Major Battles of the American Civil War for Kids and Teachers Illustration

Major Battles of the American Civil War

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.

Fort Sumter

Civil War Battles - Quick Glance

The Civil War in 4 minutes, battles (video)

Explore the Battle of Antietam interactive

Animated Map - Battle of Gettysburg

Interactive Civil War Battle Map for Kids 

The Navy, Ironclads: Monitor vs. Merrimack

The Air Force, Balloonists

The Gettysburg Address

Civil War Ends - A Child's Diary (eyewitness to history) 

See Also:

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