A Timeline
of the American
Civil War

. .


Missouri Compromise
Missouri admitted as a slave state, Maine as a free. Slavery outlawed in the rest of the Louisiana Purchase north of 36th parallel.



Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave, begins work with the Underground Railroad.



The Compromise of 1850 allowed California to enter the Union as a free state, abolishes the slave trade in the District of Columbia, toughens the Fugitive Slave Act and allows the issue of slavery to settlers in the territories of New Mexico and Utah.




30th - Kansas-Nebraska Act did away with the Missouri Compromise and said that the states themselves could decided the question of slavery envoking a "Civil War" in those territories between pro and anti slavery settlers in those states.


The Republican Party is founded on an anti-slavery platform.




24th - Abolitionist John Brown leads a raid at Pottawatomie Creek killing 5 proslavery settlers.




16th - Abraham Lincoln delivers the House Divided speech in Springfield
" A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved I do not expect the house to fall but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new North as well as South. "

August - October - Lincoln ~ Douglas debates.




16th - John Brown raid on Harpers Ferry Virginia.
After a surrender message delivered by Lt. J.E.B. Stewart was refused, the building was stormed by troops lead by Col. Robert E. Lee and all remaining members of the gang were killed or captured. Brown was tried and convicted of treason against the State of Virginia.


2nd - John Brown is hanged. At the time of his hanging he handed a note to one of his jailers which said; " I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood. I had, as I now think, vainly, flattered myself that without very much bloodshed it might be done. " Among those attending the execution were Major Thomas J. Jackson (who would earn the name Stonewall at the battle of 1st Bull Run) and a young actor by the name of John Wilkes Booth.




16-18. - Republic Convention. Lincoln nominated.


6th - Lincoln elected. He did not appear on the ballot in most southern states and did not receive a vote at all in four of them.


20th - South Carolina secedes from the Union. Over the next 6 weeks 6 more states would follow suit.
    A list of Southern States and when they seceded.

    Jan 9 Mississippi
    Jan 10 Florida
    Jan 11 Alabama
    Jan 19 Georgia
    Jan 26 Louisiana
    Feb 1 Texas
    April 17 Virginia
    May 6 Arkansas
    May 29 North Carolina
    June 8 Tennessee

30th - South Carolina seizes the Federal arsenal at Charleston.




Governor Austin Blair of Michigan, speaking of South Carolina secession, called it "revolution, and revolution is treason, and must be treated as such."

2nd - South Carolina troops seize Fort Johnson in Charleston Harbor.

3rd - Georgia state troops seize Fort Pulaski.

4th - Alabama takes ovedr US arsenal at Mount Vernon.

14th - Louisiana state troops seize Fort Pike near New Orleans.

20th - Ship Island, in the Gulf of Mississippi is taken over by secessionists.

24th - Georgia state troops take over the US arsenal in Augusta.

29th - Kansas admitted as the 34th State.


4th - A convention of the seceded states opens in Montgomer, AL.

8th - Seven southern states adopt a Constitution.

9th - Jefferson Davis is elected President of the Confederacy.

18th - Jefferson Davis inaugurated as the first President of the Confederate States of America.


4th - Abraham Lincoln inaugurated. - Confederates adopt 1st flag (Stars and Bars).

11th - Confederates adopt new Constitution replacing temporary one from a month ago.

19th - Forts Clark, Inge and Lancaster are surrendered to Confederate forces in Texas.


12th. - Charleston, South Carolina 4:30 a.m. General P.G.T. (Pierre Gustave Toutant) Beauregard ordered the firing on Sumter. The firing went on for 34 hours, the battle that started the bloodiest 4 years of our history killed no one (although one Confederate horse was killed). Under the terms of surrender the Union troops were allowed to fire a 100 gun salute to their flag. It was during this salute that one of the cannon misfired and killed one man(private Daniel Hough became the 1st man killed in the Civil War) and mortally wounded another. Because of this mishap the salute was cut to 50. Major Anderson was allowed to take down the flag, he and his men were allowed to gather their possessions, including their weapons, march to a boat, and sail to New York.

15th - Lincoln calls for 75,000 troops to serve for 3 months.
No one thought the war would last very long so there was a big rush to join any of the regiments that were now starting to form all over the country. Such was the rush that John Stephen, a Detroit merchant, offered $300 in gold for anyone in Co. A of the 1st Michigan Volunteers who would give up there position so his son could join. There were no takers.

19th - Baltimore Riots. When changing trains in the city, residents attacked the 6th Massachusetts. When it was over 3 soldiers and 12 civilians were dead, 36 soldiers and an unknown number of civilians wounded.

27th - Lincoln suspends the Writ of Habeas Corpus.

29th - Maryland votes against secession.


3rd - Lincoln calls for 42,000 3 year volunteers and 18,000 sailors.

20th - Confederate Congress move their capital to Richmond, VA.

24th - Union troops cross the Potomac and occupy Arlington Heights and Alexandrea.


10th - Battle at Big Bethel.


4th - Lincoln reiterates intention to keep Union together calls for 400,000 more volunteers.

21st - The 1st Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), VA.


5th - To help pay for the War, Lincoln signs the first National Income Tax. The rate of the tax is 3% on income over $800.

10th - Battle of Wilson's Creek, MO.


3rd - Confederates under Leonidas Polk occupy Columbus, Kentucky violating that States' neutrality.

4th - In response to the above move, Union forces under Ulysses S. Grant occupy Paducah, Kentucky.

12th - Federal government orders the arrest of alleged disloyal members of the Maryland legislature.

17th - Union forces occupy Ships Island creating a base for the Gulf Blockading Squadrons.


12th - 1st Union ironclad, the USS St. Louis was launched on the Mississippi River

21st - Battle of Ball's Bluff (Leesburg), VA.

24th - The first transcontinental telegraph is completed.


1st - George B. McClellan named General-in-Chief of Union troops.

7th - Battle of Belmont.
Union warships win control of Port Royal Sound by driving Confederates from the forts located there.

8th - Confederate commissioners James Mason & John Slidell are taken from the British steamer Trent by the US Navy. To avoid a conflict with the British, Lincoln who said "One war at a time." releases the two men December 20th.

15th - The US Christian Commission is created by the YMCA for service to Union Soldiers.




19th - 20th - Battle of Mill Springs (Logan's Cross Roads) KY.

27th - President Lincoln issues General War Order No. 1 ordering all Union forces to advance.


6th - Union forces under Ulysses S. Grant attack Fort Henry, TN.

8th - Battle of Roanoke Island.

10th - Battle of Elizabeth City.

13th - 16th. Union forces attack Fort Donaldson forcing the surrender of 15,000 Confederates. When the Confederate Commander General Bruckner asks for terms of surrender, Grant replied; "No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works.". This was spread throughout the country and Grant became known as "Unconditional Surrender Grant".

23rd - Battle of Kernstown, VA. This it the opening of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign.

24th - Union forces occupy Harpers Ferry, VA

25th - Union troops occupy Nashville, TN.
The War Department takes control of all telegraph lines.
Legal Tender Act passed. Authorizing the use of paper notes to pay the government's bills. This ended the long-standing policy of using only gold or silver in transactions, and it allowed the government to finance the enormously costly war long after its gold and silver reserves were depleted. These were the first "greenbacks" in American history. Up until this time local banks printed their own money making it very easy to counterfeit.

Julia Ward Howe's "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" is published in The Atlantic Monthly.


7th & 8th - Battle of Pea Ridge (Elkhorn Tavern), AR.

8th & 9th - Battle at Hampton Roads, Virginia between the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia
On the 8th the CSS Virginia attacked the Union navy sinking 2 ships and damaging others. The USS Monitor arrived in the middle of the night and the following day the 1st battle between iron ships occurred. The battle lasted 4 hours and basically was a draw.

14th - Battle of New Bern.

23rd - Battle of Kernstown.

26th - 28th - Clashes in New Mexico at Apache Canyon and Glorieta Pass causes Confederate forces to return to Texas.


6th & 7th - Battle of Shiloh.
Confederate troops (44.000 Army of the Mississippi under General Albert S Johnston who was killed during the battle) leave Corinth, Mississippi and attack Union (35,000 Army of the Tennessee under General U.S. Grant) troops at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee. The Confederates push the Union troops back 2 miles and then the battle that has been going on all day stops. During the night Grant's Army is reenforced by Buell's Army of the Ohio and they attack the following morning taking back all the lost ground. After the first day of battle General William T. Sherman found Grant and said "Well Grant, we've had the devils own day today." Grant replied "Lick'em tomorrow though." During the battle more than 23,000 (13,000 + Union and 10,000 + Confederate) Americans became casualties, more than had fallen in all the wars America had fought previous to that time.

16th - Slavery abolished in Washington, D.C. Slave holders are paid $300 for each of their slaves.

President Davis approves the conscription of every white male between the ages of 18 and 35 for 3 years of service. This is the first conscription in US history.

28th - Admiral David Farragut takes New Orleans.


5th - Battle of Williamsburg.

8th - Battle of McDowell

9th - Confederates evacuate Norfolk.

15th - Confederate gunners repulse ironclad USS Monitor and other Northern warships at Drewry's Bluff.

23rd - Confederate forces under General Stonewall Jackson take Front Royal, Virginia and drive Union forces from Winchester two days later.

31st - After taking the better part of six weeks to march the 20 miles from Pittsburg Landing to Corinth, Union forces occupy the town after Confederate forces evacuate it. 31st - June 1st - During the battle of Seven Pines (Fair Oaks), VA Confederate General Joseph E Johnston is wounded. Command of Confederate Army is given to General Robert E. Lee.


6th - Union forces seize Memphis, TN.

8th - Battle of Cross Keys, VA.

9th - Battle of Port Republic.

12th - General J.E.B. Stuart starts his "ride around the Army of the Potomac".

16th - Battle of Secessionville, SC.

25th - July 1st - The Seven Days' battle. Lee attacks McClellan at Mechanicsville. Even though the Union won the day, McClellan orders a withdrawal of Union troops. After bitter fighting over the next week the Union troops are forced or moved back to Malvern Hill in which Confederate troops are slaughtered in attacks on the Union position. The Union forces withdraws to Harrison Landing ending the battle.


1st - Lincoln calls for another 300,000 volunteers.

15th - The Confederate ironclad Arkansas engages Union naval forces in the Yahoo River north of Vicksburg, badly damaging three of them.


9th - Battle of Cedar Mountain, VA.

17th - Sioux Indian uprising begins in Minnesota.

29th & 30th - The 2nd Battle of Bull Run (Manassas).


4th - Lee's army crosses the Potomac and begins the invasion of Maryland.

13th - Corporal Barton W. Mitchell of the 27th IN. on a hill outside of Frederick, MD find 3 cigars wrapped in a copy of Lee's Special order 191 outlining his entire plan for the Maryland campaign. McClellan, with glee proclaimed; "Here is a paper with which, if I cannot whip Bobby Lee, I will be willing to go home."

14th - Battle of South Mountain.

15th - The Union garrison (about 15,000) at Harpers Ferry, VA. surrenders. It is the largest surrender of US troops in history.

17th - The battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg). The bloodiest day in American history. Approximately 25,000 Americans fell this day.

19th - Union and Confederate forces clash at Iuka, Mississippi.

22nd - On the heels of the " victory " at Antietam, Lincoln issues the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.
27th - The first black soldiers are mustered into service at New Orleans.


3rd & 4th - Battle of Corinth, MS.

8th - Battle of Perryville.

26th - McClellan moves the army back into Virginia.


7th - McClellan is replaced by Ambrose Burnside as commander of the Army of the Potomac. Burnside only takes the job because he is told if he does not it will be given to Joseph Hooker.

7th - Battle of Prairie Grove.


12th - After striking a mine in the Yahoo River, the ironclad USS Cairo sinks. Her crew is able to escape.

13th - Union forces are decimated at the Battle of Fredericksburg losing over 12,500 men to the Confederates 5,000, in the largest battle ever fought on American soil (personnel involved). The Union had 114,000, the Confederates had 72,500. Burnside had ordered pontoon bridges to be ready to go but they did not arrive until 17 days after his Army placed itself on the other side of the Rappahannock River. This gave the Confederate troops more than enough time to build up defenses. All the Confederate soldiers pulled out of town except for a Mississippi regiment. Acting as snipers, they would not allow the engineers to construct the bridges needed. Burnside orders a 2 hour artillery barrage on the town. The Rebels hid in basements until it was over and then used the rubble as cover. This prompted the first amphibious assault in US history when they used pontoon boats from the bridge to row over and clean the sharpshooters out of the town. When General Lee, told General Longstreet he was weak on his right he answered him by saying not to worry, "When our guns open up not a chicken could survive on that field".

20th - Confederates under General Earl Van Dorn raid Grants supply lines at Holly Springs.

24th - Battle of Middlebury, TN.

29th - Union forces are repulsed at Chickasaw Bluffs behind Vicksburg, MS.

30th - The USS Monitor sinks in heavey seas off Cape Hatteras. Sixteen of her crew are lost.

31st to January 2, 1863 - Battle of Stones River (Murfreesboro) Union forces under General Rosencrans defeat General Bragg just outside Murfressboro TN.




1st - Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation goes into effect freeing the slaves in parts of the country that are still in rebellion.

13th - Federal officials formally authorize raising Negro troops for the South Carolina Volunteer Infantry.

22nd - General Burnside starts his "Mud March." 25th - General Burnside is replaced by General Joseph Hooker.


3rd - Lincoln signs the Enrollment Act calling for the conscription of men between the ages of 20 and 45.

14th - Admiral Farragut leads Union ships past the batteries of Port Hudson, LA.

25th - Secretary of War Stanton awards the first Medals of Honor to the 6 members of Andrew's Raiders who were not killed or captured.


2nd - Bread riots break out in Richmond.

16th - Admiral Potter's ships steam past the Confederate batteries at Vicksburg, MS.

28th - The Army of the Potomac crosses the Rappahannock in an attempt to get behind Lee's Army.

29th - Battle of Grand Gulf.

30th - Grants Army starts crossing the Mississippi River south of Grand Gulf, Mississippi and starts what will lead to the investment and seige of Vicksburg. Over the next 2 weeks he will fight 5 battles, capture the capital of Mississippi and surround the City of Vicksburg.


1st - Confederates adopt 2nd flag. The "Stainless Banner" as its official flag.

1st - 3rd - Lee defeats Hooker in the Battle of Chancellorsville, VA. Hooker had a very strong position so Lee decided not to attack but to send Stonewall Jackson on a 12 mile march to get on the flank of the Army of the Potomac which was left "in the air". The attack was a complete surprise and almost destroyed the Union Army. Confusion on the part of the Confederates and darkness is about the only thing that saved it. While riding ahead of his troops to find the Union lines, Stonewall Jackson was shot by his own men and died on the 10th of May.

14th - Battle of Jackson, Mississippi.

16th - Battle of Champion's Hill.

19th - General Grant makes his first attempt at taking Vicksburg by storm.

22nd - Grant makes his second attempt at Vicksburg. After being once again repulsed, he decides to lay siege to the city.


9th - Confederates hold off Union cavalry at the Battle of Brandy Station in Virginia. It is the largest cavalry engagement of the war.

15th - Lee's forces take the town of Winchester, opening his way into Maryland.

20th - West Virginia is admitted to the Union as the 35th state.

28th - General Hooker is replaced by General George G. Meade as commander of the Army of the Potomac.


1st - 3rd - Lee's second invasion of the North is stopped at the Battle of Gettysburg. During the 3 days of fighting (92.000 Union 72,600 Confederate) over 58,000 men fell. The battle ended with "Picketts Charge" on July 3rd in which 15,000 Confederate troops attempted to break through the center of the Union line by crossing over almost a mile of open ground. Approximately half of them became casualties during this brief segment of the battle.
The 24th MI entered Gettysburg the 1st day of the battle with 496 men. At the end of the day there were 96. Giving them a casualty rate of 80%. They suffered the greatest percentage of losses of any Regiment of the Union army during that battle. Nine different men had died carrying the regimental flag. The Confederate losses were equally as bad. The 26th North Carolina, the regiment that faced the 24th MI, lost 600 out of 800 men for a 75% rate of loss. Fourteen different men carried the colors of the North Carolina outfit. The 2 center companies of that regiment set new records for battle field loses NEVER broken here or anywhere else. One took 83 soldiers into the fight and only came out with 2 unhurt. The other went in with 91 and all were killed or wounded. It is calculated that there were 569 TONS or about the weight of three empty 747 jumbo jets of ammunition expended during the 3 day battle. Out of all the muskets that were found on the battlefield many had more than one bullet in the barrel. Meaning that they were loaded and not fired. Some had as many as 10.

4th - Confederate forces at Vicksburg surrender to US Grant. The 4th of July will not be celebrated in this city again for 86 years.
Lee starts his retreat from Gettysburg.
At the beginning of what would become Confederate General John Hunt Morgan's Great Raid into Indiana and Ohio, a significant battle took place near a bend in the Green River known as Tebbs Bend. Morgan's Confederates greatly outnumbered the Union troops and the Southerners had four pieces of artillery. Prior to attacking the outnumbered Union force, Morgan made his usual demand for surrender. The Federal commander, Colonel O. H. Moore replied: "This being the Fourth of July, I cannot entertain your proposition to surrender." After the demand for surrender was rejected, the Confederates made eight heroic but fruitless charges against the well entrenched 200 men of the 25th Michigan Infantry. Colonel Moore's Federals inflicted heavy casualties on the rebel troops. The Southern objective was to clear Northern defenders from the area near the strategic bridge so they could proceed northward. The Confederates failed and were forced to withdraw and bypass the area.

8th - Confederates at Port Hudson, LA. surrender after learning that Vicksburg had fallen. This opened up the entire Mississippi River to Federal control.

10th - Union forces land on Morris Island newar Charleston, SC.

13th - 16th - Draft riots break out in New York City. Residents of the city enraged by the draft and not having the money ($300) to pay for exemption started destroying government property associated with the draft. They expanded to taking it out on blacks as they felt it was because of them that the draft was needed. In the end, 11 blacks had been lynched and many more injured. Federal troops who had just gone though the battle at Gettysburg were sent to the city to restore order.

18th - Unsuccessful attack on Fort Wagner. The 54th Massachusetts lost more than a third of their troops in the attack.

26th - Confederate raider John Hunt Morgan surrenders his force at Salineville, OH. Morgan, and several of his officers, are placed in the Ohio State Penitrntiary, from which they will escape on November 27th.

(In July of 1863 Michigan was authorized to form a black regiment for federal service. Six months later the 1st Colored Inf regiment was touring the state before leaving for the war. This unit was later to become the 102nd U.S. Colored Troops. At the time of the War there were about 6,000 African Americans in Michigan. Of that number, about 1,500 served including approximately 200 who were in the famed 54th Massachusetts.)


21st - Confederate guerrillas, lead by William Quantrill sack Lawrence, Kansas leaving behind between 185 and 200 dead men and boys. In response to the raid, on the 25th of the month, General Thomas Ewing in Missouri orders all civilians with Southern sympathies to leave 3 whole and part of a 4th county in the state.


9th - After out flanking General Bragg most of the way across the state of Tennessee, General Rosecrans and the Army of the Cumberland (formally Army of the Ohio) occupy Chattanooga.

10th - Union troops occupy Little Rock, Arkansas.

19th & 20th - Bragg defeats Rosecrans at the Battle of Chickamauga. For the number of troops involved, this was the bloodiest battle of the entire Civil War with 34,624 casualties. It was also one of the very few battles where the Confederates outnumbered the Union troops. General George H. Thomas making a determined stand on top of Snodgrass Hill, earns the name "The Rock of Chickamauga". Union forces retreat into Chattanooga. Bragg surrounds city and begins a siege.


3rd - Lincoln issues a Proclamation of Thanksgiving to be observed on the last Thursday of the month. This is the first National Thanksgiving Day.

8th - Grant is given command of the new Military Division of the Mississippi. He replaces Rosecrans with Thomas as Commander of the Army of the Cumberland.

23rd - Grant arrives in Chattanooga to take command. The men in Chattanooga are on the verge of starvation and Grant starts a "cracker line" for getting food into the City. This is over dangerous trails but does get some food into the city. Grant approves a plan to attempt to open a new route for supplies. This is succsesful opening up lines for supplies to pour into the city. In the time that the cracker line was running, over 6,000 mules and horses died in transporting supplies into the city.


2nd - President Lincoln receives a letter asking him to attend the dedication of the Cemetery at Gettysburg.
Known for his fondness to make jokes and tell stories, the letter says that the dedication would "doubtless be very imposing and solemnly impressive" to insure that he knew that he was being asked to attend in a rather minor capacity it also stated "It is the desire that after the oration, you as Chief Executive of the nation, formally set apart these grounds to their sacred use by '..a few appropriate words".

17th - December 4th - General James Longstreet on loan from the Army of Northern Virginia, conducts a siege of Knoxville, TN.

19th - After listening to the days main speaker, Edward Everett speak for over 2 hours. Abraham Lincoln delivers his Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the National Cemetery on the site of the battle. After the speech Mr. Everett said that he could only hope that he came as close in 2 hours as the President did in 2 minutes in the meaning of the day. The first sentence of Edward Everett's speech;      " Standing beneath this serene sky, overlooking these broad fields now reposing from the labors of the waning year, the mighty Alleghenies dimly towering before us, the graves of our brethren beneath our feet, it is with hesitation that I raise my poor voice to break the eloquent silence of God and Nature, but the duty to which you have called me must be performed; - grant me, I pray you, your indulgence and your sympathy. "

25th - The Union army attacks Confederate forces located on Missionary Ridge around Chattanooga and drive them off lifting the siege.




4th - President Davis CSA authorizes General Lee to impress food from civilians to feed the army.


1st - President Lincoln USA orders 500,000 men drafted for three years or the duration of the War.

2nd - The US gunboad Underwriter is captured and set afire near New Berne, NC.

17th - The submarine H. L. Hunley is lost with all aboard after sinking the USS Housatonic in Charleston Harbor.

27th - The Confederate POW Camp Sumter is opened at Andersonville. In the 14 months that the camp is in operation more than 13,000 Union prisoners will die there.


5th - Union forces under General Sherman march into Jackson MS en route to Meridian.

9th - U. S. Grant is commissioned as Lt. General. The first since George Washington to hold that rank.

12th - Forces lead by General Nathaniel Banks start the "Red River Campaign" with a naval force commanded by Dixon Porter.

14th - Sherman's forces capture Meridian, MS.
Banks forces capture Fort DeRussy.

17th - U. S. Grant to make his headquarters with the Army of the Potomac.

30th - Confederate forces attack Snyder's Bluff, MS.


8th - Battle of Sabine Crossroads, LA.

9th - Battle of Pleasant Hill.

12th - Nathan Bedford Forrest attacks and captures Fort Pillow. Controversy remains as to how many black soldiers were slain as they tried to surrender after the shooting stopped.

17th - Grant stops all prisoner exchanges.
Congress authorizes the phrase "In God we Trust" to be stamped on coins.

21st - Banks stops his campaign and retreats.


4th - Grant opens his over land campaign (his supply train stretched for 60 miles).

5th & 6th - Battle of the Wilderness. Two days of inconclusive fighting results in over 8,000 casualties for the Confederates and 17,500 for the Union.

7th - Sherman's armies start south as the Atlanta Campaign begins.

8th - 19th - For 12 days Grant and Lee face off around the village of Spotsylvania, VA. Casualties total about 18,000 Union 12,000 Confederate.

11th - The Battle of Yellow Tavern, VA. This was fought between Union and Confederate cavalry. Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart is killed.

14th & 15th - Battle of Resaca.

15th - Battle of New Market. 25th - 28th - Battles of New Hope Church, Pickett's Mill, and Dallas.


1st - 3rd - Battle of Cold Harbor, VA. Union forces attack entrenched positions causing 7,000 Union casualties in about 20 minutes of fighting. In the total 3 days of fighting the Union lost over 12,000 men. Confederate losses were about 1,500.

15th - 18th - Union troops attack the defenses of Petersburg. Failing to break through, Grant begins siege of the city that will last until April of 1865.

19th - The USS Kearsarge sinks the Confederate commerce raider CSS Alabama off Cherbourg France.

27th - Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, GA.


9th - Battle of Monocacy, MD.

11th & 12th - Confederate General Jubal Early probes the defenses of Washington D.C.. President Lincoln comes under enemy fire at Fort Stevens on the 12th.

17th - Hood replaces Johnston in command of Confederate forces in Atlanta.

20th - Battle of Peachtree Creek, PA.

22nd - Hood launches a major attack on Sherman's troops. The attack cost Hood about 8,500 casualties while inflicting about 3,600 on Sherman's men.

24th - 24th - Second Battle of Kernstown, VA.

28th - Battle of Ezra Church, GA. 30th - Battle of The Crater, VA. Soldiers from the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry, who were miners before joining the army, dug a shaft 130 yards long and in it was placed 320 kegs of gun powder that had been transferred to bags and carried there by the miners. This was set off at 4:45 a.m. blowing a 200 yard gap in the Confederate lines. Due to mismanagement this was an another Union failure. Vetoing the plan to have black troops lead the attack at the last minute, the troops chosen were not trained properly. They ran into the hole instead of around it. Their General was drunk in a bomb proof behind the lines.


5th - Admiral David Farragut leads his fleet past defending rebel forts and ships in the Battle of Mobile Bay.

15th - Union ships capture the Confederate cruiser Georgia off Lisbon, Portugal.

18th - Battle of the Weldon Railroad, VA.

31st - George McClellan is nominated as the Democratic Parties candidate for president.

31st & Sept 1st - Battle of Jonesboro.


2nd - Union troops occupy Atlanta.

7th - Sherman orders civilians out of Atlanta.

19th - Third Battle of Winchester, VA.


5th - Battle of Allatoona Pass.

7th - USS Wachusetts forces the surrender of the CSS Florida off Bahia Brazil.

9th - Union cavalry rout Confederate forces at Tom's Brook (Round Top Mountain), VA.

19th - General Jubal Early launchs a surprise attack on Sheridan's army at Cedar Creek. At first successful, Sheridan's men regroup and Confederates are forced to retreat.
Working out of Canada, a small Confederate raiding party robs three Vermont banks of over $200,000.

23rd - Union forces repulse Confederate attacks at Wesport, Missouri.

31st - Nevada becomes the thirty-sixth state in the Union.


8th. - Lincoln is re-elected as President, receiving the vast majority of soldiers' votes.

15th - Sherman leaves Atlanta in his March to the Sea.

22nd - Sherman's forces repulse Confederate attacks at Griswoldville, GA. Slocum's wing of Sherman's army occupies Georgia's capital of Milledgeville.

29th - Spring Hill, TN. After being cut off, Union forces march all night right past the Confederate Army to Franklin. The two armies were so close that at times Union soldiers would walk up to Confederate camp fires to warm themselves by their fires.

30th - Battle of Franklin, TN. Confederate General Hood throws the Army of Tennessee at entrenched Union troops. After 5 hours of what might be the most savage fighting in the war, Hoods' army is all but destroyed.


13th - Sherman's troops capture Fort McAllister near Savannah. This allowed them to start receiving supplies needed to sustain the army.

21st - Sherman's forces enter Savannah, GA. On the 22nd he sends President Lincoln a message stating; " I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah..... ". 15th & 16th - Union General George Thomas launches an attack on what is left of the Confederate Army of the Tennessee at Nashville. After the 2 days of fighting, Hoods army is virtually wiped out and will never fight as an army again.

21st - Sherman occupies Savannah.




13th - Fort Fisher on the North Carolina coast is bombarded by the Union Navy.

15th - Union troops assault Fort Fisher.

21st - Sherman leaves Savannah to start his advance northward.

31st - Congress passes the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery.
General Robert E. Lee is appointed General in Chief of the Confederate armies.


3rd - President Lincoln & Secretary of State Steward meet with Confederate commissioners at Hampton Roads for peace talks.

18th - Sherman's troops occupy Columbia, South Carolina. Confederates abandon Charleston.

25th - Joseph Johnston takes command of Confederate forces in South Carolina.


4th - Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated for his 2nd term as President.

8th - Battle of Kinston.

13th - In a desperate measure, the Confederate States of America reluctantly approve the use of black troops. Unlike the regiments of black troops in the Union army, the Southern black were not segregated.

16th - Battle of Averaborough.

19th - 21st - Battle of Bentonville.

25th - Confederates assault Fort Stedman on the Petterburg lines. The attack is repulsed.


1st - Battle of Five Forks, VA.

2nd - Union troops attack and break the lines at Petersburg forcing Lee to begin his evacuation from there as well as Richmond. After a 10 month seige, the 1st Michigan Sharpshooters were the first unit to enter and raise a flag in the city of Petersburg.

3rd - Union troops occupy Richmond.

4th & 5th - Abraham Lincoln visits Richmond.

6th - Battle of Sayler's Creek, VA.

7th - Lincoln sends Grant a wire saying " General Sheridan says ' If the thing is pressed I think that Lee will surrender. ' Let the thing be pressed. "

9th - Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders the Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. This was done in the home of Wilber McLean upon who's land the 1st Battle of Bull Run was fought. He could honestly say that the war began in his front yard and ended in his parlor. This is the 3rd Confederate Army that has surrendered to Grant.

13th - Sherman's troops enter Raleigh, NC.

14th - While attending a play at Fords Theater President Lincoln is shot by John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln is carried across the street to a boarding house where he has to be laid from corner to corner on the bed because he is too tall to lay in the bed normally.

15th - At 7:22 a.m. President Lincoln dies. Edwin Stanton declares, "He now belongs to the ages.".

18th - Confederate General Johnston and Federal General Sherman sign a surrender agreement near Durham, NC. Washington rejects it as being too lenient.

26th - After being on the run for 12 days, John Wilkes Booth and David Herold are found in a barn on the Richard Garrett farm by members of the 16th New York Cavalry. Herold surrenders but Booth refuses to do so. He is shot by Sgt. Boston Corbett and dies.
Johnston surrenders his troops to the same terms that Lee signed.

27th - The USS Sultana explodes on the Mississippi River resulting in the deaths of up to 1,900 persons, most of them returning Union prisoners who had just been released from Confederate POW camps. It is the worst maritime loss in U.S. history.


4th - Abraham Lincoln is buried in Springfield IL.
Confederate General Richard Taylor surrenders Confederate forces in Alabama and Mississippi.

10th - The 4th Michigan Cavalry captures Jefferson Davis near Irwinville, GA followed closely by the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry. Both thinking the other were Confederates, a skirmish was fought between the 2 Union regiments.
President Johnson declares armed resistance is at an end.

12th - The trail for the Lincoln conspirators starts.

12th & 13th - The last major military action of the war occurs at Palmito Ranch, TX. It was a deciseive Confederate victory. The last soldier killed in the Civil War died in this action. He was Private John Williams of the 34th Indiana.

23rd & 24th - Union troops march in the Grand Review in Washington D.C.

26th. Confederate troops west of the Mississippi surrender at New Orleans.


2nd - Edmund K. Smith surrenders Confederate forces west of the Mississippi River.

30th - The Commission in the Lincoln assassination trail found each of the prisoners guilty of at least one of the conspiracy charges. Four of the prisoners (Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, George Atzerodt, and David Herold) were sentenced "to be hanged by the neck until he [or she] be dead." Samuel Arnold, Dr. Samuel Mudd and Michael O'Laughlen were sentenced to "hard labor for life, at such place as the President shall direct." Edman Spangler received a six-year sentence.


7th - Shortly after one-thirty on the afternoon, the trap of the gallows installed in the courtyard of the Old Arsenal Building was sprung, and the four condemned prisoners fell to their deaths. Reporters covering the event reported that the last words from the gallows stand came from George Atzerodt who said just before he fell, "May we meet in another world."


6th - The CSS Shenandoah arrives in Liverpool, England. It is the last Condederate commerce raider to surrender.

10th - Captain Henry Wirz, who was the Commandant at Andersonville is executed after being convicted by a military tribunal of "...murder in violation of the laws and customs of war.". Captain Wirz was the only person hung for war crimes.


6th - In his annual message to Congress, President Johnson declares that the Union has been restored.

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