Civil War Timeline ~ 1861-1863

Listed below is an abbreviated land timeline of the civil war.
There is also a naval timeline to view as well located HERE.

1861 | 1862 | 1863 | 1864 | 1865


The Confederate States of America is formed, with Jefferson Davis sworn in as president.

March 4
Abraham Lincoln inaugurated as President of the United States.

April 12
Confederates fires on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.

April 14
Lincoln calls for 75,000 volunteers to put down the insurrection.

April 18
Virginia's Robert E. Lee rejects Lincoln's request to command the Union army.

April 19
Lincoln orders the blockade of ports in Confederate states.

July 21
Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run) in Virginia; 4,878 casualties.


February 6 and 16
Battles of Fort Henry and Donelson in Tennessee; 4,332 casualties.

February 20
Willie Lincoln dies of typhoid fever in the White House.

March 9
Battle of the Ironclads, the Confederate Merrimac vs. the Union Monitor, Hampton Roads, Virginia.

March 13
George McClellan plans to move his 121,500 troops to Richmond. It takes three weeks and 400 boats to land at Fortress Monroe on the Virginia coast.

April 4 to 7
Confederate General Jeb Magruder stages theatrical troop movements at Yorktown, with an army of only 11,000, creating the appearance of a much larger force.

April 6 to 7
Battle of Shiloh at Pittsburgh Landing in Tennessee; 23,700 casualties.

April 16
Lincoln signs into law a bill prohibiting slavery in the District of Columbia.

April 24
Battle of New Orleans: Admiral David Farragut sails past forts at mouth of Mississippi River to take the city.

June 25
The Seven Days (the Peninsula Campaign) for Richmond, Virginia; 36,000 casualties.

August 29 to 30
The Battle of Second Manassas in Virginia (also known as Second Bull Run); 25,251 casualties.

September 17
Battle of Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Maryland; 23,000 casualties in bloodiest day of combat in American history.

September 24
Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus for individuals deemed guilty of "Discouraging volunteer enlistments, resisting military drafts, or guilty of any disloyal practice offering comfort to Rebels."

October 11
The Confederate Congress passes a bill exempting from army service anyone owning 20 or more slaves.

December 13
The Battle of Fredericksburg in Virginia; 17, 900 casualties.

Top of page


January 1
Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation.

January 3
The Battle of Murfreesboro; 23,514 casualties.

March 3
Congress passes the Conscription Act, calling for the enlistment in military service of all able-bodied males between 20 and 45 years of age for terms of three years.

March 10
Faced with an estimated 125,000 deserters, Lincoln issues o general amnesty for all who will report back to duty.

April 21 to May 11
The Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia; 30,051 casualties.

May 19
Ohio congressman Clement Vallandigham, an out-spoken critic of Lincoln and the war, is exiled to the South.

May 19
In three weeks Grant's army marches 180 miles through Mississippi, fights and wins five battles, and surrounds Vicksburg. After a failed attack on the city, Grant settles for a siege to "Out-camp the enemy."

July 1 to 3
The Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania 51,000 casualties.

July 4
The Battle (Siege) of Vicksburg in Mississippi; 50,000 casualties; 29,000 rebels surrender.

July 13
50,000 people (mostly Irish) riot in New York City in opposition to the draft, attacking and beating blacks.

July 18
54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry attacks Battery Wagner at Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.

August 1
Jefferson Davis offers amnesty to all Confederate deserters.

August 21
Confederate William C. Quantrill's guerilla raid on Lawrence, Kansas; 150 civilian casualties.

September 19 to 20
The battle of Chickamauga Creek in Georgia; 34,444 casualties.

November 19
Lincoln's Gettysburg Address dedicates a battlefield cemetery at Gettysburg Pennsylvania.

November 23 to 25
The Battle of Chattanooga in Tennessee; 12,491 casualties.

Top of page


March 2
U.S. Grant named General-in-Chief of Union armies.

April 12
The Massacre at Fort Pillow on the Mississippi River in Tennessee; 431 casualties.

May 5 to 19
The Battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania near Chancellorsville, Virginia; 54,000 casualties.

May 31
A group of radical Republicans meets in Cleveland, Ohio to nominate their own presidential candidate, General John Charles Fremont.

June 1 to 3
The Battle of Cold Harbor in Virginia; 13,500 casualties.

June 14
Naval battle between CSS Alabama and USS Kearsarge near Cherbourg, France; 33 casualties.

June 27
The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain near Marietta, Georgia; 2,321 casualties.

June 8
Lincoln is nominated by the Union Party for president. Andrew Johnson, a Tennessee Union Democrat, is nominated as vice-president.

July 2 to 14
Early's Raid on Washington, D.C.; 9,000 casualties.

August 5
Naval Battle of Mobile Bay; 589 casualties.

August 31
General McClellan is nominated as the Democratic candidate for president.

July 18 to September 3
The Battles for Atlanta; 20,000 casualties.

October 19
The Battle of Cedar Creek in the Shenandoah Valley: 8,665 casualties.

October 19
Confederate raiders, based in Canada, steal $200,000 from banks in the Vermont town of St. Albans.

November 8
Lincoln is re-elected to a second term winning more than 55 percent of the popular vote.

December 16
The Battle of Nashville in Tennessee; 4,449 casualties.

December 21
Sherman captures Savannah, Georgia.

Top of page


January 15
battles for Fort Fisher in North Carolina; 1,841 casualties.

February 3
Lincoln meets with Confederate Peace Commission at Hampton Roads, Virginia.

February 19
Confederates abandon Charleston, South Carolina.

March 3
Union Congress creates the Freedmen's Bureau.

March 13
The Confederacy authorizes the arming of slaves as soldiers.

March 25 to April 2
The Battle of Petersburg in Virginia; 17,000 casualties.

April 3 to 4
Davis flees Richmond, hoping to escape to the South; Lincoln arrives in the city.

April 9
Lee surrenders at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia.

April 14
Abraham Lincoln is assassinated.

Top of page
html 5   css 3   javascript     wcag aa
HTML 5 |  CSS 3 | Javascript | WCAG-AA