Though most of the significant fighting of the Civil War occurred in the area around Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Virginia, several major campaigns (and scores of minor ones) were also launched in what contemporaries referred to as the West (though we would now call it the Midwest). The first part of this module tracks the major actions in that theater through 1863, culminating in General Ulysses S. Grant's capture of Vicksburg , Mississippi.
The second part of this module returns you to the East for the final years of the war. The first campaign depicted is General Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania, which was turned back at Gettysburg in July 1863. You may click on Gettysburg for a more detailed look at that massive, three day battle, the largest and most significant confrontation of the Civil War. Though Lee's army was not completely eliminated at Gettysburg , it was never again a serious offensive threat. Consequently, the Union was free to maintain relentless pressure against the entire periphery of a slowly crumbling Confederacy. While Grant hammered away in the East, General William T. Sherman broke through from the West into the very heart of the South. By the spring of 1865, the Confederate States of America could no longer defend themselves and surrendered their four year effort to establish independence.