Battle of Antietam
Landmark battle in the Civil War that essentially ended in a draw but demonstrated the prowess of the Union army, forestalling foreign intervention and giving Lincoln the "victory" he needed to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.
Site where Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant in April 1865 after almost a year of brutal fighting throughout Virginia in the "Wilderness Campaign".
Battle of Bull Run (Manassas Junction)
First major battle of the Civil War and a victory for the South, it dispelled Northern illusions of swift victory.
Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War
Established by Congress during the Civil War to oversee military affairs. Largely under the control of Radical Republicans, the committee agitated for a more vigorous war effort and actively pressed Lincoln on the issue of emancipation.
Northern Democrats who obstructed the war effort attacking Abraham Lincoln, the draft and, after 1863, emancipation.
Declared all slaves in rebelling states to be free but did not affect slavery in non-rebelling Border States. The Proclamation closed the door on possible compromise with the South and encouraged thousands of Southern slaves to flee to Union lines.
Battle of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson
Key victory for Union General Ulysses S. Grant, it secured the North's hold on Kentucky and paved the way for Grant's attacks deeper into Tennessee.
Battle of Fredericksburg
Decisive victory in Virginia for Confederate Robert E. Lee, who successfully repelled a Union attack on his lines.
Abraham Lincoln's oft-quoted speech, delivered at the dedication of the cemetery at Gettysburg battlefield. In the address, Lincoln framed the war as a means to uphold the values of liberty.
Battle of Gettysburg
Civil War battle in Pennsylvania that ended in Union victory, spelling doom for the Confederacy, which never again managed to invade the North. Site of General George Pickett's daring but doomed charge on the Northern lines.
Merrimack and Monitor
Confederate and Union ironclads, respectively, whose successes against wooden ships signaled an end to wooden warships. They fought an historic, though inconsequential battle in 1862.
Union General George B. McClellan's failed effort to seize Richmond, the Confederate Capital. Had McClellan taken Richmond and toppled the Confederacy, slavery would have most likely survived in the South for some time.
Reform Bill of 1867
Granted suffrage to all male British citizens, dramatically expanding the electorate. The success of the American democratic experiment, reinforced by the Union victory in the Civil War, was used as one of the arguments in favor of the Bill.
Second Battle of Bull Run
Civil War battle that ended in a decisive victory for Confederate General Robert E. Lee, who was emboldened to push further into the North.
Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's destructive march through Georgia. An early instance of "total war," purposely targeting infrastructure and civilian property to diminish morale and undercut the Confederate war effort.
Battle of Shiloh
Bloody Civil War battle on the Tennessee-Mississippi border that resulted in the deaths of more than 23,000 soldiers and ended in a marginal Union victory.
The Man Without a Country
Edward Everett Hale's fictional account of a treasonous soldier's journeys in exile. The book was widely read in the North, inspiring greater devotion to the Union.
Constitutional amendment prohibiting all forms of slavery and involuntary servitude. Former Confederate States were required to ratify the amendment prior to gaining reentry into the Union.
A coalition party of pro-war Democrats and Republicans formed during the 1864 election to defeat anti-war Northern Democrats.
Siege of Vicksburg
Two and half month siege of a Confederate fort on the Mississippi River in Tennessee. Vicksburg finally fell to Ulysses S. Grant in July of 1863, giving the Union Army control of the Mississippi River and splitting the South in two.
A series of brutal clashes between Ulysses S. Grant's and Robert E. Lee's armies in Virginia, leading up to Grant's capture of Richmond in April of 1865. Having lost Richmond, Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse.
John Wilkes Booth
Actor; assassin of Lincoln.
Robert E. Lee
Confederate general who had opposed secession but did not believe the Union should be held together by force.
A copperhead congressman. Demanded end to "wicked and cruel" war.
Brave commander of the Confederate Army that led troops at Bull Run. He died in the confusion at the Battle of Chancellorsville.
Ulysses S. Grant
Union military commander who won victories when others had failed; defeated Lee.
a general for northern command of the Army of the Potomac in 1861; nicknamed "Tardy George" because of his failure to move troops to Richmond; lost battle vs. General Lee near the Chesapeake Bay; Lincoln fired him twice.
He served as a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War (1861-65), for which he received recognition for his outstanding command of military strategy and criticism for the harshness of the "scorched earth" policies that he implemented in conducting total war against the Confederate States.
Union General who replaced Hooker and defeated Lee at Gettysburg.
Overambitious Secretary of the Treasury who had a faction vying for his succession of Lincoln.
Union naval admiral whose fleet captured New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
U.S. Army officer who became a general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He is best remembered for his participation in the futile and bloody assault at the Battle of Gettysburg that bears his name.
Edward Everett Hale
Wrote "The Man Without a Country."
Battle of Chancellorsville
The Union was defeated again with the Confederacy being led by Robert E. Lee. General Thomas Stonewall Jackson was accidentally wounded here by one of his own men.
site of Lincoln's assassination