HISTORY & TIMELINE
November 1860 - Lincoln Elected
Abraham Lincoln, who declared "Government cannot
endure permanently half slave, half free..." is elected president.
December 1860 - South Carolina Secedes
On December 20, 1860 South Carolina formally seceded from the United States of America, laying the framework
for the ten states (Missouri & Kentucky seceded but were immediately occupied by Federal forces) that would follow
her in the next eleven months.
January 1861--The South Secedes.
The secession of South Carolina was followed by the secession of six more states -- Mississippi (Jan. 9th),
Florida (Jan. 10th), Alabama (Jan. 11th), Georgia (Jan. 19th),
Louisiana (Jan. 26th), and Texas (Feb. 1st) -- and the threat of secession by four more -- Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and
North Carolina. These eleven states eventually formed the Confederate States of America.
January 29, 1861 -- Kansas admitted to the Union.
The South Creates a Government.
At a convention in Montgomery,
Alabama, the seven seceding states created
The Confederate Constitution,
similar to the United States Constitution, but with greater stress on the autonomy of each state.
Jefferson Davis was named provisional president of the Confederacy
until elections could be held.
The South Seizes Federal Forts.
When President Buchanan -- Lincoln's predecessor -- refused to surrender southern federal forts to the seceding states,
southern state troops seized them. At Fort Sumter, South Carolina troops repulsed a supply ship trying to reach federal
forces based in the fort. The ship was forced to return to New York, its supplies undelivered.
March 4, 1861-- Lincoln's Inauguration.
At Lincoln's inauguration the new president said he had no plans to end slavery in those states where it already
existed, but he also said he would not accept secession. He hoped to resolve the national crisis without warfare.
April 1861 -- Attack on Fort Sumter, Four More States Join the Confederacy
When President Lincoln planned to send supplies to Fort Sumter, he alerted the state in advance, in an attempt
to avoid hostilities. South Carolina, however, suspected a ruse. On April 10, 1861, Brig. Gen. Beauregard,
in command of the provisional Confederate forces at Charleston, South Carolina, demanded the surrender of the
Union garrison of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.
The Garrison commander Anderson refused. On April 12, Confederate batteries opened fire on the fort, which
was unable to reply effectively. At 2:30 p.m., April 13, Major Anderson surrendered Fort Sumter, evacuating
the garrison on the following day.
The bombardment of Fort Sumter was the opening engagement of the American Civil War. Although there were
no casualties during the bombardment, one Union artillerist was killed and three wounded (one mortally) when
a cannon exploded prematurely when firing a salute during the evacuation.
From 1863 to 1865, the Confederates at Fort Sumter withstood a 22 month siege by Union forces. During this
time, most of the fort was reduced to brick rubble. Fort Sumter became a national monument in 1948.
April 17, 1861 -- Virginia Secedes from the Union.
The attack on Fort Sumter prompted four more states to join the Confederacy. With Virginia's secession, Richmond was named the Confederate capitol.
May 6 -- Arkansas secedes from the Union.
May 20 -- North Carolina secedes from the Union.
May-June 1861 - Blockade of the Chesapeake Bay Campaign
May 18-19 -- Sewell's Point (Virginia)
May 29-June 1, 1861 -- Aquia Creek (Virginia)
June 1861 --
West Virginia Is Born, Four Slave States Stay in the Union
Residents of the western counties of Virginia did not wish to secede along with the
rest of the state. This section of Virginia was admitted into the Union as the state
of West Virginia on June 20, 1863.
Despite their acceptance of slavery, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri did
not join the Confederacy. Although divided in their loyalties, a combination of political
maneuvering and Union military pressure kept these states from seceding.
June 3, 1861 Philippi / Philippi Races (Western Virginia)
June 10 -- Big Bethel / Bethel Church
June 17 -- Boonville (Missouri)
July 1861 -- First Battle of Manassas / Bull Run
July 2 -- Hoke's Run / Falling Waters / Hainesville (Western Virginia)
July 5 -- Carthage (Missouri)
July 11 -- Rich Mountain (Western Virginia)
July 18 1861 - Blackburn's Ford / Bull Run (Virginia)
July 21, 1861 First Manassas / First Bull Run (Virginia)
Public demand pushed General-in-Chief Winfield Scott to advance on the South before
adequately training his untried troops. Scott ordered General Irvin McDowell to advance on
Confederate troops stationed at Manassas Junction, Virginia. McDowell attacked on July 21,
and was initially successful, but the introduction of Confederate reinforcements resulted
in a Southern victory and a chaotic retreat toward Washington by federal troops.
Details of battle and battle map
Union General Irvin McDowell Is Replaced
Suddenly aware of the threat of a protracted war and the army's need for organization and
training, Lincoln replaces McDowell with
General George B. McClellan.
July - November -- A Blockade
of the South.
To blockade the 3,500-mile coast of the Confederacy effectively, the federal navy had to be improved.
By July, the effort at improvement had made a difference and an effective blockade had
begun. The South responded by building small, fast ships that could outmaneuver Union vessels.
August 10, 1861 Wilson's Creek / Oak Hills (Missouri)
August 20, 1861 -- The Union Army of the Potomac Created
General George B. McClellan issues an order establishing the Army of the Potomac and begins to create
much needed discipline and order among the Federal troops. (On his arrival in Washington on July 26th,
McClellan, in observing the federal regiments and officers, later described what he saw as "chaos".)
August 21, 1861 -- Confederate Command Assignments
Brig. General Roswell S. Ripley CS Army - Assigned to command of the Dept. of South Carolina
Brig. General John B. Grayson, CS Army - Assigned to command of Dept. of Middle and East Florida
August 26 --Kessler's Cross Lanes
August 28-29, 1861 -- Hatteras Inlet Batteries / Fort Clark / Fort Hatteras (North Carolina)
A small army-navy force secured a beachead at Hatteras Inlet on the narrow sandspit protecting Pamlico Sound,
a haven for blockade runners.
September 2 --Dry Wood Creek / Battle of the Mules (Missouri)
September 10 -- Carnifex Ferry (Western Virginia)
September 12-15 -- Cheat Mountain Summit (Western Virginia)
September 13-20 -- Lexington / Battle of the Hemp Bales (Missouri)
September 17 -- Liberty / Blue Mills Landing (Missouri)
September 19 -- Barbourville (Kentucky)
October 3 -- Greenbrier River / Camp Bartow (Western Virginia)
October 9, 1861 -- Santa Rosa Island (Florida)
October 21 -- Camp Wildcat / Wildcat Mountain (Kentucky)
October 21 -- Fredericktown (Missouri)
October 21 -- Ball's Bluff / Leesburg (Virginia)
October 25 -- Springfield / Zagonyi's Charge (Missouri)
October 29 -- The Sherman Expedition sails from the port of Hampton Roads, Virginia
October 1861 - March 1862: The Potomac Blockade
Confederate artillery batteries, built in haste and secrecy near present-day Quantico, VA, close off the Potomac
River to Union ship traffic and force the Union Navy to direct all ship traffic out of Baltimore instead of Washington.
The Federal capital was effectively blockaded and forced to use the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad for supplies
until March 1862 when Gen. Joe Johnston moves his Confederate troops to Fredericksburg.
November 7, 1861 -- Port Royal (South Carolina)
The Union blockade of Southern ports intensifies when a fleet of Union ships carrying 15,000 men bombard
the South Carolina coast. Flag Officer Samuel F. DuPont's warships silenced Confederate guns on Hilton Head
Island, Fort Walker and Fort Beauregard. This victory enabled Union troops
to occupy Port Royal, which became a secure base for the blockading fleet, and then to occupy all the famous Sea Islands
of South Carolina. In the following months, the Northerners close off ports from Charleston to
St. Augustine to all but the most daring blockade runners (remember Captain Rhett Butler in "Gone With The Wind"?).
November 7, 1861 -- Belmont (Missouri)
Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, in his first battle of the war, raids a Confederate encampment in Missouri on the Mississippi
River at the Battle of Belmont. When Confederate reinforcements arrive, Grant retreats and the battle is inconclusive.
November 8 - Dec 27, 1861 -- The Trent Affair
Southern diplomats John Slidell and James M. Mason, bound for Europe to secure diplomatic recognition for the
Confederacy, are seized from British mail ship, the Trent by the U.S. Navy. In response to vehement British
protest which nearly approached a declaration of war, Lincoln releases Slidell and Mason.
November 8-9 -- Ivy Mountain / Ivy Creek / Ivy Narrows (Kentucky)
November 19 -- Round Mountain (Indian Territory)
December 9 -- Chusto-Talasah / Caving Banks (Indian Territory)
December 13 -- Camp Allegheny / Allegheny Mountain (Western Virginia)
December 20 -- Dranesville (Virginia)
December 26 -- Chustenahlah (Indian Territory)
December 17 -- Rowlett's Station / Woodsonville / Green River (Kentucky)
December 28 -- Mount Zion Church (Missouri)
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