Major battles and events
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The firing on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, began the war.
The First Battle of Bull Run (also known as the Battle of First Manassas) in northern Virginia was the first major battle.
The signing of the Emancipation Proclamation made “freeing the slaves” the new focus of the war. Many freed African Americans joined the Union army.
The Battle of Vicksburg in southern Mississippi divided the South; the North controlled the Mississippi River.
The Battle of Gettysburg in southern Pennsylvania was the turning point of the war; the North repelled Lee’s invasion.