Top 10 Civil War Battles

Today, we’re going to review the top 10 Civil War Battles.

There has been an exceptional amount of wars fought throughout the course of time. With that said, “War is War”, the outcome, no matter the winner, is usually bloodshed and death. War can be described by the wise words that were uttered by General William T. Sherman (Union Army) during a speech he gave in 1879, Sherman stated

There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but boys, it is all hell.

Although all of the top ten Civil War battles you’re about to read were bloody, and death knocked on the doors of fathers, brothers, and sons, I am providing a list of what I consider the worst of the WORST of these top 10 Civil War battles.

The Civil War lasted from 1861 through 1865. The repercussions of this war as a result were the dead totaling probably more than 620,000 in Union and Confederate soldiers.

All of the battles that I’ve acquired for this top ten listing conclude that 19,000 losses including men who were disabled or died in the line of the Civil War Battles.

Top 10 Civil War Battles

We will begin at #10 and work our way to #1.

# 10 Battle of Fort Sumter (1861)

The battle of Fort Sumter was the beginning of the American Civil War. This first Civil War battle began on April 13th, 1861 at Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. Major Robert Anderson standing with the Union and Brigadier General Beauregard standing with the Confederate. The Civil War began mainly because of:

  • Economic and Social reasons
  • State vs. Federal Rights
  • Slave and non-Slave States
  • The Abolitionist Movement

The soldiers all together consisted of 80 soldiers on the Union side as well as 500 soldiers on the Confederate side. Needless to say the Confederate side took the 1st Civil War battle by storm.

# 9 Battle of Fredericksburg (1862)

On December 13th, 1862, the battle in Virginia’s Fredericksburg involved nearly 200,000 combatants. This at the time, was the most massive concentration of troops in any Civil War Battle. It only took two hours of strategy and strategic planning on General Burnside’s accounts to cut down 6,000 union soldiers under the charge of General Robert E. Lee. I am sure that Lee watched in horror as his men fell.

# 8 Battle of the Wilderness (1864)

The Battle of the Wilderness in the Civil War began on May 5th and ended on May 7th, 1862. The battle of the Wilderness is where General Ulysses S. Grant began the “Overland Campaign”. It must be said that the surface of the Wilderness consisted of crowded woods, brush thick with growth, and extremely small openings or gaps all around. It had to have been impossible to maneuver a regiment of this size. Because of all of this, lines of fire were not even, all was offset. Confusion, panic, and fear filled the minds of the soldiers. The conclusion of this battle to day is inclusive.

# 7 Battle of Stones River

It was late in December of 1862. Confederate and Union Soldiers fought a conflict at the Battle of Stones River. Soldiers engaged were Union at 41,000 and Confederate at 35,000. Incased with the thicket of cedar, gunmen maneuver inward to about 700 yards of the rebels. The shots are fired. The gunfire pushes the confederate Army to pull back, with an outcome of a Union victory.

# 6. Battle of Chancellorsville

The American Civil war battle of Chancellorsville took place in Virginia May the 1st, through May the 4th in 1863. The end result of this bloodbath was extreme causalities with the Union Soldiers to the tune of the 14,000 mark. Needless to say, the Confederates took this one. This battle has been stated by many a historian as Lee’s greatest moment.

# 5 Battle of Shiloh

The battle of Shiloh dispensed April the 6th through April the 7th in 1882. Although there were only two days in this unmerciful war that trampled on the grounds of Tennessee, a count of around 23,746 men ceased to exist within those two days. Of the men 13,047 were of the Union soldiers. The Union causalities outnumbered the Confederate soldiers and this war ended with the North claiming their victory.

# 4 Battle of Fort Donelson

The battle of Fort Donelson sounded off from February 13th through February the 16th in 1862. This part of the Civil war trampled through Tennessee. The battle was victoriously won by the Union soldiers. There were 17,398 causalities in total in which 15, 067 of these were of the Confederate soldiers.

# 3 Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse

This part of the Civil war took place in Virginia. The battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse occurred on May 8th through May 21st in 1864. Although to this very day, neither side has been able to claim a victory on this particular part of the Civil war, out of the 30,000 casualties, 18,000 were indeed identified as to be the Union soldiers. Your guess is as good as mine as to the victor.

# 2 Second Battle of Bull Run

The second battle of Bull Run Pinned General Lee up against a separate army confronting Union General John Pope. Pope created a stronger type of war tactic that he had brought with him to the state Of Virginia on August 28th through August 30th in 1862. The Confederates were the victors of this Civil war.

# 1 Battle of Gettysburg

This final part of the Civil War was fought in Gettysburg Pennsylvania from July 1st to July 3rd in 1863. It has been known as one of the greatest bloodbaths of the entire Civil war with good reason. The Battle of Gettysburg killed, wounded and even had soldiers come up in missing in the range of 50,000. Left totally defeated in this battle, General Lee tried with might to resign from service but was turned down. The Battle of Gettysburg and all of its victory went in favor to the Union and its soldiers.

Final Thoughts

All of the Civil War battles consisted of nearly 10,500 battles, engagements, as well as other military actions including nearly fifty incredible and majorly bloody battles that ended in bloodshed, death, as well as some soldiers ended up MIA missing in action in these battles. The engagements were constructed and fought in twenty-three different States and with this a result of over 650,000 causalities were documented.

In no way am I saying that this lengthy war should or should not have ever come to pass, but take a moment to realize the amount of bloodshed that filled the land at that time. Fathers, sons, brothers were lost and never made it back home to the families that they loved and took care of. No matter which side you routed or route for, the memory of these soldiers are forever etched in our mind.

Thanks for stopping in. Leave your comments and feedback below..

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

  1. Top 20 Famous Civil War Units: The Best of the Best
  2. Top 7 Civil War Movies of All Time
  3. Top 10 Civil War Confederate Army Generals
  4. The Top 10 Deadliest Battles in Military History
chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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