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Civil War Battles Articles

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Sgambelluri spoke with HistoryNet about the attack and the aftermath. The IRA attack on a village constabulary in Northern Ireland had all the elements of the violent sectarian clash—including innocent bystanders Get inside articles from the world's premier publisher of history magazines. Beauregard was the official start of the Civil War. Big Bethel Virginia The skirmish of Big Bethel was the first land battle of the civil war and was a portent of the carnage that was to come. Grant took command and began his Civil War career.

Civil War Battles Facts

The list of individual battles appears above, beginning with Beaver Dam Creek and ending with Malvern Hill. The Confederate victory set the stage for Robert E. Though tactically a draw, it was enough of a win to permit President Abraham Lincoln to announce his Emancipation Proclamation in its wake. McClellan failed to pursue following the battle, Lincoln removed him from command. Poor coordination of attacks by Union commanders, combined with strong Confederate defensive positions, resulted in a lopsided slaughter of Federal troops.


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  8. Siege of New Madrid and Island No. Battle of Shiloh Shiloh, Tennessee The casualty totals of the Battle of Shiloh shocked Americans both North and South, with the two-day total exceeding that of all previous American wars combined. Grant , settled into siege warfare. Army forts in the west were understaffed, and ripe for plunder. Taking control of a trail called Glorieta Pass would allow Confederates an easy assault on Fort Union to the north, and a relatively unopposed path westward.

    Fighting on the first day came to a stalemate, and the second day saw little action, but on the third day the Confederates forced a Union retreat from the field, allowing a clear shot at the trail. However, during the melee of the battle Union scouts had managed to locate the Confederate supply wagons.

    Civil War Battles | HistoryNet

    Union troops snuck behind the Confederate line, destroyed and looted the wagons, took prisoners and killed or scattered the pack animals. Although the Confederate Army had won the fight, they were left without food and supplies. They had no choice but to retreat back to the Arizona Territory. The Battle of Glorieta pass is sometimes referred to as the Gettysburg of the West , in the sense that it helped determined the outcome of the Civil War.

    That may be an overstatement, but it is easy to see the importance of this battle, and the potential impact had it gone differently.

    Battle of Gettysburg

    If the Confederates had been able to take Fort Union they would have gained a solid foothold in the Southwest. If they were able to take, and hold, parts of California the Union naval blockade in the east would have been largely nullified. And, with almost endless resources to bolster them, the C. Worse, with many pro-slavery sympathizers already stippled throughout the west it is even possible that a Confederate presence may have encouraged more states and territories to secede from the Union.

    By September of the Federal Government, and President Abraham Lincoln, had become increasing frustrated with the war effort. Losses mounted one after the other, and morale waned. Lee had taken command in June. Within months he launched a bold campaign to invade the Northern state of Pennsylvania and the border state of Maryland, with the goal of cutting off the railway routes to Washington. Hill, would defend the rear. The Union Army pursued Lee northward in an effort to turn back the invasion. The two armies came together near Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 16, He had recalled Jackson and Longstreet, but until their forces arrived he was severely outnumbered, and could only take a defensive position behind Antietam Creek.


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    4. However, McClellan, exhibiting the typical caution and ineffectiveness that enraged President Lincoln during the early years of the war, failed to commit to a full-on attack. The battle that erupted was the bloodiest single day of fighting in American history. Union attacks were time and again repelled by the Confederates, who mounted their own counter attacks, driving back the Federal troops.

      Once location, a simple cornfield nearly in the center of the battlefield, saw especially ferocious fighting, and changed hands several times during the course of the battle. Miller's Cornfield has gone down in history as one of the most horrific killing spots of the entire war. Hill, finally arrived later in the day, and helped stop the final Union attack. The Confederates had held, and the fight was a draw, but the significance of the stalemate reverberated far beyond the battlefield.

      This was a major victory of the struggling Union Army, and a President who, until now, surely had visions of the country slipping away. Lincoln used the opportunity to announce the Emancipation Proclamation, which in theory granted freedom to all slaves in the Confederate states. Lee remained a powerful force to be reckoned with, and he would return to the North in another invasion attempt soon enough. While Lincoln claimed victory at Antietam, any hope that it would turn the Union's fortunes in the war was short lived.

      Burnside promptly sent thousands of his troops to their slaughter by continuously assaulting a heavily fortified stone wall during the Battle of Fredericksburg in December of It was a stunning loss for the Union, and any imagined momentum gained from the fall fight at Antietam was gone. General Joseph Hooker replaced Burnside who, after threatening to resign, was transferred to the Western theater. Vicksburg was a key strategic point on the Mississippi River.

      LEGO American Civil War

      If Vicksburg fell, the Confederacy would lose control of the Mississippi. Another Confederate invasion of the North, Lee hoped, would draw Grant away and relieve pressure on Vicksburg. Hooker followed Lee north, but Lincoln soon lost patience with his ineffectiveness as well. On the morning of July 1st, , Union cavalry encountered forward elements of Confederate infantry near the small town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

      A scrap soon erupted into one of the most massive battles in American history. Over the course of three sweltering days the fight raged on, culminating in one final push by the Confederates to crush the Army of the Potomac, and win the war. On the third day, Lee ordered a full-on assault against his entrenched opponent. After a ferocious cannonade, some 15, Confederate infantry troops stepped from the tree line and began the three-quarter-mile-long march across an open field and toward the Union position.

      Cut down first by cannon, and then by musket fire, the weakening force eventually breached the Union line, getting as far as Union cannons before they were driven back in retreat. The final push was supposed to have been a three-pronged attack, consisting of an assault on the Federal right flank at Culp's Hill, and Stuart's cavalry riding around the Union position and attacking from the rear.

      But Union troops held the flank, and Federal cavalry met Stuart, leaving the attacking Confederate infantry with no support. Another Northern invasion had failed. One point on the Gettysburg battlefield marks the deepest place where Confederate troops breached the Union line. Known as the High Water Mark of the Rebellion , there a monument now stands.

      This is the closest the South would come to winning the Civil War. A Confederate victory here would have gone a long way toward ending the war. And, based on the actions of the previous months, it was entirely conceivable the Lee would have prevailed once again. His aggressive decision making, which until now had been a tremendous asset, failed him when confronted by a patient, tactically clever adversary who was perfectly willing to dig in and let him make the first mistake.

      As Lee marched north, Grant stayed put, keeping pressure on Vicksburg. In the spring he enacted a brazen plan to march his troops down the western side of the river, cross the Mississippi and assault the city. Beginning in late April, Union Army and Navy forces led several attacks designed to pave the way for a clear shot at Vicksburg. Though surrounded and with no route of escape, the entrenched Confederate Army and the civilians of the town held out for weeks before finally surrendering on July 4th, The fall of Vicksburg came on the very same day Lee retreated from Gettysburg.

      This one-two punch of devastating wins in both the Eastern and Western theaters provided a needed shot of adrenaline for the U. He would win reelection in , an event that had seemed unlikely up until this point. But the taking of Vicksburg provided much more than just a morale boost for the United States.

      Our editors will review what you've submitted, and if it meets our criteria, we'll add it to the article. Please note that our editors may make some formatting changes or correct spelling or grammatical errors, and may also contact you if any clarifications are needed. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Dec 5, See Article History. Confederate States of America. The Battle of Gettysburg was won by the Union army the North. The war in the east. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: Meade, commanded defensive positions.

      5 Most Important Battles of the Civil War

      At nearly the same time, a turning point was reached in the West. The next campaign at Gettysburg, Pa. July , was preceded by the cavalry Battle of Brandy Station June 9 , at which for the first time Stuart and his men were met by worthy opposition from the Federal cavalry. Overview In United States: Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students.

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