Enslaved as a youth in Maryland, Fredrick Douglas escaped at age 12, where he became a free African-American. Later in life, during the abolition movement, Douglas printed The North Star. During the civil war, he helped persuade Lincoln to allow blacks in the civil war.
Battle of Antietam
"Stonewall" Jackson was a very important general to the confederacy. He was in charge of the tactical part of each battle. While he was till under the command of Lee, he was allowed to make his own decisions to help win the battles.
All slaves are freed
After Lincoln was elected president, South Carolina took the initiative to leave the union. Lincoln was a republican who could easily abolish slavery. South Carolina didn't like that. There was a fort that union troops were in. The south started to fire on the fort, showing the union that they were ready for this fight to save slavery.
Siege of Vicksburg
The battle of Antietam was the bloodiest battle up to that date in history. McClellan had decided to attack on Lee's left and right side of the army. The attack failed. Next was up the gut. That didn't work either. Lee ended up retreating because of the fact that the troops he lost were over 10,000.
The Emancipation Proclamation was a helpful push to skew the view of the war. However, this didn't happen until 1863, one year until the war was over. Lincoln did this strategically. He didn't want to anger the border states and have them turn. This also helped the union by saying that slaves will be free in rebel held territories.
The Siege of Vicksburg was a very important win for the north. This was the final stronghold of the south on the Mississippi river. If the union succeeded, the anaconda plan setup would be finally complete. The south would start to be squeezed. That is the exact thing the union did. The siege the and finally get the whit flag the day after Gettysburg.