American Civil War Timeline 1861

Posted: 01/10/2010 by Lynn Dartez in 2011
Western Theater – click to enlarge map
Civil War Western Theater Battle Map
Easter Theater – click to enlarge map
Civil War Eastern Theater Battle Map

The History Of The Fall Of Fort Sumter: Being An Inside History Of The Affairs In South Carolina And Washington, 1860-61
The Conditions And Events In The South Which Brought On The Rebellion. The Genesis Of The Civil War and the Fall of Fort Sumter

December 18,1860The Crittenden Compromise

January 1861 — The South Secedes.
When Abraham Lincoln, a known opponent of slavery, was elected president, the South Carolina legislature perceived a threat. Calling a state convention, the delegates voted to remove the state of South Carolina from the union known as the United States of America. The Secession of South Carolina was followed by the secession of six more states — Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas — and the threat of Secession by four more — Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. These eleven states eventually formed the Confederate States of America. Ordinances of Secession

January 7 Speech of Tennessee Governor Isham G. Harris

January 9 Mississippi seceded from the Union.
January 10 – Florida seceded from the Union.
January 11 Alabama seceded from the Union. Speech of E.S. Dargan
January 19 Georgia seceded from the Union.
January 26 Louisiana seceded from the Union.
January 29 Kansas admitted to the Union.
February 1 Texas seceded from the Union.

February 1861– The South Creates a Government.
At a convention in Montgomery, Alabama, the seven seceding states created the Confederate Constitution, a document similar to the United States Constitution, but with greater stress on the autonomy of each state. Jefferson Davis was named provisional president of the Confederacy until elections could be held.

February 1861– The South Seizes Federal Forts.
When President Buchanan — Lincoln’s predecessor — refused to surrender southern federal forts to the seceding states, southern state troops seized them. At Fort Sumter, South Carolina troops repulsed a supply ship trying to reach federal forces based in the fort. The ship was forced to return to New York, its supplies undelivered.

March 4 1861– Lincoln’s Inauguration.
At Lincoln’s inauguration the new president said he had no plans to end slavery in those states where it already existed, but he also said he would not accept secession. He hoped to resolve the national crisis without warfare.

March 9Address of George Williamson to the Texas Secession Convention

March 11 1861– Confederate Constitution.

April 1861 — Attack on Fort Sumter.
When President Lincoln planned to send supplies to Fort Sumter, he alerted the state in advance, in an attempt to avoid hostilities. South Carolina, however, feared a trick. On April 10, 1861, Brig. Gen. Beauregard, in command of the provisional Confederate forces at Charleston, South Carolina, demanded the surrender of the Union garrison of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.

The Garrison commander Anderson refused. On April 12, Confederate batteries opened fire on the fort, which was unable to reply effectively. At 2:30 p.m., April 13, Major Anderson surrendered Fort Sumter, evacuating the garrison on the following day.

The bombardment of Fort Sumter was the opening engagement of the American Civil War. Although there were no casualties during the bombardment, one Union artillerist was killed and three wounded (one mortally) when a cannon exploded prematurely when firing a salute during the evacuation.
From 1863 to 1865, the Confederates at Fort Sumter withstood a 22 month siege by Union forces. During this time, most of the fort was reduced to brick rubble. Fort Sumter became a national monument in 1948.

April 17 Virginia seceded from the Union.

April 25 Second Message of Isham Harris to the Tennessee Assembly

April 1861– Four More States Join the Confederacy.
The attack on Fort Sumter prompted four more states to join the Confederacy. With Virginia’s secession, Richmond was named the Confederate capitol.

May 6 Arkansas seceded from the Union.
May 18-19, 1861 Sewell’s Point
May 20 North Carolina seceded from the Union.

May 29-June 1, 1861 Aquia Creek
June 1861– West Virginia Is Born.
Residents of the western counties of Virginia did not wish to secede along with the rest of the state. This section of Virginia was admitted into the Union as the state of West Virginia on June 20, 1863.

June 1861– Four Slave States Stay in the Union.
Despite their acceptance of slavery, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri did not join the Confederacy. Although divided in their loyalties, a combination of political maneuvering and Union military pressure kept these states from seceding.

June 3, 1861 Philippi / Philippi Races
June 10, 1861 Big Bethel / Bethel Church
June 17, 1861 Boonville

July 2, 1861 Hoke’s Run / Falling Waters / Hainesville
July 5, 1861 Carthage
July 11, 1861 Rich Mountain
July 18, 1861 Bull Run / Blackburn’s Ford
July 21, 1861 First Manassas / First Bull Run

July First Battle of Bull Run.
Public demand pushed General-in-Chief Winfield Scott to advance on the South before adequately training his untried troops. Scott ordered General Irvin McDowell to advance on Confederate troops stationed at Manassas Junction, Virginia. McDowell attacked on July 21, and was initially successful, but the introduction of Confederate reinforcements resulted in a Southern victory and a chaotic retreat toward Washington by federal troops.

July 1861– General McDowell Is Replaced.
Suddenly aware of the threat of a protracted war and the army’s need for organization and training, Lincoln replaced McDowell with General George B. McClellan.

July – November — A Blockade of the South.
To blockade the coast of the Confederacy effectively, the federal navy had to be improved. By July, the effort at improvement had made a difference and an effective blockade had begun. The South responded by building small, fast ships that could outmaneuver Union vessels. On November 7, 1861, Captain Samuel F. Dupont’s warships silenced Confederate guns in Fort Walker and Fort Beauregard. This victory enabled General Thomas W. Sherman’s troops to occupy first Port Royal and then all the famous Sea Islands of South Carolina.

August 10, 1861 Wilson’s Creek / Oak Hills

August 21 — Confederate Assignments
Brig General Roswell S. Ripley CS Army Assigned to command of the Dept. South Carolina
Brig General John B. Grayson CS Army assigned to command of Dept of Middle and East Florida

August 26, 1861 Kessler’s Cross Lanes
August 28-29, 1861 Hatteras Inlet Batteries / Fort Clark / Fort Hatteras

September 2, 1861 Dry Wood Creek / Battle of the Mules
September 10, 1861 Carnifex Ferry
September 12-15 1861 Cheat Mountain Summit
September 13-20, 1861 Lexington / Battle of the Hemp Bales
September 17, 1861 Liberty / Blue Mills Landing
September 19, 1861 Barbourville

October 3, 1861 Greenbrier River / Camp Bartow
October 9, 1861 Santa Rosa Island
October 21, 1861 Camp Wildcat / Wildcat Mountain
October 21, 1861 Fredericktown
October 21, 1861 Ball’s Bluff / Leesburg
October 25, 1861 Springfield / Zagonyi’s Charge

October 29 — Sherman Moves
The Sherman Expedition sails from Hampton Roads Virginia

November 7, 1861 Belmont
November 8-9, 1861 Ivy Mountain / Ivy Creek / Ivy Narrows
November 19, 1861 Round Mountain

December 9, 1861 Chusto-Talasah / Caving Banks
December 13, 1861 Camp Allegheny / Allegheny Mountain
December 20, 1861 Dranesville
December 26, 1861 Chustenahlah
December 17, 1861 Rowlett’s Station / Woodsonville / Green River
December 28, 1861 Mount Zion Church

  1. longknife21 says:

    Slavery may have been a big deal to slave owners and the abolishionists, but did not affect 90% of the People. Like the homosexual “marriage” dispute today. The Main reason for secession was an overbearing Federal Gov’t exceeding its Constitutional powers, taxes, and economic exploitation by a few northern states and crooked politicians. Same as today.

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