More major Civil War battles were fought in Virginia than in any other state.
1861 | 1862 | 1863 | 1864 | 1865
April 1861: With Virginia's secession from the Union, Richmond, in Central Virginia, was named the Capitol of the Confederacy.
Sites to See:
July 1861: First Battle of Bull Run in Manassas, in Northern Virginia, resulted in a Southern victory.
Sites to See:
Confederate Winter Quarters 1861: Manassas, Centreville, Fairfax Court House & Falls Church in Northern Virginia.
March 1862: At Hampton Roads in the first naval battle between ironclad warships, the USS Monitor fought the CSS Virginia to a draw. The CSS Virginia was built from the hull of the captured USS Merrimac and had earlier sunk two wooden Union warships in Hampton Roads.
May 1862: General McClellan's troops invaded Yorktown and awaited more troops in Williamsburg in Hampton Roads.
May 1862: Confederate General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson defeated Union forces in the Shenandoah Valley, forcing them to retreat across the Potomac.
June 1862: The Battle of Seven Pines (Fair Oaks), included the Confederate army attacking federal forces. Last-minute reinforcements saved the Union from a serious defeat. Command of the Army of Northern Virginia fell to Robert E. Lee.
July 1862: The Seven Days' Battles, between June 26 and July 2 includes the sites of Mechanicsville, Gaines's Mill, Savage's Station, Frayser's Farm and Malvern Hill. On July 2, the Confederates withdrew to Richmond, ending the Peninsula Campaign.
August 1862: The Second Battle of Bull Run in Manassas resulted in a Southern victory.
December 1862: The Battle of Fredericksburg resulted in a Southern victory.
May 1863: The Battle of Chancellorsville resulted in more casualties than any other engagement ever fought on Virginia soil. It also has been called General Lee's greatest victory.
June 1863: The Gettysburg Campaign. Confederate General Lee decided to take the war to the enemy. On June 13, he defeated Union forces at Winchester.
May 1864: The Overland Campaign. Beginning with the Battle of the Wilderness, Lee and Grant locked horns in a remorseless and bloody struggle that included the battles of Spotsylvania Court House and North Anna, ending with the Battle of Cold Harbor. Lee inflicted more than 60,000 Union casualties – more men than he had in his own army – but Grant could replace his losses and Lee could not.
May 1864: The Battle of Spotsylvania was a two week standoff highlighted by a one day bitter hand-to-hand fight. The battle was basically a draw, with neither side taking the upper hand.
June 1864: The Battle of Cold Harbor. The Union lost 7,000 men in near-suicidal attacks ordered by Grant. Lee was unable to prevent Grant from crossing the James River and investing the city of Petersburg in a siege.
June 1864: The Battle of Staunton River Bridge. At this historic site, a ragtag group of Confederate old men and young boys beat the odds and held off an assault by 5,000 Union cavalry soldiers on a bridge of strategic importance to General Lee’s army, then under siege in Petersburg.
June 1864: The Siege of Petersburg lasted 10 months. Visit the Pamplin Historical Park & National Museum of the Civil War Soldier to see preserved earthworks and have a true Civil War experience.
January 1865: The Fall of the Confederacy
April 1865: The Battle of High Bridge. Confederates were able to burn much of High Bridge, attempting to prevent Union forces from crossing the bridge over the Appomattox River. The rebels were unable to bridge another lower bridge, however, enabling federal forces to pursue Gen. Lee's army.
April 1865: The Battle of Little Sailor's Creek. Called "the Black Thursday of the Confederacy," at Sailor's Creek Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia lost 7,700 men, including eight generals.
April 1865: Richmond fell and the South surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse.
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Civil War Trails | The National Battlefields
Last Updated: 04/25/2016
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