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The events surrounding the end of the civil war

Leslie's Illustrated History of the Civil War November 6, 1860- Abraham Lincoln is elected sixteenth president of the United States, the first Republican president in the nation who represents a party that opposes the spread of slavery in the territories of the United States.

December 20, 1860- South Carolina secedes from the Union. January 1861 - Six additional southern states secede from the Union. February 8-9, 1861 - The southern states that seceded create a government at Montgomery, Alabama, and the Confederate States of America are formed.

February 18, 1861- Jefferson Davis is appointed the first President of the Confederate States of America at Montgomery, Alabama, a position he will hold until elections can be arranged. The Civil War has formally begun. April 15, 1861- President Lincoln issues a public declaration that an insurrection exists and calls for 75,000 militia to stop the rebellion. As a result of this call for volunteers, four additional southern states secede from the Union in the following weeks.

It is during the occupation of nearby Alexandria that Colonel Elmer Ellsworth, commander of the 11th New York Infantry and a close friend of the Lincolns, is shot dead by the owner of the Marshall House just after removing a Confederate flag from its roof.

June 3, 1861- A skirmish near Philippi in western Virginia, is the first clash of Union and Confederate forces in the east.

June 10, 1861- Battle of Big Bethel, the first land battle of the war in Virginia. June 20, 1861-At the culmination of the Wheeling Convention, the region that composed the northwestern counties of Virginia broke away from that state to form West Virginia, officially designated and accepted as the thirty fifth state of the Union on June 20, 1863.

Alerts In Effect

Johnston initates a series of reverses that sends McDowell's army in a panicked retreat to the defenses of Washington. July 1861-To thwart the Confederate threat in northern Virginia, a series of earthworks and forts are engineered to surround the City of Washingtonadding to protection already offered by active posts such as Fort Washington on the Potomac River.

August 10, 1861- Battle of Wilson's Creek, Missouri. The Union Army under General Nathaniel Lyon, attack Confederate troops and state militia southwest of Springfield, Missouri, and after a disastrous day that included the death of Lyon, are thrown back.

The Confederate victory emphasizes the strong southern presence west of the Mississippi River. This begins the first Union efforts to close southern ports along the Carolina coast. October 21, 1861- Battle of Ball's Bluff, Virginia. Baker, senator from Oregon and a friend of President Lincoln, led troops across the Potomac River only to be forced back to the river's edge where he was killed. The ensuing Union withdrawal turned into a rout with many soldiers drowning while trying to re-cross the icy waters of the Potomac River.

January 19, 1862- Battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky. The Union victory weakened the Confederate hold on the state. February 6, 1862- Surrender of Fort Henry, Tennessee. The lost of this southern fort on the Tennessee River opened the door to Union control of the river. A Confederate defeat, the battle resulted in Union occupation of eastern North Carolina and control of Pamlico Sound, to be used as Northern base for further operations against the southern coast.

February 16, 1862- Surrender of Fort Donelson, Tennessee. This primary southern fort on the Cumberland River left the river in Union hands. It was here that Union General Ulysses S. Grant gained his nickname "Unconditional Surrender". The Union victory loosened the Confederate hold on Missouri and disrupted southern control of a portion of the Mississippi River. Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston, a veteran of the Texas War of Independence and the War with Mexico the events surrounding the end of the civil war to be one of the finest officers the South has, is killed on the first day of fighting.

On April 25, the fleet arrived at New Orleans where they demanded the surrender of the city. Within two days the forts fall into Union hands and the mouth of the great river is under Union control.

May 25, 1862- First Battle of Winchester, Virginia. After two weeks of maneuvering and battles at Cross Keys and Front Royal, General "Stonewall" Jackson attacks Union forces at Winchester and successfully drives them from the city. The victory is the culmination of his 1862 Valley Campaign. Lee who renames his command the "Army of Northern Virginia". June 6, 1862- Battle of Memphis, Tennessee. A Union flotilla under Commodore Charles Davis successfully defeats a Confederate river force on the Mississippi River near the city and Memphis surrenders.

The Mississippi River is now in Union control except for its course west of Mississippi where the city of Vicksburg stands as the last southern stronghold on the great river. August 30-31, 1862- The Battle of Second Bull Run or Second Manassas is fought on the same ground where one year before, the Union army was defeated and sent reeling in retreat to Washington.

Likewise, the result of this battle is a Union defeat. The result of the battle ends General Lee's first invasion of the North. Following the Union victory, President Lincoln will introduce the Emancipation Proclamation, an executive order that freed every slave in the Confederate States.

December 13, 1862- The Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Army of the Potomac, under General Ambrose Burnside, is soundly defeated by Lee's forces after a risky river crossing and sacking of the city. January 1, 1863- The Emancipation Proclamation goes into effect. Applauded by many abolitionists including Frederick Douglassthere are others who feel it does not go far enough to totally abolish slavery.

March 3, 1863- Conscription, or the drafting of soldiers into military service, begins in the North.

It had begun in the South the year before. In the west, a Union army has begun a campaign to surround and take Vicksburg, Mississippi, the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River. May 1-4, 1863- The Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia.

General Lee's greatest victory is marred by the mortal wounding of "Stonewall" Jackson, who dies on May 10. Soon after, Lee asks Jefferson Davis for permission to invade the North and take the war out of Virginia. May 18, 1863- Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi begins. Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant attack Confederate defenses outside the city on May 19-22. If Vicksburg falls, the Mississippi River will be completely controlled by the Union.

Union cavalry forces cross the Rapidan River to attack General J. Stuart's cavalry and discover that Lee's men are moving west toward the Shenandoah Valley. The largest cavalry battle of the Civil War, it also marks the beginning of the Gettysburg Campaign. Meanwhile, the Union assault on Vicksburg, Mississippi has become a siege of the city where soldiers and civilians alike suffer from constant bombardment.

June 14-15, 1863- Battle of Second Winchester,Virginia.

Civil War Timeline

June 28, 1863- The Gettysburg Campaign continues. Confederates pass through York and reach the bridge over the Susquehanna River at Columbia, but Union militia set fire to the bridge, denying access to the east shore. Southern cavalry skirmishes with Union militia near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

July 1-3- The Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The bloodiest battle of the Civil War dashes Robert E. Lee's hopes for a successful invasion of the North. The capture of Vicksburg gives the Union complete control of the Mississippi River, a vital supply line for the Confederate states in the west. At Gettysburg, Lee begins his retreat to Virginia. July 10-11, 1863- Union naval and land forces attack Confederate defenses near Charleston, South Carolina.

Among the Union troops is the 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry, the first African American regiment of volunteers to see combat. July 13, 1863- Draft Riots begin in New York City and elsewhere as disgruntled workers and laborers, seething over the draft system that seemingly favors the rich, attack the draft office and African American churches.

The riots continue through July 16. Leading the Union infantry charge is the 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry commanded by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw who is killed and buried with the dead of his regiment. August 21, 1863- Sacking of Lawrence, Kansas. In a murderous daylight raid, Confederate and Missouri guerillas under William Clarke Quantrill storm into Lawrence and destroy most of the town. Approximately 150 men and boys are murdered by Quantrill's men. September 19-20, 1863- The Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia.

Civil War Facts

Rosecrans' army retreats to the supply base at Chattanooga, Tennessee. Confederate forces under Braxton Bragg surround the occupied city. Grant is assigned to command the troops there and begins immediate plans to relieve the besieged Union army. October 5, 1863- Outside of Charleston Harbor, the Confederate David, a partially submerged, steam powered vessel, attacked the New Ironsides, part of the Union fleet blockading the harbor, with a torpedo.

Both ships survived the attack, though the commander of the David and one of his crew were captured.

October 9 -22, 1863- Bristoe Station Campaign. Lee successfully outmaneuvers Meade though fails to bring him to battle or catch him in the open. An engagement at Bristoe Station, Virginia, on October 14 gives the campaign its name. President Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address. November 23-25, 1863- The Battle for Chattanooga.

Union forces break the Confederate siege of the city in successive attacks. The most notable event is the storming of Lookout Mountain on November 24 and Battle of Missionary Ridge the following day. The decisive Union victory sends the Confederate Army south into Georgia where General Bragg reorganizes his forces before resigning from command on November 30.

Lee reacts and throws up a line of defenses along the banks of Mine Run Creek. After several days of probing the defenses, Meade withdraws north of the Rapidan and goes into winter quarters. November 27 to December 3, 1863- Siege of Knoxville, Tennessee. Longstreet finally attacks on November 30 but is repulsed with heavy losses. The arrival of Union reinforcements forces him to withdraw to Greeneville, Tennessee, where his corps will spend the winter.