Civil War Military Events From 1861 to 1865


Military actions were just one part of the complicated - and long-running - American Civil War of the 1860s.

The American Civil War marked many 'firsts' in warfare - it was the first to feature ironclad-versus-ironclad duels (marking the end of the age of the wooden warship), the first to provide military intelligence through the use of observation balloons, the first to feature viable submarine and torpedo designs, etc... This made for an utterly bloody conflict that would span years and pit 'brother-against-brother' as the Northern states battles the Southern Confederacy. The Confederacy failed to net official support from Britain and France but managed to align themselves with several indian tribes in their territories to help strengthen the ranks.

Similar guns and cannons were used by both sides and the Union blockade of Southern ports served well in applying a stranglehold to shipping and reinforcing supply lines. Railways proved critical on land and manufacturing supported the war effort as much as manpower did. In the end, the South would capitulate under the might of the Union military as resources and manpower simply proved too hard to come by in the limited South. The war did much to advance both land-based and sea-based warfare in the decades to come.

There are a total of (956) Civil War Military Events From 1861 to 1865 events in the CivilWarTimeline.net database. Entries are listed below by date-of-occurrence ascending (first-to-last). Other leading and trailing events are also included for perspective.


Day-by-Day Timeline of Events


December 26, 1860

U.S. Major Robert Anderson evacuates Fort Moultrie and his garrison relocates to Fort Sumter.

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December 27, 1860

Confederate troops take over Fort Moultrie as well as Fort Johnson and Fort Pinkney in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.

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January 1, 1861

Based in San Francisco, the Department of the Pacific is created for the U.S. Army.

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January 1, 1862

Confederate forces begin bombardment of Fort McRea in Pensacola Harbor.

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January 2, 1861

North Carolinian forces take the Fayetteville arsenal as well as Fort Macon and the forts of Wilmington.

  Flag signifying Confederate involvement on this date
January 3, 1861

Georgian forces claim Fort Pulaski critical to the defense of Savannah, Georgia.

  Flag signifying Confederate involvement on this date
January 8, 1861

A U.S. Army garrison stationed at Fort Barrancas (Pensacola, Florida) turns back an attempted assault to take the fort.

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January 9, 1861

The steamer "Star of the West", laden with supplies and en route to Fort Sumter in Charleston (South Carolina), is fired upon by land-based cannons.

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January 12, 1861

Floridian state forces claim the U.S. Navy Yard at Pensacola.

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January 12, 1861

Star of the West, a steamer having delivered supplies to Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, returns to New York with her battle-damaged hull resulting from a Confederate attack.

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February 8, 1861

State troops of Arkansas take the official state arsenal.

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February 21, 1861

Stephen Mallory is appointed Secretary of the Navy for the Confederate States of America.

  Flag signifying Confederate involvement on this date


March 6, 1861

The Provisional Army of the Confederate States is established by the Confederate government.

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March 16, 1861

The Confederate States Marine Corps is founded by the Confederate Congress.

  Flag signifying Confederate involvement on this date
March 27, 1861

Virginia establishes the State Rangers as a state-based militia force.

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April 6, 1861

President Lincoln notifies the government of South Carolina that general supplies will be sent to Fort Sumter at Charleston Harbor - he gives his assurances that any strengthening of the position will only be made if the Fort is in danger of attack.

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April 11, 1861

Event person portrait
General P.G.T. Beauregard, a Confederate officer, calls for Fort Sumter to surrender. Commanding Union Major Robert Anderson refuses his demand.

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April 12, 1861

With the refusal by Union forces at Fort Sumter to surrender their post, Confederate forces begin their ranged bombardment of the island.

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April 12, 1861

At 4:30AM, a gun from Fort Johnson fires a star shell that detonates above Fort Sumter. This is the signal for the surrounding gun batteries to begin shelling the Union-held fort.

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April 12, 1861

At 7:00AM, the guns of Fort Sumter return fire against Confederate positions in Charleston Harbor.

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AprilI 13, 1861

Event person portrait
Fort Sumpter is surrendered by Union Major Anderson to Confederate forces.

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April 13, 1861

Event person portrait
USS Sabine blockades the Confederate port at Pensacola, Florida.

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April 13, 1861

At 2:30AM, Major Robert Anderson surrenders Fort Sumter to the Confederacy.

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April 14, 1861

Having surrendered, Union forces abandon Fort Sumter.

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April 15, 1861

President Lincoln pushes for 75,000 soldiers who will each serve three-month tenures.

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April 16, 1861

Event person portrait
Union forces leave and burn the U.S. arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia resulting in the loss of thousands of rifles.

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April 17, 1861

Confederate President Jefferson Davis calls on any and all privately-own vessels allied to the southern cause to openly attack Union merchants.

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April 18, 1861

Event person portrait
Robert E. Lee declines an offer by President Lincoln to command the United States Army.

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April 18, 1861

State forces of Virginia take over what remains of the Harpers Ferry arsenal.

  Flag signifying Confederate involvement on this date
April 18, 1861

The 6th Massachusetts Regiment arrives in New York City.

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April 19, 1861

President Lincoln calls on all southern ports to be blockaded, the territories in question being the lower East Coast all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

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April 19, 1861

During unrest in Washington, D.C., four soldiers and twelve civilians are killed.

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April 19, 1861

The New York 7th Regiment begins their march to Washington, D.C. to help bolster defenses there.

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April 20, 1861

To avoid further clashes with troops, Baltimore formally asks President Lincoln to refrain from having military forces pass through the city.

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April 20, 1861

Robert E. Lee, then a Colonel, resigns his position within the United States Army.

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April 20, 1861

Union forces destroy a section of the Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia before abandoning it.

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April 21, 1861

Event person portrait
Thomas Jackson arrives in Richmond, Virginia with cadets from the Virginia Military Institute to ready them for war.

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April 21, 1861

Event person portrait
General Benjamin Butler, a Union officer, arrives at Annapolis, Maryland with his forces. However Governor Thomas Hicks takes offense to northern elements present in the state.

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April 22, 1861

Lieutenant Joseph Wheeler, an officer in the United States Army, resigns his position to join the ranks of the south.

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April 23, 1861

Event person portrait
Robert E. Lee is given command of the forces of the state of Virginia (as a Major General).

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April 24, 1861

Virginia formally aligns its state military capabilities with that of the Confederate Army.

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April 24, 1861

Event person portrait
USS Niagra, having arrived from Japan, is dispatched to the Charleston Harbor (South Carolina) area near Fort Sumter.

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April 26, 1861

Fort Smith in Arkansas falls to Confederate elements.

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April 27, 1861

Colonel Thomas Jackson takes command at Harpers Ferry (Virginia).

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April 27, 1861

Colonel Thomas Jackson arranges for more infantry forces from the Shenandoah Valley area (Virginia).

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May 3, 1861

President Lincoln asks Congress for additional troops for three-year terms - hoping to bolster the ranks of the Army and Navy services. Some 42,000 volunteer forces are required.

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May 7, 1861

The state of Tennessee formally aligns its military capabilities with that of the Confederacy.

  Flag signifying Confederate involvement on this date
May 9, 1861

Military assets of Texas are officially handed over to the Texas Rangers by U.S. General David Twiggs.

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May 10, 1861

Union elements take militia forces at Camp Jackson outside of St. Louis, Missouri. The action causes riots to break out.

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May 11, 1861

Event person portrait
U.S. Army General George McClellan is set in charge of the Department of the Ohio covering the states of Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania (western) and Virginia (western).

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May 13, 1861

Union forces, under the command of Benjamin Butler, take Baltimore, Maryland.

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May 14, 1861

Event person portrait
William Tecumseh Sherman is named a Colonel in the U.S. Army's 13th Infantry Regiment.

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May 14, 1861

Both Fort McHenry and Baltimore, Maryland are occupied by troops under the direction of General Benjamin Butler.

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May 16, 1861

In an effort to strengthen its forces, the government of the Confederacy offers $10 enlistment bonuses.

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May 24, 1861

Union forces cross the Ohio River into Virginia. Part of their mission is to secure forces loyal to the north found in the eastern part of the state.

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June 1, 1861

The Confederate cause records its first casualty of war - Captain John Q. Marr - who died at the Fairfax Court House in Virginia.

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June 1, 1861

In a proclamation to Virginians, General Beauregard gives a speech hoping to inspire the masses against actions of the north. He skillfully wields words like "tyrant", "murdering" and "outrage".

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June 2, 1861

With General Beauregard now in command, the "Potomac Department" becomes the "Army of the Potomac".

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June 2, 1861

CSS Savannah manages to beat the Union blockade of Charleston Harbor and escape to open water.

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June 3, 1861

En route from Cuba and laden with a cargo hold of sugar, USS Joseph is intercepted and captured by CSS Savannah.

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June 3, 1861

USS Perry manages to capture CSS Savannah and her crew intact. The prize is relocated to New York waters.

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June 3, 1861

In the war's first contact battle between the two sides, Union forces claim the victory over Confederate elements at Philippi in West Virginia. The retreat of the Confederates, under General Robert Garnett, is so fast the engagement is known as the "Philippi Races".

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June 4, 1861

Suffering defeat in the first true land battle of the war, Confederate forces clear out of Philippi, West Virginia.

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June 5, 1861

In trying to muster greater hatred of the north, General Beauregard claims to Virginians that the north stands as a tyrant and has invaded their territory.

  Flag signifying Confederate involvement on this date
June 8, 1861

The Kentucky government keeps its military forces neutral in the ongoing - and growing - conflict between the north and south.

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June 9, 1861

Mary Ann Bickerdyke begins her tenure as a wartime nurse for the north. Her contributions would go on to include establishment of 300 field hospitals and post-war support of veterans.

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June 10, 1861

In the war's first complete pitched battle, the Confederates claim the victory over the Union at Big Bethel, Virginia.

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June 10, 1861

Captain Judson Kilpatrick becomes the first Union officer wounded in the conflict, this after Union forces are repulsed at Big Bethel, Virginia.

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June 13, 1861

In order to improve conditions for injured and recovering troops, the United States Sanitary Commission is established in the north.

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June 15, 1861

Event person portrait
Jefferson City, Missouri - the state's capital - is claimed by Union forces under the command of Captain Nathaniel Lyon.

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June 17, 1861

Confederate forces claim the victory in a skirmish against Union forces at Vienna, Virginia.

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June 17, 1861

Captain Lyon leads his victorious Union forces against opposing militia at Boonville, Missouri in what becomes the Battle of Boonville. Losses are light for both sides and helps the Union maintain control of the Missouri River.

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June 17, 1861

Thomas Jackson, a Colonel in the Confederate Army, is now promoted to Brigadier General.

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June 17, 1861

Ulysses S. Grant of the Union Army achieves the rank of Colonel and named to the 21st Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

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June 27, 1861

Union numbers defending the Union capital of Washington, D.C. now number close to 40,000 men.

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July 1, 1861

At this point in the war, the United States Navy claims a fleet of over 80 warships and some 13,000 personnel.

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July 4, 1861

President Lincoln, in a special session of Congress, asks for 500,000 men for the Union war effort. Current Union strength numbers 260,000 men with 165,000 of these being volunteers.

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July 11, 1861

Union forces are victorious over Condeferate elements at Rich Mountain in West Virginia.

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July 13, 1861

In Carrick's Ford (West Virginia), Confederate General Robert Garnett becomes the first officer-level casualty of the war.

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July 16, 1861

Forces under the command of Union General Irvin McDowell are on the march from Washington, D.C. towards Manassas, Virginia.

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July 18, 1861

Contact is made between opposing sides at Blackburns' Ford, Virginia.

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July 19, 1861

Robert Toombs, the acting Secretary of State for the Confederacy, resigns his post to lead forces in Georgia as a brigadier general.

  Flag signifying Confederate involvement on this date
July 20, 1861

Union commander Irvin McDowell moves his 10,000 men from Centreville in two forces moving west and south westward. His intention is to flank the left side of the Confederate army.

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July 21, 1861

At 8:30AM, Confederate forces at Stone Bridge are made aware of the Union presence at Sudley Road. Confederate General N.G. Evans moves his units to cover any Union retreat.

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July 21, 1861

Confederate General N.G. Evans and his men meet Union forces in battle.

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July 21, 1861

Finding themselves outnumbered, General Evans and his force retreats to Henry House Hill under the Federal pressure.

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July 21, 1861

The front lines repeatedly change hands in the battle as both sides make - and lose - progress.

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July 21, 1861

Confederate forces withdraw from their positions at Henry House Hill.

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July 21, 1861

Confederate General Thomas Jackson brings in fresh troops ready-to-fight.

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July 21, 1861

At 4:00PM the Confederates manage to force Union parties into retreat back towards Centreville.

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July 22, 1861

Event person portrait
Confederate forces claim the first major victory of the war at the "Battle of First Manassas" - known to the north as the "First Battle of Bull Run". The war spanned just one day but resulted in tens of thousands of casualties including nearly 2,000 for the Confederates and over 2,700 for the Union. The battle also marks the war's first photographic images - these taken by Matthew Brady.

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July 22, 1861

General George McClellan is handed control of the Division of the Potomac near Washington, D.C. by President Lincoln.

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July 22, 1861

After heavy losses incurred by both sides, the Battle of Bull Run is over. Federal forces retreat hastily back towards the safety of Washington, D.C.

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July 27, 1861

CSS Sumter arrives in Venezuela.

  Flag signifying Confederate involvement on this date
July 27, 1861

Having assumed his new post near Washington, D.C., Union General George McClellan arranges the Army of the Potomac.

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July 27, 1861

Event person portrait
Confederate Colonel John Baylor, with forces from Texas at his disposal, claims Fort Fillmore at San Augustine Springs in New Mexico.

  Flag signifying Confederate involvement on this date


July 30, 1861

Event person portrait
Union General Benjamin Butler pens a letter to Simon Cameron, the United States Secretary of War, explaining his refusal to return any fleeing slaves - considering them materials to be claimed by the conquerors.

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August 2, 1861

General George McClellan forms an agreement with reporters and photographers offering military telegraph services in exchange for limited publishing of Union details.

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August 3, 1861

For the first time in warfare a reconnaissance balloon is used by Union forces to assess Confederate positions. The balloon is launched from USS Fanny at Hampton Roads to observe the enemy at Sewell's Point, Virginia.

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August 3, 1861

Union warships open fire on Confederate positions at Galveston, Texas.

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August 3, 1861

William T. Sherman, then a colonel in the Union ranks, is promoted to Brigadier General.

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August 7, 1861

Colonel Ulysses S. Grant is named Brigadier General in command of volunteer forces at Cairo, Illinois.

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August 7, 1861

Event person portrait
To limit Union troop housing options, Hampton, Virginia is burned by Confederate troops under the command of General John B. Magruder.

  Flag signifying Confederate involvement on this date
August 10, 1861

The Battle of Wilson's Creek in Missouri is won by Confederate forces.

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August 10, 1861

Event person portrait
Union General Nathaniel Lyon is killed during the Battle of Wilson's Creek in Missouri. He becomes the first Union general to be slain.

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August 12, 1861

The Confederates announce an alliance with Indian tribes located within southern territories.

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August 21, 1861

Cherokee Indians meet at Tahlegue and announce their alliance with the Confederate States of America. Their numbers total 4,000.

  Flag signifying Confederate involvement on this date
August 29, 1861

Union forces take Fort Hatteras in North Carolina.

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August 29, 1861

Union forces take Fort Clark in North Carolina.

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August 29, 1861

The Hatteras Inlet of North Carolina is claimed by Union forces.

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August 30, 1861

Event person portrait
Missouri slaves of owners supporting the Confederacy are freed by Union General John C. Fremont after he announces martial law in the state.

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September 2, 1861

The emancipation of Missouri slaves by Union General John C. Fremont is put down by President Lincoln. He is then reassigned.

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September 3, 1861

Confederate forces move into Western Kentucky and take Columbus along the all-important Mississippi River.

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September 4, 1861

General Grant and his forces move into Paducah, Kentucky.

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September 5, 1861

In an effort to elevate care for the Union wounded in the Western Theater, the Western Sanitary Commission is established in St. Louis, Missouri.

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September 7, 1861

Ship Island, off the coast of Biloxi, Mississippi, is claimed by Union forces.

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September 10, 1861

Confederate forces enact a retreat of Carnifex Ferry in West Virginia

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September 10, 1861

Event person portrait
Union General William Rosecrans is wounded at the fighting in Carnifex, West Virginia.

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September 11, 1861

The state government of Kentucky calls for the removal of Confederate troops from its soil. The demand falls on deaf ears.

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September 11, 1861

Confederate General Robert E. Lee attempts to take Union positions at Cheat Mountain in West Virginia. This marks Lee's first major foray in the war.

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September 12, 1861

Confederate-aligned state forces of Missouri begin a siege of Lexington.

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September 13, 1861

General Lee's assault on Cheat Mountain is a failure.

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September 13, 1861

Forces from the frigate USS Colorado burn an enemy ship during a raid on Pensacola, Florida. The group is led by Lieutenant J.H. Russel.

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September 17, 1861

Ships of the United States Navy move in to secure Ship Island off the coast of Mississippi.

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September 20, 1861

Confederate forces capture Lexington, Missouri.

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October 1, 1861

Confederate Navy forces capture USS Fanny.

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October 1, 1861

Confederate generals request 20,000 additional troops to take Maryland. Their request is denied by President Jefferson Davis.

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October 4, 1861

United States Navy authorities put into place plans for its first ironclad warship - to become the famous USS Monitor.

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October 7, 1861

"Stonewall Jackson", currently a Brigadier General serving with the Confederate Army, is handed the promotion to Major General.

  Flag signifying Confederate involvement on this date
November 7, 1861

Union forces take Port Royal Harbor in south Carolina.

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October 8, 1861

A Confederate force raids a Union camp at Santa Rosa Island (Pensacola).

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October 9, 1861

Union troops manage to push back a Confederate attack targeting supplies on Santa Rosa Island in Pensacola Harbor, Florida.

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October 13, 1861

Confederate General Turner Ashby's forces raid Harpers Ferry in Virginia.

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October 21, 1861

Confederate forces successfully intercept a traveling Union force at Ball's Bluff, Leesburg, Virginia.

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October 21, 1861

Colonel Joseph Plummer leads a Union force to victory over the enemy at Frederickstown in Missouri.

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October 21, 1861

U.S. Army Colonel Edward Baker, a longtime and close friend of President Lincoln, is killed at Ball's Bluff, Virginia. He becomes the only sitting senator to be killed in action during the war.

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October 22, 1861

Union Colonel Joseph Plummer is promoted to the rank of Brigadier General.

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November 1, 1861

General McClellan is named General-in-Chief of all United States military forces by President Abraham Lincoln.

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November 7, 1861

The Battle of Belmont is fought on Missouri soil. It marks the first major engagement for Union General Ulysses S. Grant. A force of about 5,000 Confederates square off against 3,114 Union in Mississippi County, Missouri. It is a Confederate victory but gives Grant much-needed experience in field command.

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November 7, 1861

Confederate forces, including generals Leonidas Poke and Gideon Pillow, are victorious against a Union force under the command of General Grant at Belmont, Missouri.

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November 8, 1861

USS San Jacinto captures the British mail steamer "Trent" en route from Havana to Europe - aboard are a pair of Confederate commissioners, James Mason and John Slidell.

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November 11, 1861

The Union ship G.W. Parke Curtis releases an observation balloon to spy on Confederate positions off the Potomac River.

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November 12, 1861

A Scottish-built merchant ship, the "Fingal", acquired in England by Confederate agents, successfully runs the Union blockade at Savannah to deliver much-needed supplies.

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November 19, 1861

To better meet the need for resupply and reinforcements, Confederate President Jefferson Davis implores the Congress to fund the construction of an East-West railway system.

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November 19, 1861

Julia Ward Howe pens "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". The poem is written to the song "John Brown's Body".

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November 22, 1861

Indian territories of the south are now under Confederate rule.

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November 23, 1861

Union defenders at Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island in Pensacola, Florida push back a rebel force attempting to overtake their positions.

November 26, 1861

Dranesvill, Virginia sees a Union victory as cavalry forces from both sides go head-to-head in one of the war's smaller battles - the Battle of Dranesville.

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December 1, 1861

By this time, Union infantry numbers in Kentucky swell to 70,000 men.

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December 2, 1861

In the next meeting of the United States Congress, President Lincoln calls for a new railroad to be constructed to help in the Union war effort.

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December 2, 1861

Union fighting strength numbers some 661,000 men by this date.

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December 10, 1861

Union General Albin Shoepf's forces are run out of Somerset (Kentucky) by a Confederate force led by General Felix Zollicoffer,

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December 20, 1861

Near Dranesville, Virginia, Union forces of the Army of the Potomac (led by General Edward Ord) are victorious over General Jeb Stuart and his Confederate elements.

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December 21, 1861

The Navy Medal of Honor is signed into law by President Lincoln (Public Resolution 82).

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December 28, 1861

The Battle of Sacramento is fought in Sacramento, Kentucky. 500 Confederates square off against 200 to 300 Union troops. The battle ends as a Confederate victory.

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January 1, 1862

Union General John Schofield pens a letter to his soldiers to refrain from destruction, plunder and theft of civilian property.

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January 4, 1862

Confederate troops claim Bath, Virginia.

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January 8, 1862

Both forces meet through cavalry clashes in Charleston, Missouri.

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January 9, 1862

The New Orleans Campaign begins.

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January 11, 1862

Edwin M. Stanton is named the new Secretary of War by President Lincoln.

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January 16, 1862

Seven gunboats are commissioned into formal service by the Union Navy.

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January 19, 1862

Union forces are victorious over the Confederates at Logan Cross Roads (Mill Springs) in Kentucky.

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January 22, 1862

In an effort to raise enlistment numbers, the Confederate government announces an increase to the enlistment bonus to $50 (from $10).

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January 27, 1862

In an effort to stir General McClellan to action, President Lincoln announces a deadline of February 22 for an all-out advance of Union forces against confederate positions.

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January 1, 1862

A disagreement between Secretary of War Judah Benjamin and General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson nearly leads to the resignation of the talented general. Jackson ultimately wins the showdown.

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January 30, 1862

The USS Monitor is officially launched to sea.

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January 31, 1862

The United States government forms the United States Military Railroads system.

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February 4, 1862

USS Tuscarora fails to corral CSS Sumter at Southampton, England.

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February 4, 1862

The price of saltpeter, compounds needed for the manufacture of gunpowder, is raised to 0.40 cents per pound by Confederate Secretary of War Judah Benjamin.

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February 4, 1862

Event person portrait
En route to Fort Heiman and Fort Henry down the Tennessee River, Union General Grant arrives at Camp Halleck with his forces. General McClernand's division disembarks along the eastern shore out of range of Fort Henry's guns.

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February 5, 1862

Event person portrait
General Grant has General Charles F. Smith's division disembark along the western shore of the Tennessee River in preparation for the assaults on Fort Heiman and Fort Henry dowriver.

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February 6, 1862

Event person portrait
Union General McClernand is ordered by General Grant to begin his march towards Fort Henry at 11:00AM.

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February 6, 1862

At 11:00AM, General Smith's forces begin their march against Fort Heiman along the Tennessee River.

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February 6, 1862

Union Flag Officer Foote leads his gunboat flotilla against Fort Henry. The action takes place from 11:00AM until about 1:55PM and is in concert with land movements of General McClernand and General Smith under General Grant.

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February 6, 1862

At 6:00PM on this date, General Grant's troops finally claim (through occupation) Fort Henry on the Tennessee River.

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February 8, 1862

The Union Navy is victorious over Confederate forces at Roanoke Island in North Carolina.

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February 8, 1862

Event person portrait
Union Flag Officer Foote dispatches three of his river gunboats up the Tennessee River for raiding actions. He retains some four boats for local work.

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February 10, 1862

Confederate forces of the "Mosquito Fleet" fall to elements of the Union Navy near Elizabeth City, North Carolina as part of the Battle of Elizabeth City. The Mosquito Fleet was originally in service to the state and later passed to the Confederate Navy.

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February 11, 1862

General Grant orders an advanced force to begin their march towards Fort Donelson.

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February 12, 1862

Despite the combined strength of General McClernand and Smith's divisions, General Grant is forced to stop within twelve miles of Fort Donelson as he remains outnumbered.

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February 13, 1862

Forces under the command of Union General Ulysses S. Grant begin their attack to take Fort Donelson along the Tennessee River.

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February 13, 1862

Without order from General Grant, both General McClernand and General Smith launch unsuccessful attacks against Fort Donelson.

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February 14, 1862

General Henry Halleck's Union forces move into Springfield, Missouri.

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February 14, 1862

Under heavy and accurate fire, Union Flag Officer Foote's gunboat floatilla are repelled by the guns of Fort Donelson.

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February 14, 1862

Union forces under Lew Wallace arrive at Fort Donelson from Fort Heiman and are further reinforced by fresh troops transport via the river Cumberland. With three divisions now formed under General Grant, he holds numerical superiority against the defenders at Fort Donelson.

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February 16, 1862

Union General Grant is victorious at Fort Donelson along the Tennessee River in Tennessee. 14,000 prisoners are taken after the General demands an "unconditional and immediate surrender" of the enemy.

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February 17, 1862

General Ulysses S. Grant is promoted to the rank of Major General (of volunteers) (from the rank of Brigadier General).

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January 17, 1862

To award wartime service going above-and-beyond the norm, a motion to create the nation's first "Medal of Honor" passes a hurdle in Senate voting.

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February 20, 1862

Confederate forces retreat from their positions in Columbus, Kentucky.

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February 20, 1862

Union Captain David Farragut arrives outside of New Orleans, Louisiana with his naval forces in tow. He takes up position at Ship Island near Biloxi, Mississippi. This is part of the campaign to retake the strategically important port city.

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February 20, 1862

The Battle of Valverde begins pitting 3,000 union troops against 2,590 confederates in New Mexico Territory. Confederate General Henry Hopkins Sibley leads with General Thomas Green against Edward Canby. They are supported by Texas cavalry as well as land militia forces.

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February 21, 1862

The Battle of Valverde ends in a Confederate victory.

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February 22, 1862

Camp Morton in the state of Indianapolis receives its first batch of Confederate Prisoners of War (PoW).

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February 22, 1862

Andrew Johnson is announced as military governor by President Lincoln over Union-held territories of Tennessee.

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February 23, 1862

Union troops enter Nashville, Tennessee.

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February 28, 1862

The Battle of Island Number Ten (New Madrid, Missouri) begins. Union forces are led by John Pope and Andrew Footer against Confederate foes headed by John McCown and William Mackall. Six Union gunboats are aided by eleven mortar rafts, facing a Confederate force of 7,000.

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March 3, 1862

Union naval forces take Fernandina in Florida.

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March 3, 1862

General N.H. McLean in St. Louis, Missouri declares that all Confederate supporters will be hung "...as robbers and murderers..."

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March 5, 1862

The Department of the Mississippi is given to Confederate General Beauregard.

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March 3, 1862

CSS Virginia is launched at the Norfolk Shipyard.

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March 5, 1862

USS Monitor departs New York waters.

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March 6, 1862

Event person portrait
The Battle of Pea Ridge begins. It involves Confederate-aligned Cherokee units. 10,500 Union elements face off against 16,500 confederates in northwestern Arkansas. Among those in the Union ranks is "Wild Bill" Hickok.

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March 8, 1862

The Battle of Pea Ridge ends as a Union victory. 1,384 Union personnel are killed against 2,000 Confederate losses.

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March 8, 1862

Union cavalry forces near Nashville, Tennessee, under the command of Colonel John H Morgan conduct a series of raids on enemy positions.

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March 8, 1862

In the Battle of Hampton Roads, Virginia, CSS Virginia tangled with Union Navy forces n an effort to help unseat the Blockade.

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March 8, 1862

Arriving from Norfolk, CSS Virginia enters Hampton Roads at about 1PM.

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March 8, 1862

USS Cumberland is rammed and sunk by CSS Virginia.

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March 8, 1862

USS Congress is set alight by CSS Virginia.

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March 8, 1862

While attempting maneuver, USS Minnesota is run aground.

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March 8, 1862

At 6:06PM, CSS Virginia retreats to Norfolk as the sun sets.

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March 8, 1862

At 9:00PM, USS Monitor arrives on the seen and takes up position near USS Minnesota.

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March 9, 1862

In waters off of Hampton Roads, Virginia, CSS Virginia squares off against USS Monitor in naval history's first duel between two ironclad warships. The engagement ends in a draw.

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March 9, 1862

Already having been burning for hours, USS Congress explodes at 12:30AM.

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March 9, 1862

At 7:00AM CSS Virginia departs Norfolk and heads to Hampton Roads to finish off USS Minnesota.

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March 9, 1862

CSS Virginia is met by USS Monitor in what would come to be known as the "Battle of the Monitor and the Merrimack". Merrimack was the former name of CSS Virginia prior to her conversion as a Confederate ironclad.

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March 9, 1862

Fighting between USS Monitor and CSS Virginia continues until 12:15PM at which point CSS Virginia withdraws. The battle, for all its importance to both sides, is labeled indecisive as little headway is made for either party. The Battle of Hampton Roads is over.

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March 11, 1862

Having grown tired of General McClellan's inaction to this point in the war, President Lincoln moves to take the General's title of General-in-Chief away. McClellan continues to lead as commander of the Army of the Potomac.

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March 11, 1862

Union General Henry Halleck is named in charge of the Department of the Mississippi.

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March 13, 1862

General Robet E. Lee begins his term as a military adviser to Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

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March 14, 1862

The Battle of New Bern is had in Craven County, North Carolina. 11,000 Union soldiers are supported by fourteen gunboats against a Confederate Army showcasing 4,000 troops and single cavalry regiment. The result is a Union victory with minimal losses on both sides.

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March 14, 1862

Union forces claim New Madrid, Missouri.

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March 14, 1862

New Bern, North Carolina falls to a combined Union land-naval force led by General Ambrose Burnside.

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March 15, 1862

To better handle the ongoing war situation covering Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, Union authorities establish the Department of the South.

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March 17, 1862

CSS Nashville manages to break through the Union blockade at Beaufort, Florida.

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March 17, 1862

Union General George McClellan begins marching his army towards the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.

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March 23, 1862

At a battle site in Kernstown, Virginia, Confederate forces led by Stonewall Jackson are repelled.

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March 23, 1862

Confederate General Henry Sibley claims Sante Fe, New Mexico.

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March 23, 1862

The First Battle of Kernstown (Winchester, Virginia) is had. This one-day engagement sees a Union force numbering between 6,350 and 9,000 against a Confederate force of 3,000 to 4,200. Both sides gain the advantage as the Union claim a tactical victory and the Confederates a strategic one. Casualties number 590 for the North and 718 for the South.

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March 28, 1862

General Henry Sibley is forced to retreat from his postions at Santa Fe.

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March 31, 1862

The Department of the South falls under the charge of Union General David Hunter.

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April 1, 1862

Confederate military authorities revoke all leave permissions due to the growing war commitment - with particular attention being paid to manpower availability.

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April 4, 1862

Gneeral John Pope's Union forces at New Madrid, Missouri, complete the construction of a canal intended to bypass Confederate firepower along the Mississippi River at Island Number Ten.

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April 4, 1862

The Peninsular Campaign begins under the leadership of Union General George McClellan (Army of the Potomac). The target is the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. By April 30th, Union forces will number 115,350 strong against an estimated force of up to 100,000 Confederates.

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April 5, 1862

General McClellan's Army of the Potomac begins the siege of Confederate-held Yorktown in Virginia.

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April 6, 1862

The Battle of Shiloh begins in Hardin County, Tennessee. Union generals Ulysses S. Grant and Don Buell lead a force of some 63,000 against 40,335 Confederates led by generals Beauregard and Albert Johnston.

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April 7, 1862

The Battle of Shiloh ends in a Union victory. 13,047 Union soldiers are killed along with 10,699 Confederate soldiers.

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April 7, 1862

Union General Pope and his men cross the Mississippi River.

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April 7, 1862

As many as 3,500 Confederate soldiers surrender at Tiptonville in Missouri.

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April 7, 1862

Island Number Ten along the Mississippi River, south of New Madrid, Missouri, is given up by the defending Confederate garrison.

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April 8, 1862

The Battle of Island Number Ten draws to a close as the Union claims the victory. Some 7,000 Confederates surrender in the aftermath.

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April 10, 1862

Once again President Abraham Lincoln is forced to plead for General McClellan to move to action in Virginia - comparing the current offensive with what was witnessed at Manassas some time earlier.

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April 11, 1862

Fort Pulaski in Georgia falls to Union forces. The forts strategic placement at the mouth of the Savannah River made it important for both sides.

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April 12, 1862

Event person portrait
In one of the more bizarre operations of the war, Union operatives steal the locomotive named "General" in Northern Georgia running between Atlanta, Georgia and Chattanooga, Tennessee. The event is known as the "Great Locomotive Chase". James J. Andrews is head of the Union effort consisting of volunteers. The locomotive is eventually recaptured and the thieves executed.

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April 14, 1862

A combined Union army-navy force takes New Bern, North Carolina.

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April 16, 1862

Running short of new recruits, the Confederate government installs conscription for white males aged 18 to 35. A three-year commitment is required.

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April 19, 1862

A combined Union army-navy force takes Camden, North Carolina.

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April 24, 1862

The Confederate fleet near New Orleans, Louisiana is destroyed by a Union force under the command of Flag Officer David Farragut.

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April 24, 1862

CSS Stonewall Jackson, launched in January of 1862, is driven ashore and burned and pressured by Union Navy elements.

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April 25, 1862

With no more fight left, Confederate forces surrender the important port city of New Orleans to Union elements.

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April 25, 1862

Fort Macon (Beaufort Harbor) along the North Carolina coast falls to Union forces.

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April 26, 1862

Confederate elements at Fort Macon surrender.

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April 28, 1862

Union forces lay siege to Corinth, Mississippi.

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April 28, 1862

Confederate elements at Fort St. Philip and Fort Jackson (New Orleans) surrender to Union forces.

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April 29, 1862

Bridgeport, Alabama falls to Union forces.

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May 1, 1862

The Union capture of New Orleans is complete.

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May 1, 1862

Union General Sherman is promoted to the rank of Major General (of Volunteers).

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May 3, 1862

General Jackson orders his men to depart the Shenandoah Valley in a ruse to trick Union observers. They soon return to the region by rail.

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May 4, 1862

General McClellan's forces take Yorktown, Virginia. Land mines are first experienced here.

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May 5, 1862

The Battle of Williamsburg occurs with inconclusive results for both sides. General McClellan leads Union forces against General Johnston and Longstreet. Casualties total 2,283 for the North and 1,682 for the South.

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May 6, 1862

To face off against Union General John C. Fremont, Stonewall Jackson combines forces with Brigadier General Edward Johnson at Staunton, marching west to meet the enemy.

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May 8, 1862

On this date the Battle of McDowell occurs - a one-day engagement pitting 6,500 Federals against 6,000 Confederates. Stonewall Jackson leads the latter and the battle goes down as a Confederate victory. Losses total 2,59 for the North and 420 for the South. Brigadier General Robert Milroy commanded the North.

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May 9, 1862

Confederate forces leave their positions at Norfolk and relocate to the capital of Richmond to bolster defenses there.

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May 10, 1862

Norfolk Navy Yard is destroyer by exiting Confederate forces.

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May 10, 1862

With Confederate forces having retreated out of Norfolk, Virginia, Union forces move in and claim the important seaside town.

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May 10, 1862

Pensacola Navy Yard is destroyed by retreating Confederate forces.

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May 10, 1862

Pensacola, Florida falls to advancing Union forces.

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May 5, 1862

A Confederate river fleet voyages out of Memphis, Tennessee and meet a Union squadron - Southern forces are repelled in the ensuing battle.

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May 10, 1862

A naval engagement is fought four miles up river from Fort Pillow in Tennessee with the Confederates claiming the victory.

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May 11, 1862

CSS Virginia, no longer able to operate as a true ironclad and relegated to heavy battery duty, is scuttled at Hampton Roads.

  Flag signifying Confederate involvement on this date
May 12, 1862

Having chased Union forces off north of Franklin (West Virginia), Stonewall Jackson turns back towards the Shenandoah Valley.

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May 12, 1862

Union forces occupy Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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May 12, 1862

Natchez, Mississippi is claimed by Union forces.

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May 13, 1862

Event person portrait
Robert Smalls, a slave of Charleston, South Carolina, frees himself and his crew by capturing CSS Planter. The ship is delivered to the Union blockade. This action assists in persuading President Lincoln to include blacks into the ranks of the U.S. Army and Navy services.

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May 14, 1862

Despite numerical superiority, General McClellan stops his advancing Union troops 20 miles outside of the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, to await inbound reinforcements.

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May 15, 1862

Confederate guns at Drewry's Bluff turn back the James River Flotilla approaching Richmond. The squadron had managed to reach within 8 miles of the Confederate capital city.

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May 15, 1862

Per General Butler's order, any woman insulting Union troops in New Orleans is to be treated as a prostitute.

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May 15, 1862

The Virginia State Line militia is organized.

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May 18, 1862

Thomas Jackson returns to the Shenandoah Valley en route to meet Union General Nathaniel P. Bank's force. He reaches Mount Solon, Virginia.

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May 20, 1862

Jackson by-passes General Bank's force by way of the southeast side of Massanutten Mountain and up the Luray Valley.

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May 23, 1862

On this date, General Jackson engages Union forces in the Battle of Front Royal. The engagement ends as a Confederate victory with 773 Union elements killed to just 36 Confederates. John Reese Kenly commanded the North garrison. The action now threatens supply lines to General Bank's forces.

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May 5, 1862

The First Battle of Winchester is had. Confederate Thomas Jackson is victorious over the Union forces led by Nathanial Banks. Banks had retreated to Winchester and was met by Jackson, who ultimately was able to secure victory and the town itself.

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May 25, 1862

President Lincoln, by telegraph, demands an attack on Richmond by General McClellan.

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May 27, 1862

Union General Banks retreats with his forces across the Potomac Rover with Thomas Jackson in hot pursuit. This ends the first phase of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign and claims several victories for the South.

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May 30, 1862

Falling to Union pressure, General Beauregard orders a withdrawal from Corinth, Mississippi.

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May 30, 1862

Union forces are back in Front Royal, Virginia in the hopes of reclaiming captured forces.

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May 31, 1862

The Battle of Seven Pines (Battle of Fair Oaks) begins in Henrico County, Virginia.

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June 1, 1862

Robert E. Lee concludes his term as military adviser to Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

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June 1, 1862

The Battle of Seven Pines (Battle of Fair Oaks) ends as an inconclusive victory. Confederate General Joseph Johnston is badly wounded. Casualties amount to 6,134 Confederates against 5,031 Union fighters.

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June 2, 1862

Rose Greenhow, the Confederate spy known as "Rebel Rose", is banished to the South.

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June 4, 1862

Fort Pillow in Tennessee is abandoned by Confederate forces.

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June 6, 1862

Memphis, Tennessee is surrendered by Confederate forces following a running naval battle.

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June 6, 1862

Union guns open up on Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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June 8, 1862

The Battle of Cross Keys is had pitting a Union force of 11,500 led by General Fremont against 5,800 Confederates under General Ewell. The result is a Confederate victory with 664 Union casualties versus 287 Confederates.

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June 9, 1862

Union forces are driven back at Port Republic in Virginia during the one-day engagement known as the Battle of Port Republic. Union losses count 1,002 against the Confederate's 816.

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June 12, 1862

General Jeb Stuart begins a series of raids against Union forces in Virginia.

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June 15, 1862

Confederate General Jeb Stuart completes his raiding against General McClellan's forces in Virginia.

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June 16, 1862

The Battle of Secessionville takes place in Charleston, South Carolina. It is a Confederate victory by Nathan Evans and Thomas Lamar. Union General Henry Benham, who had violated orders in the engagement, is arrested

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June 18, 1862

Confederate forces leave their positions at Cumberland Gap, Tennessee.

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June 24, 1862

Construction on a canal is started by Union engineers along the Mississippi River near heavily-defended Vicksburg. General Thomas Williams directs.

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June 25, 1862

The Seven Days Battles are begun - six major engagements spanning seven days and pitting forces of General McClellan against forces of General Robert E. Lee. It marks a Confederate victory though losses are heavy for both sides. the battles take place around the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia near Oak Grove.

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June 26, 1862

The Battle of Beaver Dam Creek - also Battle of Mechanicsville - is fought between General McClellan and General Robert E. Lee. Losses total 361 for the Union and 1,484 for the Confederates. However, the Union can only claim a tactical victory. This is the second battle of the Seven Days Battles.

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June 6, 1862

The Army of Virginia (formerly the Army of the Potomac) is now handed to General John Pope per President Lincoln's order.

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June 27, 1862

The third contest of the Seven Days Battles is fought during the Battle of Gaine's Mill. It is a Confederate victory by Robert E. Lee over McLellan.

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June 27, 1862

The Union Army of the Cumberland is now under the direction of General William Rosecrans.

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June 27, 1862

The fourth installment of the Seven Days Battles is fought during the Battle of Garnett's and Golding's Farm. It results as inconclusive and neither side fail to make headway. Losses are minimal by the war's standard - 189 Union elements to the Confederate's 438.

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June 28, 1862

Union Navy boats pass under the guns of Vicksburg to reach friendly forces up the Mississippi River.

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June 29, 1862

The Battle of Savage's Station, the fifth of the Seven Days Battles, is fought. It is another inconclusive engagement with the Union suffering 1,038 casualties against the Confederate's 473. Sumner led the Union forces against Magruder. Union forces withdraw.

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June 30, 1862

The Battle of White Oak Swamp - as part of the Seven Days Battles - of fought and marks another inconclusive victory. Union General Franklin leads against Stonewall Jackson. Losses are minimal for both sides.

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July 1, 1862

The Seven Days Battles draw to a close. Casualties total 18,849 for the Union and as many as 20,100 for the Confederates. It is a Confederate victory nonetheless as General McClellan's forces fail to make progress. It makes the culmination of the Peninsular Campaign.

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July 1, 1862

The Battle of Booneville is fought at Booneville, Mississippi. Losses are light for both sides with the Union claiming the victory.

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July 1, 1862

A 5000-strong Confederate cavalry assault is repulsed by a much smaller Union force of 827 with Colonel Philip Sheridan in command.

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July 2, 1862

The United States Congress passes a law forcing oaths to the Union cause to be given by governmental and military officials.

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July 4, 1862

Colonel John Morgan begins his raids against Union-held Kentucky lands.

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July 5, 1862

The Battle of Lebanon takes place in Lebanon Kentucky. As many as 400 Union troops face off against 2,460 Confederates. The battle goes down as a Confederate victory.

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July 7, 1862

Under the direction of Union General Benjamin Butler, William Mumford is hanged in New Orleans for his April removal of an American flag.

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July 9, 1862

President Lincoln pays General McClellan a visit at Harrison's Landing in Virginia.

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July 11, 1862

General Henry W. Halleck is appointed General-in-Chief over Washington, D.C. by President Lincoln.

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July 11, 1862

Confederate cavalry forces, under the command of Colonel John Morgan, take Lebanon, Kentucky.

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July 13, 1862

Murfreesboro, Tennessee is taken by Confederate cavalry forces under the command of General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

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July 14, 1862

The Medal of Honor award is approved by President Lincoln.

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July 14, 1862

The command of the Union Army of Virginia falls General John Pope.

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July 16, 1862

For the first time in US Naval history, the rrank of Rear Admiral is attained - the honor given to David Farragut.

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July 17, 1862

The First Battle of Cynthiana is had in Cynthiana, Kentucky. Confederate General John Morgan and his raiders are victorious in taking the town as well as its defending Union garrison.

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July 18, 1862

Newburgh, Indiana is captured by General Adam "Stovepipe" Johnson. In what became known as the "Newburgh Raid", Johnson was able to convince defending Union forces that his army was of considerable size though, in reality, it numbered twelve men and had two joints of stovepipe fitted to a wagon to simulate a cannon.

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July 21, 1862

The District of Memphis (Tennessee) now falls under the command of General Sherman.

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July 22, 1862

A prisoner exchange between Union and Confederate authorities is agreed upon.

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July 28, 1862

Confederate Colonel john Morgan completes his raids against Kentucky.

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July 29, 1862

Event person portrait
Confederate female spy Belle Boyd is arrested.

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July 31, 1862

From a position at Coggin's Point in Virginia, Confederate guns manage little damage against Union warships located near Harrison's Landing.

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August 5, 1862

Confederate General Henry Allen is wounded in the Battle of Baton Rouge, leading to his left leg being amputated. He will later be named governor of Confederate Louisiana.

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August 5, 1862

The Battle of Baton Rouge takes place on this date. Forces include 2,500 Union against 2,600 Confederate. The battle goes down as a Union victory with similar losses to both sides (371 and 478 respectively).

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August 5, 1862

Confederate Captain Alexander Todd is killed in fighting near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Todd is the brother-in-law of sitting President Abraham Lincoln. He is also the victim of friendly-fire.

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August 5, 1862

Union forces successfully defend Baton Rouge, Louisiana from a Confederate advance.

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August 5, 1862

After developing mechanical issues, CSS Arkansas is abandoned on the Mississippi River and blown up by Confederate forces near Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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August 8, 1862

Stonewall Jackson's forces cross the Rapidan River just north of Gordonsville to head off Union general Pope and his forces.

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August 9, 1862

Stonewall Jackson's forces are victorious over Union troops at Cedar Mountain, Virginia.

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August 9, 1862

Nathaniel Banks' Union forces manage several victories before being driven back by Stonewall Jackson's forces.

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August 13, 1862

Allowed to work on the front lines by Union authorities, Clara Barton - founder of the Red Cross - attends to both friendly and enemy troops in the field. She would be present at the battles of Second Bull Run, Antietam and Fredricksburg thereafter.

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August 13, 1862

Confederate cavalry claim London, Kentucky.

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August 18, 1862

Union General Pope is forced back over the Rappahannock River due to growing Confederate pressure.

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August 22, 1862

J.E.B. Stuart's Confederate cavalry forces raid around Catlett's Station (Virginia) and capture 300 Union troops, detailed plans and supplies.

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August 22, 1862

J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry raid brings him to Union General Pope army's rear.

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August 24, 1862

CSS Alabama, arriving from England, is commissioned for service.

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August 25, 1862

Stonewall Jackson begins a flanking maneuver against Pope's army.

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August 26, 1862

Stonewall Jackson and his forces are able to pass between Washington, D.C. and the army of General Pope.

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August 27, 1862

Stonewall Jackson captures a major Union supply depot at Manassas Junction.

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August 28, 1862

Jackson redeploys his forces West of the old Bull Run battlefield.

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August 28, 1862

The Second Battle of Bull Run officially begins. Confederate shelling is heard at 6:30PM. The action takes place around Brawner's Farm (Groveton).

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August 29, 1862

Event person portrait
Sigel's sector is strengthened by Major General Hooker's division by 1PM.

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August 30, 1862

General Longstreet's force, under Major General Richard Anderson and having arrived on the battlefield at 3AM, enacts a counterattack that ultimately pushes Union elements to retreat.

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August 30, 1862

The Second Battle of Bull Run ends as a considerable Confederate victory (as did the first). The Confederate forces were outnumbered man-to-man but managed significant casualties against the enemy.

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September 1, 1862

The Battle of Chantilly (Virginia) - also known as "Ox Hill" - takes place. It ends inconclusively as both sides fail to gain the initiative. Casualties number 1,300 Union and 800 Confederate. The battle marks the end of the Northern Virginia Campaign that includes Second Bull Run.

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September 1, 1862

Event person portrait
Union General Isaac Stevens is killed at the Battle of Chantilly.

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September 1, 1862

Event person portrait
Union General Philip Kearny is killed at the battle of Chantilly.

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September 2, 1862

Union General Pope orders his forces to retreat to the outskirts of Washington, D.C.

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September 2, 1862

Union General John Pope is relieved of command of the Army of Virginia by order of President Lincoln.

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September 2, 1862

General George McClellan is appointed by President Lincoln to succeed outgoing General Pope as leader of the Army of Virginia.

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September 2, 1862

The Army of Virginia is renamed the Army of the Potomac.

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September 2, 1862

Event person portrait
General Lee's army at Chantilly is bolstered by the arrival of General D.H. Hill and his force.

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September 4, 1862

Near Leesburg, Virginia, the Army of Northern Virginia begins its crossing along the Potomac River.

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September 5, 1862

General Lee makes his first foray into a Union state - crossing the Potomac River and entering Maryland.

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September 5, 1862

Event person portrait
Confederate forces under the command of General Braxton Bragg enter the state of Kentucky.

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September 5, 1862

CSS Alabama captures the Ocmulgee in the Azores. This marks the Confederate vessel's first claim of a commercial vessel. The enemy ship is burned while its crew is taken prisoner.

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September 6, 1862

Confederate and Union ground forces clash at Washington, North Carolina.

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September 7, 1862

General Robert Lee has amassed his army at Frederick, Maryland.

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September 7, 1862

General George McClellan begins a slow advance away from Washington, D.C. to meet the Confederate threat emerging from Virginia.

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September 9, 1862

Special Orders 191 is given by General Lee, ordering a special column formation to be taken by his troops to increase the chances of overtaking Harpers Ferry and the Union forces garrisoned there.

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September 11, 1862

General Lee assigns General Longstreet to guard the approaches from the north while General Hill is given the task of the defending the approaches from the south of Harpers Ferry.

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September 11, 1862

General Jackson engages Union forces at Martinsburg and drives them back towards Harpers Ferry.

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September 13, 1862

The Army of the Potomac arrives at Frederick, Maryland. Once there, soldiers recover a copy of General Lee's plans.

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September 13, 1862

Captured Confederate plans are given over to Union General McClellan - who suspects the plans are a trap.

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September 14, 1862

The Battle of South Mountain takes place. It is a Union victory for General McClellan, General Burnside and General Franklin over General Lee and General Hill.

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September 14, 1862

The Battle of Crampton's Gap (Burkittsville) is a Union victory for General Franklin over General Cobb. Forces number 12,800 to 2,100, respectively.

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September 14, 1862

The Battle of South Mountain is had in Maryland leading to a Union victory. 28,000 Union troops square off against 18,000 Confederates. Losses for both sides are nearly equal.

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September 14, 1862

Event person portrait
Union General Jesse Lee Reno is killed at the Battle of South Mountain in Maryland.

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September 15, 1862

Harpers Ferry falls to Confederate forces under the command of General Jackson.

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September 15, 1862

General Jackson's forces open up with artillery strikes against Union forces at Harpers Ferry.

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September 15, 1862

The Battle of Harpers Ferry ends as a Confederate victory.

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September 15, 1862

A Confederate division under the command of General John Walker takes Loudoun Heights.

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September 15, 1862

General Dixon Miles quickly surrenders the Union garrison at Harpers Ferry.

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September 15, 1862

General Lee arranges his army behind Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Maryland.

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September 16, 1862

Confederate General Bragg claims Munfordville, Kentucky. Those Union defenders still alive are taken prisoner.

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September 16, 1862

Having suffered a mortal wound at the Battle of Harpers Ferry, General Dixon Miles dies.

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September 17, 1862

The Battle of Antietam is had near Sharpsburg, Maryland and results of the one-day engagement are tactically inconclusive. 87,164 Union troops (led by McClellan) face off against 38,000 Confederates (led by Lee). Casualties are 12,410 and 10,316 respectively.

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September 17, 1862

Union forces at Cumberland Gap, Tennessee are driven away by the Confederates, leaving the remaining garrison to fend for itself.

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September 19, 1862

The Union Army claims a victory at the Battle of Iuka, driving off the now-retreating Confederates. The battle takes place near Iuka, Mississippi and involves 4,500 Union and 3,179 Confederates.

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September 19, 1862

General Robert E. Lee makes his return to Virginia territory.

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September 20, 1862

Union forces attempt to take General Lee's army at Blackford's Ford after crossing the Potomac but are driven back.

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September 25, 1862

Union warships bombard Confederates at Sabine City, Texas. The defenders are driven away.

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September 27, 1862

The First Regiment Louisiana Native Guards is formed. It marks the first Union Army regiment made up entirely of free blacks.

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September 27, 1862

Confederate conscription is extended and now includes men from the ages of 35 to 45.

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September 29, 1862

Union General William Nelson is shot and killed by fellow Union General Jefferson C. Davis following an argument between the two men. Davis is later court-martialed.

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September 30, 1862

The First Battle of Newtonia is had in Newtonia, Missouri. 1,500 Union forces face a brigade of Indians which results in a Confederate victory.

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October 1, 1862

The Western Gunboat Fleet passes from the War Department to the Union Navy.

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October 1, 1862

Event person portrait
Confederate General Jeb Stuart undertakes his first cavalry raid into Pennsylvania.

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October 3, 1862

Union forces gain the upper hand against the Confederates at Corinth, Mississippi. The battle marks one of the few uses of the bayonet charge in the whole of the war.

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October 8, 1862

The Battle of Perryville is had in Boyle Country, Kentucky. It pits 22,000 Union against 16,000 Confederates and results in a Union strategic victory. Losses are 4,241 and 3,396 respectively.

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October 8, 1862

Confederate General Bragg's troops retreat out of Kentucky.

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October 10, 1862

Stonewall Jackson is promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and now heads 2nd Corps (Army of Northern Virginia)

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October 13, 1862

General John Pemberton is named General of the Department of Mississippi, Tennessee and East Louisiana.

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October 22, 1862

Confederate troops take their positions at the now-abandoned Cumberland Gap garrison in Tennessee.

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October 22, 1862

Union forces are driven off by defending Confederates at Yemassee in South Carolina.

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October 26, 1862

General McClellan leads his forces over the Potomac River into neighboring Virginia.

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October 28, 1862

The 79th U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment from Kansas is the first black regiment to see combat for Union forces. It is involved in clashes at Island Mounds, Missouri.

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October 30, 1862

Union General Buell, head of the Army of the Cumberland, is replaced by General Rosecrans.

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November 3, 1862

Union ground forces, aided by five gunboats, attack Confederate positions at Bayou Teche in Louisiana.

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November 5, 1862

General Ambrose Burnside replaces General George McClellan as commander of the Army of the Potomac per President Lincoln's request.

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November 5, 1862

General Wade Hampton's forces are driven out of Barbee's Crossroads in Virginia by Union cavalry under the command of General Alfred Pleasonton.

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November 23, 1862

New Orleans is home to a large show of force as tens of thousands of infantry are paraded through the streets.

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November 24, 1862

General Joseph Johnston is appointed as commander of the Army of the West by President Davis.

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November 28, 1862

General Wade Hampton directs a cavalry raid at Hartwood Church in Virginia against Union forces and captured nearly 100 men.

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November 28, 1862

Cane Hill, Arkansas is site to a modest clash of forces. The Union claims the victory.

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November 29, 1862

Following Union General Philip Kearny's death at the Battle of Chantilly in September of 1862, the Kearny Medal for Officers is established.

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December 1, 1862

The Union claims some 1.3 million troops to its numbers.

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December 7, 1862

The Battle of Prairie Grove is had in Washington County, Arkansas. The one-day clash is a Union victory.

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December 7, 1862

The Union garrison at Hartsville, Tennessee falls to cavalry led by Colonel John Morgan.

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December 11, 1862

Fredericksburg, Virginia is bombarded by artillery under General Burnside's direction.

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December 11, 1862

General Burnside's Union forces cross the Rappahannock River to reach Fredericksburg, Virginia.

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December 11, 1862

The Battle of Fredericksburg begins encompassing actions in Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg counties. The clashes pit a much smaller Confederate force of 78,513 against 122,009 Union troops. Commanders are General Lee (Confederate) against General Burnside (Union).

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