Eastern Theater of the Civil War

 

Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

The Eastern Theater of the Civil War roughly comprised the area east of the Appalachians in the vicinity of the rival capitals of Washington and Richmond. It included the states of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, as well as the District of Columbia and the coastal fortifications and seaports of North Carolina.

When the war began in the spring of 1861 and the Confederates declared their capitol at Richmond, Virginia, the immediate cry from Union headquarters was “On to Richmond!” For the next four years, a succession of Northern commanders struggled desperately to do just that.

Bounded by the Appalachian Mountains to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the vast majority of battles occurred in a relatively small 100 miles strip of Virginia countryside between the cities of Washington and Richmond.

Battle of Antietam, Maryland

Battle of Antietam, Maryland

It was these campaigns that would also become the most famous in the history of the war, due to their proximity to large populations centers and the heavy media attention that they received. Both the bloodiest battle of the war — Gettysburg, and the bloodiest single day of the war — Antietam, were both fought in the Eastern Theater.

The principal commanders of the Eastern Theater included: For the Union – Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, Major General George B. McClellan, Major General John Pope, Major General Ambrose Burnside, Major General Joseph Hooker, and Major General George G. Meade. The South was led by General Robert E. Lee, General Pierre Gustave Toutant de Beauregard, General Joseph E. Johnston, Lieutenant General James Longstreet, Lieutenant General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, and Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early.

Eastern Theater Campaigns

Blockade of the Chesapeake Bay – May-June 1861

Sewell’s PointVirginia –  May 18-19, 1861
Aquia Creek, Virginia – May 29-June 1, 1861
Big Bethel, Virginia – June 10, 1861

Operations in Western Virginia – June-December, 1861

Philippi, West Virginia – June 3, 1861,
Rich Mountain, West Virginia – July 11, 1861
Kessler’s Cross Lanes, West Virginia – August 26, 1861
Carnifex Ferry, West Virginia – September 10, 1861
Cheat Mountain, West Virginia – September 12-15 1861
Greenbrier River, West Virginia – October 3, 1861
Camp Alleghany, West Virginia – December 13, 1861

Battle of Bull's Run (Manassas), Virginia, July 21, 1861

Battle of Bull’s Run (Manassas), Virginia, July 21, 1861

Manassas Campaign (July 1861)

Hoke’s Run, West Virginia – July 2, 1861
Blackburn’s Ford, Virginia – July 18, 1861
Manassas I, Virginia  – July 21, 1861

Blockade of the Carolina Coast – August 1861

Hatteras Inlet Batteries, North Carolina – August 28-29, 1861

McClellan’s Operations in Northern Virginia – October-December 1861

Ball’s Bluff, Virginia – August 28-29, 1861
Dranesville, Virginia – December 20, 1861

Officers of the Army of the Potomac

Officers of the Army of the Potomac

Blockade of the Potomac River – October 1861-January 1862

Cockpit Point, Virginia – January 3, 1862

Jackson’s Operations Against the B&O Railroad – January 1862

Hancock, Maryland – January 5-6, 1862

Burnside’s North Carolina Expedition – February-June 1862

Roanoke Island, North Carolina – February 7-8, 1862
New Berne, North Carolina – March 14, 1862
Fort Macon, North Carolina – March 23-April 26, 1862
South Mills, North Carolina – April 19, 1862
Tranter’s Creek, North Carolina – June 5, 1862

Jackson’s Valley Campaign – March-June 1862

Kernstown I, Virginia – March 23, 1862
McDowell, Virginia – May 8, 1862
Front Royal, Virginia – May 23, 1862
Winchester I, Virginia – May 25, 1862
Cross Keys, Virginia – June 8, 1862
Port Republic, Virginia – June 9, 1862

Federal Battery, Yorktown

Peninsula Campaign – March 8-July 1 1862

Hampton Roads, Virginia – March 8-9, 1862
Yorktown, Virginia – April 5-May 4, 1862
Williamsburg, Virginia – May 5, 1862
Eltham’s Landing, Virginia – May 7, 1862
Drewry’s Bluff, Virginia – May 15, 1862
Hanover Courthouse, Virginia – May 27, 1862
Seven Pines, Virginia – May 31-June 1, 1862
Oak Grove, Virginia – June 25, 1862
Beaver Dam Creek, Virginia – June 26, 1862
Gaines’ Mill, Virginia – June 27, 1862
Garnett’s & Golding’s Farm, Virginia – June 27-28, 1862
Savage’s Station, Virginia – June 29, 1862
White Oak Swamp, Virginia – June 30, 1862
Glendale, Virginia – June 30, 1862
Malvern Hill, Virginia – July 1, 1862

Northern Virginia Campaign – August 1862

Cedar Mountain, Virginia – August 9, 1862
Rappahannock Station I, Virginia – August 22-25, 1862
Manassas Station Operations, Virginia – August 25-27,1862
Thoroughfare Gap, Virginia – August 28, 1862
Manassas II, Virginia – August 28-30, 1862
Chantilly, Virginia – September 1, 1862

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia – view of the town and railroad bridge.

Maryland Campaign – September 1862

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia – September 12-15, 1862
South Mountain, Maryland – September 14, 1862
Antietam/Sharpsburg, Maryland – September 16-18, 1862
Shepherdstown, West Virginia – September 19-20, 1862

Fredericksburg Campaign – November-December 1862

Fredericksburg, Virginia – December 11-15, 1862

Goldsboro Expedition – December 1862

Kinston, North Carolina – December 14, 1862
White Hall Ferry, North Carolina – December 16, 1862
Goldsborough Bridge, North Carolina – December 17, 1862

Longstreet’s Tidewater Operations – March-April 1863

Fort Anderson, North Carolina – March 13-15, 1863
Washington, North Carolina – March 30-April 20, 1863
Norfleet House/Suffolk, Virginia – April 13-15, 1863
Hill’s Point/Suffolk, Virginia – April 11-May 4, 1863

Cavalry Operations along the Rappahannock – March 1863

Kelly’s Ford, Virginia – March 17, 1863

Chancellorsville Campaign (April-May 1863)

Chancellorsville, Virginia – April 30-May 6, 1863
Fredericksburg II, Virginia – May 3, 1863
Salem Church, Virginia – May 3-4, 1863

Stone wall at Cemetery Ridge, Gettysburg Battlefield, Pennsylvania

Stone wall at Cemetery Ridge, Gettysburg Battlefield, Pennsylvania

Gettysburg Campaign – June 9-July 1863

Brandy Station, Virginia – June 9, 1863
Winchester II, Virginia – June 13-15, 1863
Aldie, Virginia – June 17, 1863
Middleburg, Virginia – June 17-19, 1863
Upperville, Virginia – June 21, 1863
Hanover, Pennsylvania – June 30, 1863
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – July 1-3, 1863
Williamsport, Maryland – July 6-16, 1863
Boonsboro, Maryland – July 8, 1863
Manassas Gap, Virginia – July 23, 1863

Bristoe Campaign – October-November 1863

Auburn, Virginia – October 13, 1863
Auburn II, Virginia – October 14, 1863
Bristoe Station, Virginia – October 14, 1863
Buckland Mills, Virginia – October 19, 1863
Rappahannock Station II, Virginia – November 7, 1863

Averell’s Raid on the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad – November 1863

Droop Mountain, West Virginia

Mine Run Campaign (November-December, 1863)

Mine Run, Virginia

Demonstration on the Rapidan River – February 1864

Morton’s Ford, Virginia

Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid – March 1864

Mantapike Hill (Walkerton), Virginia

Operations Against Plymouth – April-May 1864

Plymouth, North Carolina
Albemarle Sound, North Carolina

Crook-Averell Raid on the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad – May 1864

Cloyd’s Mountain, Virginia
Cove Mountain, Virginia

Bermuda Hundred Campaign – May 1864

Port Walthall Junction, Virginia
Swift Creek, Virginia
Chester Station, Virginia
Proctor’s Creek, Virginia
Ware Bottom Church, Virginia

Battle of Spotsylvania

Grant’s Overland Campaign – May-June 1864

Wilderness, Virginia
Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia
Yellow Tavern, Virginia
Wilson’s Wharf, Virginia
Haw’s Shop, Virginia
North Anna, Virginia
Totopotomoy Creek/Bethesda Church, Virginia
Old Church, Virginia
Cold Harbor, Virginia
Trevilian Station, Virginia
Saint Mary’s Church, Virginia

Lynchburg Campaign – May-June 1864

New Market, Virginia
Piedmont, Virginia
Lynchburg, Virginia

Ruins of a locomotive and railroad bridge across the Appomattox River in the Petersburg vicinity, 1865.

Early’s Raid and Operations Against the B&O Railroad – June-August 1864

Monocacy, Maryland
Fort Stevens, Washington DC
Cool Spring, Virginia
Rutherford’s Farm, Virginia
Kernstown II, Virginia
Folck’s Mill, Maryland
Moorefield, West Virginia

Richmond-Petersburg Campaign – June 1864-March 1865

Petersburg I, Virginia
Petersburg II, Virginia
Jerusalem Plank Road, Virginia
Staunton River Bridge, Virginia
Sappony Church, Virginia
Ream’s Station I, Virginia
Deep Bottom I, Virginia
Crater, Virginia
Deep Bottom II, Virginia
Globe Tavern, Virginia
Ream’s Station II, Virginia
Chaffin’s Farm and New Market Heights, Virginia
Peebles’ Farm, Virginia
Darbytown and New Market Roads, Virginia
Darbytown Road, Virginia
Fair Oaks and Darbytown Road, Virginia
Boydton Plank Road, Virginia
Hatcher’s Run, Virginia
Fort Stedman, Virginia

Sheridan’s Valley Campaign – August-October 1864

Guard Hill, Virginia
Summit Point, West Virginia
Smithfield Crossing, West Virginia
Berryville, Virginia
Opequon, Virginia
Fisher’s Hill, Virginia
Tom’s Brook, Virginia
Cedar Creek, Virginia

Attack on Fort Fisher, North Carolina

Attack on Fort Fisher, North Carolina

Expedition Against Fort Fisher – December 1864

Fort Fisher, North Carolina

Operations Against Fort Fisher and Wilmington – January-February 1865

Fort Fisher, North Carolina
Wilmington, North Carolina

Sheridan’s Expedition to Petersburg (March 1865)

Waynesboro, Virginia

Appomattox Court House, 1865

Appomattox Court House, 1865

Appomattox Campaign (March-April 1865)

Lewis’s Farm, Virginia
White Oak Road, Virginia
Dinwiddie Court House, Virginia
Five Forks, Virginia
Petersburg III, Virginia
Sutherland’s Station, Virginia
Namozine Church, Virginia
Amelia Springs, Virginia
Sayler’s Creek, Virginia
Rice’s Station, Virginia
Cumberland Church, Virginia
High Bridge, Virginia
Appomattox Station, Virginia
Appomattox Court House, Virginia

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