December 13, The Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Army of the Potomac, under General Ambrose Burnside, is soundly defeated by Lee's forces after a risky river crossing and sacking of the city. January 1, The Emancipation Proclamation goes into effect. Applauded by many abolitionists including Frederick Douglass , there are others who feel it does not go far enough to totally abolish slavery. March 3, Conscription, or the drafting of soldiers into military service, begins in the North.
It had begun in the South the year before.
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In the west, a Union army has begun a campaign to surround and take Vicksburg, Mississippi, the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River. May , - The Battle of Chancellorsville , Virginia. General Lee's greatest victory is marred by the mortal wounding of "Stonewall" Jackson, who dies on May Soon after, Lee asks Jefferson Davis for permission to invade the North and take the war out of Virginia.
May 18, - Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi begins. Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant attack Confederate defenses outside the city on May If Vicksburg falls, the Mississippi River will be completely controlled by the Union. Union cavalry forces cross the Rapidan River to attack General J. Stuart's cavalry and discover that Lee's men are moving west toward the Shenandoah Valley. The largest cavalry battle of the Civil War, it also marks the beginning of the Gettysburg Campaign. Meanwhile, the Union assault on Vicksburg, Mississippi has become a siege of the city where soldiers and civilians alike suffer from constant bombardment.
June , - Battle of Second Winchester,Virginia.
June 28, - The Gettysburg Campaign continues. Confederates pass through York and reach the bridge over the Susquehanna River at Columbia, but Union militia set fire to the bridge, denying access to the east shore. Southern cavalry skirmishes with Union militia near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. July - The Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The bloodiest battle of the Civil War dashes Robert E. Lee's hopes for a successful invasion of the North.
The capture of Vicksburg gives the Union complete control of the Mississippi River, a vital supply line for the Confederate states in the west. At Gettysburg, Lee begins his retreat to Virginia. July , - Union naval and land forces attack Confederate defenses near Charleston, South Carolina. Among the Union troops is the 54 th Massachusetts Colored Infantry, the first African American regiment of volunteers to see combat. July 13, - Draft Riots begin in New York City and elsewhere as disgruntled workers and laborers, seething over the draft system that seemingly favors the rich, attack the draft office and African American churches.
The riots continue through July Leading the Union infantry charge is the 54 th Massachusetts Colored Infantry commanded by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw who is killed and buried with the dead of his regiment. August 21, - Sacking of Lawrence, Kansas. In a murderous daylight raid, Confederate and Missouri guerillas under William Clarke Quantrill storm into Lawrence and destroy most of the town.
Approximately men and boys are murdered by Quantrill's men. September 19 , - The Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia.
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Rosecrans' army retreats to the supply base at Chattanooga, Tennessee. Confederate forces under Braxton Bragg surround the occupied city. General Ulysses S. Grant is assigned to command the troops there and begins immediate plans to relieve the besieged Union army. October 5, - Outside of Charleston Harbor, the Confederate David , a partially submerged, steam powered vessel, attacked the New Ironsides , part of the Union fleet blockading the harbor, with a torpedo.
Both ships survived the attack, though the commander of the David and one of his crew were captured. October 9 , - Bristoe Station Campaign. Lee successfully outmaneuvers Meade though fails to bring him to battle or catch him in the open.
Battle of the Bastards
An engagement at Bristoe Station, Virginia, on October 14 gives the campaign its name. President Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address. November 23 , - The Battle for Chattanooga. Union forces break the Confederate siege of the city in successive attacks.
The most notable event is the storming of Lookout Mountain on November 24 and Battle of Missionary Ridge the following day. The decisive Union victory sends the Confederate Army south into Georgia where General Bragg reorganizes his forces before resigning from command on November Lee reacts and throws up a line of defenses along the banks of Mine Run Creek. After several days of probing the defenses, Meade withdraws north of the Rapidan and goes into winter quarters.
November 27 to December 3, - Siege of Knoxville, Tennessee. Longstreet finally attacks on November 30 but is repulsed with heavy losses. The arrival of Union reinforcements forces him to withdraw to Greeneville, Tennessee, where his corps will spend the winter. December 8, - Lincoln Issues his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, which would pardon those who participated in the "existing rebellion" if they take an oath to the Union. February 9, - Escape from Libby Prison, Richmond.
After weeks of digging, Union officers made their escape from the notorious Libby Prison, the largest and most sensational escape of the war. Though 48 of the escapees were later captured and two drowned, 59 were able to make their way into Union lines. Universally referred to as Andersonville Prison Camp , it will become notorious for overcrowded conditions and a high death rate among its inmates.
Union forces under William T. Sherman enter the city of Meridian, Mississippi after a successful month of campaigning through the central part of the state. The capture of this important southern town, well known for its industry and storage capabilities, severely hampers the efforts of Confederate commanders to sustain their armies in the deep south, Georgia and west of the Mississippi River.
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The CSS H. Struck by the submarine's torpedo, the Housatonic broke apart and sank, taking all but five of her crew with her. Likewise, the Hunley was also lost and never heard from again until discovered in at the spot where it sank after the attack.
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March 2, - Ulysses S. Grant is appointed lieutenant general, a rank revived at the request of President Lincoln. Grant assumes command of all Union Armies in the field the following day.
March 10, - The Red River Campaign begins. As part of an overall Union strategy to strike deep into various parts of the Confederacy, a combined force of army and navy commands under General Nathaniel Banks begins a campaign on the Red River in Louisiana. April 9, - Battle of Pleasant Hill, Louisiana. Unfortunately, the result of the campaign would be less than desired as it drew to a close in the first week of May with Confederates still in firm control of most of the state.
April 12, - Capture of Fort Pillow, Tennessee. After a rapid raid through central and western Tennessee, Confederate cavalry under Nathan Bedford Forrest attacked and overwhelmed the Union garrison at Fort Pillow, located on the Mississippi River. Among those garrisoning the fort were African American troops, many of whom were murdered by Forrest's angered troopers after they had surrendered. The affair was investigated and though charges of an atrocity were denied by Confederate authorities, the events at Fort Pillow cast a pall over Forrest's reputation and remained an emotional issue throughout the remainder of the war and after.
Grant, accompanying the Army of the Potomac under General Meade, issued orders for the campaign to begin on May 3. Lee responded by attacking the Union column in the dense woods and underbrush of an area known as the Wilderness, west of Fredericksburg, Virginia. May 7, Beginning of the Atlanta Campaign. With three Union armies under his command, General William T. Lee successfully stalls Grant's drive toward Richmond. May 11, - Battle of Yellow Tavern. Six miles north of Richmond, Confederate cavalry under General J. Stuart blocked a force of Union cavalry under General Philip Sheridan.
General Stuart was mortally wounded during the encounter. May , - Battle of Resaca, Georgia. After two days of maneuvering and intense fighting, Johnston withdraws. Sherman will advance but take precautions against ordering any further massed assaults where high casualties may occur. June , - Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia.
Relentless and bloody Union attacks fail to dislodge Lee's army from its strong line of defensive works northeast of Richmond. June 8, - Abraham Lincoln is nominated by his party for a second term as president. June , Assault on Petersburg, Virginia. After withdrawing from the lines at Cold Harbor, the Army of the Potomac crossed the James River and with troops from the Army of the James attacked the outer defenses of Petersburg, the primary junction for several southern railroads. After four days of bloody attacks, Grant accepts that only a siege can systematically isolate the city and cut off Confederate supplies to the capital of Richmond.
June 27, - Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia. After weeks of maneuvering and battles, Sherman's Army of the Cumberland and Army of the Tennessee smash headlong into Johnston's carefully planned defenses at Big and Little Kennesaw. Johnston remains on this line until July 2, when he retreats at the threat being flanked by Sherman's mobile force.
July 9, - Battle of Monocacy, Maryland.
In an attempt to draw Union troops away from the ongoing siege of Petersburg and Richmond, a Confederate force under Jubal Early quietly moved north into Maryland. Early had made excellent progress until he reached Frederick, Maryland, where a force of 6, Federal troops under General Lew Wallace, was arrayed to delay his advance.
Though the battle was a Union defeat, it was also touted as "the battle that saved Washington" for it succeeded in holding back Early's march until troops could be sent to the capital's defense.
Related Between The Battles
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