On March 4th, 1861, Abraham Lincoln became our 16th president of the United States, but he spent most of his four years on war. On April 12, 1861, southern soldiers fired on Union-held Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina. This started the Civil War.
The first battle of the Union and the Confederate took place in July 1861 called the First Battle of Bull Run. General Irvin McDowell had to do what Abraham Lincoln ordered him to, which was to beat the Confederates for Richmond. During the search for the Confederates, McDowell complained about how his 35,000 soldiers are stopping to pick berries and drink water too much.
The Union Army finally met the Confederates 25 miles to southwest of Washington, near Manassas, Virginia. The Confederates 35,000 soldiers ran and attacked McDowell's and were losing. Then one of the soldiers saw General "Stonewall" Jackson with his army. They attacked with the Confederates and the Union lost the battle that they thought was going to win fast and easy.
In February 1862, General Ulysses S. Grant led the Union to Tennessee, hoping to capture two of the forts he wants-Fort Henry and Fort Donelson. With the help of Union navy gunboats, Grant took Fort Henry on February 6th. 10 days later, Fort Donelson belonged to Grant. With these two forts and the Confederates surrendering Nashville to the North on February 25th, the Union took control of Kentucky and much of Tennessee. By the spring 1862, the Union forces took control of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers as well as some vital southern railroads.
While the two armies fought for land, the North was in control of the sea. Their main purpose was to block the South from trading so their wages will be lowered severely. The South tried to lose the North's ships with their blockade-runners. These blockade-runners can outrun the great warships of North, but the blockade-runners didn't make up for the whole loss trade.