Civil War Timeline By Lauren Mascitelli
End of Truce (1854) - The political truce over slavery in the United States was abruptly ended when the Kansas-Nebraska act was passed. This act allowed the settlers in those territories to vote to determine whether to allow slavery within their boundaries. There was a strong opposition to this act who believed it to concede to the slave-power in the South. This group called themselves the New Republican Party. • Presidential Election (1856) - The Whig party has split after the Kansas-Nebraska Act, so two entirely new parties were created in its absence: The Americans (Led by Fillmore), and The Republicans (Led by Frémont). The Democrats (led by Buchanan) dodged the issue of slavery altogether. Buchanan won the election by a minority vote. • Buchanan’s Inauguration (March 1857) - In is Inaugural address, President Buchanan decided to leave the issue of slavery to the devices of the supreme court. • The Dread Scott Decision (March 1857) - Dread Scott was a slave who was taken by his slave-owner from Missouri to a territory that was closed to freedom and then back again. Dread sued the slave-owner for his freedom, but the supreme court ruled against his freedom, stating that Dread Scott was not a citizen. • Lincoln’s Beginnings (1858) - Abraham Lincoln was a candidate in the election for the senator of Illinois. He was a republican, but not an abolitionist by any means. Lincoln believed that if slavery were confined to a small existing area in the south, it would eventually abolish itself. Lincoln lost the Senatorial election to his opponent Douglas, but gained a national reputation that would aid him in winning the presidential election in 1860. • Freeport Doctrine (1858) - Senator Douglas formulated the Freeport Doctrine. It basically states that Slavery cannot exist unless a local political government states that it can • Presidential Election (November 1860) -Slavery was a hot topic of the election. A Northern-wing Democratic party nominated Douglas, a southern-wing democratic party nominated Breckinridge, the Constitutional Party nominated Bell, and the Republicans Nominated Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln won in a landslide, for he gained a majority of votes (more than all three of his opponents combined)
The South Secedes. (January 1861) - South Carolina perceived the election of Abraham Lincoln (an outward opponent of Slavery) to be a threat. The state wanted to remove South Carolina from the union. was followed by the secession of eleven more states -- Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas,Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina (The confederacy) • Lincoln's Inauguration. (March 1861) - At Lincoln's inauguration on March 4, the new president announced that he does not plan to abolish slavery in the south, but he would not allow secession. He wanted to mend the nation without warfare. • Attack on Fort Sumter. (April 1861) - Lincoln planned to send supplies to Fort Sumter, he alerted the south ahead of time,to avoid unwanted hostility. South Carolina thought this to be a trick; Robert Anderson, commander of the fort, was told to surrender immediately. Anderson only offered to surrender after he was out of supplies. The Civil War began on April 12th with shots fired on the fort. Fort Sumter eventually was surrendered to South Carolina & the confederacy gained 4 more states. • Riots in Baltimore (April 1861) - Days after the Fort Sumter Attack, confederate newspapers were thrown at a passing troop of Union soldiers. The president invoked martial law, which states that the military has rule over the bill of rights. • Resource Issues (April 1861) - The southern forces were lacking in recourses, while the north were far more advanced and superior. The south asked European forces for help in regards to soldiers and arms. Both Britain and France denied the aid. • West Virginia Is Born. (June 1861) - Many citizens in Virginia did not want to secede the union with the rest of the state. This section of Virginia was admitted into the Union as the state of West Virginia. • Shiloh Slaughter (April 1862) - Grant’s army was taken by surprise on the Tennessee-Mississippi border. Confederate soldiers, led by General Johnston attacked Grant’s army and killed 13 000 of his men in the bloody, 2 day battle. • Union Takes New Orleans (April 1862) - Union Officer Farragut was ordered to capture New Orleans for the Union. He decided to do so by water under the cover of nightfall. The forts along the coast spied the ships and open-fired, but the forts were no match for the 24 union boats. New Orleans Surrendered to the Union.
Conscription (April 1862) - Both the North & South were forced to Draft all able-bodied men for the service of the military. • Second Battle Of Bull Run (August 1862) - This was a battle won by General E. Lee on confederate soil. It was this victory that Inspired Lee’s later attempted attack on Washington D.C. • Anteitam (September 1862) - In a gleam of unprecedented good luck, a Union soldier came across cigars wrapped in a copy of Lee’s plans to take Washington. The Union’s General McClellan attacked the unsuspecting Confederate soldiers at Antietam Creek. It was the bloodiest day of the entire war, for over 11 000 casualties were suffered by the Confederates. • Emancipation Proclamation (September 1862) - President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation as an address to the citizens of the United States, saying that the Confederate Slaves must be freed. It was this proclamation that made the Civil War a war against Slavery. • Battle for the River (February 1863) - The Confederates and the Union both battled for control of the Mississippi River. The union, under the lead of Ulysses S. Grant attacked Fort Henry & Fort Donelson, two confederate forts on the Kentucky – Tennessee Border. Both forts were captured in the name of the Union & made way for Grant to move south towards the railroad & then Tennessee • Capture of Vicksburg (May 1863) - Grant marched his soldiers his soldiers down the west bank of the Mississippi River & reached the Capital of Mississippi. Grant then turned his men around and took Vicksburg by force from the outskirts in, winning battles against larger forces & bombarded the city with artillery fire. After 17 days, the city finally surrendered. • Battle of Gettysburg (June/July 1863) - Lee took his soldiers to Pennsylvania, as did the Union in his very Shadow under the lead of General Meade. The union took positions on the crest of a low ridge (Little Round-top & Big Round-top) The south were the attackers, trying to remove them from higher ground and uproot the union soldiers. Every southern attempt was repulsed. The casualties were astronomical on both ends of the battle after only three days of fighting, but it was the south who reigned victorious as Lee was forced to retreat to Virginia. This battle was known as the turning point of the Civil war • Opposition (July 1863) - In the north, mainly in New York, There were Riots held in opposition to conscription
Battle for Chattanooga (September 1863) - Union forces tried to cut off the Confederates from the east this time, mainly through Chattanooga, for it was home to Tennessee’s rail system. The confederates, led by General Bragg, badly defeated the union led by General Rosecrans, and forced them to retreat. • The Gettysburg Address (November 1863) - Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg and gave a speech in which he honored those who lost their lives on both sides of the battlefield and declared that none of the men had died in vain. • Battles in the East (May/June 1864) - The union moved deeper south under Grant’s lead & was constantly engaged in battle with the Confederates. Even though Grant did not always win these battles, he kept advancing unlike other Generals. After the unsuccessful battles of “The Wilderness”, “Spotsylvania”, and “Cold Harbor” The Union had suffered monumental casualties. Grant kept going, knowing his me could be replaced –unlike the south. It was at this time, the siege of the confederates capital, Richmond, began. • Election of 1864 -Lincoln was reelected as President of the United States over McClellan. Lincoln promised to end the war and reunite America as one. • Lincoln’s Inauguration (March 1865) - It was during Lincoln’s 2nd inaugural speech that Grant was hard-pressing for the capture of Richmond. General Lee advised President Davis that he could no longer defend Richmond from the Union. The Confederates surrendered their capital. The civil war is essentially over, the Union had won. • Lincoln’s Assassination (April 1865) - President Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at the Ford Theatre. This was a tragedy felt by both the north & south, for Lincoln was the one best equipped to re-build America after the Civil War. • Civil Rights Bill (April 1866) - Congress Passed the Civil Rights Bill, which guaranteed rights to African- Americans and gave power to the federal government to protect the rights of the freed individuals. The new President Andrew Johnson vetoed the bill, but congress passed it anyways. • The Reconstruction Act (1867) - The south was put under military rule, in order to return the confederacy to the Union
Election of 1867 (1867) - General Grant won the Presidential election in a landslide over Seymour • The Union is whole (1870) - Every southern state under military rule was readmitted to the Union & The United States was whole again