Learning Lincoln On-line


Lincoln's Battlefield Leadership

A Primary Sources Activity Using Library of Congress Actual Documents


The President conferring with General McClellan (left) and other officers (right) at Antietam

Lincoln and His  Battlefield Command



In this photographic montage, President Abraham Lincoln sits surrounded by his top commanders. From left to right they are: David Farragut, William T. Sherman, George Henry Thomas, Abraham Lincoln, George Gordon Meade, Ulysses S. Grant, Joseph Hooker, Philip Henry Sheridan, and Winfield Scott Hancock. The portrait on the wall is of Lt. General Winfield Scott

Battles of the Civil War

The President Seeking a Victory


Abraham Lincoln with many of his top military commanders

Picture from PBS: Freedom A History of the U.S., A War to End Slavery


Complete each part as listed and use the Battles Form to compile your answers

PART ONE  concerns how the President should deal with the problem with Fort Sumter.  The fort was being besieged by Confederate forces from Charleston, S. Carolina.  You will read a message from Major Anderson at Ft. Sumter.  Go to the Fort Sumter Battle Strategies page follow the directions.  Be sure to read all real documents, and then answer the set of questions.
PART TWO is a different battle rail junction near Manassas.  You will read telegraph messages as well as messages written by the President, as to what to do.  Read all documents, and then answer the set of questions.  Go to the Civil War Hot Air Balloons and Telegraph Page. [This is a large link with activities for studying the telegraph, air balloons, and Lincoln's T-Mails]
PART THREE   For the year 1863, during the war, you can read actual documents concerning Lincoln's dealings with General McClellan.  Read all real documents and then answer the questions for this part.  Go to the George McClellan Page to gather information, and ORDERS, as to what to do.
PART FOUR  concerns the Battle of Gettysburg, July, 1863, and how Lincoln dealt with General Meade.  The battle was won by Union forces, but the same forces failed to go after the Confederates.  Go to the Gen. George Meade Site and read the information provided.  Follow the ORDERS.


The Goal of this fact chart is for you to get a good understanding of the chronology of Civil War Battles. 

Directions:  Note the column headings.  Use your chosen timeline and gather facts about the major or minor battles for each year.  Note the row headings.  Look for land-based and sea/water-based battles for each year.  Include all major battles, and any minor ones that are of interest to you.  The "Military Decisions" cells are to describe the result of the battle.  Who won, number of dead for each side, any Medal of Honor winners, or special facts about individuals involved.

This chart has limited space for answers.  You may make your own chart, following the pattern of this one.



LINCOLN'S ACTION TO HELP WIN THE WAR  Use the Smithsonian Civil War Timeline for these answers

1861 The War Starts  Click Here




Military Decisions:


  Sea & Waterways


Political Decisions:


1862  Year of Retreat & Failure  Click Here




Military Decisions


  Sea & Waterways:


Political Decisions:


1863  Gettysburg, Emancipation, The Draft     Click Here Land Military Decision
  Sea & Waterways:


Political Decisions


1864 U.S. Grant commands Union Army    Click Here




Military Decisions


  Sea & Waterways Political Decisions


1865  War ends, Lee surrenders  Click Here Land:


Military Decisions
  Sea & Waterways: Political Decisions: