John Wilkes Booth

.       Actor and southern sympathizer, assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, 14 April 1865

.       Tracked down, shot and killed after a 12-day manhunt


Jefferson Davis

.       First and only President of Confederacy

.       Also served as Secretary of War for the Confederacy

.       His economic policies and military strategies failed to give the South what it needed to defeat the North


Ulysses S. Grant

.       Union general who commanded the eastern front from 1864 to 1865

.       Nicknamed "The Butcher" for his determination to destroy southern armies any way he could, regardless of human cost


Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson

.       Confederate general during the Civil War

.       Received his nickname "Stonewall" for resolute leadership at Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), 1861

.       Mortally wounded when accidentally shot by Confederate soldiers at Battle of Chancellorsville, 1863


Robert E. Lee

.       Confederate general; son of Revolutionary War hero from wealthy Virginia family

.       First asked by Lincoln to command Union Army, but instead declared allegiance to the Confederacy

.       Strong leader, but failed at the Battle of Gettysburg, the war's pivotal battle

.       Surrendered to Grant's Union Army in April 1865, ending the Civil War


Abraham Lincoln

.       Anti-slavery Republican, elected U.S. President, 1860

.       Moderate stance on emancipation; not abolitionist, but against slavery's expansion

.       His election triggered secession crisis, which led to Civil War

.       Assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater, Washington D.C, 1865


George McClellan

.       Ineffective Union general during Civil War

.       Fired by President Lincoln in 1862

.       Democratic presidential nominee in the 1864 election, running on a platform of peace and criticizing Lincoln's leadership

.       Lost to Lincoln by only a small margin


Robert Gould Shaw

.       White Union colonel who commanded the all-black 54th Massachusetts Infantry

.       Originally displeased with his assignment to lead an all-black regiment

.       Killed with his troops while storming a Confederate position at Fort Wagner in July 1863





1861 Attack on Fort Sumter

.       First shots fired in Civil War, 12 April 1861, at Union-controlled Fort Sumter in South Carolina

.       Jefferson Davis, president of Confederacy, ordered strikes against Union forces

.       At time of attack, neither North nor South had an official army

.       Attack spurred President Lincoln to ask Congress to authorize a military draft to build an army


1861 Battle of Bull Run (Manassas)

.       First official battle of the Civil War; occurred west of Washington, D.C., 21 July 1861

.       Smaller Confederate army stood strong against Union assaults

.       Fierce battle disproved both sides' hopes of easy victory in Civil War


1862 Battle of Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing)

.       Extremely bloody two-day battle in Tennessee began with Union troops in disarray but ended with Confederate retreat

.       Union army lost some 13,000 men and Confederacy lost 10,000

.       More American men died in this single battle than in all previous American wars


1863 Emancipation Proclamation

.       Issued by President Lincoln during the Civil War, motivated less by abolitionist sentiment than by strategic desire to weaken the Confederacy

.       Freed slaves in the Confederacy, but did not free slaves in states than had declared loyalty to the Union


1863 Draft Riots

.       4 days of rioting in New York City occurred in response to federal conscription laws passed in July

.       Working class whites, especially Irish, rebelled because they worried that if they left for war, free blacks would take their jobs

.       Also fueled by anger over the decision to allow wealthy men to buy their way out of military service


1863 Battle of Gettysburg

.       One of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, fought in southern Pennsylvania over first 4 days in July

.       Union troops defeated Confederate army led by Robert E. Lee, forcing southerners to retreat

.       Marked the farthest advance of the Confederate Army into northern territory

.       Turning point of the Civil War


1865 Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse

.       Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union General Ulysses S. Grant in western Virginia, 9 April 1865

.       Marked the end of the Civil War


1865 Lincoln assassinated

.       Actor John Wilkes Booth, a southern sympathizer, shot Lincoln in the head while the President and his wife were watching a play at Ford's Theater, Washington, D.C.

.       Lincoln died the next day

.       Assassination occurred five days after Confederate Army surrendered





54th Massachusetts Infantry

.       All-black unit that fought for the Union during the Civil War

.       Led by white colonel Robert Gould Shaw

.       Led charge against Confederate forces at Fort Wagner, suffering overwhelming casualties

.       Story dramatized in the 1989 film Glory






Cash Crop

.       Crop grown for sale and export rather than for food or animal feed

.       Tobacco and cotton were major cash crops in the years leading up to the Civil War

.       Once it had seceded and gone to war with the North, the South faced a disadvantage since its cash crops couldn't feed the southern population



.       Term for paper money printed by the Union when the government was in need of money to fund the war

.       Originally backed by gold, then by government bonds

.       Value of this money varied according to vitality of the Union Army, at times depreciating far below face value


Habeas Corpus

.       Latin legal term for the right of prisoners to a fair trial

.       During Civil War, President Lincoln, fearing subversion from southern sympathizers in the North, suspended the right of habeas corpus

.       Lincoln's decision to suspend habeas was extremely controversial at the time


Pickett's Charge

.       A failed Confederate assault against Union lines during the Battle of Gettysburg

.       Named for Confederate General George Pickett, who led the attack

.       Ended in defeat and death of 10,000 Confederate soldiers

.       Marked "high-water mark" of Confederacy; southern troops never advanced farther north than Pickett's Charge


Secession Crisis

.       Sequence of events that led to the creation of Confederate States of America

.       Reaction to election of Republican Abraham Lincoln as president, 1860

.       South Carolina was the first to secede, 20 December 1860

.       SC's action triggered quick secession of 6 more states: MS, FL, AL, GA, LA, TX





Appamattox Courthouse, Virginia

.       Site of Robert E. Lee's surrender to Ulysses S. Grant, which ended the Civil War, 1865


Ford's Theater, Washington, D.C.

.       Site of Abraham Lincoln's assassination by actor and southern sympathizer John Wilkes Booth, 1865


Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

.       Site of the war's most decisive battle, a Union victory, 1863

.       Site of Abraham Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address, 1863