Battles

Battle of Civil War

Fort Sumter

When South Carolina seceded from the Union on December 20, 1860, United States Maj. Robert Anderson and his force of 85 soldiers were positioned at Fort Moultrie near the mouth of Charleston Harbor.

On December 26, fearing for the safety of his men, Anderson moved his command to Fort Sumter, an imposing fortification in the middle of the harbor.

Antietam

On September 16, 1862, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan and his Union Army of the Potomac confronted Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Sharpsburg, Maryland. At dawn on September 17, Maj. General Joseph Hooker’s Union corps mounted a powerful assault on Lee’s left flank that began the Battle of Antietam, and the single bloodiest day in American military history. . Repeated Union attacks, and equally vicious Confederate counterattacks, swept back and forth across Miller’s cornfield and the West Woods.

Vicksburg

For many a hard fought month, Ulysses S. Grant and his Army of the Tennessee had been trying to wrest away the strategic Confederate river fortress of Vicksburg, Mississippi. In late April 1863, Grant undertook a new and bold campaign against Vicksburg and the Confederate defenders under John Pemberton. Once his rear was clear, Grant again turned his sights on Vicksburg.

Gettysburg

After his astounding victory at the Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, in May 1863, Robert E. Lee led his Army of Northern Virginia in its second invasion of the North—the Gettysburg Campaign. He wanted to threaten Northern cities, weaken the North's appetite for war and, especially, win a major battle on Northern soil and strengthen the peace movement in the North. Elements of the two armies collided west and north of the town on July 1, 1863.

Sherman's March to the Sea (Battle of Atlanta)

On July 21 Sherman’s three armies were still more or less separated. This situation presented Hood with an opportunity to launch a flank attack, like the one made famous by Jackson at Chancellorsville. One Union officer struck a tree in his flight; the blow smashed his pocket watch and froze the time of the general’s death—2:02 p.m. Confederate Captain Beard came up to the body and saw a bullet hole in the back, near the heart.

Fort Fisher

fter the failure of his December expedition against Fort Fisher, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler was relieved of command. Maj. Gen. Alfred Terry was placed in command of a “Provisional Corps,” including Paine's Division of U.S. Colored Troops, and supported by a naval force of nearly 60 vessels, to renew operations against the fort. The Confederate garrison surrendered, opening the way for a Federal thrust against Wilmington, the South's last open seaport on the Atlantic coast.

Appomattox Court House

Approximately 9,000 men under Gordon and Fitzhugh Lee deployed in the fields west of the village before dawn and waited. The attack, launched before 8:00 a.m. and led by General Bryan Grimes of North Carolina, was initially successful. Small pockets of resistance continued until flags of truce were sent out from the Confederate lines between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. Rather than destroy his army and sacrifice the lives of his soldiers to no purpose, Lee decided to surrender the Army of Northern Virginia.