Civil War Events by State - Pennsylvania


Listing of all day-by-day events of the American Civil War related to the state of Pennsylvania.

The American Civil War crossed borders throughout many states as the nation was plunged into turmoil. Key battles were fought throughout the land with the most being recorded in the state of Virginia followed by the state of Tennessee. The war stretched into loosely established territories in the West as well and involved actions in international waters and support from foreign powers. In the end, the fractured country required decades of healing and its scars can still be seen today.

There are a total of (45) Civil War Events by State - Pennsylvania events in the CivilWarTimeline.net database. Entries are listed below by date-of-occurrence ascending (first-to-last). Other leading and trailing events are also included for perspective.








February 21, 1861

President-elect Abraham Lincoln makes a stop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is made aware of an assassination plot against his life. In response a special train journey is arranged for him to Washington, D.C.



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May 11, 1861

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U.S. Army General George McClellan is set in charge of the Department of the Ohio covering the states of Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania (western) and Virginia (western).



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October 1, 1862

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Confederate General Jeb Stuart undertakes his first cavalry raid into Pennsylvania.



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April 30, 1863

The Battle of Chancellorsville begins in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. Union forces are directed by General Hooker while the Confederates are led by general's Lee and Jackson. The Confederates number a much smaller force at just over 60,000 men. They face Union strength (Army of the Potomac) of over 130,000.



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May 6, 1863

The Battle of Chancellorsville is over as a Confederate victory. However, the Confederate Army is dealt a blow when it is revealed that Stonewall Jackson is mortally wounded (by friendly fire). Losses for both sides include 17,300 for the Union and 13,300 for the Confederates.



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June 28, 1863

General George G. Meade replaces General Joseph Hooker in charge of the Army of the Potomac.



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June 30, 1863

Attacking Confederate cavalry forces, led by General Stuart, are repelled by a Union counterattack. The clash takes place at Hanover, Pennsylvania.



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June 30, 1863

Confederate forces, at brigade strength, tangle with Union elements in Gettysburg in the hopes of securing supplies.



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July 1, 1863

In the northwest of Gettysburg, at Marsh Creek at about 5:30AM, the first shots of the Battle of Gettysburg are fired between Confederate and Union forces.



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July 1, 1863

At 8:00AM, Confederate forces - as part of General Henry Heth's division - under the direction of General James J. Archer and General Joseph R. Davis march on Gettysburg.



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July 1, 1863

At 10:00AM, during the fighting at Gettysburg, Union General John F. Reynolds is killed.



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July 1, 1863

General Abner Doubleday succeeds General Reynolds following the latter's death.



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July 1, 1863

General Solomon Meredith's "Iron Brigade" repels General Archer's Confederates and captures Archer and a few hundred others.



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July 1, 1863

At 12:00PM, Major General Oliver O. Howard of XI Corps arrives.



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July 1, 1863

Confederate guns open up from Oak Hill at around 12:00PM.



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July 1, 1863

At 2:00PM Major General Robert E. Rodes moved his troops against the Union right flank.



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July 1, 1863

At 2:00PM, Union General Meade calls on General Winfield S. Hancock to succeed the slain General Reynolds.



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July 1, 1863

Upon arriving on scene at about 2:30PM, General Robert E. Lee surveys the battlefield from Herr Ridge.



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July 1, 1863

The division under the command of Union General Carl Schurz is routed at 2:30PM.



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July 1, 1863

General Lee advances General Heth and William Dorsey Pender's forces. General Heth is wounded.



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July 1, 1863

At 3:30PM General Schurz units retreat under attacks from General Jubal A. Early. Their retreat is through the town of Gettysburg itself.



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July 1, 1863

At 4:00PM General Pender pushes Union forces to retreat into Gettysburg proper as well as into Cemetery Hill.



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July 1, 1863

At 4:00PM, General Hancock arrives at Cemetery Hill.



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July 1, 1863

At 4:30PM, Union forces retreat from Gettysburg and take up fortified positions at the town's south, in Cemetery Hill.



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July 1, 1863

At 4:30PM, General Lee provides General Ewell with the option to attack Union forces at Cemetery Hill if an advantage can be had and maintained. Lee understands the Federal forces hold positions on high ground. Ewell does not move on the enemy - perhaps missing a tremendous opportunity to turn the tide of the battle on its first day.



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July 1, 1863

General Daniel E. Sickles arrives and reinforces Union numbers.



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July 1, 1863

By 6:30PM, the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg draws to a close.



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July 1, 1863

Carlisle, Pennsylvania falls under an attack by General Jeb Stuarts cavalry forces.



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July 2, 1863

At 4:00PM, Federal positions are assailed by Confederate elements at Little Round Top and Devil's Den. Devil's Den falls to the attackers but the defenders at Little Round Top hold out.



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July 2, 1863

At 5:30PM, Wheat Field and Peach Orchard, Union-held named areas to the Southwest of Gettysburg, are attacked by forces under the command of General Lafayette McLaws.



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July 2, 1863

The ownership of Wheat Field is changed some four times before General Sickle's forces are pushed to the base of Little Round Top. The defensive stand there holds off the Confederates however.



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July 2, 1863

Union forces continue to hold primary positions though the Confederates claim some terrain against them - particularly at Cemetery Hills and Culp's Hill.



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July 3, 1863

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Pennsylvania resident Ginnie Wade becomes the only civilian fatality of the Battle of Gettysburg when she is struck in the shoulder by a stray bullet while kneading bread dough in the kitchen. The bullet pierced her heart - most likely killing her instantly.



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July 3, 1863

From 5:30AM until 10AM, Confederate forces make repeated attempts to unseat and drive off Union forces at Culp's Hill. Little ground is gained in the fighting.



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July 3, 1863

At about 1:00PM, 140 guns of the Confederate side open up on Union positions.



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July 3, 1863

About 80 Union artillery pieces respond to the Confederate cannon bombardment.



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July 3, 1863

Union-held Seminary Ridge is attacked by forces under the command of General Pickett, General Pettigrew and General Trimble.



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July 3, 1863

At 3:30PM, General Stannard leads his Union troops against the side of General Pickett's charging division.



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July 3, 1863

By 3:45PM, Confederate forces have advanced as much as they will in the battle as Union lines hold.



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July 3, 1863

General Farnsworth and his cavalry forces suffer considerable losses against the Confederate lines - the charge called by General Kilpatrick against General Longstreet's position southwest of Big Round Top.



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July 3, 1863

At the age of 26, cavalry General Elon J. Farnsworth is killed at the Battle of Gettysburg after a cavalry charge led by General Kilpatrick. Farnsworth protested the action but obeyed nonetheless.



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July 3, 1863

At the end of the battle to control Gettysburg (a decisive Union victory), over 57,000 persons became casualties, many wounded, with 23,055 belonging to the Union lines and as many as 28,000 suffered by the Confederacy. Wounded number over 25,000 combined. The Confederacy suffered mightily in terms of officer-level depletion.



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November 19, 1863

The Gettysburg Address is delivered by President Lincoln on the battlefield itself. It becomes one of the most revered and iconic speeches in American history despite its rather short length. The speech serves to dedicate the Soldier's National Cemetery in Gettysburg proper.



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June 16, 1864

During a speech in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, President Lincoln calls for more troops to finish the fight.



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July 30, 1864

Chambersburg, Pennsylvania is held for ransom by occupying Confederate troops. When the demand is not met, the town is burned.



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