American Civil War for Kids, Timeline of Key Events Illustration

Civil War Timeline of Key Events


November 1860 Abraham Lincoln elected president


December 20, 1860 Over the issue of balance of free states vs. slaves states and state rights, South Carolina secedes and leaves the Union.

February 1861 Eleven (11) Southern states secede from the United States and forms their own country, The Confederate States of America. The president elected to head this new country is Jefferson Davis.

April 12, 1861 The South attacks Fort Sumter. The American Civil War begins.

June 1, 1862 Robert E Lee is selected as the new general-in-chief of the Confederate armies.


January 1, 1863
President's Lincoln announces the Emancipation Proclamation. This Proclamation is printed in newspapers and posted throughout the Union to help spread the word.


April 9, 1865 The Civil War ends when General Lee, who did not want his men to die in a war no longer possible to win, surrenders at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

April 15, 1865 President Lincoln is shot and killed by John Wilkes Booth.

Timelines for Kids

Civil War Events Timeline Puzzle (interactive)

Civil War Timeline Game (order the statements, interactive)

Civil War dragable timeline

Civil War Timeline

Civil War Timeline

Timeline of events leading to the American Civil War

See Also:

Maps & Graphs for Kids (some interactive)

The Civil War for Kids, Index

Civil War Interactive Games & Activities for Kids

Civil War Presentations in PowerPoint format

Civil War Video Clips

Civil War Clip Art for Kids and Teachers

Civil War, Free iPad & iPhone apps

American Civil War Lesson Plans for Teachers