Battles of the Civil War: Crash Course US History #19


In which John Green lists a whole lot of the battles of the US Civil War in seven and a half minutes. We get a lot of requests for military history, so we offer a list of battle names, with some commentary about outcomes, and lots of really interesting pictures. This is a but of a departure for Crash Course as we leave behind the world of thoughtful analysis and just list some facts.



Transcript Provided by YouTube:

00:00
CCUS19 – Battles of the Civil War
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Hi, I’m John Green and this is Crash Course US History.
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Starting next week, we’re going to be talking about the Civil War.
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As you may have noticed, Crash Course doesn’t usually focus on military history, because
00:08
we’re more interested in causes and effects and that kind of stuff, but because some in
00:13
our audience are likely to insist that a series on American History has to include the battles
00:18
of the Civil War, I am now going to tell you about EVERY SINGLE fight of the war.
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Oh.
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Stan, this says there were 8,000 instances of violence between the Union and the Confederate
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States of America between 1861 and 1865.
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Can that be right?
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Slight change of plan.
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I’m going to tell you about the MAJOR battles of the Civil War.
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The shooting started in 1861.
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In April the first shots of the war were fired at the Battle of Fort Sumter, South Carolina,
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which the South won.
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Next the Battle of Rich Mountain went to the North.
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First Bull Run happened in Manassas, VA in July.
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The South won, General Jackson got the nickname Stonewall, and the North realized this war
01:02
was going to be serious business.
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The South had another victory at Wilson’s Creek in August, but lost to the Union at
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Carnifex Ferry in September.
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The North got another win at the Battle of Cheat Mountain, but the South finished the
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year strong with wins at Ball’s Bluff and Chustenahlah.
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The North came roaring back in 1862 with wins at the battles of Mill Springs, Fort Henry,
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Roanoke Island, and Fort Donelson, where the Confederate general was named Simon Bolivar
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Buckner.
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What!?
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There was fighting in the west, with the South winning at Valverder, NM, and Pea Ridge, AR.
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The Union won at New Madrid, MO.
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The Battle of Hampton Roads, VA in March was a draw, and featured the first fight between
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two ironclad warships, the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia.
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The Union won the Battle of Bern, and the first battle of Kernstown, and then draws
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at Glorieta Pass, NM, and Yorktown.
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The Union won the Battle of Shiloh, where future Ben Hur author Lew Wallace was accused
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of incompetence and cowardice.
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The Union won the Battle of Fort Pulaski and the Battle of Forts Jackson and St Philip,
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which gave the North control of New Orleans.
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The North won the siege of Corinth, and McClellan fought one of the many indecisive battles
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he would be involved in at Williamsburg, VA.
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Then Stonewall Jackson had a great run, winning battles at McDowell, Front Royal, and Winchester.
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Union forces captured Memphis, TN in May, but then lost a couple more to Jackson at
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Cross Keys and Port Republic.
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In Virginia that June, Robert E Lee and Goerge McClellan fought a series of six battles in
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seven days, which were called the seven days battles.
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There was a draw at Oak Grove, Union victory at Beaver Dam Creek, a win for Lee at Gaines’
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Mill, ties at Garnett’s and Golding’s Farm, the Battle of Savage’s Station, and
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the battle of Glendale.
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The Union finally won the Seven Days at Malvern Hill, but McClellan withdrew after the battle,
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allowing Lee and the remaining confederates to escape.
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In July 1862, one of the least consequential battles of the war took place in Stan’s
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hometown, Newburgh, IN.
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A force of 35 Confederate irregulars built some fake cannons out of stovepipes that they
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called Quaker guns, crossed the Ohio River, captured some weapons and a hospital full
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of wounded Union soldiers, and then abandoned the town later the same day.
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This was the first town in the North to be captured by Confederates.
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Later that summer came the Battles of Baton Rouge, Cedar Mountain, Mannassas Station,
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the Second Battle of Bull Run, Richmond, KY, Chantilly, and Harper’s Ferry, all of which
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the Confederates won.
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The Union won at South Mountain, but lost at Munfordville.
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On September 17 McClellan ended Lee’s invasion of the north at Anteitam, MD.
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This was the bloodiest single day of the war with 22,717 dead, wounded, or missing.
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The rest of 1862 saw the battles of Perryville, Prairie Grove, Fredericksburg, and Chickasaw
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Bayou.
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1863 started in Tennessee with a Union victory at the Battle of Stones River, but also with
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a simultaneous Confederate victory at Galveston, TX.
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There were lots of smallish skirmishes during the winter and early Spring, until the Battle
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of Chancellorsville in May, where Lee defeated Hooker, but Stonewall Jackson was mortally
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wounded.
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He lost his arm, and then died 8 days later of pneumonia.
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His arm buried with its own headstone near Chancellorsville.
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The North won a bunch of battles in Mississippi at Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Champion
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Hill, Big Black River Ridge, and finally, Vicksburg.
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This victory, along with the victory at Port Hudson effectively ended the Confederacy’s
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ability to use the Mississippi River.
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June, 1863 in Virginia was inconclusive, with draws at Brandy Station, Winchester, Aldie,
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Middleburg, and Upperville.
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July brought the Battle of Gettysburg, a major Union victory.
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This battle featured Pickett’s famous charge, was the end of Lee’s second invasion of
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the north, was the costliest of the war in terms of caualties, and led to, believe it
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or not, The Gettysburg Address.
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The rest of that summer brought split results with Union wins at Helena, AR, Honey Springs,
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OK and Chattanooga, TN.
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The Confederates answered with two victories at Ft Wagner, SC.
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They also won at Ft Sumter AGAIN, holding the fort against heavy Union bombardment,
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and they perpetrated a massacre of civilians in Lawrence, KS.
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The rest of 1863 saw battles at Sabine Pass, TX, Bayou Fourche, AR, a major confederate
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win at Chickamauga, the battles of Bristow Station, Wauhatchie, Rappahannock Station,
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Chattanooga again, Ringgold Gap, Fort Sanders, and Mossy Creek.
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Oh man, we’re only to 1864.
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Gotta keep it moving.
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Stan, can you just indicate who won these on screen?
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Great
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The first major battles of 1864 were in February at Olustee, FL and Okolona, MS.
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The spring saw battles at Fort De Russy, Mansfield, Prairie D’Ane, AR, Pleasant Hill, LA, and
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Fort Pillow, TN.
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There were The Battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania Courthouse, Procter’s Creek,
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New Market, North Anna, Old Church, Cold Harbor, and the Battle of the Piedmont all in Virginia.
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Summer brought the battles of Marietta, GA, and Brice’s Crossroads, MS.
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The battles of Trevillian Station, Petersburg, Lynchburg, and Jerusalem Plank Road were all
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fought in Virginia.
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Also Kennesaw Mountain, GA, Monocacy, Maryland, and Fort Stevens, in the District of Columbia.
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Abraham Lincoln himself went to observe this battle, and the guy standing next to him got
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shot.
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Next were the battles of Tupelo, MS, Peachtree Creek, GA, and Atlanta, GA, a major Union
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victory won by General Sherman.
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Also fought were the battles of Kernstown, VA, Ezra Church, GA, the Battle of the Crater
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in Virginia, the battles of Mobile Bay, AL, Deep Bottom, Globe Tavern, and Reams station
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in VA, and the battle of Jonesborough, GA which solidified Union control of Atlanta.
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Ok.
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Autumn of 1864, we’re in the home stretch here.
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The battles of Opequon, Fisher’s Hill, Chaffin’s Farm, Peebles’ Farm, and Cedar Creek were
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all fought in Virginia.
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The battles of Byram’s Ford, Newtonia, and Westpory all happened in Missouri.
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Johnsonville, TN, Griswoldville, GA, Spring Hill, TN, The Sand Creek Massacre, The Battle
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of Franklin, TN, Fort McAllister, GA, and Nashville, TN finished out the year.
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Whew.
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1865, here we go.
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The Battles of Fort Fisher, NC, Hatcher’s Run, VA, Waynesboro, Virginia, Bentonville,
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NC, Fort Stedman, VA, Spanish Fort, AL, White Oak Road, VA, Five Forks, VA, Selma, AL, the
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THIRD battle of Petersburg, VA, Fort Blakely, AL, Saylor’s Creek, VA, Appomattox Station,
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VA, and finally, the decisive battle at Appomattox Courthouse, VA, on April 8, 1865 which resulted
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in Lee’s surrender to Grant.
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There were a few more minor skirmishes, but the war was OVER.
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So there you have it, an episode of Crash Course ENTIRELY about battles.
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I know that we missed many, many battles of the war, but these are most of the big ones.
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There’s not even a big finish this week, because I’m just exhausted from all the
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fighting.
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Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next week.


This post was previously published on YouTube.

Photo credit: Screenshot from video