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Events and People Who Made History in the Year 1861 AD


January 1: Porfirio Diaz conquers Mexico City
January 2: Colonel Charles Stone is put in charge of organizing DC militia
January 2: South Carolina seizes inactive Ft. Johnson in Charleston Harbor
January 3: Delaware legislature rejects proposal to join Confederacy
January 3: U.S. Ft. Pulaski and Ft. Jackson, Savannah, seized by Georgia
January 4: President Buchanan appoints a fast on account of threatened succession
January 4: U.S. Ft. Morgan, Mobile, seized by Alabama
January 5: 250 Federal troops are sent from New York to Ft. Sumter
January 5: Alabama troops seize Forts Morgan and Gaines at Mobile Bay
January 6: Florida troops seize Federal arsenal at Apalachicola
January 6: New York City mayor proposes New York become a free city, trading with N and S
January 7: Florida troops takeover Ft. Marion at St. Augustine
January 9: 1st hostile act of Civil War; Star of West fired on, Sumter, SC
January 9: Mississippi becomes 2nd state to secede
January 10: Florida becomes 3rd state to secede from US
January 10: Ft. Jackson and Ft. Philip are taken over by LA state troops
January 10: U.S. forts and property seized by Mississippi
January 11: Alabama becomes 4th state to secede
January 11: Mexico City captured by Juarez (Lib) in War of Reform
January 12: FL state troops demand surrender of Ft. Pickens
January 14: Ft. Pikens, Florida falls into state hands
January 15: Steam elevator patented by Elisha Otis
January 17: Flush toilet patented by Mr. Thomas Crapper (Honest!)
January 19: Georgia becomes 5th state to secede
January 19: MS troops take Ft. Massachusetts an Ship Island
January 21: Jefferson Davis of Mississippi and 4 other southern senators resign
January 24: Arsenal at Augusta, Georgia seized by Confederacy
January 24: Federal troops from Ft. Monroe are sent to Ft. Pikens
January 26: Louisiana becomes 6th state to secede
January 29: Kansas becomes 34th state
January 31: Friedrich Hebbel's "Siegfrieds Tod," premieres in Weimar
January 31: State of Louisiana takes over U.S. Mint at New Orleans


February 1: Dike breaks in Gelderland Netherlands
February 1: Texas becomes 7th state to secede
February 4: Confederate constitutional convention meets for 1st time in Montgomery, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina elect Jefferson Davis President of Confederacy
February 5: 1st moving picture peep show machine is patented by Samuel Goodale
February 5: Kinematoscope patented by Coleman Sellers, Philadelphia
February 5: Louisiana delegation except Mr. Bouligny withdraws from Congress
February 6: 1st meeting of Provisional Congress of Confederate States of America
February 6: English Admiral Robert Ritzroy issues 1st storm warnings for ships
February 8: Confederate States of America organizes in Montgomery, Alabama
February 9: Confederate Provisional Congress declares all laws under the U.S. Constitution were consistent with constitution of Confederate states
February 9: Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens elected president and Vice President of Confederate States of America
February 9: Tennessee votes against secession
February 11: President-elect Lincoln takes train from Spingfield Illinois to Washington D.C.
February 11: U.S. House unanimously passes resolution guaranteeing noninterference with slavery in any state
February 12: State troops seize U.S. munitions in Napoleon, Arkansas
February 13: 1st military action to result in Congressional Medal of Honor
February 13: Abraham Lincoln declared president
February 13: Col Bernard Irwin attacks and defeats hostile Chiricahua Indians
February 15: Ft. Point completed and garrisoned (but has never fired cannon in anger)
February 18: Confederate President Jefferson Davis inaugurated at Montgomery Alabama
February 18: King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia becomes 1st king of Italy
February 19: Russian Tsar Alexander II abolishes serfdom
February 20: Department of Navy of Confederacy forms
February 20: Steeple of Chichester Cathedral blown down during a storm
February 21: Navaho indians elect Herrero Grande as chief
February 22: On a bet Edward Weston leaves Boston to walk to Lincoln's inauguration
February 23: By popular referendum, Texas becomes 7th state to secede from U.S.
February 23: Dutch Premier Floris A van Hall resigns
February 23: President-elect Lincoln arrives secretly in Washington D.C. to take office
February 27: Russians shoot at Poles protesting Russian rule of Poland
February 27: U.S. Congress authorizes 1st stamped newspaper wrappers for mailing
February 27: Warsaw Massacre: Russians fire on crowd demonstrating against Russia
February 28: Territories of Nevada and Colorado created


March 2: Government Printing Office purchases 1st printing plant, Washington
March 2: U.S. creates Dakota and Nevada Territories out of the Nebraska and Utah territories
March 3: Russian Tsar Alexander II abolishes serfdom
March 4: Confederate States adopt "Stars and Bars" flag
March 4: Lincoln's inaugurated as 16th president
March 4: President Lincoln opens Government Printing Office
March 6: Provisionary Confederate Congress establishes Confederate Army
March 8: St. Augustine Florida surrenders to Union armies
March 9: Confederate currency authorized-$50, $100, $500, $1,000
March 11: Confederate convention in Montgomery, adopts constitution
March 13: Jefferson Davis signs bill authorizing use of slaves as soldiers
March 16: Arizona Territory votes to leave the Union
March 16: Confederate government appoints commissioners to Britain
March 17: Italy declares independence; Kingdom of Italy proclaimed
March 22: 1st U.S. nursing school chartered
March 23: London's 1st tramcars, designed by Mr. Train of New York, begins operating
March 27: Black demonstrators in Charleston staged ride-ins on street cars
March 31: Confederacy takes over mint at New Orleans


April 5: Federals abandon Ft. Quitman, Texas
April 8: U.S. Mint at Dahlonega, Georgia seized by Confederacy
April 12: Fort Sumter, South Carolina is shelled by Confederacy, starting Civil War
April 13: After 34 hours of bombardment, Ft. Sumter surrenders to Confederates
April 14: Formal Union surrender of Ft. Sumter
April 14: Robert E Lee resigns from Union army
April 15: Federal army (75,000 volunteers) mobilized by President Lincoln
April 16: U.S. president Lincoln outlaws business with confederate states
April 17: Indianola Texas - "Star of West" taken by Confederacy
April 17: Virginia is 8th state to secede
April 18: Battle of Harpers Ferry, Virginia
April 18: Col Robert E. Lee turns down offer to command Union armies
April 19: Baltimore riots-4 soldiers, 9 civilians killed
April 19: Lincoln orders blockade of Confederate ports (Civil War)
April 20: Battle of Norfolk, Virginia
April 20: Colonel Robert E. Lee resigns from Union army
April 22: Robert E. Lee named commander of Virginia Confederate forces
April 23: Arkansas troops seize Ft. Smith
April 23: Battle of San Antonio, Texas
April 25: 7th New York arrives to reinforce Washington, D.C.
April 25: Battle of Lavaca, Texas
April 27: President Abe Lincoln suspends writ of habeas corpus
April 27: West Virginia secedes from Virginia after Virginia secedes from U.S.
April 29: Maryland's House of Delegates votes against seceding from Union
April 30: President Lincoln ordered Federal Troops to evacuate Indian Territory


May 1: Lee orders Confederate troops under T J Jackson to Harper's Ferry
May 3: General Winfield Scott presents his Anaconda Plan
May 3: Lincoln asks for 42,000 Army Volunteers and another 18,000 seamen
May 4: At Gretna LA, one of 1st guns of Rebel Navy is cast
May 6: Arkansas and Tennessee becomes 9th and 10th state to secede from US
May 6: Jefferson Davis approves a bill declaring War between U.S. and Confederacy
May 7: Riot occurs between prosecessionist and Union supporters in Knoxville TN
May 8: Richmond, Virginia, is named the capital of the Confederacy
May 10: Union troops march on state militia in St. Louis, Missouri
May 13: Queen Victoria announces England's position of neutrality
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 Hebbels "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: U.S. marshals appropriate previous year's telegraph dispatches, to reveal prosecessionist evidence
May 21: Richmond, Virginia 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
May 24: Alexandria, Virginia occupied by Federal troops
May 24: Major General 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: Postmaster General Blair announces end of postal connection with South
May 26: Union blockades New Orleans, Louisiana and Mobile Alabama
May 29: Dorothea Dix offers help in setting up hospitals for Union Army
May 31: General Beauregard is given command of Confederate Alexandria Line
May 31: Mint at New Orleans closes


June 1: 1st skirmish in Civil War, Fairfax Court House, Virginia
June 1: British territorial waters and ports off-limits during Civil War
June 1: Skirmish at Arlington Mills, Virginia
June 1: U.S. and Confederacy simultaneously stop mail interchange
June 3: 1st Civil War land battle-Union defeats Confederacy at Philippi, WV
June 5: Federal marshals seize arms and gunpower at Du Pont works DE
June 6: Lincoln's cabinet declares Union government will pay for expenses once states have mobilized volunteers
June 8: People of Tennessee vote to succeed from Union
June 8: U.S. Sanitary Commission is given executive approval
June 10: Battle of Big Bethel Virginia (Bethel Church, Great Bethal)-Union retreats
June 12: Missouri Governor Claiborne Jackson calls for 50,000 volunteers to stop Federates from taking over his state
June 14: Harpers Ferry evacuated by rebels in face of McClellan's advance
June 15: Johnston evacuates Harpers Ferry
June 16: Battle of Vienna, Virginia and Secessionville, South Carolina, James Island
June 17: Battle of Boonville, MI-Brigadier General Lyon defeats Confederate forces
June 19: Anaheim Post Office established
June 19: Francis Pierpont is elected provisional governor of West Virginia
June 24: Battle of Mathias Point, Virginia - U.S. attacks Confederate batteries
June 24: Tennessee becomes 11th (& last) state to secede from US
June 25: Western Virginia campaign
June 28: Leipzig Observatory discovers short-period (6.2 yrs) Comet d'Arrest
June 30: CSS Sumter slips past USS Brooklyn blockade


July 1: 1st public schoolhouse opens at Washington and Mason St, SF
July 1: War Department decrees the KA and Tennessee are to be canvassed for volunteers
July 2: Battle of Hoke's Run, West Virginia - small Union victory
July 3: Colonal Jackson receives his commission as brigadier general
July 3: Martinsburg, Virginia - Confederate forces pull out before U.S. advance
July 3: Pony Express arrives in San Francisco with overland letters from New York
July 4: In a special session of 27th Congress Lincoln requests 400,000 troops
July 4: Skirmish at Harper's Ferry, West Virginia
July 5: Battle of Carthage, Missouri - U.S. General Sigel attacks pro-secessionist
July 7: Battle of Laurel Hill, Virginia
July 8: CS General Sibley is given command of rebel troops in New Mexico territory
July 10: Lincoln writes to Kentucky's militia and says Union troops will not enter that state
July 11: Battle of Laurel Mountain Virginia - General Morris forces retreat of rebels
July 11: Battle of Rich Mountain, Virginia - Rosecrans forces rebels to surrender
July 13: Battle of Corrick's Ford, Virginia (Carrick's Ford) - Union army takes total control of western Virginia CS20 US53
July 14: General McDowell advances toward Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia with 40,000 troops
July 14: Naval Engagement at Wilmington North Carolina - USS Daylight establishes blockade
July 16: Battle of Bull Run, the 1st major battle of the Civil War, is fought
July 17: Congress authorizes paper money
July 17: Manassas, Virginia General Beauregard requests reinforcements for his 22,000 men, General Johnston is ordered to Manassas
July 18: Battle of Blackburn's Ford, Virginia US57 CS68 - Manassas -
July 20: Confederate state's congress began holding sessions in Richmond, Virginia
July 21: 1st major battle of Civil War ends (Bull Run), Va-South wins
July 24: Skirmish at Taylor Mountain, (W)Virginia - CS General Wise retreats
July 25: Skirmish at Fort Fillmore, New Mexico Terr - Rebels attack Union troops
July 25: Washington D.C. - Crittenden resolution is passed stating that the war is to be fought to preserve union and uphold the Constitution, not to alter slavery
July 27: Battle of Mathias Point, Virginia - Rebel forces repel a Federal landing
July 27: Battle of St. Augustine Springs, New Mexico Terr
July 27: Confederate troops occupy Fort Fillmore, New Mexico
July 27: Union General George McClellan takes command from McDowell of Potamic Army
July 31: 9,300 mm rainfall in July in Cherrapunji, Assam: world record


August 1: Brazil recognizes Confederacy
August 3: Federal fleet bombs Galveston, Texas
August 5: Enlistment increases from 3 months to 2 years
August 5: Naval Engagement at Fernandina, FL-USS Vincennes ends rebel blockade
August 5: U.S. Army abolishes flogging
August 5: U.S. levies its 1st Income Tax (3% of incomes over $800)
August 6: Lexington Kentucky - Union military camp forms in neutral state
August 10: Battle of Wilson's Creek MO (Springfield, Oak Hills)-General Lyon killed
August 12: Skirmish at Texas-rebels are attacked by Apache Indians
August 14: 79th New York troops mutinies
August 16: President Lincoln prohibits Union states from trading with Confederacy
August 16: Skirmishes at Fredericktown/Kirkville, Missouri
August 27: Battle of Cape Hatteras SC-Union troops take Ft. Clark
August 28: Battle of Fort Hatteras NC


September 1: Grant assumes command of Federal forces at Cape Girardeau MI
September 1: Skirmish at Boone Court House WV and Blue Creek WV
September 3: Confederate forces enter Kentucky, thus ending its neutrality
September 6: General Grant occupies Paducah Kentucky
September 9: Sally Tompkins is only Confederate Army female commissioned officer
September 10: Battle at Cheat Mountain, Elkwater West Virginia
September 10: Battle of Carnifex Ferry VA, 170 casualities
September 13: 1st naval battle of Civil War, Union frigate "Colorado" sinks privateer "Judah" off Pensacola, Fla
September 16: British Post Office Savings Banks opens
September 17: 1st day school for freedmen forms at Fortress Monroe Virginia
September 17: Hampton Institute forms
September 20: Battle of Lexington, MI-captured by Union
September 25: Secretary of U.S. Navy authorizes enlistment of slaves
September 26: 2nd British Golf Open: Tom Morris Sr shoots a 163 at Prestwick Club


October 2: Former Vice President John C. Breckinridge flees Kentucky
October 6: Naval Engagement at Charleston, South Carolina USS Flag vs BR Alert
October 6: Revolt of Russian student shuts down university of Petersburg
October 11: Battle of Dumfries, Virginia (Quantico Creek)
October 12: Confederate ironclad Manassas attack Union's Richmond on Mississippi
October 16: Confederacy starts selling postage stamps
October 21: Battle of Balls Bluff, Virginia (Leesburg, Harrison's Island)
October 22: 1st telegraph line linking West and East coasts completed
October 24: 1st transcontinental telegram sent ending Pony Express
October 24: West Virginia seceded from Virginia
October 25: Battle of Wilson's Creek, MI (Springfield)
October 26: Pony Express ends


November 1: General George B. McClellan made general in chief of Union armies
November 4: University of Washington founded in Seattle
November 6: Jefferson Davis elected to 6 year term as Confederate president
November 7: Battle of Belmont, MO
November 7: Battle of Port Royal Bay, South Carolina (Ft. Walker, Ft. Beauregard)
November 8: Battle of Mount Ivy, Kentucky
November 8: U.S. removes Confederate officials from British steamer Trent
November 9: 1st documented Canadian football game (at University of Toronto)
November 19: Julia Ward Howe committed "Battle Hymn of the Republic" to paper
November 22: Battle of Ft. McRee, FL
November 24: Luik-Vise-Maastricht railway opens
November 26: West Virginia created as a result of dispute over slavery with Virg
November 28: Confederate congress officially admits Missouri to Confederate Army
November 30: Harper's Weekly publishes EE Beers' "All quiet along the Potomac"


December 5: Gatling gun patented
December 9: Battle of Bird Creek, Indian Terr (High Shoal, Chusto-Talasah)
December 13: Battle of Alleghany Summit, WV
December 19: Battle of Black Water
December 20: Battle of Dranesville, VA
December 30: US, banks stops payments in gold
December 31: 22,990 mm of rain falls in Cherrapunji Assam in 1861, world record
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