Since 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the U.S. Civil War, there certainly will be a great deal of attention paid by teachers, journalists, historians, researchers, historical societies, and cultural institutions over the next few years in exploring how the North and South became so divided over the issue of slavery; how the war shaped the future of the Republic; and what lessons were learned and are we still learning from one of the bloodiest battles in American history even 150 years later.
Accordingly, in order to prepare for further study and analysis of the Civil War, I’ve compiled a listing of events that will be showcased at different historical societies and research institutions over the next year, along with a recommended reading list from some top Civil War scholars, a collection of ``war statistics’’ and a detailed timeline of the war from 1861 through 1865.
Exhibits/Lectures/Tours Marking the 150th Anniversary of the U.S. Civil War
1.) Beginning April 12, 2010 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, the Library of Congress will be showcasing ``The Last Full Measure'' an impressive collection of hundreds of ambrotype and tintype photographs showing both Union and Confederate soldiers. The collection was donated by the Liljenquist family of McClean, Va. as a gift in order to give the public wide access and to ensure its long-term preservation.
Some of the photographs from the collection include: African Americans in uniform, sailors, a Lincoln campaign button, and portraits of soldiers with their wives and children.
The Library of Congress additionally has a wide display of Civil War Maps for public viewing located in the corridor outside the Geography & Maps Reading Room at the James Madison Building of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The maps came from a New York-born schoolteacher named Jedediah Hotchkiss (1828-1899), who was a mapmaker for Gen. Robert E. Lee and Maj. Gen. Stonewall Jackson, among other high-ranking Confederate generals.
Through the Civil War, Hotchkiss created some 600 maps and several drawings, which he was allowed to keep following the Confederacy’s surrender. After the war, Hotchkiss returned to teaching and even ran for Congress. In 1948, the Library of Congress purchased these maps from his granddaughter.
Other exhibits at the Library of Congress during the year include:
May 20, 2011 -- The Geography and Map Division and the Phillips Society are holding a Civil War conference “Re-Imagining the Civil War: Reconnaissance, Surveying and Cartography” in the Coolidge Auditorium, Thomas Jefferson Building, on May 20, and an Open House in the Geography and Map Division, 9:30 to noon, on May 21.
September 2012 – The Library will open a two-year exhibition titled “The Civil War in American Memory” as the centerpiece of its commemoration of the Civil War sesquicentennial. September 2012 will mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest one-day battle of the war and, in wake of the Union victory, issuance of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. The exhibition will commemorate the sacrifices and accomplishments of those, in both the North and South, whose lives were lost or affected by the events of 1861-1865 and foster reflection on the ways that this country’s greatest military and political upheaval helped shape the people and nation we have become.
Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution.
2.) Even though the Civil War is 150 years old, researchers, believe it or not, are still digging up new information and fresh insights about this epic American battle. That is precisely why the National Archives in Washington D.C. rolled out a new exhibit in November of last year which runs through April 17, 2011. The exhibit `Discovering the Civil War, Part Two: Consequences'', is located in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery.
The exhibit takes a fresh look at the conflict through the records left by the participants themselves—letters, orders, maps, telegrams, photographs, and broadsides—that are preserved in the National Archives.
Among other features, this historic presentation invites visitors to consider and ask questions about the evidence found in the records, listen to a wide variety of voices from the Civil War era, and make up their own minds about the struggle that tore apart these United States.
The exhibit will feature fascinating environments and compelling interactives, but what makes the exhibit extraordinary are its surprising records. Displayed alongside famous milestone documents will be hundreds of less well-known ones, such as the unratified 1861 version of the 13th amendment, a message from a Southern governor rejecting Lincoln's call for troops to put down the rebellion, and the Constitution of the Confederacy.
After the Washington exhibit closes on April 17, 2011, the two parts of "Discovering the Civil War" will be combined and travel to seven additional venues around the country, beginning in June 2011.
3.) The US Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) , which holds the largest Civil war photo collection in the country, will open a brand new visitor center beginning April 29th with the first exhibit focusing on the first year of the war, highlighted by artifacts and photographic exhibits in different buildings.
Then beginning on June 24 through the 26th, USAHEC hosts a photographic conference on the use of the camera during the Civil War era entitled: Understanding War Through Imagery: The Civil War in American Memory’’. Finally, on Sept 30 through October 2, they we will hold a major living history event entitled: ``Civil War 150: Going to Winter Camp’’, which looks at the first time both North and South had to prepare for a winter away from home and how they survived. USAHEC additionally plans on constructing a new winter cabin as part of the program.
The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) , located in Carlisle, PA is the United States Army's preeminent museum and research complex, dedicated to educating and preserving the legacy of the men and women who have served their nation as soldiers.
4.)The New-York Historical Society will be holding a number of public programs commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, including:
Antebellum New York with Barry Lewis
Thursday, 2011 March 3, 6:30 pm
Location: New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West
Architectural historian Barry Lewis will discuss antebellum New York City, when Midtown was at Broadway and Grand Street and the brownstone-lined streets of the Upper East Side lay between Union Square and 34th St. In this lecture and slideshow, Mr. Lewis leads us through the city as Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee knew it, before the country was plunged into Civil War.
Barry Lewis is an architectural historian and the host of a popular series of walking tours on PBS. He currently teaches at Cooper Union Forum and the New York School of Interior Design.
The First Shot: 1861
Thursday, April 7, 2011 6:30 pm
Location: New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West. A century and a half after Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter to ignite the Civil War, three leading historians ask and answer the crucial questions: What really caused the conflict? Could the Civil War have been avoided? Did Lincoln invite the first shot—or did the Union “get lucky?” This program marks the start of an ongoing N-YHS focus on the great American tragedy with the first of many discussions and lectures.
James M. McPherson is the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History Emeritus at Princeton University. He is the best-selling author of numerous books on the Civil War, including Battle Cry of Freedom, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1989. Craig L. Symonds is a leading Civil War and naval historian and Professor Emeritus at the United States Naval Academy. His won the Lincoln Prize for his 2008 book, Lincoln and his Admirals. Harold Holzer (moderator) is Chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation and served as co-chair of the U. S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission for nine years. He is the author, co-author, or editor of 36 books on Lincoln and the Civil War era.
From Nov. 2005 through the present, The New-York Historical Society has produced 51 programs relating to Lincoln and the Civil War.
Antietam and the Battles of 1862
Thursday, May 12, 2011 6:30 pm
Location: New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West
The bloodiest day in all American history took place at Sharpsburg, Maryland in September 1862—when Union and Confederate forces met at the Battle of Antietam. Historians James McPherson and Stephen Sears, both of whom have written award-winning books on the battle, discuss the strategies of Generals Robert E. Lee and George McClellan, as well as the society-altering event the Union victory made possible: emancipation.
Stephen W. Sears has written or edited ten books on the Civil War since 1983, including Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam and George B. McClellan: The Young Napoleon. He is a three-time winner of the Fletcher Pratt Award from the Civil War Round Table of New York. Harold Holzer (moderator) is Chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation and served as co-chair of the U. S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission for nine years. He is the author, co-author, or editor of 36 books on Lincoln and the Civil War era.
The Draft Riots: 1863
Tuesday, June 14, 6:30 pm
Location: New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West
New York City’s only “Civil War Battle” was the 1863 Draft Riot—a convulsive, racially-motivated street fight for the very soul of Manhattan. Experts provide a frank, no-holds-barred account of the sickening excesses of the bloody struggle, its lasting impact on New York politics, the efforts of the mayor, governor, and President Lincoln himself to quell the frightening disturbance, and what it all meant to the future of New York.
Founded in 1804, The New-York Historical Society, long considered one of the finest educational and research institutions, is home to both New York City's oldest museum and one of the nation’s most distinguished independent research libraries.
5.) The Chicago History Museum is planning three lectures that would take a sharper look at different stages of the war throughout the year, including:
A Culinary Perspective
Tuesday, March 29, 2011: From the first shot fired at Ft. Sumter to the last shot fired at Appomattox, food played a crucial role in the Civil War. The North mobilized its agricultural resources; the South did not. As a result, the North fed its civilians and military, and still had massive amounts of food to export to Europe, while the South starved and the Confederacy eventually collapsed. Professor and author Andrew F. Smith discusses his research and findings in his recently published book, Starving the South: How the North Won (St, Martin’s Press). Book signing will immediately follow.
When War Makes Sense: A Sensory History of America’s Greatest Conflict Tuesday, April 5, 2011. Professor and author Mark Smith, discusses how the five senses—sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch—shaped the course, meaning, and content of the American Civil War. By identifying six key moments during the Civil War (including Fort Sumter, Bull Run, and Gettysburg), Smith examines the role all of the senses played in each episode and makes an argument that although all of the senses were important to each event, every episode had its own, principal sensory signature.
Personally Yours: Chicago’s Civil War Stories
Tuesday, April 12, 2011.
Chief Chicago History Museum Curator Olivia Mahoney, will explore the Civil War era through personal stories of several Chicagoans who lived through this tumultuous period. They include Colonel Elmer Ellsworth of the Chicago Zouaves, Colonel James A. Mulligan of the Irish Brigade, and the African American abolitionists, Mary and John Jones. Images, documents, and artifacts rarely, if ever, displayed, will be featured and on view for this evening only.
Seminar: Civil War Through The Senses
Each lecture $10/$8 members; Tickets for all 3 lectures $27/$21; Tickets for all 3 lectures and bus tour: $68/$57. All lectures begin at 7PM.
6.) Beginning on February 4th and running through December 30, 2011, The Virginia Historical Society will be showcasing a number of exhibits on the U.S. Civil War. Highlights include:
An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia—a 3,000 square foot gallery exhibition featuring more than 200 objects and 17 state-of-the-art audiovisual programs—encourages visitors to consider how a single event, separated by 150 years can influence and address the questions of today: what was gained, what was lost, what was undecided, and what was left for us to resolve?
An American Turning Point is not a top-down study of battles and leaders. Instead, the exhibition engages visitors in the experiences of a select group of individuals and representative situations to promote an understanding of the wartime experiences of Virginians, and those who served in Virginia, during the war.
The exhibition begins by exploring why the Civil War happened. From there it is divided into two sections: Surviving War and Waging War. In Surviving War, civilian experiences are the major key and military events that produced them are the minor key. Surviving War is broken down into five sections: Who was the Traitor and who the Patriot? Why is there a West Virginia? Who Freed the Slaves? How did Civilians Suffer? and Why Richmond? In Waging War, soldier experiences are the major key and civilian ones the minor key. The sections in Waging War are: A Ninety Day War? The First Modern War? Speed or Strength? The Deadliest Enemy? Offense or Defense? War or Murder? and Men of Color to Arms? The exhibition ends by asking visitors if the Civil War ended at Appomattox.
Examples of personal stories explored in the exhibit are: Siah Carter, an escaped slave who joined the crew of the ironclad U.S.S. Monitor after its historic 1862 battle with the C.S.S. Virginia; Anthony Rosenstock, a Jewish immigrant who settled in Petersburg and operated a mercantile business until he decided to leave war-torn Virginia and run the blockade; eighteen-year-old Confederate Private James E. Hanger, who, as one of the war’s first amputees, established an artificial limb company that continues to serve the casualties of twenty-first century wars; Union Lieutenant Joseph Paradise who, in 1864, survived the maelstrom of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania only to be cut down at Cold Harbor; and Anne Gordon who in the winter of 1862 was forced to flee her home and, like many refugees, faced an uncertain future.
An American Turning Point is a signature program of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission and is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
7.) At the Atlanta History Center one of its signature exhibits is Turning Point: The American Civil War, located in the 9,200-square-foot DuBose Gallery, which is one of the nation’s largest and most complete Civil War exhibitions. With over 1,500 Union and Confederate artifacts, including cannons, uniforms, and flags, visitors experience the Civil War through the eyes of soldiers and civilians. Highlights include the Confederate flag that flew over Atlanta at the time of its surrender, a Union supply wagon used by Sherman’s army, General Patrick Cleburne’s sword, a Medal of Honor won by the United States Colored Troops, the logbooks of the C.S.S. Shenandoah, medical equipment, firearms, and more. In addition, dioramas, videos, and interactive learning stations help bring this chapter of history alive. A final section of the exhibition explores how the Civil War continues its impact on us today.
Another exhibit at the Atlanta History Center is `` War in Our Backyards: Discovering Atlanta, 1861-1865’’, which runs through October 1, 2011. Using the latest interactive technology, War in Our Backyards uses historic map overlays to show what battles took place where you live. Additionally, a special video program will allow visitors to see Civil War photographs of the city as they were originally meant to be seen: in 3-D. Modern views of the same scenes will remind us of how much our city has changed in 150 years.
War in Our Backyards will also confront Atlanta’s greatest founding myth: that the city was completely destroyed by General William T. Sherman’s Union armies. In fact, the precise extent of the destruction has never been accurately mapped or fully understood -- until now. For the first time since the war, how much of the city actually went up in flames will be precisely plotted using dozens of period sources, seven key eyewitness accounts, and the exhibition’s interactive map. Visitors will be able to toggle between the Atlanta of today and the Atlanta of 1864 – both before and after Sherman’s visit. You will be surprised at the results!
And according to Paul Crater, Vice President of Research Services at the Atlanta History Center, the Kenan Research Center is applying for funds to digitize a substantial portion of its Civil War diaries, letters, maps, and photographs to feature online in time for the Georgia Civil War Sesquicentennial in 2014.
8.) There are over 70 parks in the National Park System which throughout the year will be offering special tours with exhibits and resources for tourists to explore relating to the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. In addition, the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park http://www.nps.gov/frsp/index.htm , located 50 miles south of Washington, DC, and 50 miles north of Richmond, Virginia, features four major Civil War Battlefields and four historic buildings, including the Battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville,
9.) The American Library Association (ALA) is promoting two grant programs dealing with 150th Anniversary of the Civil War. One is a traveling panel exhibition, entitled “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War.” Another is a five-part series of reading and discussion programs which will take place every two to four weeks, depending on the local libraries preferences.
All your local library has to do is apply for these programs by April 19th and May 5th.
10.) The Ohio Historical Society will be commemorating the sesquicentennial of the war through a number of lectures series and exhibits by highlighting the unique contribution the Buckeye State played in the Civil War. For one, Ohioans played a pivotal role in the abolition movement and the Underground Railroad. Ohio is also proud to count Harriet Beecher Stowe as one of their own
On April 10 at the Ohio Statehouse, there will be two events: a fund-raising brunch for the ``Save the Flags Campaign'' to help preserve Ohio’s Civil War battle flags sponsored by the Civil War 150 Advisory Committee and the Ohio Historical Society; along with a mustering-in reenactment hosted by the Ohio National Guard, the Ohio Historical Society and the Capital Square Review and Advisory Board.
11.).) Beginning on February 1, 2011, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency will launch a new Web Site for the Civil War Sesquicentennial, including a chronology of Illinois in the Civil War, along with other resources, links and materials.
Recommended Reading List from Civil War Historians
With over 12,000 books in print (not including fiction) dealing with the U.S. Civil War, it can be a little overwhelming, to say the least, trying to narrow down some noteworthy books to check out at your local library.
With that in mind, I asked some distinguished Civil War scholars if they wouldn’t mind recommending a book or two for readers interested in learning more about the 19th century War Between the States.
Here, then, are some recommendations.
• Pulitzer Prize winner author James McPherson, Professor of History at Princeton University, recommends Gary Gallagher' ``The Confederate War'' along with his own book ``Abraham Lincoln: Tried by War''
• According to Gary W. Gallagher, Professor of History at the University of Virginia and author of a number of books on the Civil War, including ``The Union War'' and ``Lee and his Army in Confederate History'' recommends Hattaway and Archer Jones, ``How the North Won: A Military History of the Civil War'' , which Gallagher feels is the best one-volume survey of military operations. Joan Waugh and Alice Fahs’ ``The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture' ' ``is a nice group of essays'', Gallagher says, `` on how the war has been remembered.'' And for those who want to focus on the campaign history of the war, Gallagher suggests Stephen W. Sear’s splendid analysis, ``Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam’’''
• Eric Foner, Professor of History at Columbia University recommends his most recent book: ``The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.''
• Daniel Sutherland, Professor of History at the University of Arkansas with a specialty on the Civil War and the social and cultural aspects of the military, recommends James M. McPherson's Pulitzer Prize winning classic ``Battle Cry of Freedom'' along with ``This Terrible War'' , a book he co-authored along with Michael Fellman, Lesley Gordon, which takes a look at the war and its aftermath.
• Robert Detweiler, Professor of History at California Polytechnic State University with a specialty in Civil War America considers James M. McPherson's ``ORDEAL BY FIRE: THE CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION’’ to be the best single history of the Civil War. For a nice introduction to President Lincoln and the Civil War, Detweiler thinks readers can't go wrong with ``Vernon Burton's THE AGE OF LINCOLN'' . For a sweeping overview of Lincoln and the war, Detweiler also strongly recommends: William E. Gienapp's ``ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND THE CIVIL WAR: A BIOGRAPHY'' . And for an overview on Reconstruction, Detweiler would point readers to Eric Foner's, ``A SHORT HISTORY OF RECONSTRUCTION.''
It should also be noted that Professor Giesberg herself a Civil War scholar has conducted her own study of women in the Civil War with the publication of her book: ``Army at Home: Women and the Civil War on the Northern Home Front''
• David E. Mass, Professor of History at Wheaton College is of the belief that any serious study of the Civil War should start with Shelby Foote's classic (*three volumes) ``The Civil War: A Narrative' '
Other helpful resources on Mass's highly recommend list includes: Andrew Torget and Edward Ayers, ``Two Communities in the Civil War’’ , David S. Reynolds, ``John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War’ and Seeded Civil Rights , along with `` Soldiering with Sherman: The Civil War Letters of George F. Cram’’
• John Inscoe, Professor of History at the University of Georgia recommends Stephen William Berry's ``ALL THAT MAKES A MAN: LOVE AND AMBITION IN THE CIVIL WAR SOUTH'' , which according to Inscoe, is ``a good humanistic analysis of why southerners went to war and what they fought for.'' Also, two classic novels Inscoe endorses is Michael Shaara's ``KILLER ANGELS'' about Gettysburg; and Charles Frazier's ``Cold Mountain'' that Inscoe feels ``captures the messiness of the war as experienced by more marginalized southerners, those in the mountains.''
• Aaron Sheehan-Dean, Associate Professor of History at the University of North Florida feels a couple of must reads on the war would be Mark Grimsley's ``The Hard Hand of War: Union Military Policy Toward Southern Civilians, 1861-1865 '' and Ira Berlin, Barbara J. Fields, Steven F. Miller, Joseph P. Reidy, and Leslie Rowland's classic study``Free at Last: A Documentary History of Slavery, Freedom, and the Civil War''
• Stephen D. Engle, Professor of History at Florida Atlantic University, recommends ``two highly distinguished works: Larry Daniel's ``Shiloh : the battle that changed the Civil War'' and George C. Rable's ``Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg!''
NOTE: And fresh off the press, comes Max Terman’s ``Hiram’s Honor: Reliving Private Terman's Civil War’’ In this unique spin on history through a novel, Terman, a retired professor of biology at Tabor College, using diaries, letters, and first-hand accounts, takes on the identity of his great uncle, who served with the 82nd Ohio Volunteers during the Civil War and relives each battle of the war, including the deprivation of prison life.
U.S. Civil War: By the Numbers:
• In 1860, the total population of the North totaled 19, 127,948 of whom 225, 967 were free blacks and 64 were slaves. In the South (slave states) there were 12, 315, 373 people of whom 3,953, 696 were slaves and 262,003 were free blacks.
• Prior to the U.S. Civil War, the slave South had a white population of 8, 099, 674 compared to 18, 901, 917 in the North.
• The 11 seceded states comprised a total population of 9, 103, 332 of whom 5,449,462 were white, 3,521, 110 slaves, and 132,760 free blacks.
• In 1860, there was a 23.38 percent increase in the slave population from 1850.
• In 1860, there were 385,000 slaveholders in the South, including some who were black.
• Approximately 88 percent of slaveholders held less than five; 72 percent less than 10; and nearly 50 percent less than five.
• In South Carolina and Mississippi about half of all white families owned slaves.
• In 1860, the Southern white population was estimated to be close to 3,500,000, while the Northern white population was estimated to be 10,500,000.
• In 1860, Census figures put the supposed ``military population’’ for seceding states (males between 18 - 45) at 1,064, 193 and 4, 559, 872 for the rest of the nation.
• It has been estimated that the Confederacy had 1,000,000 males available for military service in 1861, including some border states. The North, by comparison, had slightly under 3,500,000 in addition to the black population.
• Individuals who served in the Army for Federals ranged from 1, 550, 000 to 2,200,000. The Confederates total enlistment runs from 600,000 to 1,400,000.
• The Federals, including black personnel, outnumbered the Confederates by three to one.
• All but 1.5 percent of enlisted men in the Federal Army were between the ages of 18 and 46 at the time of their enlistments.
• The average age for Federal forces was slightly under 26.
• There were 127 Northern soldiers recorded as being age 13; 330 age 14; 773 age 15; 2758 age 16; 5425 age 17; 133,475 age 18; 90, 215 age 19; 71,058 age 20; 97, 136 age 21; 7012 age 45; 967 age 46; and 2366 age 50 and older.
• In pre-war occupations, 48 percent of the Northern soldiers were farmers, 24 percent mechanics, 16 percent laborers; 5 percent in ``commercial pursuits’’; 3 percent professional men and 4 percent miscellaneous.
• 2, 000,000 or ¾ of the Northern Army were Native Americans; of the 500,000 foreign born, about 175,000 were from Germany, 150, 000 from Ireland, 50,000 from England, 50,000 from British America and 75,000 from other countries.
• The vast majority of soldiers were volunteers. There were 16,367 in the Regular Army in 1861. This number increased to 25, 463 by January 1, 1863 and then dropped to 21,669 by March 31, 1865.
• Estimates are that the draft provided only about 6 percent of the Federal enlistments in the Army.
• After July, 1862, when the Federal Congress authorized the acceptance of blacks for labor and military service, a total of 178,892 blacks served in the Union Army, of whom, 134,111 were from slave states with some 93,346 of these from seceded states.
• Blacks participated in 166 regiments, including 145 infantry regiments, 12 regiments of heavy artillery, 1 regiment of light artillery, 1 of engineers and 7 cavalry regiments.
• Losses of black troops are put at 2751 men killed or mortally wounded; 29,618 died of disease.
• Incomplete records show that 81,993 conscripts were drafted in the Confederate states east of the Mississippi from April 16, 1862 until early 1865
• Of the 1249 known living West Point graduates when the war began, 89 percent enlisted in either the Union or Confederate Armies. 296 West Point graduates joined the Confederacy; 13 percent of these were born in the North and over 11 percent appointed from the free states.
• Of the 1098 officers in the Regular Army when the war began, 286, according to one record, resigned to join the Confederacy. Of this number, 187 were West Point graduates and 99 were non West Pointers.
• One estimate shows that out of 350 West Point graduates from slave states who were in military service when the war began, 162 remained with the North and 168 went South. Of the Regular Army enlisted men, only 26 are recorded as having joined the South.
• According to the War Department, Federal deaths from all cases are estimated at 360,222.
• Total battle deaths both killed in action and mortally wounded is estimated at 110,000; of these 67,088 died in battle and 43,012 were mortally wounded.
• Disease claimed 224, 580 lives; though the exact figures are in dispute.
• 30, 192 of the Federal deaths, died while prisoners of war.
• Of the Federal Army deaths, not attributed to battle or disease, there were 4114 killed in accidents, 4944 drowned; 520 murdered, 104 killed after capture, 391 died by suicide, 267 executed by Federal authorities, 64 executed by the enemy, 313 died of sunstroke, there were 12,121 causes not stated and 2043 more listed as ``others.’’
• The Federal total wounded is estimated at 275, 175.
• In the Navy, 1804 are listed as killed or mortally wounded with 3000 dying of disease and accidents and 2226 wounded. Of the dead, 342 were scalded to death during action and 308 drowned in action.
• The total Federal casualties in the Army and Navy, including the dead from all causes and accidents totals 642, 427.
• Total Confederate deaths is estimated to be 258,000 with the wounded placed at 194, 026.
• Confederates who died in Northern prisons range from 26,000 to 31,000.
• 44, 558 deaths attributed to diarrhea and dysentery claimed 44, 558 Union Army lives.
• Several varieties of ``camp fever’’, such as typhoid, typhus, and typhomalaria fevers claimed 40,656 lives, while 19,971 deaths were attributed to pneumonia.
• Total deaths in the Civil War for both sides is estimated at 623,026 with a minimum of 471, 427 wounded; totaling 1, 094, 453 casualties.
• Military records show that of 583 general officers in the Union Army, 47 were killed in action or died of wounds and 18 died of disease or as a result of accidents, equaling 8 percent of Federal generals.
• For the Confederates, of the 425 general officers, 77 were killed in action or mortally wounded and 15 died of disease or accidents, equaling 18 percent of Confederate generals.
• 1 out of approximately 65 Union Army men were killed in action; 1 of 56 died of wounds; 1 of 13.5 died from disease; 1 out of 10 was wounded in action; 1 of 15 was captured or reported missing; and 1 of 7 captured died in prison.
• There were 200,000 Union desertions in the Union Army compared to 104,000 for the Confederates.
• Union desertions averaged 4647 a month in 1863; 7333 in 1864; and 4368 in 1865.
• From May 1, 1863 to December 31, 1865, 77,181 Union Army deserters were arrested.
• Kansas, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, California, and New York were among the leading states in desertion rates.
• According to the U.S. Record and Pension Office, 211,411 Union soldiers were captured by Confederates during the war; of these, 30, 218 died while in prison.
• Confederate soldiers captured by the Union numbered 462, 634; of these, 25, 976 died in prison.
• An estimated 214, 000 Confederate soldiers were in Northern prison camps and 194,000 Federal soldiers in Southern camps.
• The largest number killed or mortally wounded suffered by one unit in any one engagement for the North appears to have been the First Maine Heavy Artillery with 210 fatalities at Petersburg on June 18, 1864 followed by the Eighth New York Artillery with 207 fatalities at Cold Harbor in June, 1864.
• There were an estimated 10, 455 military actions of one form or another during the Civil War.
• The leading theatres of war Virginia with 2154 military events followed by Tennessee with 1462 and Missouri with 1162.
• In January, 1863, the daily cost of the war for the North was projected at $2, 500,000 a day.
• For the period of February 18, 1861 to October 1, 1863, total receipts of the Confederate government was put at $2, 311, 399, 776. Total expenditures are placed at $2,099, 808, 707, including $1,356,784, 244 for running the land war and $93,045,954 for the naval war.
• For the entire war, the funded debt of the Confederacy totaled $712,046,420
• According to Bowker’s Books in Print Database, excluding print on demand, non-fiction books on the Civil War currently in print total 12,586. The total number of Civil War fiction titles in print is currently 1,899.
Source: Historical Studies of the United States: U.S. Census 1860; ``The War of Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies'' from the Government Printing Office; National Almanac; ``The Civil War Day by Day: An Almanac: 1861-1865’’ By E. B. Long (Doubleday & Company Inc., 1971).
Civil War Timeline: 1861-1865
January 9, 1861: An unarmed vessel, Star of the West, flying the American Flag, is fired upon with rockets in Charleston Harbor from a South Carolina steamer after arriving with supplies and 250 troops for Fort Sumter. Even though the shots missed, many considered this the start of the Civil War though it hadn't been officially declared yet.
January 9, 1861: At Jackson, Miss., the State Convention votes 84 to 15 to secede from the Union.
January 11, 1861: Alabama becomes the fourth state to secede from the Union by a vote of 61 to 39, joining South Carolina, Mississippi and Florida.
January 19, 1861: Georgia became the fifth state to leave the Union as its State Convention at Milledgeville voted 208 to 89 in favor of secession.
January 26, 1861: Louisiana becomes the sixth state to secede.
January 29, 1861: Kansas was admitted into the Union by Congress as the 34th state, a state whose Constitution prohibited slavery.
February 1, 1861: The Convention of the state of Texas voted (166 to 7) in favor of secession.
February 4, 1861: A Convention of seceded states meet in Montgomery, Alabama where 37 delegates named Howell Cobb of Georgia President of the Convention.
February 9, 1861: Jefferson Davis was elected Provisional President of the Confederacy. Alexander Stephens was named Vice-President.
February 11, 1861: The Texas State Convention meeting in Austin Texas vote in favor of a Southern Confederacy, electing seven delegates to Congress,
February 15, 1861: On his way to New York, President-elect Abraham Lincoln stops in Cleveland, Ohio during a heavy snowstorm and is greeted with a jubilant crowd gathered to see him. Speaking to the crisis of rebellion in the South, Lincoln says, `I think there is no occasion for any excitement…The crisis, as it is called, is altogether an artificial crisis.’’
February 18, 1861: In front of the state Capitol at Montgomery, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi was inaugurated Provisional President of the Confederate States of America.
February 23, 1861: Voters of Texas approve seccession 34, 794 to 11, 235 in a referendum ordered by the legislature and the secession Convention.
March 4, 1861: Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated the 16th President of the United States. In Montgomery, the first Stars and Bars flew over the Alabama state Capitol, now the Confederate Capital.
March 13, 1861: Alabama ratifies the Confederate Constitution.
March 18, 1861: Sam Houston, governor of Texas, refuses to take the oath of allegiance to the new Confederacy.
March 23, 1861: The state of Texas ratifies the Confederate Constitution.
April 12, 1861: At 4: 30 a.m., Fort Sumter is fired upon; the signal shot was fired by Capt. George S. James at Fort Johnson with Henry S. Farley firing the first shot that soared through the dark sky over Charleston Harbor.
April 13, 1861: After 36 hours of heavy bombardment in which some 4,000 were fired in Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter was surrendered to the Confederates without any casualties.
April 17, 1861: In Richmond, the Virginia State Convention adopted an ordinance of secession by a vote of 88 to 55.
April 19, 1861: President Lincoln declares a blockade of the ports of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. The blockade was later extended into Virginia and North Carolina on April 27th.
April 27, 1861: President Lincoln suspends the privilege of habeas corpus along a line from Philadelphia to Washington for the purpose of public safety.
May 3, 1861: President Lincoln issues a call for 42,034 volunteers to serve for three years. The Regular Army was additionally increased to 156,861 and the Navy to 25,000.
May 6, 1861: Arkansas and Tennessee, the ninth and tenth states, leave the Union and join the Confederacy. In Montgomery, President Davis approved a bill of the Confederate Congress declaring that the Confederacy recognized a state of war between the United States and the Confederate States.
May 15, 1861: The Confederacy names Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston to command troops near Harper’s Ferry in West Virginia.
May 16, 1861: Tennessee was officially admitted to the Confederacy by the Congress at Montgomery.
May 18, 1861: Arkansas was officially admitted to the Confederacy with their Congressman taking their seats at Montgomery.
May 20, 1861: Delegates at a Convention gathered in Raleigh, voting unanimously for the secession of North Carolina in order to become the eleventh and last state to leave the Union, leaving Kentucky and Missouri with both Confederate and Union governments. The Provisional Congress of the Confederacy votes to move the capital of the nation from Montgomery, Ala to Richmond, Va.
May 27, 1861: Chief Justice William B. Taney ruled that the military arrest of John Merryman in Maryland violated the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and the President didn’t have the authority to suspend this privilege.
June 3, 1861: Illinois Senator and former Presidential candidate Stephen A. Douglas, known as ``Little Giant’’ dies from typhoid fever at the age of 48.
June 8, 1861: Tennessee voters approve secession by a convincing majority-104,913 for and 47,238 opposed.
June 11, 1861: Delegates representing the pro-Union faction in Virginia meet at Wheeling to organize a pro-Union government, which eventually would become the state of West Virginia.
July 2, 1861: The Commanding General of the U.S. Army, Winfield Scott, was authorized by President Lincoln to suspend the writ of habeas corpus on or near any military line between the city of New York and Washington.
July 21, 1861: The first real battle of the war takes place at Manassas Junction, Virginia. Better known as the first Bull Run, 460 Federals were killed, 1124 wounded, and 1312 missing; the Confederates had 387 soldiers killed, 1582 wounded and 13 others missing after Confederate reinforcements successfully frustrated a charge by Gen. Irvin McDowell, resulting in a Southern victory as Union forces were forced to retreat toward Washington.
July 27, 1861: General George B. McClellan assumes command of the Federal Division of the Potomac, which included all troops in the vicinity of Washington, replacing defeated Maj. Gen McDowell.
July 29, 1861: Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune writes President Lincoln, encouraging him to negotiate for peace.
August 2, 1861: The U.S. (Federal) Congress passes the first national income tax measure, calling for a three percent on incomes over $800.
August 10, 1861: The second major battle of the war, the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, takes place in the rolling hill country southwest of Springfield Mo. The losses were heavy on both sides, but the South came away with the victory when the Federals withdrew back to Rolla Mo., southwest of St Louis, abandoning a huge stretch of the state to the Confederates and pro-secessionist. A bigger loss to the Federals was the loss of Brig Gen Nathanial Lyon who died trying to lead a last charge at Wilson’s Creek.
August 14, 1861: Maj. Gen John Charles Fremont declared martial law in St. Louis city and county, which was followed by the suppression of two newspapers considered pro-Southern.
August 16, 1861: President Lincoln proclaims the inhabitants of the Confederate States ``are in a state of insurrection against the United States and that all commercial intercourse’’ with certain exceptions, between loyal and rebellious states was unlawful. Charges of disloyalty are brought against the New York Journal of Commerce, the Daily News, Day Brook, Freeman’s Journal and the Brooklyn Eagle in U.S. Circuit Court.
August 19, 1861: Newspapers at West Chester and Eaton, Pennsylvania are raided by Unionists ; while a publisher in Haverhill, Mass was ``tarred and feathered’’ by a mob for alleged pro-Southern sentiments.
August 20, 1861: Maj. Gen George B. McClellan assumes command of the newly organized Department and the Army of the Potomac for the Union.
August 21, 1861: The Federal government orders that New York newspapers previously suppressed for allegedly aiding the rebellion should not be delivered by mail; other newspapers, meanwhile, were confiscated in Philadelphia.
September 11, 1861: The Kentucky legislature passes a resolution calling on the governor to order Confederate troops to evacuate the state.
October 8, 1861: Brig. Gen William T. Sherman replaces Brig. Gen. Robert Anderson in command of the Union Department of Cumberland with headquarters in Louisville. Anderson was suffering from nervous exhaustion.
October 14, 1861: President Lincoln authorizes Gen. Scott to suspend the privilege of habeas corpus anywhere between Bangor, Me., and Washington due to suspected subversion.
October 21, 1861: In the Battle of Ball’s Bluff in Leesburg, Va. on the edge of the south bank of the Potomac River, Confederates drove the Federal s back to such an extent that it was forced to escape, a major embarrassment for the North. In addition to 49 Federal soldiers killed, the Union lost Col Edward D. Baker, a senator from Oregon and a good friend of Lincoln’s.
October 24, 1861: The people of western Virginia vote overwhelming in favor of forming a new state by ratifying the action of the Wheeling Convention.
October 31, 1861: Due to his advancing age and unable to keep up with the pressing demands of the war, General-in-Chief Winfield Scott submits his letter of resignation to President Lincoln.
November 1, 1861: Maj. Gen George Brinton McClellan succeeds Lieut. Gen. Winfield Scott.
November 5, 1861: Gen. Robert E. Lee is named Commander of the new Department of South Carolina, Georgia and East Florida by the Confederate government.
November 6, 1861: Jefferson Davis is elected without opposition by voters of the Confederate States of America under a new ``permanent government’’ for a six-year term. Members of Congress were also elected; though still with only one party-the Democrats-but there were several competing factions within the single party.
November 18, 1861: In Kentucky, soldiers of the Confederate Army adopt an ordinance of secession at a Convention in Russellville, creating a Confederate government for the state.
November 26, 1861: Due to the secession of Virginia, a convention at Wheeling in western Virgiina adopts a constitution for a new state to be called West Virginia
November 28, 1861: The Southern Congress officially admits Missouri to the Confederates States of America.
December 10, 1861: An act of the Confederate Congress in Richmond admits the state of Kentucky to the Confederacy, completing the 13 states to the Confederacy which would now be known as the Confederate States of America or CSA.
January 15, 1862: The U.S. Senate confirms the appointment of Edwin M. Stanton as Secretary of War.
January 19, 1862: Confederate Gen. George B. Crittenden’s line was broken by advancing Federals under the leadership of George H. Thomas in the Battle of Mill Springs at Logan’s Cross Roads, Kentucky on the north bank of the Cumberland River. Crittenden’s forces withdrew across the Cumberland toward Knoxville, abandoning camps and supplies to the Federals. 125 of the Confederates were killed; 39 for the Federals.
January 27, 1862: President Lincoln takes a historic step by issuing the President’s General War Order No. 1 which stipulates that February 22, 1862 ``be the day for a general movement of Land and Naval forces of the United States against insurgent forces.’’
February 6, 1862: The Confederates surrender Fort Henry in Tennessee, giving the Federals access to an important river highway, bypassing the Mississippi
February 9, 1862: The U.S. War Department orders the imprisonment of Malcolm Ives, a correspondent for the New York Herald on spying charges.
February 16, 1862: The Confederate Army under Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner surrenders Fort Donelson, Tennessee to Ulysses Grant with Confederate casualties estimated at 1500, while the Federals had 500 killed.
February 17, 1862: Ulysses Grant is promoted to Major General of Volunteers.
February 20, 1862: President Lincoln’s son, William Wallace ``Willie’’ dies at age 12 of typhoid fever.
February 22, 1862: President Jefferson Davis delivers his inauguration address as President of the Confederate States of America, saying: ``The tyranny of an unbridled majority, the most odious and least responsible form of despotism, has denied us both the right and remedy. Therefore we are in arms to renew such sacrifices as our fathers made to the holy cause of constitutional liberty.’’
February 25, 1862: The Union Army captures Nashville without bloodshed, becoming an important base for the Federals for the duration of the war.
February 27, 1862: The Confederate Congress gives President Davis the power to suspend the privilege of habeas corpus. Davis additionally imposes martial law for the threatened cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth, Va.
March 11, 1862: President Lincoln with War Order No. 3 relieves Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan from his post as General-in-Chief of the Federal Armies. McClellan remained in command of the Department and Army of the Potomac.
April 6, 1862: In the Battle of Shiloh at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, Gen. Grant’s army is almost driven back to the Tennessee River by a surprise Confederate attack under the command of Albert Sidney Johnston. The next day, however, Grant’s forces along with Gen. Don Carlos Buell’s Army of the Ohio drove the Confederates back to Cornith.
The two day Shiloh battle was the bloodiest battle of the war up to this point, totaling 20,000 casualties on both sides, including the death of Confederate Gen Johnston. Of greater significance, Shiloh sobered up the North to the hard reality that an easy Confederate collapse in the West wasn’t going to happen.
April 10, 1862: President Lincoln approves a joint resolution calling for the gradual emancipation of slaves by the states.
April 16, 1862: President Lincoln signs a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia.
April 16, 1862: The Confederate Congress adopts conscription, which became the first military draft in the history of the United States. This first draft allowed soldiers to pay their way out of the war by using substitutes. The substitution provision was repealed on December 28, 1863.
May 4, 1862: The Army of the Potomac enters Yorktown, Va., following a Confederate evacuation.
May 9, 1862: Confederate forces evacuate Norfolk Va., when Federals occupy the Peninsula across Hampton Roads, posing a deep threat of invasion to the Confederates.
May 15, 1862: President Lincoln approves the Congressional establishment of the Department of Agriculture as a branch of the Federal government.
NOTE: The cabinet status of the Dept.of Agriculture wasn’t realized until 1889.
May 25, 1862: President Lincoln wires McClellan: ``I think the time is near when you must either attack Richmond or give up the job and come to the defense of Washington.’’
May 30, 1862: Confederates evacuate Corinth, Mississippi.
June 19, 1862: President Lincoln signs into law a measure prohibiting slavery in the territories of the United States.
June 27, 1862: President Lincoln accepts Gen. John Charles Fremont’s resignation, a move that was prompted when Gen. John Pope was named his superior.
July 17, 1862: Despite a heated debate and threats of a congressional veto, President Lincoln signs the Second Confiscation Act, which requires that slaves who supported or aided the rebellion would be free when they come within Union control. The Act additionally gives the President the power to ``employ’’ blacks for the suppression of the rebellion and authorized the President to provide for colonization ``in some tropical country beyond the limits of the United States of such persons of the African race, made free by the provisions of the Act, as may be willing to emigrate.’’
August 20, 1862: The New York Tribune publishes a letter by Horace Greeley, ``The Prayer of Twenty Millions’’, which questioned President Lincoln’s policy on slavery. ``All attempts to put down the Rebellion and at the same time uphold its inciting cause are preposterous and futile.’’
August 22, 1862: President Lincoln responds to Horace Greeley’s letter ``The Prayer of Twenty Millions’’ by writing to the editor: ``If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and If I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would do that…’’
August 25, 1862: Secretary of War Stanton authorized the Commander of the Southern Department to ``receive into service black soldiers up to 5,000 and train them as guards for plantations and settlements.’’
August 29, 1862: During the Second Battle of Bull Run (Virginia) Gen Robert E. Lee’s skillful ruse in halting Gen McClellan’s push toward Richmond; combined with Brig. Gen. James Longstreet’s timely defense taking Bald Hill and attacking Henry House Hill, results in a complete Confederate victory, a battle in which Maj. Gen. John Pope’s command of the Army of Virginia was largely discredited. For the entire campaign (August 27-September 2nd) 1724 Federals were killed and 8372 others wounded, while 1481 Confederates were killed with 7627 wounded.
September 15, 1862: After just some brief resistance, Harper’s Ferry (western Va.) fell to Maj. Gen. Thomas J. ``Stonewall ‘’Jackson. Union commander Dixon S. Miles was mortally wounded, while approximately 12,000 Federals were taken prisoner.
September 17, 1862: The Battle of Antietam (fought near Sharpsburg, Maryland, and Antietam Creek) is considered one of the bloodiest in the Civil War, which ended with 2010 Federals killed, 9416 wounded and 1043 missing, while the Confederates casualties were estimated at 2700 killed, 9024 wounded, and about 2,000 missing. The battle was launched soon after Gen Hooker’s unit mounted a powerful assault against Gen Lee’s left flank. After exchanging a series of blows with Maj. Gen McClellan’s forces that continued through the 18th, Gen. Lee finally ordered his worn down Army of Northern Virginia to withdraw across the Potomac into the Shenandoah Valley.
October 14, 1862: Midterm Congressional elections in Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania, results in gains by the Democrats except for Iowa where Republicans carried the state.
November 4, 1862: Democrats make sizeable gains in Northern state and Congressional elections, particularly in New York where Democrat Horatio Seymour was elected governor. Dems’ also made strong gains in New Jersey, Illinois and Wisconsin. But the Republicans still managed to keep control of the House of Representatives with victories in New England, the border slave states, California and Michigan.
November 5, 1862: President Lincoln orders that Maj Gen. McClellan be relieved of his command of the Army of the Potomac and that Major General Ambrose E. Burnside take command of the Army.
December 1, 1862: Abraham Lincoln delivers his State of the Union message to the 37th Congress. After reporting that foreign relations was satisfactory, commerce generally good, and Federal receipts exceeding expectations, Mr. Lincoln went on to recommend three constitutional amendments: 1.) Every state which abolished slavery before 1900 would receive compensation; 2.) All slaves who gained freedom during the war would remain free, and loyal owners compensated; 3.) Congress would provide for colonization outside the country of free black persons with their consent. ``As our case is new so we must think anew and act anew….Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history’’ Lincoln said.
December 13, 1862: In the Battle of Fredericksburg (Virginia) Gen. Burnside’s thrust toward the hills defended by Stonewall Jackson’s well entrenched Confederates was no match as the Federals were beaten back time and time again before two days later, the Army of the Potomac retreated across the river. Federals had 1284 killed, 9600 wounded and 1769 missing for a total of 12,653 casualties. The Confederates, by comparison, had 595 killed, 4061 wounded and 653 missing for a total of 5309 casualties.
January 1, 1863: President Lincoln delivers his Emancipation Proclamation:`` I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.’’
January 25, 1863: President Lincoln informs General-in-Chief Henry W. Halleck and Sec. of War Stanton that he was relieving Gen. Burnside and replacing him with Joseph Hooker to command the Army of the Potomac.
February 8, 1863: The famous midget Tom Thumb and his diminutive bride are the invited guests of Mrs. Lincoln at the White House.
February 13, 1863: The U.S. Senate passes the Conscription Act.
March 3, 1863: The Federal Draft Act was signed by President Lincoln for all male citizens between the ages of 20 and 45. A drafted man could hire another as a substitute or buy his way out for $300. For the entire war, 162,535 men or about six percent were raised by the Army. Of these, 46,347 were held to personal service and 116,118 furnished substitutes. An additional 86, 724 paid commutation.
March 7, 1863: In Baltimore, the Federal Army prohibits the sales of ``secession music’’ and confiscates any such related song sheets.
March 10, 1863: President Lincoln issues a proclamation of amnesty to soldiers absent without leave if they report before April 1; otherwise they would be arrested as deserters.
March 26, 1863: Voters of West Virginia approve a gradual emancipation of slaves.
April 2, 1863: A bread riot takes place in Richmond, the Confederate capital, as residents break into shops, stealing bread, among other items. President Davis addresses the unruly mob from the Capitol steps, throwing money at them from his pockets.
May 4, 1863: Despite a decisive victory for the Confederates at the Battle of Chancellorsville (Virginia) when Gen Joseph Hooker’s unit was routed by Stonewell Jackson’s foot cavalry, leading to the eventual retreat of the Union Army north of the river, of greater concern to Gen Lee was the loss of Jackson from friendly fire.
May 10, 1863: ``Stonewall'' Jackson died in a small house near Guiney’s Station south of Fredericksburg, Va., once pneumonia set in after the amputation of his arm from gun wounds.
May 18, 1863: The siege of Vicksburg (Mississippi) begins by Gen. Ulysses Grant’s Army of Tennessee, entrapping the Confederate Army under Lt. Gen. John Pemberton.
May 19, 1863: As ordered by President Lincoln, Sec. of War Stanton directs that former Ohio Congressman Clement L. Vallandigham, convicted of aiding the Confederates, be sent beyond the military lines of the United States and not be permitted to return.
May 22, 1863: The War Department of the United States establishes a bureau in the Adjutant General’s Office to organize black troops.
June 20, 1863: By presidential proclamation, West Virginia officially takes its place as the 35th state of the Union.
June 27, 1863: President Lincoln relieves Maj. Gen Hooker, replacing him with Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade as Commander of the Army of the Potomac.
July 1, 1863: The Missouri State Convention (Union) adopted an ordinance declaring that slavery should cease effective July 4, 1870.
July 1, 1863: The Battle of Gettysburg (southern Pennsylvania) begins as the Army of Northern Virginia clashes with the Army of the Potomac.
July 4, 1863: Vicksburg Miss. was formally surrendered by Confederates under Gen. Pemberton to the Gen. Grant and the Federals. A Union division takes down the Confederate flag that was flapping over the Vicksburg courthouse, replacing it with the Stars and Stripes.
July 8, 1863: Gen. Franklin Gardner, Commander of the Confederate garrison surrenders Port Hudson, Louisiana to Union Gen. Nathanial P. Banks.
July 13, 1863: After reading the names of new draftees in Sunday newspapers, riots break out in New York City the following day with draft headquarter besieged, business establishment slooted; fires broke out in parts of the city, a black church and orphanage was burned, and a half dozen residents were reportedly lynched. Estimates were that as many as a thousand were killed and wounded with property losses placed at $1,500,000. Rioters attacked a number of Republican newspapers, including the burning of the ground floor of the New York Tribune in which rioters screamed for Horace Greeley’s blood. Henry Raymond of The New York Times, meanwhile, used three Gatling guns from the Army in order to defend his building.
November 9, 1863: President Lincoln attends Ford’s Theatre to see ``Marble Heart’’ starring John Wilkes Booth.
November 19, 1863: After taking two pieces of paper from his pocket and adjusting his glasses, President Lincoln delivers his Gettysburg address at the new military ceremony dedicated to those who died in the Battle of Gettysburg. ``The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here...that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.’’
When Lincoln sat down to lukewarm applause after delivering this 278 word speech, he thought his address fell flat. The next morning, many of the leading newspapers ignored it altogether.
December 8, 1863: President Lincoln issues his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, pardoning those who ``directly or by implication, participated in the existing rebellion’’, if they took an oath to the Union.
December 17, 1863: President Lincoln submitted to Congress a plan to establish a Federal Bureau of Emancipation to assist free blacks citizens. The bureau wasn’t officially established until March, 1865.
January 7, 1864: President Lincoln commutes the death sentence for yet another deserter, ``because I am trying to evade the butchering business lately.’’
January 11, 1864: Sen. John B. Henderson of Missouri proposes a joint resolution abolishing slavery throughout the United States by an Amendment (13) to the Constitution.
February 1, 1864: President Lincoln acting under the Congressional Conscription Act, orders that 500,000 men be drafted on March 10 to serve three years or for the duration of the war.
February 17, 1864: An Act of the Confederate Congress suspends the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus until August 2 to meet resistance to the Conscription law and other disloyal activities.
March 2, 1864: The U.S. Senate confirms the nomination of Ulysses S. Grant for the newly created rank of lieutenant general.
March 18, 1864: Arkansas voters ratify a pro-Union constitution which ends slavery in the state.
March 21, 1864: Despite their small populations, President Lincoln approves an Act of the Federal Congress, allowing the territories of Nevada and Colorado to become states.
April 6, 1864: The Constitutional Convention of Louisiana meets in New Orleans to adopt a new constitution, which outlines the abolition of slavery.
April 8, 1864: The U.S. Senate passes a joint resolution (in a 38 to 6 vote) to abolish slavery and approve the 13th Amendment,
April 16, 1864: According to a new reports on U.S. prisoners, the Federals have captured 146, 634 Confederates since the beginning of the war,
April 19, 1864: An enabling act to permit Nebraska Territory to join the Union was approved after passage by the U.S. Congress.
April 22, 1864: The motto: ``In God We Trust’’ is first stamped upon coins under an Act of the Federal Congress.
May 7, 1864: Gen. Sherman begins his march on Atlanta with 98,000 Union men behind him.
May 12, 1864: Jeb Stuart, Commander of the Cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia dies after being mortally wounded the previous day just six miles north of Richmond at a place called Yellow Tavern. The ``Cavalier of Dixie’’ as he was known, was buried in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond.
May 17, 1864: The Federal Congress passes measures setting up the postal money order system.
May 31, 1864: In Cleveland, Ohio, a dissident group of Radical Republicans, upset over Lincoln’s emancipation policies nominate Gen. John Charles Fremont for President and Brig. Gen. John Cochrane of New York for Vice-President. The Cleveland Herald, covering the Convention, denounce the gathering as nothing more than a bunch of “sly politicians from New York, impetuous hare-brained Germans from St. Louis, abolitionists, and personal friends and parasites of Frémont.”
June 3, 1864: In what he later described as a major blunder, Gen. Grant orders a charge at Cold Harbor, Virginia only to meet stiff resistance from Gen. Lee’s well entrenched Confederates, who were cleverly concealed ready to drive back the Federal offensive. The Union suffered 7,000 casualties; the Confederates fewer than 1,500.
June 8, 1864: During the second day of the National Union Party Convention in Baltimore, Lincoln, as expected, was nominated for President. Andrew Johnson, the military governor of Tennessee, became his vice-presidential candidate, replacing Hannibal Hamlin. The vote for Lincoln was 484, while Gen. Grant received 22 votes. For Vice-President, Johnson received 200 votes, Hamilin 150 and Daniel S. Dickinson of New York 108.
June 10, 1864: The Confederate Congress in Richmond authorizes military service for men between 17 and 18 years of age and between ages 45 and 50.
June 24, 1864: The Constitutional Convention of Maryland votes to abolish slavery.
June 27, 1864: President Lincoln accepts the nomination for President.
July 5, 1864: President Lincoln suspends the privilege of habeas corpus in Kentucky and imposes martial law.
July 8, 1864: President Lincoln throws his support behind a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery, but said he was not prepared to support the idea that Congress had the authority to eliminate the institution. Lincoln issued a July 4th pocket veto of the Wade-Davis reconstruction bill, which among other provisions, requires that each new State Constitution abolish slavery.
July 11, 1864: In the Washington suburb of Silver Spring, Md, Confederate forces under Jubal Early burn down the home of Lincoln’s Postmaster General, Montgomery Blair.
July 11, 1864: In the financial world, the Federal dollar was only worth 39 cents, an all-time low for the dollar during the war.
July 17, 1864: After failing to halt the surge of the Federals in Atlanta, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston is relieved of the Command of the Army and Department of Tennessee and replaced by John Bell Hood.
July 23, 1864: The Louisiana Constitutional Convention adopts a constitution, which includes a provision to end of slavery, a required first step in restoring Louisiana to the Union.
August 12, 1864: In Washington, a number of prominent politicians, including party boss Thurlow Weed, prepare Lincoln for his possible defeat in the upcoming presidential election.
August 29, 1864: At the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, August Belmont tells the convention that ``Four years of misrule by a sectional, fanatical and corrupt party, have brought our country to the verge of ruin.’’
August 31, 1864: Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan is nominated by the Democrats for President after receiving 174 votes on the first ballot to 38 for Thomas H. Seymour, and 12 for Horatio Seymour. George H. Pendleton of Ohio received the vice-presidential nomination on the second ballot.
September 1, 1864: Gen Hood, fearful of Gen. William Sherman’s encirclement, evacuates Confederate forces from Atlanta.
September 2, 1864: Gen. Sherman informs Washington that his Army has taken Atlanta.
September 3, 1864: President Lincoln declares September 5th a day of celebration for the victories at Atlanta and Mobile.
September 7, 1864: Gen. Sherman writes to Gen. Hood that citizens of Atlanta should be evacuated. Between September 11th and the 20th, some 446 families, totaling 1600 people, left the city, most of whom were forced to leave behind their personal possessions.
September 8, 1864: In Orange N.J., Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan formally accepts the Democratic nomination for President. The Democratic platform demanded that immediate efforts be made for the cessation of hostilities.
September 17, 1864: John C. Fremont informs a committee of Radical Republicans of his`` intention to stand aside from the Presidential canvass.’’
September 24, 1864: President Lincoln names former Ohio governor William Dennison Postmaster General, replacing the controversial Montgomery Blair.
October 13, 1864: Despite a close vote-30, 174 for and 29,799 opposed, Maryland voters adopt a new state constitution, abolishing slavery.
October 15, 1864: President Lincoln attends the funeral of Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney in Washington.
October 20, 1864: President Lincoln issues a proclamation, setting aside the last Thursday in November as a ``day of Thanksgiving and Praise to Almighty God the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe.
October 31, 1864: By presidential proclamation, Nevada enters the Union as the 36th state.
November 8, 1864: Abraham Lincoln is re-elected President of the United States with Andrew Johnson of Tennessee as Vice-President, having received 2, 330, 552 popular votes to Democratic challenger George B. McClellan’s 1, 835, 985, giving Lincoln a plurality of 494, 567 and over 55 percent of the total vote. Lincoln and Johnson received 212 electoral votes, while McClelland and George H. Pendleton earned 21, carrying only Delaware, Kentucky, and New Jersey.
November 16, 1864: Gen. Sherman leaves Atlanta on his ``March to the Sea.’’
December 6, 1864: Former Sec. of the Treasury Salmon Chase was nominated by President Lincoln and confirmed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by the Senate, succeeding Roger. B. Taney.
December 13, 1864: Gen. Sherman and his unit capture Fort McAllister on the Ogeechee River below Savannah.
December 19, 1864: President Lincoln issues a call for 300,000 more volunteers to replace casualties.
December 22, 1864: At Savannah, Gen. Sherman sends his legendary message to President Lincoln: ``I beg to present you as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition and also about 25,000 bales of cotton.’’
January 9, 1865: The Constitutional Convention of Tennessee adopts an amendment abolishing slavery in the state and putting it to the vote of the people who ratified it on February 22nd.
January 11, 1865: The Constitutional Convention of Missouri meeting in St. Louis, adopts an ordinance abolishing slavery.
January 13, 1865: John Bell Hood resigned as Commander of the Army of Tennessee and was replaced by Lieut Gen. Richard Taylor.
January 31, 1865: A strong echo of jubilation soars through the gallery as the House of Representatives passes by two-thirds the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery with 119 in favor, 56 opposed and 8 not voting. The 13th Amendment didn’t actually become part of the Constitution until December 18, 1865, after two-thirds of the states had given their approval.
February 1, 1865: Illinois became the first state to ratify the 13th Amendment.
February 17, 1865: The Federals capture Columbia, South Carolina, while Charleston, S.C. is evacuated by the Confederates.
February 17, 1865: The United States Senate votes to repudiate all debts by the Confederate government.
February 19, 1865: Gen. Sherman and his forces at Columbia S.C. destroy the arsenal, railroad installations, machine shops, foundries, and railroad lines.
February 22, 1865: The last major port of the South was lost as Wilmington, North Carolina is captured by the Federals without opposition. Gen. Braxton Bragg had already withdrawn the last of his troops.
March 1, 1865: New Jersey rejects the measure to abolish slavery constitutionally.
March 3, 1865: The Thirty-Eighth Congress of the United States holds its last regular session.
March 4, 1865: President Lincoln delivers his second inaugural address in Washington, concluding with the brief if memorable words: ``With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle; and for his widow, and his orphan-to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.’’
March 13, 1865: After some delay and a great deal of debate, the Confederate Congress sends President Davis a measure that would put blacks in the Army.
March 18, 1865: The Confederate Congress ends its session, which turns out to be its last.
March 25, 1865: President Lincoln visits with Gen. Grant at City Point, Va,; then takes the military railroad to Petersburg (Virginia), where he traveled by horseback over a section of the Fort Stedman battlefield
March 27, 1865: Aboard the River Queen at City Point Va., President Lincoln meets with Genls. Grant, Sherman and Adm. Porter.
March 29, 1865: The Appomattox campaign begins as the Northern Army of the Potomac and the Army of the James, numbering about 125,000 moves against Gen. Lee at Petersburg and Richmond.
April 2, 1865: The Confederate government evacuates Richmond. By 11 p.m. President Davis and most of his Cabinet departed by train for Danville, Va. Total chaos ensues throughout the day with cotton, tobacco, and military stores set on fire, looting running rampant as shells from arsenals explode through the city. Many business houses, hotels, factories and warehouses were destroyed.
April 7, 1865: Tennessee ratifies the 13th Amendment, vowing abolitionist and pro-Union stances.
April 9, 1865: On Palm Sunday at the Appomattox (Va.) Court House, Robert E. Lee surrenders the Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant.
April 12, 1865: The last major city of the Confederacy fell as Federal troops under Gen. E.R.S. Canby entered Mobile, Ala, soon after the Confederates evacuated the city.
April 14, 1865: On Good Friday, shortly after 10 p.m., President Lincoln was shot with a single bullet in the presidential box at Ford’s Theatre by John Wilkes Booth, while seeing the play``Our American Cousin’’. Gen. Grant was invited to attend, but turned down the invitation to visit his children. Wilkes reportedly shouted with the words: ``Sic simper tyrannis’’ while hobbling across the stage.
April 15, 1865: At 7: 22 a.m. (EST) President Lincoln dies. ``Now he belongs to the ages’’ Sec. of War Stanton is believed to have said as members gathered around his bed in the Petersen House. At 11:00 a.m., Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase administers the oath to Vice-President Andrew Johnson at the Kirkwood Hotel in the presence of the Cabinet and several Congressmen.
April 19, 1865: Funeral services for President Lincoln are held in the East Room of the White House with President Johnson, the Cabinet, Supreme Court Justices, Congress, military figures and the diplomatic corps in full court dress in attendance. Lincoln’s body is carried through a sea of people gathered in the rotunda of the Capitol with bells tolling and guns booming.
April 21, 1865: The body of Abraham Lincoln leaves Washington en route to Springfield, Ill.
April 26, 1865: In a burning shed on a Virginia farm belonging to Richard Garrett, Booth is surrounded and shot by Federal troops; dying about 7:00 a.m. by Sergeant Boston Corbett.
May 4, 1865: Abraham Lincoln is buried at Oak Ridge Cemetery, just outside Springfield, Ill.
May 5, 1865: Connecticut ratifies the 13th Amendment.
May 10, 1865: Federal troops capture President Davis near Irwinville, Ga.
May 29, 1865: By a presidential proclamation, President Johnson grants amnesty and pardons all persons who directly or indirectly participated in the ``existing rebellion’’ with just a few exceptions.
June 23, 1865: President Johnson declared the Federal blockade of Southern states in existence since April, 1861 at an end.
November 13, 1865: The 13th Amendment is ratified by South Carolina.
December 1, 1865: President Johnson revokes the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus for all the United States except former Confederate states, the District of Columbia and New Mexico and Arizona territories.
December 11, 1865: Oregon ratifies the 13th Amendment.
December 18, 1865: The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slaver was declared in effect by Sec. of State William H. Seward after its approval from 27 states.
April 2, 1866: President Johnson issues a proclamation: ``Now, therefore, I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States do hereby proclaim and declare that the insurrection which heretofore existed in the States of Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, and Florida is at an end and is henceforth to be so regarded.’’
NOTE: Texas was omitted since its government was not formed yet.
August 30, 1866: By presidential proclamation, President Johnson declares the insurrection in Texas at an end and that ``peace, order, tranquility and civil authority now exists in and throughout the whole of the United States of America.’’
January 16, 2011
Source: ``The Civil War Day by Day: An Almanac: 1861-1865’’ By E. B. Long (Doubleday & Company Inc., 1971); ``Historical Times Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Civil War’’ (Harper & Row, Publishers); ``Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era’’ By James McPherson.
Web Sites to Keep in Mind:
U.S. Civil War: Selected Resources: From The Library of Congress
The Valley of the Shadow Web Site: -includes 2,000 primary source records.
Readex (A Division of News Bank) - includes historical newspapers, government publications and rare printed documents, including Civil War envelopes and sheet music.
Civil War: Soldiers Inqurity Database (From The N.Y. Public Library)