Civil War Timeline Initial SecessionIn the years leading up to the Civil War, the North began to be more hostile towards slavery, and abolitionists more actively sought an end to it. The South began to feel more and more  threatened,and they began striking out against abolitionists. On November 7, 1837, a pro-slavery mob surrounded the anti-slavery printing shop of Reverend Alissa P. Lovejoy. The mob shot him dead, threw his printing press into the river, and burned his shop to the ground. This was the first time a white man had died over black slavery, and many abolitionists sought to avenge him. One abolitionist that tried to win more people over to the Northern side was Harriet Beecher Stowe, who published Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1852. Her strategy worked very well, and turned many people over to the side of the North. The South began to fear that North would abolish slavery, while the North feared that slavery would move west with the addition of new states to the Union. In the late 1850’s, events turned violent with both sides voraciously fighting for what they thought was right. One such event occured in Kansas, in which both Free-Soilers, and pro-slavery men entered the state of Kansas in order to vote if the state was to be a free. or a slave state. This resulted in a great, and bloody conflict that is known as “Bleeding Kansas”.Another event occured when a slave by the name of Dead Scott, appealed to the Supreme Court for his freedom due to the fact that he lived in a free state. The Court said that where he lived didn’t matter, and he was still a slave. The south was relieved and joyous over the ruling, the North was enraged. Many abolitionists took matters in their own hands, such as John Brown, who, on October 16, 1859, led 18 followers to Harpers Ferry Virginia, in the hopes of inciting a slave uprising in the hopes of ending slavery. They did succeed in capturing the arsenal, but the slaves didn’t run to their aid as Brown had hoped. Virginia found Brown guilty, and he was hung for treason on December 2, 1859. This event is considered by many as the single most important factor in Bringing on the Civil War.Despite on the fact that Lincoln never said he wanted to abolish slavery, the South still saw him as a threat to their way of life. Lincoln didn’t even show up as an option on some Southern ballets. After he was elected president on November 6, 1860, Lincoln was burned in effigy in the South, and South Carolina called for a meeting regarding secession. They felt that they were fighting for their right of self-government.Confederacy FormedThe Confederacy was formed when the South Carolina legislation called for a convention to succeed from the Union after the 1860 election. The states that entered the federation, entered because it was created in a way that made it easy for them to exit when they saw fit. On December 20, 1860, South Carolina was the first state to succeed, from the Union. They were followed shortly after by Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama. When Lincoln was elected, there was 34 states in the Union, but 5 months later, only 27 remained. On February 18, 1861 Jefferson Davis took oath of office as the President of the Confederate States of America. The constitution that the Confederate States were founded upon was very similar to the North’s constitution, except the President’s term was 6 years, and made international slave trading illegal. The states were founded on “The great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man”.Fort SumterFollowing South Carolina’s secession, the remaining federal troops led by Major Robert Anderson withdrew to Fort Sumter which was located on an island in Charleston Harbor. They withdrew from the city in the hopes of preventing Bloodshed. The Union forces were quickly surrounded by rebel batteries, with their guns aimed to the fort. Lincoln demanded that the rebels allow a ship into the harbor to resupply the fort, but they declined. The Confederates said that if Anderson didn’t accept their terms, and surrender by 4 in the morning, he was to be fired upon by Confederate forces. The signal to give the first shot was given by a Virginia farmer, named Edmund Ruffin who had preached succession for 20 years. The Civil War officially began on April 12, 1861, at 4:30 A.M. when the Confederates fired upon Fort Sumter. 34 hours later, after relentless Confederate bombardment of the fort, a white flag was held up above the fort, and ended the fighting. Miraculously, the only casualty among both sides was a confederate horse.This battle was the bloodless opening to the bloodiest war in American history.First Bull RunFirst Bull Run occured on July 16, 1861, on Willmer McClaine’s front yard.In the days leading up to the battle, the volunteer union army of 37,000 marched into Virginia. Their goal was to cut the railway at Manassas, and then move onto Richmond. The plan was supposed to be a secret, but a confederate spy by the name of Rose Green Owl told General Beauregard. In response, Beauregard headed north with 22,000 Confederate troops to meet the Union army. The Confederates made a loose 8 mile line along Bull Run Creek, 25 outside of Washington.100’s of Washingtonians came to the battlefield to see the first real battle, which they thought was going to be an easy win for the North. 21st, Union general McDowell sent men to meet the Confederates, and the battle began. Soon after the first shots had been fired, the Confederates began to retreat, and a Union victory seemed certain. Thomas Jackson held a hill with his Virginian soldiers, and he wouldn’t let the Union soldiers pass him. A spectator said he just stood there like a stonewall, which is where his nickname, “Stonewall Jackson” was derived from. Confederate reinforcements began to arrive quickly, first they came by horse, then something new in war, by train. After the reinforcements arrived, the Union army quickly fell apart. Their retreat became a route, as the army collided with fleeing spectators. This retreat was known as “the great skedaddle”. The Union army retreated to Washington D.C., arrived on Monday, Known as “Black Monday”. This battle yield a total of 5,000 casualties, with the North losing 3,000, and the South losing close to 2,000. This battle made it apparent to both sides that this wouldn’t be a 90 day war, or an easy win for either side.Monitor and MerrimackThe Confederates started War with no navy, but by October of 1861, Confederate engineers had begun bolting iron plates to the steam frigate Merrimack to make the world’s first “Ironclad”. News of the war ship quickly reached Washington, and many were concerned that it would sail straight up the potomac and fire upon the white house. Lincoln decided that something had to be done about the Merrimac, so he contacted the only one man in the country that could stop it, John Erickson. He wasn’t interested in helping the Union, due to the fact that he was mad at the Navy because he felt that he had been cheated out of money for previous services. The secretary of Navy (Gideon Welles) begged Erickson to do something,he agreed, and he came up with the Monitor. On January 30, 1862, the Monitor was completed, and slid into the East River. While the Monitor began sailing south, on March 8, 1862, the Merrimac rammed the USS Cumberland, and shot it till it sank. It then went on to attack and set fire to the USS Congress, then on it went to the USS Minnesota.The night of the Merrimac’s attacks, the Monitor arrived. The next morning, the battle of the ironclads began.The two ships fought side-by-side so close that they ran into each other five times during the battle. The battle lasted 4 and a half hours, until the Merrimac withdrew. The Merrimack was in Confederate hands until two months later, when, rather than than surrender the ship, the confederates blew it up when they withdrew from Norfolk. From the moment those two ships opened fire on that sunday morning, all other Navies became obsolete.Peninsular CampaignThe Peninsular Campaign was a major Union plan, executed by McClellan in southeastern Virginia from March through July 1862. McClellan landed his army at Fort Monroe and moved up the Virginia Peninsula. General Joseph E. Johnston’s forces caught McClellan by surprise. McClellan ordered his army to prepare for a siege of Yorktown. Just before the siege, the Confederates began a withdrawal toward Richmond. Many battles occured while McClellan was following Johnston, one of which being the battle of Williamsburg. As McClellan’s army reached the outskirts of Richmond, a battle occurred at Hanover Courthouse, but it was followed by a surprise attack by Johnston at the Battle of Seven Pines or Fair Oaks. The battle didn’t have a clear winner, but both sides lost many men. Johnston was wounded on May 31, and he was replaced the next day by Lee. Lee prepared his army for an offensive battle known as Seven Days Battles, because they lasted from June 25 to July 1. This campaign was the first large-scale offensive executed by the Union. The operation intended to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond Virginia. McClellan was initially successful against General Joseph E. Johnston, but Lee’s forces turned the Seven Days Battles into a humiliating Union defeat.Second Bull RunThe battle of Second Bull Run, occured on August 29, when Pope and his forces attacked Jacksons men. To the dismay of the Federals, the Confederate lines held. General James Longstreet sent five Confederate divisions storming into union lines, in the hopes of pushing them back. It worked, and the battle was a Union disaster. They lost 29,000 men (5 times the amount of first bull run). As a result of this humiliating defeat, Pope was sent west to deal with a Sioux uprising, and Lincoln reluctantly put McClellan back in charge of the Union forces.Antietam and Lincoln’s warningOn September 13, in a meadow by Frederick, a union soldier found three cigars wrapped in a copy of Lee’s battle plans, that was accidently left behind by the Confederates. McClellan now knew that Lee had divided his army up in two. McClellan had the instrument to destroy Lee, but he didn’t do anything with the information for 18 hours. On September 15, Lee’s forces took up positions on a ridge east of the town Sharpsburg, the Potomac River was at their back, in front, ran Antietam Creek. During midday of the 15, Union troops began appearing, but they didn’t attack. If they had attacked the southerners, the war might have ended that day with one last battle, but McClellan didn’t do it. The next day was the actual Antietam battle, but it was really three small battles. The first battle began at 6:00, and consisted of Hooker’s (Fighting Joe) men charging Stonewall Jackson’s by Dunker Chappell. By 10:00, 8,000 men had died. Jackson’s lines had wavered, but still held. The second battle began at the center of Lee’s lines. Lee ordered John B. Gordon to hold a sunken country road that served as a rifle pit. Wanting this strategic location, the Union army attacked, retreated, and came back 5 times. Union soldiers found a hill overlooking the pit, and began firing down into the riffel pit, the road was then known as “Bloody Lane”. They took the road, and in the process, the Confederate centerline had been split, and the union could have broken it apart with one more push, but McClellan refused. The third and final battle took place on the confederate right, where the Union army led by General Burnside, was trying to push over a stone bridge over Antietam Creek. This battle consisted of 12,500 union soldiers vs 400 Georgians led by Robert Toombs. It took three hours, and three pushes for the Federals to make it over the bridge. During the last push, the Confederates finally broke, and ran back into town. During the retreat, 3,000 Confederates soldiers commanded by General A. P. Hill came from Harper’s Ferry to assist in the fight. Hill’s forces threw Burnside back across bridge, Burnside asked McClellan for reinforcements, but he refused to supply them. After their defeat, the battle was over, with no ground gained.This battle was the bloodiest day in American History, with the Union loosing 2,108 men, in addition to 10,092 wounded or missing. Lee lost 10,318 men, which wasn’t as many as the Union had lost, but it still made up ¼ of his army. McClellan claimed victory, but he could have won the war. After the Confederates retreated, Lincoln met with McClellan, and ordered him to go after Lee, but he didn’t, so Lincoln fired him permanently. He then pointed Grant to field command. After the battle, Lincoln gave his Preliminary Proclamation which only freed slaves in locations where the Confederacy is still in control. He said that the Proclamation would take effect on January first.Emancipation ProclamationOn September 22, 1862, five days after Antietam, Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation,  which only freed slaves in locations where the Confederacy is still in control. He said that the Proclamation would take effect on January first. The South was outraged when they heard the news. The proclamation made the war about Slavery, not just about reuniting the union, many said that the war was ennobled. Making the war about slavery was a smart move by Lincoln because it made France or Britain look bad if they sided with the South, because they essentially sided with slavery, and were fighting with the US who was fighting against slavery. “In giving freedom to the slave, we insure freedom to the free, honourable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose the last best hope of Earth.” – Abraham LincolnGettysburgLee led his men in a second invasion of the North in the hopes that Grant would follow. In this campaign, Lee wanted to collect supplies in Pennsylvania, and take the fighting away from Virginia. Made this offensive plan because he wanted to threaten Northern cities, weaken the North, and win a major battle on Northern soil. By doing this, he also hoped that the peace movement in the North would be strengthened. Hooker began chasing after Lee, but he was fired three days before the battle. Gen. George Gordon Meade was put in his place, he began moving the army northward, keeping the army between Lee and Washington D.C. When Lee discovered that the Union was in Pennsylvania, he moved his army around Gettysburg because they heard that there was a large supply of shoes.The first day of the battle occured on July 1, 1863. The Union army was led by General John Buford, while the Confederates were led by Lee. The Union slowed the Confederate advance until reinforcements arrived to help. More Confederate reinforcements under Hill and Ewell also came to help. On the first day, 30,000 Confederates defeated 20,000 Yankees, who retreated back through Gettysburg.On the second day of battle, the Union was positioned on a group of hills south of Gettysburg with around 90,000 soldiers. The Confederates began wrapping around the Union army with 70,000 soldiers. On that afternoon, Lee launched an assault on the Union, and fighting raged in many locations, such as Devil’s Den, and Little Round Top. On the other side of Union lines, assaults on Culp’s Hill and East Cemetery Hill were done by the Confederates. By the end of the day, the Union army still held their positions, although the Confederates gained some groundOn the final day of fighting (July 3), fighting occurred on Culp’s Hill, in addition to battles in the east and south. The main battle was an assault by 12,000 Confederates against the center of the Union lines on Cemetery Ridge. This assault is known as Pickett’s Charge. The charge was repelled by Union fire, at great losses to the Confederate army. After this defeat, Lee led his army back to Virginia. During this three day battle, a total of 51,000 soldiers killed, wounded, captured or missing. Four months after the battle, Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address, in which, he dedicated the battlefield as a National Cemetery to honor the fallen Union soldiers.VicksburgJefferson Davis said that Vicksburg was the nail that held the South’s two sides together, and Lincoln knew that if the city was taken, it would be a huge blow to the Southerners. Per Lincoln’s demand, Grant tried to take heavily fortified Vicksburg in the fall for 2 months, but failed every time. He finally decided that in order to take the city, he would march his men down river, through the swamps, cross below Vicksburg, and without resupply or reinforcements, come up from behind, and seize the city. Grant began marching down south, and they had crossed the river by early May. They marched 180 miles, and fought in 5 different battles on their way to Vicksburg. When they reached and surrounded Vicksburg, the Union army trapped 31,000 confederates in the city. On May 19, Grant tried to take the city directly, but he was beaten back by Vicksburg forces. After being beaten back, Grant settled in for a seige, and decided to “out camp” the enemy. On May 15, Lee and Davis met in Richmond t discuss what to do about Grant. They decided to send Lee and some of his army into Pennsylvania to attack Harrisburg, in the hopes that Grant would leave Vicksburg to help defend Washington. Lee’s march terrified Northerners, and everyone was worried that they would try to seize Washington. During their march, hey stole supplies, such as food, clothes, livestock, and free blacks from houses in the Pennsylvania countryside. For many days, the union fired upon the city from land and sea, in the hopes that the forces in the Vicksburg would surrender. The townspeople dug into the hills of the city, and tried to survive the showers of Union shells. The Union soldiers began calling Vicksburg, the “Prairie dog town” because of their burrows. After 48 days of siege, on July 4, 31,000 Confederates surrender to Grant’s forces. General Pemberton said that he surrendered because it would be cruel and inhumane to subject his men to the siege any longer, and that the North would be more generous in the terms of their surrender because it was the 4th of July. The Confederacy was now split in two, and the Mississippi was now in Union hands.Gettysburg AddressIn November of 1863, just four months after Gettysburg, Lincoln was invited to give remarks at the dedication of the battlefield as a national cemetery. Although he was not the main attraction that day, Lincoln’s 3 minute, 273 word speech would be remembered as one of the most important speeches in American history. In the address, Lincoln brought up ideas of equality contained in the Declaration of Independence and said that the sacrifices of the Civil War were going to give the nation “a new birth of freedom,” in addition to preserving the Union created in 1776 and its ideal of self-government.Atlanta and Savannah (Sherman’s March)Sherman’s March occurred between November 15 and December 21, 1864. The March was carried out by General Sherman, who moved his troops from Atlanta on November 15 and ended with the capture of the port of Savannah on December 21. The Union army followed a “scorched earth” policy (destroy anything that would help the Confederates). On their march, they destroying many military targets in addition to industry, infrastructure, and property. They destroyed many miles of train tracks by removing sections of the track, and bending them. These bent pieces of track became known as “Sherman’s neckties”. These actions disrupting the Confederacy’s economy and its transportation networks. The army reached and captured Savannah in late December, and Sherman told Lincoln that it was his Christmas present.Richmond FallsPrior to the fall of Richmond, or ten months, Grant had tried to infiltrate the city, but he was unsuccessful. On March 25, Lee made a desperate attack against Fort Stedman along the Union line in the hopes that Grant would leave to help fight, but Grant did the opposite. While Lee was away, Grant prepared for an offensive attack. On April 1, he struck at Five Forks, and crushed the end of the Confederate line southwest of Petersburg. On April 2, the Union army struck along the Petersburg line, and the Confederates collapsed. On that evening, the Confederate government fled the city, with the army right behind. On the morning of April 3, Union troops began entering the capital. Richmond was now in Union hands, and everyone was ecstatic. Thousands of Union soldiers died trying to get it, and nearly as many Confederates died trying to defend it.Appomattox CourthouseGordon and Lee led 9,000 men to the fields west of the town Appomattox Courthouse early in the morning, and waited.  The attack led by General Grimes was launched before 8:00 a.m. on April 9, was initially successful.  The outnumbered Union soldiers began to retreat, opening up the road they were holding. As soon as the Confederates started to advance, Union reinforcements began arriving from the west and south, and they surrounded Lee and his men. General Grant was close to his goal of cutting off and destroying Lee’s army. Lee ordered his troops to retreat back through the village, in the hopes of crossing back across the Appomattox River to safety.  Some Confederates still resisted the Union soldiers unti around 10:00 and 11:00 a.m., when Lee decided to surrender to Grant.  The two generals met in Wilmer McLean’s house at one o’clock that afternoon.Grant wrote the terms of the surrender, and they went as follows: all officers and men were to be pardoned, and they would be sent home with their private property (mainly their horses, which could be used for planting, and their sidearms). Lee’s starving soldiers would also be given Union rations.After Lee had signed the paper, and officially surrendered, loud celebrations occurred, but they were quickly quieted by Grant, with him saying: “The war is over. The Rebels are our countrymen again.”

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