Stephen Arnold Douglas In 1854 Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas pushed the Kansas- Nebraska Act through the United States Congress. The act said that residents of the two territories should decide for themselves whether slavery should be legal.
President Lincoln Soon after Abraham Lincolns election as president of the United States, seven Southern states seceded from the Union because they feared that Lincoln would abolish slavery. Four more states had followed by the time Lincoln delivered his first inaugural address on March 4, 1861.
Civil War Begins South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union on December 20, 1860. It was also the site of the first battle of the American Civil War. On April 12, 1861, Confederate artillery shelled Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.
Jefferson Davis During the American Civil War (1861-1865), Jefferson Davis served as the president of the Confederate States of America. Davis was a pro-slavery advocate who initially opposed secession. However, when his state withdrew from the Union, he resigned from the U.S. Senate to support the South.
Giant Mobile Mortar Confederate troops pose with a giant flatcar-mounted mortar. Railroads greatly increased the ability of both sides to transport troops, supplies, and weapons during the American Civil War (1861-1865).
Confederate Currency The Confederate States of America issued its own paper currency throughout the American Civil War (1861-1865). Shown here are Confederate bills ranging in value from 5 to 100 dollars.
Stonewall Jackson One of the most famous generals of the American Civil War (1861-1865), Thomas Jonathan Jackson served under Confederate General Robert E. Lee. During the First Battle of Bull Run, or Manassas, Jackson’s brigade was victorious though it faced overwhelming odds.
Robert E. Lee Robert E. Lee was a brilliant general who commanded the Confederate Army during the American Civil War (1861-1865). He was known for his leadership, dignity, and calm manner, even in times of stress.
Monitor and Virginia Ironclad ships Monitor and Virginia fire cannonades at one another at point-blank range during the historic battle of Hampton Roads in March, 1862. The Union Monitor was smaller and lighter than its Confederate counterpart. The battle was considered a draw.
Union Battery near Yorktown, Virginia Union General George B. McClellan occupied Yorktown, Virginia, in May 1862. Northern forces built batteries and earthworks such as the one pictured here to protect their armies. McClellan used the Yorktown area to prepare a planned march on Richmond, the Confederate capital.
Abraham Lincoln at Antietam After the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln visited Union commanders on the battlefield. The battle marked the bloodiest one-day battle of the American Civil War— casualties from both sides mounted to about 23,000. In the end, however, the Union army emerged victorious.
George Brinton McClellan A brilliant strategist, organizer, and trainer of troops during the American Civil War (1861-1865), General George McClellan was praised as a “young Napoleon.” However, his timidity on the battlefield caused President Abraham Lincoln to replace him as leader of the Union forces.
Union Casualties at Gettysburg During the American Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg began on July 1, 1863, when a Confederate brigade searching for a badly needed supply of shoes in the small town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, ran into Union cavalry. After the three days of battle were over, Union forces claimed victory, although both sides suffered heavy casualties.
Union General Ulysses S. Grant During the American Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant was one of the Union Army’s most successful generals. President Abraham Lincoln selected Grant to lead the Union forces on March 9, 1864, following a string of unsuccessful commanders.
Atlanta in the American Civil War This photograph depicts Atlanta’s Peachtree Street after the Union army under General William Sherman took the city on September 2, 1864, during the American Civil War. Sherman burned the city two months later before embarking on his march to the sea.
American Civil War Destruction In 1864, during the American Civil War, Union troops led by General William T. Sherman captured Atlanta, Georgia. From there, Sherman split his forces and marched them in a parallel route southeast to the Atlantic Ocean and then through South Carolina. Along the way, Sherman’s troops destroyed everything in their path, including civilian property that could be of use to the Confederates.
William Tecumseh Sherman One of the Union’s best generals during the American Civil War (1861-1865), William T. Sherman marched an army through the South, destroying the last of the South’s economic resources. Because he waged an economic war against civilians, he has been called the first modern general.
Siege of Petersburg In 1864, Northern troops tried to capture Petersburg, Virginia, during the American Civil War. After being defeated in battle, they surrounded the city, blocking food and supplies from entering. Almost a year later, the city surrendered in April 1865. Here, Northern soldiers sit in the trenches surrounding Petersburg.
Andersonville Prison, Georgia Prisoners of war of both sides suffered greatly. In the Confederate prison at Andersonville, more than 13,700 Union soldiers died of starvation and disease out of almost 50,000 men.
Company E: 4th U.S. Colored Infantry Virtually all black soldiers fought on the side of the Union during the American Civil War (1861-1865). They served in segregated all-black units, like the one pictured here, and fought in nearly 500 engagements.
Surrender at Appomattox Court House On April 9, both generals met at a private home in the small town of Appomattox Court House. Grant offered generous terms, which Lee graciously accepted. With that, the American Civil War ended.
Assassination of Abraham Lincoln President Abraham Lincoln was shot in Ford’s Theater, Washington DC, on April 14, 1865 by John Wilkes Booth, a Southern sympathizer. Lincoln was taken to a boarding house across the street. Doctors worked on him throughout the night but Lincoln died the next morning.