Main Events: 1860 - 1861
February 2, 1860. Mississippi Senator Jefferson Davis presents resolutions to the Senate to affirm that the Federal government cannot only prohibit slavery in the territories, but must actually protect slaveholders there. Although he does not expect Senate approval, he intends to unite the Democrat members for the upcoming Democratic party convention and presidential election against Stephen Douglas and his program of popular sovereignty. Schles 276
April 23 - May 3, 1860. The Democratic Party holds its convention in Charleston, SC. When the pro-slavery platform is rejected, delegates from 8 southern states leave. The remaining delegates adjourn after being unable to agree on a candidate. Schles 276
May 9, 1860. Former members of the American and Whig parties meet in Baltimore, MD, to form the Constitutional Union party. Delegates nominate John Bell of Tennessee for president and Edward Everett of Massachusetts for vice-president. Schles 276
May 16-18, 1860. The Republican convention in Chicago nominates Abraham Lincoln as its presidential candidate on the third ballot. Hannibal Hamlin of Main is the V.P. candidate. The party platform says that it is for prohibiting slavery in the territories, but against interfering with it in the states. Schles 276 This is objectionable to the South because its U.S. legislative powers would continually diminish rather than remain equal to the North as more states are admitted to the Union.
June 18-23, 1860. The Democrat convention in Baltimore, MD, nominates Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois as its presidential candidate and Herschel V. Johnson of Georgia as V.P. John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky and Joseph Lane of Oregon lead a southern faction of the Democratic Party and walk out of the convention. Long 2-3
June 28, 1860. The southern delegates who walked out of the Democratic convention in Charleston meet in Baltimore, MD. They nominate Vice-President John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky for president and Joseph Lane of Oregon for vice-president. The platform calls for protection of rights to own slaves. Schles 276
November 6, 1860. In a divisive presidential campaign that included a split Democratic Party, Republican Abraham Lincoln is elected President of the United States of America with 180 electoral votes against 123 electoral votes for all the other candidates combined. The party platform says that it is for prohibiting slavery in the territories, but against interfering with it in the states, a program that is totally unacceptable slave states because its U.S. legislative powers would continually diminish rather than remain equal to the North as more states are admitted to the Union. In the new Senate, there will be 29 Republicans v. 37 in opposition. In the House of Representatives, there will be 108 Republicans v. 129 in opposition. However, after the southern members resign following state secessions, the Republicans during the war will have working majorities to pass legislation consistent with their election platform. Long 2-3
November 9, 1860. Washington: Pres. James Buchanan, meets with his cabinet to prepare for the annual State of the Union address to Congress. He prefers a Constitutional Convention to arrive at a possible compromise, but his cabinet is split along sectional lines for and against the convention and secession, so he has no solution to the crisis facing him and the nation. Long 4
November 20, 1860. Washington: Atty. Gen. Jeremiah Sullivan Black advises Pres. Buchanan that all states are subject to the laws of the U.S. while in the Union, that the President should continue to collect duties and protect public property, that all U.S. actions must be through the courts, and that no actions can be taken against talk of secession, only through defense against state agression. He says the right of secession is denied, but the U.S. can do nothing about it, since that would recognize secession. Further, the southern states believe they have the right to secede and any U.S. effort to prevent it would amount to coercion. Long 6-7
December 4, 1860. Washington: Pres. Buchanan delivers his State of the Union message to Congress that has convened on the previous day. He says the slave states are sovereign and their rights cannot be interfered with, so they should be left alone. The interference of northerners into the affairs of southerners has caused the present crisis. On the other hand, he says that secession is unlawful in response to the results of the recent election. If attacked, U.S. forts will be defended. He proposes a constitutional amendment recognizing slaves as lawful property in the states and in the territories until until they are admitted with or without slavery as their consitutions prescribe. Fugitive slaves should be returned to owners. Pres. Buchanan's proposals are unsatisfactory to most northerners because it condemns secession, but provides no way to meet it, and to southerners because it condemns secession. The speech displeased president-elect Abraham Lincoln because it placed responsibility for secession on the free states. Long 8-9
December 8 & 10, 1860. Washington: On the 8th, a delegation of South Carolina congressmen meet with Pres. Buchanan and say that if reinforcements go to Charleston it would be a sure way to bring about a war. They ask for negotiations with South Carolina commissioners to consider turning over Federal property to the state. On the 10th, the delegation presents a memorandum to the President stating that the state would not molest U.S. forts in the Charleston harbor prior to secession. Further, provided that the forts receive no reinforcements, an amicable settlement between the state and the U.S. could be negotiated. Long 9
December 13, 1860. Washington: Seven senators and 23 representatives from the southern states issue a manifesto urging secession and the organization of a Southern Confederacy. Long 10,11
December 17, 1860. Columbia: The South Carolina convention votes 159 - 0 for secession. Another resolution establishes a committee to draft the ordinance of secession and then adjourns to Charleston because of smallpox in the city. At Charleston, it will formally secede on December 20, the first state to dissolve itself from the U.S.A. Long 11-13
December 18, 1860.
Washington: Senator John J. Crittenden of
Kentucky proposes the
Critttenden Compromise: It consists of six constitutional amendments and four
resolutions that make major concessions to southern concerns:
December 21, 1860. Washington: The four South Carolina congressmen resign from the U.S. House of Representatives, their letter of resignation being presented to Congress on Dec. 24. However, their names, and those of others from the seceding states who will also resign, remain on the roll to indicate that secession is not recognized. Long 14-15
December 28, 1860. Washington: South Carolina commissioners are received by Pres. Buchanan as "private gentlemen", since he cannot recognize them as representatives of a sovereign power. They want Federal troops withdrawn from Fort Sumter (Details) and Fort Pickens (Details), but Buchanan is indecisive. Long 16 Possibly he does not want to be blamed for starting a war or make decisions that his successor will soon inherit.
December 29, 1860. Washington: Sec. of War, John B. Floyd, former governor of Virginia with strong southern views, resigns at the request of Pres. Buchanan. Earlier he attempted to ship guns from Pittsburgh and other places to southern arsenals. Long 16
December 31, 1860. Washington: Pres. Buchanan replies to the South Carolina commisioners saying he cannot and will not withdraw the Federal troops from Charleston. Long 17
January 10, 1861. Florida secedes from the Union by a vote of 62 to 7 at a state convention at Tallahassee. Long 24
January 11, 1861. Alabama secedes from the Union by a vote of 61 to 39 at a state convention at Montgomery. Long 25
January 14, 1861. Fort Taylor, Key West, FL: (Details) The unoccupied fort is garrisoned by Union troops. It will be a major coaling station for Union vessels in the blockading of Confederate shipping during the Civil War. Bowman 43
January 16, 1861. Washington: The Senate resolves that the Constitution shall not be amended, which kills the Crittenden Amendment. Bowman 43
January 19, 1861. Georgia secedes from the Union by a vote of 208 to 89 for an ordinance of secesstion in a state convention at Milledgeville. Long 27
January 21, 1861. In moving farewell speeches, 5 Senators from Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi withdraw from the Senate. More will follow. Long 28
January 26, 1861. Louisiana secedes from the Union by a vote of 113 to 17 in a state convention at Baton Rouge. Long 29 New Orleans representatives vote heavily in favor of the Union, however.
February 1, 1861. Texas secedes from the Union in a state convention at Austin by a vote of 166 to 7. It is ratified in the referendum on February 23. Long 31 Refer to the state for all Civil War events.
Note: Throughout this period, the seceding states, which are now sovereign nations in their views, seize Federal forts, arsenals, banks, and other Federal property. (See Events in the States for more information.) Also, businesses repudiate debts to northerners. These transgressions will go unchallenged by the Federal government in its efforts to maintain peace. Besides, there are only 16,367 scattered Federal troops, many stationed in the west, so the Federal government is hardly in a position to defend any of its assets. Most of the forts are unoccupied except for an ordnance sergeant and a caretaker, so there no bloodshed involved in their takeover.
February 4, 1861. Montgomery, AL: The first six seceding states (S. Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana) form a provisional government called the Confederate States of America (C.S.A.), Confederacy for short. Long 31
February 7, 1861. Indian Territory: (Oklahoma) The Choctaw Indian Nation declares its allegiance to the southern states. Long 32 Various Indian tribes will align themselves, some with the secessionists and other with the Union and become involved in some battles.
February 8, 1861. Montgomery, AL: The Confederate Congress adopts a provisional Constitution. Long 33
February 9, 1861.
Montgomery, AL: The Confederate Provisional Congress elects
provisional President of the CSA. He is a former U. S. Secretary of War and U.S.
Senator and presently
commander of Mississippi state forces and lives on a plantation in Brierfield, near Vicksburg.
Alexander H. Stephens, a former U.S. representative,
is elected Vice-President. The first cabinet will be
In Tennessee, voters reject the call for a convention to consider secession. Long 34
February 18, 1861. Montgomery, AL: Jefferson Davis is inaugurated provisional President of the C.S.A. at the capital, Montgomery. Long 38
February 20, 1861. Montgomery: The Confederate Congress authorizes the President to buy war supplies and creates the Confederate Navy Department. Long 40
February 27, 1861. Washington: The independent Peace Conference composed of 131 delegates from 21 northern states, having convened since Feb. 4, proposes six constitutional amendments to Congress to forstall secession. They are presently ignored and formally rejected on March 2. Long 42
February 28, 1861.
North Carolina voters reject a state convention on secession by 651 votes. Long 42,43
March 2, 1861.
Montgomery: Texas is admitted to the Confederacy by the Congress.
March 4, 1861.
Washington: Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated President of the U. S. A.
His Vice-President is Hannibal Hamlin of Maine. The
initial cabinet will be
March 6, 1861. Montgomery: The Confederate Congress establishes the Army of the Confederate States of America, comparable to the U. S. Regular Army. It is projected to consist of 10,000 officers and men and is composed of three district armies. HCW n.p.
March 9, 1861.
March 11, 1861. Montgomery: The Confederacy adopts a permanent constitution similar to that of the U.S., but with more states' rights and protection for slavery. It will be ratified by the 7 Confederate states by the end of April. Brig. Gen. Braxton Bragg is appointed commander of Florida troops. Long 48
March 13, 1861. Washington: Pres. Lincoln tells Sec. of State Seward not to receive the Confederate commissioners (Martin J. Crawford, John Forsyth, A. B. Roman) who had been trying to reach him through Supreme Court Justice John A. Campbell. The President does not want to recognize the rebellious states as a nation. He would forever consider that these states were never out of the Union. After several futile attempts to see government officials through northern friends, the commissioners will return frustrated to Montgomery on April 11. Long 48,50
March 16, 1861. Mesilla, Arizona Territory: Pro-Confederates declare Arizona out of the Union. The Confederate Congress later will create a territorial government for Arizona. Bowman 48 Since events in Arizona have no effect on the war outcome, they are discussed under Arizona.
March 18, 1861. The Arkansas state convention at Little Rock rejects secession by a vote of 39 to 35, and adopts a resolution calling for a vote in August for voters to choose between secession or not. Long 50 See the state for other Civil War events.
March 29, 1861. Washington: After much discussion with Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott and the cabinet members, Pres. Lincoln decides to resupply and reinforce Fort Sumter (More)in the Charleston harbor and Fort Pickens (More) on Santa Rosa Island, off the coast of Pensacola. He signs a sealed order for the USS Powhatan to reinforce Fort Pickens. Long 51,52
April 4, 1861. The Virginia state convention at Richmond rejects a motion to pass an ordinance of secession for submission to the people by a vote of 89 to 45. Long 53
April 12 - 14, 1861. Ft. Sumter, SC: At 4:30 a.m. on April 12, Confederate two batteries in the Charleston harbor begin cannon fire against Ft. Sumter. The war has officially begun. The Fort answers the fire with its cannons beginning at 7:00 a.m. At 2:30 p.m. on April 13, with no food remaining and no purpose served by bombarding the shore batteries, the 80 federal troops at Ft. Sumter under Maj. Robert Anderson surrender to Confederate troops under the command of Brig. Gen. Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard. The expenditure of 4,000 shells produces no deaths and a few wounded at the fort. Pres. Lincoln hears of the surrender, confers with his cabinet, and prepares to issue calls for troops. The Federal garrison abandons the fort on April 14 and will arrive in New York as heroes on April 18. Long 56,57 (More)
April 15, 1861. Washington: Pres. Lincoln publicly declaring a "state of insurrection" (not a war), calls for 75,000 militia from northern states for 3-month enlistments, and convenes Congress in special session on July 4. Most northern states accept the President's call, but Tennessee, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina and Kentucky refuse. Nevertheless, loyal states send 91,816 troops.Bowman 51 , Phisterer 3
April 17, 1861.
April 18 - July 17, 1861. Harpers Ferry, VA: After the Virginia legislature votes for secession, Virginia Governor John Letcher orders state militia to capture this important arsenal and armory. Therefore, Virginia militia under Brig. Gen. William H. Harman chase out the small Union garrison and occupy the town. They are joined on May 1 by a force under state Col. Thomas Jonathan Jackson, ordered by commander of state forces, Virginia Maj. Gen. Robert Edward Lee, who remove valuable arsenal arms, B&O railroad locomotives, arms-making machinery, and other equipment, and destroy what they cannot remove, including 19 of the 25 armory buildings and the B&O bridge across the Potomac River. They evacuate the town when a Union force of 14,000 Pennsylvania volunteers and Federal regulars under Maj. Gen. Robert Patterson approaches. Paterson's objectives are to capture Harpers Ferry and secure the Shenandoah Valley from further Confederate invasion. The Federals will occupy the town on July 17. Hearn 50-90 (More)
April 19, 1861.
April 20, 1861.
April 21 - July 2, 1861. Wheeling, WV: Pro-Union delegates from the northwestern countries of Virginia meet in the Virginia Union Convention to pass resolutions against secession and elect a provisional government that in 1863 will become the new state of West Virginia.
April 22, 1861. Richmond: Robert E. Lee is elected commander of Virginia forces as a Maj. General. Long 64
April 25, 1861. Washington: Brig. Gen. Edwin Vose Sumner is appointed commander of the Department of California, replacing Col. Albert Sidney Johnston, who resigns to becomes a full General commanding Confederate Department No. 2, which encompasses most of the western Confederacy. Since California events during the war have no effect on its outcome, they are discussed under California. Long 66
April 27, 1861. Washington: Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus for reasons of public safety in an area from Philadelphia to Washington to protect troops from pro-Confederate mobs. This suspension will continue until after the war even though a Supreme Court case rules against it on May 27. Army Department commander appointments: Maj. Gen. Maj. Gen. Robert Patterson, Department of Pennsylvania; Brig. Gen. Benjamin Franklin Butler, Department of Annapolis, and Col. Joseph K. F. Mansfield, Department of Washington. Long 66
April 29, 1861. Annapolis, MD: The Maryland House of Delegates votes against secession 53 to 13. Long 67
April 30, 1861. Indian Territory: (Oklahoma) At government orders, Federal troops evacuate all forts in Indian Territory, thus leaving the Five Civilized Nations - Cherokees, Chicksaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles - under Confederate control. Col. William H. Emory evacuates Fort Wachita and marches to Fort Leavenworth, KS. Long 67 Since events in the Indian Territory have no effect on the war outcome, they are discussed under Indian Territory.
May 3, 1861.
Washington: Lincoln calls for 42,034 army troops for 3-year enlistments and 18,000 navy volunteers for enlistments between 1 and 3 years. This army call was supplemented by Congressional acts of July 22 and 25 so that the total call for regulars and volunteers is now 500,000. Troops actually enlisted were 700,680. Sailor enlistments are now at 25,000. Phisterer 4 As the 90-day enlistments of the original call expire, most of those regiments will reorganize under this new call.
Washington: The President establishes the Department and Army of the Ohio under Maj. Gen. George Brinton McClellan. McClellan is ordered by Gen. Winfield Scott to drive down the Mississippi to its mouth and establish a cordon of posts along the way. McClellan will establish his headquarters at Cincinnati, OH, on May 13. Long 69 From there, he will lead a force to northwestern Virginia (later, West Virginia) to guard the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad, protect loyal Unionists, and secure the region for the Union. His generals will win a series of several small (by later standards) battles between June 3 and September 13 that secure the loyal counties for the Union, make McClellan a hero, and bring him to Washington with a promotion to bigger military tasks.London: Confederate commissioners (William L. Yancey, A. Dudley Mann, and Pierre A. Rost) are received in England. Their mission is to gain recognition of C. S. A. independence. The Union ambassador complains of this "informal" meeting. Despite many inducements, such as cheap cotton for its manufaturers, neither England nor any other European country will recognize the Confederacy as an independent nation during the war. Long 69
May 6, 1861.
May 7, 1861.
May 10, 1861. Montgomery: Pres. Davis signs an act of Congress authorizing purchase abroad of six warships, arms, and supplies. Naval Sec. Mallory suggests ironclads (ships with wooden hulls and iron decks and superstructure) to counter the much larger Federal wooden fleet. Bowman 54
May 13, 1861.
May 16, 1861. Montgomery: Congress admits Tennessee into the Confederacy. Long 75
May 17, 1861. Montgomery: Pres. Davis admits North Carolina into the Confederacy contigent upon its approval of the ordinance of secession at adoption of the Confederate Constitution. Long 75,75
May 18, 1861. Montgomery: Arkansas is admitted into the Confederacy. Long 75
May 20, 1861.
May 22, 1861. Fort Monroe, VA: Maj. Gen. Benjamin Franklin Butler arrives to secure this important coastal port. He will occupy Newport News on May 27 and order the expedition of June 10 to Big Bethel. Long 74
May 23, 1861. Richmond: Virginians vote 96,750 to 32,134 to ratify secession. However, the voters of 32 counties in the northwestern parts of the state, soon to promote their own new state that will become West Virginia, vote against secession. Long 77
May 28, 1861. Washington: Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell assumes command of the Army of Northeastern Virginia. Long 79 His herculean task is to transform the thousands of raw recruits of the state volunteer regiments into men prepared for combat. This army will be discontinued and consolidated into the Army of the Potomac on July 25 after the Union defeat in the battle of Bull Run (Manassas) on July 21.
June 2, 1861. Northern Virginia: Brig. Gen. Pierre Gustavus Toutant (P.G.T.) Beauregard takes command of all Confederate forces in northern Virginia, called the Alexandria Line or the Army of the Potomac and, later, the Army of Northern Virginia. He succeeds Brig. Gen. Milledge Luke Bonham, who becomes one of his commanders. Long 81
June 8, 1861.
Nashville, TN: Tennesee voters ratify secession by a vote of 104,913 to
47,239. However, Eastern Tennessee votes 2 to 1 in favor of remaining in the Union.
Consequently, they will be persecuted and Pres. Lincoln later will attempt to bring
Federal troops to their aid
June 27, 1861. Dover, DE: A peace convention urges recognition of the Confederacy. Long 88
July 2, 1861. Williamsport, MD: Union troops under Brig. Gen. Robert Patterson cross the Potomac River to enter Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. He is to seize Harpers Ferry from the Confederates, which he does on July 17, and hold down Confederate troops under Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston while Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell attacks Confederate troops at Manassas on July 21. Johnston is similarly engaged: He is to hold down the Federal troops in the Valley and then shift to an attack on Federal troops in support of Brig. Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard at Manassas if he is not engaged in the Valley. There is a small battle between the forces at Hoke's Run on July 2. Long 90
July 21, 1861. Manassas, VA: Confederate forces of 28,450 men under Brig. Gen. Beauregard and Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, the latter leading 9,000 newly arrived troops from the Shenandoah Valley, face 32,230 Union men under Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell over an 8-mile front. This is the largest battle to date and known as First Bull Run (after the nearby stream) or First Manassas (after the nearby city). (A second battle near the same location will be fought in August, 1862.) Union losses are 481 killed, 1,011 wounded, 1,210 missing and captured. Confederate losses are 387 killed, 1,582 wounded, 13 missing. Because of his defeat, McDowell is replaced by McClellan. Brig. Gen. W. S. Rosecrans replaces McClellan as commander of the Department of the Ohio. Patterson is relieved of command because of his inaction to hold Johnston in the Shenandoah Valley and is replaced by Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Prentiss Banks. The Confederate victory is a big morale booster in the South and depressing in the North with the realization that defeating the Confederacy will not be easy. Long 98,99
August 1, 1861. Washington: The Federal Congress passes the first national income tax bill calling for a 3% tax on annual incomes over $800, effective Jan. 1, 1862. However, the tax was not enforced and was revised in 1862. Duties and tariffs are also increased and more bonds are issued. Long 104
August 6, 1861. Washington: Pres. Lincoln signs bills freeing slaves used by Confederates in arms or labor against the U.S.A., increasing pay for U.S. soldiers, and enabling the first Confiscatory Act that allows confiscating property used by insurrectionists against the U.S. Long 104
August 7, 1861. Washington: Federal ironclad gunboats designed by James B. Eads of St. Louis are ordered for use on western waters. They will become the nucleus of a Mississippi River flotilla that will assist Union troops in their invasion of the Confederacy from the west. Long 106
August 8, 1861. Ironton, MO: Newly named Brig. Gen. Ulysses Simpson (Hiram Ulysses) Grant is appointed commander of the District of Ironton, MO. Long 106
August 20, 1861.
August 27-28, 1861. Cape Hatteras, NC: In pursuit of a naval blockade of Confederate ports, with limited numbers of ships to guard 189 harbor and river openings along 3,549 miles of ocean between the Potomac and Rio Grande Rivers, the Union plan is to seize Confederate ports in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico and garrison them with Union troops, thus freeing ships to patrol other harbors. Foote 115 The ports would also serve as coaling and supply station for Union ships. The first act implementing this strategy is a Union expedition of 8 ships and 900 men under Flag Officer Silas H. Stringham and Maj. Gen. Benjamin Franklin Butler capture Confederate Forts Clark and Hatteras. Union losses are 1 killed, 2 wounded. Confederate losses are 5 killed, 51 wounded, 715 prisoners. This action eliminates blockade-running in the area and has propaganda value in that Northern troops have successfully invaded North Carolina. Long 112
September 3, 1861. Kentucky: Confederate forces under Brig. Gen. Gideon Johnson Pillow enter Kentucky from Tennessee en route to Hickman and Columbus, thus ending Kentucky neutrality. The Confederates believe that if they don't control Kentucky first, then the Federals will, although it is a controversial move because of its effect on the Kentuckians, who are officially neutral. Long 114
September 4, 1861. Columbus, KT: Confederates occupy Hickman and Columbus. Long 114
September 6, 1861. Paducah, KT: Reacting to the the Confederate moves into Kentucky, Brig. Gen. Grant captures Paducah, which is near the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers and near the confluence of the Cumberland and Ohio Rivers, all of which are important communication and transport lines into the Confederacy. There is no fighting. Long 115
September 16, 1861. Ship Island, Gulf of Mexico: Continuing its policy of seizing strategic ports, New Orleans would have been a desirable objective, but impossible at this time with the limited Union navy. Instead, a small numbr of army troops occupy this island without a fight after it is abandoned by Confederate forces. The island will serve as a coaling and supply station, a port to seize Confederate blockade runners from New Orleans, and a base from which to attack this important port in the future. Foote 116
September 19, 1861. Kentucky: Confederates extend their control so that by now they control a line across the state, from the Cumberland Gap in the east, through Bowling Green and Columbus in the west. Long 119
September 20, 1861. Lexington, MO: Federal troops under Col. James Mulligan surrender to Missouri state militia under Maj. Gen. Sterling Price. After 9 days fighting, Union losses are 42 killed, 108 wounded, 1,624 missing and captured. Confederate losses are: 25 killed, 75 wounded. The area is abandoned by the Confederates later, so there is no strategic value to this victory, but the battle has propaganda value for the South. Long 120
October 8, 1861. Louisville, KT: Brig. Gen. William T. Sherman replaces Brig. Gen. Robert Anderson, former commander at Ft. Sumter, as commander of the Union Department of the Cumberland. Under severe mental collapse, Anderson never returns to active service. Long 125
October 24, 1861. Wheeling, VA: In spite of the dubious constitutionality of the process expressed by Federal Attorney General, Edward Bates, 39 pro-Union counties of northwestern Virginia, following a series of conventions beginning on April 22, overwhelmingly vote to form a new Federal state. Long 131
November 6, 1861. Richmond: Voters of the C.S.A. elect a permanent President Davis and Congress. Before this time, they were provisional officials. There is only one political party, Democrat, and Davis has no opposition to his 6-year term. Long 135
November 7, 1861.
November 8, 1861. Atlantic Ocean: The U.S.S. San Jacinto, Capt. Charles Wilkes commanding, seizes the British packet ship, Trent and arrests C.S.A. commissioner to Great Britain, James M. Mason of Virginia, and commissioner to France, John Slidell of Louisiana. The incident causes a diplomatic furor and threatens war between Great Britain and the U.S.A. Long 137
November 21, 1861. Montgomery: Judah P. Benjamin replaces LeRoy Pope Walker as Sec. of War. Long 142
November 28, 1861. Richmond: The Confederate Congress officially admits Missouri to the C.S.A. Long 144 However, the state, which has a dual government, is still in the Union.
December 10, 1861. Richmond: The Confederate Congress officially admits Kentucky to the C.S.A. Long 148 However, the state, which has a dual government, is still in the Union.
December 24, 1861. Washington: To increase revenue, Congress increases duties on tea, coffee, sugar, and molasses. Long 151
December 26, 1861. Washington: A message is sent to Lord Lyons, British minister in Washington that the Confederate commissioners to Great Britain, imprisoned at Fort Warren, MA, would be released, which they were on January 1, 1862. The crisis was over and the Confederacy was disappointed that the event did not bring Great Britain into the war against the Union. Long 151
December 30, 1861. Washington: The U.S. government and some banks in the largest cities suspend specie payment, which means that paper currency will not be exchanged for metallic money. This policy will continue until 1879. Long 151