1861 in History
January 1 Porfirio Diaz conquers Mexico City
January 2 Colonel Charles Stone is put in charge of organizing DC militia
January 2 South Carolina seizes inactive Ft. Johnson in Charleston Harbor
January 3 Delaware legislature rejects proposal to join Confederacy
January 3 U.S. Ft. Pulaski and Ft. Jackson, Savannah, seized by Georgia
January 4 President Buchanan appoints a fast on account of threatened succession
January 4 U.S. Ft. Morgan, Mobile, seized by Alabama
January 5 250 Federal troops are sent from New York to Ft. Sumter
January 5 Alabama troops seize Forts Morgan and Gaines at Mobile Bay
January 6 Florida troops seize Federal arsenal at Apalachicola
January 6 New York City mayor proposes New York become a free city, trading with N and S
January 7 Florida troops takeover Ft. Marion at St. Augustine
January 9 1st hostile act of Civil War; Star of West fired on, Sumter, SC
January 9 Mississippi becomes 2nd state to secede
January 10 Florida becomes 3rd state to secede from US
January 10 Ft. Jackson and Ft. Philip are taken over by LA state troops
January 10 U.S. forts and property seized by Mississippi
January 11 Alabama becomes 4th state to secede
January 11 Mexico City captured by Juarez (Lib) in War of Reform
January 15 Steam elevator patented by Elisha Otis
January 17 Flush toilet patented by Mr. Thomas Crapper (Honest!)
January 19 Georgia becomes 5th state to secede
January 19 MS troops take Ft. Massachusetts an Ship Island
January 21 Jefferson Davis of Mississippi and 4 other southern senators resign
January 24 Arsenal at Augusta, Georgia seized by Confederacy
January 26 Louisiana becomes 6th state to secede
January 29 Kansas becomes 34th state
January 31 Friedrich Hebbel's "Siegfrieds Tod," premieres in Weimar
January 31 State of Louisiana takes over U.S. Mint at New Orleans
February 1 Dike breaks in Gelderland Netherlands
February 1 Texas becomes 7th state to secede
February 4 Confederate constitutional convention meets for 1st time in Montgomery, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina elect Jefferson Davis President of Confederacy
February 5 1st moving picture peep show machine is patented by Samuel Goodale
February 5 Kinematoscope patented by Coleman Sellers, Philadelphia
February 5 Louisiana delegation except Mr. Bouligny withdraws from Congress
February 6 1st meeting of Provisional Congress of Confederate States of America
February 6 English Admiral Robert Ritzroy issues 1st storm warnings for ships
February 8 Confederate States of America organizes in Montgomery, Alabama
February 9 Confederate Provisional Congress declares all laws under the U.S. Constitution were consistent with constitution of Confederate states
February 9 Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens elected president and Vice President of Confederate States of America
February 9 Tennessee votes against secession
February 11 President-elect Lincoln takes train from Spingfield Illinois to Washington D.C.
February 11 U.S. House unanimously passes resolution guaranteeing noninterference with slavery in any state
February 12 State troops seize U.S. munitions in Napoleon, Arkansas
February 13 1st military action to result in Congressional Medal of Honor
February 13 Abraham Lincoln declared president
February 13 Col Bernard Irwin attacks and defeats hostile Chiricahua Indians
February 15 Ft. Point completed and garrisoned (but has never fired cannon in anger)
February 18 Confederate President Jefferson Davis inaugurated at Montgomery Alabama
February 18 King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia becomes 1st king of Italy
February 19 Russian Tsar Alexander II abolishes serfdom
February 20 Department of Navy of Confederacy forms
February 20 Steeple of Chichester Cathedral blown down during a storm
February 21 Navaho indians elect Herrero Grande as chief
February 22 On a bet Edward Weston leaves Boston to walk to Lincoln's inauguration
February 23 By popular referendum, Texas becomes 7th state to secede from U.S.
February 23 Dutch Premier Floris A van Hall resigns
February 23 President-elect Lincoln arrives secretly in Washington D.C. to take office
February 27 Russians shoot at Poles protesting Russian rule of Poland
February 27 U.S. Congress authorizes 1st stamped newspaper wrappers for mailing
February 27 Warsaw Massacre: Russians fire on crowd demonstrating against Russia
February 28 Territories of Nevada and Colorado created
March 2 Government Printing Office purchases 1st printing plant, Washington
March 2 U.S. creates Dakota and Nevada Territories out of the Nebraska and Utah territories
March 3 Russian Tsar Alexander II abolishes serfdom
March 4 Confederate States adopt "Stars and Bars" flag
March 4 Lincoln's inaugurated as 16th president
March 4 President Lincoln opens Government Printing Office
March 6 Provisionary Confederate Congress establishes Confederate Army
March 8 St. Augustine Florida surrenders to Union armies
March 9 Confederate currency authorized-$50, $100, $500, $1,000
March 11 Confederate convention in Montgomery, adopts constitution
March 13 Jefferson Davis signs bill authorizing use of slaves as soldiers
March 16 Arizona Territory votes to leave the Union
March 16 Confederate government appoints commissioners to Britain
March 17 Italy declares independence; Kingdom of Italy proclaimed
March 22 1st U.S. nursing school chartered
March 23 London's 1st tramcars, designed by Mr. Train of New York, begins operating
March 27 Black demonstrators in Charleston staged ride-ins on street cars
March 31 Confederacy takes over mint at New Orleans
April 5 Federals abandon Ft. Quitman, Texas
April 8 U.S. Mint at Dahlonega, Georgia seized by Confederacy
April 12 Fort Sumter, South Carolina is shelled by Confederacy, starting Civil War
April 13 After 34 hours of bombardment, Ft. Sumter surrenders to Confederates
April 14 Formal Union surrender of Ft. Sumter
April 14 Robert E Lee resigns from Union army
April 15 Federal army (75,000 volunteers) mobilized by President Lincoln
April 16 U.S. president Lincoln outlaws business with confederate states
April 17 Indianola Texas - "Star of West" taken by Confederacy
April 17 Virginia is 8th state to secede
April 18 Battle of Harpers Ferry, Virginia
April 18 Col Robert E. Lee turns down offer to command Union armies
April 19 Baltimore riots-4 soldiers, 9 civilians killed
April 19 Lincoln orders blockade of Confederate ports (Civil War)
April 20 Battle of Norfolk, Virginia
April 20 Colonel Robert E. Lee resigns from Union army
April 22 Robert E. Lee named commander of Virginia Confederate forces
April 23 Arkansas troops seize Ft. Smith
April 23 Battle of San Antonio, Texas
April 25 7th New York arrives to reinforce Washington, D.C.
April 25 Battle of Lavaca, Texas
April 27 President Abe Lincoln suspends writ of habeas corpus
April 27 West Virginia secedes from Virginia after Virginia secedes from U.S.
April 29 Maryland's House of Delegates votes against seceding from Union
April 30 President Lincoln ordered Federal Troops to evacuate Indian Territory
May 1 Lee orders Confederate troops under T J Jackson to Harper's Ferry
May 3 General Winfield Scott presents his Anaconda Plan
May 3 Lincoln asks for 42,000 Army Volunteers and another 18,000 seamen
May 4 At Gretna LA, one of 1st guns of Rebel Navy is cast
May 6 Arkansas and Tennessee becomes 9th and 10th state to secede from US
May 6 Jefferson Davis approves a bill declaring War between U.S. and Confederacy
May 7 Riot occurs between prosecessionist and Union supporters in Knoxville TN
May 8 Richmond, Virginia, is named the capital of the Confederacy
May 10 Union troops march on state militia in St. Louis, Missouri
May 13 Queen Victoria announces England's position of neutrality
May 16 Confederate government offers war volunteers $10 premium
May 16 Kentucky proclaims its neutrality
May 18 Battle of Sewall's Point VA-1st Federal offense against South
May 18 Friedrich Hebbels "Kriemhildes Rache," premieres in Weimar
May 20 Cornerstone of University of Washington laid in Seattle
May 20 Kentucky proclaims its neutrality in Civil War
May 20 U.S. marshals appropriate previous year's telegraph dispatches, to reveal prosecessionist evidence
May 21 Richmond, Virginia is designated Confederate Capital
May 23 3 fleeing slaves enter Fort Monroe Virginia
May 23 Virginia citizens vote 3 to 1 in favor of secession
May 24 Alexandria, Virginia occupied by Federal troops
May 24 Major General Benjamin Butler declares slaves "contraband of war"
May 25 John Merryman is arrested under suspension of writ of habeas corpus it later sparks a supreme court decision protecting writ
May 26 Postmaster General Blair announces end of postal connection with South
May 26 Union blockades New Orleans, Louisiana and Mobile Alabama
May 29 Dorothea Dix offers help in setting up hospitals for Union Army
May 31 General Beauregard is given command of Confederate Alexandria Line
May 31 Mint at New Orleans closes
June 1 1st skirmish in Civil War, Fairfax Court House, Virginia
June 1 British territorial waters and ports off-limits during Civil War
June 1 Skirmish at Arlington Mills, Virginia
June 1 U.S. and Confederacy simultaneously stop mail interchange
June 3 1st Civil War land battle-Union defeats Confederacy at Philippi, WV
June 5 Federal marshals seize arms and gunpower at Du Pont works DE
June 6 Lincoln's cabinet declares Union government will pay for expenses once states have mobilized volunteers
June 8 People of Tennessee vote to succeed from Union
June 8 U.S. Sanitary Commission is given executive approval
June 10 Battle of Big Bethel Virginia (Bethel Church, Great Bethal)-Union retreats
June 12 Missouri Governor Claiborne Jackson calls for 50,000 volunteers to stop Federates from taking over his state
June 14 Harpers Ferry evacuated by rebels in face of McClellan's advance
June 15 Johnston evacuates Harpers Ferry
June 16 Battle of Vienna, Virginia and Secessionville, South Carolina, James Island
June 17 Battle of Boonville, MI-Brigadier General Lyon defeats Confederate forces
June 19 Anaheim Post Office established
June 19 Francis Pierpont is elected provisional governor of West Virginia
June 24 Battle of Mathias Point, Virginia - U.S. attacks Confederate batteries
June 24 Tennessee becomes 11th (& last) state to secede from US
June 25 Western Virginia campaign
June 28 Leipzig Observatory discovers short-period (6.2 yrs) Comet d'Arrest
June 30 CSS Sumter slips past USS Brooklyn blockade
July 1 1st public schoolhouse opens at Washington and Mason St, SF
July 1 War Department decrees the KA and Tennessee are to be canvassed for volunteers
July 2 Battle of Hoke's Run, West Virginia - small Union victory
July 3 Colonal Jackson receives his commission as brigadier general
July 3 Martinsburg, Virginia - Confederate forces pull out before U.S. advance
July 3 Pony Express arrives in San Francisco with overland letters from New York
July 4 In a special session of 27th Congress Lincoln requests 400,000 troops
July 4 Skirmish at Harper's Ferry, West Virginia
July 5 Battle of Carthage, Missouri - U.S. General Sigel attacks pro-secessionist
July 7 Battle of Laurel Hill, Virginia
July 8 CS General Sibley is given command of rebel troops in New Mexico territory
July 10 Lincoln writes to Kentucky's militia and says Union troops will not enter that state
July 11 Battle of Laurel Mountain Virginia - General Morris forces retreat of rebels
July 11 Battle of Rich Mountain, Virginia - Rosecrans forces rebels to surrender
July 13 Battle of Corrick's Ford, Virginia (Carrick's Ford) - Union army takes total control of western Virginia CS20 US53
July 14 General McDowell advances toward Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia with 40,000 troops
July 14 Naval Engagement at Wilmington North Carolina - USS Daylight establishes blockade
July 16 Battle of Bull Run, the 1st major battle of the Civil War, is fought
July 17 Congress authorizes paper money
July 17 Manassas, Virginia General Beauregard requests reinforcements for his 22,000 men, General Johnston is ordered to Manassas
July 18 Battle of Blackburn's Ford, Virginia US57 CS68 - Manassas -
July 20 Confederate state's congress began holding sessions in Richmond, Virginia
July 21 1st major battle of Civil War ends (Bull Run), Va-South wins
July 24 Skirmish at Taylor Mountain, (W)Virginia - CS General Wise retreats
July 25 Skirmish at Fort Fillmore, New Mexico Terr - Rebels attack Union troops
July 25 Washington D.C. - Crittenden resolution is passed stating that the war is to be fought to preserve union and uphold the Constitution, not to alter slavery
July 27 Battle of Mathias Point, Virginia - Rebel forces repel a Federal landing
July 27 Battle of St. Augustine Springs, New Mexico Terr
July 27 Confederate troops occupy Fort Fillmore, New Mexico
July 27 Union General George McClellan takes command from McDowell of Potamic Army
July 31 9,300 mm rainfall in July in Cherrapunji, Assam: world record
August 1 Brazil recognizes Confederacy
August 3 Federal fleet bombs Galveston, Texas
August 5 Enlistment increases from 3 months to 2 years
August 5 Naval Engagement at Fernandina, FL-USS Vincennes ends rebel blockade
August 5 U.S. Army abolishes flogging
August 5 U.S. levies its 1st Income Tax (3% of incomes over $800)
August 6 Lexington Kentucky - Union military camp forms in neutral state
August 10 Battle of Wilson's Creek MO (Springfield, Oak Hills)-General Lyon killed
August 12 Skirmish at Texas-rebels are attacked by Apache Indians
August 14 79th New York troops mutinies
August 16 President Lincoln prohibits Union states from trading with Confederacy
August 16 Skirmishes at Fredericktown/Kirkville, Missouri
August 27 Battle of Cape Hatteras SC-Union troops take Ft. Clark
August 28 Battle of Fort Hatteras NC
September 1 Grant assumes command of Federal forces at Cape Girardeau MI
September 1 Skirmish at Boone Court House WV and Blue Creek WV
September 3 Confederate forces enter Kentucky, thus ending its neutrality
September 6 General Grant occupies Paducah Kentucky
September 9 Sally Tompkins is only Confederate Army female commissioned officer
September 10 Battle at Cheat Mountain, Elkwater West Virginia
September 10 Battle of Carnifex Ferry VA, 170 casualities
September 13 1st naval battle of Civil War, Union frigate "Colorado" sinks privateer "Judah" off Pensacola, Fla
September 16 British Post Office Savings Banks opens
September 17 1st day school for freedmen forms at Fortress Monroe Virginia
September 17 Hampton Institute forms
September 20 Battle of Lexington, MI-captured by Union
September 25 Secretary of U.S. Navy authorizes enlistment of slaves
September 26 2nd British Golf Open: Tom Morris Sr shoots a 163 at Prestwick Club
October 2 Former Vice President John C. Breckinridge flees Kentucky
October 6 Naval Engagement at Charleston, South Carolina USS Flag vs BR Alert
October 6 Revolt of Russian student shuts down university of Petersburg
October 11 Battle of Dumfries, Virginia (Quantico Creek)
October 12 Confederate ironclad Manassas attack Union's Richmond on Mississippi
October 16 Confederacy starts selling postage stamps
October 21 Battle of Balls Bluff, Virginia (Leesburg, Harrison's Island)
October 22 1st telegraph line linking West and East coasts completed
October 24 1st transcontinental telegram sent ending Pony Express
October 24 West Virginia seceded from Virginia
October 25 Battle of Wilson's Creek, MI (Springfield)
October 26 Pony Express ends
November 1 General George B. McClellan made general in chief of Union armies
November 4 University of Washington founded in Seattle
November 6 Jefferson Davis elected to 6 year term as Confederate president
November 7 Battle of Belmont, MO
November 7 Battle of Port Royal Bay, South Carolina (Ft. Walker, Ft. Beauregard)
November 8 Battle of Mount Ivy, Kentucky
November 8 U.S. removes Confederate officials from British steamer Trent
November 9 1st documented Canadian football game (at University of Toronto)
November 19 Julia Ward Howe committed "Battle Hymn of the Republic" to paper
November 22 Battle of Ft. McRee, FL
November 24 Luik-Vise-Maastricht railway opens
November 26 West Virginia created as a result of dispute over slavery with Virg
November 28 Confederate congress officially admits Missouri to Confederate Army
November 30 Harper's Weekly publishes EE Beers' "All quiet along the Potomac"
December 5 Gatling gun patented
December 9 Battle of Bird Creek, Indian Terr (High Shoal, Chusto-Talasah)
December 13 Battle of Alleghany Summit, WV
December 19 Battle of Black Water
December 20 Battle of Dranesville, VA
December 30 US, banks stops payments in gold
December 31 22,990 mm of rain falls in Cherrapunji Assam in 1861, world record