Jefferson Davis comes out in favor of secession of the Southern states for the first time. This enhances the possibility for the Southern states to secede since they have someone of government, the Senator of Mississippi, to agree with the idea.
Copper Union Address
Abraham Lincoln makes a speech at Cooper Union in the city of New York that is largely responsible for his election to the Presidency. The Election of 1860 nominees were Abraham Lincoln, Southern Democrat John C. Breckenridge, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas, and Constitutional Union candidate John Bell.
The Democratic National Convention Cannot Decide
The Democratic National Convention, meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, cannot agree on a nominee for the Election of 1860. The only thing they can agree on is to continue the debate in Baltimore the next month
The Constitution Union Party Meets in Baltimore
The Constitution Union Party, meeting in Baltimore, creates a platform taken heavily from the U. S. Constitution and selects John Bell of Tennessee for President and Edward Everett of Massachusetts for Vice-President. It represents southern Whigs.
The Republican Convention Votes for Lincoln
The Republican Convention is held in Chicago, Illinois. Lincoln wins on the third ballot. Hannibal Hamlin of Maine, an outspoken, long-time abolitionist is chosen for vice-president.
Abraham Lincoln is Elected
On this day, Abraham Lincoln is elected as the 16th president of the United States, being the first Republican president in the nation who represents a party that opposes the spread of slavery in the territories of the United States.
Convention of the People of South Carolina
The General Assembly, upon arrival of the news of the Republican victory, called for a Convention of the People of South Carolina to draw up an Ordinance of Secession. They were then meeting in the original wood frame state house, pictured below, the present-day state house then still under construction.
First Secession Convention
On December 17, 1860, the Secession Convention convened in the Baptist Church in Columbia. The spirit of Nationalism, Sectionalism, and Secession-ism was in the air for the Confederate state. One observer said that restraining the spirit of the Convention was like restraining the wind. On this first day, the Convention passed a unanimous resolution to Secede from the union.
South Carolina Secedes from the Union
Convinced that a Republican administration would attempt to undermine slavery by appointing antislavery judges, postmasters, military officers, and other officials, South Carolina voted unanimously to secede from the Union on December 20, 1860.
Harriet Tubman: The Legand
Harriet Tubman arrives in Auburn, New York, on her last mission to free slaves, having evaded capture for 8 years on the Underground Railroad and escorting a total of over 300 slaves during this time period.
South States Become Angry at Lincoln
The Confederate States grow angry at Lincoln for declaring slavery in those states is unlawful.
More States Secede From the Union
By this time, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi secede from the Union
The Convention of Seceded States
The Convention of Seceded States adopts a provisional constitution forming the Confederate States of America
Jefferson Davis is elected the provisional president of the Confederate States of America. He is elected at the Weed convention in Montgomery, Alabama.
Confederate batteries along the shore of Charleston Harbor fire on Fort Sumter under the command of Major Robert Anderson. Anderson arranges a surrender with Texas Senator Louis Wigfall on the morning of the 13th.
Battle of Philippi
This was the first land engagement of the Civil War between American and Confederate forces
The First Battle of Bull Run
The First Battle of Bull Run, also known as the First Battle of Mananas, was fought on July 21, 1861 in Prince William County, Virginia, just north of the city of Mananas and about 25 miles west-southwest of Washington, D.C. The Confederates won decisively.
Capture of the Tennessee River
Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant, captured Paducah, Kentucky without spilling any blood. This gave the Union control of the Tennessee River.
USS San Jacinto
A Union ship stopped the United Kingdom mail ship, The Trent. They arrest two Confederate envoys, James Mason and John Slidell. This causes tension with the previously neutral Britain.
Kentucky and the Confederacy
Kentucky becomes the 13th Confederate state of the US. This was truly turning point because the Confederate states were becoming larger and larger. This also meant they were gaining more power and resources.
McClellan ignores Lincoln's Order
Lincoln issued the first General War Order, telling all land and sea army forces to advance. McClellan igorned this, but because of his backing Lincoln could not punish him.
After capturing Fort Henry on the Tennessee River on February 6, 1862, Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant advanced 12 miles cross-country to invest Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River. By February 13th, Grant had surrounded the fort with about 25,000 men, and had conducted several small attacks to probe the fort's defenses.
Battle of Shiloh
On the morning of April 6, 1862, 40,000 Confederate soldiers under the command of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston poured out of the nearby woods and struck the encamped divisions of Union soldiers occupying ground near Pittsburgh Landing on the Tennessee River. The overpowering Confederate attack drove the unprepared Federal soldiers from their camps and threatened to overwhelm Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s entire Army of the Tennessee.
Conscription of Confederates
Davis and the Confederate Congress approved the Conscription Act. This called forward any white male from ages 18 to 35 to fight for the Confederate army.
The Militia Act of 1862
The Union army was officially allowed to hire African Americans as laborers. This was a step in the right direction because they were on their way to becoming equal and winning the Civil War. The slaves were then allowed to help in the army that was being fought to free them.
Battle of Antietam
The battle of Antietam is the bloodiest single day battle in American history. Neither side won the war but the Confederate retreat during the battle made it a victory in Lincoln's eyes. The battle ended in a loss of 110 men.
President Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in the midst of the Civil War, announcing on September 22, 1862, that if the rebels did not end the fighting and rejoin the Union by January 1, 1863, all slaves in the rebellious states would be free. This gave the slaves hope for their freedom and even more of a reason behind the war.
Grant Against the Jewish
Grant issued an order to ban Jewish people from serving under his command. This was horribly ironic because he was fighting to free a group of people because of the harsh treatment they were receiving. He then discriminated against another group of people simply because they had different beliefs.
Lincoln Hangs Indian Men
Thirty-eight Dakota Indians were hanged in Mankato, Minnesota, in the largest mass execution in US history–on orders of President Abraham Lincoln. Their crime: killing 490 white settlers, including women and children, in the Santee Sioux uprising the previous August. This is ironic because he was trying to gain one group of people equality and he should've been doing the same things for the Native Americans.
Officially Putting Emancipation Proclamation into Effect
Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and officially freed 3.1 million of the nation's slaves. This document only freed slaves that were not under Union control, yet allowed them to serve in the Union army.
National Banking Act
Lincoln signed the National Banking Act, making it a law. It put someone in charge of controlling currency and it led to the creation of local banks. Congress passed the act to help resolve the financial crisis that emerged during the early days of the Civil War.
The National Conscription Act was signed forcing able bodied males from ages 18-35 into joining the Union Army. The signing of this act led to the week long New York Draft Riots.
Battle of Chancellorsville
This battle took place from May 1st to May 4th, ending in a Confederate victory. Both sides lost many of their soldiers, the Union casualties were 17,500 men and the Confederate casualties were 13,000. The most devastating Confederate loss was General Stonewall Jackson.
Battle of Gettysburg
General Robert E. Lee advances into Pennsylvania where he meets George Meade. First battling north of the city, by the second day Union forces had retreated south, forming a strong line as men arrived almost continuously. On the third day, the infamous Pickett's Charge marked the end of the Confederates hope for a victory. The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1–3, 1863.
Lee Attempts to Resign
Following his shameful defeat at Gettysburg, General Lee sent a letter of resignation to Confederate President Jefferson Davis. However, Davis refused the request.
Battle of Lawrence
This battle took place in Lawrence, Kansas, the site of much previous violence over the issue of slavery. William Qauntrill's raiders kill over 200 men and boys. The north views this as one of the most vicious atrocities of the war.
Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday to be celebrated the last Thursday in November. This holiday is to celebrate the colonists and Native Americans coming together and sharing their resources. This is ironic because during Lincoln's time the Natives were still being treated with disrespect.
The Gettysburg Address
This was Lincoln's speech dedicating the military cemetery at Gettysburg. The address is not very long but is considered the most influential speech. It boosted Northern morale and made them feel like there was a purpose behind the war.
Battle of Missionary Ridge, Chattanooga
Three Union armies attacked the Army of Tennessee atop Missionary Ridge, east of downtown Chattanooga. Patrick Cleburne stopped William Tecumseh Sherman from the North, although outnumbered 10 to 1. Joe Hooker was seriously delayed by burnt bridges and failed to hit the southern end of Bragg's line near Rossville, Georgia. Thomas' Army of the Cumberland struck the center, breaking Bragg's line and forcing a retreat.
The first 500 prisoners of war arrive at the Confederate prison camp, Andersonville. This was the harshest prison camp of the Civil War. Many of the men held there did not survive because of the brutal conditions faced there.
Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, sometimes more simply referred to as the Battle of Spotsylvania, was the second major battle in Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's 1864 Overland Campaign of the Civil War. This lasted from May 8th- May 21st
The New York World and the New York Journal of Commerce publish an article stating that Lincoln has drafted 400,000 more soldiers into the Union army, The public decided it was not true when they found that only two papers had published the news. The reason why this was important is because it could've made it a serious contribution towards the brutality of the Civil War if it was published.
Battle of Pickett's Mill
The Battle of Pickett's Mill was fought on May 27, 1864, in Paulding County, Georgia. Arguably the worst Union defeat of the Atlanta Campaign, the Confederate victory resulted in a one-week delay of the Federal advance on Atlanta.
Lincoln's Conscription Law
Lincoln signs away the fee that someone could pay to avoid being drafted into the Union Army.
The Confederate Spy
Confederate spy Belle Boyd is arrested by Union forces. She was held at the Old Capital Prison in Washington D.C.
Battle of Mobile Bay
18 Union ships sail past the entrance to Mobile Bay. The C. S. S. Tennessee, prize ironclad of the Confederate Navy awaited the attack. As the U. S. S. Tecumseh sinks Admiral David Farragut orders "Damn the torpedoes, go ahead." His flag vessel Hartford took the lead. The ships destroyed the Confederate fleet.
Lincoln is re-elected in 1864. His victory is overwhelming because of how many votes he received over George B. McClellan.
Burning of New York
A group of Confederate operatives that called themselves the "Confederate Army of Manhattan" set fires in more then 20 places in New York. This was their unsuccessful attempt at burning New York completely down, yet it still had major impact.
Sherman's March to the Sea
At Waynesboro, Georgia forced the Union prevent Confederate troops from interfering with General Sherman's plan to destroy part of the South by matching to Savannah, Georgia. Union suffered three times as many casualties as the Confederacy.
The Confederate forced capture Fort Stedman from the Union forces. About 2,900 of Lee's men were killed and 1,000 were captured during the counter attack.
Confederate President Davis and his cabinet flee the confederate capital, Richmond, Virginia as Union forces near it. The very next day it is captured by the Union.
General Lee surrenders to General Grant at Appomattox courthouse in Virginia. This officially marked the end of the American Civil War.
Assassination of Lincoln
John Wilkes Booth shoots President Lincoln at Fords Theater during a performance of My American Cousin. Lincoln is pronounced dead early the next morning. In addition, William Seward and his family are attacked by Booth's co-conspirator, Lewis Powell.
Booth is Captured
John Wilkes Booth is captured in a barn in Virginia at the Garret's farm. He is shot and killed by Boston Corbett.
General Robert S. Granger declares Emancipation Day in Texas, the date when all Negroes are officially set free. This was celebrated as Juneteenth!
The four conspirators in Lincoln's assassination are hanged. These men are David Harold, George Atzerodt, Lewis Payne, and Mary Surratt. John Surratt escapes to Canada and later makes his way to Egypt so he does not pay for his involvement in Lincoln's death.
Major Henry Wirz was hanged because was the leader of the atrocious war camp, Andersonville. He became the only soldier hanged for war crimes.
The 13th Amendment was ratified by three-quarters of the states. This amendment permanently abolished slavery in the United States.
Jonathan Shank and Barry Ownby form the Ku Klux Klan to resist reconstruction as well as to repress the freed African Americans.
The last issue of the Liberator newspaper was published. The newspaper had become unnecessary because the slaves had been freed.
The first day light bank robbery takes place in Liberty, Missouri. This was carried out by Jesse James and his gang, although no one is quite sure where Jesse James fits into this event to this day.
Texas repeals the actions of the Secessionist Convention that was valid during the war.
President Johnson vetoed the Civil Rights Act of 1866 on the grounds that it was unconstitutional.
Peace Upon Confederate States
The United States declares that a state of peace exists with Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia
Following the Civil War, Tennessee became the first state readmitted to the Union (United States).
General of the Army
Congress passes the legislation making General of the Army a rank. Ulysses S. Grant was the first to ever hold that title in the United States.
The U. S. Secret Service begins an investigation into the Ku Klux Klan.
The Reno Brothers
Brothers John and Simeon Reno stage the first train robbery in American history, making off with $13,000 from an Ohio and Mississippi railroad train in Jackson County, Indiana.
Jesse James Strikes Again
Jesse James and his gang once again set a course of action and robbed a bank in Lexington, Missouri. They got away with $2,000.
African American Males Can Vote
African American males are given the right to vote in Washington D.C. Congress had over came President Johnson's veto to give the African Americans this right.
Jesse James in Savannah
This day also marked when Jesse James and his gang attempted to rob a bank in Savannah, Missouri, yet failed with one casualty.
First Reconstruction Act
The first reconstruction act sets up five military districts in the South, each under the control of a military commander. The Army Appropriations Act is passed, lessening Johnsons' control on the army. The final act passed is The Tenure Office Act which states that Johnson cannot remove cabinet members without the Senate's consent.
African Americans stage a ride on streetcars in New Orleans to protest segregation.
President Andrew Johnson announces the purchase of Alaska. This would be the second to last state added to the United States of America.
Third Reconstruction Act
Johnson vetoes the third reconstruction act which spells out election procedures in the South and reasserts congressional control over the Reconstruction. Congress overrides Johnsons' veto.
Johnson Suspends Stanton
Johnson suspends Stanton as Secretary of War after the two clash over reconstruction plans. Johnson places Ulysses S. Grant in the position.
Alaska is Formerly Acquired
The United States officially takes possession of Alaska from Russia. $7.2 million is paid for it.
Congress looks into impeaching Johnson for his lack of effectiveness and unwillingness to follow through with reconstruction.
Former Minnesota farmer Oliver Hudson Kelley founds the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry. Today this order is known as the farmers organization Grange.