Today in History - Historical Events - 1861

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Notable Historical Events - 1861

1861Abraham Lincoln declared president in Washington DC

1861Union General George McClellan takes command from McDowell of Potamic Army

1861Jefferson Davis of Mississippi and 4 other southern senators resign (U.S Civil War)

1861Jefferson Davis approves a bill declaring War between US & Confederacy

1861Harpers Ferry evacuated by rebels in face of General George McClellan's advance

1861President-elect of the United States Abraham Lincoln declares slavery in Confederate states unlawful (US Civil War)

1861Jefferson Davis elected to 6 year term as Confederate president

1861King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia becomes 1st King of Italy

1861Confederate constitutional convention meets for 1st time; Jefferson Davis elected president of Confederacy (US Civil War)

1861Jefferson Davis & Alexander Stephens elected president & VP of the Confederate States of America (US Civil War)

1861Robert E. Lee named commander of Virginia Confederate forces (US Civil War)

1861General George McClellan made general in chief of Union armies

1861Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated as 16th US President

1861Confederate President Jefferson Davis inaugurated at Montgomery Alabama (US Civil War)

1861General Ulysses S. Grant occupies Paducah Kentucky

1861Colonel Robert E. Lee turns down offer to command Union armies (US Civil War)

1861 Historical Events
Date Event
Jan 1
Porfirio Diaz conquers Mexico City 
Jan 1
President-elect of the United States Abraham Lincoln declares slavery in Confederate states unlawful (US Civil War) 
Jan 2
SC seizes inactive Ft Johnson in Charleston Harbor 
Jan 2
Colonel Charles Stone is put in charge of organizing DC militia 
Jan 3
Delaware legislature rejects proposal to join Confederacy 
Jan 3
US Ft Pulaski & Ft Jackson, Savannah, seized by Georgia 
Jan 4
Pres Buchanan appoints a fast on account of threatened succession 
Jan 4
US Ft Morgan, Mobile, seized by Alabama 
Jan 5
250 Federal troops are sent from New York to Ft Sumter 
Jan 5
Alabama troops seize Forts Morgan & Gaines at Mobile Bay 
Jan 6
Florida troops seize Federal arsenal at Apalachicola 
Jan 6
NYC mayor proposes NY become a free city, trading with N & S 
Jan 7
Florida troops takeover Fort Marion at St Augustine (US Civil War) 
Jan 9
A Union merchant ship, the Star of the West, is fired upon as it tries to deliver supplies to Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina 
Jan 9
Mississippi secedes from the Union (US Civil War) 
Jan 10
Fort Jackson & Fort Philip are taken over by LA state troops (US Civil War) 
Jan 10
US forts & property seized by Mississippi 
Jan 10
Florida secedes from the Union (US Civil War) 
Jan 11
Mexico City captured by Juarez (Lib) in War of Reform 
Jan 11
Alabama secedes from the Union (US Civil War) 
Jan 12
Florida state troops demand surrender of Fort Pickens (US Civil War) 
Jan 14
Fort Pikens, Florida, falls into state hands (US Civil War) 
Jan 15
Steam elevator patented by Elisha Otis 
Jan 17
Flush toilet patented by Mr Thomas Crapper 
Jan 19
Misssissippi troops take Fort Massachusetts and Ship Island (US Civil War) 
Jan 19
Georgia secedes from the Union (US Civil War) 
Jan 21
Jefferson Davis of Mississippi and 4 other southern senators resign (U.S Civil War) 
Jan 24
Arsenal at Augusta, Ga seized by Confederacy 
Jan 24
Federal troops from Ft Monroe are sent to Ft Pikens 
Jan 26
Louisiana secedes from the Union (US Civil War) 
Jan 29
Kansas secedes from the Union (US Civil War) 
Jan 31
Friedrich Hebbel's "Siegfrieds Tod," premieres in Weimar 
Jan 31
State of Louisiana takes over US Mint at New Orleans (U.S Civil War) 
Feb 1
Dike breaks in Gelderland, Netherlands 
Feb 1
Texas secedes from the Union (US Civil War) 
Feb 4
Confederate constitutional convention meets for 1st time; Jefferson Davis elected president of Confederacy (US Civil War) 
Feb 5
Kinematoscope patented by Coleman Sellers, Phila 
Feb 5
Louisiana delegation except Mr Bouligny withdraws from Congress (US Civil War) 
Feb 6
1st meeting of Provisional Congress of Confederate States of America (US Civil War) 
Feb 6
British Vice-Admiral Robert Fitzroy issues first storm warnings for ships 
Feb 8
Confederate States of America organizes in Montgomery, Alabama (US Civil War) 
Feb 9
Jefferson Davis & Alexander Stephens elected president & VP of the Confederate States of America (US Civil War) 
Feb 9
Tennessee votes against secession (US Civil War) 
Feb 9
Confederate Provisional Congress declares all laws under the US Constitution were consistent with constitution of Confederate states (US Civil War) 
Feb 11
President-elect Lincoln takes train from Spingfield IL to Washington DC 
Feb 11
US House unanimously passes resolution guaranteeing noninterference with slavery in any state 
Feb 12
State troops seize US munitions in Napoleon, AK (US Civil War) 
Feb 13
1st military action to result in Congressional Medal of Honor, AZ 
Feb 13
Abraham Lincoln declared president in Washington DC 
Feb 13
Col Bernard Irwin attacks & defeats hostile Chiricahua Indians 
Feb 15
Ft Point completed & garrisoned (but has never fired cannon in anger) 
Feb 18
Confederate President Jefferson Davis inaugurated at Montgomery Alabama (US Civil War) 
Feb 18
King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia becomes 1st King of Italy 
Feb 19
Russian Tsar Alexander II abolishes serfdom [NS=Mar 3] 
Feb 20
Department of Navy of Confederacy forms (US Civil War) 
Feb 20
Steeple of Chichester Cathedral blown down during a storm 
Feb 21
Navaho indians elect Herrero Grande as chief 
Feb 22
On a bet Edward Weston leaves Boston to walk to Lincoln's inauguration 
Feb 23
Dutch Premier Floris A van Hall resigns 
Feb 27
Russians shoot at Poles protesting Russian rule of Poland in Castle Square, Warsaw 
Feb 27
US Congress authorizes 1st stamped newspaper wrappers for mailing 
Feb 28
Territories of Nevada & Colorado created 
Mar 2
Government Printing Office purchases 1st printing plant, Washington 
Mar 2
US creates Dakota & Nevada Territories out of the Nebraska & Utah ter 
Mar 3
Alexander II of Russia signs the Emancipation Manifesto, freeing serfs [OS=Feb 19]. 
Mar 4
Confederate States adopt "Stars & Bars" flag (US Civil War) 
Mar 4
Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated as 16th US President 
Mar 4
US President Lincoln opens government Printing Office 
Mar 6
Provisionary Confederate Congress establishes Confederate Army 
Mar 8
St Augustine Florida surrenders to Union armies 
Mar 9
Confederate currency authorized-$50, $100, $500, $1,000 
Mar 10
El Hadj Umar Tall seizes the city of Segou, destroying the Bambara Empire of Mali. 
Mar 11
Confederate convention in Montgomery adopts constitution (US Civil War) 
Mar 16
Arizona Territory votes to leave the Union (US Civil War) 
Mar 16
Confederate government appoints commissioners to Britain 
Mar 16
Edward Clark became Governor of Texas, replacing Sam Houston, who was evicted from the office for refusing to take an oath of loyalty to the Confederacy (US Civil War) 
Mar 17
Italy declares independence; Kingdom of Italy proclaimed 
Mar 19
The First Taranaki War ends in New Zealand 
Mar 20
An earthquake completely destroys Mendoza, Argentina. 
Mar 22
1st US nursing school chartered 
Mar 23
London's 1st tramcars, designed by Mr Train of NY, begins operating 
Mar 31
Confederacy takes over mint at New Orleans (US Civil War) 
Apr 5
Federals abandon Ft Quitman, Texas 
Apr 8
US mint at Dahlonega, Georgia, seized by confederacy (US Civil War) 
Apr 12
Fort Sumter, SC is shelled by Confederacy, starting Civil War 
Apr 13
After 34 hours of bombardment, Fort Sumter surrenders to Confederates (US Civil War) 
Apr 14
Formal Union surrender of Ft Sumter (US Civil War) 
Apr 15
Federal army (75,000 volunteers) mobilized by US President Lincoln (US Civil War) 
Apr 16
US president Lincoln outlaws business with confederate states (US Civil War) 
Apr 17
Indianola TX - "Star of West" taken by Confederacy 
Apr 17
Virginia secedes from the Union (US Civil War) 
Apr 18
Battle of Harpers Ferry, Virginia, part of the Maryland Campaign (US Civil War) 
Apr 18
Colonel Robert E. Lee turns down offer to command Union armies (US Civil War) 
Apr 19
Baltimore riots-4 soldiers, 9 civilians killed 
Apr 19
Lincoln orders blockade of Confederate ports (Civil War) 
Apr 20
Battle of Norfolk, VA 
Apr 23
Robert E. Lee named commander of Virginia Confederate forces (US Civil War) 
Apr 23
Arkansas troops seize Ft Smith 
Apr 25
Battle of Lavaca, Texas (US Civil War) 
Apr 25
The Union Army arrives to reinforce Washington, D.C. (US Civil War) 
Apr 27
President A Lincoln suspends writ of habeas corpus (US Civil War) 
Apr 27
West Virginia secedes from Virginia after Virginia secedes from Union (US Civil War) 
Apr 29
Maryland's House of Delegates votes against seceding from Union (US Civil War) 
Apr 30
President Lincoln ordered Federal Troops to evacuate Indian Territory (US Civil War) 
May 1
Lee orders Confederate troops under T J Jackson to Harper's Ferry 
May 3
Gen Winfield Scott presents his Anaconda Plan for the North against the South in American Civil War 
May 3
Lincoln asks for 42,000 Army Volunteers & another 18,000 seamen 
May 4
At Gretna LA, one of 1st guns of Rebel navy is cast 
May 5
Alexandria, VA - CS troops abandon city 
May 6
Arkansas & Tennessee becomes 9th & 10th states to secede from US 
May 6
Jefferson Davis approves a bill declaring War between US & Confederacy 
May 7
Riot occurs between prosecessionist & Union supporters in Knoxville TN 
May 8
Richmond, Va, is named the capital of the Confederacy 
May 10
Union troops march on state militia in St Louis, MI 
May 13
Queen Victoria announces Britain's position of neutrality 
May 13
The Great Comet of 1861 is discovered by John Tebbutt of Windsor, New South Wales, Australia. 
May 14
The Canellas meteorite, an 859-gram chondrite-type meteorite, strikes the earth near Barcelona, Spain. 
May 16
Twiggs Surrender, San Antonio, Texas during US Civil war 
May 16
Confederate government offers war volunteers $10 premium 
May 16
Kentucky proclaims its neutrality 
May 18
Battle of Sewall's Point VA-1st Federal offense against South 
May 18
Friedrich Hebbel's "Kriemhildes Rache" premieres in Weimar 
May 20
Cornerstone of University of Washington laid in Seattle 
May 20
Kentucky proclaims its neutrality in Civil War 
May 20
North Carolina becomes 11th & last state to secede from Union 
May 20
US marshals appropriate previous year's telegraph dispatches, to reveal prosecessionist evidence 
May 21
Richmond, Va, is designated Confederate Capital 
May 23
3 fleeing slaves enter Fort Monroe Virginia 
May 23
Virginia citizens vote 3 to 1 in favor of secession from the Union 
May 24
Alexandria, VA occupied by Federal troops 
May 24
Maj Gen Benjamin Butler declares slaves "contraband of war" 
May 25
John Merryman is arrested under suspension of writ of habeas corpus it later sparks a supreme court decision protecting writ 
May 26
US Postmaster General Blair announces end of postal connection with South 
May 26
Union blockades New Orleans LA & Mobile AL 
May 29
Dorothea Dix offers help in setting up hospitals for Union Army 
May 31
Gen Beauregard is given command of Confederate Alexandria Line 
May 31
Mint at New Orleans closes 
Jun 1
1st skirmish in Civil War, Fairfax Court House, Va 
Jun 1
British territorial waters & ports off-limits during Civil War 
Jun 1
Skirmish at Arlington Mills, VA 
Jun 1
US & Confederacy simultaneously stop mail interchange 
Jun 3
1st Civil War land battle-Union defeats Confederacy at Philippi, WV 
Jun 5
Federal marshals seize arms & gunpower at Du Pont works DE 
Jun 6
Lincoln's cabinet declares Union government will pay for expenses once states have mobilized volunteers 
Jun 8
US Sanitary Commission is given executive approval 
Jun 8
American Civil War: Tennessee votes to secede from the Union. 
Jun 10
Battle of Big Bethel VA (Bethel Church, Great Bethal)-Union retreats 
Jun 12
Missouri Governor Claiborne Jackson calls for 50,000 volunteers to stop Federates from taking over his state 
Jun 14
Harpers Ferry evacuated by rebels in face of General George McClellan's advance 
Jun 15
Johnston evacuates Harpers Ferry 
Jun 16
Battle of Vienna, VA & Secessionville, SC (James Island) 
Jun 17
Battle of Boonville, MI-Brigadier General Lyon defeats Confederate forces 
Jun 19
Anaheim Post Office established 
Jun 19
Francis Pierpont is elected provisional governor of West Virginia 
Jun 24
Battle of Mathias Point, VA-US attacks Confederate batteries 
Jun 24
Tennessee becomes 11th (& last) state to secede from Union 
Jun 25
Western Virginia campaign 
Jun 28
Leipzig Observatory discovers short-period (6.2 yrs) Comet d'Arrest 
Jun 30
CSS Sumter slips past USS Brooklyn blockade 
Jul 1
1st public schoolhouse opens at Washington & Mason St, SF 
Jul 1
War Dept decrees that Kansas and Tennessee are to be canvassed for volunteers 
Jul 2
Battle of Hoke's Run, WV - small Union victory 
Jul 3
Colonel Jackson receives his commission as brigadier general 
Jul 3
Pony Express arrives in SF with overland letters from NY 
Jul 3
Martinsburg, VA - Confederate forces pull out before US advance 
Jul 4
In a special session of 27th Congress Lincoln requests 400,000 troops 
Jul 4
Skirmish at Harper's Ferry, WV 
Jul 5
Battle of Carthage, MO - US Gen Sigel attacks pro-secessionist 
Jul 7
Battle of Laurel Hill, VA 
Jul 8
CS Gen Sibley is given command of rebel troops in NM territory 
Jul 8
Skirmish at Florida, MI - A rebel encampment is attacked & dispersed 
Jul 10
Lincoln writes to Kentucky's militia & says Union troops will not enter that state 
Jul 11
Battle of Laurel Mountain VA - Gen Morris forces retreat of rebels 
Jul 11
Battle of Rich Mountain, VA - Rosecrans forces rebels to surrender 
Jul 13
Battle of Corrick's Ford, VA (Carrick's Ford) - Union army takes total control of western Virginia CS20 US53 
Jul 14
Gen McDowell advances toward Fairfax Courthouse, VA with 40,000 troops 
Jul 14
Naval Engagement at Wilmington NC - USS Daylight establishes blockade 
Jul 16
Battle of Bull Run, the 1st major battle of the Civil War, is fought 
Jul 16
Manassas Campaign [->JUL 22] 
Jul 17
US Congress authorizes paper money 
Jul 17
Manassas, VA Gen Beauregard requests reinforcements for his 22,000 men, Gen Johnston is ordered to Manassas 
Jul 18
Battle of Blackburn's Ford, VA US57 CS68 - Manassas - 
Jul 20
Confederate states' congress began holding sessions in Richmond, Va 
Jul 21
1st major battle of Civil War ends (Bull Run), Va - South wins 
Jul 24
Skirmish at Taylor Mountain, (W)VA - CS Gen Wise retreats 
Jul 25
Washington DC - Crittenden resolution is passed stating that the war is to be fought to preserve union & uphold the Constitution, not to alter slavery 
Jul 25
Skirmish at Fort Fillmore, NM Terr - Rebels attack Union troops 
Jul 27
Battle of Mathias Point, VA - Rebel forces repel a Federal landing 
Jul 27
Battle of St Augustine Springs, NM Terr 
Jul 27
Confederate troops occupy Fort Fillmore, New Mexico 
Jul 27
Union General George McClellan takes command from McDowell of Potamic Army 
Jul 31
9,300 mm rainfall in July in Cherrapunji, Assam: world record 
Aug 1
Brazil recognizes Confederacy 
Aug 2
Skirmish at Dug Springs, MI 
Aug 3
Federal fleet bombards Galveston, Texas 
Aug 5
Enlistment increases from 3 months to 2 years 
Aug 5
Naval Engagement at Fernandina, FL-USS Vincennes ends rebel blockade 
Aug 5
US Army abolishes flogging 
Aug 5
US levies its 1st Income Tax (3% of incomes over $800) 
Aug 6
US Congress passes First Confiscation Act 
Aug 6
Lexington, Kentucky - Union military camp forms in neutral state 
Aug 6
The British annex Lagos, Nigeria. 
Aug 10
Battle of Wilson's Creek (Oak Hills) Missouri during US Civil War - General Lyon killed 
Aug 12
Skirmish at Texas - rebels are attacked by Apache Indians 
Aug 14
79th NY troops mutinies 
Aug 14
Martial Law is declared at St Louis, Missouri due to pro-secession sentiment which surged throughout Missouri after the Battle of Wilson's Creek 
Aug 15
Lincoln directs reinforcements to be sent to MO 
Aug 16
Pres Lincoln prohibits Union states from trading with Confederacy 
Aug 16
Skirmishes at Fredericktown/Kirkville, Missouri 
Aug 19
Confederacy Congress allies with government of MO 
Aug 20
Skirmish at Jonesboro, MO 
Aug 27
Battle of Cape Hatteras SC-Union troops take Ft Clark 
Aug 28
Battle of Fort Hatteras,NC 
Aug 29
American Civil War: US Navy squadron captures forts at Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina. 
Aug 30
John Fremont issues proclamation freeing slaves of Missouri rebels 
Sep 1
Grant assumes command of Federal forces at Cape Girardeau MI 
Sep 1
Skirmishes at Boone Court House WV & Blue Creek WV 
Sep 3
Confederate forces enter Kentucky, thus ending its neutrality 
Sep 6
General Ulysses S. Grant occupies Paducah Kentucky 
Sep 9
Nurse Sally Tompkins is officially commissioned as an officer (and its only woman officer) by the Confederate US Army 
Sep 10
-15] Battle at Cheat Mountain, Elkwater West Virginia 
Sep 10
Battle of Carnifex Ferry VA, 170 casualities 
Sep 13
1st naval battle of Civil War, Union frigate "Colorado" sinks privateer "Judah" off Pensacola, Fla 
Sep 16
Battle of Princeton WV 
Sep 16
British Post Office Savings Banks opens 
Sep 17
First class for escaped slaves taught by Mary Peake at Fortress Monroe Virginia (now Hampton University). 
Sep 20
Battle of Lexington, MI-captured by Union 
Sep 22
Fort Fauntleroy (Wingate), rapes Navaho Indians 
Sep 25
Secretary of US Navy authorizes enlistment of slaves 
Sep 26
2nd British Golf Open: Tom Morris Sr shoots a 163 at Prestwick Club 
Oct 2
Former US VP John C Breckinridge flees Kentucky 
Oct 6
Naval Engagement at Charleston, SC USS Flag vs BR Alert 
Oct 6
Revolt of Russian student shuts down university of Petersburg 
Oct 11
Battle of Dumfries, VA (Quantico Creek) 
Oct 12
Confederate ironclad Manassas attack Union's Richmond on Mississippi 
Oct 16
Confederacy starts selling postage stamps 
Oct 21
Battle of Balls Bluff, VA (Leesburg, Harrison's Island) 
Oct 22
1st telegraph line linking West & East coasts completed 
Oct 24
First US transcontinental telegram is sent (from San Francisco to Washington DC) 
Oct 24
West Virginia seceded from Virginia 
Oct 25
First Battle of Springfield in Missouri during US Civil War, Union victory 
Oct 25
Telegraph message sent from St Louis to SF 
Oct 25
The Toronto Stock Exchange created. 
Oct 26
Pony Express ends 
Nov 1
General George McClellan made general in chief of Union armies 
Nov 2
American Civil War: Western Department Union General John C. Fremont is relieved of command and replaced by David Hunter. 
Nov 4
University of Washington founded in Seattle 
Nov 6
Jefferson Davis elected to 6 year term as Confederate president 
Nov 7
Battle of Belmont, MO 
Nov 7
Battle of Port Royal Bay, SC (Ft Walker, Ft Beauregard) 
Nov 8
Battle of Mount Ivy, KY 
Nov 8
US removes Confederate officials from British steamer Trent 
Nov 9
1st documented Canadian football game (at U of Toronto) 
Nov 9
Battle of Piketon, Ky 
Nov 19
Julia Ward Howe committed "Battle Hymn of the Republic" to paper 
Nov 19
The first petroleum shipment (1,329 barrels) from the U.S. to Europe leaves Philadelphia, USA, for London, England on the Elizabeth Watts 
Nov 20
Secession ordinance is filed by Kentucky's Confederate government. 
Nov 22
Battle of Ft McRee, FL 
Nov 24
Luik-Visé-Maastricht railway opens 
Nov 26
West Virginia created as a result of dispute over slavery with Virginia 
Nov 28
Confederate congress officially admits Missouri to Confederacy 
Nov 30
Harper's Weekly publishes EE Beers' "All quiet along the Potomac" 
Dec 9
Battle of Bird Creek, Indian Terr (High Shoal, Chusto-Talasah) 
Dec 9
American Civil War: The Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War is established by the U.S. Congress. 
Dec 13
Battle of Alleghany Summit, WV 
Dec 19
Battle of Black Water (American Civil War) 
Dec 20
Battle of Dranesville, VA 
Dec 30
US, banks stops payments in gold 
Dec 31
22,990mm of rain falls in Cherrapunji Assam in India in 1861, a world record 
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