Social Studies - 2018-19

USI.9e - Major Battles of the Civil War and the Influence of Location

The student will apply social science skills to understand the causes, major events, and effects of the Civil War by  

e) describing critical developments in the war, including the location of major battles; 

Adopted: 2015



Location and topography were critical elements influencing important developments in the Civil War, including major battles. 


Major battles and events 

 The firing on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, began the war. 

 The First Battle of Bull Run (also known as the Battle of First Manassas) in northern Virginia was the first major battle. 

 The signing of the Emancipation Proclamation made “freeing the slaves” the new focus of the war. Many freed African Americans joined the Union army. 

 The Battle of Vicksburg in southern Mississippi divided the South; the North controlled the Mississippi River. 

 The Battle of Gettysburg in southern Pennsylvania was the turning point of the war; the North repelled Lee’s invasion. 

 Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House in 1865 ended the war. 

Influence of location and topography on critical developments in the war 

 The Union blockade of southern ports (e.g., Savannah, Charleston, New Orleans) 

 Control of the Mississippi River (e.g., Vicksburg) 

 Battle locations influenced by the struggle to capture capital cities (e.g., Richmond; Washington, D.C.) 

 Control of the high ground (e.g., Gettysburg) 


Updated: May 16, 2018