The bombardment/siege and ultimate surrender of Fort Sumter by Brig. General P.G.T. Beauregard was the official start of the Civil War.
Battle Of Philippi Summary
Philippi, Barbour County, Virginia (now West Virginia)
The Battle of Philippi, fought June 3, 1861, in what is now West Virginia, is known as the "first land battle of the Civil War" or the "first inland battle of the Civil War." A minor affair that lasted less than 20 minutes and resulted in no fatalities, it would barely be a footnote of the American Civil War except that it marked the first inland clash between significant numbers of troops. It also was an important step on George B. Philippi an’s road to becoming commander of the Army of the Potomac, the largest Union army.
On November 8, 1861, Confederate diplomatic envoys James Mason (1798-1871) of Virginia and John Slidell (1793-1871) of Louisiana were aboard the Trent, a British mail steamer, sailing through the Bahama Channel (between the Bahamas and Cuba), when the vessel was intercepted by the USS San Jacinto, captained by Charles Wilkes (1798-1877). Mason and Slidell and their secretaries, who were headed to England and France to lobby for recognition of the Confederacy, were arrested, transported to Boston and imprisoned at Fort Warren. The Trent was allowed to continue its journey after the men’s arrest. Lincoln had the envoys released and averted a war with Britain.
Battle Of Bull Run Facts
Manassas, Virginia. Fairfax County and Prince William County
July 21, 1861
Union: Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell
Confederate: Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard & Gen. Joseph E. Johnston
The First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) was the first major land-based confrontation of the American Civil War. The Union army commander in Washington, Brigadier General Irvin McDowell, gave in to great pressure to begin campaigning before his men’s 90-day enlistments expired, although he did not feel the army was adequately trained yet, leading to a stunning Confederate victory and ending northern hopes of a quick end to the war.
One of the most interesting Battle of Bull Run facts is that many spectators made their way to watch the battle. Reporters, government officials, and average citizens packed lunches and made a day of it. The day took a turn for the worse as these spectators got caught up in the craziness of the Union retreat.
Battle Of Hampton Roads Facts
March 8 – 9, 1862
The Battle of Hampton Roads, aka the Battle of the Ironclads (Monitor and Merrimack), was fought March 8-9, 1862 near Hampton Roads, Virginia. It is the most famous naval battle of the American Civil War, pitting the nation’s first ironclad ships against each other.
The two ships fought each other to a standstill, but Virginia retired.
Battle Of Seven Days
Henrico County, Virginia
June 25 – July 1, 1862
Union: George B. McClellan
Confederate: Gen. Robert E. Lee
The Seven Days Battle or Seven Days Campaign took place from June 25 to July 1, 1862 and featured six different battles along the Virginia Peninsula east of Richmond. The Union Army of the Potomac, led by Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, was over 100,000 men strong yet was steadily driven away from the ultimate goal of Richmond and back to the James River by Confederates led by a new field commander—Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Second Battle Of Bull Run Facts Location:Manassas, Virginia
Dates: August 28 – 30, 1862
Generals: Union: Major General John Pope | Confederate: General Robert E. Lee
n this second battle, Major General John Pope, appointed by President Abraham Lincoln in March 1862 to command the newly formed Army of Virginia, was soundly beaten by Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, due in part to Pope’s misapprehension of the battlefield, confused orders and the reluctance of other Union commanders to come to his aid. Confederate lieutenant general Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson and Lt. Gen. James Longstreet hemmed in and crushed the Federals. Unlike the full-scale rout of inexperienced Union troops that occurred during the First Battle of Bull Run, in Second Bull Run, Pope and his more experienced troops made a determined stand that allowed the army to retreat in an orderly fashion after darkness fell.
Battle Of Antietam Facts
Sharpsburg, Washington County, Maryland
September 17, 1862
Union: Major General George B. McClellan
Confederate: General Robert E. Lee
The Battle of Antietam, a.k.a. Battle of Sharpsburg, resulted in not only the bloodiest day of the American Civil War, but the bloodiest single day in all of American history. Fought primarily on September 17, 1862, between the town of Sharpsburg, Maryland, and Antietam Creek, it ended Gen. Robert E. Lee’s first invasion of a northern state.
Though far from a decisive victory, the success of the Union army at Antietam prompted President Abraham Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation
Battle Of Fredericksburg Facts
December 11-15, 1862
Union: Maj. General Ambrose E. Burnside
Confederate: General Robert E. Lee
The Battle of Fredericksburg was an early battle of the civil war and stands as one of the greatest Confederate victories. Led by General Robert E. Lee, the Army of Northern Virginia routed the Union forces led Maj Gen. Ambrose Burnside. Burnside ordered one futile frontal attack after another against the entrenched Confederate forces on the high ground of Marye’s Heights, generating astounding Union casualties that eventually reached twice that of Confederate casualties.
Fort Henry Facts
Location: Ft. Henry, Stewart County and Henry County, Tennessee
Dates: February 6, 1862
Generals/Commanders: Union: Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant (Army),
Flag Officer Andrew H. Foote (Navy)
Confederate: Brigadier General Lloyd Tilghman
The Battle of Fort Henry was the first significant Union victory of the American Civil War. Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant’s success here, along with his victory at Fort Donelson, paved the way for the Union to capture Nashville, Tennessee near the end of February. The fighting at Fort Henry also marked the first combat involving ironclad gunboats during the Civil War.
Fort Donelson Facts
Location: Fort Donelson, Tennessee
Dates: February 11-16, 1862
Generals: Union: Ulysses S. Grant | Confederate: John B. Floyd
The Battle of Fort Donelson involved the capture of Ft. Donelson, Tennessee and provided access to the Cumberland River as a means of invading the Confederacy. It was fought from February 11 to February 16, 1862 and established General Ulysses S. Grant as a major figure of The Civil War
Battle Of Shiloh Facts
Location: Pittsburg Landing. Hardin County, Tennessee
The casualty totals of the Battle of Shiloh shocked Americans both North and South, with the two-day total exceeding that of all previous American wars combined. The battle turned back a Confederate attempt to re-capture Middle Tennessee and contributed to Union Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s reputation as a leader who would keep fighting even in adverse circumstances.
Battle Of Vicksburg Facts
Vicksburg, Mississippi. Warren County
May 18-July 4, 1863
Union: Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
Confederate: Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton
The Battle of Vicksburg, Mississippi, also called the Siege of Vicksburg, was the culmination of a long land and naval campaign by Union forces to capture a key strategic position during the American Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln recognized the significance of the town situated on a 200-foot bluff above the Mississippi River. He said, "Vicksburg is the key, the war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pocket." Capturing Vicksburg would sever the Trans-Mississippi Confederacy from that east of the Mississippi River and open the river to Northern traffic along its entire length.
Battle Of Chancellorsville Facts
Chancellorsville, Spotsylvania County, Virginia
April 30 – May 6, 1863
Union: Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker
Confederate: Gen. Robert E. Lee’s
The Battle of Chancellorsville, April 30–May 6, 1863, resulted in a Confederate victory that stopped an attempted flanking movement by Maj. Gen. Joseph "Fighting Joe" Hooker’s Army of the Potomac against the left of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. The Southern victory was diminished by the loss of Lt. Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, mortally wounded by his own men who mistook him and his staff for Union cavalry, a loss that would have far-reaching effects on the Civil War.
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County
Union General: George G. Meade
Confederate General: Robert E. Lee
The Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (July 1–July 3, 1863), was the largest battle of the American Civil War as well as the largest battle ever fought in North America, involving around 85,000 men in the Union’s Army of the Potomac under Major General George Gordon Meade and approximately 75,000 in the Confederacy’s Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert Edward Lee. Casualties at Gettysburg totaled 23,049 for the Union (3,155 dead, 14,529 wounded, 5,365 missing). Confederate casualties were 28,063 (3,903 dead, 18,735 injured, and 5,425 missing), more than a third of Lee’s army.
These largely irreplaceable losses to the South’s largest army, combined with the Confederate surrender of Vicksburg, Mississippi, on July 4, marked what is widely regarded as a turning point—perhaps the turning point—in the Civil War
Battle Of Chickamauga Facts
September 19-20, 1863
Catoosa and Walker counties, Georgia
Union: Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans | Confederate: Gen. Braxton Bragg,
The Battle of Chickamauga in North Georgia not far from Chattanooga, Tennessee, was the largest battle fought in the Western Theater of the American Civil War. It is second only to the Battle of Gettysburg in the number of casualties. Braxton Bragg’s Confederate Army of Tennessee, reinforced by a corps from the Army of Northern Virginia, routed the forces of Major General William S. Rosecrans. Bragg’s failure to follow up aggressively reduced an overwhelming Confederate victory to merely a tactical one.
Generals: Union: Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant | Confederate: Gen. Braxton Bragg
The Battle Of Chattanooga, Tennessee, was an important Union victory in the The Civil War. The city was a vital rail hub that, once taken, became the gateway for later campaigns in the Deep South, including the capture of Atlanta and Sherman’s March to the Sea. A Confederate soldier called the Battle of Chattanooga "the death knell of the Confederacy."
The Battle Of The Wilderness
Battle Of The Wilderness Facts Location: Spotsylvania and Orange Counties, Virginia
Dates: May 5-7, 1864
Generals: Union: Lt. Gen Ulysses S. Grant | Confederate: General Robert E. Lee
he Battle of the Wilderness began Lt. Gen Ulysses S. Grant’s 1864 Overland Campaign against the Confederate army of Northern Virginia that ultimately, after many weeks and horrendous casualties, forced Gen. Robert E. Lee’s men back to the defenses at Richmond. The fighting took place in an area of Virginia where tangled underbrush and trees had grown up in long-abandoned farmland, near the old Chancellorsville battlefield. Close-quarters fighting among the dense woods created high casualties, but the battle proved inconclusive for both sides. It produced an important strategic event, however; whereas before Union commanders had withdrawn their armies after failing to achieve victory south of the Rappahannock River, Grant did not retreat. Instead, he attempted to outflank Lee by moving to the left, setting the stage for the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse.
Battle Of Spotsylvania Courthouse Facts Location:Spotsylvania County, Virginia
Dates: May 8 – May 21, 1864
Generals: Union: Ulysses S. Grant | Confederate: Robert E. Lee
he Battle of Spotsylvania Court House was fought May 8 – May 21, 1864 as part of Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s 1864 Overland Campaign of the American Civil War.
The Battle of Peachtree Creek was fought July 20, 1864, during the American Civil War (1861-1865).
Armies & Commanders
Major General William T. Sherman
Major General George H. Thomas
General John Bell Hood Rocky Face Ridge
Other Names: Combats at Buzzard Roost, Mill Creek, Dug Gap
Location: Whitfield County
Campaign: Atlanta Campaign (1864)
Date(s): May 7-13, 1864
Principal Commanders:Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman [US]; Gen. Joseph E. Johnston [CS]
Under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, the Army of Tennessee had retired south of Peachtree Creek, an east to west flowing stream, about three miles north of Atlanta. Sherman split his army into three columns for the assault on Atlanta with George H. Thomas’s Army of the Cumberland moving from the north. Johnston had decided to attack Thomas, but Confederate President Jefferson Davis relieved him of command and appointed John B. Hood to take his place. Hood attacked Thomas after his army crossed Peachtree Creek. The determined assault threatened to overrun the Union troops at various locations. Ultimately, though, the Yankees held, and the Rebels fell back.
Union victory (Union casualties were high, but they did force the Confederates off Rocky Face Ridge.) This battle paved the way for the eventual capture of Atlanta.
Battle Of Atlanta Summary: The Battle of Atlanta was fought on July 22, 1864, just southeast of Atlanta, Georgia. Union forces commanded by William T. Sherman, wanting to neutralize the important rail and supply hub, defeated Confederate forces defending the city under John B. Hood. After ordering the evacuation of the city, Sherman burned most of the buildings in the city, military or not. After taking the city, Sherman headed south toward Savannah, beginning his Sherman’s March To The Sea.
The battle is known not only for it strategic and military significance but for its political importance. The victory greatly increased northern morale and is credited for aiding the reelection of Abraham Lincoln over George Mcclellan
The Battle Of Mobile Bay
Battle Of Mobile Bay Facts Location: Mobile Bay, Alabama
Dates: August 5, 1864
Generals: Union: David Farragut | Confederate: Franklin Buchanan
The Battle of Mobile Bay was fought August 5, 1864 in Mobile Bay, Alabama. The Union fleet, commanded by Rear Adm. David G. Farragut, attacked a Confederate fleet that guarded the entrance to Mobile Bay. This was another devasting loss for the South.
Battle Of Petersburg Facts
June 9, 1864 – March 25, 1865
Union: Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
Confederate: Gen. Robert E. Lee
The Battle of Petersburg (aka Siege of Petersburg) was a series of battles around the cities of Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia, fought from June 9, 1864, to March 25, 1865, during the civil war.
Beginning after the unsuccessful attack of the city of Petersburg by Ulysses S. Grant, Grant then construction trenches around the eastern portion of Richmond to the outskirts of Petersburg. The city was a major supply hub to the confederate army led by Robert E. Lee, who finally abandoned the city in 1865 and retreated, which led afterward to his ultimate surrender at Appomattox Court House.
The Siege of Petersburg continues to be known as an early example of trench warfare, which would be used extensively in World War I.
Appomattox Courthouse Battle Facts Location:Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia
Dates: April 9, 1865
Generals: Union: Ulysses S. Grant | Confederate: Robert E. Lee
The Battle of Appomattox Courthouse was the Army of Northern Virginia’s final battle and was the beginning of the end of the American Civil War. Though the actual battle took place on April 9, 1865, it followed the 10-month Battle of Petersburg and concluded General Robert E. Lee’s thwarted retreat during the Appomattox Campaign.
Camp Sumter (Andersonville Prison)
From February 1864 until the end of the American Civil War (1861-65) in April 1865, Andersonville, Georgia, served as the site of a notorious Confederate military prison. The prison at Andersonville, officially called Camp Sumter, was the South’s largest prison for captured Union soldiers and known for its unhealthy conditions and high death rate. In all, approximately 13,000 Union prisoners perished at Andersonville, and following the war its commander, Captain Henry Wirz (1823-65), was tried, convicted and executed for wa r crimes.