Civil War Almanac
The Civil War Day By Day
An Almanac, 1861-1865

The most exhaustively detailed and fascinating book on the American Civil War of its kind. Not only does it provide a day-by-day look at the major events of the war, but lists so many of the small skirmishes and actions as well. Accurate and enjoyable

American Civil War Summary

When John Brown raided Harpers Ferry in 1859, he set in motion events that led directly to the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. This folder, organized yearly through maps and chronologies, shows the course of the war from Fort Sumter in 1861 to Appomattox Court House and beyond in 1865. It is divided according to the two principal theaters in which the major military operations took place: (1) The Eastern Theater, roughly comprising the area east of the Appalachians in the vicinity of the rival capitals of Washington and Richmond, and (2) the Western Theater, primarily between the western slope of the Appalachians and the Mississippi River. Lesser operation that took place along the coasts and inland waterways and the isolated trans-Mississippi area are included in the Western Theater. Naval encounters on the high seas between cruisers, privateers, and blockade runners have been omitted.   Lee and the Confederate army
Lee and His Army in Confederate History
Robert E. Lee a gifted soldier whose only weaknesses lay in the depth of his loyalty to his troops, affection for his lieutenants, and dedication to the cause of the Confederacy?

Where the Armies Fought

More than 10,000 military actions of one kind or another took place during the Civil War. Only a small percentage were big battles like Gettysburg or Vicksburg; most were relatively small affairs, many of them forgotten today. The following breakdown by State shows where most of these events took place.

Virginia 2,154 Ref  Virginia's Civil War by: Peter Wallenstein and Bertram Wyatt-Brown
Tennessee 1,462 Ref  Soldiering in the Army of Tennessee:A Portrait of Life in a Confederate Army
Missouri 1,162 Ref  Guerilla Warfare in Civil War Missouri
        Charles W. Quantrell: Guerilla Warfare on the Missouri and Kansas Border 1861 to 1865
Mississippi 772 Ref  Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of Mississippi in the Civil War
Arkansas 771 Ref  With Fire and Sword: Arkansas, 1861-1874 (Histories of Arkansas)
West Virginia 632 Ref  Clash of Loyalties: WEST VIRIGINIA & APPALACHIA
Louisiana 566 Ref  Scarred By War: Civil War In Southeast Louisiana
Georgia 549 Ref  Plain Folk in a Rich Man's War: Class and Dissent in Confederate Georgia
Kentucky 453 Ref  The Civil War in Kentucky
Alabama 336 Ref  Loyalty And Loss: Alabama's Unionists In The Civil War
North Carolina 313 Ref  The Civil War in North Carolina
South Carolina 239 Ref  South Carolina's Civil War: A Narrative History
Maryland 203 Ref  A Southern Star For Maryland: Maryland and the Secession Crisis
Florida 168 Ref   Confederate Military History Florida
Texas 90 Ref  In The Saddle With The Texans: Day-by-Day with Parsons's Cavalry Brigade, 1862-1865
Indian Territory 89 Ref The American Indian in the Civil War, 1862-1865
California 88 Ref  California Sabers: The 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry in the Civil War
New Mexico Territory 75 Ref Civil War in the Southwest: Recollections of the Sibley Brigade
Civil War Day by Day: An Almanac Ref  The Civil War Day by Day: An Almanac, 1861-1865

Eastern Theater

Like a bolt of lightning out of a darkening sky, war burst upon the American landscape in the spring of 1861, climaxing decades of bitter wrangling and pitting two vast sections of a young and vigorous nation against each other. Northerners called it the War of the Rebellion, Southerners the War Between the States. We know it simply as the Civil War.

In the East, beginning in the spring of 1861, the cry from Union headquarters was "On to Richmond!" For the next four years a succession of Northern commanders struggled desperately to do just that -- get to Richmond. One well-designed effort in 1862 used the mammoth naval might of the Union to reach the vicinity of the Confederate capital by water routes. The other attempts stubbornly slogged across a narrow central Virginia corridor and sought to disperse tenacious Southern defenders who seemed always to be athwart the path. Confederate successes offered occasional opportunities to take the war north into Maryland and Pennsylvania and to threaten Washington. Both sides came to see the enemy army as the proper goal, and both recognized the obligation of the enemy army to defend its respective capital city against military threats. The consequence was four years of war fought to the death mostly in a relatively small strip of Virginia countryside between Washington and Richmond.

When the guns were finally silenced in the spring and early summer of 1865 and the authority of the Federal Government was once again restored, the Union had been permanently scarred. As Mark Twain put it, the war had "uprooted institutions that were centuries old ... transformed the social life of half the country, and wrought so profoundly upon the entire national character that the influence cannot be measured short of two or three generations."

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The high spirits with which North and South naively go to war after the attack on Fort Sumter first meet the test of battle on a large scale in mid-July as Union troops under Brig. General Irvin McDowell clash with Confederate soldiers under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard on the plains of Manassas, Virginia. A sweeping Confederate victory in what Southerners call the First Battle of Manassas (the North calls it Bulls Run) inspires the Federal Government to renewed effort and makes the South over-confident. For the rest of the year the contending armies remain static between Manassas and Washington, giving Union Major General George B. McClellan plenty of time to organize and train his new Army of the Potomac. A small Federal force overwhelmed and crushed at Ball's Bluff, Virginia, in October includes a friend and ally of President Abraham Lincoln, so the political repercussions of that battle outstrip its military significance. In December, Confederate cavalry leader J.E.B. Stuart fights a small affair at Dranesville, Virginia. All of the 1861 actions combined do not equal in scope a single day of the famous battles fought later in the war.

March 4 Abraham Lincoln inaugurated 16th President of the U. S.  
April 12-13 Bombardment and surrender of Fort Sumter Ref  Allegiance: Fort Sumter, Charleston, and the Beginning of the Civil War
April 15 President Lincoln calls for 75,000 volunteers  
April 17 Virginia secedes  
April 19 Confederates occupy Harpers Ferry, (now West Virginia)  Ref  A Matter of Hours: Treason at Harper's Ferry
June 10 Engagement at Big Bethel, First land battle in Virginia  
July 11 Engagement at Rich Mountain, Virginia (West Virginia)  Ref  The Battle of Rich Mountain
July 21 First battle of Manassas (Bull Run), Virginia Ref  A Single Grand Victory: The First Campaign and Battle of Manassas
July 27 George McClellan takes command Union Army of the Potomac Ref  Army Of The Potomac: McClellan Takes Command
October 21 Battle of Ball's Bluff, Virginia Ref  Balls Bluff: A Small Battle and Its Long Shadow

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1862 Eastern Theater

Joe Johnston's Confederates abandon their long-held lines around Manassas in early March and withdraw toward Richmond. McClellan's Army of the Potomac moves by water to Fort Monroe and Newport News at the tip of the Virginia peninsula and prepares to march on Richmond some 70 miles to the northwest. Confederate delaying tactics and heavy rains slow McClellan's advance and it is nearly two months before he comes within sight of the city's steeples. When a Southern offensive at Seven Pines on May 31-June 1 fails to dislodge the Federals and Johnston is wounded, Robert E. Lee assumes command of the Army of Northern Virginia and drives McClellan's troops away from the Southern capital in the Seven Days' Battles.

Victories during August by Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson at Cedar Mountain and by Lee's army at the Second Battle of Manassas push the Federals back to the outskirts of Washington. Within nine weeks, Lee has transferred the war from his own capital to the edge of his enemy's. A Confederate offensive across the Potomac is halted and turned back after battles at South Mountain and Antietam (Sharpsburg), Maryland, in mid-September. The final action of the year ends in Federal disaster when McClellan's successor, Major General Ambrose E. Burnside, throws his army against Lee's near Fredericksburg, Virginia, in a series of frontal assaults that are easily and bloodily repulsed.

March 9 USS Monitor vs CSS Virginia in Hampton Roads, Virginia First naval battle between ironclad vessels.

Mar 23-Jun 9 Stonewall's Shenandoah Valley Campaign Ref  The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862
Ref  We Are in for It!: The First Battle of Kernstown March 23, 1862
Ref  The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862
Ref  Front Royal and Warren County (Images of America: Virginia)
Ref  Shenandoah 1862 (Voices of the Civil War)
Ref  The battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic
Ref  Conquering the Valley: Stonewall Jackson at Port Republic

Apr 5-May 4 McClellan's Army of the Potomac begins Peninsula Campaign toward Richmond.

March 8-9 Hampton Roads  
April 5 - May 4 Yorktown  
May 5 Fort Magruder  
May 7 West Point  
May 15 Battle of Drewry's Bluff, Virginia  
May 27 Hanover Court House  
May 31-Jun 1 Battle of Seven Pines (Fair Oaks), Virginia   Ref  To The Gates of Richmond: The Peninsula Campaign
Jun 1 Robert E. Lee assumes command Army of Northern Virginia Ref   Lee and His Army in Confederate History (Civil War America)
June 25-July 1 Seven Days' Battles Peninsula Campaign  Ref  Seven Days Battles: Lee's Defense of Richmond
Ref  The Seven Days: The Emergence of Lee
Ref  Extraordinary Circumstances: The Seven Days Battles
Ref  Echoes of Thunder: A Guide to the Seven Days Battles
Ref  Counter-Thrust: From the Peninsula to the Antietam
Ref  The Seven Days (Voices of the Civil War)
Ref  The Seven days' battles in front of Richmond
August 9 Battle of Cedar Mountain, Virginia  Ref  Stonewall Jackson at Cedar Mountain
August 28-30 Battle of Second Manassas (Bull Run), Virginia  Ref  Return to Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle of Second Manassas
September 1 Battle of Chantilly (Ox Hill), Virginia   Ref  Tempest at Ox Hill: The Battle of Chantilly
September 12-15 Siege and capture Harpers Ferry, (WestVirginia) Ref Six Years of Hell: Harpers Ferry During the Civil War
September 14-17 Battles of South Mountain and Antietam, Maryland Ref  Antietam Battlefield, Sharpsburg, Maryland, 1862 (A Civil War Watercolor Map)
November 7 Burnside replaces McClellan Army of the Potomac Commander Ref  The life and public services of Ambrose E. Burnside,: Soldier - citizen - statesman
December 11-13 Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Ref  The Fredericksburg Campaign: Decision on the Rappahannock

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1863 Eastern Theater

The 1863 campaigns open along the Rappahannock in the final days of April as Burnside's replacement, Major General Joseph Hooker, leads the Army of the Potomac upstream to slip around Lee's left flank. Lee responds aggressively and during the first week of May wins what has been called his greatest victory. That victory is costly, because, Stonewall Jackson is mortally wounded, but it gives the Confederate the opportunity to march northward into Pennsylvania. The Army of the Potomac follows, and, now under Major General George G. Meade's direction, gives Lee a stinging defeat at Gettysburg on July 1-3.

After Lee's retreat into Virginia, both armies spend the next three months recuperating while the military frontier alternates between the river lines of the Rappahannock and Rapidan west of Fredericksburg. Both armies are also reduced in strength as troops are ordered west to bolster operations around Chattanooga. Lee's attempt to turn Meade's flank in October crests in defeat at Bristoe Station. A similar move by Meade south of the Rapidan culminates in stalemate at Mine Run at the end of November.

January 1 Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation  
January 19-23 Burnside's Mud March  Ref  Burnside (Union General Ambrose Burnside)
January 26 Hooker succeeds Burnside as commander of the Army of the Potomac Ref  Fighting Joe Hooker
April 11-May 4 Siege of Suffolk, Virginia  
April-May, Chancellorsville Campaign, Virginia Ref  Chancellorsville: The Battle and Its Aftermath (Campaigns of the Civil War)
  • April 29-May 8 Stoneman's Road
Ref  Chancellorsville
Ref  Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville: The Dare Mark Campaign
Ref  Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend
June 3-July 13 Gettysburg Campaign, Pa Ref  Stars in Their Courses : The Gettysburg Campaign, June-July 1863
Ref  Brandy Station 1863: First step towards Gettysburg
Ref  Gateway to Gettysburg: The Second Battle of Winchester
  • June 28 Meade replaces Hooker as Army of the Potomac Commander
Ref  George Gordon Meade and the War in the East (Campaigns and Commanders Series)
Ref  Gettysburg
July 13-16 New York City draft riots  Ref  The New York City Draft Riots: Their Significance for American Society and Politics
October 9-22 Bristoe Campaign, Va  
November 6 Battle of Droop Mountain, West Virginia Ref  Last Sleep: The Battle of Droop Mountain November 6, 1863
November 7 Engagement at Rappahannock Station, Virginia Ref  The Fredericksburg Campaign: Decision on the Rappahannock
November 19 Lincoln delivers his Gettysburg Address Ref  The Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech That Nobody Knows
November 26-December 2 Mine Run Campaign, Virginia Ref  Mine Run: A Campaign of Lost Opportunities October 21. 1863-May 1, 1864

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1864 Eastern Theater

The last full year of campaigning in the east begins with Federal forces east and west making a unified effort to wear down the South's will to continue fighting. Lincoln has given Ulysses S. Grant the received rank of Lieutenant General and placed him in command of all Union armies. His mission: destroy Joe Johnston's Army of Tennessee and Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.

Leaving Major General William T. Sherman to deal with Johnston, Grant concentrates on Lee. Their first encounter, the Battle of the Wilderness, opens on May 5 and for the next 40 days the armies remain locked in a deadly embrace. The course of the fighting leads through Spotsylvania Court House, across the North Anna River to Cold Harbor, and finally to Petersburg. There the opponents settle down to a siege, punctuated by Grant's relentless efforts to outflank the Confederates and seize vital transportation arteries. His attempt to capture Petersburg outright fails at the Battle of the Crater. Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Jubal Early's Confederate troops expel Union forces from the Shenandoah Valley and march to the outskirts of Washington, before being turned back at Fort Stevens. Outnumbered but defiant, they return to the Valley where, in a series of hard-fought engagements, Major General Philip Sheridan erases Early's army from the war.

Grant's Overland Campaign May-June Ref  Trench Warfare under Grant and Lee: Fortifications in the Overland Campaign
Ref  The Battle of the Wilderness May 5-6, 1864
Ref  The Battles for Spotsylvania Court House and the Road to Yellow Tavern May 7-12
Ref  In the Footsteps of Grant and Lee: The Wilderness Through Cold Harbor
Ref  Not War But Murder: Cold Harbor 1864
Ref  Glory Enough for All: Sheridan's Second Raid and the Battle of Trevilian Station
Bermuda Hundred Campaign  May-June Ref  Back Door to Richmond: The Bermuda Hundred Campaign
Ref  Daring and Suffering: A History of the Great Railroad Adventure
Lynchburg Campaign May-June Ref  Campaign and Battle of Lynchburg
Ref  Cadets at War: The True Story of Teenage Heroism at the Battle of New Market
Ref  The Last Full Measure
Ref  Yankee Town, Southern City: Race and Class Relations in Civil War Lynchburg
June 9- March 1865 Richmond Petersburg Campaign Ref  The Last Citadel: Petersburg, Virginia, June 1864-April 1865
Ref  Anybody's Hero: The Battle of Old Men and Young Boys
Ref  The Final Battles of the Petersburg Campaign: Breaking the Backbone of the Rebellion
Ref  A Melancholy Affair at the Weldon Railroad: The Vermont Brigade
Ref  The 48th Pennsylvania in the Battle of the Crater: A Regiment of Coal Miners
Ref  Yellow Tavern and Beyond, from Family Letters and Journals
Ref  Destruction of Weldon Railroad Deep Bottom Globe Tavern and Reams Station 1864
Ref  Petersburg (Sieges That Changed the World)
Ref  Speech of Maj.-Gen. Benj. F. Butler, upon the campaign before Richmond, 1864
Ref  Wade Hampton: Confederate Warrior to Southern Redeemer
June 23-July 25 Early's Washington Raid Ref  A Memoir of the Last Year of the War for Independence in the CSA
Ref  Fighting for Time: The Battle of Monocacy
Ref  Season of Fire: The Confederate Strike on Washington
Ref  Desperate Engagement: How a Little-Known Civil War Battle Saved Washington, D.C.
August 7-October 19 Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley, Campaign Ref  The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864
Ref  Shenandoah Summer: The 1864 Valley Campaign
Ref  Lee's Endangered Left: The Civil War in Western Virginia Spring of 1864
Ref   From Winchester to Cedar Creek: The Shenandoah Campaign of 1864
Ref   Sabres in the Shenandoah: The 21st New York Cavalry, 1863-1866
Ref  The Guns of Cedar Creek
November 8 Lincoln reelected President of the United States Ref  How We Elected Lincoln: Recollections of Lincoln And Men of His Time

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1865 Eastern Theater

The year opens with both armies largely inactive and still entrenched around Petersburg. With each passing week, the hopelessness of Lee's cause becomes more apparent. Early in February, Grant sends his cavalry and infantry south and west of Petersburg in an attempt to sever the only remaining supply lines into the city and to force Lee to extend his already strained defensive positions. Confederate attempts to halt the movement are checkmated at Hatcher's Run. As March begins, Lee realizes that he cannot hold the Petersburg-Richmond lines much longer. On the 25th he makes a desperate attempt to extricate his army by attacking Federal Fort Stedman east of Petersburg. The attempt fails and Lee tells President Davis: "I fear now it will be impossible to prevent a junction between Grant and Sherman...." Shortly thereafter, the Federals achieve the inevitable and break the thin Confederate defenses at Five Forks, southwest of Petersburg. Lee evacuates the city and Richmond falls. his forlorn retreat lasts one week until Grant cuts off the remnant of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House. Lee's surrender on April 9 signals the early end of the Confederacy.

Richmond Petersburg Campaign continued Ref  The Final Battles of the Petersburg Campaign: Breaking the Backbone of the Rebellion
Ref  Petersburg: Out of the Trenches
Ref  Historic Photos of the Siege of Petersburg
Appomattox Campaign March-April Ref  A Stillness at Appomattox
Ref  The Cavalry at Appomattox: Study of Mounted Operations During the Climactic Campaign
Ref  Confederate Courage on Other Fields
Ref  Five Forks: Waterloo of the Confederacy
Ref  Civil War Petersburg: Confederate City in the Crucible of War
Ref  Lee's Last Stand: Sailor's Creek, Virginia, 1865
Ref  Lee's Cavalrymen: History of the Mounted Forces of the Army of Northern Virginia
Ref  Battles of Appomattox Station and Appomattox Court House
Ref   April 1865: The Month That Saved America
  Ref  The Darkest Dawn: Lincoln, Booth, And the Great American Tragedy
April 14 Lincoln shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater, Washington, D.C. Ref  Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
  Ref  American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies

Western Theater

Decision in the Heartland
The Civil War in the West

The western campaigns cost the Confederacy vast territories, the manufacturing of Nashville, the financial center of New Orleans, communication hub Corinth, Chattanooga, and Atlanta, along with the breadbasket of the Confederacy.

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When the Civil War began, the Confederacy possessed fewer military resources and pursued principally a defensive posture while the Union took a more aggressive role. Northern strategy was directed at keeping the Border States of Kentucky and Missouri (along with Delaware and Maryland in the East) within the Union; starving the South by blockading her coastline from Virginia to Texas; regaining control of the Mississippi; and dividing and subdividing the Confederacy.

The Border States were secured by the spring of 1862 and a string of Union victories--Forts Henry and Donelson, Pea Ridge, Shiloh, Island No. 10, and New Orleans--caused many to believe that the Confederacy was finished. The North's blockade of Southern ports to deny the Confederates access to much-needed foreign war material and manufactured goods and to keep them from exporting cotton was slow to take effect. But each year the blockade continued to tighten and more and more Confederate ports fell to Union forces. Union amphibious operations to regain control of the Mississippi River began in 1862 and, although initially thwarted, eventually culminated in Grant's successful Vicksburg Campaign of 1863 and the subsequent fall of Port Hudson. This not only closed down the South's most important commercial waterway; it also severed the Confederacy on a north/south axis.

By 1864, with the development of a unified command system, Northern strategy focused on cutting the Confederacy along an east/west axis in order to destroy its food supply and its war-making industrial capacity in the deep South. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign and his subsequent March to the Sea achieved the desired results by the end of the year. By early 1865, with Sherman's troops pushing northward into the Carolinas, it was clear that the days of the Confederacy were numbered.

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1861 Western Theater

Confederate strategy in the early months is mainly defensive in the face of Federal efforts to retain control of the slave-holding Border States of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri; to tighten a blockade of the Southern coastline; and to regain control of the Mississippi River from Cairo, Illinois, to the Gulf of Mexico. In Missouri, in a lightning-like campaign, Brig. General Nathaniel Lyon crowds the Missouri State Guard into the southwestern part of the State before being killed and his army defeated at Wilson's Creek in August. The Missouri State Guard moves on the besiege and capture Lexington, but retires into southwest Missouri when threatened by Federal columns converging from the east and west. A union army is defeated at Belmont, Mo., early in November--the first test of battle for a rising young brigadier general named Ulysses S. Grant. Along the Southern coasts, Federals cling to several forts and employ their power afloat to seize and establish additional fortified enclaves at Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina, Port Royal Sound, South Carolina, and Ship Island, Mississippi. These enclaves not only provide bases for blockading squadrons but serve as spring boards for future amphibious operations.

Operations to Control Missouri Ref  Civil War on the Missouri-Kansas Border
Ref  The Civil War's First Blood: Missouri, 1854-1861
Ref  Battle of Carthage: Border War in southwest Missouri
Ref  Wilson's Creek: The Second Battle of the Civil War and the Men Who Fought It
Ref  The Civil War in Missouri, Day by Day, 1861 to 1865
Ref  Inside War: The Guerrilla Conflict in Missouri During the Civil War
Kentucky Confederate Offensive Ref  John Hunt Morgan and His Raiders
Ref  Morgan Is Coming!: Confederate Raiders in the Heartland of Kentucky
Ref  Basil Wilson Duke, CSA: The Right Man in the Right Place
August 27-29 Battle of Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina Ref  Portrait of the Past : The Civil War on Hatteras Island North Carolina
November 7 Battle of Belmont, Missouri  
November 7 Battle of Port Royal Sound, South Carolina Ref  Rehearsal for Reconstruction: The Port Royal Experiment
November 19 Round Mountain Oklahoma  
December 9 Engagement at Chusto-Talasah, Indian Territory Ref  The American Civil War in Indian Territory
December 26 Engagement at Chustenahlah, Indian Territory Ref  General Stand Watie's Confederate Indians

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1862 Western Theater

From January through June, Union forces thrust deep into the South, forcing Confederates to abandon southern Kentucky, much of Middle and West Tennessee, and southwest Missouri following defeats at Mill Springs, Kentucky, Forts Henry and Donelson, Tennessee, and Pea Ridge, Arkansas. Early in April, Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston's army assails Federal troops under Grant at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, But Johnston is killed and his army beaten in the two-day battle of Shiloh. In Mississippi in June, Union amphibious forces converge on but fail to capture the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg.

July brings a dramatic change in the tide of war as Confederate armies invade Union territory from the trans-Mississippi to the Atlantic seaboard. By early October, however, the offensives are halted, and during the last two months of the year Federal forces are again pressing ahead. In Middle Tennessee on December 31 Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans' Union army confronts Gen. Braxton Bragg's Confederate army at Stones River in a battle that lasts into the new year. In north Mississippi, Grant's attempts to take Vicksburg are thwarted by slashing Confederate cavalry raids on his supply lines. The blockade tightens as Union forces capture Roanoke Island and Fort Macon on the North Carolina sounds and bombard Fort Pulaski, Georgia, into surrender.

January 19 Battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky Ref  War in Kentucky: From Shiloh to Perryville
February 6-16 Forts Henry & Donelson Campaign, Tennessee Ref  An Analysis of the Fort Henry-Fort Donelson Campaign
Ref  Forts Henry and Donelson: The Key to the Confederate Heartland
Ref  Men of Fire: Grant, Forrest, and the Campaign That Decided the Civil War
February 8 Battle of Roanoke Island, North Carolina  
February 21 Engagement at Valverde, New Mexico Territory   Ref  The Civil War in the Western Territories: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah
March 6-8 Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas   Ref  Pea Ridge: Civil War Campaign in the West
March 26-28 Battle of Glorieta Pass, New Mexico Territory Ref  The Battle of Glorieta Pass: A Gettysburg in the West
April 6-7 Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee Ref  Shiloh: The Battle That Changed The Civil War
April 7 Capture of Island No. 10, Tennessee  
April 10-11 Bombardment and capture of Fort Pulaski, Georgia  Ref  Sumter Is Avenged!: The Siege and Reduction of Fort Pulaski
April 29-May 30 Siege of Corinth, Mississippi   Ref  The Darkest Days of the War: The Battles of Iuka & Corinth
April-August Farragut's Mississippi River Operations Ref  American Civil War Fortifications The Mississippi and River Forts
Ref  The Battle of Baton Rouge: 1862
June 6 Battle of Memphis, Tennessee  
August 29-30 Battle of Richmond, Kentucky  
September 19 Battle of Iuka, Mississippi Ref  The Darkest Days of the War: The Battles of Iuka and Corinth
September 14-17 Siege of Munfordville, Kentucky  
October 3-4 Battle of Corinth, Mississippi Ref  Ninety-Eight Days: A Geographer's View of the Vicksburg Campaign
October 8 Battle of Perryville, Kentucky  Ref  Perryville: This Grand Havoc of Battle
October 16-December 20 Grant's First Vicksburg Campaign, Mississippi  Ref  The Beleaguered City : The Vicksburg Campaign
  • December 11-January 1 Forrest's West Tennessee Raid
  • December 17-28 Van Dorn's Holly Springs Raid
Ref  Van Dorn: The Life and Times of a Confederate General
December 7 Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas Ref  Wilson's Creek, Pea Ridge, and Prairie Grove: A Battlefield Guide
December 27-29 Battle of Chickasaw Bayou, Mississippi Ref  Vicksburg: 47 Days of Siege
December 31 Battle of Stones River, Tennessee begins. Ref  No Better Place to Die: The Battle of Stones River

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1863 Western Theater

Grant's efforts to capture Vicksburg are finally rewarded on July 4 when, after one of the great campaigns of military history and a 47-day siege, the Confederacy's mighty bastion succumbs to Union arms. Five days later Port Hudson surrenders and Lincoln proclaims "The father of Waters again goes unvexed to the sea." The South is cut in half along the Mississippi. Meanwhile, Rosecrans' brilliant Tullahoma Campaign forces Bragg to abandon most of Tennessee and concentrate around Chattanooga. In September Rosecrans occupies Chattanooga and pursues Bragg into Georgia,where, at Chickamauga Creek, the Confederates turn on the Northerners and drive them back.

To relieve the beleaguered Federal troops, the Union Government rushes reinforcement to Chattanooga, names Grant to command in the west, and replaces Rosecrans with Maj. Gen. george H. Thomas. In several battles around Chattanooga between October and November, Grant's armies defeat Bragg's troops, forcing them to retreat to Dalton, Georgia, where Bragg is succeeded in command be Gen, Joseph E. Johnson. The two-week siege of Union-occupied Knoxville by Lt. Gen. James Longstreet's Confederate troops ends December 3 with the approach of a relief column led by General Sherman. Charleston, under attack much of the year, enters the third winter of the war battered but unconquered.

January 1-2 Battle of Stones River, Tennessee, continued.

January 1 Battle of Galveston, Texas  Ref  Battle on the Bay: The Civil War Struggle for Galveston
January 9-11 Battle of Arkansas Post, Arkansas  

March 29-July 4 Grant's Second Vicksburg Campaign, Mississippi  Ref  The Campaign That Opened the Mississippi
April 11-May 3 Streight's Raid, Tennessee-Alabama Ref   Lightning Mule Brigade: Streight's Raid into Alabama
April 16-22 Union fleet passes Vicksburg river batteries  
April 17-May 2 Grierson's Raid, Tenn.-Miss.-La. Ref  Grierson's Raid: A Cavalry Adventure of the Civil War
Ref   Champion Hill: Decisive Battle for Vicksburg
Ref  Vicksburg, city under siege: William Foster's letter

April - September- Operations against Defenses of Charleston, South Carolina
Ref   Secessionville: Assault on Charleston

May 21-July 9 Siege and surrender of Port Hudson, Louisiana

June 23-July 4 Tullahoma Campaign, Tennessee

July 2-26 Morgan's Raid, Ky.-Ind.-Ohio Ref  The Longest Raid of the Civil War

July 10-16 Siege of Jackson, Mississippi

July 17 Battle of Honey Springs (Elk Creek), Indian Territory

August-September Chickamauga Campaign, Georgia Ref  Six Armies in Tennessee: The Chickamauga and Chattanooga Campaigns
Ref  Chickamauga 1863: The River of Death

September 8 Battle of Sabine Pass, Texas  Ref  Sabine Pass: The Confederacy's Thermopylae
October-November Chattanooga Campaign, Tennessee Ref  The Fight for Chattanooga: Chickamauga to Missionary Ridge
Ref  Storming the Heights: A Guide to the Battle of Chattanooga

November-December Knoxville Campaign, Tennessee
  • November 17-December 4 Siege of Knoxville

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1864 Western Theater

Ulysses S. Grant, promoted to lieutenant general and transferred East to command all Union armies, calls for a war of attrition against the Confederacy's two principal armies: Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and Joseph E. Johnston's Army of Tennessee. Early in May, with Atlanta as his objective, Sherman, Grant's successor in the West, attacks Johnston at Rocky Face Ridge west of Dalton. For the next eight weeks the two armies grapple their way south into central Georgia. On July 17, With Sherman's armies approaching Atlanta, Confederate President Jefferson Davis fires Johnston and replaces him with Gen. John B. Hood. Hood Abandons Johnston's defensive strategy and boldly sends his troops to attack Sherman in a series of costly battles that only serve to underscore the futility of such tactics.

On September 1, after a long siege by Sherman's soldiers, Atlanta is evacuated and Hood withdraws, regroups, and advances into Tennessee. Within three months his Army of Tennessee is virtually destroyed in battles at Spring Hill, Franklin, and Nashville. Meanwhile, in mid-November, Sherman burns Atlanta and begins his famous "March to the Sea." Elsewhere, the blockade continues to tighten as Union amphibious forces seize the forts guarding the entrance to Mobile Bay and Admiral Farragut's ocean-going squadron crushes a Confederate fleet.

February 3-March 4 Meridian Expedition, Mississippi

February 20 Battle of Olustee (Ocean Pond), Florida  Ref Confederate Florida: The Road to Olustee
March 12-May 20 Red River, Camden Campaigns, La.-Ark. Ref  The Texas Overland Expedition
  • March 23-May 3 Camden Expedition, Arkansas
Ref  Walker's Texas Division, C.S.A: Greyhounds of the Trans-mississippi
Ref  Black Flag! Black Flag!: The Battle at Fort Pillow
May 7-September 2 Sherman's Atlanta Campaign Ref  Decision in the West: The Atlanta Campaign of 1864
Ref  The Battle of Resaca: Atlanta Campaign
Ref  Sherman's 1864 Trail of Battle to Atlanta
Ref  Guide to the Atlanta Campaign: Rocky Face Ridge to Kennesaw Mountain
Ref  The Battle of Peachtree Creek: An Audio Driving Tour
Ref  Atlanta 1864: Last Chance for the Confederacy
  • September 2 Union troops occupy Atlanta
Ref  Breaking the Confederacy: The Georgia and Tennessee Campaigns of 1864

June 10 Battle of Brice's Cross Roads, Mississippi

July 14 Battle of Tupelo, Mississippi Ref  The Struggle for Tennessee: Tupelo to Stones River
August 5 Battle of Mobile Bay, Alabama Ref  Mobile Bay and the Mobile Campaign: The Last Great Battles of the Civil War
August 29-December 25 Price's Raid, Ark.-Mo.-Kan.-Indian Terr.-Tex Ref  The American Indian in the Civil War, 1862-1865
November 15-December 21 Sherman's March to the Sea  
Ref   Fields of Gray: Battle of Griswoldville
Ref  Best Men the South Could Boast, The Fall of Fort McAllister
  • December 21 Savannah, Georgia, occupied

November 29-December 27 Hood's Tennessee Campaign  
Ref  Five Tragic Hours: The Battle of Franklin
November 29-30 San Creek Masacre Colorado Ref  Sand Creek Massacre

Click to enlarge

1865 Western Theater

The year begins with Union forces capturing Fort Fisher guarding the approaches to the Cape Fear River and Wilmington, North Carolina. Wilmington is occupied February 22, the same day that Joseph E. Johnston is restored to the command of what is left of the Army of Tennessee and given the impossible task of stopping Sherman's armies then sweeping northward through South Carolina. Sherman's troops occupy Columbia on February 17 and compel the evacuation of Charleston that evening. Entering North Carolina, Sherman defeats Johnston at Averasboro and at Bentonville.

At Goldsboro, Sherman is joined by Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield's force, fresh from victory at Kinston. The outnumbered Johnston surrenders his troops to Sherman on April 26, at durham Station. Meanwhile in Alabama, Mobile falls to Federal forces while Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson's Union cavalry corps sweeps through Selma and Montgomery and on to Columbus and Macon, Georgia. Near Irwinville, Georgia, on May 10, his troopers capture Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who had fled Richmond when that city was evacuated on April 2. From Jonesboro, Tennessee, Maj. Gen. George Stoneman and his 4,000 cavalrymen raid eastward across the Appalachians into southwest Virginia and North Carolina's Piedmont region. By June 23, the last Confederate army is surrendered and the long war is finally over.

January 13-14 Attack and capture of Fort Fisher, North Carolina Ref  Hurricane of Fire: The Union Assault on Fort Fisher

January 14-April 26 Sherman's Carolinas Campaign Ref  The March to the Sea and Beyond: The Savannah and Carolinas Campaigns
Ref  On Sherman's Trail: The Civil War's North Carolina Climax
Ref  Sherman's Carolinas Campaign from Fayetteville to Averasboro
Ref  The Battle Of Bentonville: Last Stand In The Carolinas
  • April 13 Raleigh, North Carolina occupied
Ref  Sherman's March Through the Carolinas
  • April 26 Surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston's Confederate forces near Durham Station, North Carolina

February 22 Capture of Wilmington, North Carolina Ref The Wilmington Campaign: Last Departing Rays of Hope
March 22-April 22 Wilson's Alabama and Georgia Raid Ref Yankee Blitzkrieg: Wilson's Raid Through Alabama and Georgia
March 23-April 23 Stoneman's North Carolina and Virginia Raid Ref  The Mobile Campaign: Last Battles of the Civil War

March 25-April 12 Mobile Campaign, Alabama  
  • April 12 Surrender of Mobile

April 2 Battle of Selma, Alabama

April 9 General Robert E. Lee Surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant

May 4 Surrender of Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor's Confederate forces at Citronelle, Alabama

May 12-13 Battle of Palmito Ranch, Texas Last Civil War land engagement.

May 26 Surrender of Lt. Gen. E. Kirby Smith's Confederate forces at New Orleans, Louisiana

June 23 Surrender of Brig. Gen. Stand Watie's Confederate Indian forces at Doaksville, Indian Territory.

Civil War soldier toys 102 pieces
Civil War Soldier 102 Piece Playset
  • 25 Union and 25 Confederate Soldier Figures, 18 Horses, 10 Cannon
  • 2 Covered Wagons, 2 Tents, 2 Canoes, 2 Flags, 16 Fences
  • Size: Figures Stand up to 2-1/8 inches tall
  • Scale: 1/32nd, Wagons and Horses slightly smaller
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Civil War Replica Musket
Civil War Musket
Wood & Steel Frontier Rifle Designed After The Original Rifle,
This Civil War Musket replica has been designed after the original rifle of its era. Measures approximately 37 inches long. Each is constructed with a solid one-piece wood stock, painted steel barrel and die-cast parts.

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

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