Time Line of the Civil War

  • 1861 January 1861 The South Secedes When Abraham Lincoln, a known opponent of slavery, was elected president, the South Carolina legislature perceived a threat. Calling a state convention, the delegates voted to remove the state of South Carolina from the union known as the United States of America. The secession of South Carolina was followed by the secession of six more states—Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, ...
  • 1862 January 1862 Abraham Lincoln Takes Action On January 27, President Lincoln issued a war order authorizing the Union to launch a unified aggressive action against the Confederacy. General McClellan ignored the order.
  • 1863 January 1863 Emancipation Proclamation In an effort to placate the slave-holding border states, Lincoln resisted the demands of radical Republicans for complete abolition. Yet some Union generals, such as General B. F. Butler, declared slaves escaping to their lines "contraband of war," not to be returned to their masters. Other generals decreed that the slaves of men rebelling against the Union were to be ...
  • 1864 January - April 1864 Winter Quarters at Brandy Station All was quiet beyond the Rappahannock, but there was a rich harvest for the photographers. Some photographs date from December 1863.
  • 1865 January 1865 Fort Fisher, North Carolina After Admiral David D. Porter's squadron of warships had subjected Fort Fisher to a terrific bombardment, General Alfred H. Terry's troops took it by storm on January 15, and Wilmington, North Carolina, the last resort of the blockade-runners, was sealed off. Timothy H. O'Sullivan promptly recorded the strength of the works and the effects of the bombardment.
  • Other Photographs This section provides access to photographs that could not easily be placed in chronological sequence. Most of the categories here are derived from Part IV and Part V in the 1961 microfilm edition.