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Civil War Timeline

Summary Of Events and Dates Of The American Civil War

The Civil War was fought from April 1861 to April 1865.

Civil War 1861

January: The South Secedes. Immediately after Abraham Lincoln is elected President, South Carolina calls a state convention to remove itself from the United States of America. South Carolina is quickly followed by Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. Later, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina also secedes, forming the Confederate States of America.

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.

June 3, Battle of Philippi, (West) Virginia

A skirmish involving over 3,000 soldiers, Philippi was the first battle of the civil war.

June 10, Battle of Big Bethel, Virginia
July 11, Battle of Rich Mountain, (West) Virginia
July 21, First Battle of Bull Run Manassas, Virginia

Also known as First Manassas, the first major engagement of the civil war.

November 7–8, Battle of Port Royal Sound, South Carolina

The battle of Port Royal was one of the earliest amphibious operations of the American Civil War.

November 7, Battle of Belmont, Missouri

General Ulysses S. Grant took command and began his Civil War career.
 

Civil War 1862

February 8, Roanoke Island, North Carolina
March 8–9, Battle Of Hampton Roads, Virginia

First battle between the ironclad warships, Monitor & Merrimack.

April 5–May 4 Siege of Yorktown, 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*
(*Collectively known as the Seven Days Campaign or Seven Days Battles.)
August 9, Battle of Cedar Mountain, Virginia
August 28–30, Second Battle of Bull Run Manassas, Virginia
September 12–15, Harpers Ferry, (West) Virginia
September 14, Battle of South Mountain, Maryland
September 17, Battle of Antietam / Sharpsburg
September 19–20, Shepherdstown, (West) Virginia

Union General George McClellan pursued Robert E. Lee through three mountain passes during the Maryland Campaign.

December 11–15, Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia
February 6, Fort Henry, Tennessee
February 11–16, Siege of Fort Donelson, Tennessee
March 3–April 8, Siege of New Madrid and Island No. 10, Missouri (Mississippi River)
April 6–7, Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee
May 25–30, Siege of Corinth, Corinth, Mississippi

Henry Halleck took Corinth after a month-long siege.

June 28, Battle of Vicksburg, Mississippi
August 29, Battle of Richmond, Kentucky
October 3–4, Battle of Corinth, Mississippi

Two years after the Siege of Corinth, Maj. General William S. Rosecrans defeated the Confederate Army.

October 5, Hatchie’s Bridge, Tennessee
October 8, Battle of Perryville, Kentucky.

Account of the 21st Wisconsin Infantry Regiment’s harrowing fight.

December 31–January 2, Battle of Stones River / Murfreesboro, Tennessee

The culmination of the Stones River Campaign, the battle of Stones River had the highest casualty rates on both sides.

March 8, Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas
October 4, Battle of Galveston, Texas

Civil War 1863

April 30–May 6, Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia
May 3, Fredericksburg, Virginia
July 1–3, Battle of Gettyburg, Pennsylvania
April 10, Battle of Franklin, Tennessee.

Account of the bloody confederate slaughter in Franklin, Tennessee.

May 18–July 4, Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi
September 18, Battle Of Chickamauga, Georgia
November 23-25, Battle Of Chattanooga, Tennessee November 24, Lookout Mountain (Chattanooga), TennesseeCivil War 1864

Civil War 1864

May 5–7, Battle Of The Wilderness, Virginia
May 6–7, Port Walthall Junction, Virginia
May 8–21, Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse, 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.

May 31-June 12, Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia
June 15–18, Battle of Petersburg, Virginia
July 30, Battle of the Crater, Siege of Petersburg, Virginia
September 21–24, Battle of 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.’

April 12, Battle of Fort Pillow, Tennessee

Nathan Bedford Forrest led a massacre in Tennessee.

May 7–13. Rocky Face, Georgia
May 13–15, Battle of Resaca, Georgia

Major General William T. Sherman took on Joseph E. Johnston during the Atlanta campaign.

July 22, Battle of Atlanta, Georgia
December 15–16, Battle of Nashville  Nashville, Tennessee

The battle of Nashville was the last major battle in the Western Theater and a major victory for the Union.

December 24–27, Fort Fisher, North Carolina

August 5, Battle of Mobile Bay

Civil War 1865

April 5, Amelia Springs, Virginia*
April 6, Rice’s Station, Virginia*
April 6, Saylor’s Creek, Virginia*
April 6–7, High Bridge, Virginia*
April 7, Cumberland Church, Virginia*
April 8, Appomattox Courthouse at Appomattox Station, Virginia*
April 9, General Robert E. Lee surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia (*Collectively known as the Appomattox Campaign.)

Civil War Timeline Articles From History Net Magazines

Civil War 1861

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

American Civil War: The 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry RegimentThe Twenty-Third Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment included two future presidents and an Army Commander.
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.
Union General Judson KilpatrickUnion General Judson Kilpatrick was flamboyant, reckless, tempestuous, and even licentious. In some respects he made other beaux sabreurs like fellow-cavalrymen George Custer and J. E. B. Stuart seem dull.
Battle of Wilson’s CreekThe Battle of Wilson's Creek helped to keep a critical border state out of the Confederacy.
Battle of Ball’s BluffConfederate soldiers drove inexperienced Union troops acting on faulty intelligence into the Potomac River like lemmings.
Brigadier General Thomas F. MeagherBrigadier General Thomas F. Meagher, the colorful leader of the Irish Brigade, fought many battles--not all of them with the enemy.
1st Louisiana Special Battalion at the First Battle of ManassasRecruited from New Orleans' teeming waterfront by soldier of fortune Roberdeau Wheat, the 1st Louisiana Special Battalion more than lived up to its pugnacious nickname--Wheat's Tigers--at the First Battle of Manassas.
Ambrose Bierce’s Civil War: One Man’s Morbid VisionFor Ambrose Bierce, the enemy was not really the gray-clad host at the other end of the field, but death, and the terror of death and wounds.
America’s Civil War: Front Royal Was the Key to the Shenandoah ValleyThe pretty little town of Front Royal, in the Shenandoah Valley, had a strategic value that belied its size. As Stonewall Jackson knew, it was the key to the valley, the state of Virginia and the war itself.
Donnybrook: The Battle of Bull Run, 1861 (Book Review)Reviewed by Dan Monroe By David Detzer Harcourt In Donnybrook: The Battle of Bull Run, 1861, retired history professor David Detzer returns to the battle that made plain the bloody intensity that was to characterize the Civil War in the Eastern theater. Caught up in a surging tide of Northern public opinion favoring aggressive action, …
Donnybrook: The Battle of Bull Run, 1861 (Book Review)Reviewed by John HennessyBy David Detzer New York: Harcourt, Inc., 2004 Whether you refer to it as Manassas or Bull Run, you’ll want this book on the war’s first major battle. The First Battle of Bull Run, or Manassas, holds an odd place in the nation’s historical mind. It grabs our attention because it was …
Second Battle of Bull Run: Destruction of the 5th New York ZouavesThe Texas Brigade tide bore down on the isolated 5th New York Zouaves at Second Bull Run. A fine regiment was about to be destroyed.
37th North Carolina Infantry Regiment in the American Civil WarThe service of the 37th North Carolina epitomized the grit and determination of Tar Heel fighters.
First Battle of Bull Run: The U.S MarinesWith hordes of eager Confederates gathering at Manassas, panicky Union commanders massed whatever forces they could in the nation's capital. Among those answering the call were the U.S. Marines. Manassas, however, would not be one of their shining moments.
America’s Civil War: John Mosby and George Custer Clash in the Shenandoah ValleyWhen Civil War's John Singleton Mosby's Partisan Rangers clashed with George A. Custer's Union Cavalry, the niceties of war were the first casualty. Reprisal and counter reprisal became the order of the day.
The Irish Brigade Fought in America’s Civil WarTheir casualties were enormous but their courage and capacity for fun were legendary. General Lee, himself, gave highest praise to these Yankees of the Irish Brigade.
War Watchers at Bull Run During America’s Civil WarA crowd of Washington politicos, socialites, and newsmen came out to watch the war's first real battle, along northern Virginia's Bull Run. For most, the view was as disappointing as the fight's outcome. But a few got to see all the action they could handle, and more.
Battle of HanoverSouthern beau sabreur J.E.B. Stuart hardly expected to run head-on into enemy cavalry on his second ride around the Union Army. But a trio of 'boy generals' would soon give the famed Confederate horseman all the action he could handle.
Account Of The Battle of PhilippiAt Philippi, in western Virginia, one overly optimistic young colonel confidently awaited reinforcements as Union columns converged on his tiny force from all directions in the first full-fledged battle of the Civil War.
America’s Civil War: March 2001 From the EditorFrom the Editor America's Civil War Yale’s Theodore Winthrop once rivaled Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., as the Ivy League’s most prominent Civil War veteran. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., by virtue of his long and distinguished legal career, may have been the most famous Harvard College graduate to take part in the Civil …
Book Review: General Robert F. Hoke: Lee’s Most Modest Warrior (Daniel W. Barefoot) : MHGeneral Robert F. Hoke: Lee’s Most Modest Warrior, by Daniel W. Barefoot, John F. Blair, Publisher, Winston-Salem, N.C., 1996, $24.95. Lincolnton, N.C., named for Revolutionary War hero Benjamin Lincoln, produced four generals for the Confederacy, including Robert F. Hoke. Author Daniel Barefoot admits in his preface that this book, the first full-length biography of the …
Book Review: Custer: The Controversial Life of George Armstrong Custer (Jeffry D. Wert) : ACWGeorge Armstrong Custer's controversial life ended in an equally controversial death at the Little Bighorn.
Book: Davis and Lee at War (Steven E. Woodworth): ACWDAVIS AND LEE AT WARThe decisive impact of politics on Civil War strategy is currently a hot topic among Civil War historians. Works analyzing thehigh commands of the Federal and Confederate armies and their complex relationships with the political hierarchy of theirrespective governments have proliferated, adding a new layer of knowledge to our understanding of …
Book Review: Richard S. Ewell: A Soldier’s Life (Donald C. Pfanz) : ACW‘Old Bald Head’ Ewell was a much better general than his notoriously eccentric image sometimes suggested. By B. Keith Toney With the possible exception of World War II, the American Civil War has been written about more often than any other war. Certainly it can be argued that no army in any time period has …
The Approaching Fury: Voices of the Storm, 1820-1861 (Stephen B. Oates) : ACWThe Approaching Fury: Voices of the Storm, 1820-1861, by Stephen B. Oates, HarperCollins, New York, 1997, $28. The vast pantheon of Civil War literature is graced with titles focusing on the underlying causes of America’s bloodiest conflict. Politics and economics, racial and social undercurrents, states’ rights and Manifest Destiny–all have received minute scrutiny. Far too …
Book Review: Stonewall Jackson: The Man, The Soldier, The Legend (James I. Robertson) : ACWA magisterial new biography of Stonewall Jackson presents all sides of a complex, often inscrutable man. By Richard F. Welch At the time of his death in May 1863, Lieutenant General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson was the best-known Civil War commander. Revered in the South and feared in the North, Jackson so personified the Confederacy’s …
Mantled in Fire and Smoke – Sidebar: July ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureThe Colorful 44th New York Regiment Colonel Joshua Chamberlain’s 20th Maine may have won the most fame during the grueling fight for control of Little Round Top, but the largest regimental monument on the battlefield today commemorates a brother regiment that fought alongside the 20th Maine that desperate afternoon–the 44th New York, the “People’s Ellsworth …
WHEAT’S TIGERS Confederate Zouaves at First Manassas – May ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureWHEAT'S TIGERS Confederate Zouaves at First Manassas By Gary Schreckengost Recruited from New Orleans’ teeming waterfront by soldier of fortune Roberdeau Wheat, the 1st Louisiana Special Battalion more than lived up to its pugnacious nickname–Wheat’s Tigers–at the First Battle of Manassas. Of all the units that took the field at the First Battle of Manassas …
Camp William Penn’s Black Soldiers In Blue – November ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureCamp William Penn's Black Soldiers In Blue By Donald Scott Under the stern but sympathetic gaze of Lt. Col. Louis Wagner, some 11,000 African-American soldiers trained to fight for their freedom at Philadelphia’s Camp William Penn. Three Medal of Honor recipients would pass through the camp’s gates. Major Louis Wagner of the 88th Pennsylvania Infantry …
Stonewall’s Only Defeat – January ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureStonewalls Only Defeat By Lee Enderlin A furious Stonewall Jackson watched impotently as his proud Confederates stumbled down the hillside at Kernstown, Va. “Give them the bayonet,” Jackson implored–but no one obeyed. The Confederate general didn’t want to fight–he wanted to pray. It was, after all, the Sabbath, and if the Good Lord found it …
The Photographer of the Confederacy – May 1999 Civil War Times FeatureThe Photographer of the Confederacy BY CONLEY L. EDWARDS III In an attempt to explain why he undertook the task of battlefield photography during the Civil War, Mathew Brady said, “I felt I had to go, a spirit in my feet said go, and I went.” The modern student of the Civil War indeed owes …
Why the South Lost the Civil War – Cover Page: February ’99 American History FeatureTen Civil War historians provide contrasting and controversial views on how and why the Confederate cause ultimately ended in defeat.
Confused First Flight – Sidebar: January ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureForgotten Federal Success Despite the censure heaped upon Colonel George A. Porterfield for his conduct at the less-than-epic Battle of Philippi, the men who relieved him– including those who served on the court of inquiry–would do no better than he in wrenching western Virginia free of the tightening grasp of Major General George B. McClellan’s …
Confused First Flight – January ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureReturn To The Killing Ground By David Mallinson At Philippi, in western Virginia, one overly optimistic young colonel confidentlyawaited reinforcements as Union columns converged on his tiny force from alldirections in the first full-fledged battle of the Civil War. On the morning of May 14, 1861, Confederate Colonel George A. Porterfield of Charles Town, Virginia, …

Civil War 1862

Battle of Ox HillWith Union General John Pope reeling in defeat after the Battle of Second Manassas, Stonewall Jackson confidently set out to block Pope's retreat. It would be easy pickings--so Jackson thought.

By Robert James

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 Hart Desperate times require desperate measures, and in warfare few are more cunning — or …
James Longstreet: Robert E. Lee’s Most Valuable SoldierThe 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, voiced objections. At one point in the discussion, Longstreet recounted his experience as a soldier …
Battle of Antietam: 7th Maine’s Senseless Charge On the Piper FarmIt 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 some held in question, it never would have happened. Yet late on the afternoon of …
George Smalley: Reporting from Battle of AntietamNew York Tribune reporter George Smalley scooped the world with his vivid account of the Battle of Antietam.
Robert E. Lee and His Horse TravellerRarely have horse and rider gone so well together as Traveller and Robert E. Lee.
Hoodwinked During America’s Civl War: Union Military DeceptionHoodwinked During the Civl War: Union Military Deception
Battle of Harpers FerryHarpers Ferry was the scene of an important 1862 battle in Lee's Maryland campaign and a prelude to 'Bloody Antietam.'
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.
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.
America’s Civil War: Loudoun RangersThe Quaker-dominated Loudoun Rangers openly defied Virginia tradition to serve the Union.
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: Horses and Field ArtilleryWorking side by side with soldiers, horses labored to pull artillery pieces into battle. Without them, field artillery could not have been used to such deadly effect.
Abraham Lincoln and Walt Whitman: War’s Kindred SpiritsKindred spirits Abraham Lincoln and Walt Whitman prepared themselves for another bloody year of war as 1863 dawned.
Battle of Antietam: Controversial Crossing on Burnside’s BridgeShould General Ambrose Burnside have ordered his men to wade Antietam Creek? Author Marvel undertook a personal odyssey to find out.
44th Georgia Regiment Volunteers in the American Civil WarThe hard-fighting 44th Georgia suffered some of the heaviest losses of any regiment in the Civil War.
Battle of Antietam: Taking Rohrbach Bridge at Antietam CreekWhile Union commander George McClellan fumed and the Battle of Antietam hung in the balance, a handful of Rebels held off Federal troops at 'Burnside Bridge.'
Confederate General Samuel GarlandWhen Samuel Garland fell at South Mountain, the Confederacy lost a promising general and a proven leader.
Brigadier General John Gibbon’s Brief Breach During the Battle of FredericksburgAlthough overshadowed by the doomed Federal attack on the Confederate center, General John Gibbon's 2nd Division managed -- however briefly -- to make a breakthrough on the Union left.
Brigadier General Thomas F. MeagherBrigadier General Thomas F. Meagher, the colorful leader of the Irish Brigade, fought many battles--not all of them with the enemy.
Battle of ShepherdstownThe savage little Battle of Shepherdstown made for a bloody coda to the 1862 Maryland campaign.
High-Water Mark: The 1862 Maryland Campaign in Strategic Perspective (Book Review)Reviewed Ted AlexanderBy Timothy J. Reese Baltimore, Butternut and Blue Press, 2004 By Mark Dunkelman By fall 1862, Confederate morale was the highest it had been since the start of the war and Confederate armies were on the move on a front more than 1,000 miles wide. In the Western theater, Confederate incursions into Kentucky …
Battle of Antietam: Carnage in a CornfieldMr. Miller's humble cornfield near Antietam Creek became the unlikely setting for perhaps the worst fighting of the entire Civil War.
37th North Carolina Infantry Regiment in the American Civil WarThe service of the 37th North Carolina epitomized the grit and determination of Tar Heel fighters.
America’s Civil War: Savage Skirmish Near SharpsburgWith Robert E. Lee's wily Confederates waiting somewhere in the vicinity of Antietam Creek, Union General George McClellan ordered I Corps commander Joseph Hooker to advance and turn the Rebel flank. But McClellan, for once, was too quick to move, and Hooker soon found himself in an unexpectedly vicious fight.
Second Battle of Winchester: Richard Ewell Takes CommandOne month after Stonewall Jackson's death at Chancellorsville, Robert E. Lee turned to Stonewall's trusted lieutenant, Richard Ewell, to cover his invasion of the North. Was 'Old Bald Head' up to the challenge?
America’s Civil War: XI Corps Fight During the Chancellorsville CampaignDisliked and distrusted by their comrades in the Army of the Potomac, the men of the XI Corps would find their reputation further damaged by a twilight encounter with Stonewall Jackson's troops in the dark woods at Chancellorsville.

Civil War 1863

Is It MosbyIs this a previously unknown portrait of the Gray Ghost?
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 Dinwiddie Court HouseUlysses S. Grant sent his trusted cavalry commander Phil Sheridan to flank Robert E. Lee out of Petersburg. The crossroads hamlet of Dinwiddie Court House soon became the focal point for one of the most pivotal cavalry battles of the war.

By Mark J. Crawford

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 SoldierThe 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, voiced objections. At one point in the discussion, Longstreet recounted his experience as a soldier …
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 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.
Hoodwinked During America’s Civl War: Union Military DeceptionHoodwinked During the Civl War: Union Military Deception
CSS Albemarle: Confederate Ironclad in the American Civil WarAn unstoppable confederate war machine -- Albemarle -- finally meets its match against Union raiders.
Abraham Lincoln Prepares to Fight a Saber DuelOne morning in 1842, Abraham Lincoln stood on a Missouri Island, ready to fight a saber duel. What happened next would determine not only Lincoln's fate, but the future of America.
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

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.
American Civil War: The 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry RegimentThe Twenty-Third Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment included two future presidents and an Army Commander.
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.
America’s Civil War: Horses and Field ArtilleryWorking side by side with soldiers, horses labored to pull artillery pieces into battle. Without them, field artillery could not have been used to such deadly effect.
44th Georgia Regiment Volunteers in the American Civil WarThe hard-fighting 44th Georgia suffered some of the heaviest losses of any regiment in the Civil War.
Frederick Stowe: In the Shadow of Uncle Tom’s CabinThe fame of novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe followed her son throughout the Civil War.
America’s Civil War: Union Soldiers Hanged in North CarolinaEight months after Major General George E. Pickett led his famous charge, he hanged Union prisoners in North Carolina.
Weaponry: The Rifle-Musket and the Minié BallThe Civil War's deadliest weapons were not rapid-fire guns or giant cannon, but the simple rifle-musket and the humble minié ball.
Union General Judson KilpatrickUnion General Judson Kilpatrick was flamboyant, reckless, tempestuous, and even licentious. In some respects he made other beaux sabreurs like fellow-cavalrymen George Custer and J. E. B. Stuart seem dull.
Battle of Ball’s BluffConfederate soldiers drove inexperienced Union troops acting on faulty intelligence into the Potomac River like lemmings.
Gas Balloons: View From Above the Civil War BattlefieldLed by pioneering balloonist Thaddeus Lowe, daredevil aeronauts on both sides of the war took to the skies in flimsy balloons to eyeball their opponents' every move. Soldiers on the ground often did not take kindly to the unwanted attention.
THE CLASSICS: The Iron Brigade (Book Review)Reviewed by Peter S. CarmichaelBy Alan T. Nolan Alan T. Nolan pioneered the modern regimental history with The Iron Brigade. The voices of the "Black Hat Boys," who comprised one of the fiercest combat units in the Army of the Potomac, still resound in The Iron Brigade, by Alan T. Nolan. George Pickett, although not …
Battle of ShepherdstownThe savage little Battle of Shepherdstown made for a bloody coda to the 1862 Maryland campaign.
Ambrose Bierce’s Civil War: One Man’s Morbid VisionFor Ambrose Bierce, the enemy was not really the gray-clad host at the other end of the field, but death, and the terror of death and wounds.
John Cabell Early Remembers GettysburgMajor General Jubal Early's nephew recalled the famous meeting on July 1 between his uncle and General Robert E. Lee during the 1863 invasion of Pennsylvania.
America’s Civil War Comes to West PointThough the Corps of Cadets was forced apart by political differences in 1860-61, and passions grew intense, there were more tears than hurrahs among the Northerners when their Southern friends resigned. The last institution to divide, the Academy was one of the first to reunite.

Civil War 1864

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

James Longstreet: Robert E. Lee’s Most Valuable SoldierThe 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, voiced objections. At one point in the discussion, Longstreet recounted his experience as a soldier …
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.
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.
Battle of New Market Heights: USCT Soldiers Proved Their HeroismOn a gunfire-swept slope near Richmond on September 29, 1864, USCT soldiers stood to the test and proved black men made good professional troops. Fourteen of them received the Medal of Honor for their bravery.
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 Sailor’s CreekThe April 6, 1865 Battle of Sailor's Creek constituted one of the darkest days in the Army of Northern Virginia's history.
America’s Civil War: Horses and Field ArtilleryWorking side by side with soldiers, horses labored to pull artillery pieces into battle. Without them, field artillery could not have been used to such deadly effect.
44th Georgia Regiment Volunteers in the American Civil WarThe hard-fighting 44th Georgia suffered some of the heaviest losses of any regiment in the Civil War.
Battle of Champion’s HillWith Ulysses S. Grant's army steadily menacing Vicksburg, Confederate General John Pemberton left the town's comforting defenses to seek out the enemy army. Too late, he found it, at Champion's Hill.
Union General Judson KilpatrickUnion General Judson Kilpatrick was flamboyant, reckless, tempestuous, and even licentious. In some respects he made other beaux sabreurs like fellow-cavalrymen George Custer and J. E. B. Stuart seem dull.
THE CLASSICS: The Passing of Armies : An Account Of The Final Campaign Of The Army Of The Potomac (Book Review)Reviewed by Peter S. Carmichael By Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Fame for his actions at Little Round Top has overshadowed the rest of Joshua Chamberlain’s historical résumé. Admirers and critics alike tend to reduce his wartime contributions to a single but decisive moment on July 2, 1863. The Bowdoin College professor is partially to blame for …
America’s Civil War: Pre-dawn Assault on Fort StedmanLed by select groups of sharpshooters, the weary, muddy troops of the Army of Northern Virginia made one last desperate push to break out of Petersburg.
Major General George Stoneman Led the Last American Civil War Cavalry RaidEven as General Robert E. Lee was surrendering at Appomattox, a vengeful Union cavalry horde led by Maj. Gen. George Stoneman made Southern civilians pay dearly for the war. It was a last brutal lesson in the concept of total warfare.
37th North Carolina Infantry Regiment in the American Civil WarThe service of the 37th North Carolina epitomized the grit and determination of Tar Heel fighters.
America’s Civil War: Assault at PetersburgSixth Corps Yankees stumbled out of their earthworks and toward the muddy pits of the Army of Northern Virginia. It was the beginning of the end at Petersburg.
Harry Macarthy: The Bob Hope of the ConfederacyHe could make tired soldiers laugh, and his 'Bonnie Blue Flag' churned southern audiences into a frenzy. That was why Harry Macarthy was loved from one end of the confederacy to the other.
The Irish Brigade Fought in America’s Civil WarTheir casualties were enormous but their courage and capacity for fun were legendary. General Lee, himself, gave highest praise to these Yankees of the Irish Brigade.
Drones in the Great Hive: A Letter from an African-American Civil War SoldierChristian A. Fleetwood -- an African-American Medal of Honor-winner -- writes bitterly of the way the Union army treats its black soldiers.
Billy Yank and Johnny Reb: On the Road to AtlantaBell Irvin Wiley -- the late dean of common-soldier studies -- works his storytelling magic in this 1964 profile of the extraordinary men who grappled for Georgia's key city.
America’s Civil War: Last Ditch Rebel Stand at PetersburgAfter nearly 10 months of trench warfare, Confederate resistance at Petersburg, Va., suddenly collapsed. Desperate to save his army, Robert E. Lee called on his soldiers for one last miracle.
America’s Civil War: The South’s Feuding GeneralsIt sometimes seemed that Southern generals were more interested in fighting each other than in fighting Yankees. Their inability to get along together contributed greatly to the South's demise.
Eyewitness to the Battle of AtlantaAmong the blue-clad soldiers moving against Atlanta in late July 1864 was Major Thomas T. Taylor of Georgetown, Ohio. His letters to his wife described his experiences during the Battle of Atlanta.
Major General J.E.B. Stuart: Last Stand of the Last KnightMajor General J.E.B. Stuart posted his horsemen at Yellow Tavern -- between Union attackers and Richmond -- and waited for the collision. It would come with a deadliness he could never have imagined.
General Francis Channing BarlowGeneral Francis Channing Barlow's clean-cut, boyish appearance belied his reputation as one of the Union's hardest-fighting divisional commanders.
Siege of Petersburg: The City and Citizens Were Impacted from the StartCircled by Confederate trenches, hard pressed by Union forces, the people of Petersburg had nothing left to do but endure -- and pray for a miracle.
Winchester, Virginia: A Town Embattled During America’s Civil WarWinchester, Virginia, saw more of the war than any other place North or South.
Battle of the Wilderness With General Robert E. LeeAs the Union army crossed the Rapidan River to commence its powerful 1864 spring offensive, Confederate General Robert E. Lee scrambled to divine his enemy's intentions. But not even Lee could fully pierce the fog of war.
Eyewitness to American Civil War: Iron Brigade Soldier’s Wartime LettersTimothy Webster survived Fredericksburg and Gettysburg with the Iron Brigade, but not Petersburg.
Battle of Yellow TavernBadly misunderstanding his opponent's intentions, Jeb Stuart played into Phil Sheridan's hands at Yellow Tavern. A swirling cavalry fight ensued.

Civil War 1865

Battle of Dinwiddie Court HouseUlysses S. Grant sent his trusted cavalry commander Phil Sheridan to flank Robert E. Lee out of Petersburg. The crossroads hamlet of Dinwiddie Court House soon became the focal point for one of the most pivotal cavalry battles of the war.

By Mark J. Crawford

James Longstreet: Robert E. Lee’s Most Valuable SoldierThe 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, voiced objections. At one point in the discussion, Longstreet recounted his experience as a soldier …
Robert E. Lee and His Horse TravellerRarely have horse and rider gone so well together as Traveller and Robert E. Lee.
Battle of Sailor’s CreekThe April 6, 1865 Battle of Sailor's Creek constituted one of the darkest days in the Army of Northern Virginia's history.
America’s Civil War: Images of Peace at AppomattoxEvery picture tells a different story about Lee's surrender.
44th Georgia Regiment Volunteers in the American Civil WarThe hard-fighting 44th Georgia suffered some of the heaviest losses of any regiment in the Civil War.
Father John B. Tabb: Aboard Confederate Blockade RunnersFather John B. Tabb, an unreconstructed Rebel to the end, had served the Confederacy aboard blockade runners.
America’s Civil War: Pre-dawn Assault on Fort StedmanLed by select groups of sharpshooters, the weary, muddy troops of the Army of Northern Virginia made one last desperate push to break out of Petersburg.
Major General George Stoneman Led the Last American Civil War Cavalry RaidEven as General Robert E. Lee was surrendering at Appomattox, a vengeful Union cavalry horde led by Maj. Gen. George Stoneman made Southern civilians pay dearly for the war. It was a last brutal lesson in the concept of total warfare.
Lieutenant Colonel Horace C. Porter: Eyewitness to the Surrender at AppomattoxLieutenant Colonel Horace C. Porter provides a firsthand account of Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House in April 1865.
Edwin Booth Saved Robert Todd Lincoln’s LifeA Lincoln family incident during the Civil War became a remarkable snippet of assassination lore.
America’s Civil War: Assault at PetersburgSixth Corps Yankees stumbled out of their earthworks and toward the muddy pits of the Army of Northern Virginia. It was the beginning of the end at Petersburg.
Battle of Gettysburg: Fighting at Little Round TopThe Battle of Gettysburg, and perhaps the fate of the Union, was decided in one hour of desperate fighting on the rocky ledges of Little Round Top.
America’s Civil War: Last Ditch Rebel Stand at PetersburgAfter nearly 10 months of trench warfare, Confederate resistance at Petersburg, Va., suddenly collapsed. Desperate to save his army, Robert E. Lee called on his soldiers for one last miracle.
Camp William Penn: Training Ground for FreedomUnder the stern but sympathetic gaze of Lt. Col. Louis Wagner, some 11,000 African-American soldiers trained to fight for their freedom at Philadelphia's Camp William Penn. Three Medal of Honor recipients would pass through the camp's gates.
Siege of Petersburg: The City and Citizens Were Impacted from the StartCircled by Confederate trenches, hard pressed by Union forces, the people of Petersburg had nothing left to do but endure -- and pray for a miracle.
Northern Volunteer Nurses of America’s Civil WarA cadre of dedicated Northern women from all walks of life traveled to the charnel houses of the Civil War to care for the sick and wounded.
Reno Gang’s Reign Of TerrorLong before the James brothers began robbing trains, the Reno brothers tried their hand at it in post--Civil War Indiana, but the outlaw Hoosiers' reign didn't last long.By William Bell
Old Dominion Brigade in America’s Civil WarThe Virginia regiments originally under the brigade command of William Mahone seemed to save their best for last. After two years of average service, they became Robert E. Lee's go-to troops in the Wilderness and at Petersburg's Crater.
Book Review: A Place Called Appomattox (by William Marvel): CWTA Place Called Appomattox, by William Marvel, University of North Carolina Press, 400 pages, $34.95. The history industry is replete with scholars hawking startling, or at least intriguing, reinterpretations of familiar stories. Revisionism is the engine that keeps the history presses rolling, and in past years William Marvel has made a fair dollar–and inspired a …
Book Review: Custer: The Controversial Life of George Armstrong Custer (Jeffry D. Wert) : ACWGeorge Armstrong Custer's controversial life ended in an equally controversial death at the Little Bighorn.
Book Review: Lee vs. Pickett: Two Divided By War : ACWLee vs. Pickett: Two Divided by War will stand as a groundbreaking study of a fascinating relationship.
Book Review: A Place Called Appomattox (By William Marvel): ACWTwo volumes offer new interpretations and shatter some myths about the end of the Civil War. By A. Wilson Green William Marvel knows how to tell a good story. He is also a master at debunking myths and reinterpreting historical orthodoxy. Readers familiar with his monograph about the notorious Confederate prison camp at Andersonville, Georgia, …
Book Review: The Confederate War (Gary Gallagher) : ACWIn his provocative new book, The Confederate War, author Gary Gallagher revises the revisionists. By Richard F. Welch Over the past 15 years an influential school of Civil War historians–now perhaps the dominant orthodoxy–has argued that class, race and gender divisions so wracked the South that the Confederacy was foredoomed to defeat. Exponents of this …
Book Review: The Wilmington Campaign: Last Rays of Departing Hope (James R. Arnold and Roberta Wiener) : AHThe Wilmington Campaign: Last Rays of Departing Hope, by Chris E. Fonvielle, Jr., Savas Publishing, Campbell, California, (800) 848-6585, 623 pages, $32.95. While most aspects of the American Civil War have been examined in minute detail by an infinite body of historians, journalists, novelists, and writers in general, it actually is possible for a probing …
Book Review: Wisconsin in the Civil War: The Home Front and the Battle Front, 1861-1865 (Frank L. Klement) : AHWisconsin in the Civil War: The Home Front and the Battle Front, 1861-1865, by Frank L. Klement, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 816 State Street, Madison, WI 53706, 141 pages, $35 (includes shipping). At the start of the Civil War, Wisconsin was only a dozen years removed from territorial status. But from its relatively small …
Battle of Gettysburg: Major Eugene Blackford and the Fifth Alabama SharpshootersAs fighting swirled all around the little town of Gettysburg, Major Eugene Blackford and his sharpshooters infiltrated the usually quiet streets to snipe at Union soldiers often mere paces away. It was dangerous duty, but also a sort of reckless sport.
American History: December 2000 From the EditorAn American Named UlyssesRecent months have seen the publication of no less than three novels about Ulysses S. Grant. Even taking into consideration the public’s enduring fascination with the Civil War, I find that somewhat astonishing. Yet, on further reflection, Grant’s life does provide the raw stuff of fiction, an epic tale of an ordinary …
MANTLED IN FIRE AND SMOKE – July ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureMANTLED IN FIRE AND SMOKE By David F. Cross The Battle of Gettysburg, and perhaps the fate of the Union, was decided in one hour of desperate fighting on the rocky ledges of Little Round Top. In June 1863, Confederate military fortunes in the East were at their zenith. The Union Army of the Potomac …
The North’s Unsung Sisters of Mercy – September ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureThe North's Unsung Sisters of Mercy By Alice P. Stein A cadre of dedicated Northern women from all walks of life traveled to the charnel houses of the Civil War to care for the sick and wounded. They came from the paneled drawing rooms of the nation’s great mansions, the log lean-tos of the far …

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