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Interactive Civil War Battles Map For Kids

Civil War Places

Antietam | Appomattox Courthouse | Bull Run (Manassas) | Chancellorsville | Chickamauga | Corinth | Fort Donelson | Fort Sumter | Fredericksburg | Front Royal | Gaines Mill | Gettysburg | Hampton Roads | Malvern Hill | Memphis | Mississippi River | Missouri and the West | Mobile Bay | New Orleans | Pea Ridge | Petersburg | Perryville | Richmond | Sherman’s March | Shiloh | Spotsylvania | South Carolina | Stones River | Vicksburg | Washington | West Virginia | Wilson’s Creek | Winchester

Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863)

The Battle of Gettysburg was one of the deadliest battles of the Civil War, and the only major
battle fought north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Union forces under the command of George Meade held Confederate forces under Robert E. Lee, in a three-day battle with over 160,000 total soldiers. The many battles resulted in tremendous casualties. The result of the battle was a crushing blow to Confederate forces who were hoping to assert themselves in the North. Most experts consider Gettysburg the turning point of the Civil War. On November 22, 1863, president Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address from the battlefield.

Antietam

Union forces under George McClellan and Confederate forces under Robert E. Lee clashed at Antietam Creek.

Union forces hoped to halt the Confederate advance through Maryland. The bloody battle lasted two days and resulted in 23,000 casualties. Although the battle is officially labeled “inconclusive”, Union forces suceeded in halting the Confederate advance and forced them back across the Potomac and into Virginia. Union soldiers paraded through the streets of Frederick, Maryland after the battle. The Union success paved the way for Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation which freed all slaves in “enemy” territory.

Bull Run I and II (July 21, 1861 and August 30, 1862)

In the first major battle of the Civil War, Union General Irvin McDowell and 30,000 troops
invaded Manassas, Virginia. Confederate Generals Jackson and Beauregard resisted the Union advance and were reinforced by General Johnston’s brigade of 6,000. Union forces were overwhelmed and began a disorganized retreat that was not pursued by the Confederates. The defeat was a demoralizing blow to the Union, which wanted a quick end to the war. The Battle of Bull Run, and later, the second battle of Bull Run were two of the most decisive Southern victories in the Civil War.

In the second battle of Bull Run, Union forces were once again routed by Confederate
forces under Generals Lee, Jackson, Stuart, Hood and Longstreet and they tried to capture Gainesville and Manassas Junction.

Chancellorsville (May 1-6, 1863)
The Battle of Chancellorsville, more than any other battle, illustrated the superiority of Confederate generals such as Lee, Jackson, and Jeb Stuart and the incompetence of
many Union generals. Despite being outnumbered more than two to one, Lee and Jackson devised a plan that called for the Confederate Army to split into two corps and launch surprise attacks on different sections of the Union Army. Incredibly, the plan worked – thanks in part to poor preparation and communication in the Union ranks.
Fredericksburg (December 11-15, 1862)
The Battle of Fredericksburg was one of the most one-sided battles in the
Civil War. Because of poor planning and communication, Confederate Generals Lee, Jackson, and Longstreet were able to gain knowledge of the impending attack and take favorable positions around Fredericksburg, particularly on a ridge known as Marye’s Heights. Union general Ambrose Burnside attacked anyway and suffered large casualties as division after division was gunned down as they tried to take Marye’s Heights. Burnside retreated after losing 10,000 soldiers.
Spotsylvania (May 8-21, 1864)
The Battle of Spotsylvania was the second major battle in Union General Ulysses S. Grant’s Overland Campaign. In one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War, General Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia actually held off the Union soldiers and held crucial ground known as the “Mule Shoe” while expelling them from Spotsylvania and inflicting heavy casualties. Grant, however, rather than retreating to Washington, swung his army south and actually moved about 12 miles closer to Richmond. Lee’s Army was unable to block them.
Richmond
Richmond was made capital of the Confederate States of America in 1865 after 11 southern states seceded from the Union. The White House of the Confederacy, located a few blocks north of the State Capital, was home to the family of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. In April of 1865, Richmond was burned by a retreating Confederate Army and was returned to Northern control. It became part of “Military District #1″ during the Reconstruction period (1865-1870).
Petersburg (June 15, 1864 – April 2, 1865)
The 10 month-long Siege of Petersburg was a crushing blow to the Confederate Army. Petersburg was a crucial supply line to Richmond and served as a junction for five railroads. The Siege at Petersburg was characterized by many bloody battles including Deep Bottom, Peeble’s Farm, and Boydton Plank Road. In the Battle of the Crater, Union troops dug an underground tunnel into a Confederate fort and set off explosives. The explosion caused a 135 foot diameter crater which is still visible today. After ten months, and the loss of thousands of lives, Robert E. Lee issued orders to evacuate Petersburg and Richmond
Front Royal (May 23, 1862)
Confederate troops under the command of Stonewall Jackson surprise
attacked a 1,000 man Union force and drove them to Cedarville where there were promptly
routed. The battle necessitated the retreat of Union forces in Strasburg to Winchester.
Winchester (May 25, 1862)
To stop the advancing Confederate troops on Union forces retreating from
Strasburg, General Nathainel Banks deployed his forces at Winchester. After some initial success, Union forces were overwhelmed and began a disorganized retreat. Winchester was a significant victory for Stonewall Jackson and the Confederacy because it prevented a Union convergence on Richmond.
Gaines Mill (June 27, 1862)
The Battle of Gaines’ Mill was the third in a series of battles known as the Seven Days Battles. Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia attacked a defensive line established by Union General Fitz John Porter south of the Chickahominy River. The large numbers of Confederate soldiers overwhelmed Porter and his men, whose smaller forces retreated across the river. The Confederate victory convinced Union Commander George McCllelan to abandon plans to advance upon Richmond.
Malvern Hill (June 1, 1862)
The Battle of Malvern Hill was the sixth in a series of battles known as the Seven Days Battles. Confederate General Robert E. Lee made several attempts to dislodge Union forces on Malvern Hill. The assaults were unsuccessful and resulted in heavy casualties. Despite the victory, Union General George McCllelan failed to pursue the Confederates, or to advance further toward Richmond, and instead, moved his army to Harrison’s Landing on James River, where they were protected by gunboats.
Hampton Roads (March 8-9, 1862)
The Battle of Hampton Roads was the only major naval battle of the Civil War. It was the first battle between two iron-clad warships, The U.S.S. Monitor and the C.S.S.Virginia (renamed from U.S.S. Merrimac). The battle itself was inconclusive, as neither ship was able to inflict much damage on the other. After the battle, however, nations around the world rushed to convert their wooden ships to iron because of the superiority of iron in withstanding enemy fire.
Appomattox Courthouse (April 9, 1865)

After Union forces took both Petersburg and Richmond, Confederate General Robert E. Lee directed his armies west in an attempt to join forces with Joseph A. Johnston. The plan failed as massive numbers of Union troops under General Grant converged upon Lee before he could reach Johnston. On April 9, 1865, Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to General Grant at the McLean house. The war was over and president Lincoln had succeeded in preserving the Union.

Fort Sumter
Confederate soldiers fired the first shots of the Civil War on April 12, 1861 at Fort Sumter.
Although no casualties were reported on either side due to the bombardment, Fort Sumter marked the start of a cruel, bloody war between 27 northern states and 11 southern states that would last four years and cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of soldiers.
Chickamauga (September 19, 20 1863)
Confederate General Braxton Bragg, determined to reoccupy Chattanooga, moved his army
north and engaged Union forces under General Rosecrans. A bloody battle ensued which forced the Union army to retreat to Chattanooga. Confederate forces occupied the city and the surrounding hills, trapping Union forces in Chattanooga. Bragg planned to force the army into starvation, until Union reinforcements precipitated the Battle of Chattanooga. Over 34,000 casualties were reported at Chickamauga.
Sherman’s March to the Sea (1864-1865)

Sherman’s March to the Sea was a demoralizing blow to what was left of the Rebel resistance. Starting with the razing of Atlanta, Georgia, Sherman’s army divided into two columns and cut a 60 mile wide path of destruction across Georgia in late 1864. Sherman’s campaign continued into 1865 and into North and South Carolina, where both Columbia and Charleston were largely
destroyed. Confederate forces were unable to stop the carnage.

Fort Donelson (February 13-16, 1862)
After taking Fort Henry, Ulysses S. Grant and Union forces stormed into Fort Donelson and engaged the Confederates in a furious gunboat battle from the Cumberland River. The Con-
federates battered the Union vessels and celebrated prematurely – Grant’s land army had received reinforcements and virtually encircled Confederate forces, cutting off escape routes. Grant issued a demand for an unconditional surrender which was received February 16, 1862. Fort Donelson was the first major Union victory.
Chattanooga (November 23-25, 1863)
After a devastating defeat at Chickamauga, Georgia, president Abraham Lincoln replaced Union general Rosecrans with Ulysses S. Grant as commander of the Military Division of the Mississippi. Grant promptly attacked Chattanooga, an important transportation center. After
securing the Tennessee River for supplies and reinforcements, the Union army won decisive battles at Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge in the heart of Chattanooga. The defeat opened up the Confederate heartland for Union advance and was a devastating blow to the
Confederate cause.
Shiloh (April 6-7, 1862)

After taking Forts Henry and Donelson, Union forces under Ulysses S. Grant were eager to take central Mississippi River ports. Southern forces had collapsed along the Memphis to Charleston Railroad. Confederate forces under General Johnston, fearing Union advances, attacked Union forces encamped at Shiloh Church on April 6th. After initial success, Confederate forces were driven back to Corinth, MS by a Union army numbering 55,000.

Stones River (December 31 – January 2, 1863)
Murfreesboro, Tennessee was the site of the Battle of Stones River (sometimes called the Battle
of Murfreesboro)
during the Civil War from Dec 31 to January 2, 1863. Although neither the Union nor the Confederacy could call themselves victorious after the engagement, the Union army, under General William Rosecrans prevented the Confederates, under the command of Braxton Bragg, from gaining control of central Tennessee by repulsing two major Confederate attacks. The battle itself was extremely violent and resulted in the highest percentage of casualties of any battle in the war (over 23,000 total).
Memphis (June 6, 1862)
After learning of the Union occupation of Corinth, MS, Confederate General Beauregard ordered a military withdrawal from Memphis. The small resistance that remained in the city was promptly routed by Union naval forces on the Mississippi River. Memphis, a key commercial and economic center of the Mississippi River, was now occupied by Union forces.
Corinth (October 3-4, 1862)

In an attempt, to drive Union forces from western Tennessee, and disrupt the Union hold on the Memphis-Corinth Railroad, Confederate forces numbering over 22,000 under the command of General Earn Van Dorn attacked Union forces under General William Rosecrans. After an indecisive first day of battle, Union forces routed the Confederates on October 4th and forced them into a full retreat. Rosecrans, however, failed to pursue the fleeing Confederates.
Casualties were high on both sides. The Confederates lost over 4,200 men, while the Union lost over 2,500.

Vicksburg (May 18 – July 4, 1863)

Known as “The Gibraltar of the Confederacy,” the port city of Vicksburg represented control
of the Mississippi River. Lincoln proclaimed Vicksburg as crucial because of its economic importance as a shipping port to world markets. Its fall would result in the division of the Confederacy into two non-connected parts.

In the spring and summer of 1863, General Ulysses S. Grant and Union forces bombarded
Vicksburg, which was located high on a bluff. The Confederate resistance lasted some 48
days. On July 4, the starving Confederates surrendered. The fate of the Confederacy had
essentially been sealed.

Mobile Bay (August 2-23, 1864)
Union forces under David Farragut and eighteen naval vessels entered Mobile Bay with the intention of disabling various Confederate forts located near the bay, and of shutting down
one of two remaining Confederate ports still active. The hardest part of the mission for Union forces was navigating the waters around Mobile Bay. The water was full of torpedo fields. One of Farragut’s ships, the USS Tecumseh, was sunk after hitting a torpedo. Despite the torpedoes, and the constant fire from Forts Morgan and Gaines, Farragut penetrated the Confederate defense and easily defeated the Confederate flotilla. Over the next two weeks, Union land and naval forces took the forts.
New Orleans (April 24, 1862)
The fall of New Orleans was precipitated by the capture of Forts Jackson and St. Phillip at the mouth of the Mississippi River. On April 24, 1862, General David Farragut and Union forces arrived at New Orleans and demanded its surrender. The Confederates had no choice but to surrender. The largest city in the Confederate States was now in Union hands.
Pea Ridge (March 7-8, 1862)

The Battle of Pea Ridge, sometimes called the Battle of Elkhorn Tavern, was one of several major battles on the western frontier. By this time in 1862, Union forces had almost removed all
Confederate forces from the state of Missouri. Union General Samuel Curtis was determined to
complete the job and moved his army of 11,000 into northwest Arkansas. Confederate General
Earl Van Dorn was aware of the advance and launched an attack on Curtis’ army, even though his men were starving and exhausted from an ice storm.

Union forces routed Van Dorn’s army and caused 4,600 casualties. The Confederates never threatened Missouri again. The Union soon occupied all of Arkansas also.

Perryville (October 8, 1862)

Hoping to occupy the city of Louisville, Confederate troops, under the command General Braxton Bragg, attacked Union forces under the command of General Don Carlos Buell. The battle started as a late night skirmish over a source of drinking water. It soon grew in intensity and resulted in the retreat of Union forces. Although the victory has been historically viewed as a tactical victory for the Confederates, only about half of the Union forces in the area participated in the battle.

When Confederate forces gained this knowledge, they immediately left the area, giving the Union a strategic victory.

Wilson’s Creek (August 10, 1861)

The Battle of Wilson’s Creek was the first major battle of the Civil War that occurred west of the
Mississippi River. Although the state of Missouri had declared itself “neutral” in its allegiances during the war, both Union and Confederate forces continued to fight within the state. After capturing Jefferson City, Union General Nathaniel Lyon and his army of 6,000 moved toward
a Confederate army encamped outside of Springfield, Missouri under Sterling Price. When Lyon found out the army numbered 12,000, he made plans for a surprise attack, to buy time before
retreating to Rolla, Missouri.

Lyon’s army would ultimately be successful in retreating to Rolla. Lyon, however, was the first Union General to die in combat.

Washington
Washington, the capital of the United States, was the arsenal, training ground and intelligence center for the Union cause. Confederate General Jubal Early attempted an attack on Washington, but Union reinforcements rushed to various forts protecting Washington and forced Early’s army to abandon the campaign.
South Carolina
The State of South Carolina was the first of 11 southern states to secede, or break away, from the Union. President Lincoln’s opposition to extending slavery into the western states threatened states rights in the view of South Carolina. Soon after, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas seceded. Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia would follow.
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River was the economic “life-blood” of America. When the Gulf states seceded from the Union, they closed the river to navigation. The Confederate river blockade threatened to destroy the nation’s economic interests,shipping and trade opportunities. As a result, President Lincoln considered the capture of the southern ports on the river one of the major priorities of the war.
Missouri and the West

Missouri and the western states played a prominent role in the evolution of the Civil War.
Slavery advocates in the southern states wanted the new states and territories to decide for themselves whether or not to allow slavery within their borders.

Slavery opponents wanted the federal government to outlaw slavery in the new lands. Violence broke out in what came to be known as “Bleeding Kansas”. Five slavery opponents were murdered. John Brown avenged their deaths by murdering five slavery advocates. The path to the Civil War was carved.

West Virginia
West Virginia, originally called “Kanawha” was created after the state of Virginia seceded from the United States in 1861. Citizens in the western portion of Virginia opposed secession and subsequently formed their own government called the “Loyal Government of Virginia” which gave legitimacy to the formation of one state within another. President Lincoln approved the formation in 1862 and West Virginia officially became a state June 20, 1863.
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