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Civil War Battles

Major battles from the American Civil War

Civil War Battles Facts

Dates

1861-1865

Theaters

Easter Theater
Western Theater
Trans-Mississippi
Gulf Coast
Sioux Uprising

Civil War Battles Articles

Explore articles from the History Net archives about Civil War Battles

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Civil War Battles summary: The Civil War consisted of nearly 10,500 battles, engagements, and other military actions including nearly 50 major battles and about 100 others that had major significance. The remainder were skirmishes, reconnaissances, naval engagements, sieges, bombardments, etc. The engagements were fought in 23 different states and resulted in a total of over 650,000 casualties.

The battles are divided amongst designated theaters including the Easter Theater, Western Theater, Trans-Mississippi Theater, Gulf Coast and Sioux Uprising.

Below is a chronological list of the more famous and important Civil War battles.

Civil War Battles: 1861

Eastern Theater
April 12

Battle of Fort Sumter

Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.

The bombardment/siege and ultimate surrender of Fort Sumter by Brig. General P.G.T. Beauregard was the official start of the Civil War. Learn more about the Battle Of Fort Sumter
June 3

Battle of Philippi

(West) Virginia

A skirmish involving over 3,000 soldiers, Philippi was the first battle of the American Civil War. Learn more about the Battle Of Philippi
June 10

Big Bethel

Virginia

The skirmish of Big Bethel was the first land battle of the civil war and was a portent of the carnage that was to come. Learn more about Big Bethel
July 11
Rich Mountain (West) Virginia

 
July 21

First Battle of Bull Run

Manassas, Virginia

Also known as First Manassas, the first major engagement of the American Civil War was a shocking rout of Union soldiers by confederates at Manassas Junction, VA. Learn more about the Battle Of Bull Run
August 28–29
Hatteras Inlet North Carolina

 
September 10
Carnifax Ferry, (West) Virginia

 
September 12–15
Cheat Mountain, (West) Virginia

 
October 3
Greenbrier River (West) Virginia

 
October 21
Ball’s Bluff, Virginia

 
October 9

Battle of Santa Rosa Island

Santa Rosa Island (Florida)

The Battle of Santa Rosa Island was a failed attempt by Confederate forces to take the Union-held Fort Pickens Learn more about the Battle of Santa Rosa Island
November 7–8

Battle of Port Royal Sound

Port Royal Sound, South Carolina

The battle of Port Royal was one of the earliest amphibious operations of the American Civil War. Learn more about the Battle Of Port Royal
December 13
Camp Alleghany, (West) Virginia

 
December 20
Dranesville, Virginia   

 
Western Theater
September 19
Barbourville, Kentucky

 
October 21
Wildcat Mountain (Wildcat Camp), Kentucky

 
December 17
Rowlett’s Station, Kentucky

 
Trans-Mississippi
June 17
Booneville, Missouri

 
August 10

Battle of Wilson’s Creek

Wilson’s Creek/Oak Hills, Missouri

The Battle of Wilson’s Creek, aka Battle of Oak Hills, was the first major battle of the Western Theater and is often called the "Bull Run of the West." Learn more about the Battle of Wilson’s Creek
September 13–20
Siege of Lexington, Missouri

 
October 25
Springfield, Missouri

 
November 7

Battle of Belmont

Belmont, Missouri

General Ulysses S. Grant took command and began his Civil War career. Learn more about the Battle of Belmont
November 19
Round Mountain, Indian Territory

 
December 9
Chusto–Talasah, Indian Territory

 
December 26
Chustenahlah, Indian Territory

 
December 28
Mount Zion Church, Missouri 

 

Civil War Battles: 1862

Eastern Theater
February 8
Roanoke Island, North Carolina

 
March 8–9

Battle Of Hampton Roads

Hampton Roads, Virginia

First battle between the ironclad warships; often called the battle between the Monitor & the Merrimack, the Merrimack had already been renamed Virginia when it was converted to an ironclad by the Confederacy. Learn more about the Battle Of Hampton Roads
March 14
New Berne, North Carolina

 
March 23
Kernstown, Virginia

 
March 23–April 26
Siege of Fort Macon, North Carolina

 
April 5–May 4
Siege of Yorktown, Virginia

 
April 10–11
Fort Pulaski, Georgia

 
May 5
Williamsburg, Virginia

 
May 7
Eltham’s Landing, Virginia

 
May 8
McDowell, Virginia

 
May 15
Drewry’s Bluff, Virginia

 
May 23
Front Royal, Virginia

 
May 25

Battle Of Winchester

Winchester, Virginia

The town of Winchester, Virginia’s strategic location makes it the site of numerous Civil War engagements Learn more about the Battle of Winchester
May 27
Hanover Courthouse, Virginia

 
May 31–June 1
Seven Pines, Virginia

 
June 5
Tranter’s Creek, North Carolina

 
June 8
Cross Keys, Virginia

 
June 9
Port Republic, Virginia

 
June 16
Secessionville, South Carolina

 
June 21
Simmon’s Bluff, South Carolina

 
June 25
Oak Grove, Virginia

 
June 26
Beaver Dam Creek, Virginia*

 
June 27
Gaines Mill, Virginia*

 
June 27–28
Garnett’s Farm and Golding’s Farm, Virginia*

 
June 29
Savage Station and Allen’s Farm, Virginia*

 
June 30
White Oak Swamp, Virginia*

 
June 30
Glendale, Virginia*

 
July 1
Malvern Hill, Virginia*

 
June 25-July 1

*The Seven Days Battle

(Collectively known as) Henrico County, Virginia

The Seven Days Battle was a series of battles in the Peninsula Campaign consisting of a Confederate counter-offensive which drove the Union Army away from the Confederate capitol of Richmond down the Virginia Peninsula. The list of individual battles appears above, beginning with Beaver Dam Creek and ending with Malvern Hill. Learn more about the Seven Days Battle
August 9
Cedar Mountain, Virginia

 
August 22–25
Rappahannock Station, Virginia

 
August 25–27
Manassas, Virginia (Prelude to Second Bull Run/Manassas)

 
August 28
Thoroughfare Gap, Virginia

 
August 28–30

Second Battle of Bull Run

Manassas, Virginia

The Second Battle of Bull Run, also called Second Manassas, resulted in a second defeat for Union troops in the area of First Bull Run (First Manassas), though it was not a complete rout like the first battle was. The Confederate victory set the stage for Robert E. Lee’s first invasion of the North, which would result in the Battle of Antietam. Learn more about the Second Battle of Bull Run
September 1

Battle of Ox Hill

Chantilly, Virginia

The Battle of Ox Hill, aka Battle of Chantilly, was the final battle of the Northern Virginia Campaign Learn more about the Battle of Ox Hill
September 12–15
Harpers Ferry, (West) Virginia

 
September 14

Battle of South Mountain

Frederick County and Washington County, Maryland

The Battle of South Mountain, aka the Battle of Boonsborough Gap, was part of the Maryland Campaign and found Robert E. Lee delaying George Mcclellan’s army of Northern Virginia through three mountain passes. Learn more about the Battle of South Mountain
September 17

Battle of Antietam

Sharpsburg, Maryland

The bloodiest single day in American history, the Battle of Antietam turned back Robert E. Lee’s first Northern invasion. Though tactically a draw, it was enough of a win to permit President Abraham Lincoln to announce his Emancipation Proclamation in its wake. When Lee’s adversary, Major General George B. McClellan failed to pursue following the battle, Lincoln removed him from command. Learn more about the Battle of Antietam
September 19-20

Battle of Shepherdstown

Shepherdstown, (West) Virginia

The Battle of Shepherdstown, aka Battle of Boteler’s Ford, was the final battle of the Maryland Campaign. Learn more about the Battle of Shepherdstown
December 11–15

Battle of Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg, Virginia

More troops were present at the Battle of Fredericksburg than at any other battle of the American Civil War, including Gettysburg. Poor coordination of attacks by Union commanders, combined with strong Confederate defensive positions, resulted in a lopsided slaughter of Federal troops. Learn more about the Battle of Fredericksburg
December 14
Kinston, North Carolina

 
December 16
White Hall, North Carolina

 
December 17
Goldsborough Bridge, North Carolina

 
Western Theater
January 19
Mill Springs, Kentucky

 
February 6

Battle of Fort Henry

Fort Henry, Tennessee

The Battle of Fort Henry was the first major victory for the Union in the Western Theater, led by Brig. General Ulysess S. Grant Learn more about the Battle of Fort Henry
February 11–16, Siege of

Battle of Fort Donelson

Fort Donelson, Tennessee

The Battle of Fort Donelson saw Union General Ulysses S. Grant capture the fort, gaining him recognition as well as the nickname "Undonditional Surrender." Learn more about the Battle of Fort Donelson
March 3–April 8
Siege of New Madrid and Island No. 10, Missouri (Mississippi River)

 
April 6–7

Battle of Shiloh

Shiloh, Tennessee

The casualty totals of the Battle of Shiloh shocked Americans both North and South, with the two-day total exceeding that of all previous American wars combined. The battle turned back a Confederate attempt to re-capture Middle Tennessee and contributed to Union Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s reputation as a leader who would keep fighting even in adverse circumstances. Learn more about the Battle of Shiloh
May 25–30

Siege of Corinth

Corinth, Mississippi

Henry Halleck took Corinth after a month-long siege. Learn more about the Siege of Corinth
June 28

Battle of Vicksburg

Vicksburg, Mississippi

"The Confederate Gibraltar," Vicksburg, Mississippi, had to be captured before Union ships could safely traverse the entire length of the Mississippi. The Vicksburg Campaign lasted many months, leading to the Battle of Vicksburg in May 1863. After Federal assaults repulsed on May 19 and 22, the Union commander, Ulysses S. Grant, settled into siege warfare. Learn more about the Battle of Vicksburg
August 29

Battle of Richmond

Richmond, Kentucky

The Battle of Richmond was the first major battle of the Kentucky Campaign and a stunning victory for Confederate forces. Learn more about the Battle of Richmond
September 14–17
Siege of Munfordville, Kentucky

 
September 19
Iuka, Mississippi

 
October 3–4

Battle of Corinth

Corinth, Mississippi

Two months after the Siege of Corinth, Maj. General William S. Rosecrans defeated the Confederate Army. Learn more about the Battle of Corinth
October 5
Hatchie’s Bridge, Tennessee

 
October 8

Battle of Perryville

Perryville, Kentucky.

Account of the 21st Wisconsin Infantry Regiment’s harrowing fight. Learn more about the Battle of Perryville
December 19
Jackson, Tennessee

 
December 26–29
Chickasaw Bayou, Mississippi

 
December 31
Parker’s Crossroads, Tennessee

 
December 31–January 2

Battle of Stones River

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

The culmination of the Stones River Campaign, the battle of Stones River resulted in a 29% casualty rate, the same percentage as Chickamauga and behind only Gettysburg’s 31%. Learn more about the Battle of Stones River
Trans-Mississippi
February 20–21
Valverde, New Mexico

 
March 8

Battle of Pea Ridge

Pea Ridge, Arkansas

The Battle of Pea Ridge, also called the Battle of Elkhorn Tavern, in Arkansas, marked a failed attempt by Confederate major general Earl Van Dorn to destroy the Union Army of the Southwest under Brigadier General Samuel Curtis. The victory solidified Union control over the state of Missouri for the next two years. Learn more about the Battle of Pea Ridge
March 26–28
Glorietta Pass, New Mexico

 
June 17
Saint Charles, Arkansas

 
July 7
Hill’s Plantation, Arkansas

 
August 6–9
Kirksville, Missouri

 
August 11
Independence, Missouri

 
August 15–16
Lone Jack, Missouri

 
September 24–25
Sabine Pass, Texas

 
September 30
Newtonia, Missouri

 
October 4
Galveston, Texas

 
October 22
Old Fort Wayne, Indian Territory

 
November 7
Clark’s Mill, Missouri

 
November 28
Cane Hill, Arkansas

 
December 7
Prairie Grove, Arkansas

 
Gulf Coast
April 16–28
Forts Jackson and Saint Phillip, Louisiana

 
August 9
Donaldsonville, Louisiana

 
August 5
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

 
October 1–3
St. Johns Bluff, Florida

 
October 27
Georgia Landing, Louisiana

 
November 28
Kock’s Plantation, Louisiana

 
Sioux Uprising
August 20–22
Fort Ridgely, Minnesota

 
September 23
Wood Lake, Minnesota

 

Civil War Battles: 1863

Eastern Theater
March 3
Fort McAllister, Georgia

 
March 13–15
Fort Anderson, North Carolina

 
March 17
Kelly’s Ford, Virginia

 
March 30–15
Siege of Washington, North Carolina

 
April 7
Charleston Harbor, South Carolina

 
April 13–15
Suffolk, Virginia

 
April 30–May 6

Battle of Chancellorsville

Chancellorsville, Virginia

The Battle of Chancellorsville is widely regarded as General Robert E. Lee’s greatest victory. It turned back the Union Army of the Potomac under Joseph "Fighting Joe" Hooker, but it was a costly victory. Lee’s brilliant and aggressive corps commander Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson was mortally wounded by his own men, who mistook him and his staff for Union cavalry. Learn more about the Battle of Chancellorsville
May 3
Second Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia

 
May 3–4
Salem Church, Virginia

 
June 9
Brandy Station, Virginia

 
June 13-15

Second Battle Of Winchester

Winchester, Virginia

The town of Winchester, Virginia, is the site of another battle. Learn more about the Second Battle of Winchester
June 30

Battle of Hanover

Hanover, Pennsylvania

The Battle of Hanover was part of Robert E. Lee’s Gettysburg Campaign. Learn more about the Battle of Hanover
July 1–3

Battle of Gettysburg

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

The largest battle ever fought on the North American continent, Gettysburg marked the end of Robert E. Lee’s second invasion of the North and was a turning point in the Civil War. Learn more about the Battle of Gettysburg
July 8
Boonsborough, Maryland

 
July 10–11
Fort Wagner, South Carolina

 
July 16
Grimball’s Landing, South Carolina

 
July 18–Sept 7
Siege of Fort Wagner, South Carolina

 
July 19
Buffington Island, Ohio River (Ohio and West Virginia)

 
July 23
Manassas Gap, Virginia

 
October 14
Bristoe Station, Virginia

 
November 6
Droop Mountain, West Virginia

 
November 7
Rappahanock Station

 
Nov 27–Dec 2
Mine Run, Virginia

 
Western Theater
February 3
Dover, Tennessee

 
March 5
Thompson’s Station, Tennessee

 
March 25
Brentwood, Tennessee

 
April 29–May 1
Snyder’s Bluff, Mississippi

 
April 30
Day’s Gap, Alabama

 
May 1
Port Gibson, Mississippi

 
May 12

Battle Of Raymond

Raymond, Mississippi

The Battle Of Raymond was a key victory for Grant as part of his Vicksburg Campaign. Learn more about the… Battle Of Raymond
May 16
Champion’s Hill, Mississippi

 
May 17
Big Black River Bridge, Mississippi

 
May 18–July 4

Siege of Vicksburg

Vicksburg, Mississippi

The Siege of Vicksburg represented the last phase of the Vicksburg Campaign where General Grant surrounded the city of Vicksburg, which finally surrendered on July 4. Learn more about the Siege of Vicksburg
June 24–26
Hoover’s Gap, Tennessee

 
June 24–26
Hoover’s Gap, Tennessee

 
July 9
Corydon, Indiana

 
August 17–23
Bombardment of Fort Sumter, South Carolina

 
September 7–8
Charleston Harbor, South Carolina

 
September 10
Davis Crossroads, Georgia

 
September 18

Battle Of Chickamauga

Chickamauga, Georgia

The largest battle fought in the Western Theater of the Civil War, Chickamauga was one of the few Confederate victories in that theater. Braxton Bragg’s Confederate Army of Tennessee, reinforced by a corps from the Army of Northern Virginia, routed the forces of Major General William S. Rosecrans. Bragg’s failure to follow up aggressively reduced an overwhelming Confederate victory to merely a tactical one. Learn more about the Battle Of Chickamauga
Sept 23–Oct 30
Siege of Chattanooga, Tennessee

 
October 28–29
Wauhatchie, Tennessee

 
November 3
Collierville, Tennessee

 
November 16
Campbell’s Station, Tennessee

 
November 23-25

Battle Of Chattanooga

Chattanooga, Tennessee

The Union victory at Chattanooga in November 1863 opened the road to Atlanta for Federal armies. Following the Battle of Chickamauga in September, Confederate troops besieged those of the Union in Chattanooga. After Ulysses S. Grant took command, the siege was broken, and the thinly stretched Confederates were driven from the ridges above the town by an impromptu charge by the Army of the Cumberland. Learn more about the Battle Of Chattanooga
November 24
Lookout Mountain (Chattanooga), Tennessee

 
November 25
Missionary Ridge (Chattanooga), Tennessee

 
December 29
Mossy Creek, Tennessee

 
Trans-Mississippi
January 1
Galveston, Texas

 
January 8
Springfield, Missouri

 
January 9
Hartsville, Missouri

 
January 9–11
Arkansas Post, Arkansas

 
April 26
Cape Girardeau, Missouri

 
May 1–2
Chalk Bluff, Arkansas

 
July 1–2
Cabin Creek, Indian Territory

 
July 4
Helena, Arkansas

 
July 17
Honey Springs, Indian Territory

 
September 8
Sabine Pass, Texas

 
September 10
Bayou Forche, Arkansas

 
October 6
Baxter Springs, Kansas

 
October 25
Pine Bluff, Arkansas

 
Gulf Coast
April 12–13
Fort Bisland, Louisiana

 
April 14
Irish Bend, Louisiana

 
April 17
Vermillion Bayou Louisiana

 
May 21
Plains Store, Louisiana

 
May 21–July 9
Siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana

 
June 20–21
La Fourche Crossing, Louisiana

 
June 28
Donaldsonville, Louisiana

 
June 29–30
Goodrich Landing, Louisiana

 
September 29
Sterling’s Plantation, Louisiana

 
October 16–18
Fort Brooke, Florida

 

Civil War Battles: 1864

Eastern Theater
Feburary 6–7
Morton’s Ford, Virginia

 
March 22
Walkerton, Virginia

 
April 17–20
Plymouth, North Carolina

 
May 5
Albemarle Sound, North Carolina

 
May 5–7

Battle Of The Wilderness

Spotsylvania County, Virginia

The Battle of the Wilderness was the first clash between Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. Three days of close-quarters fighting in woods and tangled underbrush resulted in nearly 20,000 total casualties. Although the Confederates could claim a tactical victory, the battle showed that the North’s largest army would no longer retreat after a reverse, and Lee’s army was slowly pushed back to trenches around Richmond and Petersburg. Learn more about the Battle Of The Wilderness
May 6–7
Port Walthall Junction, Virginia

 
May 8–21

Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse

Spotsylvania County, Virginia

Part of Ulysses S. Grant’s Overland Campaign in Virginia in the summer of 1864, the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse was a costly tactical victory for Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, which could not hope to win a war of attrition. Learn more about the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse
May 9
Swift Creek, Virginia

 
May 9
Cloyd’s Mountain, Virginia

 
May 10
Chester Station, Virginia

 
May 10
Cove Mountain, Virginia

 
May 11

Battle of Yellow Tavern

Henrico County, Virginia

The Battle of Yellow Tavern was a cavalry battle which was part of the Overland Campaign which saw J.E.B. Stuart mortally wounded. Learn more about the Battle of Yellow Tavern
May 12–16
Proctor’s Creek, Virginia

 
May 15

Battle of New Market

Shenandoah County, Virginia

The Confederates, along with cadets from VMI, drove Union General Franz Sigel out of the Shenandoah Valley. Learn more about the Battle of New Market
May 20
Ware Bottom Church, Virginia

 
May 23–26
North Anna, Virginia

 
May 24
Wilson’s Wharf, Virginia

 
May 31-June 12

Battle of Cold Harbor

Cold Harbor, Virginia

The Battle of Cold Harbor marked the end of Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant’s Overland Campaign known for the 7,000 Union Casualties suffered in under an hour in a frontal assault on Confederate lines. Learn more about the Battle of Cold Harbor
June 15–18

Battle of Petersburg

Petersburg, Virginia

The Battle of Petersburg, Virginia (siege of Petersburg), June 9, 1864, to March 25, 1865, marked a change in tactics in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War. Instead of the campaigns of maneuver that had characterized the war up to that point, Union and Confederate armies fought a series of trench-warfare battles more like those of World War I than of the Civil War. Learn more about the Battle of Petersburg
June 17–18
Leesburg, Virginia

 
June 21–24
Jerusalem Plank Road, Virginia

 
June 24
Saint Mary’s Church, Virginia

 
June 25
Stanton River Bridge, Virginia

 
June 28
Sappony Church, Virginia

 
June 29
Ream’s Station, Virginia

 
July 9
Monocacy, Maryland

 
July 11–12
Fort Stevens, Washington, DC

 
July 17–18
Cool Spring, Virginia

 
July 20
Rutherford Farm, Virginia

 
Ju;y 24
Kernstown, Virginia

 
July 27–29
Deep Bottom, Virginia

 
July 30
Battle of the Crater, Siege of Petersburg, Virginia

 
August 1
Folcks Mill, Maryland

 
August 7
Moorefield, West Virginia

 
August 13–20
Deep Bottom, Virginia

 
August 16
Guard Hill, Virginia

 
August 18–21
Globe Tavern, Virginia

 
August 25
Ream’s Station, Virginia

 
August 25–29
Smithfield Crossing, Virginia

 
September 3–4
Berryville, Virginia

 
September 19
Opequon, Virginia

 
September 21–24

Battle of Fisher’s Hill

Fisher’s Hill, Virginia

Union Major General Philip H. Sheridan attacked the seemingly impregnable heights of Fisher’s Hill, grandly known as the ‘Gibraltar of the Shenandoah Valley.’ Learn more about the Battle of Fisher’s Hill
September 29–30
Chaffin’s Farm, Virginia

 
Sept 30–Oct 2
Peeble’s Farm, Virginia

 
October 2
Saltville, Virginia

 
October 7
Darbytown & New Market roads, Virginia

 
October 9
Tom’s Brook, Virginia

 
October 13
Darbytown Road, Virginia

 
October 19
Cedar Creek, Virginia

 
October 27–28
Boydton Plank Road, Virginia

 
October 27–28
Fair Oaks & Darbytown Road

 
December 17–18
Marion, Virginia

 
December 20–21
Saltville, Virginia

 
Western Theater
January 17
Dandridge, Tennessee

 
January 26
Athens, Alabama

 
January 27
Fair Garden, Tennessee

 
February 22
Okalona, Mississippi

 
February 22–27
Dalton, Georgia

 
March 25
Paducah, Kentucky

 
April 12

Battle of Fort Pillow

Fort Pillow, Tennessee

Nathan Bedford Forrest’s command captures a Mississippi River fort in Tennessee, leading to a massacre of many of the United States Colored Troops defending the fort. Learn more about the Battle of Fort Pillow
May 7–13
Rocky Face, Georgia

 
May 13–15

Battle of Resaca

Resaca, Georgia

Major General William T. Sherman took on Joseph E. Johnston during the Atlanta campaign. Learn more about the Battle of Resaca
May 17
Adairsville, Georgia

 
May 25–26
New Hope Church, Georgia

 
June 22
Kolb’s Farm, Georgia

 
July 14–15
Tupelo, Mississippi

 
July 20

Battle Of Peachtree Creek

Peach Tree Creek, Georgia

The Battle of Peachtree Creek was part of the Atlanta Campaign and was the first major attack by Lt. General John G. Hood. Learn more about the Battle Of Peachtree Creek
July 22

Battle of Atlanta

Atlanta, Georgia

Union victory in the Battle of Atlanta, July 22, 1864, is often credited as the turning point that allowed Abraham Lincoln to be re-elected president instead of his opponent, George B. McClellan, who would have sought peace terms with the Confederacy. After the battle, Confederate troops set fire to the city before evacuating, to deny its resources to William T. Sherman’s Federal troops. Learn more about the Battle of Atlanta
July 28
Ezra Church, Georgia

 
August 5–7
Utoy Creek, Georgia

 
August 15–15
Dalton, Georgia

 
August 20
Lovejoy’s Station, Georgia

 
August 31–Sep 1
Jonesborough, Georgia

 
October 5
Allatoona, Georgia

 
October 26–29
Decatur, Alabama

 
November 4–5
Johnsonville, Tennessee

 
November 11–13
Bull’s Gap, Tennessee

 
November 22
Griswoldville, Georgia

 
November 28
Buck Head, Georgia

 
November 29
Spring Hill, Tennessee

 
November 30

Battle of Franklin

Franklin, Tennessee

Account of the bloody confederate slaughter in Franklin, Tennessee. Learn more about the Battle of Franklin
November 30
Honey Hill, South Carolina

 
December 4

Battle of Waynesborough

Waynesborough, Georgia

The Battle of Waynesborough was one of the later battles of Sherman’s March to the Sea and opened the route to Savannah. Learn more about the Battle of Waynesborough
December 13
Fort McAllister, Georgia

 
December 15–16

Battle of Nashville

Atlanta, Georgia

The battle of Nashville was the last major battle in the Western Theater and a major victory for the Union. Learn more about the Battle of Nashville
December 24–27
Fort Fisher, North Carolina

 
Trans-Mississippi
February 13
Middle Boggy Depot, Indian Territory

 
April 3–4
Elkin’s Ferry, Arkansas

 
April 8
Mansfield, Louisiana

 
April 9
Pleasant Hill, Louisiana

 
April 9
Prairie D’Ane, Arkansas

 
April 12–13
Blairs Landing, Louisiana

 
April 23
Monetts Ferry, Louisiana

 
April 30
Jenkins Ferry, Arkansas

 
September 27
Fort Davidson, Missouri

 
October 15
Glasgow, Missouri

 
September 19
Lexington, Missouri

 
October 21
Little Blue River, Missouri

 
October 22
Independence, Missouri

 
October 22
Byrams Ford, Missouri

 
October 23
Westport, Missouri

 
October 25
Mine Creek, Kansas

 
Gulf Coast
February 20
Olustee, Florida

 
March 14
Fort De Russy, Louisiana

 
August 5

Battle of Mobile Bay

Mobile Bay, Alabama

In the Battle of Mobile Bay, Alabama, August 5, 1864, a Union fleet under Rear Admiral David G. Farragut, attacked and defeated a smaller, less well-equipped Confederate naval force. The battle is most often remembered for a line Farragut may or may not have actually spoken: Warned there were torpedoes (mines) floating in the harbor, he reportedly said, "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" Learn more about the Battle of Mobile Bay
Off Cherbourg, France

June 25, USS Kearsarge fights CSS Alabama

Civil War Battles: 1865

Eastern Theater
February 5–7
Hatcher’s Run, Virginia

 
March 2
Waynesborough, Virginia

 
March 25
Fort Stedman, Virginia

 
March 29
Lewis’s Farm, Virginia

 
March 31
White Oak Road, Virginia

 
March 31
Dinwiddie Courthouse, Virginia

 
April 1
Five Forks, Virginia

 
April 2
Sutherland’s Station, Virginia

 
April 3
Namozine Church, Virginia

 
April 5
Amelia Springs, Virginia*

 
April 6
Rice’s Station, Virginia*

 
April 6

Battle of Sailor’s Creek

Amelia County, Virginia

The Battle of Sailor’s Creek was part of the Appomattox Campaign during the final days of the civil war and was Robert E. Lee’s last battle before surrendering at Appomattox Court House Learn more about the Battle of Sailor’s Creek
April 6–7
High Bridge, Virginia*

 
April 7
Cumberland Church, Virginia*

 
April 8

Battle of Appomattox Courthouse*

Appomattox Station, Virginia*

The Battle of Appomattox Courthouse was the last battle fought by Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. After his attempt to break out of a closing trap failed, Lee met with Ulysses S. Grant to surrender his army. Although the Civil War did not end with the surrender at Appomattox, the loss of the South’s largest army was the death knell of the Confederacy. Learn more about the Battle of Appomattox Courthouse

(*Collectively known as the Appomattox Campaign.)

Western Theater
January 13–15
Fort Fisher, North Carolina

 
February 3
Rivers Bridge, South Carolina

 
February 13–21
Wilmington, North Carolina

 
March 7–10
Wyse Fork, North Carolina

 
March 10
Monroe’s Crossroads, North Carolina

 
March 16
Averasborough, North Carolina

 
March 19–21
Bentonville, North Carolina

 
April 2
Selma, Alabama

 
Trans-Mississippi
May 12-13

Battle of Palmetto Ranch

Palmetto Ranch, Texas

The Battle of Palmetto Ranch was the final battle of the civil war. Learn more about the Battle of Palmetto Ranch
Gulf Coast
March 6
Natural Bridge, Florida

 
Mar 27–April 8
Siege of Spanish Fort, Alabama

 
April 2–9
Siege of Fort Blakely, Alabama

 
 Banner image Battle of Corinth, Miss. Oct. 4th 1862, Currier & Ives, Library of Congress  


 

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Julian Scott Civil War PainterCurator Michael McAfee talks about artist Julian Scott and 51st New York Infantry at Antietam.
Battlefields&Beyond: New York CityHarold Holzer's Top 13 Civil War Sites in NYC.
Ambrose Bierce and America's First Great War StoriesAuthor and Civil War veteran Ambrose Bierce wrote of an ugly war, not the romanticized version found in most writings by his fellow veterans. His war was waged deep within the conscience of the individual solider and was often cloaked in supernaturalism.
Major General Adelbert Ames: Forgotten Man of the 20th MaineJune Issue Extra: Adelbert Ames preceded Joshua Chamberlain as colonel of the 20th Maine
1862: May and June

Lincoln urges farmers to go west, McClellan stalls and a new Rebel commander takes over

May

3 – Confederate General Joseph Johnston orders troops to evacuate Norfolk, Va. Evacuation is completed May 10, and on May 11, the crew of …

Field Notes - Civil War news and history


The J.E.B. Stuart statue in Richmond, Va.New messages for old statues?

It wasn't quite art, but it wasn't quite vandalism either. So Richmond, Va., police and park employees were a bit stumped at how to handle ink-on-canvas plaques that were …

A surprise visit from Morgan's RaidersThomas Lewis had avoided war -- until it invaded his own farm
Emory Upton and the Shaping of the U.S. ArmyHow one soldier’s combat experiences and study of the world's great military powers led to a tactical revolution
'John Brown's Body' - Stephen Vincent Benet and Civil War Memory'John Brown's Body' by Stephen Vincent Benet, published in 1928, remains a vibrant tapestry of America's diversity and its unity, its 15,000 lines re-imagining the Civil War as Lincoln understood it.
Sherman's Folly at ShilohBefore one of the Civil War’s most brutal battles, one of its finest generals ignored signs of danger—and paid a steep price
Union at Shiloh

A letter from Pvt. William Christie, 1st Minnesota Battery, to his father. Christie's battery lost three men killed and six men wounded.

I supposed you have heard of the great battle on the 6th and 7th of this month. …

Confederates at Shiloh

On April 6, 1862, following the first day of fighting, General Ulysses Grant ordered Union gunboats on the Tennessee River to fire broadsides all through the night, in an effort to unnerve the enemy. John S. Cockerill of the 70th

March and April, 1862

Stunning events on land and sea: Naval warfare is reinvented and a placid church gets a bloodbath

March

March 3 – President Lincoln appoints Andrew Johnson, the only Southern U.S. senator to remain loyal after his state seceded, military governor …

Ron Maxwell Interview - 'Gods and Generals' Extended Director's CutA HistoryNet exclusive interview with director Ron Maxwell about the extended director's cut of his film Gods and Generals, now available on DVD and Blu-Ray.
George Crook at the Battle of KernstownDid the Union general’s refusal to listen cost him the Second Battle of Kernstown?
Civil War Book Reviews

From Battlefields Rising: How the Civil War Transformed American Literature, by Randall Fuller (Oxford University Press, 2010)

Mightier Than the Sword: Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Battle for America, by Davis S. Reynolds (Norton, 2010)

REVIEWED BY NAN

Longstreet - Scapegoat or CulpritDid Lee order Longstreet to attack at dawn on July 2 at Gettysburg? Did Longstreet drag his feet because he disapproved?
In Time of War - 150 years ago

January

1 - The Lincoln administration releases Confederate emissaries James Mason and John Slidell from Fort Warren in Boston Harbor, ending the Trent Affair. The diplomats continued their voyage to Europe, on an unsuccessful mission to win support for the …

Wounds from the Washita: The Major Elliott AffairThe death of popular 7th U.S. Cavalry officer Major Joel Elliott at the 1868 Battle of the Washita—and Lt. Col. George Custer's response to it—spawned disunity within the ill-starred unit
Antietam Battlefield’s Miller farmhouse gets a facelift

Halfway through a five-year renovation of the historic Miller farmhouse at Antietam National Battlefield, the Park Ser­vice preservation teams have been offering a handful of sneak previews of their handiwork.

David Miller's cornfield became an icon of the battlefield, after …

Who owns Gettysburg?

Preservationists, residents, entrepreneurs and Civil War enthusiasts all want a stake in its legacy

At times it seems as if there isn't enough Gettysburg to go around, and almost 150 years after the nation-changing battle, the site remains a hotly …

Tracing the ties that bind We know what the famous guys were up to, but what were our own relatives doing during the war?

Most of New Orleans thought Ben Butler was bad news, according to Dr. Charles Bias, who was teaching the Civil War …

'I Am Well and Hearty' - Walt Whitman's Brother in the Civil WarWalt Whitman has the reputation as a Civil War writer, but it was his younger brother, George Washington Whitman, who saw the war up close and personal as a member of Company K, 51st New York Volunteer Infantry.
Churchill Imagines How the South Won the Civil WarIn Winston Churchill’s fanciful alternative history, Robert E. Lee wins at Gettysburg, and Jeb Stuart prevents World War I
The War List: Overrated Civil War OfficersHistorian Gary W. Gallagher picks Union and Confederate officers whose hype doesn't match reality.
Photo Essay: 150th Anniversary of First Manassas-Bull RunNearly 9,000 Civil War reenactors staged battle re-creations as part of the activities commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Manassas/Battle of Bull Run.
The art of war

The 150th anniversary of our greatest conflict implores us to take another look

Back in February, the London-based Art Newspaper, the most important journal in the museum world, published a front-page article bemoaning the shocking absence of American art …

What a difference a day makes


Confederate soldiers under the command of Gen. Robert E. Lee camp on the outskirts of Hagerstown, Maryland, in September of 1862. Image courtesy of Weider History Group archive.

War seemed far away to the editors of a Maryland weekly newspaper–until

Gaming board says no to Gettysburg casino

No gambling for historic Civil War town

Preservationists claimed victory in Gettysburg this spring when for the second time in five years, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board rejected plans for a casino on the fringes of Gettysburg National Military Park.…

A National Park Service Living-History Volunteer's StoryA volunteer at the Manassas National Battlefield Park talks about portraying history while wearing 45 pounds of clothing and accoutrements in summer heat, the questions visitors ask, and why he does it.
Who Was George G. Meade?

Meade Part I TubePressPlayerApi.register('zEX8aHJI4Y0'); 12next » TitleMeade Part I Runtime3:53 View count337 Description TitleMeade Part II Runtime2:45 View count161 Description TitleMeade Part VI Runtime3:11 View count153 DescriptionWho Was George G. Meade? with Dr. Allen Guelzo, Henry R. Luce Professor of …

Irreconcilable DifferencesWinston Groom, author of Vicksburg 1863, explores the reasons the North and South found themselves at war.
Who Was the Youngest Civil War GeneralTrivia buffs beware: Galusha Pennypacker’s claim to being the Civil War’s youngest general doesn’t hold up
World War Two in GettysburgScrap drives, war rallies and German POWs took over America’s preeminent battlefield
Jim Gavin: The General Who Jumped FirstThis leader never asked his men to do something he wouldn't—and didn't—do himself.
Irvin McDowell's Best Laid Plans


The orderly advance of Union troops at the start of the battle would become a distant memory in the hellish retreat that followed the fighting. Picture credit: Frank Leslie'sThe 'unexpected' Rebels he met at Bull Run weren't unexpected at all

McClellan's War-Winning StrategyThe "young Napoleon" had a viable plan to beat the Confederacy. What went wrong?
Union Cavalry Escapes from Besieged Harpers FerryIn September 1862 some 1,600 Union cavalrymen seemingly trapped at Harpers Ferry carried out one of the Civil War's most successful missions of stealth and deception.
Gettysburg's Best and Worst MonumentsWhat are Gettysburg's best and worst monuments?
Where is General George MeadeHow Union General George G. Meade became the Rodney Dangerfield of the Civil War
Secession - Revisionism or Reality

Secession fever revisited
We can take an honest look at history, or just revise it to make it more palatable

Try this version of history: 150 years ago this spring, North Carolina and Tennessee became the final two Southern states …

Walmart Withdraws from Wilderness Battlefield

Preservationists win Wilderness battle

Rather than face what would likely have been an image-bruising court fight, Walmart has abandoned plans to build a retail supercenter on the doorstep of the Wilderness battlefield in central Virginia.

"This project has been controversial, …

The First Battle Of The Civil War - Philippi *

*Note on Philippi, the Civil War's First Battle Inland: Many people ask, "What was the first battle of the Civil War?" The answers that are often given are 'The Battle Of First Bull Run'  or 'Fort Sumter.'  Chronologically, Fort Sumpter

Building the Army of the PotomacStephen Sears writes of how the Army of the Potomac's politically appointed generals and short-term volunteer troops nearly unhinged Lincoln’s plans in 1861 to win the Civil War.
Robert E. Lee Takes ChargeGeneral George McClellan thought he was timid. Newspapers called him ‘Granny Lee.’ But once in command, the General Robert E. Lee attacked quickly and boldly.
Ask MHQ—North or South: Whose Was the Army of the Rebellion?Nowadays "Army of the Rebellion" is most commonly used to refer to the Confederates, but during the American Civil War the term was often applied to the Union forces as well.
Last Chance for Peace: Fort Sumter at 150For months the Confederates trained dozens of guns on Fort Sumter. But no one seemed eager for war.
Ten Civil War ClassicsThe country’s bloodiest war has been captured in novels, memoirs, and battle narratives. Here are 10 classics
Black Jack John Logan Goes to WarUnlike most politicians, John Logan played a pivotal role on the battlefield.
James Lighthizer, Civil War Trust President

Education, Preservation, Dedication
Civil War Trust President James Lighthizer has made saving endangered battlefields his life's passion
Jim Lighthizer. Photo by Kevin Johnson.

What is the biggest threat to Civil War battlefield preservation right now?
No question about it, development—the …

Gideon Welles Blockades Charleston Harbor

The one-way voyage of the Stone Fleet:
An aging armada sets course to become an obstacle

There may not have been a less impressive fleet in the entire history of the American Navy. The ships were old, long past their …

Union Spy in Confederate TerritoryUnion agent Pryce Lewis had his share of close calls
Lee to the RearA Texas private’s long-forgotten account of Robert E. Lee’s brush with death at the Battle of the Wilderness.
Battle Of Franklin: Civil War Sites - Carnton, Carter House, Lotz HouseThe Carter House, Lotz House and Carnton Plantation still stand as witnesses to the five bloody hours of fighting in the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee, November 30, 1864.
Survivors Remember Shiloh7 Lives Altered by Shiloh: Two Fateful Days Can Make Reputations, Shatter Families, and Shape Destinies
Pre Civil War Peace ConferenceAs secession fever spreads through the South, political patriarchs try to avert war—-but at what price?
10 Battles That Shaped AmericaAmerica was born of war, and the following 10 battles helped forge the nation and forever change world history.
S. Waite Rawls, Museum of the Confederacy

Waite Rawls Revels in His Role as the Keeper of the Confederacy's Complex Legacy

S. Waite Rawls has a name and heritage befitting a Confederate general. A Virginia Military Institute graduate, he's got so many Rebel ancestors that he has …

Gen. George McClellan at Second ManassasGeneral Disobedience: ‘Little Mac’ let John Pope twist in the wind; With response from Prof. Ethan S. Rafuse
Confederate Alamo

Remembering the Confederates' last stand at Petersburg: The Confederate Alamo: Bloodbath at Petersburg's Fort Gregg on April 2, 1865
by John J. Fox III
Angle Valley Press, 2010, $34.95

Although it typically doesn't attract the attention it merits, April 2, …

Segways appear at Fredericksburg NMP

Segways slipping silently across the battlefield might resemble the charge of the very, very light brigade, but the two-wheel, stand-up scooters could be an ideal way for tourists to inspect hallowed Civil War sites.

Beginning in June, the Fredericksburg and …

Was Secession Legal

Southerners insisted they could legally bolt from the Union.
Northerners swore they could not.
War would settle the matter for good.

Over the centuries, various excuses have been employed for starting wars. Wars have been fought over land or honor. …

Antietam RememberedA veteran of Antietam spent his life collecting accounts of the war’s most horrific fighting

The Last Waltz: Prelude to the Siege of VicksburgIn August 1863 astonished Vicksburg revelers watch a convoy of Federal gunboats successfully pass the town's batteries, thanks to the keen observations and ingenuity of Union admiral David Porter.
John Howard, Superintendent, Antietam National Battlefield

Superintendent John Howard plans to retire at year's end after 16 years at the helm of Antietam National Battlefield. Here he shares a few parting thought.

What accomplishment stands out most in your time at Antietam?
John Howard. Photo by …

Gettysburg is an Endangered Battlefield

A proposed casino near the site of Pickett's Charge has landed the Gettysburg National Military Park on the Civil War Preservation Trust's list of the 10 most endangered battlefields in 2010.

In its annual report History Under Siege­, CWPT identified …

True Causes of the Civil War

Irreconcilable Differences
Simmering animosities between North and South signaled an American apocalypse

Any man who takes it upon himself to explain the causes of the Civil War deserves whatever grief comes his way, regardless of his good intentions. Having acknowledged …

Murder in the Civil War

Getting away with murder
The battlefield claimed many a brave officer, but there were a few others who met not-quite-so-honorable ends

The death toll among general officers during the Civil War was staggering. Because military necessity often placed a general …

Richard Ewell at GettysburgSecond-Guessing Dick Ewell: Why didn’t the Confederate general take Cemetery Hill on July 1, 1863?
Lee's Unwritten MemoirWhy didn’t Robert E. Lee write his memoirs?
Is General Stanley A. McChrystal more like General John Pope or George McClellan?MSNBC's Keith Olbermann compares President Obama's predicament with General McChrystal to Lincoln's decision about General John Pope.
At Gettysburg with the Lousiana Tigers

The Louisiana Tigers in the Gettysburg Campaign, June-July, 1863
By Scott L. Mingus Sr.,
Louisiana State University Press, 2009

The legendary Louisiana Tigers, one of the more feared units in the Army of Northern Virginia, get a welcome and comprehensive …

Bruce Bustard, Curator, National Archives

What makes this exhibit so different?
For one, it's not organized chronologically. Many of the exhibits we looked at start with Fort Sumter, then go to Manassas, then Shiloh, all the way along. But we've organized ours around certain theme …

The War Over Plunder: Who Owns Art Stolen in War?Over the past two decades, globalization, changing attitudes, and clearer international laws have emboldened aggrieved nations to demand the return of cultural property seized by enemy forces in the past, but laws alone can’t guarantee their success.
'The Roar and Rattle': McClellan's Missed Opportunities at AntietamThe Battle of Antietam resulted in more pivotal changes, across a broader spectrum of events—military, political, diplomatic, societal—than any other battle of the war. Yet if evaluated in purely military terms, it was not decisive at all.
Explosion at the Allegheny Arsenal‘Noble Union Girls’: The thousands of Northern women who worked in Federal arsenals risked their lives for the cause.
Israel Richardson at Antietam

A Rising Star Struck Down in His Prime
Until Antietam: The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army, by Jack C. Mason, Southern Illinois University Press

Up to the moment he was mortally wound­ed along Antietam's …

Emmitsburg Road Preservation Campaign

Civil War Preservation Trust announces latest campaign

Fundraising has begun for the preservation of a crucial two-acre parcel on the Gettys­burg battlefield. The property, originally part of the historic Philip Snyder farm, lies along the Emmitsburg Road and is entirely …

Battlefield Preservation Effort - 7200 Acres at PetersburgU.S. Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) introduced the “Petersburg National Boundary Modification Act,” to protect 7,200 additional acres of historic battlefields around Petersburg, which would create the largest military park in the United States.
Irvin McDowell: The Most Unpopular Man in AmericaTwo words came to define McDowell’s military prowess for the general’s most critical superiors: ‘Bull’ and ‘Run’
The Other Battle of Calcasieu PassDefenseless Yankees were no match for a girl named Babette.
Gettysburg maps sesquicentennial strategyCivil War battle strategy can be tricky enough itself to convey, but that wasn’t what was giving German journalist Hermann Schmid problems in Gettysburg last fall.
Lincoln’s Political Generals

Lincoln's Political Generals, by David Work
University of Illinois Press, 2009

Abraham Lincoln made his share of mistakes as commander in chief during the Civil War, but did his politically motivated appointments of nonmilitary men as Union generals help or …

Staying the Course at GettysburgLincoln's remarks gratified the war's proponents and silenced his critics
'A White Man's War'William T. Sherman’s adamant refusal to field African-American troops amounted to outright insubordination
Who kept U.S. Grant sober?John Rawlins used his brains and blue language to keep his boss in check.
Gettysburg Grows by 45 Acres: December/January 2010

Gettysburg residents Wayne and Susan Hill recently donated 45 acres to the Gettysburg Foundation. Located near the eastern base of Big Round Top at the southern end of the battlefield, the acreage encompasses an area where Union skirmishers maneuvered on …

Why Doesn’t Grant Get the Love?: December 2009/January 2010Ulysses S. Grant has occupied dramatically different positions in the American pantheon. His im­posing stature between the end of the Civil War and the early years of the 20th century cannot be disputed.
Murder and Mayhem Ride the Rails - Union Soldiers Rampage in Virginia

Smoke and fire filled the skies south of Petersburg in December 1864 as the Army of the Potomac's V Corps targeted the Weldon Railroad. Dur­ing a raid along this vital supply line linking southeastern Virginia with North Carolina, liquor-fueled Federals …

A Promise FulfilledThe Emancipation Proclamation all but guaranteed the death of slavery, but exactly what that document did–and did not–do remains the subject of heated debate
Digging deeply into the earthworks at PetersburgIn the Trenches at Petersburg:
Field Fortifications & Confederate Defeat

by Earl J. Hess
University of North Carolina
Press, 2009

New biographies that focus on Civil War–era figures inevitably face the dilemma of how to interpret race, politics and equality …

The Rise and Fall of CSS Virginia - GalleryDid a radical new Confederate gunship foil McClellan’s plan to end the Civil War in 1862? Photographs of the CSS Virginia and USS Monitor.
Edwin Forbes Gettysburg Paintings - GalleryScenes from the Battle of Gettysburg painted by the reporter and artist Edwin Forbes.
Six Weeks in the Saddle with Brig. Gen. John BufordUnion Brigadier General John Buford's troopers kept their carbines warm harassing Robert E. Lee's army during the 1863 Gettysburg campaign.
Capital Defense - Washington, D.C., in the Civil War

When the first inklings emerged early in 1861 that a fighting war pitting North versus South would soon break out, the residents of Washington, D.C.—at least those whose sympathies were with the Union—began to feel more than a little threatened. …

John Coski, Museum of the Confederacy

John Coski is the historian and library director at the Museum of the Confederacy. He is the author of The Confederate Battle Flag: America's Most Embattled Emblem — Interview by Tamela Baker

Describe the museum's expansion to Appomattox, Fredericksburg and …

Robert K. Krick, Chronicler of Robert E. Lee's Army

 

Robert Krick worked for 31 years as the chief historian at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park and is a renowned expert on the Army of Northern Virginia Interview by Kim A. O'Connell

How did a California kid get …

The South's Last Great VictoryAn alliance of the Confederacy’s eastern and western armies earned a bloody triumph at the September 1863 Battle of Chickamauga
9th Massachusetts Battery


Historynet Image

This  monument marks the 9th Massachusetts Battery's initial position along the Wheatfield Road at Gettysburg. The artillerymen conducted a fighting retreat with their 12-pounder Napoleons to the Trostle Farm in the background. For more information visit:
http://home.comcast.net/~9thmassbattery/

 …

Hanging Captain GordonNathaniel Gordon was the only American sent to the gallows for slave traiding.
Lincoln or Bust

Abraham Lincoln posed for several famous photographs at Alexander Gardner's Washington, D.C., gallery on November 8, 1863: one with his private secretaries John Nicolay and John Hay, and another full-face close-up that showed the steely-eyed president staring directly into the …

Here’s evidence that Abraham Lincoln was as good as his wordsKaplan has done a service to Lincoln scholars and general readers alike by reconstructing Lincoln's self-education, and showing how the books he read and reread may have shaped his mind.
Believe it or not, here's something new on LeeRobert E. Lee and the Fall of the Confederacy, 1863-1865
by Ethan S. Rafuse
Rowman & Littlefield, 2008

Is it really possible there's anything new to say about Robert E. Lee, who probably has had more written about him than …

Did Robert E. Lee Doom Himself at Gettysburg?By blindly relying on poor intelligence and saying far too little to his generals, Lee may have sealed the Rebels’ fate.
Two Ways to Approach One War: August/September 2009Two Civil Wars await anyone seeking to understand our transformative national trial.
Vicksburg: From Mint Juleps to Bomb Bursts

Vicksburg 1863, by Winston Groom, Alfred A. Knopf

Winston Groom is a first-rate spinner of yarns, and like the tales of his most famous fictional character, Forrest Gump, his accounts seamlessly transport readers into the story. Vicksburg 1863 is …

Mothers of the Lost CauseAn army of determined Southern women buried the dead but kept the mythic Confederate legacy of the Lost Cause alive
They're Called Killing Grounds for a Reason: February/March 2009A 10-year study of the geomorphology of Civil War battlefields reveal connection between geological features and casualties.
Go To Gettysburg!: February/March 2009Noted historian Gary W. Gallagher gives his perspective in the Civil War Times bi-monthly column Blue and Gray.
Fighting Dick and his Fighting Men

On a bleak hillside overlooking the battleground of Sailor's Creek, General Robert E. Lee watched as hundreds of his men fled through the fields and wooded ravines below. "Men without guns, many without hats," one witness recalled, "all mingled with …

Decision at The Battle of Five Forks - 1865


The headstrong Gen. Philip Sheridan (left) had little patience for the careful battle tactics of Gen. Gouverneur Warren (right) and replaced him at Five Forks. But in 1880 Sheridan would be forced to justify his actions before a court of …

Shiloh's False HeroIn exchange for waving a white flag, Benjamin Prentiss was hailed as the savior of the “Hornets’ Nest”
Letters from the Front - Correspondence Spanning Two Centuries of American WarCorrespondence from a two-century span of American wars, from the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror. Several feature audio recordings, including Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., reading the letter he wrote home about his experiences as a POW in World War II.
Ox Hill Battlefield: Honoring Second Bull Run’s Bloody PostscriptThe Battle of Ox Hill or Chantilly, in Virginia, has been commemorated with a new battlefield park along Rt. 608. The Sept. 1, 1862, battle was fought in a rainstorm and resulted in the death of Union generals Philip Kearny and Isaac Stevens.
Nicholas Biddle:The Civil War's First BloodJust days after Fort Sumter, a pro-Confederate mob in Maryland turned ex-slave Nicholas Biddle into the war's first casualty.
Union General Daniel SicklesOn two separate battlefields, Union General Daniel Sickles carelessly exposed his men -- and the entire army -- to possible defeat. Only the quick actions of other Federal officers managed to compensate for Sickles' errors and keep his mistakes from becoming disasters. It was life as usual for 'Devil Dan.'
Ask MHQ - Did Confederate Generals Consider Attacking Washington?Did Confederate generals ever consider a direct attack on Washington during the Civil War? Noted author Steven A. Sears answers that question for a Military History Quarterly reader.
When Railroad Guns RuledFor 85 years, railroad guns were regarded as the ultimate weapon, large enough to do substantial damage but movable to wherever railroad tracks could go. Unparalleled bunker busters, they also terrorized civilians by firing on cities from afar.
Stumbling in Sherman's PathStandard histories of Major General William T. Sherman’s celebrated March to the Sea invariably portray the Confederacy’s response as inconsequential. Such broad generalizations may assuage wounded Southern pride, but they also rewrite history.
Recently Discovered Memoir about Gen. T. J. 'Stonewall' JacksonAn overlooked manuscript in Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, contains a memoir about Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson by a man who was with him from VMI to Manassas.
O. T. Reilly - Relic Collector and Early Antietam Tour GuideO. T. Reilly was an early relic collector and tour guide living near the Antietam battlefield in Sharpsburg, Maryland. This article includes photos of many of the relics he collected.
Shot by Cupid's Bow - Fanny and John Brown GordonConfederate General John Brown Gordon and his wife Fanny shared a loyal and passionate marriage for nearly 50 years. She spent much of the Civil War nursing him as he recovered from wounds and illness.
The 9 Lives of General John Brown GordonIndestructible Confederate general John B. Gordon survived multiple wounds and serious illnesses during the Civil War. From First Manassas to Appomattox, he proved nothing could keep a good man down.
Worn Out, Hungry and Broke: Confederate Discontent after GettysburgThe Civil War letters of two North Carolina soldiers reveal discontent in the post-Gettysburg Army of Northern Virginia.
Feeling the Past at GettysburgThe presence of the past can be felt at the Gettysburg battlefield, where so many Civil War soldiers laid down their lives.
John Burns of GettysburgBret Harte's poem, John Burns of Gettysburg, celebrates an elderly civilian who took up arms in defense of his home.
Reimaginining the SouthA Southerner learns the skeleton in her family closet wore a coat of Union blue.

'A Stupid Old Useless Fool'William Nelson Pendleton was far more effective behind a pulpit than he was as Robert E. Lee's chief of artillery in the Army of Northern Virginia.
Daniel Sickles: An Unlikely Union GeneralThe Civil War salvaged Dan Sickles' career and saved him from financial ruin.
Death and Civil War America: Interview with Drew Gilpin FaustDrew Gilpin Faust discusses her book, "This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War," a thoughtful study of the impact of the war's massive death toll on society and government.
USS Galena: De-evolution of a WarshipThe ironclad USS Galena failed to live up to its "impervious" reputation and ended its career as a wooden-walled warship, but it saved lives at the Battle of Mobile Bay.
Letter From Civil War Times - January 2008

What brought about the defeat of the Confederacy? For many years the prevailing theory was fairly simple: The Confederacy lost by a force of arms, beaten down on battlefields such as Shiloh?(see P. 30) by numerically superior Union armies.

But …

Coming Apart From the Inside: How Internal Strife Brought Down the ConfederacyPoliticians and generals on the Confederate side have long been lionized as noble warriors who heroically fought for an honorable cause that had little chance of succeeding. In reality, the Confederate leadership was rife with infighting.
America's Civil War Monuments: Hartford's Stately Bridge Over Troubled WatersGeorge W. Keller's Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Hartford was a first-of-a-kind memorial in the United States.
The Union's Bloody Miscue at Spotsylvania's MuleshoeUlysses S. Grant's human battering ram assaults failed to break Robert E. Lee's position at the Muleshoe despite twenty hours of fighting at the Bloody Angle.
The Worst Battlefield Blunders: Five Battles That Ended BadlyBattlefield blunders can be as decisive as brilliant tactics. Five of the worst military blunders came at the battles of Gallipoli, Fredericksburg, Dien Bien Phu, Adwa, and Little Bighorn.
Sculpting a Scapegoat: Ambrose Burnside at AntietamA fresh examination of Major General Ambrose Burnside's actions at the Battle of Antietam suggests he was made into a scapegoat for others' failings.
Grenade!: The Little-Known Weapon of the Civil WarGrenades were used in the Civil War from Vicksburg to Petersburg, but they were often as dangerous to their users as to their targets.
America's Civil War: Arming the South With Guns From the NorthConfederate battlefield victories depended in part on supplies of Northern weapons, particularly early in the war. William J. Hardee and Paul J. Semmes were sent North to procure those guns.
William J. Palmer: Forgotten Union General of America's Civil WarWilliam J. Palmer raised the Anderson Troop, a mounted contingent of elite scouts, then recruited the 15th Pennsyl­vania Cavalry before being sent on spying missions that landed him in a Richmond prison.
Unraveling the Myths of Burnside BridgeIt is clear that Union general Ambrose Burnside’s failures at Antietam cannot be written off to ineptness or petty insubordination, but what really did happen at "Burnside's Bridge?"
Letter From America's Civil War - September 2007

September is America's cruelest month. The three most costly events in human terms suffered by our country occurred in that ninth month of the year.

On September 11, 2001, jets fell out of clear blue skies to kill roughly 3,000 …

Antietam Eyewitness AccountsEyewitness accounts from soldiers who experienced the carnage of Antietam, America's bloodiest day.
War's Lingering Devastation In the Antietam ValleyWilliam Roulette's farmstead was in the middle of mayhem at the Battle of Antietam. Determined to rebuild, Roulette painstakingly detailed the devastating losses suffered by his famiiy.
Battle of Antietam: Union Surgeons and Civilian Volunteers Help the WoundedUnion surgeons and civilian volunteers struggled to cope with thousands of Antietam wounded with makeshift hospitals in barns and barnyards, houses and churches, haystacks, pastures and flimsy tents around Sharpsburg, Maryland.
William T. Sherman's First Campaign of DestructionBefore Gen. Willliam T. Sherman made Georgia howl, he burned a path through Mississippi, waging a war of destruction that left Southern civilians just enough for survival but not enough to support Confederate military activity.
At Washington's Gates: Jubal Early's Chance to Take the CapitolIn July 1864, Lt. Gen. Jubal Early led a Confederate army to the gates of Washington. What stopped him from capturing the Northern capital and its president, Abraham Lincoln?
Intelligence: The Secret War Within America's Civil WarSpies, slaves, fake deserters, signal towers, and newspapers were all sources of intelligence Union and Confederate commanders used to peer into the enemy's plans.
Fighting and Dying for the Colors at Gettysburg

Nearly two months after the battle of Gettysburg 24-year-old Isaac Dunsten of the 105th Pennsylvania Infantry lay on officers' row at Camp Letterman, the large tent hospital established just east of the town. On July 2, 1863, the second day …

Vietnam War: Operation Dewey CanyonThe primary purpose of audacious Operation Dewey Canyon was to kill North Vietnamese Army troops and deny them supplies and access to the densely populated areas of the coastal lowlands. Controversy arose when U.S. Marines crossed into Laos.
Load the Hopper and Turn the Crank: Rapid-Fire Guns of the Civil WarRapid-fire weapons like the Gatling gun and the Coffee Mill gun were Civil War novelties, technology that was ahead of its time.
Spent Bullets Tell a Story at Antietam2007-05-14 | Buried beneath a sun-dappled corn field in western Maryland lies detritus from the millions of rounds fired during the battle of Antietam, the single bloodiest day in American history.

American Indian Sharpshooters at the Battle of the Crater

Lieutenant Freeman S. Bowley was fighting for his life in the man-made hellhole that was the Petersburg Crater when he noticed that the former slaves in his company of the 30th United States Colored Troops were not the only men …

John Singleton Mosby's Revenge

A ragged line of Union soldiers stood in a field along Goose Creek in Rectortown, Virginia, on November 6, 1864. They jostled, chatted and joked with each other, pleased to be outdoors on a brisk autumn day. As prisoners of …

Visiting Stonewall Jackson's Left Arm at ChancellorsvilleGeneral Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's amputated arm got its own grave at Ellwood Cemetery in Orange County, Virginia.
Custer's Last Stand Still Stands UpThe Battle of the Little Bighorn is like a 10,000-piece jigsaw puzzle on the south-central Montana landscape - the stuff of legend and historical gamesmanship.
America's Civil War: Where Does Private Jemison RestWhere is the final resting place of Confederate Private Edwin F. Jemison, killed at Malvern Hill?
Letter From April 2007 Civil War Times

The Age of Machines and Steel

It will hardly be revelatory to most people reading these pages to point out that the Civil War materialized on the cusp of a technological revo­lution. What may be surprising to some is the …

Burning High Bridge: The South's Last Hope

In the final week of the war in Virginia, small villages, crossroads and railroad depots previously untouched by the fighting took on enormous importance as Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant sought to bring General Robert E. Lee to bay and …

Ulysses S. Grant: The 'Unconditional Surrender Continues

For most general officers, a headline-making victory accompanied by the abject surrender of an entire enemy army, such as Ulysses "Unconditional Surrender" Grant accomplished at Fort Donelson in February 1862, would have been quite enough for one career. But Grant …

Battle of Chickamauga and Gordon Granger's Reserve CorpsMajor General Gordon Granger's Reserve Corps of the Army of the Cumberland faced hard fighting at Chickamauga.
Letter From January 2007 Civil War Times

More to War Than Fighting

When you stop to consider everything that was involved in the day-to-day experience of a commanding general in the Civil War, you begin to wonder how they ever found any time to fight battles. It …

Ulysses S. Grant: The Myth of 'Unconditional Surrender Begins at Fort Donelson

In January 1943, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met in secret near Casablanca, Morocco, for their second wartime summit meeting. At the final press conference on January 24, Roosevelt announced to the world that the Allies would not stop …

Sapper Attack in the A Shau During the Vietnam WarFire Support Base Cunningham dominated the A Shau Valley. The sappers of the North Vietnamese Army's 812th Regiment were ordered to destroy it.
General Bragg's Impossible Dream: Take KentuckyThe 1862 invasion of Kentucky had great promise, but disappointing results.

By Frank van der Linden

Battle of Cold Harbor: The Folly and HorrorThe blame for a broad command failure that led to 7,000 unnecessary Union casualties in a single hour applies to more than just the commander in chief.

By Robert N. Thompson

USS Monitor: A Cheesebox on a RaftSwedish-born John Ericsson's fight to get the U.S. Navy to accept his "cheesebox-on-a-raft" design for ironclads was almost as tough as the resulting duel between the Monitor and the Virginia (Merrimac).
America's Civil War: Why the Irish Fought for the Union

The Irish experience in the Civil War has probably received more attention — and celebration — than that of any other ethnic group. Mention of the Irish commonly conjures up images of the Irish Brigade's doomed charge at Fredericksburg, of …

Letter From October 2006 Civil War Times

The Drive for War

What is it that ultimately causes a person to willfully endure the horrors of combat, and if need be, sacrifice his or her life? Certainly the noble inducements of patriotism, honor, belief in a cause or …

Battle of Gettysburg: General George Sears Greene at Culp's HillGeneral George Sears Greene led way on Culp's Hill on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg.
America's Civil War: Defense of Little Round TopUnion Colonel Joshua Chamberlain has long been lauded as the hero of Gettysburg's Little Round Top. But do Chamberlain and the 20th Maine deserve all the credit, or did he have some unheralded help?
America's Civil War: Little Round Top RegimentsRenowned for their valorous stand at Gettysburg, the Little Round Top Regiments saw many more days of combat, glory and horror before the Civil War ended.
Battle of Gettysburg FinaleGrievously wounded in body and spirit, the Army of Northern Virginia limped painfully away from Gettysburg while Union commander George Gordon Meade followed slowly -- too slowly, thought Abraham Lincoln.
America's Civil War: The Fall of RichmondWhile Jefferson Davis and his stunned Cabinet crowded onto a refugee-jammed train, thousands of less exalted Richmond residents wandered the fire-reddened streets of the capital.

By Ken Bivin

America's Civil War: Expedition to Destroy Dismal Swamp CanalEager to improve the regiment's somewhat tarnished reputation, Colonel Rush Hawkins' 9th New York Zouaves set off through North Carolina's Dismal Swamp to attack the canal at South Mills. What followed was not exactly what Hawkins had in mind.

By Joseph F. von Deck

Letter From the September 2006 Civil War Times Magazine

The Underdog Days of Summer

America loves an underdog, for obvious reasons. After all, we were an underdog from the second when feet hit the shore at Jamestown. If you were taking bets around the rest of the world on …

Battle of Antietam: Two Great American Armies Engage in CombatThe opposing armies at Antietam were two very different forces commanded by two very different men.

By Ted Alexander

Battle of Antietam: Federal Flank Attack at Dunker ChurchWith Union Major General Joseph Hooker's I Corps lying shattered in the blood-soaked cornfield at Antietam, Brigadier General George Greene's 'Bully Boys' somehow managed to punch a salient in the Confederate line. But would they be able to hold it?

By Robert C. Cheeks

Battle of Peachtree CreekNear the sluggish creek on the outskirts of Atlanta, new Confederate commander John Bell Hood struck the first 'manly blow' for Atlanta,living up to his lifelong reputation as a fighter--but accomplishing little. It would be a bad omen for all Hood's subsequent campaigns.

By Phil Noblitt

Battle of Gettysburg: Fury at Bliss FarmBack and forth, for 24 hours, soldiers at Gettysburg contested possession of a no man's land with an incongruous name--Bliss farm.

By John M. Archer

Battle of Gettysburg -- Day TwoIf Robert E. Lee's bold plan of attack had been followed on Day 2 at Gettysburg, there might never have been a third day of fighting. As it was, confusion and personal differences between commanders would severely affect the Confederate assault on Cemetery Ridge.
Battle of Belmont: Ulysses S. Grant Takes CommandWith Union and Confederate troops jockeying for position in neutral Kentucky, an inexperienced brigadier general -- Ulysses S. Gran- - led his equally green Federal troops on a risky foray along the Kentucky-Missouri border.

By Max Epstein

Battle of Cold HarborNot until World War I would so many men die in so little time. Why didn't Northerners hear about Grant's botched battle of Cold Harbor?

By David E. Long

Hoodwinked During America's Civil War: Confederate Military Deception

'In the conditions of real war, the feeling of uncertainty is magnified, and this makes the opponent much more sensitive to crafty deception — so that even the most threadbare ruse has succeeded time after time.'
– Sir Basil Liddell

17th Maine Infantry in the Battle of GettysburgThe 17th Maine helped transform a Gettysburg wheatfield into a legend.

By Jeffry D. Wert

James Longstreet: Robert E. Lee's Most Valuable Soldier

The words resonate through Confederate history like an unwelcome truth. As General Robert E. Lee made preparations for an assault on the center of the Union line at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863, his senior subordinate, Lieutenant General James Longstreet, …

Battle of Gettysburg: Who Really Fired the First ShotWhen Lieutenant Marcellus Jones touched off a shot in the early morning of July 1, 1863, at Gettysburg, he could not have realized that his bullet would create a controversy argued over for decades.
Battle of Antietam: 7th Maine's Senseless Charge On the Piper Farm

It had no effect on the battle — other than adding to the casualty lists — and there was no good reason for ordering it in the first place. But for the whim of a subpar brigade commander, whose sobriety …

George Smalley: Reporting from Battle of AntietamNew York Tribune reporter George Smalley scooped the world with his vivid account of the Battle of Antietam.
Account Of The Battle of ShilohIn the aftermath of a staggering Confederate surprise attack, skulking Union fugitives huddled alongside the bluffs overlooking the Tennessee River near Shiloh.
Battle of Shiloh: Shattering MythsEvents that have been distorted or enhanced by veterans and early battlefield administrators have become part of the accepted story of the April 1862 battle -- until now. Case in point: The Sunken Road wasn't.
Robert E. Lee and His Horse TravellerRarely have horse and rider gone so well together as Traveller and Robert E. Lee.
Leonidas Polk: Southern Civil War GeneralUnion artillery brought a deadly end to the career of clergyman-turned-soldier Leonidas Polk.
Hoodwinked During America's Civl War: Union Military DeceptionHoodwinked During the Civl War: Union Military Deception
Robert Charles Tyler: Last American Civil War Confederate General Slain in CombatAgainst impossible odds and following orders issued half a year earlier, Robert Charles Tyler became the last Confederate general slain in Civil War combat.
Battle of Fisher's HillGeneral George Crook's flank attack at Fisher's Hill swept down on the Rebel left like a force of nature.
Siege Of Corinth By Henry Halleck in 1862For one Union general -- Henry Halleck -- the march into Mississippi continued straight on to Washington.
Ephraim Dodd: An American Civil War Union PrisonerShould a Texas Ranger expect justice or death from his Union captors?
Rufus Pettit: American Civil War Union Prison InspectorUnion prison inspector Rufus Pettit had ways of making people talk--even innocent people.
Hugh Glass: Legendary Trapper in America's Western FrontierBloody and battered from an encounter with a she-grizzly, old trapper Hugh Glass was eventually left to die by two of his comrades. When he refused to die before exacting revenge, a legend was born.
George Armstrong Custer: Between Myth and RealityReality and myth about George Custer still collide on the battlefields of Virginia and Pennsylvania.

By Jeffry D. Wert

Baltimore & Ohio Railroad: The Union's Most Important Supply LineThe Baltimore & Ohio Railroad survived numerous hardships of the Civil War in its service to the Union.
USS Indianola: Union Ironclad in the American Civil WarThe powerful Union ironclad Indianola was jinxed from the start--poor design and bad morale made the vessel an accident waiting to happen. Near Vicksburg, she ultimately fulfilled her ill-starred destiny.
Account Of The Battle of the WildernessIn the dark, forbidding woods of Virginia's Wilderness, Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee stumbled blindly toward their first wartime encounter. Neither had a clear idea of his opponent's intentions, but each planned to do what he did best--attack.
Battle of Gaines' Mill: U.S. Army Regulars to the RescueAs Robert E. Lee hammered Federal forces at Gaines' Mill, Brig. Gen. George Sykes proud division of Regulars held its post of honor on the Union right. The 'Old Army was showing its mettle to the new.
Siege of Port HudsonPort Hudson, like Vicksburg, was a tough nut to crack. But the Union's traditional superiority in firepower, personified by the 1st Indiana Heavy Artillery, quickly went to work on the Rebel bastion.
Account Of The Battle of ChickamaugaOverconfident and overextended, the Union Army of the Cumberland advanced into the deep woods of northwest Georgia. Waiting Confederates did not intend for them to leave. At Chickamauga Creek, the two sides collided.
Union Captain Judson KilpatrickAn unknown farm boy, he attended West Point. Homely, he had an endless string of mistresses. An inept commander, he became a major general. What was Judson Kilpatrick's secret?
The 7th U.S. Infantry Service in the American Civil WarThe 7th U.S. Infantry's most powerful foe was John Barleycorn.
American Civil War: The 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry RegimentThe Twenty-Third Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment included two future presidents and an Army Commander.
Lew Wallace's American Civil War CareerLong before he published Ben-Hur, Lew Wallace rose from a career as an obscure small-town Indiana lawyer to take a prominent role in the Civil War.
America's Civil War: Loudoun RangersThe Quaker-dominated Loudoun Rangers openly defied Virginia tradition to serve the Union.
Field Armies and Fortifications in the Civil War: The Eastern Campaigns, 1861-1864 (Book Review)

Reviewed by Perry D. Jamieson, Air Force Historical Studies Office
By Earl J. Hess
University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill and London, 2005

Many books describe Civil War military operations in remarkable detail, but prove disappointing when it comes …

Capturing Fort Pulaski During the American Civil WarAs a young U.S. Army lieutenant, Robert E. Lee helped to construct Fort Pulaski. As a Confederate general 30 years later, he confidently assured fort defenders it could not be breached. Union gunners were not so sure.
'Home, Sweet Home': A Civil War Soldier's Favorite SongJohn Howard Payne's haunting 'Home, Sweet Home' was the Civil War soldier's favorite song.
America's Civil War: Major General John Pope's Narrow Escape at Clark's MountainWhile Robert E. Lee's entire army massed behind Clark's Mountain to attack the Union Army of Virginia, a daring Yankee spy swam the Rapidan River to warn Maj. Gen. John Pope of the imminent danger. It was, said one military historian, 'the timeliest single product of espionage' in the entire war.
Battle of Chickamauga: Colonel John Wilder's Lightning Brigade Prevented Total DisasterArmed with their new, lethal seven-shot Spencer rifles, Wilder's Lightning Brigade was all that stood between the Union Army and the looming disaster at Chickamauga Creek.
Second Battle of Manassas: Union Major General John Pope Was No Match for Robert E. LeeBrash, bombastic John Pope tempted fate by returning to the old battleground at Manassas. He thought he had caught Robert E. Lee napping. He was wrong.

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