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Important Battles of the Civil War
Civil War Encyclopedia >> Battles

Important Battles of the Civil War

These battles represent significant events in the American Civil War. The important event(s) of the battle or its aftermath follow the name of the battle in text.

1. First Bull Run (First Manassas)
First significant action of The American Civil War, Bull Run shocked the North into the realization that it would not be a three-month war. The battle falsely buoyed the South's hopes of negotiating an end to the war.

2. Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing) April 6, 1862 - April 7, 1862
At the time, Shiloh was both the bloodiest single day and bloodiest two-day battle in American history. It served as America's introduction to the "total warfare" of the rest of the Civil War. Until Ulysses S. Grant's advance down the Tennessee River, engagements in the Civil War had been relatively small. The engagement also saw the death of Sidney Albert Johnston, on whom Jefferson Davis had pinned his hopes in the West.

3. Antietam September 17, 1862
Bloodiest day of the Civil War, this battle gave Abraham Lincoln the perceived victory he desired to release the Emancipation Proclamation. The costly battle also ended Robert E. Lee's advance into Maryland.

4. Vicksburg (surrendered July 4, 1863)
Lincoln realized early in the war that control of the Mississippi was a major goal of the Western forces. Ulysses S. Grant delivered the city when the Army of Mississippi surrendered after a prolonged siege. In response Lincoln proclaimed "I have found the man who can win this war."

5. Seven Days Retreat {June 25, 1862 to July 1, 1862
With the success of George McClellan's Peninsula Campaign, Lincoln and Edwin Stanton agreed on closing the recruitment offices in the north. Then Lee replaced Joe Johnston as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia and aggressively pursued the Army of the Potomac as it retreated down Virginia's Lower Peninsula. Lincoln and Stanton had to admit they were wrong and re-open the offices.

6. Gettysburg July 1, 1863 to July 3, 1863
George Meade won the largest and most costly battle in American history fought on the farms and hillsides of southern Pennsylvania. The Union victory ended Lee's belief that a single massive victory would defeat the Army of the Potomac.

7. Chattanooga November 23, 1863 to November 25, 1863
Following the worst defeat of any United States army at Chickamauga Lincoln dispatched three of his best generals (Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Joseph Hooker) to Chattanooga. Six weeks later Grant broke out of the city, drove the Confederate Army into Georgia, and began preparing for the Spring campaigns.

8. Fort Sumter April 12, 1861 to April 13, 1861
First action between United States and Confederate forces, this artillery duel resulted in the surrender of the bastion of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor but no casualties. It served as an indication that the South was willing to fight for federal property it considered to be its own following seccession.

Links appearing on this page:

Abraham Lincoln
April 12
April 13
April 6
April 7
April, 1861
April, 1862
Army of Northern Virginia
Army of the Potomac
Edwin Stanton
Emancipation Proclamation
First Bull Run (First Manassas)
Fort Sumter
George Meade
Jefferson Davis
Joe Johnston
Joseph Hooker
July 1
July 3
July 4
July, 1862
July, 1863
June 25
June, 1862
November 23
November 25
November, 1863
Peninsula Campaign
Robert E. Lee
September 17
September, 1862
Seven Days Retreat
Sidney Albert Johnston
The American Civil War
Ulysses S. Grant
William Tecumseh Sherman

Civil War Encyclopedia >> Battles

Important Battles of the Civil War was last changed on - June 13, 2009
Important Battles of the Civil War was added on - January 21, 2008

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