taken to Peterson’s boarding house across the street from the theatre and was pronounced dead at 7:22 a.m. on April 15, 1865
Abraham Lincoln’s vice president, Andrew Johnson, became the president upon Lincoln’s death.
Lincoln is remembered as “The Great Emancipator”. There is a statue of him in Washington D.C. One wall is inscribed with the Gettysburg address and on the opposite wall is his inaugural Speech. He is also known as the president who saved the Union.
There have been 15 presidents before Lincoln and there will be many after him, but none will be remembered as well.