Fort Sumter Other Names: None Location: Charleston County Campaign



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Fort Sumter   

Other Names: None

Location: Charleston County

Campaign: Operations in Charleston Harbor (April 1861)

Date(s): April 12-14, 1861

Principal Commanders: Maj. Robert Anderson [US]; Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard [CS]

Forces Engaged: Regiments:  580 total (US 80; CS est. 500)

Estimated Casualties: None

Description: On April 10, 1861, Brig. Gen. Beauregard, in command of the provisional Confederate forces at Charleston, South Carolina, demanded the surrender of the Union garrison of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. Garrison commander Anderson refused. On April 12, Confederate batteries opened fire on the fort, which was unable to reply effectively. At 2:30 pm, April 13, Major Anderson surrendered Fort Sumter, evacuating the garrison on the following day. The bombardment of Fort Sumter was the opening engagement of the American Civil War. Although there were no casualties during the bombardment, one Union artillerist was killed and three wounded (one mortally) when a cannon exploded prematurely while firing a salute during the evacuation on April 14.

Result(s): Confederate victory

Manassas, First  

Other Names: First Bull Run

Location: Fairfax County and Prince William County

Campaign: Manassas Campaign (July 1861)

Date(s): July 21, 1861

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell [US]; Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard [CS]

Forces Engaged: 60,680 total (US 28,450; CS 32,230)

Estimated Casualties: 4,700 total (US 2,950; CS 1,750)

Description: This was the first major land battle of the armies in Virginia.  On July 16, 1861, the untried Union army under Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell marched from Washington against the Confederate army, which was drawn up behind Bull Run beyond Centreville. On the 21st, McDowell crossed at Sudley Ford and attacked the Confederate left flank on Matthews Hill. Fighting raged throughout the day as Confederate forces were driven back to Henry Hill.  Late in the afternoon, Confederate reinforcements (one brigade arriving by rail from the Shenandoah Valley) extended and broke the Union right flank. The Federal retreat rapidly deteriorated into a rout. Although victorious, Confederate forces were too disorganized to pursue. Confederate Gen. Bee and Col. Bartow were killed. General Thomas J. Jackson earned the nom de guerre “Stonewall.” By July 22, the shattered Union army reached the safety of Washington. The Confederate Army was too exhausted and disorganized to follow up their victory with an attack on Washington. This battle convinced the Lincoln administration that the war would be a long and costly affair. McDowell was relieved of command of the Union army and replaced by Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, who set about reorganizing and training the troops. The victory helped soar Confederate moral, and one Georgia secessionist declared that the battle “has secured our independence.” With this mentality, many Southern soldiers left the army and went home, confident the war was over.

Result(s): Confederate victory

Shiloh   

Other Names: Pittsburg Landing

Location/Campaign: Tennessee/Federal Penetration up the Cumberland & Tennessee Rivers

Date(s): April 6-7, 1862

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell [US]; Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston and Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard [CS]

Forces Engaged: Army of the Tennessee and Army of the Ohio (65,085) [US]; Army of the Mississippi (44,968) [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 23,746 total (US 13,047; CS 10,699)

Description: As a result of the fall of Forts Henry and Donelson, Confederate Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, the commander in the area, was forced to fall back, giving up Kentucky and much of West and Middle Tennessee. He chose Corinth, Mississippi, a major transportation center, as the staging area for an offensive against Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and his Army of the Tennessee before the Army of the Ohio, under Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell, could join it. The Confederate retrenchment was a surprise, although a pleasant one, to the Union forces, and it took Grant, with about 40,000 men, some time to mount a southern offensive, along the Tennessee River, toward Pittsburg Landing. Grant received orders to await Buell’s Army of the Ohio at Pittsburg Landing. Grant did not choose to fortify his position; rather, he set about drilling his men many of which were raw recruits. Johnston originally planned to attack Grant on April 4, but delays postponed it until the 6th. Attacking the Union troops on the morning of the 6th, the Confederates surprised them, routing many. Some Federals made determined stands and by afternoon, they had established a battle line at the sunken road, known as the “Hornets Nest.” Repeated Rebel attacks failed to carry the Hornets Nest, but massed artillery helped to turn the tide as Confederates surrounded the Union troops and captured, killed, or wounded most.  Johnston had been mortally wounded earlier and his second in command, Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, took over. The Union troops established another line covering Pittsburg Landing, anchored with artillery and augmented by Buell’s men who began to arrive and take up positions. Fighting continued until after dark, but the Federals held. Overnight, Grant’s men were at the edge of disaster, but Grant showed his determination by reorganizing and reinforcing his men. They decided to counter attack at dawn. By this time, the combined Federal forces numbered about 40,000, outnumbering Beauregard’s army of less than 30,000. Beauregard was unaware of the arrival of Buell’s army and launched a counterattack in response to a two-mile advance by William Nelson’s division of Buell’s army at 6:00 am, which was, at first, successful. Union troops stiffened and began forcing the Confederates back. Beauregard ordered a counterattack, which stopped the Union advance but did not break its battle line. At this point, Beauregard realized that he could not win and, having suffered too many casualties, he retired from the field and headed back to Corinth. On the 8th, Grant sent Brig. Gen. William T. Sherman, with two brigades, and Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Wood, with his division, in pursuit of Beauregard. They ran into the Rebel rearguard, commanded by Col. Nathan Bedford Forrest, at Fallen Timbers. Forrest’s aggressive tactics, although eventually contained, influenced the Union troops to return to Pittsburg Landing. Grant’s mastery of the Confederate forces continued; he had beaten them once again. The Confederates continued to fall back until launching their mid-August offensive.

Result(s): Union victory

New Orleans  

Other Names: None

Location: Orleans Parish and St. Bernard Parish

Campaign: Expedition to and Capture of New Orleans (1862)

Date(s): April 25–May 1, 1862

Principal Commanders: Flag-Officer David G. Farragut and Maj. Gen. Benjamin Franklin Butler [US]; Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell [CS]

Forces Engaged: Department of the Gulf [US]; Department No. 1 [CS]

Estimated Casualties: None

Description: As Grant pushed toward the Mississippi River, a Union fleet of about 40 ships approached the river’s mouth in Louisiana, commanded by 60 year old David G. Farragut. He was assigned to capture the Confederacy’s largest city and busiest port. Following the passage of forts Jackson and St. Philip, near the mouth of the Mississippi River, on April 24, 1862, the Union occupation of New Orleans was inevitable. Union Flag-Officer David G. Farragut, with his squadron, continued up the Mississippi River and demanded the surrender of the City of New Orleans the next day. The city surrendered on April 28. On May 1, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Franklin Butler’s army began landing at New Orleans and occupying the city. New Orleans, considered an international city and the largest city in the Confederacy, had fallen. The Union occupation of New Orleans was an event that had major international significance.

Result(s): Union victory

Seven Days Battle   

Other Names:

Location: Near York and James River, VA

Campaign: Seven Days Battle

Date(s): June 25 to July 1, 1862

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan [US]; Gen. Robert E. Lee [CS]

Forces Engaged: Armies

Estimated Casualties: 15,855 (1,734 killed, 8,066 wounded, 6,055 missing/captured) for US; 20,204 (3,494 killed, 15,758 wounded, 952 missing/captured) for CS

Description: General McClellan wanted to bring his Potomac Army down toward Richmond. It was near the York and James River that McClellan and his men would be the Confederate army led by Robert E. Lee. The two armies fought in a series of battles from June 25 to July 1, 1862. The series of attacks unnerved McClellan who retreated back to the sea, despite high casualties and less men on the Confederate side. Lee decided to respond with an attack on the Union capital. He led his men to victory at the 2nd battle of Bull Run on August 29th and from there crossed the Potomac into the Union state of Maryland. With a stroke of luck, a union soldier found Lee’s army orders wrapped around a bunch of cigars that revealed that Lee’s and Stonewall’s armies were temporarily separated. On September 16, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan confronted Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Sharpsburg, Maryland. At dawn September 17, Hooker’s corps mounted a powerful assault on Lee’s left flank that began the single bloodiest day in American military history. Attacks and counterattacks swept across Miller’s cornfield and fighting swirled around the Dunker Church. Union assaults against the Sunken Road eventually pierced the Confederate center, but the Federal advantage was not followed up. Late in the day, Burnside’s corps finally got into action, crossing the stone bridge over Antietam Creek and rolling up the Confederate right. At a crucial moment, A.P. Hill’s division arrived from Harpers Ferry and counterattacked, driving back Burnside and saving the day. Although outnumbered two-to-one, Lee committed his entire force, while McClellan sent in less than three-quarters of his army, enabling Lee to fight the Federals to a standstill. During the night, both armies consolidated their lines. In spite of crippling casualties, Lee continued to skirmish with McClellan throughout the 18th, while removing his wounded south of the river. McClellan did not renew the assaults. After dark, Lee ordered the battered Army of Northern Virginia to withdraw across the Potomac into the Shenandoah Valley. McClellan, who was usually very over cautious, did not pursuit. This lack of action led to Lincoln’s firing of McClellan on November 7, 1862. This battle ultimately ended up as one of bloodiest single-day battle in American history with casualties totaling over 26,000.

Result(s): Mc

Antietam   

Other Names: Sharpsburg

Location: Washington County

Campaign: Maryland Campaign (September 1862)

Date(s): September 16-18, 1862

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan [US]; Gen. Robert E. Lee [CS]

Forces Engaged: Armies

Estimated Casualties: 23,100 total

Description: General McClellan wanted to bring his Potomac Army down toward Richmond. It was near the York and James River that McClellan and his men would be the Confederate army led by Robert E. Lee. The two armies fought in a series of battles from June 25 to July 1, 1862. The series of attacks unnerved McClellan who retreated back to the sea, despite high casualties and less men on the Confederate side. Lee decided to respond with an attack on the Union capital. He led his men to victory at the 2nd battle of Bull Run on August 29th and from there crossed the Potomac into the Union state of Maryland. With a stroke of luck, a union soldier found Lee’s army orders wrapped around a bunch of cigars that revealed that Lee’s and Stonewall’s armies were temporarily separated. On September 16, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan confronted Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Sharpsburg, Maryland. At dawn September 17, Hooker’s corps mounted a powerful assault on Lee’s left flank that began the single bloodiest day in American military history. Attacks and counterattacks swept across Miller’s cornfield and fighting swirled around the Dunker Church. Union assaults against the Sunken Road eventually pierced the Confederate center, but the Federal advantage was not followed up. Late in the day, Burnside’s corps finally got into action, crossing the stone bridge over Antietam Creek and rolling up the Confederate right. At a crucial moment, A.P. Hill’s division arrived from Harpers Ferry and counterattacked, driving back Burnside and saving the day. Although outnumbered two-to-one, Lee committed his entire force, while McClellan sent in less than three-quarters of his army, enabling Lee to fight the Federals to a standstill. During the night, both armies consolidated their lines. In spite of crippling casualties, Lee continued to skirmish with McClellan throughout the 18th, while removing his wounded south of the river. McClellan did not renew the assaults. After dark, Lee ordered the battered Army of Northern Virginia to withdraw across the Potomac into the Shenandoah Valley. McClellan, who was usually very over cautious, did not pursuit. This lack of action led to Lincoln’s firing of McClellan on November 7, 1862. This battle ultimately ended up as one of bloodiest single-day battle in American history with casualties totaling over 26,000.

Result(s): Inconclusive (Union strategic victory.)


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