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Civil War Timeline
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Battle of Gettysburg (PA) July 1st-3rd, 1863 Union Gen: Meade Confederate Gen: Lee Union won Most important Civil War battle. Lee clashed with Meade at Gettysburg. After day of fighting Lee ordered "Picket's Charge" on Cemetary Ridge. Failed to fight the off, Lee forced to retreat to VA. Changed tide of war towards Union.
Seige of Vicksburg (MS) May 18th-July 4th, 1863 Union Gen: Grant Confederate Gen: Johnston, Pemberton Union won Grant had already made attempts to capture Vicksburg in winter. Took men along Mississippi while Porter took flotilla into city, then defeated Johnston before pushing Pemberton into Vicksburg. Huge victory with small losses.
Seige of Petersburg (VA) June 9th-March 25th, 1864 Union Gen: Grant Confederate Gen: Lee Union won Clashed for 9 months along 30-mile trenches. By March Lee ran out of resources and retreated, abandoning Petersburg and Richmond. Led to surrender at Appomattox.
Battle of Shiloh (TN) April 6th-7th, 1862 Union Gen: Grant Confederate Gen: Johnston Union won Grant continued to move into TN and was attacked by Confederate troops. Confederates initially succeeded, but couldn't hold their positions. Over 23,000 combined casualties shoked North and South with scale of violence.
Sherman's March to the Sea November 15th-December 21st, 1864 Union Gen: Sherman Sherman marched from Atlanta to Savannah to scare Georgians into abandoning the Confederate cause. Terrorized towns and people in path. Hurt Southern morale and weakened Confederacy. Sped up the end of war.
First Battle of Bull Run /Manassas Junction (VA) July 21st, 1861 Union Gen: McDowell Confederate Gen: Johnston and Beauregard Confederates won First major land battle of Civil War. Union expected victory that would begin end of the war, but retreated to DC. Gave South confidence.
Second Battle of Bull Run/Manassas Junction (VA) August 28th-30th, 1862 Union Gen: Pope and McClellan Confederate Gen: Lee and Jackson Confederates won Deciding battle between North and South. Lee attacked while Pope was waiting for McClellan, sending Jackson to raid, burn, then hide near Manassas. Pope and Lee stoodoff, then Longstreet led counterattack and Union retreated. Northern morale dropped and McClellan was viewed harshly.
Battle of Fort Sumter (SC) April 12th-13th, 1861 Union Gen: Anderson Confederate Gen: Beauregard Confederates won First shots of Civil War. Lincoln tried to resupply so Beauregard shelled Fort. Anderson surrendered after a day, and Lincoln prepped soldiers for battle.
Battle of Antietam (MD) September 17th, 1862 Union Gen: McClellan Confederate Gen: Lee Union won Deadliest one-day battle. Confederates were weary and outnumbered. Thousands of deaths in hours as Confederates defended against assaults on battlefield and Bloody Lane. Lee retreated to VA next day and McClellan didn't pursue and was removed. Ended Lee's attempt to invade the North. Led to release of Emancipation Proclamation.
Battle of Fredericksburg (VA) December 11th-15th, 1862 Union Gen: Burnside Confederate Gen: Lee Confederates won Most troops in any Civil War battle. Burnside ordered troops across Rappahannock to attack Lee at Fredericksburg. Rebels turned back Union with heavy losses. hurt Northern morale and boosted Confederacy after Antietam.
Battle of Chancellorsville (VA) April 30th-May 6th, 1863 Union Gen: Hooker Confederate Gen: Lee Confederates won Lee faced Union troops twice as big, but split forces and forced Hooker into defense across Rappahannock River. Impressive win, but lost "Stonewall" Jackson. Rebels had strategic advantage.
Peninsula Campaign (VA) March-July, 1862 Union Gen: McClellan Confederate Gen: Johnston, Lee Confederates won Large Union advance to seize Richmond on peninsula of New York and James Rivers. Overestimated size of Confederacy Johnston injured at Seven Pines and Lee took over. Starting on June 25th Lee held McClellan off, ending campaign.
Fort Henry and Fort Donelson (TN) February 6th, 11th-16th, 1862 Union Gen: Grant Confederate Gen: Tilghman, Floyd Union won First big Union win. Grant attacked unsuspecting Ft. Henry in TN. Tilghman evacuated troops to Ft Donelson then surrendered. Grant moved to Ft. Donelson and won, gaining access to Colombia and TN rivers, key waterways for future of the war.
Battle of Appomattox Courthouse (VA) April 9th, 1865 Union Gen: Grant Confederate Gen: Lee Union won (the whole war!) After Petersburg Lee wanted to rally rebels and continue fighting in NC. Stopped in VA, battle only lasted a few hours. Lee weary and men hungry so met Grant in Wilmer McLean's house. Generous terms, all men pardoned and kept property
Battle of Merrimack vs Monitor (VA) March 8th-9th. 1862 Union Gen: Worden Confederate Gen: Buchan Inconclusive The first battle between ironclad warships. The Confederacy wanted to break Union blockade of Southern ports. Union Monitor was hit and Confederate Merrimack thought they won, but second battle Monitor won. Made South think they could break blockade, but later victory reassured North.
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