January 19, 1862- Battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky. The Union victory weakened the Confederate hold on the state.
February 6, 1862- Surrender of Fort Henry, Tennessee. The lost of this southern fort on the Tennessee River opened the door to Union control of the river.
February 8, 1862- Battle of Roanoke Island, North Carolina. A Confederate defeat, the battle resulted in Union occupation of eastern North Carolina and control of Pamlico Sound, to be used as Northern base for further operations against the southern coast.
February 16, 1862- Surrender of Fort Donelson, Tennessee. This primary southern fort on the Cumberland River left the river in Union hands. It was here that Union General Ulysses S. Grant gained his nickname "Unconditional Surrender".
February 22, 1862- Jefferson Davis is inaugurated as President of the Confederate States of America. (Inauguration Address)
March 7-8, 1862- Battle of Pea Ridge (Elkhorn Tavern), Arkansas. The Union victory loosened the Confederate hold on Missouri and disrupted southern control of a portion of the Mississippi River.
March 9, 1862- The U.S.S. Monitor battles the C.S.S. Virginia (the old USS "Merrimack"), the first battle between "ironclads", is fought in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
April 6-7, 1862- The Battle of Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing), the first major battle in Tennessee. Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston, a veteran of the Texas War of Independence and the War with Mexico considered to be one of the finest officers the South has, is killed on the first day of fighting. The Union victory further secures the career of Union General Ulysses S. Grant.
April 24-25, 1862- A Union fleet of gunships under Admiral David Farragut passes Confederate forts guarding the mouth of the Mississippi River. On April 25, the fleet arrived at New Orleans where they demanded the surrender of the city. Within two days the forts fall into Union hands and the mouth of the great river is under Union control.
May 25, 1862- First Battle of Winchester, Virginia. After two weeks of maneuvering and battles at Cross Keys and Front Royal, General "Stonewall" Jackson attacks Union forces at Winchester and successfully drives them from the city. The victory is the culmination of his 1862 Valley Campaign.
May 31-June 1, 1862- The Battle of Seven Pines near Richmond, Virginia.General Joseph Johnston, commander of the Confederate army in Virginia is wounded and replaced by Robert E. Lee who renames his command the "Army of Northern Virginia".
June 6, 1862- Battle of Memphis, Tennessee. A Union flotilla under Commodore Charles Davis successfully defeats a Confederate river force on the Mississippi River near the city and Memphis surrenders. The Mississippi River is now in Union control except for its course west of Mississippi where the city of Vicksburg stands as the last southern stronghold on the great river.
June 25-July 1, 1862- The Seven Days' Battles before Richmond. General Lee's army attacks the "Army of the Potomac" under General George McClellan in a succession of battles beginning at Mechanicsville on June 26 and ending at Malvern Hill on July 1.
August 30-31, 1862- The Battle of Second Bull Run (or Second Manassas)is fought on the same ground where one year before, the Union army was defeated and sent reeling in retreat to Washington. Likewise, the result of this battle is a Union defeat.
September 17, 1862- The Battle of Antietam (or Sharpsburg), Maryland, the bloodiest single day of the Civil War. The result of the battle ends General Lee's first invasion of the North. Following the Union victory, President Lincoln will introduce the Emancipation Proclamation, an executive order that freed every slave in the Confederate States.
December 13, 1862- The Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Army of the Potomac, under General Ambrose Burnside, is soundly defeated by Lee's forces after a risky river crossing and sacking of the city.
December 31-January 3, 1863- Battle of Stones River, Tennessee. Fought between the Union Army of the Cumberland under General William Rosecrans and the Confederate Army of Tennessee under General Braxton Bragg, the costly Union victory frees middle Tennessee from Confederate control and boosts northern morale.