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1st Bull Run - first pitched battle of the war. Demonstrated to both sides that they weren't ready for operations.

Antietam - first Union victory for many months. Gave Lincoln the credibility to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

Gettysburg - Lee's first defeat since Antietam. Big psychlogical blow to the Confederates, and the end of any hopes of invading the North, either to occupy territory or to forage for provisions.

Vicksburg - arguably the most important Union victory of the war. It liberated the Mississippi, isolating all enemy troops to the West of the river, and ending the war in the West, enabling Grant to go to the aid of the Army of the Cumberland.

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Q: Why were the battles of bull run Shiloh Antietam Gettysburg and Vicksburg important?
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