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Chronology of the Civil War

1860

1861

1862

1863

1864

1865

1866

1860

Dec. 20 South Carolina secedes from the Union.
Dec. 26 Major Robert Anderson abandons Fort Moultrie and occupies Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.
Dec. 27 Fort Moultrie and Castle Pinckney seized by South Carolina state forces.
Dec. 29 South Carolina commissioners demand immediate withdrawal of troops from Charleston Harbor.
Dec. 30 South Carolina troops seize U.S. arsenal at Charleston.
Dec. 30 President Buchanan states he cannot and will not remove troops from Charleston Harbor

1861

Jan. 3 Georgia state troops seize Fort Pulaski
Jan. 4 Alabama state troops seize U.S. arsenal at Mount Vernon; next day, seized Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines on Mobile bay
Jan. 6 Florida state troops seize U.S. arsenal at Apalachicola.
Jan. 9 Star of the West, unarmed merchant ship sent by government to   reinforce Fort Sumter, fired upon by South Carolina guns and prevented from entering Charleston Harbor. Returns to New York; Mississippi state convention adopts ordinance of secession.
Jan. 10 Louisiana state troops seize arsenal and barracks at Baton Rouge, Florida state convention adopts ordinance of secession.
Jan. 11 Alabama state convention adopts ordinance of secession.
Jan. 19 Georgia state convention adopts ordinance of secession.
Jan. 24 Georgia state troops seize U.S. arsenal at Augusta.
Jan. 26 Louisiana state convention adopts ordinance of secession.
Jan. 29 Kansas enters Union, a free state under Wyandotte Constitution.
Feb. 1 Louisiana seizes U.S. mint and customs house at New Orleans; Texas state convention adopts ordinance of secession.
Feb. 4-27 Peace Convention called by Virginia.
Feb. 4 Convention of delegates of 6 seceded states meets in Montgomery, Alabama, to form provisional government.
Feb. 8 Constitution for Provisional Government of Confederate States of America adopted by Montgomery convention.
Feb. 8 Arkansas state troops seize U.S. arsenal at Little Rock.
Feb. 9 Confederate States elect Jefferson Davis provisional President and Alexander H. Stephens provisional Vice-President Confederate Congress declares in force all laws of U.S. not inconsistent with Constitution of Confederate States.
Feb. 13 Virginia state convention at Richmond to consider secession.
Feb. 16 Texas state troops seize U.S. arsenal at San Antonio.
Feb. 18 General David E. Twiggs of U.S. Army surrenders U.S. military posts in Texas to the state.
Feb. 28 Missouri state convention meets to consider secession.
Mar. 4 Confederate flag of stars and bars adopted.
Mar. 11 Confederate Constitution unanimously adopted by Congress at Montgomery.
Apr.  Secretary of State Seward presents to President Lincoln “Some Thots for the Pres.’s Consideration,” suggesting that he, Seward, take over administration of government, and that U.S. engage in a European war in order to unite North & South.
Apr. 12 Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor fired upon by General P. T. Beauregard.
Apr. 14 Fort Sumter surrendered to Confederacy.
Apr. 15  President Lincoln calls for 75,000 volunteers for 5 months.
Apr. 16 North Carolina state troops seize Fort Caswell and Fort Johnston.
Apr. 17 Virginia state convention adopts ordinance of secession.
Apr. 18 Union commander abandons and burns U.S. arsenal at Harpers Ferry.
Apr. 19 Blockade of ports of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas declared by Lincoln; Apr.27 extended to Virginia and North Carolina; Baltimore riot. Massachusetts 6th Regiment, passing through, attacked by secessionist mob. First bloodshed in Civil War.
Apr. 20 Robert E. Lee resigns commission as colonel in U.S. Army; Apr.23 accepts chief command of Virginia state forces.
May 3 President Lincoln appeals for 42,054 volunteers to serve 5 years or duration. 
May 6  Confederate Congress recognizes state of war between U.S. & Confederate States; Arkansas convention adopts ordinance of secession.
May 13  Queen Victoria issues proclamation of neutrality in American conflict.
May 20 North Carolina convention adopts ordinance of secession.
June Great comet appears, considered prophetic of war by many.
June 3 Union forces under General George B. McClellan defeat Confederates at Philippi, in campaign in western Virginia.
June 8 Tennessee secedes from Union by popular vote of 2 to 1.
June 9 U.S. Sanitary Commission organized by Secretary of War, forerunner of Red Cross.
June 10 France proclaims neutrality in American conflict.
June 11 Union government organized at Wheeling by loyal element in Virginia.
July 20 Confederate Congress meets in Richmond, Virginia, capital of Confederacy from this date.
July 21 First battle of Bull Run, Northern army under General Irvin McDowell routed by Confederates under Generals Joseph E. Johnston and P.T. Beauregard.
Aug. 7 Construction of 7 ironclad gunboats by J.B. Eads of St. Louis ordered by U.S. govt.
Aug.10 Union forces under General Nathaniel Lyon defeated at Wilson's Creek, Missouri.
Aug. 28-29 Forts Clark and Hatteras on North Carolina coast captured by Union forces under General Butler.
Aug. 30 General John C. Fremont, in command of Department of Missouri, institutes martial law and by proclamation declares that slaves of all Missourians taking up arms against U.S. are free. President Lincoln orders modification to conform with existing law.
Sep. 6  General Ulysses S. Grant occupies Paducah, Kentucky, countering Confederate occupation of Columbus.
Oct. 21 Battle of Ball's Bluff on Potomac.  Union forces defeated
Nov. 1 General George B. McClellan appointed general-in-chief of U.S. Army to succeed General Winfield Scott.
Nov. 2 General John C. Fremont removed from command by the President for insubordination and incompetence.
Nov. 7 Battle of' Belmont, Missouri, lost to Confederates. General Grant retires to Cairo, Illinois. Port Royal on South Carolina coast taken in important victory by Federal fleet.
Nov. 8 Trent Affair opens when James M. Mason and John Slidell, Confederate commissioners to Great Britain and France, are taken from British mail packet Trent by Federal warship San Jacinto, Charles Wilkes captain, precipitating crisis with Great Britain.
Dec. 8 South Carolina planters near coast burn their year's crop of cotton to prevent seizure by Union troops.
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1862

  "John Brown's Body" being sung and whistled all over the North.
Jan.19-20 Battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky, decisive Union victory under General George H. Thomas.
Jan.30 Federal ironclad Monitor launched, built by John Ericsson.
Feb. War in the West begins with great flanking movement by Union forces.
Feb. 6 Fort Henry on Tennessee River forced to surrender to General U. S. Grant and Commodore A. H. Foote.
Feb. 8 Roanoke Island captured by Union Army under General A.E. Burnside in expedition to North Carolina.
Feb.16 Fort Donelson, on Cumberland River, surrenders with some 14,000 men to General Grant after 4 days’ siege.
Feb. 18 Convention at Wheeling adopts pro-Union constitution for proposed state of West Virginia; Apr. 3 ratified by popular vote.
Feb. 25 Nashville, Tennessee, evacuated by Confederates under General Albert Sidney Johnston.
Mar-May Shenandoah Valley Campaign, General Thomas J. (“Stonewall”) Jackson seeks to divert attention from Richmond, Virginia.
Mar. 3 Columbus, Kentucky, occupied by Union forces, beginning of opening of the Mississippi.
Mar.6-8 Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas. Confederates under General Earl Van Dorn defeated by Union force under General Samuel R. Curtis.
Mar.8 Confederate ironclad frigate Virginia, formerly the Merrimac, sinks the Cumberland and defeats the Congress in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
Mar.9 The Monitor, Federal ironclad with revolving gun-turret, forces the Virginia (the Merrimac) to withdraw; First battle of ironclads.
Mar.11 General McClellan relieved of command of Union forces except the Army of the Potomac, by Presidential order. General Henry W. Halleck given command of armies in the West.
Mar.14 General John Pope defeats Confederates at New Madrid, Missouri, and occupies town.
Mar.14 New Bern, North Carolina, captured by Union force under General Burnside, a base from which to threaten Richmond.
Mar. 17 General McClellan's Army of the Potomac begins embarkation from Alexandria, Virginia, for Peninsular Campaign.
Apr. 5 General McClellan begins siege of Yorktown, Virginia, occupies it May 4.
Apr. 6-7 Battle of Shiloh on Tennessee River, in which both sides claim victory. General A.S. Johnston killed. Confederates driven back by General Grant.
Apr.7 Treaty signed with Great Britain for efficient suppression of slave trade. Island No. 10, Confederate fort in Mississippi River, taken by Commodore Foote and General Pope.
Apr. 11 Fort Pulaski, Georgia, commanding approaches to Savannah, surrenders to Union force.
Apr. 16 Confederate Congress calls into military service every white man 18-35 for 3 years service, its first Conscription Act; Slavery abolished in District of Columbia by act of Congress.
Apr. 24 Forts St. Philip and Jackson on the Mississippi, guarding approach to New Orleans, passed by Flag-officer David G. Farragut with 13 of his 17 ships.
Apr.25  Farragut occupies New Orleans.
Apr. 28 Forts St. Philip and Jackson surrender to Commander David Porter.
May 1 New Orleans turned over to General Benjamin F. Butler.
May 5 Battle of Williamsburg, Virginia; Confederates retire toward Richmond.
May 11 Confederates blow up the Virginia (Merrimac) to prevent capture.
May 25 Battle of Winchester, Virginia; Union forces under General Banks forced across the Potomac by General Jackson.
May 30 Corinth, Mississippi, evacuated by Confederates under General Beauregard; is occupied by General Halleck.
May 31-June Battle of Fair Oaks (Seven Pines), Virginia; Victory for Union army. Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston severely wounded.
June 2 General Robert E. Lee takes command of Confederate Army of Eastern Virginia and North Carolina.
June 5 Fort Pillow, Tennessee, evacuated by Confederates after 2 months' land and river siege.
June 6 Memphis, Tennessee, surrenders to Union gunboat fleet under Captain Charles H. Davis.
June 19 Slavery abolished in territories of U.S. by act of Congress.
June 25-July 1 Seven Days Battles, Virginia, in which General Lee forces General McClelland to withdraw from the Peninsula to protection of Union gunboats on James River.
June 26 Battle of Mechanicsville; Confederates repulsed.
June 27 Gaines' Mill; Union force retreats.
June 28 On the Chickahominy, Confederates unsuccessful in holding General McClellan's Army.
June 29 Savage's Station. Confederate attempt to stop Union retreat unsuccessful.
June 29-30 In crossing White Oak Swamp, Confederate pursuit unsuccessful.
July 1 Malvern Hill taken by Union Army, within sight of James River, one of terrible conflicts of the war. End of Peninsular Campaign.
July 11 Major General Halleck appointed general-in-chief of all land forces of U.S. Army, with headquarters at Washington. U.S. Grant left in command of Army of West Tennessee.
July 17 President Lincoln authorized by Congress to callout militia between 18 and 45 for period not to exceed 9 months, the so-called "Draft of 1862." Confiscation of rebel property authorized by Congress. Freed Negroes may be used in the Army.
July 22 President Lincoln submits first draft of Emancipation Proclamation to Cabinet, received with surprise amid partial approval.
July 29 Confederate cruiser Alabama leaves Liverpool where it was built.
July 30 "Copperhead", term of opprobrium applied to Northern sympathizers with the South, first appears in Cincinnati Gazette, referring to Indiana state Democratic Convention.
Aug. 9 At Cedar Mountain, Virginia, General "Stonewall" Jackson defeats Union forces.
Aug. 18 Sioux uprising begins in Minnesota under Little Crow.
Aug. 20 Horace Greeley's editorial "The Prayer of Twenty Millions", appears in New York Tribune, demanding that President Lincoln commit himself to emancipation of slaves.
Aug. 22 President Lincoln replies to Greeley's editorial "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or to destroy slavery."
Aug. 30 Second Battle of Bull Run, or Manassas. Union Army under General Pope defeated.
Sept. 1 Battle of Chantilly, Virginia. "Stonewall" Jackson defeated at great sacrifice.
Sept. 4-7 Lee's Confederate Army crosses Potomac for Maryland campaign, occupies Frederick, Maryland, Sept. 7.
Sept. 14 Battle of South Mountain, Maryland. General McClellan defeats General Lee.
Sept. 15    Harpers Ferry, Maryland, captured by "Stonewall" Jackson.
Sept. 17 Munfordville, Kentucky, taken by Confederates under General Braxton Bragg; Antietam, Maryland. Battle indecisive. General Lee checked, retreats across the Potomac Sept.18.
Sept. 19 At Iuka, Mississippi, General William Starke Rosecrans defeats Confederate General Sterling Price.
Sept. 22 President Lincoln's preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, presented to Cabinet, is approved.
Sept. 23 Emancipation Proclamation broadcast by press.
Sept. 27 Second Conscription Act passed by Confederate Congress authorizes president to call out men between 35 and 45.
Oct. Grant's Vicksburg campaign begins. Ends July 1863.
Oct. 3-4 Battle of Corinth, Mississippi. General Rosecrans defeats Confederate forces of Generals Price and Van Dorn.
Oct. 8 Battle of Perryville, Kentucky. Confederates under General Bragg defeated by General Don Carlos Buell. Philip H. Sheridan, commanding a center brigade, gains recognition.
Nov. First regiment of South Carolina Volunteers organized, first slave regiment in U.S. service. Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson, of Boston, commander.
Nov.5 General McClellan relieved of command of Army of the Potomac and ordered to turn command to General Ambrose E. Burnside, by order of the President.
Nov. 14 Brigadier General Andrew J. Hamilton appointed military governor of Texas.
Dec. 7 Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, Union victory.
Dec. 13 Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia. General Burnside severely defeated by General Lee.
Dec. 20 Holly Springs, General Grant's main depot in northern Mississippi, taken by Confederates.
Dec. 29 At Chickasaa Bayou, Mississippi, General Sherman repulsed with great loss by Confederates.
Dec. 31-Jan. 2 Battle of Murfreesboro, or Stone's River, Tennessee. Neither side can claim victory. Union advance toward Chattanooga checked.
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1863

Jan. 1 Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Lincoln.
Jan. 20 General Burnside renews advance upon Fredericksburg, Virginia, which rain turns into a mud march, resulting in failure and demoralization.
Jan. 25 General Joseph Hooker succeeds General Burnside in command of Army of the Potomac.
Jan. 30 General Grant takes command of expedition against Vicksburg, grand objective being the opening of the Mississippi River.
Mar. 5 Conscription Act adopted in North by Congress. Exemption allowed by payment of $500.
Mar. 14 At Port Hudson, Louisiana, Admiral Farragut carried the Hartford and the Albatross past Confederate batteries.
Apr. 2 Bread riot in Richmond, Virginia, one of many.
Apr.7 Fleet of Union monitors under Admiral Samuel F. Dupont fails in attack upon Fort Sumter.
Apr.10 Confederacy urged by President Davis to plant corn, peas, and beans instead of cotton and tobacco.
Apr.16 Admiral David D Dixon Porter, in downstream run, passes Confederate batteries at Vicksburg, Mississippi
Apr. 29­May 8 General George Stoneman's cavalry raid in Virginia cuts General Lee's communications and rips up Virginia Central Railroad.
Apr. 30 General Grant begins transfer of troops across the Mississippi to left bank below Vicksburg.
May 1-4 Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia. Union forces under General Hooker defeated by General Lee. General "Stonewall" Jackson mortally wounded.
May 1 Union victory at Port Gibson, Mississippi, first engagement in General Grant's campaign against Vicksburg.
May 9 General Joseph E. Johnston ordered to command of Confederate forces in Mississippi.
May 14 Jackson, Mississippi captured by General Sherman and General James B. McPherson, defeating General J. E. Johnston.
May 16 Battle of Champion's Hill, Mississippi. General Grant with 2 corps under Generals McClernand and McPherson defeats Confederates under General John C. Pemberton.
May 17 Union troops seize Big Black River Bridge, an outpost of Vicksburg, from General Pemberton, who retires within defenses of Vicksburg.
May 18­July 4 Siege of Vicksburg. Union assaults repeatedly repulsed in skillful but losing defense of General Pemberton who surrenders July 4 to General Grant.
June 1 Chicago Times, anti-Lincoln newspaper, ordered suppressed by General Burnside. Order rescinded by President Lincoln, June 4.
June 5 Peace party meeting at Cooper Union in New York under direction of Fernando Wood, mayor.
June13-15 Battle of Winchester, Virginia. Confederate General Richard S. Ewell defeats General R.H. Milroy.
June15 President Lincoln calls for 100,000 volunteers for 6 months' service.
June 20 West Virginia enters the Union with constitution providing for gradual emancipation of slaves.
June 24-25 General Lee with about 80,000 men crosses the Potomac at Harpers Ferry for invasion of Pennsylvania.
June 25 Confederate General James E.B. Stuart makes useless sally eastward from Lee's army to neighborhood of Washington.
June 25-27 Union army under General Hooker crosses the Potomac in pursuit of General Lee.
June 28 Confederate General Jubal A. Early captures York, Pennsylvania; Major General George Gordon Meade replaces General Hooker in command of the Army of the Potomac
July                  Confederate General John H. Morgan and his cavalry begin raids through Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. July 26, Morgan captured.
July 1-5 Battle of Gettysburg. Turning point of the war.
July 1 First day: General John Buford with 2 brigades of Union cavalry driven back by Confederate advance guard under General Ambrose P. Hill. Reinforced by noon, Union force stems Confederate advance and establishes lines on Cemetery Ridge.
July 2 Second day: Union Army on Cemetery Ridge attacked by  Confederates but General Lee makes no decisive gains. Great loss on both sides.
July 3 Third day: Union counterattack regains Culp's Hill, lost on previous day. In afternoon, Confederate attack breaks General Meade's first line at the center, but, lacking support, gives way to retreat and end of battle.
July 4 General Lee begins retreat from Gettysburg to Virginia. 10 A.M. Lincoln announces victory. Vicksburg surrendered to General Grant by Confederate General Pemberton. Key to control of Mississippi River. 10:50 A.M. Grant from Vicksburg to Major General Halleck: "The enemy surrendered this morning".
July 8 Port Hudson, Louisiana, 500 miles down the Mississippi from Vicksburg, falls to Union Army after 6-week siege. Entire River now open to the Union.
July 15-16 Anti-draft mob takes over New York City; Killed and wounded, 1,000.
July 18 Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the 54th Massachusetts, first Negro regiment from the North, killed in attack upon Fort Wagner in Charleston Harbor.
Sept. 7 Fort Wagner in Charleston Harbor taken by Union force.
Sept. 9 Chattanooga, Tennessee, taken by Union forces under General Rosecrans.
Sept. 19-20 At Chickamauga, Georgia, General Rosecrans and Union forces defeated.
Oct.16 General Grant given command of western armies.
Oct. 7 President Lincoln calls for 500,000 volunteers to serve 5 years.
Nov. 19 President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address delivered at dedication of national cemetery on Gettysburg battlefield.
Nov. 23-25 Battle of Chattanooga, in which four Union Generals, Grant, Sherman, Hooker, and Thomas, defeat Confederates under General Bragg.  On second day of battle, General Hooker drives Confederates from Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge. On third day of battle carried by General George H. Thomas and Army of the Cumberland. Confederates driven from Tennessee.
Dec. 3 Confederate General James Longstreet abandons siege of Knoxville, Tennessee, and retreats.
Dec. 8 Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction issued by President Lincoln. Offers pardon to all Southerners who take a prescribed oath and provides for restoration of loyal governments in seceded states when a number, equal to one tenth of those qualified to vote in a state in 1860, "shall take a prescribed oath" and organize a government.

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1864

Jan. 11 Joint resolution proposed in Senate by John B. Henderson of Missouri to abolish slavery throughout U.S. by amendment to Constitution. Passed in Senate April 8; rejected in House June 15.
Jan. 19 Arkansas in convention adopts anti-slavery constitution.
Feb. Union prisoners begin to arrive at Andersonville Prison, Georgia.
Feb. 14 President Lincoln calls for 500,000 men to serve 3 years or for duration. General Sherman occupies Meridian, Mississippi, followed by destruction of railroads and supplies.
Mar. 9 Ulysses S. Grant commissioned Lieutenant-General and, Mar. 10, assigned to command of all Union armies.
Mar. 12 General Nathaniel Prentiss Banks and his Union Army start up Red River in Louisiana with Admiral Porter's gunboats on their flank.
Mar. 14  President Lincoln calls for another draft of 200,000 for 3 years. General Banks, in advance up Red River, turned back at Sabine Cross Roads, Louisiana, by Confederates.
May 3 Generals Grant and Meade, with Army of the Potomac, start across Rapidan River in their advance into the Wilderness.
May 5-6 First Battle of the Wilderness, near Chancellorsville, Virginia; Generals Grant and Meade come to grips with General Lee; Indecisive.
May 6 General Sherman sets forth from Chattanooga with 100,000 troops to march through Georgia.
May 8-12 Battle around Spotsylvania Court House. General Grant unable to defeat General Lee, but on May 11, sends word to General Halleck, "I propose to fight it out along this line if it takes all summer."
May 13-15 General Sherman defeats General Johnston at Resaca, Georgia
June 1-3 Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia. General Grant defeated by General Lee in one of severest engagements of the war.
June 15-18 General Grant makes unsuccessful assault upon Petersburg, 20 miles below Richmond.
June 19 Siege of Petersburg begun by Union Army. Confederate cruiser Alabama destroyed off Cherbourg, France, by the Kearsarge.
June 27 Battle of Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia, defeat for General Sherman.
June 28 Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 repealed by act of Congress.
July 9 General Jubal A. Early's attempted raid upon Washington blocked at Monocacy River, Maryland, by General Lew Wallace who loses battle but wins time for approach of General Grant's troops, saving the Capital.
July 17 Jaquess-Gilmore unofficial peace mission confers with President Davis, with no result. Confederate leaders declare the South must be independent. Horace Greeley at Niagara Falls, with President Lincoln's approval, confers with alleged Confederate peace commissioners.
July 22 Battle of Atlanta. Confederate General Hood defeated by General Sherman. Union General McPherson killed.
July 23 Louisiana in convention adopts anti-slavery constitution. Ratified by popular vote.
July 28 Second battle of Atlanta, or Ezra Church. General Hood again defeated.
July 30 Union men explode a mine beneath Confederate fort at Petersburg, Virginia, but are repulsed.
Aug. Americans participate in punitive bombardment of Shimoneseki,Japan, in first step toward policy of cooperation with European powers in Far East.
Aug.18 General Grant again refuses exchange of prisoners as prolonging the war.
Aug. 21 Weldon Railroad south of Richmond seized by General Grant after 5 days' battle.
Aug. 25 Port of Mobile closed to blockade runners with capture of Fort Morgan by Admiral Farragut.
Sep. 1 Atlanta evacuated by General Hood and occupied by General Sherman, Sept. 2
Sep.19 General Sheridan and Union troops victorious over General Early's cavalry at Winchester, Virginia. Lieutenant Charles Russell Lowell killed.
Sep. 22 At Fisher's Hill, Virginia, General Sheridan victorious over General Early's cavalry.
Oct. 13 Maryland adopts anti-slavery constitution by popular vote.
Oct.19 Battle of Cedar Creek, Virginia. Confederates under General Early defeated by General Sheridan, forced to leave Shenandoah Valley and their threat to Washington.
Oct. 28 The Albemarle, last of Confederate rams, torpedoed on Roanoke River by Lieutenant W.B.Cushing.
Nov. 8 Abraham Lincoln re-elected President.
Nov. 16 General Sherman with army of 60,000 starts from Atlanta on "march to the sea".
Nov. 29 Sand Creek, Colorado, massacre of Cheyennes, by U.S. troops under Colonel J.M. Chivington, ends year of Indian uprising.
Nov. 30 Battle of Franklin, Tennessee. Union General John M. Schofield wins victory over classmate, Confederate General Hood.
Dec. 6 Salmon P. Chase appointed Chief Justice of Supreme Court.
Dec. 10 General Sherman and Union Army arrive before Savannah after ravaging march across Georgia.
Dec. 15-16 Battle of Nashville, Tennessee. General Thomas defeats Confederates under General Hood, after which cavalry of General James H. Wilson sweeps all trace of Confederate power from Tennessee.
Dec. 20 Savannah abandoned by Confederate Army.
Dec. 22 General Sherman occupies Savannah, Georgia, sends dispatch to President Lincoln, "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah."

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1865

Jan. 9 Tennessee, in convention, adopts anti-slavery amendments to its constitution.
Jan. 12 Francis P. Blair, with permission of President Lincoln, meets President Davis in Richmond to explore possibilities of peace. President Davis writes a letter to be shown to President Lincoln, saying that he is willing "to enter into negotiations... with a view to secure peace to the two countries."
Jan. 15 Fort Fisher, North Carolina, captured by Union forces under General Alfred Howe Terry and Admiral Poreer.
Jan. 18 President Lincoln, upon seeing President Davis's letter of Jan.12, writes to Francis P. Blair of his readiness to bring "peace to the  people of our one common country." Leads to Hampton Roads Conference.
Jan. 31 General Robert E. Lee appointed commander of all Confederate Armies by President Jefferson Davis; House resolves to submit to states an amendment to Constitution, prohibiting slavery in the U.S. Resolution was adopted by Senate April 8, 1864.
Feb. 1 General Sherman leaves Savannah for his march northward through the Carolinas.
Feb. 3 Hampton Roads Conference on board Union transport River Queen. President Lincoln and Secretary Seward confer with Alexander H. Stephens and 2 other confederate agents concerning peace. No result.
Feb. 17 Columbia, South Carolina, occupied by General Sherman. City is burned, by whom is still a question.
Feb. 18 Charleston falls to the Union. Wilmington, North Carolina, captured by Union forces under General Schofield. Last open port of Confederacy.
Mar. 2 General George Custer of Sheridan's cavalry defeats General Early and captures 1600 prisoners near Waynesboro, Virginia.
Mar. 3 Freedmen's Bureau established by Congress.
Mar. 13 Confederate Congress authorizes use of slaves in army. Slaves given their freedom by enlisting.
Mar. 23  Armies of General Sherman and General Schofield join at Goldsboro, North Carolina
Mar. 26 General Sheridan joins General Grant and Army of the Potomac before Petersburg, Virginia, with 10,000 cavalry, after winter's raid of Confederate communications.
Mar. 27-28 President Lincoln meets General Grant and General Sherman (up from North Carolina by steamboat), in conference on River Queen in James River at City Point. President Lincoln deplores further bloodshed and urges offer of generous terms to the South.
Mar. 29 Grant moves southwest of Petersburg, Virginia, beginning Appomattox campaign.
Apr. 1 Battle of Five Forks near Petersburg won by General Sheridan; Last important battle of the war.
Apr. 2 General Grant takes fortified lines before Petersburg. Confederate General Ambrose P. Hill killed. President Davis and all of his Cabinet, except Secretary of War Breckinridge, leave Richmond. Richmond and Petersburg abandoned by General Lee.
Apr. 3 Union Army occupies Richmond and Petersburg. Fire breaks out in Richmond.
Apr. 5 President Lincoln arrives in Richmond and walks to center of the city; Makes clear his wish for peaceable settlement.
Apr. 7 General Grant requests surrender of General Lee. General Lee asks General Grant for terms.
Apr. 9 General Grant meets General Lee at Appomattox Courthouse. Terms are discussed and Lee surrenders with 28,000 men, who are allowed to retain private horses and side arms. By noon, word of surrender reaches Washington.
Apr. 11 President Lincoln makes last public address before a company at the White House, treats problem of reconstruction in spirit of generous conciliation.
Apr. 13  General Sherman takes Raleigh, North Carolina, ending his "march".
Apr. 14 President Lincoln holds Cabinet meeting, expresses wish that there may be no persecution after the war. President Lincoln shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater, Washington. Secretary Seward, ill in bed, stabbed by fellow conspirator of Booth.
Apr. 15 President Lincoln dies at 7:22 A.M.
Apr. 19 Funeral services for President Lincoln at Washington and Springfield, Illinois. Burial at Springfield, May 4.
Apr. 26 General Johnston surrenders to General Sherman at Hillsboro, North Carolina. John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Lincoln, discovered in barn near Bowling Green, Virginia, is shot.
May 2 President Johnson proclaims offer of reward of $100,000 for arrest of Jefferson Davis, charged with complicity in assassination of President Lincoln.
May 10 President Davis captured at Irwinsville, Georgia, and imprisoned in Fortress Monroe.
May 13 Confederate force under General Slaughter defeats Union force under Colonel Barrett at Palo Pinto, Texas; Last military engagement of the war.
May 26 General Kirby Smith at New Orleans surrenders to General Canby remaining Confederate forces west of the Mississippi, ending Southern resistance.
May 29 President Johnson issues proclamation of amnesty to all ordinary persons who were in the rebellion and who will take oath of allegiance to U.S., exceptions being Confederate officers and persons worth over $20,000.
June 2 Galveston, Texas, last seaport held by Confederates, surrenders, a final act in naval war; Missouri ratifies new constitution; General Carl Schurz returns from 5 months tour in the South, with report in support of radical reconstruction measures.
Nov. 24 Mississippi passes a vagrant act, beginning "black codes" of the South.
Dec. All seceded states except Texas have fulfilled President's requirements, have elected Federal representatives and senators and are ready for recognition by this date.
Dec. 18 Thirteenth Amendment of Constitution, abolishing slavery in the U.S., ratified by 27 states, formally proclaimed in effect by Secretary of State Seward; Ku Klux Klan organized at Pulaski, Tennessee.

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1866

Feb. 19 President Johnson vetoes bill to extend life of Freedmen's Bureau. Widens breach between President and Congress.
Feb. 22 President Johnson, speaking from steps of White House, violently denounces Joint Committee on Reconstruction. Loses support for himself.
Mar. 2 Concurrent resolution, reported from Joint Committee on Reconstruction, declares that no senator nor representative shall be admitted from any of late Confederate states until Congress shall have declared the state entitled to representation.
Apr. 2 Proclamation by President Johnson declares the insurrection "which here­tofore existed in the States of Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Florida is at an end."
Apr. 6 Texas, last of Confederate states to do so, completes her reconstruction in conformity with President Johnson's plan.
Apr. 9 Civil Rights Bill passed by Congress over President Johnson’s veto.
July 16 New Freedmen's Bureau Bill passed over President’s Veto of same day.
July 30 Race riot in New Orleans results from effort to introduce Negro suffrage into Louisiana constitution.
Nov. 20 Grand Army of the Republic holds first national encampment at Indianapolis. First post organized at Decatur, Illinois, Apr.6.

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Prepared by the History and Genealogy Unit, Connecticut State Library. Revised January 2007. © 2007

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