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General U.S. Grant Learning Activity-- U.S. Civil War--ORDER #2-- The Theaters of the War--  The Western Theater

Links for: Civil War Theaters Home Page     Trans-Mississippi Theater    

&  Eastern Theater

Principal commanders of the Western Theater

The Western Theater of the American Civil War encompassed major military and naval operations in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee, as well as Louisiana east of the Mississippi River. (Operations on the coasts of the states, except for Mobile Bay, are considered part of the Lower Seaboard Theater.)

The Western Theater was the avenue of military operations by Union armies, chief among them the Army of the Tennessee, directly into the agricultural heartland of the South via the major rivers of the region (the Mississippi, the Tennessee, and the Cumberland). The Confederacy was forced to defend an enormous area with limited resources. Union operations began with securing Kentucky in Union hands in June 1861. Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's Army of the Tennessee had early successes in Kentucky and western Tennessee in 1861-1862, marched towards and captured Vicksburg in 1862-64, and combined with the armies of the Cumberland and of the Ohio, who had been working their way through central Tennessee in 1862-63, to capture Chattanooga in 1864. Chattanooga served as the launching point for Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, who was put in charge of the combined armies by Grant following his elevation by Abraham Lincoln to General-in-Chief in command over all operations in the Eastern Theater, to capture the Confederate rail hub of Atlanta and march to the Atlantic. Operations in theater concluded with the surrender of Southern forces to the Union army in North Carolina and Florida in May 1865 following General Robert E. Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House.

Principal Commanders of the Western Theater

Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, USA


Maj. Gen.
Henry W. Halleck, USA


Maj. Gen.
William T. Sherman, USA


Maj. Gen.
George H. Thomas, USA


Maj. Gen.
Don Carlos Buell,



Maj. Gen.
William Rosecrans, USA





Braxton Bragg,


Lt. Gen.
John Bell Hood, CSA



Lt. Gen.
Simon Bolivar Buckner, CSA


Maj. Gen.
Edmund Kirby Smith, CSA


Maj. Gen.
Patrick Cleburne, CSA



Battles of the Western Theater






For more details go to the Wikipedia Article at:


Visit the Blue-Gray Trail Site to Read about Each of the Civil War Theaters

Go to the Trans-Mississippi Site

Go to U.S. Grant-Missouri Campaign

Also, Visit the Armies and General Comparison Home Page

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