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Major Battles of the American Civil War (1861 - 1865)


As much as politics were a part of the American Civil War, battles drove the outcome of the years-long conflict between the North and South.

Battles of the American Civil War are listed below by order of engagement. Also available are events by state of occurrence, war year and general categories related to the war.

BATTLE OF FORT SUMTER
April 12-13, 1861: The beginning of the American Civil War was marked by the events at Fort Sumter in South Carolina.
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FIRST BATTLE OF BULL RUN
July 21, 1861: The Confederates followed up the victory at Fort Sumter with another in the First Battle of Bull Run in Virginia (Battle of First Manassas).
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BATTLE OF BELMONT
November 7, 1861: The Battle of Belmont in Mississippi Country, Missouri is the site of a Union victory for General Grant.
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BATTLE OF FORT HENRY / DONELSON
February 6, 11-16, 1862: Union forces are victorious in the taking of Fort Henry and, later, FOrt Donelson from the Confederate garrisons.
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BATTLE OF HAMPTON ROADS
March 8-9, 1862: This naval engagement off the coast of Virginia ends as a strategic victory for the Union and a tactical one for the Confederacy.
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SHENANDOAH VALLEY CAMPAIGN
March-June 1862: Jackson's famous Valley Campaign in Virginia helps to save Richmond by keeping Union reinforcements tied down.
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MISSISSIPPI RIVER CAMPAIGN
1862-1863: This wide-ranging Union venture secured the critical waterways of the Cumberland River, the Tennessee River and the Mississippi River from Confederate use.
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PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN
March-July 1862: Federal forces enacted the Peninsular Campaign in southeastern Virginia with the hopes of taking Richmond as its prize. The Confederates had other plans.
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BATTLE OF SHILOH
April 6-7, 1862: General Grant partakes in what becomes a much-needed victory in Hardin County, Tennessee. Union forces outnumber the Confederates 63,000 to 40,335.
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SEVEN DAYS BATTLES
June 25-July 1, 1862: This series of running battles ends as another Confederate victory as the Army of the Potomac is defeated by the Army of Northern Virginia, saving Richmond in the process.
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CHATTANOOGA CAMPAIGN
June 7-8, 1862; August 21, 1863: A Union victory marks this engagement between the North and South. The first battle marks the beginning of the Chickamauga Campaign.
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SECOND BATTLE OF BULL RUN
August 28-30, 1862: Also known as the Battle of Second Manassas, the Confederates claim the victory on the battlefield as Robert E. Lee bests his counterpart John Pope.
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BATTLE OF CHANTILLY
September 1, 1862: Results of this engagement are inconclusive as the North Virginia Campaign comes to a close. Stonewall Jackson's advanced is stopped but the Union lose several prominent commanders.
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BATTLE OF HARPERS FERRY
September 12-15, 1862: Union forces are surrounded and forced to retreat as Stone Jackson continues his streak of successes against the North with the fall of Harpers Ferry.
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BATTLE OF ANTIETAM / SHARPSBURG
September 17, 1862: The Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) is a tactically inconclusive engagement. Tens of thousands partake and casualties on both sides run into the thousands.
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