Attack on Fort Sumter



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Attack on Fort Sumter

April 12, 1861


North led by Major Robert Anderson

South led by General P.G.T. Beauregard


First armed conflict of the Civil War. The attack lasted 24 hours. Anderson was forced to surrender to Confederate troops. By firing on federal property, President Lincoln had no choice but to declare the South in open rebellion.
As a result the Southern success, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy.



1st Battle of Bull Run

July 21, 1861


North led by General Irvin McDowell

South led by General P.G.T. Beauregard & General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson


First major battle of the Civil War. North invaded the south trying to take the town of Manassas. The troops were followed by reporters and civilians from Washington who wished to see the fight. Most of the people set up picnics behind the Northern lines. Beauregard was out numbered but McDowell delayed in attacking. Southern reinforcements were sent by train to help Beauregard. This is the first time in military history troops were moved by train.
At the beginning it looked like the North would win. But when the Southern reinforcements arrived the tides turned. North was forced to retreat and trampled many civilians and reporters on the way back to Washington!
McDowell is fired as the head of the Union Army and General George McClellan is given the job.






Battle of Shiloh

April 6, 1862


North led by General Ulysses S. Grant

South led by General Albert S. Johnston


The war was divided into the East and the West. General Grant was doing very well in the west along the Tennessee River. General Johnston surprised Grants forces at Shiloh Church. The battle was long fought and again it looked like the north was going to lose. However, Grant received help from General Don Carlos Buell’s troops and on the second day of fighting Grant defeated the Southern forces. General Johnston died during the battle.
Union Casualties: 13,000

Confederate Casualties: 11,000








Monitor vs. Merrimack

March 9, 1862


Northern armored vessel: Monitor

Southern armored vessel: Merrimack


Both the North and the South created Ironclads – armored steamships. The two vessels met only once. It was off the coast of Virginia. Both ships pounded each other for several hours with neither ship gaining the advantage or damaging the other. In the end, the Merrimack withdrew. The South would later blow up the Merrimack in May, 1862, to keep it from Union hands. The Monitor sank during a storm in December, 1862.







Battle of Antietam

September 17, 1862


North led by General George McClellan

South led by General Robert E. Lee & General “Stonewall” Jackson


Lee decided now was the time to invade the North. The Confederacy bypassed Washington and slipped into western Maryland. Lee’s plans however were found by Northern troops wrapped around some cigars that were left at an abandoned camp. McClellan then delayed over 16 hours before ordering the attack. This gave Lee time to adjust his plans.
The battle lasted one day. In the first three hours 12,000 soldiers on both sides were killed or wounded. By the end of the day the Union had 12,000 casualties and the Confederacy had 14,000 casualties. This was the bloodiest day of the Civil War!
The next day Lee retreated to Virginia and McClellan refused to attack even after Lincoln ordered him too. Lincoln fired McClellan AGAIN! Hired General Ambrose Burnside

Confederate Soldier in Devil’s Den - Gettysburg




Battle of Gettysburg

July 1, 1863 – July 3, 1863


North led by General George Meade

South led by General Robert E. Lee & General James Longstreet


Lee again decided to invade the North, this time looking for supplies. They by passed Washington and made their way into Pennsylvania. Lee sent a small group into the city of Gettysburg to try and find shoes. They accidentally bumped into Union troops and a fire fight broke out. The fighting then moved to outside the town around two ridges. Cemetery Ridge was controlled by the North. Seminary Ridge was controlled by the South.
Battle lasted three days and is the bloodiest battle on US soil. Some would say it is the most famous of all battles fought on American soil. Union army had over 23,000 casualties and the Confederacy had over 28,000!


  • November 19, 1863 at a dedication to a cemetery at Gettysburg for the men who died there, Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address.

Siege of Vicksburg





Looking upstream from Vicksburg - Mississippi River, 2008

Siege of Vicksburg

May 22, 1863 – July 4, 1863


North led by General Ulysses S. Grant

South led by General John Pemberton


Grant forced Pemberton’s army east after several key victories in the west. Pemberton tried to retreat to Vicksburg, Mississippi. Grant surrounded the city and began bombarding the city with cannon fire. 300 cannons dropped 2,800 shells a day on the city. Pemberton tried to hold out but in the end his men were starving eating only one biscuit and one piece of bacon a day. Pemberton surrendered on July 4th, the day after the Southern forces were defeated at Gettysburg! This victory secured Union control of the Mississippi River.







Capturing Atlanta

July 17, 1864 – August 31, 1864 (Occupied September 2, 1864)


North led by General William Tecumseh Sherman

South led by General John Bell Hood


Sherman was left to lead the western troops after Grant moved east. Many of his men thought he was mentally unstable.
He had several victories pushing deeper into the south. In July, Sherman drove Hood into the city of Atlanta. Sherman laid siege to Atlanta. After the southern troops left the city, Sherman burned the city to the ground!
War is cruelty, there is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.”
- General William T. Sherman





Sherman’s March to the Sea

November 15, 1864 – December 21, 1864


North led by General William Tecumseh Sherman

South led by General Joseph Johnston


Sherman led 62,000 troops across Georgia from Atlanta to Savannah burning everything in their path. He cut a 300 mile long path of destruction across Georgia.
As his forces approached Savannah the Confederate troops fled in fear. After taking the city, Sherman burned most of it to the ground. He then moved north through the Carolinas. His goal was to team up with Grant and to defeat Lee.
I will make Georgia howl!” – General William T Sherman
I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah,” - In a letter to President Lincoln from General Sherman



Surrender at Appomattox Court House

April 9, 1865


North led by General Ulysses S. Grant

South led by General Robert E. Lee


Lee was now completely surrounded by Grant and Sherman was making his way north. Lee fled Richmond and tried to move south to team up with General Joseph Johnston.
Every time Lee tried to move south he was cut off by Grant. Finally on April 9, 1865 Lee was forced to surrender to Grant, officially ending the Civil War.

There is nothing left for me to do but go and see General Grant, and I would rather die a thousand deaths.” – General Robert E. Lee




The Progress of War: 1861-1865




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