Civil War Timeline
Timeline Description: The American Civil War, also known as the War between the States, or the Civil War, was a civil war fought from 1861 to 1865. It was between the United States (the "Union" or the "North") and several Southern slave states that had declared their secession and formed the Confederate States of America. This war began because the southern states wanted to abolish slavery.
| February 09, 1861
||Confederation was formed
At a convention in Montgomery, Alabama, the seven seceding states created the Confederate Constitution, a document similar to the United States Constitution, but with greater stress on the autonomy of each state. Jefferson Davis was named the president of the Confederacy until elections could be held.
| March 1861
Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated on March 4th. The new president said he had no plans to end slavery in those states where it already existed, but he also said he would not accept secession. He hoped to resolve the national crisis without warfare.
| April 1861
||Attack on Ft. Sumter
When President Lincoln planned to send supplies to Fort Sumter, he alerted the state in advance, in an attempt to avoid hostilities. South Carolina, however, feared a trick and the commander of the fort, Robert Anderson, was asked to surrender immediately. Anderson offered to surrender, but only after he had exhausted his supplies. His offer was rejected, and on April 12, the Civil War began with shots fired on the fort. Fort Sumter eventually was surrendered to South Carolina.
| July 1861
||First Battle of Bull Run
This was one of many battles where many soldiers from both sides were wounded and killed. General Irvin McDowell was ordered to advance on Confederate troops stationed in Virginia. McDowell attacked on July 21, and was successful at first, but the introduction of Confederate reinforcements resulted in a Southern victory. Lincoln replaced McDowell with General George B. McClellan.
| January 1862
Some of the major battles include the First and Second Battles of Bull Run, The Battle of Shiloh, The Battle of Antietam, and the Battle of Fredericksburg. There was also the famous sea battle between the two ironclad battleships the Monitor and the Merrimac. These ships had iron or steel plates on their sides for armor making them much stronger and changing war on the seas forever.
| January 01, 1863
President Lincoln issues an executive order freeing many slaves and laying the groundwork for the Thirteenth Amendment.
| July 01, 1863
||Battle of Gettysburg
This was a major battle where the North not only wins the battle, but starts to win the Civil War.
| September 02, 1864
||Sherman captures Atlanta
General Sherman captures the city of Atlanta, Georgia. Later in the year he would march to the sea and capture Savannah, Georgia. On his way he would destroy and burn much of the land his army passed through.
| April 04, 1865
||General Lee Surrenders
General Lee, the leader of the Confederate Army, surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant at The Appomattox Court House in Virginia.
| April 14, 1865
While attending the Ford's Theatre, President Lincoln is shot and killed by John Wilkes Booth.
| May 1865
||End of Civil War
The last major battle occurred at Palmito Ranch. It was a victory for the confederates. All remaining Confederate forces surrender.