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The first engagement of
the Civil War took place at
Fort Sumter on April 12
and 13, 1861. After 34
hours of fighting, the Union
surrendered the fort to the
Confederates. From 1863
to 1865, the Confederates
at Fort Sumter withstood a
22 month siege by Union
forces. During this time,
most of the fort was
reduced to brick rubble.
Fort Sumter
Charleston, South Carolina
Union Commander: Major Robert Anderson
Confederate Commander: General Beauregard
April 12-14, 1861
First battle of Civil War.
No casualties on either side
raised false hopes for a
quick war.
First Battle of Bull Run July 1861
Public demand pushed General-in-Chief Winfield
Scott to advance on the South before adequately
training his untried troops. Scott ordered General
Irvin McDowell to advance on Confederate
troops stationed at Manassas Junction, Virginia.
McDowell attacked on July 21, and was initially
successful, but the introduction of Confederate
reinforcements resulted in a Southern victory and
a chaotic retreat toward Washington by federal
First Bull Run
Manassas, Virginia
Union Commander: General Winfield Scott
Confederate Commander: General Stonewall
July 21, 1861
Casualties: Union-2,446, Confederate-1,600
Winner: Confederate
Stonewall Jackson
The single
bloodiest day of
the Civil War
Antietam Creek
Sharpsburg, Maryland
Union Commander: General George
Confederate Commander:General
Robert E. Lee
September 17, 1862
Casualties: Union-12,410
Winner: Union Claimed Victory
One of only 2 major battles fought in the North. The
bloodiest day of the war.
Strategy: Robert E. Lee invaded Maryland hoping the
state would defect to the South. A confederate
messenger lost Lee’s battle plans. Two Union soldiers
found the plans and turned them over to McClellan.
Lee was pinned down at Antietam creek by
McClellan. Neither side won a clear victory
but because the Union forced Lee back to the
South the Union claimed a victory. This
victory was what Lincoln needed to issue the
Emancipation Proclamation.
At the time of the Civil War, the Mississippi
River was the single most important economic
feature of the continent; the very lifeblood of
America (main supply line). Upon the secession
of the southern states, Confederate forces closed
the river to navigation, which threatened to
strangle northern commercial interests.
Following the failure of the May 22 assault,
Grant realized that Vicksburg could not be
taken by storm and decided to lay siege to the
city. Slowly his army established a line of
works around the city and cut Vicksburg off
from supply and communications with the
outside world..
Vicksburg, Mississippi
Union Commander: General Ulysses
Confederate: General Joseph E.
May 19- July 4 1863
Casualties: Unknown:
Winner: Union
General Grant
This siege, which had Ulysses Grant
bogged down for 3 months was one
of the most important victories in
the west. The fortress of Vicksburg
was the key to the last Confederate
stretch of the Mississippi. With it’s
defeat the Confederacy was split in
two by the mighty river.
• The Union had achieved two military goals.
First, its naval blockade had cut off the
South’s trade with Europe. Second, by taking
control of the Mississippi River, the Union had
split the Confederacy into two parts.
Little Roundtop
Robert E. Lee
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Union Commander :General George
Confederate Commander: Robert E.
July 1-3, 1863
Casualties: Union-23,049 Confederate28,063
Winner: Union
The turning point of the war. After success
at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, Lee
went on the offensive and invades the north
again. The Union took position on
Cemetery Ridge.
After trying to break the union lines for 2 days,
Lee tries a frontal assault on entrenched union
forces. This was known as Pickett’s charge.
This attempt failed miserably. Lee ultimately
retreats to Virginia. This would be the last
chance for the South to win the war and
threaten the North.
Atlanta, Georgia (Sherman’s march to the sea)
Union Commander: General William Sherman
Confederate Commander: General John Hood
July 20-September 2, 1864
Casualties: Union-31,623 Confederate-35,044
Winner: Union
The siege of Atlanta by General Sherman ended
with the burning of the city by Union troops.
This battle was immortalized in the movie
“Gone With The Wind”. After burning the city,
Sherman began his famous march to the sea,
during which his troops looted and plundered
their way across Georgia, destroying nearly
everything in their path.
• Sherman’s instructions from Grant:
Leave nothing to invite the enemy to return. Destroy
whatever cannot be consumed.
• Sherman’s troops burned the city of Atlanta. They
ripped up railroad tracks, burned homes, barns, and
• Total War: Everyone is affected as the army
destroyed food and equipment that might be useful
to the enemy. Total War caused hardships for
civilians in the south.
On April 9, 1865 Robert E. Lee surrendered his
army of Northern Virginia in a little village called
Appomattox Courthouse. Lee surrendered
formally to Ulysses S. Grant. The papers of
formal surrender were signed in the home of
Wilmer Mclean, whose first house was damaged
during the first battle of the Civil War.
Lee surrendered to Grant in this home.