Who Won the Civil War?

Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 12267

You may already know the answer to the question, "Who won the Civil War?" However, it may not have been easy to predict the winning side at the time. Chart and display the course of the war yourself!


United States

learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5), Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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In the Civil War, did the side that won the most battles win the war? Wouldn't that make sense?

In the previous Related Lesson in our Battles of the Civil War series, found in the right-hand sidebar, you learned what states had the most Civil War battles and in what years those battles were fought.

What is a difference between a battle and war? Tell your teacher or parent.

Battle of Franklin

Image available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID pga.01852 via Wikimedia Commons

You will remember from the previous lesson, a war is made up of many different battles. Battles typically last a day to a few weeks and are fought in a specific location. A war is won when one side can no longer continue to fight battles.

You are aware that the Union Army won the Civil War, but who won the most battles? In this lesson, you will find out! Create the following chart on a piece of paper:

Year Confederate Victories Union Victories


  1. To complete the chart, you will put a tally mark in the “Confederate Victories” column for each battle the Confederate Army won.
  2. You will also put a tally mark in the “Union Victories” column for each battle the Union Army won.
  3. Make sure to record your tallies next to the appropriate year. For example, the Confederate Army won the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861, so you would record the tally mark for that battle next to “1861.”
  4. Use List of Civil War Battles (AmericanCivilWarStory.com) to help you complete the chart.

When you are finished creating your chart, show your chart to your teacher or parent and discuss your immediate observations.

  • Was one side ahead for the entire war?
  • Were there more battles fought in a specific year? 

When you are finished discussing your observations, move on to the Got It? section to graph your findings. Make sure to hold on to your chart because you will refer to it when you make your graph.

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