THE AMERICAN CIVIL WARby Helen Lee, Yoojin Jung, Daniel Park




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TOP 20 KEY FIGURES IN THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

Rank
Name
Significance
Side
1
Abraham Lincoln
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Voted the 16th President of the United States, with no votes from any Southern state, it was his election that sparked the secession of the Southern states. This self-educated country lawyer from Illinois would lead the United States through it's greatest internal crisis: the Civil War. Under his close supervision, and inspiring leadership, Lincoln was able to lead the Union to victory. He was also well-known as a strong abolitionist, famous for the Lincoln-Douglas debates about the emancipation of slaves, although Douglas eventually won the senate race. Lincoln was the main contributer in the abolition of slavery, after making his famous speech, the Emancipation Proclamation, in which he stated that all involuntary slaves and workers were to be freed. The emancipation of slaves was later made as part of the Constitution as the Thirteenth Amendment, after Lincoln's winning of the Election of 1864.
Union
2
Robert E. Lee
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Originally offered command of the Union Army, Lee was a general from Virginia who instead decided to take command of the Confederate Army, where his beloved Virginia lay. General Lee became the most important commander of the Confederate forces, wining many of the battles he led, and losing very few. Lee proved to be a shrewd tactician, winning several key battles throughout the war, leading the "Army of North Virginia" (the nickname of the Confederate forces. However, his most important loss, the Battle of Gettysburg, was crucial in contributing to the Union victory of the Civil War, where he made big tactical errors.
Confederate
3
Thomas Jackson
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Considered the most gifted tactician of the US Army by most military historians, Jackson was known as the "right hand" of Robert E. Lee. He led the Confederate troops to victory in several key battles displaying bold and innovative tactics. Jackson was so crucial, that upon his wound which resulted in him losing his left arm, Lee sent him a message saying "Give General Jackson my affectionate regards, and say to him: he has lost his left arm but I my right." Jackson received his nickname "Stonewall" after the First Battle of Bull Run, because he did not give up, and held up like a stone wall against the huge Union army.
Confederate
4
U.S. Grant
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General Grant became perhaps the most celebrated Union General after the Civil War. He won several battles that were crucial to the Union Victory. Grant started his military career during the Mexican War, and served with famous commanders, such as Generals Taylor and Scott. After several victories, for example the Battle Forts Henry and Donelson, Battle of Chattanooga, Grant was promoted to become the chief General of the whole Union army. Not surprisingly, after the all, Grant was voted President during the Election of 1868.
Union
5
George McClellan
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McCellan was, at two points during the war, the Commander of the Union forces. Largely considered an able and competent tactician, McCellan proved to be a poor field commander, lacking the innovation and drive found in Stonewall Jackson. He would frustrate Lincoln to no end with his stalling, and excessive cautiousness, and would be relieved of his position, and restored, before being fired permanenetly. McClellan still led the Union to victory on some occasions, and was used largely as a scapegoat for the Union's setbacks. He was famous for assembling his huge Army of the Potomac, which unfortunately lost to General Robert E. Lee during the Seven Days Battle.
Union
6
George Pickett
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A Union general from Virginia, Pickett was best known for his futile charge known as "Pickett's Charge" at the battle of Gettysburg. General Pickett started his military career by serving in the Mexican War, along with Generals Robert E. Lee, McClellan, and Grant. Pickett's Charge was a bloody incident, where he lost about half his men, and was violently defeated.
Confederate
7
P.G.T Beauregard
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General P.G.T Beauregard was originally part of the Union army, but he decided to defend the Confederate Army.His attacking of the Union army at Fort Sumter marked the very beginning of the Civil War, and was also considered to be the first act of rebellion by the Confederates. He led a small Confederate force during the First Battle of Bull Run. Beauregard is most well-knwon for his triumph at the city of Petersburg, where he defended his Confederate army from the overpowering and outnubering forces of General U.S. Grant.
Confederate
8
Jefferson Davis
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Davis was elected as the first president of the Confederacy in 1861, but his lack of political skills led to a poor and disorganized government. He served as President for the whole duration of the existence of the Confederate States of America.
Confederate
9
John Caldwell CalhounUSAcalhoun.jpg
Known as the champion of the South, Calhoun proposed the Compromise of 1850, and sought a decision that didn't mean all out war. An avid supporter of slavery, or as he called it, "a positive good", Calhoun would die 10 years before the Civil War. His speeches for slavery, however, inspired the South, and partly fueld their acts of secession. Calhoun was well-known for his participation in the race for President against John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, and Henry Clay in 1824.However he later withdrew and decided to run for the vice president position.
Confederate
10
John Bell Hood
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John Bell Hood was a Confederate general who was wounded at Gettysburg. He showed his dedication to his country by continuing to fight during the war even after breaking his leg. At the Battle of Gaines' Mill, Hood performed what was considered to be the most successful feat of the Confederates during the Seven Days Batte, which in the end was a Confederate victory.
Confederate
11
Joseph Hooker
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Joseph Hooker was a General for the Union who fought at the Battle of Chancellorsville, but lost. The loss was partially in fault to Hooker's weak relationships with his staff and commanders, and therefore lost the battle to General Lee. He was then fired promptly from the commander of the Army of the Potomac. However, as a turn for the good, Hooker enjoyed victories at the Battle of Chattanooga, and uworking under General Sherman, in the Atlanta Campaign.
Union
12
Clara Barton
After being employed by the federal government in the North, Clara Barton attended to wounded Union soldiers after the First Battle of Bull Run. Barton also treated the casualties at the Battle of Antietam, and was a significant figure in the improvement of medicinal servies during the Civil War. She later became an important leader in charity and hospitalities, and set up the America Red Cross.
Union
13
Eli Whitney
Eli Whitney was the inventor of interchangeable parts and cotton gin. His invention of the cotton gin set the stage for the Civil War, since it divided the economy of the North and South, which was a chief factor of the causes of the war.
Lived before civil war
14
Wendell Philips
An abolitionist from Boston, Phillips served as an advocate for the Native Americans, fighting for their rights as well. A brilliant speaker, Phillips would hold many speeches over the banning of slavery.
Union
15
John Brown
John Brown was a fierce abolitionist in the North who caused Bleeding Kansas, and the arsenal in Virginia. Brown believed that he had been chosen by God to end slavery, and was considered throughout history has quite a madman. He was later captured by Robert E. Lee, and hanged. His role in fighting for the emancipation of slaves was became an issue between the North and South.
Union
16
Fredrick Douglass
Douglass was an ex-slave, who escaped to his freedom. An avid abolitionist, Douglass led the Abolitionist movement through his newspaper "The North Star" and his public speeches. He went on to join William Garrison in working for the emancipation of slaves.
Union
17
Dred Scott
Dred Scott was a freed-slave who took to Supreme Court about the issue of his freedom, but the Court's decision was ruled against him for two reasons; him not being an American citizen, and therefore had no right to bring suit to court, and that Scott living outside of Missouri didn't mean he wasn't still a slave. This decision infuriated Abolitionists and fueled anger on both sides for the war.
Union
18
Matthew Brady
Credited with being the father of photo journalism, Brady was a famous photographer. Brady is best known for the documentation of the Civil War.
Union
19
John Wilkes Booth
An American stage actor who commited his famous murder of Abraham Lincoln, the US President, at the Ford Theatre on April 14, 1865. From the South, Booth was infuriated at the South's defeat, and even more enraged at the abolition of slavery. After commiting the murder, he fled to Maryland where he was eventually caught and killed.
Confederate
20
Mary Ann Bickerdyke
Also known as "Mother Bikerdyke," Mary Bickerdyke served as a hopsital administrator during the Civil War. Running field hospitals, setting hospitals up, and delivering vital supplies, Bickerdyke served a pivotal role in the Union, and left as the best known nurse.
Union



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TOP 20 KEY BATTLES IN THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR


Number
Date (MM/DD/YYYY)
Name of Battle
Significance
Outcome/Victory
1)
04/12/1861 - 04/13/1861
Battle at Fort Sumter
This battle was led by General P.G.T Beauregard of the Confederacy against General Anderson. The President, Abraham Lincoln, had a dilemma with the Fort. It was located in South Carolina, which had seceded from the United States, and so the Fort was technically in the land of the Confederates. However, Lincoln had a different view; he believed that the Southern states were merely rebelling against the federal government, so he viewed the Fort as part of the Union. Therefore, in order to ‘defend government property’, Lincoln had to protect the soldiers who were located at the Fort. But, in his inaugural address to the Southerners, he pledged that he would not take any hostile action against them. As a result, President Lincoln decided to send food, and not soldiers to Fort Sumter. In response, the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis ordered General Beauregard to demand of General Anderson that the Fort should be surrendered. Anderson refused, and so Beauregard and his soldiers started shooting at the Fort. Eventually General Anderson surrendered the Fort to the Confederates. The battle at Fort Sumter was very significant because it was the first act of rebellion by the newly formed Confederacy.
Confederate
2)
07/21/1861
First Battle of Bull Run
This was fought by General McDowell of the Union and Generals P.G.T Beauregard and Jackson of the Confederacy, in Manassas, Virginia. The Confederacy had an advantage since the Union’s army had only just been formed, it was very under-trained and disorganized. This resulted in the Confederacy having more time to prepare for the battle. At first, the Union had appeared to be winning, but General Thomas Jackson held firm and refused to surrender and give up. This gave him the nickname of “Stonewall” Jackson. Just when the Union army was growing tired of fighting, a battalion of Confederate soldiers had arrived. The scared Union troops ran away from the battle, who were lucky that the Confederate army were exhausted of fighting as well, and so did not chase after the Northern soldiers.
Confederate
3)
04/06/1862 - 04/07/1862
Battle of Shiloh
Fought against General Ulysses Grant of the North and General Albert Sidney Johnston of the Confederacy, this battle took place in Corinth, Mississippi. A surprise attack was launched by General Johnston on the Union forces. By the first day of fighting, the Southerners managed to make the Union retreat to near the Tennessee River. Luckily, General Grant’s army was reinforced, and so the Union attacked and defeated the Confederate army the very next day. This battle is remembered as being one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War since the North and South both suffered tremendous casualties. It also completely put out the hopes of the Northerners of a short civil war.
Union
4)
04/25/1862
Battle of New Orleans
This battle was a very important victory for the Union as New Orleans was a huge part of the Confederacy. This battle was a naval one proceeded by the Union under Admiral David Farragut, in order to seize control of the Mississippi. New Orleans was defended by Forts Jackson and St. Philips, which were problematic for the Union. Farragut went through the Head of Passes and travelled up the Mississippi river from Mississippi’s coast towards the two forts, where New Orleans was located. The Confederates, who were headed by Major General Mansfield Lovell, surrendered to the North. Later, Major General Benjamin Franklin Butler of the Union started to occupy New Orleans, and eventually the city fell. This was an important victory for the Union because New Orleans was an international port that was the center of economy for the Confederate States.
Union
5)
06/25/1862 - 01/07/1862
The Seven Days Battle
Part of the Peninsular Campaign, the Seven Days Battle was a series of battles in which General Robert E. Lee of the Confederacy defeated General George McClellan’s huge Army of the Potomac, and the North’s plan to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. These series of battles include the Battle of Beaver Dam Creek, Battle of Gaines’ Mill, Battle of Savage’s Station, Battle of Glendale, Battle of White Oak Swamp, and Battle of Malvern Hill.
Confederate
6)
08/29/1862 - 08/30/1862
Second Battle of Bull Run
General Robert E. Lee of the Confederacy decided to draw the Union army, led by General John Pope into battle before the Northern reinforcements came. To do this, Lee sent General Jackson with a portion of the Confederate troops to Pope’s location. Jackson’s army destroyed provisions of the Northern army, to which Pope responded with a huge attack on the Confederates. Taking this advantage, General Lee, with his Southern army attacked the Union. This battle was fought on the same ground as the First Battle of Bull Run, and the Union ended up, again, having to surrender.
Confederate
7)
09/17/1862
Battle of Antietam
This battle, fought by General George McClellan of the Union, and General Robert E. Lee, although inconclusive, led to the eventual retreat of the Confederates across the Potomac River. General Lee decided to attempt to invade the North in order to tempt the European countries into joining the war, and for the Northern citizens to turn their opinions against the war. To carry out his plans, Lee and his men travelled up to Maryland, with McClellan and his troops having no clue as to the location of the Confederate army. Unfortunately for Lee, one of McClellan’s men found the strategic plan of the Confederates, which gave the Union a huge advantage. However, because of General McClellan’s stalling, Lee found out that the Union had discovered his plans, and so he was ready for a battle. In Antietam Creek, Maryland, both the Union and the Confederates suffered heavy losses. General Lee decided to retreat back to Virginia. However, President Lincoln, enraged about the unsatisfying ending ordered General McClellan to “destroy the rebel army”. Again, as a result of McClellan’s cautiousness, Lee successfully retreated back to Virginia.
Inconclusive, but the Union had a strategic advantage
8)
12/13/1862
Battle of Fredericksburg
General Burnside for the Union decided to simply seize the capital of the Confederacy, Richmond in Virginia with a huge army of 122,000 men. On the other hand, General Robert E. Lee decided himself to amass an army of 79,000, positioned on the south bank of the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Following his very straight-forward plan, perhaps a bit too literally, General Burnside decided to attack Lee’s troops directly, right in front of them, across the bridge from where the Confederates were located. This poor strategic planning led to the massacre of Burnside’s troops, who were shot while trying to cross the river numerous times. The Union army lost about half its men, suffering around a staggering 13,000 casualties, compared to the Confederates casualties of 5000.
Confederate
9)
05/01/1863 - 05/04/1863
Battle of Chancellorsville
The battle of Chancellorsville is considered one of the greatest battles General Robert E. Lee ever executed. General Joseph Hooker was leading the Union troops. General Hooker’s plan was to overwhelm the Confederate troops and force General Lee and his troops to retreat. The Union troops were almost 115,000 whereas the Confederate troops were not even 60,000. But, Lee did not plan to retreat. He divided his troops into different areas and put heavy security on the camp. This security was so tight that a soldier accidentally shot Commander Stonewall Jackson, causing him to die of arm infection. Lee’s brilliant tactics not only got General Hooker in great trouble but greatly increased the morale of the Confederate troops.
Confederate
10)
07/01/1863 - 07/03/1863
Battle of Gettysburg
The battle of Gettysburg consisted of the largest number of men who fought and who died during the Civil War. General Meade led the Union troops and General Lee led the Confederate troops. During this war, General Lee attempted a risky plan and got many of his troops killed. Although more Union men died then Confederate men, the results were much more costly to the Confederates. The South was never able to recover from the losses of this battle and were deeply in short of men to fight.
Union
11)
07/04/1863
Siege of Vicksburg
General Grant of the Union captured the city of Vicksburg. Grant’s brilliant tactical strategy made the Confederacy split in half. This siege proved the Union’s strength and made them control the West.
Union
12)
09/19/1863 - 09/20/1863
Battle of Chickamauga
General Rosecrans and Thomas led the Union troops and General Bragg and Longstreet led the Confederate troops. Both sides used strategies like creating gaps. Eventually, the Union troops fled out of the city and the Confederate troops became the victors of the battle.
Confederate
13)
11/23/1863 - 11/25/1863
Battle of Chattanooga
In the last ending months of 1863, the Battle of Chattanooga took place. It took place in Chattanooga, Tennessee. General Bragg led the Confederate troops and General Grant led the Union troops. Although there were fewer casualties than in some of the more bloody wars, the Union won this battle with tactical excellence that later inspired General Sherman's 1864 Atlanta Campaign.
Union
14)
05/05/1864 - 05/06/1864
Battle of the Wilderness
The battle of the Wilderness was fought in the wilderness. The Union was led by General Ulysses S. Grant and the Confederate was led by General Robert E. Lee. Union troops attacked the Confederates. It was difficult to fight because of the land, darkness, and physical obstacles made by the trees. This battle was significant because it was a difficultly fought out draw.
Inconclusive
15)
05/08/1864 - 05/19/1864
Battle of Spotsylvania
The battle of Spotsylvania was fought directly after the battle of the Wilderness. Grant and Meade of the Union were continuing into Richmond. This long, two-week battle was a part of process of the Union’s advance into Richmond.
Inconclusive
16)
06/03/1864
Battle of Cold Harbor
The battle of Cold Harbor was famous for the brutal victory of the Confederates. General Ulysses S. Grant made a crucial mistake in his tactical strategy. He later said that his orders during the battle of Cold Harbor were the only ones he truly regretted. Several Union corps were slaughtered along the Betheda Church-Cold Harbor line. Grant’s mistake is what makes this battle significant.
Confederate
17)
06/18/1864 - 04/02/1865
Siege of Petersburg
After the Confederates were defeated at Five Forks, General Grant executed a plan to capture the city of Petersburg in Virginia. Although several Confederate soldiers died at the cause of defending the city from the Union troops, it soon became evident to be the Union's victory. General Lee evacuated the city and Petersburg was captured, leading to the capture of the Confederacy's capital city, Richmond.
Union
18)
09/02/1864
Battle of Atlanta
General Sherman and McPherson led the Union troops whereas General Hood led the Confederate troops. Hood devised an excellent plan to defeat the Union troops but accidentally miscalculated the time it took to march. McPherson died during this battle.
Union
19)
12/15/1864 - 12/16/1864
Battle of Nashville
The Battle of Nashville was a decisive Union victory that helped them win the Civil War. Led by General John Bell Hood, the Confederate army attempted to push General Sherman's Union army out of Georgia. However, General Hood was disadvantaged with his lack of troops, most of whom he'd lost in Franklin. This eventually led up to the loss of the Confederates.
Union
20)
03/19/1865
Battle of Bentonville
The battle of Bentonville was a crushing defeat for the Confederate army. General Sherman led the Union and General Johnston led the Confederates. After tense and unpredictable fighting, the battle slipped into the night. At the first sight of daylight, the Union troops attacked the Confederate troops and claimed the victory of the battle. General Johnston was forced to sign an armistice and surrender to the Union troops.
Union
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TOP 20 SIGNIFICANT FIGURES AND BATTLES TIMELINE







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Reference:
My Civil War:http://www.mycivilwar.com/battles/
US National Park Service: http://www.nps.gov/
About.com: http://americanhistory.about.com/od/civilwarbattles/Civil_War_Battles.htm
Civil War:http://www.civilwar.com/battles/battle-summaries/148032-manassas-i-bull-run-.html
New World Encyclopedia:http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Seven_Days_Battles
PBS The Civil War: http://www.pbs.org/civilwar/war/biographies/barton.html
Civil War Preservation Trust:http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/biographies/p-g-t-beauregard.html
Britannica Encyclopedia: www.britannica.com
Prentice Hall America: Pathways to the Present