Major Battles of the Civil War
These are some of the most important battles of the Civil War. Included in the definitions are dates of the battles, where they were, who won, the importance of them, and important people involved in them.
Terms in this set (17)
April 12, 1861: The Confederate attack on this federal fort in Charleston, South Carolina marked the start of the Civil War.The fort was led by Robert Anderson.
Battle of First Bull Run
July 12, 1861: This was the first real battle of the Civil War. It took place near Manassas Junction; Virginia and Beauregard and Stonewall Jackson literally sent the Union soldiers under McDowell running back to DC.
Battle of the Iron Clads
March 9, 1862: This battle, taking place off the coast of Virginia, ended in a draw after the Union Monitor made the Virginia/Merrimack retreat because of low ammo. This battle proved that wooden ships were now obsolete.
Fort Henry and Fort Donelson
February, 1862: When Ulysses Grant captured these forts on the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, it opened up a river highway into the heart of the South.
Battle of Shiloh
April 6-7, 1862: This battle, also called "The Hornet's Nest", was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. It took place near Shiloh in Tennessee, and Grant and Sherman manages to defeat Johnston, Beauregard, and the Confederate troops. Grant and others realize that this will be a long war.
Fall of New Orleans
April 25, 1862: David Farragut won a major Union victory in New Orleans, Louisiana, which gave the Union control of the most important city in the South and essentially cut the South in two.
Battle of Memphis
April, 1862: This battle in Memphis, Tennessee gave the Union control of the upper Mississippi.
Seven Days' Battle
June 25-July 1, 1862: This attempt by McClellan to take Richmond failed when Lee and Jackson stop the Union troops. McClellan was fired while Lee took over the Confederate army.
Battle of Second Bull Run
August 29-30, 1862: Pope also fails to take Richmond when McClellan and his reinforcements don't arrive at Manassas in time to help him defeat Lee. Lincoln re-hired McClellan.
Battle of Antietam
September 17, 1862: This Union victory, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, was the bloodiest battle in the Civil War and American history. When McClellan once again failed to pursue and finish off Lee and Jackson's army, he was fired for the second and final time.
Battle of Fredericksburg
December 11-15, 1862: Burnsides failed to take Richmond, creating the most one-sided battle of the war (Union losses to Confederate losses).
Battle of Chancellorsville
April 30-May 6, 1863: "Fighting" Joseph Hooker lost against Lee's troops. This was the fifth failed attempt to take Richmond. Jackson was accidentally killed by his own men.
Battle of Gettysburg
July 1-3, 1863: This Pennsylvanian battle was a turning point of the war. After this, the South won't win any more major battles and the Europeans definately won't come to help the Confederacy. George Meade led the Union army while Lee and Longstreet were Confederate officers. George Pickett led his men into slaughter on the third day in what is known as Pickett's Charge.
Siege of Vicksburg
May-July, 1863: This long siege by Grant on Vicksburg, Mississippi gave the Union complete control over the Mississippi River. Grant becomes the general-in-chief of the Union army.
May-December, 1864: William Tecumseh Sherman marched through Tennessee, Georgia, and the Carolinas. He captured Savannah in December and presented it to Lincoln as a "christmas present". He practiced total war: ripping up railroad lines, destroying factories, and burning buildings and crops.
Grant's Virginia Campaign
May-June, 1864: Grant finally did was was needed to win the war: pursue Confederate troops. The Battle of the Wilderness was a Union victory, while the Battles of Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor were Confederate victories. Grant held a siege of Petersburg (just south of Richmond) for 10 months before Lee abandoned the city.
Surrender at Appomattox Court House
April 9, 1865: Although this was not really a battle, Appomattox Court House is the town where Lee surrendered. The surrender, signed in Wilmer McLean's parlor, offered generous terms to the South. The war was three days short of being four years long.