1861 Civil War History


Abraham Lincoln

1861 Civil War History for Kids
Civil War History started
April 12, 1861 and continued for 4 years, 3 weeks and 6 days until May 10, 1865. During this bloody period in American history brother fought against brother in over 10,000 conflicts. Most were small skirmishes, many now forgotten, but the major battles will never be forgotten. The 1861 Civil War History guides you through the major events and the battles during 1861 in the "War Between the States". Learn about the Union and Confederate Generals who led the historic Battle of Fort Sumter and the first Battle of Bull Run.

1861 Civil War History
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th American President who served in office from March 4, 1861 to April 15, 1865. The major event during his presidency was the Civil War. This article provides interesting facts and
information about Civil War History during the first year of the conflict in 1861.


1861 - The First Year of the Civil War
This article on the 1861 Civil War History is designed to provide a simple, short history of the major historical events that occured during 1861, the first year in Civil War history. Links are available providing access to detailed facts and information on specific events but this article provides kids and students with a basic, short overview and introduction to the history of the Civil War. The short Civil War History covering 1861 included important historical events including Secession of the Southern States, the inauguration of President Lincoln, Fort Sumter, the call for volunteers, the Union Blockade, the Anaconda Plan, the theaters of war and the first Battle of Bull Run.

1861 Civil War History: Contents


Inauguration of President Lincoln
Fort Sumter
The Call for volunteers
The Union Blockade
The Anaconda Plan
The Theaters of War
First Battle of Bull Run

1861 Civil War History: Lincoln is inaugurated (History of March 1861)
Civil War History moved on with the inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln on
March 4, 1861. During his first inaugural address the President declared he had "no purpose ... to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists."

1861 Civil War History: Fort Sumter (History of April 1861)
The first battle in Civil War History began at Fort Sumter,
situated at the entrance to Charleston harbor in South Carolina. The attack on Fort Sumter occurred in April 12, 1861 when Confederate forces, under General Pierre Beauregard, opened fire and marked the start of the Civil War and its bloody history.

1861 Civil War History: President Lincoln's 75,000 Volunteers (History of April 1861)
Just 3 days after the Battle of Fort Sumter on April 15, 1861 President Lincoln issued a Proclamation calling for 75,000 militiamen to serve the Union to serve for three months. The Union Army only had 16,000 soldiers. In early May, the President gave a second call for an additional 42,000 men and called for United States Volunteers to serve for 3 years.

1861 Civil War History: The Union Blockade (History of April 1861)
Civil War History gained further momentum on April 19, 1861 when the President made another Proclamation, this time it announced the Union Blockade of the Confederate seaports. There were few manufacturing industries in the South, theirs was an agrarian economy based on the plantation system and farming cotton and tobacco for export. If the blockade tactics were successful the South could neither send its goods to Europe to be sold for money nor could it bring in weapons and military supplies from Europe. The power to resist the Union armies would therefore be greatly diminished. The Union Blockade became established in a a surprisingly short time and was to play an important part of the North's military strategy which was called the Anaconda Plan.


1861 Civil War History: The Anaconda Plan
Civil War History turned to military strategy and tactics. The
Anaconda Plan was designed by General Winfield Scott and the leaders of the Union forces. The Anaconda Plan was initially adopted as a relatively passive military strategy to weaken the South without invading it.

1861 Civil War History: Theaters of War
This all changed as the history of the Civil War unfolded culminating in a terrible "scorched earth" policy that dragged the South to its knees. The History of the Civil War was to be played out in three principal theaters of war in which the major military operations would take place. The nation was divided into the Western Theater, the Eastern Theater with the minor Trans-Mississippi 'theater of war'.

Civil War History: Theaters of War

Civil War Theater Map - the Anaconda Plan

Civil War History: Inventions and Technology
Whilst the Military strategists and tacticians were working on their plans of campaigns, and soldiers were fighting battle, the nation's inventors had been focusing their attention on developing Civil War Inventions and Technology. Communications between the battlefields were enhanced by the miles of new Telegraph Lines and other signaling systems had also been invented. The transportation of troops and supplies during wartime was transformed by the steamboat on the Canals and the Railroads. Hospital Trains were introduced and Dr. Jonathan Letterman pioneered Battlefield treatment of casualties including the first 'triage' system together with the military Ambulance Corps at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862. Civil War History and that of all future wars changed forever. New Inventions and technology also led to the development of Civil War weapons.


Civil War History: Guns and Weapons
Military strategy, tactics, weaponry and war machines were revolutionized by the many developments in new technology during the history of the Civil War. Inventors turned their attention to developing weapons that were more powerful, more accurate, had longer ranges and weapons that could cause the maximum destruction. New and updated Civil War Weapons included developments in the production of many different types of guns including revolvers, rifles, Gating guns, rockets, hand grenades, canon, mortars and howitzers.

Civil War History: Weapons and War Machines
Hot Air balloons were used for the first time in history for aerial reconnaissance across the battlefields. Military inventions in Civil War history also included new, powerful War Machines. New technology was used to develop the submarine, torpedoes, and mines. But the mightiest war machines of all were the Ironclads...

1861 Civil War History: The Bull Run Campaign (History of July 1861)
In July 1861 Civil War History first encountered the name of Bull Run.
The Union General McDowell led soldiers from the North across the Potomac into Virginia and found the Confederate troops posted at Bull Run, near Manassas Junction. General Patterson led other Northern soldiers into the Shenandoah Valley from Harper's Ferry where they, too, also found a Confederate army in front of them. General Patterson was not able to send additional troops at the first Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861, and the first Union campaign ended in disaster.

1861 Civil War History: The Trent Affair nearly led to another War with the British (History of November 1861)
The hopes of the Southerners turned to the British to help them not only with the Union blockade but also to apply pressure to force the United States to acknowledge the independence of the Confederate States of America. The Civil War history involving the Trent Affair erupted in November 1861 when two diplomatic envoys were sent to from the Confederate States of America to Great Britain on a ship called the 'Trent', but were intercepted by the United States. The Confederacy hoped for British support because of their dependence on Southern cotton for their mills. But the hopes of the Confederacy to apply pressure on Great Britain were dashed when the British purchased new supplies of cotton from India and Egypt. The Trent Affair was so serious that it almost brought the United States and Great Britain to the brink of war, as the British began to reinforce their military position in Canada. The diplomatic crisis passed in the 1861 history of the Civil War, but it had given the Union a real fright.

1861 Civil War History: The Battles Begin...
The powers in Europe decided to let the North and South fight out the war between them, hoping that the increasing power of North America would greatly diminish due to the Civil War. The Battles of the Civil War started in earnest but were about to increase with terrifying ferocity in the 1862 Civil War History...

1861 Civil War History
So ends the major events and battles of the 1861 Civil War history - details of the major battlefields of 1861 are provided below but to continue the story click 1862 Civil War History.


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1861 Civil War History: Major Battlefields in 1861 (Over 500 men)
The following chart provides the details of the numbers of soldiers from the North and South who were killed, wounded, and missing in Engagements in the major battlefields in 1861 Civil War history in which over 500 men were involved in the conflict (the numbers of Confederate troops are estimated.

Date Name of Battle and Location Killed Wounded Missing Total
Union Loss
Confederate Loss
July 21, 1861 Bull Run, Va 481 1,011 1,460 2,952 1,752
August 10, 1861 Wilson's Creek, Mo. 223 721 291 1,235 1,095
September 12-20, 1861 Lexington, Mo. 42 108 1,624 1,774 100
October 21, 1861 Ball's Bluff, Va. 223 226 445 894 302
November 7, 1861 Belmont, Mo. 90 173 235 498 966
Date Name of Battle and Location Killed Wounded Missing Union Loss Confederate Loss

1861 Civil War History

1861 Civil War History - President Abraham Lincoln History Video
The article on the 1861 Civil War History provides an overview of this year of the American Civil War during his presidential term in office. The following Abraham Lincoln video will give you additional important history, facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 16th American President whose presidency history spanned from March 4, 1861 to April 15, 1865.




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