American Civil War for Kids - Major Battles
Fort Sumter: It was still dark on April 12, 1861, at 4:30 in the morning, when the Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter. Union troops were unprepared. They had to leave the fort. The harbor fort itself was not that important, but it was a symbol to both sides. This signaled the beginning of the American Civil War.
Bull Run: This was the first major battle. Many people did not believe the war would continue beyond this battle. People brought picnic baskets and sat on the hillside, in preparation to enjoy two groups of men, in clean uniforms, lined up, wasting ammunition. After 10 hours of fighting, 900 men were dead or dying. The Union troops retreated.
Shiloh: This was the bloodiest battle. Over 23,500 men were killed or missing. After this battle, General Grant knew the North would not win as easily as he first thought.
Antietam: General Lee led the Southern forces. Neither side won. This battle led to the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln.
Gettysburg: This battle was the turning point of the war. Lee led the South. Both armies lost great numbers of men.
Vicksburg (Dec 1862-July 1863): The result of this battle was that the Confederacy was divided into two land masses, split by Union control of the Mississippi River. This affected supply lines.