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Civil War Time Line
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1860
1861
1862
1863
1864
1865
 
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1860
Nov 6, 1860..  Lincoln elected president. Stephen A. Douglas was nominated by a wing of the Democratic party with Herschel V. Johnson for Vice-President, at Baltimore, June 18, 1860. After a spirited campaign  Lincoln was elected. Nov. 6. 1860, the popular vote standing 1,866,352 for Lincoln and Hamlin, 1,375,157 for Douglas and Johnson, 847,963 for Breckinridge and Lane, 589,581 for Bell and Everett, and the electoral vote was 180 for Lincoln,  12 for Douglas, 12 for Breckinridge and 39 for Bell.

Dec 26, 1860.. Major Anderson, with his small force in Fort Moultrie, on the west end of Sullivan's Island at the entrance of Charleston harber, learning the  determination of the South Carolina government to possess themselves of the U.S. government property, evacuated the fort  on Dec. 26, 1860, and raised the flag over Fort Sumter, constructed on a made island midway between Forts Moultrie and  Johnson, and there awaited reinforcements from the national government. The South Carolina insurgents took possession of all the other forts in the harbor and manned them, at the same time building a large floating ironclad battery.

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1861
Feb 8, 1861..  A constitution for the provisional government of the Confederate States  of America was adopted at Montgomery, Ala., by deputies from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana,  Mississippi and South Carolina.

On Feb. 9, 1861.. Jefferson Davis was elected President, and. Alexander H. Stephens  Vice-President, and all U.S. property within the limits of the Confederacy was declared confiscate.

Mar 4, 1861..  After a journey to Washington, attended with considerable personal danger, Mr. Lincoln was inaugurated March 4, 1861, and in his  inaugural address he declared the union of the states to be perpetual, secession to be illegal, and his purpose "to hold, occupy and possess the property and places belonging to the government and to collect the duties and imposts." He also  declared that the position of the Republican party regarding slavery was to prevent its extension, but not to interfere with the  institution in states where it already lawfully existed.

Mar 5, 1861.. the President sent in his nominations for his cabinet, all  of which were confirmed. Willlath H. Seward of New York was named as secretary of state; Sahoon P. Chase of Ohio  secretary of the treasury; Simon Cameron of Pennsylvania secretary of war; Gideon Welles of  Connecticut secretary of the  navy; Caleb B. Smith of Indiana secretary of the interior; Edward Bates of Missouri attorney-general; Montgomery Blair of Maryland postmaster-general. The following changes were made in the cabinet: Secretary Cameron resigned his portfolio to accept the position of U. S. minister to Russia, Jan. 11, 1862, and the portfolio of war was accepted by Edwin M. Stanton of Pennsylvania, Jan. 15, 1862.

April 12, 1861..  the Confederates opened fire on Fort Sumter and continued the bombardment until the fort was rendered untenable, and as the reinforcements and provisions sent by the Star of the West, which reached the harbor Jan. 9, 186l, failed to reach the fort, Major Anderson had no choice but to surrender, which he did April 13, 1861, and he evacuated the fort April 14. This action on the part of the South aroused  great consternation in the North and political  differences were largely forgotten in the desire to preserve the Union.

April 15, 1861.. the President called for 75,000 three-months volunteers and summoned congress to assemble in extra  session on July 4, 1861. On April 17, 1861, President Davis also called for 32,000 volunteers and offered "letters of  marque and reprisal to owners of private armed vessels" to depredate upon U.S. commerce; on the same day Virginia seceded, and on April 19 President Lincoln proclaimed a blockade of the Confederate ports, which then included South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, and to which were added North Carolina and Virginia April 19, and the same day the Massachusetts troops were attacked by a mob in the streets of Baltimore and two soldiers were  killed.

May 3, 1861..  President Lincoln called for volunteers for three years; ordered the regular army increased, and  directed the enlistment of additional seamen.

Jul 4, 1861..  The President's message delivered before both houses of congress July 4 1861, went far  toward reassuring the people, a large number of whom were not without uneasiness as to the ability of the President to meet  the crisis. He briefly stated the condition of affairs, announced his intention of standing by the statements made in his  inaugural address, and asked that congress would place at the control of the government at least 400,000 men and  $400,000,000. To his request congress promptly responded by voting 500,000 men and $500,000,000. The early  operations of the Confederate and Federal armies were confined to Virginia and Missouri.

Jun 3, 1861..  The first clash of arms between  the two forces was at Philippi, Va., in which the Confederates were defeated by the Federal army under Gen. G. B. McClellan.

Jun 10, 1861.. This was followed by the Confederate victory at Big Bethel, Va., June 10, 1861, and by the Federal  victories at Romney, Va., June 11, 1861, and at Boonville, Mo., June 17, 1861.

July, 1861..   Confederate victory at Carthage, Mo.,  July 5, 1861, and their defeat at Rich Mountain, Va., July 11, 1861. On July 20 the President summoned Gen. George B.  McClellan from western Virginia to Washington, and on his arrival in August, 1861, assigned him to the command of the  Army of the Potomac. On July 3, 1861, the President created the department of the west, placing it under command of  Gen. John C. Frémont.

Jul 21, 1861..  Jul 21 1861 The battle of Bull Run, Va., July 21, 1861, resulted in a Federal defeat

Aug, 1861..  On Aug. 31, 1861, Frémont issued a proclamation announcing that he would emancipate all slaves  of those in arms against the United States. The President considered this premature and asked Frémont to withdraw the  proclamation, which he declined to do, and the President annulled it in a public order, and on Nov. 21, 1861, Frémont was  relieved of his command just as he had overtaken the Confederate forces at Springfield, Mo.

Aug, 1861..  the battle of Dug Spring, Mo., Aug. 2, 1861, a Federal victory;  Wilson's Creek, Mo., Aug. 10, 1861, a Federal defeat; Hattaras Inlet, N.C., Aug. 28-29, a Federal victory, and Ball's  Bluff, Oct. 21, a Federal defeat.

Oct, 1861..  On the retirement of Gen. Winfield Scott, Oct. 31, 1861, General  McClellan succeeded  him as general-in-chief of all the armies of the United States

Nov, 1861..  The year closed with the capture of Port Royal, S.C., Nov. 7, 1861, and on the same date the indecisive battle of Belmont, Mo., between Generals Grant and Polk. On Nov. 8, 1861, Captain Wilkes, in command of the U.S. steamer San Jacinto took from the English mail steamer Trent the Confederate  commissioners James M. Mason and John Slidell, and the President, by the advice of Secretary Seward and other members  of his cabinet apologized to the British Government, explaining that “Captain Wilkes should have brought the steamer into  port as a prize, as we had always contended, instead of adjudicating the case himself at sea”, and therefore gave up the commissioners.

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1862
Jan, 1862..  The President issued his "General War Order No. 1," Jan. 27, 1862, in which he directed "that the 22d day  of February, 1869, be the day for a general movement of the land and naval forces of the United States against the insurgent  forces," and while it was not found practicable to carry his order through, it quieted the tumult in the north, where there was an almost universal demand that the Federal army should proceed at once to capture the Confederate capital, making the  battle cry "On to Richmond." The campaign of 1862 opened with the victory at Mill Springs, Ky., by the Federal forces under Gen. George H. Thomas, Jan. 19 and 20, and on Feb. 6, 1862, Fort Henry, Tenn., surrendered to Flag-Officer  Foote.

Feb, 1862..  General Burnside, who had been placed in command of the department of North Carolina Jan. 7, 1862, won a  Federal victory at Roanoke Island, N.C., Feb. 8, 1862, and Fort Donelson, Tenn., surrendered to General Grant Feb. 16,  1862.

Mar, 1862..   These Union victories were repeated in the battles of Pea Ridge, Ark., by Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, March 6-8, 1862, and the battle of New Madrid, Mo., by Gen. John Pope, March 14, 1862. On March 8, 1862, the Confederate ram Virginia (late Merrimac) wrought havoc with the Federal fleet at Hampton Roads, Va., and was herself defeated by the U.S. iron-clad Monitor, March 9, 1862. The Confederate victory at Newbern, N.C., March 14, 1862, was followed by the Federal victories near Winchester, Va., March 23, by Gen. James Shields;

Apr, 1862..  Federal victory at Shiloh, Tenn., by Grant, April 6-7, 1862; the capture of Island No. 10 with 6000 men by Flag-Officer Foote and General Pope, April 7, 1862, and the capture of Fort Pulaski, Ga., by Gen. Quincy A. Gillmore, April 10-12, 1862. On April 24, 1862, the Federal fleet under Flag-Officer Farragut passed Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and on April 25 New Orleans was captured.

May-Jun, 1862..  On May 5, 1862, General McClellan forced the Confederates to evacuate Williamsburg, Va.; Gen. John E. Wool captured Norfolk, Va., May 10; Hanover court-house, Va., was captured by Gen. Fitz-John Porter, May 27, and on the same day General Beaureguard evacuated Corinth, Miss. In a series of battles, May 27, May 31 and June 23 to July 1, which included Seven Pines and Fair Oaks, McClellan was forced to change his base to the James river, as Gen. T. J. Jackson had marched down the valley and threatened Washington, which prevented the President from carrying out his intention of sending McDowell with his 40,000 men to his support.

Jun, 1862..  On June 3, 1862, Gen. Robert E. Lee was appointed to the chief command of the Confederate army, and on June 26 he engaged McClellan at Mechanicsville, Va. The ensuing seven days' battles, ending July 1, resulted in McClellan being ordered to evacuate the Peninsula and join Pope's Army of Virginia.

Aug, 1862..  The Confederates were again victorious at Cedar Mountain, Aug. 9, 1862, in the battles between Manassas and Washington, D.C., under Pope, Aug. 26 to Sept. 1, 1862, and in the battle of Richmond, Ky., under Kirby Smith, Aug. 30, 1862.

Sep-Oct, 1862..  In September, 1862, Lee began his invasion of Maryland and crossed the Potomac near Point of Rocks. The President asked McClellan to resume the command of the Army of the Potomac. On Sept. 15, 1862. Harper's Ferry with 12,000 men was surrendered to Gen. Thomas J. Jackson, and after the battle of Antietam, Md., Sept. 16-17, 1862, Lee retreated toward Richmond. The Federal army under Rosecrans were victorious at Iuka, Miss., Sept. 19 and at Corinth, Miss., Oct. 3-4, 1862, and the Confederates under Bragg made an unsuccessful attack at Perryville, Ky., Oct. 8, 1862.

Nov, 1862..  On Nov. 5, 1862, Gen. G. B. McClellan was removed from command of the Army of the Potomac and General Burnside was appointed in his place.

Dec, 1862..  The disasters which befell the army did not end, however, with McClellan's removal, as unexpected defeats were suffered by General Burnside at Fredericksburg, Va., with a loss of 12,000 men, Dec. 11-15, 1862, and by Gen. Joseph Hooker at Chancellorville, Va., May 1-5, 1863, ("the South's finest hour") and no positive gains were made in the west.

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1863

1863.. Slavery issues:  Meantime the subject of the emancipation of the slaves had engaged the President. On March 6, 1862, he sent to congress a special message recommending the adoption of a joint resolution: "That the United States ought to co-operate with and aid pecuniarily any state adopting gradual abolishment of slavery." This proposition was not cordially received by the border states and made evident the fact that emancipation was not desired. The bill was passed, however, and on March 10 the President gathered together some of the border state members and tried to win them over to his views. After two days' consideration the project was given up. On April 2, 1862, congress passed an act emancipating the slaves in the District of Columbia; on May 9, 1862, General Hunter proclaimed martial law in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina, declaring the slaves free, which order the President at once revoked as unauthorized; on June 19, 1862, a bill passed congress prohibiting slavery wherever congress had authority, and on July 17, 1862, a measure "for the confiscation of the property of rebels, and giving freedom to the persons they hold in slavery," after being amended, was passed.

In July, 1862, amendments were made to a bill concerning the calling forth of the militia, permitting the enlistment of negroes in the Union army, and making thereafter free each person so enlisted. This bill aroused much criticism and was finally modified so as to relate only to slaves of rebel owners. On Sept. 22, 1862, the President issued a preliminary proclamation that unless the inhabitants of the revolted states returned to their allegiance by Jan. 1, 1863, the slaves would be declared free; but this proclamation had no effect. On Jan. 1, 1863, the President issued his emancipation proclamation in which he stated that all persons held as slaves in certain states and parts of states being then in rebellion should be free and that the government would "recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons."

Jun-Jul, 1863..  General Lee invaded Maryland and Pennsylvania, in June, 1863, and on July 1-3 the Battle of Gettysburg, Pa., was fought in which the Federal army under Gen. George G. Meade defeated the Confederates under Lee; on July 4, 1863, Vicksburg surrendered to General Grant, and on July 8, Port Hudson, La., surrendered to the Federals under General Banks (Note: Henry Gilbert Baldwin was wounded at Port Hudson, Louisiana, in this conflict).

May-Jul, 1863 – Civil Unrest in the North..  Recruits now being needed in numbers far above the enlistments, on May 3, 1863, congress passed a bill making every able-bodied citizen of military age liable for service, a commutation of $300 for exemption being permitted, and on the failure of the citizens to present themselves for enrolment, the President ordered a draft. This led on July 13 to the draft riots in New York city, and soon after the bounty system was substituted.

Jul, 1863..  On July 16 Jackson, Miss., was destroyed by General Sherman,

Sep, 1863..  In September Chattanooga, Tenn., was occupied by the Confederates under Gen. George B. Crittendon. The battle of Chickamauga, Ga., Sept. 19-20, 1863, resulted in a victory for the Confederate General Bragg, and a Federal loss of 16,000 men.

Nov-Dec, 1863..  The Confederates under Bragg were defeated at the battles of Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain, Nov. 23-25, and the siege of Knoxville was raised by Longstreet, Dec. 4, 1863. In December, 1863

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1864

1864-1865, The Slavery Issue..  The 13th amendment, providing that slavery should not exist within the United States, was introduced into the house, and in January, 1864, in the senate. On June 15, 1864, the vote was taken but the result being a deficiency of 27 votes the question was laid over till the next session. On Jan. 28, 1865, the vote was retaken and resulted in 119 ayes and 56 nays, and the 13th amendment was adopted. A motion to adjourn in honor of the event was made and carried, and a great popular demonstration followed.

Feb, 1864..  On Feb. 1, 1864, the President and Secretary Seward met on the River Queen a commission sent by President Davis to inquire into the possible adjustment of affairs between the North and South, but the conference broke up without finding any basis for an agreement. The campaign of 1864 opened with General Sherman's raid from Vicksburg, Feb. 14, 1864.

Apr, 1864..  On April 18, Fort Pillow was captured by the Confederates and the Negro troops were massacred.

May, 1864..  On May 5-7, the battles of the Wilderness occurred between Grant and Lee, and Lee was driven back. On May 4 Sherman began his march to Atlanta and the sea with 98,000 men, and on May 10-12 Grant attacked Lee at Spotsylvania court house and defeated him.

Jun-Jul, 1864..  At the battle of Cold Harbor, June 1-3, 1864, and at Petersburg, Va., June 16-18, 1864, General Grant was repulsed by Lee, but he began a siege of Petersburg, June 18. Sherman meanwhile won the battle of Resaca, Ga., May 13-15, 1864, and the battle of Dallas, Ga., May 25-28, but at Kenesaw Mountain he was repulsed June 27, 1864. On July 22-28 the battles of Atlanta took place, in which Sherman was victorious. On July 30 occurred the explosion of the Petersburg crater and the subsequent repulse of the Federal charge.

1864.. Naval operations.. The principal naval operations of 1864 were the sinking of the C.S. steamer Alabama by the U.S. steamer Keatsarge, off Cherbourg, France, and the battle of Mobile Bay, in which the Federal fleet under Farragut was victorious.

Nov, 1864..  On June 8, 1864, Lincoln was unanimously renominated for President, with Andrew Johnson as Vice-President, and he was elected Nov. 8, 1864, receiving 2,216,067 popular votes against 1,808,725 for McClellan, the Democratic nominee. The electoral vote was 212 for Lincoln and 21 for McClellan.

Sep 1864 – Mar, 1865..  Sherman’s March: Sherman captured Atlanta, Ga., Sept. 2, 1864, Savannah, Ga., Dec. 22, 1864, Columbia, S.C., Feb. 17, 1865, and Bentonville, N.C., March 19, 1865.

Sep, 1864..  General Sheridan won the battle of Winchester, Va., Sept. 19, and the battle of Fisher's Hill, Va., Sept. 22, 1864.

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1865

Mar, 1865..  President Lincoln was inaugurated for a second term March 4, 1865, amid popular rejoicing.

Apr 2-9, 1865..  On April 2 Grant carried the outer lines of the Confederate works at Petersburg, and on April 3 Petersburg and Richmond were evacuated by General Lee, who surrendered his army to General Grant at Appomattox court house, Va., April 9, 1865. The President visited General Grant at his headquarters at City Point and entered Richmond shortly after the evacuation.

Apr 11-14, 1865..  On April 11, 1865,: Washington was illuminated in honor of the surrender of Lee, and on the evening of April 14, 1865, the President, Mrs. Lincoln, Miss Clara Harris and Major Ruthbone occupied a box at Ford's Theatre, Washington to witness the play "Our American Cousin." At 10:30 in the evening an obscure actor, entered the President's box from the rear of the stage and holding a pistol to the President's head, fired. The President fell forward unconscious, and in the confusion which followed the assassin leaped upon the stage but broke his leg in the leap, his spur being entangled in the American flag that draped the box. The President was carried to a house opposite the theatre where, on the morning of April 15, 1865, he died. On April 19, 1865, the funeral took place at the White House. The body was laid in state at the White House, and was there viewed by a great number of people. It was guarded by a company of high officers of the army and navy.

April 15-May 4, 1865..  The assassin of the President was found in a barn by a squadron of troops April 27, 1865, and was shot by a soldier before the officer could demand his surrender. The remains of the President lay in state in Baltimore, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, New York, Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland and Chicago; and at each place immense funeral processions marched through the streets and the whole country was in mourning. The funeral car reached Springfield, Ill., having travelled a distance of nearly 2000 miles, and the body was buried in Oak Ridge cemetery, May 4, 1865. A monument of white marble marks the spot.

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