American
Civil War
"We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth."
~ Abraham Lincoln
Key Battles
in American
Civil War
The Civil War began with the Confederate attack on the Fort Sumter, on April 12, 1861, just over 156 years ago. While many aspects of society and culture have changed, it's important to realize that the hopes, dreams and aspirations of Americans back then were very much the same. The destruction of the United States was then, as it would be today, unfathomable and heartbreaking.
5
I
Battle of Fort Sumter
Date: April 12–13, 1861
Location: Charleston
June 14, 1805 – October 26, 1871
Robert Anderson
Union: Major General
Robert Anderson was a United States Army officer during the American Civil War. He was the Union commander in the first battle of the American Civil War at Fort Sumter in April 1861; the Confederates bombarded the fort and forced its surrender to start the war. Anderson was celebrated as a hero in the North and promoted to brigadier general and given command of Union forces in Kentucky. He was removed late in 1861 and reassigned to Rhode Island, before retiring from military service in 1863.
May 28, 1818 – February 20, 1893
Pierre Beauregard
Confederate : Major General
Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard was an American military officer who was the first prominent general of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. Today, he is commonly referred to as P. G. T. Beauregard, but he rarely used his first name as an adult. He signed correspondence as G. T. Beauregard.
Union Troops:
85
Confederate Troops:
500
Union Troops: 85
Confederate Troops: 500
Battle of Fort Sumter
On Thursday, April 11, 1861, Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard dispatched aides to Maj. Anderson to demand the fort's surrender. Anderson refused. The next morning, at 4:30 a.m., Confederate batteries opened fire on Fort Sumter and continued for the next 34 hours.
On Saturday, April 13, Anderson surrendered the fort. Incredibly, no soldiers were killed in battle. The terms of surrender, however, allowed Anderson to perform a 100-gun salute before he and his men evacuated the fort the next day.
Battle of Fort Sumter
32°45′8″N — 79°52′29″W
Fort Sumter
II
Battle of Shiloh
Date: Apr 6, 1862 – Apr 7, 1862
Location: Hardin County
March 23, 1818 – November 19, 1898
Don Carlos Buell
Union: Major General
Don Carlos Buell was a United States Army officer who fought in the Seminole War, the Mexican–American War, and the American Civil War. Buell led Union armies in two great Civil War battles—Shiloh and Perryville. The nation was angry at his failure to defeat the outnumbered Confederates after Perryville, or to secure East Tennessee. Historians generally concur that he was a brave and industrious master of logistics, but was too cautious and too rigid to meet the great challenges he faced in 1862. Buell was relieved of field command in late 1862 and made no more significant military contributions.
February 2, 1803 – April 6, 1862
Albert S. Johnston
Confederate: Senior Brigadier General
Albert Sidney Johnston served as a general in three different armies: the Texian Army, the United States Army, and the Confederate States Army. He saw extensive combat during his 34-year military career. Considered by Confederate States President Jefferson Davis to be the finest general officer in the Confederacy before the later emergence of Robert E. Lee, he was killed early in the Civil War at the Battle of Shiloh on April 6, 1862. Johnston was the highest-ranking officer, Union or Confederate, killed during the entire war.
Union Troops:
65,085
Confederate Troops:
40,335
Confederate Troops : 40,335
Union Troops: 65,085
Battle of Shiloh
On the morning of April 6, 1862, 40,000 Confederate soldiers under the command of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston poured out of the nearby woods and struck the encamped divisions of Union soldiers occupying ground near Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee River. The overpowering Confederate attack drove the unprepared Federal soldiers from their camps and threatened to overwhelm Maj. Gen. Ulysses entire Army of the Tennessee. Some Federals made determined stands, and by afternoon, had established a battle line at a sunken road, known as the "Hornet's Nest." Repeated Rebel attacks failed to carry the Hornet's Nest, but massed Union artillery helped to turn the tide as Confederates surrounded the Union troops and captured, killed, or wounded many of them. During the first day's fighting, Johnston was mortally wounded and was replaced by Gen.
Beauregard. Fighting continued until after dark, but the Union line held. By the next morning, the Federals had been reinforced by the Army of the Ohio under Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell and numbered about 54,000 men, outnumbering Beauregard's army of around 30,000. Grant launched a counteroffensive along the entire line, overpowering the weakened Confederate forces and driving Beauregard's army from the field. The Confederate defeat ended any hopes of blocking the Union advance into northern Mississippi. The two day battle at Shiloh produced more than 23,000 casualties and was the bloodiest battle in American history up to that time.On Saturday, April 13, Anderson surrendered the fort. Incredibly, no soldiers were killed in battle. The terms of surrender, however, allowed Anderson to perform a 100-gun salute before he and his men evacuated the fort the next day.
Battle of Shiloh
35°08′19″N — 88°20′32″W
Shiloh
III
Battle of Gettysburg
Date: July 1–3, 1863
Location: Gettysburg
December 31, 1815 – November 6, 1872
George G. Meade
Union: Major General
George Gordon Meadewas a career United States Army officer and civil engineer best known for defeating Confederate General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War. He previously fought with distinction in the Second Seminole War and the Mexican–American War. During the Civil War, he served as a Union general, rising from command of a brigade to that of the Army of the Potomac. Earlier in his career, he was an engineer and was involved in the coastal construction of several lighthouses.
January 19, 1807 – October 12, 1870
Robert E. Lee
Confederate : Major General
Robert Edward Lee was an American and Confederate soldier, best known as a commander of the Confederate States Army. He commanded the Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War from 1862 until its surrender in 1865. When Virginia's 1861 Richmond Convention declared secession from the Union, Lee chose to follow his home state. Once he took command of the Army of Northern Virginia in 1862, he soon emerged as an able tactician and battlefield commander, winning most of his battles, nearly all against far larger Union armies.
Union Troops:
104,256
75,000
Confederate Troops:
Union Troops: 104,256
Confederate Troops: 75,000
The War's Turning Point
The War's Turning Point
32°43′48″N — 79°52′16″W
In the summer of 1863, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee launched his second invasion of the Northern states. Lee sought to capitalize on recent Confederate victories and defeat the Union army on Northern soil, which he hoped would force the Lincoln administration to negotiate for peace. Lee also sought to take the war out of the ravaged Virginia farmland and gather supplies for his Army of Northern Virginia. Using the Shenandoah Valley as cover for his army, Lee was pursued first by Union Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, and then by Maj. Gen. George G. Meade, who replaced Hooker in late June. Lee's army crossed into Pennsylvania mid-June, and by June 29th had reached the Susquehanna River opposite Harrisburg and at Wrightsville.
The opposing forces collided at the crossroads town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the morning of July 1st. In severe fighting, the Confederates swept the Federals from the fields west and north of town, but were unable to secure Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill to the south. The following day, as reenforcements arrived on both sides, Lee attacked the Federals on the heights, and also Little Round Top further south, but failed to dislodge the defenders. On July 3rd, Lee attacked the Union center on Cemetery Ridge and was repulsed in what is now known as Pickett's Charge. Lee's second invasion of the North had failed, and had resulted in heavy casualties on both sides. An estimated 51,000 soldiers were killed, wounded, captured, or listed as missing after the Battle of Gettysburg.
The Last Medal of Honor
Alonzo Hereford Cushing (January 19, 1841 – July 3, 1863) was an artillery officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was killed in action during Battle of Gettysburg while defending the Union position on Cemetery Ridge against Pickett's Charge. In 2013, 150 years after Cushing's death, he was nominated for the Medal of Honor. The nomination was approved by the United States Congress, and was sent for review by the Defense Department and the President.

On August 26, 2014, the White House announced he would be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, with President Obama presiding over the official ceremony on November 6, 2014. Helen Bird Loring Ensign, a first cousin twice removed, accepted the medal on Cushing's behalf, as Cushing left no direct descendants.
Story
Gettysburg
IV
Second Battle of Fort Wagner
Date: July 18, 1863
Location: Morris Island
November 13, 1809 – July 12, 1870
John A. Dahlgren
Union: Rear Admiral
John Adolphus Bernard Dahlgren was a United States Navy officer who founded his service's Ordnance Department and launched major advances in gunnery. In the Civil War, Dahlgren was made Commander of the Washington Navy Yard, where he established the Bureau of Ordnance. In 1863, he took command of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron at the rank of Rear Admiral, and helped William Tecumseh Sherman secure Savannah, Georgia.
Union Troops:
5,000
Confederate Troops:
1,800
May 28, 1818 – February 20, 1893
Pierre Beauregard
Confederate : Major General
Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard was an American military officer who was the first prominent general of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. Today, he is commonly referred to as P. G. T. Beauregard, but he rarely used his first name as an adult. He signed correspondence as G. T. Beauregard.
Union Troops: 5,000
Confederate Troops: 1,800
Second Battle for Wagner
Second Battle for Wagner
32°43′48″N — 79°52′16″W
Fort Wagner, or Battery Wagner as it was known to the Confederates, controlled the southern approaches to Charleston Harbor. It was commanded by Brigadier General William B. Taliaferro. An attempt was made on July 11 to assault the fort, the First Battle of Fort Wagner, but it was repulsed with heavy losses to the attackers because of artillery and musket fire.
Brig. Gen. Quincy Gillmore intended to repeat his assault, but first executed feints to distract the Confederates' attention, the Battle of Grimball's Landing on July 16. Gillmore also ordered an artillery bombardment of the fort. The fort was on a very narrow island so the Union could only assault the fort with one regiment at a time.
First Medal of Honor
William Harvey Carney was born as a slave in Norfolk, Virginia, on February 29, 1840. Carney joined the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry in March 1863. He took part in the July 18, 1863, assault on Fort Wagner. His actions earned him the Medal of Honor. When the color guard was killed, Carney retrieved the U.S. flag and marched forward with it, despite multiple serious wounds. When the Union troops were forced to retreat under fire, he struggled back across the battlefield, eventually returning to his own lines and turning over the colors to another survivor of the 54th, saying, "Boys, I only did my duty; the old flag never touched the ground!" He received an honorable discharge due to disability from his wounds in June 1864.

Carney received his Medal of Honor on May 23, 1900, nearly 37 years after the events at Fort Wagner (more than half such awards from the Civil War were presented 20 or more years after the fact). Twenty African American men had received the medal before him, but because his battle actions happened earlier than the others, he is generally considered the first.
Story
Fort Wagner
V
Battle of Appomattox
Date: April 9, 1865
Location: Appomattox County
December 31, 1815 – November 6, 1872
Ulysses S. Grant
Union: General of the Army
George Gordon Meadewas a career United States Army officer and civil engineer best known for defeating Confederate General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War. He previously fought with distinction in the Second Seminole War and the Mexican–American War. During the Civil War, he served as a Union general, rising from command of a brigade to that of the Army of the Potomac. Earlier in his career, he was an engineer and was involved in the coastal construction.
Union Troops:
63,285
Confederate Troops:
26,000
January 19, 1807 – October 12, 1870
Robert E. Lee
Confederate : Major General
Robert Edward Lee was an American and Confederate soldier, best known as a commander of the Confederate States Army. He commanded the Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War from 1862 until its surrender in 1865. When Virginia's 1861 Richmond Convention declared secession from the Union, Lee chose to follow his home state. Once he took command of the Army of Northern Virginia in 1862, he soon emerged as an able tactician and battlefield commander, winning most of his battles, nearly all against far larger Union armies.
Union Troops: 63,285
Confederate Troops: 26,000
Battle of Appomattox
Battle of Appomattox
2°32°43′48″N — 79°52′16″W
Battle of Appomattox Court House, (9 April 1865), one of the final battles of the American Civil War. It was here in Virginia, on the afternoon of 9 April, that Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, setting the stage for the end of the four-year civil war.
Appomattox Court House
Disabled Men
The vast numbers of men disabled by the conflict were a major cause of concern for Rebel and Union leaders. Some worried about preventing idleness and immoral behavior, while others focused on the economic hardship veterans would later face if they could not find employment after
the war. Proposed solutions included wartime work as cooks, clerks, and hospital attendants, pensions and convalescent homes for those discharged from the army because of their disability, and funds for the purchase of artificial limbs.
Challenges After Civil War
History
Fought 1861-1865, the American Civil War was the result of decades of sectional tensions between the North and South. Focused on slavery and states rights, these issues came to a head following the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Over the next several months eleven southern states seceded and formed the Confederate
States of America. During the first two years of the war, Southern troops won numerous victories but saw their fortunes turn after losses at Gettysburg and Vicksburg in 1863. From then on, Northern forces worked to conqueror the South, forcing them to surrender in April 1865.
The American Civil War
The vast numbers of men disabled by the conflict were a major cause of concern for Rebel and Union leaders. Some worried about preventing idleness and immoral behavior, while others focused on the economic hardship veterans would later face if they could not find employment after the war. Proposed solutions included wartime work as cooks, clerks, and hospital attendants, pensions and convalescent homes for those discharged from the army because of their disability, and funds for the purchase of artificial limbs.
"You have no idea what a horrible sight a field of battle is."
~ Robert E. Lee

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