Civil War: Key Battles Kasia Felkel

1861

Battle of Fort Sumter

April 1861-- Charleston, South Carolina

Fort Sumter

Leading Generals:

  • Union: Robert Anderson
  • Confederate: P.G.T Beauregard
P.G.T Beauregard(left) and Robert Anderson(right)

Description:

The first battle of the American Civil War. Robert Anderson's Union army stationed itself at Fort Sumter ready to defend it . Later, the Confederate army, led by P.G.T Beauregard, approached and bombarded the unfinished fort with artillery. Anderson then surrendered leading to a victory for Beauregard.

Fort Sumter Pictures

Funny Story:

Ironically, P.G.T Beauregard, who was a Confederate, was trained and learned all of his military skill from Robert Anderson, who was on the opposing side(in the Union). Then at the end of the fight Anderson surrendered to someone that he once taught his military abilities to. It's funny that Anderson led himself to his own demise. In addition, a man called Wilmer McLean, claimed that his house is where the Civil War started. In addition, during the surrender ceremony, a strong breeze caused a fired cannon to explode and kill someone.

SIGNIFICANCE on Civil war:

Significance on the Civil War:

The Battle at Fort Sumter was the first battle of the Civil War. This battle was important for the Civil War because clearly it was what led up to the other battle which occurred. In other words, it marked the beginning of the Civil War. The battle caused more states to secede causing the Confederacy to have a total of 11 states. In addition, the battle outraged the North since the Union had lost and surrendered. But in reality, the Battle of Fort Sumter was pointless because no one actually died. The South after the battle walked with pride knowing the North had surrendered to them.

Victory:

Confederates

Battle of Bull Run #1

July 1861-- Virginia

Bull Run

Leading Generals:

  • Union: Irwin McDowell
  • Confederate: P.G.T Beauregard, Stonewall Jackson
P.G.T Beauregard(left), Stonewall Jackson(middle), Robert Anderson(right)

Description:

By July 1861, northerners were demanding the capture of Richmond and a quick end to the war. Irwin McDowell took his 30,000 men and left Washington. He marched south west into Virginia while the same amount of Confederates waited at Manassas; a railroad center. Many Northerners expected an easy Union victory. Both armies collided along Bull Run, which was a river North of Manassas. The Union army pushed forth while Stonewall Jackson told his army to stand firm. For standing firm, that is where Jackson got his name from. The battle quickly went in favor for the Confederates and the poorly trained Union troops led in panic back to Washington. The Confederates were in fact too tired to pursue them.

Bull Run #1

Funny Story:

A man named Wilmer McLean claimed that the Civil started and ended at his house. During Battle of Bull Run #1, McLean had his house exploded when a bomb fell through his chimney and fell into a pot of soup. He then moved to get AWAY from the Civil War, but then later, his house was where the Civil War ended.

SIGNIFICANCE of Civil War:

The Battle of Bull Run #1 was the first major battle between the Union and Confederacy that included casualties. It made the North realize that they have to make their troops more trained and organized. In addition, the North finally learned to not underestimate their opponent. This battle helped the Union win the overall war because now they had learned from their mistakes and became stronger. The army with the help of George B. McClellan, became organized which helped it in future battles.

Victory:

Confederates

1862

East: Peninsular Campaign

April-July, 1862-- Richmond, Virgina

Peninsular Campaign
  • Union: George B. McClellan
  • Confederate: Joseph E. Johnston and Robert E. Lee
George B. McClellan(left) and Robert E. Lee(middle), Joseph E Johnston(right)

Description:

The Peninsular Campaign was a strategy where McClellan decided to outflank(or outsmart) the Confederate army to try to control Richmond. George McClellan decided to attack and moved 100,000 soldiers on boat along Chesapeake Bay to a peninsula south(not North) of Richmond. He then proceeded to the Confederate capital and saw that he had many more soldiers than the 15,000 confederate soldiers blocking the way. He still did not think he had enough so he stopped and called for more troops. and did not move for nearly a month. With all this extra time, the Confederates prepared and reinforced their army. When McClellan came, Confederates managed to stop his advance towards Richmond and caused him to retreat. In conclusion, The Peninsular Campaign was an ongoing plan to try to control the Confederate's capital, Richmond.

Peninsula Campain

Funny Story:

McClellan comes up a stream and asks his soldier how deep it is. Then one of his underlings comes into the stream and said, "It's this deep general." Also a man named John Magurder (confederate general) painted trees and made them look like cannons outside the fort during the Peninsula Campaign. This tricked McClellan, who believed that they were really cannons and it caused him to not attack. Magurder also walked his troops around to make McClellan believe there was many troops so he waited, making Lincoln very inpatient.

SIGNIFICANCE on Civil War:

The Peninsular Campaign was a important Union offensive against the Confederate. This campaign was yet another loss for the Union which made them understand they need to get more organized and trained. This battle led to Antietam which was a fight that happened right after the Peninsular Campaign. The Peninsula Campaign started the Seven Days Battle which were a series of battles that were fought when McClellan came to attack Richmond. Since, McClellan was a coward he lost and retreated from the Seven Days Battle.

Victory:

Confederates

East: Battle of Antietam

September 17, 1862-- Maryland

Antietam

Leading Generals:

  • Union: George B. McClellan
  • Confederate: Robert E. Lee
George McClellan(left) and Robert Lee(right)

Description:

Now with Richmond not threatened anymore, Robert Lee decided to invade the North. He believed he would get support for the South from Europe and turn opinions in the North. In addition he thought having a victory on Northern soil would accomplish this. In September, Lee's army went to Maryland. Before he attacked McClellan luckily found Lee's plan and learned the Confederates were going to split in half. McClellan’s troops attacked the larger part of Lee’s army at Antietam Creek , near Sharps-burg, Maryland on September 17, 1862. After a bloody battle, Lee was then forced to retreat and McClellan did not pursue to Lincoln's dismay. Although there wasn't a clear answer on who won, the North still took the victory because of the Confederate army retreating.

Antietam

Funny Story:

In Antietam, the Dunker Church was a famous landmark on this land and was also a focal point for the attacks in the battle. Ironically, the Dunkers were pacifists meaning that they practice peace and they were against any kind of violence and warfare.

SIGNIFICANCE on Civil War:

The Battle of Antietam was the bloodiest battle in the Civil War. There was around 23,000 casualties, with 12,000 casualties in the North and 14,000 in the South(almost ⅓ of their army). In addition it was the first major battle in North soil. This battle is known as the bloodiest day in US history. McClellan is finally fired. Lincoln is finally able to pass the Emancipation Proclamation because he was waiting for huge Union victory.

Victory:

Union

West: Battle of Fort Henry/Donelson

  • Battle of Fort Henry: February 6, 1862-- Ft. Henry, Tennessee.
  • Battle of Fort Donelson: February 16, 1862-- Ft. Donelson, Tennessee.

Fort Henry

Fort Donelson

Leading generals:

  • Union: Ft. Henry and Donelson: Ulysses S. Grant and Andrew H. Foote
  • Confederate: Ft. Henry: Lloyd Tilghman Ft Donelson: Gideon J. Pillow, John Buchanan Flovd, and Simon B. Buckner.
Ulysses S. Grant(left), Andrew H. Foote(top middle left), Lloyd Tilghman(top middle right), Gideon J. Pillow(top right), John Buchanan Flovd(bottom left), and Simon B. Buckner(bottom right)

Description:

In the Battle of Fort Henry, Grant and Foote attacked with such accuracy and power that it caused Lloyd Tilghman to retreat. After the victory at Fort Henry, Ulysses Grant crossed the strip of land to Fort Donelson. At Fort Donelson, the Union met the Confederates and they fought until the Union captured the fort near the Tennessee-Kentucky border which opende the Cumberland River and made it easier for the North to invade the south in the fiture

Funny Story:

Fun Fact: During the battles, General Tilghman was taken prisoner of war after he surrendered the fort. Then he was later killed in action.

Significance on Civil War:

Fort Henry was the first important Union victory in the Civil War. Victory at Fort Donelson paved way for the capture of Nashville, Tennessee. Fighting at Fort Henry was the first battle where ironclads were used. Ensured Kentucky was going to stay in the Union.

Victory:

Union

Battle of Shiloh

April, 1862-- Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee

Battle of Shiloh

Leading Generals:

  • Union: Don Carlos Buell and Ulysses S. Grant
  • Confederate: Albert Sydney Johnston and P.G.T Beauregard
Don Carlos Buell(right), Ulysses S. Grant(right middle), Albert Sydney Johnston(left middle), P.G.T Beauregard(left)

Description:

P.G.T Beauregard came up with a plan to recapture western Tennessee. The confederate army with Johnston as its general marched towards Grant's army which was stationed at Pittsburg Landing that was by the Tennessee River. The Confederates surprised the Union's army and the battle started on April 6th, 1862. Grant's army retreated then more Union troops from Buell's army came continuing the battle. Then Beauregard's army retreated. Johnston died during the battle so Beauregard replaced him.

Shiloh

Funny Story:

Shiloh is a Hebrew word meaning place of peace. Ironic because there was one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War.

SIGNIFICANCE on Civil war:

The Battle of Shiloh was one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War. There was 10,698 casualties in the Confederate army and 14,500 in the Union. Afterwards the Union buried the dead Confederate soldiers. It was another Union victory.

VIctory:

Union

Capture of New Orleans

April 25-May 1, 1862-- New Orleans(Orleans Parish and St. Bernard Parish), Louisiana

New Orleans

Leading Generals:

  • Union: David G. Farragut and Benjamin Butler
  • Confederate: Mansfield Lovell
David G. Farragut(left), Benjamin Butler(middle), and Mansfield Lovell(right)

Description:

The Union was planning to capture the city of New Orleans. Th naval battle had no casualties. General David G. Farragut continued up the Mississippi River and demanded a surrender on the city of New Orleans. The city, in fact, did surrender and the next day Benjamin Butler's troops arrived and started to occupy the city. When the Union came to the city, they saw that the confederacy already set fire to the city so the North wouldn't be able to take anything.

New Orleans

Funny Story:

Benjamin Butler was known for stealing stuff from Southerners houses. He got the nickname "Spoons" because he used to steal spoons from the houses. He was also called the "Beast". Butler said if any women disrespected, they would have to be a prostitute. He made this proclamation after a chamber pot(you poo and pee in there) was spilled over his head. People then started making chamber pots with his head on the bottom.

Significance on Civil War:

Another win in the North. This victory benefited the Union's tactical, military, economical, and political control over the lower Mississippi. This was an incident of international importance because the North captured one of the Confederacy's largest city.

Victory:

Union

Battle of Fredericksburg

December 1862-- Fredericksburg, Virginia

Battle of Fredericksburg

Leading Generals:

  • Union: Ambrose E. Burnside
  • Confederate: Robert E. Lee
Ambrose E. Burnside(left) and Robert E. Lee(right)

DEscription:

Ambrose Burnside ordered continuous frontal attacks on the Confederate troops which were on high ground. Since the Confederate troops were on high ground this caused lots of casualties in the Union which later led to twice the amount as the South's army. After realizing the suffering and pain of Burnside's troop, he decided to retreat. In this battle, Union troops had to cross a trench with water.

Battle of Fredericksburg

Funny STory:

Burnside sent wave after wave to fight the Confederacy but the troops kept dying. Burnside seeing this kept going doing exactly what the Confederacy wanted.

Significance on Civil War:

One of the greatest confederate victory. This battle had more troops engaged than any other battle in the Civil War. It also involved a major opposed river crossing in the Nation's history. There was 12,700 casualties in the Union and 5,300 casualties in the Confederacy.

Victory:

Confederate

1863- turning point for Union

Battle of Chancellorsville

April-May, 1863-- Chancellorsville, Spotsylvania, Virginia

Battle of Chanscellorville

Leading Generals:

  • Union: "Fighting" Joe Hooker
  • Confederate: Robert E. Lee
Joseph Hooker(left) and Robert Lee(right)

Description:

The Battle of Chancellorsville was an important Confederate victory. General Robert E. Lee courageously split his army and surprise attacked and confronted Hooker. Hooker instead of attacking went to defend. When Lee split again, Hooker was forced to retreat to Rappahannock River.

Battle of Chancellorsville

Funny story:

"Stonewall" Jackson was killed by his own troops that thought he was part of the Union.

Significance on Civil War:

The Union had 14,000 out of 97,000 casualties while the Confederacy had 10,000 out of 57,000. This southern victory was destroyed when Stonewall Jackson was mortally injured during a later battle by his own troops. They thought he was part of the Union for a second and this loss had far reaching effects on the Civil War. This battle was thought General Lee's greatest victory in the Civil War because he strategically managed to win against an army twice his size.

Victory:

Confederate

Battle of Vicksburg(Siege of Vicksburg)

May-July, 1863-- Vicksburg, Mississippi(Warren County)

Vicksburg

Leading Generals:

  • Union: Ulysses S. Grant
  • Confederate: John C. Pemberton
Ulysses S. Grant(left) and John C. Pemberton(right)
Battle of Vicksburg

Description:

From 1862-1863 Union forces waged a campaign to capture Vicksburg. After defeating a confederate force near Jackson, he went to Vicksburg and managed to seal the city by the end of may. In 3 weeks, his troops marched 180 mi and won five battles. In addition they captured about 6,000 men from the confederate troops. With 70,000 troops and 15 miles of trenches, Grant captured the city. Attempts to help Pemberton and his captured troops failed. On July 4, 1863, Pemberton surrendered.

Funny Story:

After the residents of Vicksburg dug over 500 caves in the hills around the city and began living in them, Union soldiers started to refer to the town as "Prairie Dog Village."

In addition, Pemberton surrendered on 4th of July, the day of Independence. For 80 years, Vicksburg refused to celebrate 4th of July because they lost.

SIgnificance on CIvil War:

It severed the Trans-Mississippi Confederacy east of the Mississippi. It opened the river to Northern traffic in its entire length. In other words Vicksburg was the gateway to the Mississippi. The battle divided the Confederacy and proved the intelligence of general Ulysses S. Grant. Was one of the Unions most significant and successful campaigns the Union had. About 4,800 out of 75,000 Union troops were killed and 3,300 out of 34,000 confederate troops were killed. In addition, about 30,000 troops were captured by the Union.

VIctory:

Union

Battle of Gettysburg

July 1-3, 1863-- Gettysburg, Virginia, in Adams County

Gettysburg

Leading Generals:

  • Union: George E. Meade
  • Confederate: Robert E. Lee
George E. Meade(left) and Robert E. Lee(right)

Description:

After a victory at Chancellorsville, Lee decided to march to Pennsylvania in June, 1863. In July, Lee clashed with Meade army at the crossroads of Gettysburg. The battle the next day was harder and after three days Lee order an assault known as "Pickett's Charge". In this assault there was 15,000 troops that managed to pierce Union lines but it later failed because the Union had the greater benefit(similar to Fredericksburg). After 3 days, Lee with his weak and battered army was forced to withdraw on July 4.

Battle of Gettysburg

Funny Story:

The reason the battle started was because the Confederate rebels wanted to find a pair of shoes so they went into the town. The bloodiest and biggest battle started because of a pair of shoes. Also at Cemetery Ridge it said that there is no guns allowed of you would be persecuted. Ironically, where guns were brought and most blood was shed, was at the Cemetery.

Significance on the Civil War:

The battle of Gettysburg is know as the largest battle in the Civil War and in North America. In the Union, there was 23,049 out of 82,289 casualties. In the Confederate army, there was 28, 063 out of 75,000 casualties. This was more than a third of Lee's army. This battle stopped Lee attempt at invading the North twice. It was the bloodiest battle in the Civil War with 50,000 casualties in all.

Victory:

Union

1864

Sherman's March to the Sea(Savannah Campaign)

November-December, 1864-- Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia

Sherman's March to the Sea

Leading Generals:

  • Union: William T. Sherman, Howard and Henry Slocum, and Judson Kilpatrick
(left to right) William T. Sherman, Howard and Henry Slocum, and Judson Kilpatrick

Description:

Sherman's March to the Sea was a military campaign where Sherman marched about 60,000 troops from Atlanta to Savannah Georgia.(285 miles) Purpose was to intimidate Georgia's civilians and make them leave the Confederacy. They didn't destroy full towns but stole livestock and food, and burned houses and barns of people who tried to fight back. During the March Sherman's troops captured Atlanta and the Confederate troops couldn't stop him. Sherman believed if he could destroy the factories, farms, and railroads that the Confederate troops needed, they would surrender. In addition he wanted to destroyed the South's values so they would finally give up seeing there is nothing left to fight for. He wanted to put so much pain on Georgia so they would have to surrender. Sherman's troops weren't merciful. They raided, plantations, slaughtered and stole livestock, they cut off supplies, destroyed railroads, barns, and houses. In the end, in April, the Confederacy surrendered and the war was over.

Sherman's March to the Sea

Funny Story:

Significance on the Civil War:

During the march, Atlanta was captured and it was a railroad hub and industrial center for the Confederacy. It also a center of pride and strength for the Confederates. But after the capture, the most loyal southerners doubted that they could win the war. IT WAS A FACTOR THAT MADE THE CONFEDERACY SURRENDER AND COLLAPSE. Sherman used the tactic "Total War" which later led to the Confederacy finally giving up and the Union winning the war.

Victory:

Union

1865

Siege of Richmond/Petersburg

June-March, 1865-- Petersburg, Virginia

Siege of Petersburg/Richmond

Leading generals:

  • Union: Ulysses S. Grant
  • Confederate: Robert E. Lee
Ulysses S. Grant(left) and Robert E. Lee(right)

Description:

Grant's and Lee's troops collided at a rail center in Petersburg near Richmond. They wouldn't stop the battle until April 9th. Grant knew that he took down Petersburg then Richmond would also collapse. Lee hurried to reinforce his troops to defend the city. Grant made it there first. The Union on the first day had 10,000 troops while the Confederacy had a few thousand soldiers of old men and boys. By June 18, Grant had 100,000 soldiers while Lee had 20,000 defended. Grant then started to siege the city but digging trenches. April 2, 1865, Lee had a starving and weak army so he decided to retreat, leaving Richmond and Petersburg to the Union. He then was chased to the Appomattox Court where Lee had finally surrendered in the Civil War. THE UNION HAS WON.

Siege of Richmond/Petersburg

Funny Story:

Fun fact: It ended on my birthday, March 25.

SIgnificance on the war:

Petersburg has a vital rail center that is 23 miles away from Richmond. In addition, Richmond is the capital for the Confederacy. Since Petersburg fell so did Richmond. After this siege the Confederacy went to Appomattox Court house and surrendered. The Union finally had won the war.

Victory:

Union

Appomattox Court House

April 9, 1865-- Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Virginia

Appomattox Court

Leading Generals:

  • Union: Ulysses S. Grant
  • Confederate: Robert E. Lee
Ulysses S. Grant(left) and Robert E. Lee(right)

Description:

On April 9th, 1865 General Robert E. Lee surrendered 28,000 troops to Grant at Wilmer McLean's house, finally ending the war. Day earlier, Lee escaped Richmond, the Confederacy's capital, hoping he could get additional troops and keep fighting. But the retreat failed because the army Army of the Potomac(led by Grant) stopped the army of Northern Virginia and forced Lee to surrender. Grant wrote the terms for Lee and his troops: they are to be pardoned, sent home, with their horses, and also be given rations to the army. In addition, officers got to keep their side arms.

Appomattox Court

Funny story:

In the beginning of the war, Wilmer McLean's house was bombed at the battle of Bull Run #1. So he decided to move away to get away from the fighting. Ironically, the Civil War ended at his house because McLean allowed his house to be the place where Robert Lee surrenders and the Union finally wins.

Significance on the War:

At Appomattox Court was where the official end of the civil war happened. Although there was scattered resistance for several weeks, the Union finally had won the war.

Victory:

Union

Sources:

  • www.history.com
  • www.historynet.com
  • www.civilwar.org

Credits:

Created with images by Family O'Abé - "Flag in the fading sun" • andrewmalone - "Fort Sumter" • tedkerwin - "Fort Sumter postcard" • dennisflarsen - "cannon fort sumter south carolina" • lns1122 - "Fort Sumter" • b r e n t - "Fort Sumter" • WorldIslandInfo.com - "1952 booklet on Fort Sumter" • tedkerwin - "Fort Sumter postcard" • drumr1829 - "05.05.10 Bull Run 047 [1280x1024]" • drumr1829 - "05.05.10 Bull Run 059 [1280x1024]" • drumr1829 - "05.05.10 Bull Run 001 [1280x1024]" • jimbowen0306 - "Judith Henry's House, Manassas" • Sangre-La.com - "hz1938.JPG" • drumr1829 - "05.05.10 Bull Run 083 [1280x1024]" • drumr1829 - "05.05.10 Bull Run 042 [1280x1024]" • donwhite84 - "abraham lincoln president america" • bobistraveling - "Cannons Antietam MD 2254" • bobistraveling - "Burnsides Bridge Antietam MD 2280" • Michael M. S. - "untitled image" • David Whelan - "Bloody Lane" • dbking - "_MG_6745" • David McSpadden - "Cornfield, Antietam, remembering September 17, 1862" • Boston Public Library - "Battle of Antietam, 1877" • m01229 - "Looking at the new Cape Henry Lighthouse (HDR)" • MT_Image - "Fort Donelson" • JeepersMedia - "America Flag waving blue sky white puffy clouds American USA Flag windy day. Pics by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube. #AmericanFlag #USAFlag #BlueSkies #WhiteClouds #BeautifulDay #Patriotic #LaborDay #MemorialDay" • LOLren - "Shiloh Peach Orchard" • USM MS photos - "IMG_0766" • terryballard - "Shiloh" • USM MS photos - "IMG_0798" • theogeo - "IMG_5622" • Boston Public Library - "Battle of Shiloh" • Infrogmation - "New Orleans Milk Cart Esplanade Ave" • dbking - ""Battle of New Orleans" by Ethel Magafan" • Boston Public Library - "Battle of Fredericksburg, Laying the Pontoon Bridge" • dbking - ""Battle of New Orleans" by Ethel Magafan" • StuSeeger - "Vicksburg Cannon" • Terry G Alexander - "General Lloyd Tilghman Full" • DUrban - "gettysburg pennsylvania battlefield" • 185128 - "nature gettysburg triangular field" • taberandrew - "Pickett's Charge" • taberandrew - "Charge" • techfun - "civil war cannons war" • Kiwi NZ - "House in flames" • Ronile - "statue of liberty new york ny" • dbking - "_MG_1800" • btwashburn - "Appomattox Court House" • jimbowen0306 - "Appomattox Court House" • btwashburn - "Courthouse and Jail" • jimbowen0306 - "Mclean House, Appomattox CH"

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.