Civil War at A Glance
6/24/2013
Take in the events of the Civil War through these facts and figures.
Neither our Northern nor Southern ancestors expected a long war in 1861. A common saying in the South that winter claimed “A lady’s thimble will hold all the blood that will be shed.” But the American Civil War dragged on, and so we continue to observe its sesquicentennial.

Fought 150 years ago July 1-3, the Battle of Gettysburg—the war’s costliest engagement in terms of casualties—is often considered a turning point when viewed in hindsight: After his army’s retreat through Maryland and into Virginia, Robert E. Lee conducted no more strategic offenses.

Still, two long years of war were yet to follow Gettysburg. Our 1861 forebears didn’t know that all the thimbles in the country couldn’t contain the blood about to be shed. In The Genealogist’s U.S. History Pocket Reference, Nancy Hendrickson shares these at-a-glance facts about the somber events of the Civil War.
 

Timeline

1860
Nov. 6 | Abraham Lincoln is elected president
Dec. 20 | South Carolina votes to secede from the Union

1861
January-February | Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas secede
Feb. 9 | Jefferson Davis is elected president of the Confederacy
April 12 | Southern troops fire upon Fort Sumter
April 15 | Lincoln calls for 75,000 volunteers for the Federal army
April 19 | Lincoln proclaims blockade of Southern ports
April-May | Virginia (minus its western counties), Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina secede
July 21 | First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) is fought in Virginia

1862
March 9 | CSS Virginia and USS Monitor fight at Hampton Roads
April 6-7 | Union wins Battle of Shiloh
April 25 | Union Adm. David Farragut captures New Orleans
Aug. 28-30 | Second Battle of Bull Run results in 22,000 casualties
Sept. 17 | Battle of Antietam is the first major battle on Union soil
Dec. 11-15 | Union suffers a devastating loss at Fredericksburg, Va.

1863
Jan. 1 | Emancipation Proclamation frees slaves in Confederate territory
April 30-May 6 | Death of Gen. Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson tempers Southern victory at Chancellorsville
July 1-3 | Battle of Gettysburg is the war’s bloodiest
July 4 | Siege of Vicksburg, Miss., ends with the city’s surrender
July 13-16 Irish workers initiate draft riots in New York City

1864
Feb. 17 | Confederate submarine
H.L. Hunley sinks after attacking the USS Housatonic
Feb. 25 | First Union prisoners arrive at Andersonville Prison, Ga.
March 9 | Gen. Ulysses S. Grant becomes commander of the Union army
May 31-June 12 | More than 7,000 men are killed in 20 minutes at the Battle of Cold Harbor (Virginia)
Sept. 2 | Union troops occupy Atlanta

1865
April 2 | Gen. Lee evacuates the Confederate capital, Richmond, Va.
April 9 | Lee surrenders at Appomattox Courthouse, Va.
April 14 | John Wilkes Booth assassinates Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.
May 10 | Union army captures Jefferson Davis in Irwinville, Ga.
 
 

10 Costliest Civil War Battles 

Battle

Place

Date

Casualties

Gettysburg

Pennsylvania

July 1-3, 1863

51,112

Chickamauga

Georgia

Sept. 19-20, 1863

34,624

Chancellorsville

Virginia

April 30-May 6, 1863

30,764

Spotsylvania

Virginia

May 8-21, 1864

30,000

The Wilderness

Virginia

May 5-7, 1864

29,800

Shiloh

Tennessee

April 6-7, 1862

23,746

Stone’s River

Tennessee

Dec. 31, 1862-Jan. 2, 1863

23,515

Antietam

Maryland

Sept. 16-18, 1862

22,717

Second Bull Run (Manassas)

Virginia

Aug. 29-30, 1862

22,177

Fort Donelson

Tennessee

Feb. 11-16, 1862

16,537

 
 

10 Most Populous US Cities in 1860 

City

Population

New York

813,669

Philadelphia

565,529

Brooklyn, NY

266,661

Baltimore

212,418

Boston

177,840

New Orleans

168,675

Cincinnati

161,044

St. Louis

160,773

Chicago

112,172

Buffalo, NY

81,129

 
On July 4, 1863, following a 47-day siege, the town of Vicksburg, Miss., surrendered to Union Troops. The residents of Vicksburg didn’t celebrate the national 4th of July again until 1945. 
 
Mary Todd Lincoln had ties to three of the four presidential candidates in the election of 1860. She was, of course, married to Abraham Lincoln, was a cousin of Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge, and had been courted by Northern Democrat Stephen Douglas. 
 

More online

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Shopfamilytree.com

The Genealogist’s U.S. History Pocket Reference by Nancy Hendrickson

Life in Civil WarAmerica by Michael O. Varhola

Civil War Genealogy Value Pack

 
From the July/August 2013 Family Tree Magazine