Chronoloy of the American Civil War
- On the San Jacinto Battlefield in Texas, a group calling itself the People's Party nominates Governor Sam Houston for president; while other mass meetings were held in other cities, no canidate for vice president is nominated.
- The Democratic National Convention starts in Charleston, South Carolina. Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois is widely regarded as the front runner for the presidential nomination.
- Democratic National Convention, Charleston, South Carolina: The convention votes 165 to 138 to adopt a platform favored by the northern delegates, which fails to endorse the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision and Congressional legislation to protect slavery in the territories. In response, the entire delegations from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas, plus four deleates from Arkansas and Delaware, leave the convention
- Democratic National Convention, Charleston, South Carolina: After 57 ballots, no canidate receives the required two-thirds majority of votes; therefore, the convention votes to adjourn and reconven in Baltimore, Maryland.
- In Baltimore, Maryland, the Constitutional Union Party meets to nominate canidates for the presidential election; John Bell of Tennessee is nominated for president on the second ballot and Edward Everett of Massachusetts is nominated for vice president on a voice vote.
- The Republican National Convention starts in Chicago, Illinois.
- In Chicago, Illinois, the Republican National Convention nominates Abraham Lincoln of Illinois for president and Senator Hannibal Hamlin of Maine for vice president on the third ballot.
- In Baltimore, Maryland, the Democratic National Convention reconvenes.
- The Democratic National Convention formally nominates Stephen A. Douglas for U.S. president; former governor Herschel V. Johnson of Georgia is nominated for vice president. The Southern delagates ignore the nominations and instead nominate Vice President John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky for president and Senator Joseph Lane of Oregon for vice president.
- Governor Sam Houston withdraws from the presidential race and urges the formation of a unified ticket against Republican canidate Abraham Lincoln.
- In Syracuse, New York, the Liberty Party (also called the Radical Abolitionists) meet for a presidential nomination convention; Gerrit Smith of New York is nominated for president and Samuel McFarland of Pennsylvania is nominated for vice president.
- In the national U.S. presidential election, Republican canidate Abraham Lincoln wins the contest with 180 electoral votes and 39.82% of the popular vote; Northern Democratic canidate Stephen A. Douglas wins 12 electoral votes and 29.46% of the popular vote; Southern Democratic canidate John C. Breckinridge wins 72 electoral votes and 18.1% of the popular vote; Constitutional Union canidate John Bell wins 39 electoral votes and 12.61% of the popular vote; Gerrit Smith wins only 0.01% of the popular vote.
- The South Carolina legislature votes to call for a state convention to consider secession.
- Kentucky governor Beriah Megoffin proposses a convention of states to avoid a war but is ignored.
- In South Carolina, a state convention votes to seceede from the Union.
- At the Charleston, South Carolina harbor, the Union garrison of Fort Moultrie transfers to Fort Sumter.
- At Charleston, South Carolina, the Union fortification Castle Pinckney is captured by South Carolina state forces without casualties.
- In Kentucky, governor Beriah Megoffin calls a special session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
- In Charleston, South Carolina, the Federal arsenal is seized by South Carolina state forces.
- The Union Departments of California and Oregon are merged into the single Department of the Pacific, with Albert S. Johnston in command.
- The state legislature of Delaware rejects secession.
- The Virginia state legislature votes to issue two million dollars in treasury notes, authorizes the sale of bonds to support militia companies, and sends a commission to the United Kingdom to buy weapons.
- In Louisiana, Governor Thomas Moore orders state militia to occupy the Federal arsenal in Baton Rouge and to occupy the Federal forts south of New Orleans, Forts Jackson and St. Philip.
- In Jackson, Mississippi, a state convention votes 84 to 15 to secede from the Union
- At Charleston, South Carolina, the Union supply ship Star of the West attempts to enter the harbor to resupply Fort Sumter; however, after South Carolina state forces open fire, the ship withdraws.
- In Tallahassee, Florida, a state convention votes 62 to 7 to secede from the Union
- In Alabama, a state convention votes 61 to 39 to secede from the Union.
- In California, Albert S. Johnston arrives in San Francisco to formally take command of the new Department of the Pacific.
- In Milledgeville, Georgia, a state convention first meets to consider secession.
- The Tennessee General Assembly submits approval of a state convention to consider secession to a special referendum, to be held February 9th.
- In Milledgeville, Georgia, a state convention votes 208 to 89 to secede from the Union.
- In Louisiana, the state convention votes to seceede 113 to 17.
- In Texas, the state secession convention meets for the first time.
- Kansas is admitted to the Union as the thirty-fourth state.
- South Carolina Governor Francis W. Pickens writes a letter to U.S. President James Buchanan, demanding that Fort Sumter be surrendered to state forces; the letter is ignored.
- A convention in Texas approves an ordinance of secession by a vote of 166 to 7; the ordinance is to be submitted to the state legislature and to a statewide referendum for approval.
- At Montgomery, Alabama, a convention of the seven seceeded states meet to form a government of the Confederate States. Howell Cobb of Georgia is elected president of the convention, which becomes the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States.
- The voters of Virginia select delagates to a state convention to consider secession.
- In Washington, D.C., delagates from 21 states meet in the Peace Conference in an effort to resolve the secession crisis.
- At Montgomery, Alabama, the Provisional Congress appoints a committee of twelve delagates to draft a constitution.
- In the Indian Territory, the Choctaw Nation votes to side with the Confederate States.
- LeRoy P. Walker is appointed the first Confederate Secretary of War.
- In Montgomery, Alabama, the Provisional Constitution of the Confederate States is adopted.
- In Montgomery, Alabama, the Confederate Provisional Congress elects Jefferson Davis of Mississippi as provisional Confederate president and Alexander Stephens as provisional vice-president.
- In Tennessee, voters defeat the call for a special convention to consider secession, with 54% voting against it.
- The Virginia state convention begins in Richmond.
- In Montgomery, Alabama, Jefferson Davis is inagurated as provisional Confederate president.
- In Arkansas, voters elect delegates to a state convention to consider secession.
- Brevet Major General David E. Twiggs surrenders the Union Department of Texas to state authorities.
- The Confederate Provisional Congress pass an act creating the Department of Justice; the same day, Judah P. Benjamin is appointed the first Confederate Attorney General. The act also authorizes the creation of a Supreme Court but this court is never actually created.
- Stephen R. Mallory of Florida is appointed Confederate Secretery of the Navy.
- In Texas, voters approve the Ordinance of Secession by a margin of more than three-to-one.
- In the Union House of Representatives, Thomas Corwin of Ohio proposes a constitutional amendment to prohibit either the U.S. Congress or the U.S. constitution from interferring with the "domestic institutions" of the states.
- In Washington, D.C., the U.S. House of Representatives passes the Corwin Admendment by a vote of 133 to 65.
- The U.S. Territory of Colorado is organized from the territories of Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Utah.
- In Missouri, voters elect a Constitutional Convention to consider secession.
- P.G.T. Beauregard is appointed commander of Confederate forces in the area of Charleston, South Carolina.
- The U.S. Territory of Nevada is organized from the Utah Territory.
- The U.S. Territory of Dakota is organized from the Nebraska Territory.
- In Montgomery, Alabama, the Confederate Provisional Congress adopts the First Confederate National Flag (nicknamed the "Stars and Bars").
- In Washington, D.C., Union President James Buchannan calls the U.S. Senate into a special session.
- Abraham Lincoln is inagurated as the 16th President of the United States.
- The U.S. Senate passes the Corwin admendment by a vote of 24 to 12, sending it to the states for approval.
- In Arkansas, a state convention meets to consider secession.
- In Montgomery, Alabama, the Confederate Provisional Congress passes the permanent Constitution of the Confederate States of America.
- Alabama becomes the first state to ratify the permanent Constitution of the Confederate States.
- A convention meeting in Mesilla, New Mexico Territory, votes to secede and form the Confederate Territory of Arizona.
- In Montgomery, Alabama, the first session of the Confederate Provisional Congress ends.
- Georgia becomes the second state to ratify the permanent Constitution of the Confederate States.
- In Texas, Governor Sam Houston is removed from office when he refuses to swear allegiance to the Confederacy.
- In Texas, Lieutenant Governor Edward Clark is sworn in as governor.
- In Arkansas, the state convention votes to adjourn without voting on the question of secession itself; instead, a referendum will be held in August.
- In Missouri, the Constitutional Convention rejects secession by a vote of 98 to 1 but also votes for a policy of neutrality if war broke out; it then adjourns.
- Louisiana becomes the third state to ratify the permanent Constitution of the Confederate States.
- Texas becomes the fourth state to ratify the permanent Constitution of the Confederate States.
- In Milledgeville, George, the state secession convention meets for the final time.
- In Washington, D.C., the special session of the U.S. Senate ends.
- Mississippi becomes the fifth state to ratify the permanent Constitution of the Confederate States.
- South Carolina becomes the sixth state to ratify the permanent Constitution of the Confederate States.
- In Richmond, Virginia, the Virginia State Convention rejects an ordinance of secession by a vote of 89 to 45.
- U.S. President Abraham Lincoln orders a relief expedition to resupply Fort Sumter.
- Kentucy becomes the first state to ratify the Corwin Admendment.
- Abraham Lincoln notifies South Carolina governor Francis W. Pickens of the attempt to resupply Fort Sumter.
- At Charleston, South Carolina, Confederate Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard sends a message to Fort Sumter commander Major Robert Anderson, demanding that he surrender the fort.
- At Charleston, South Carolina, at 3 a.m. Union Major Robert Anderson refuses to surrender; Confederate forces started bombarding Fort Sumter at 4:30 a.m.
- At Charleston, South Carolina, Major Robert Anderson surrenders Fort Sumter to Confederate forces at 2:30 a.m.
- U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issues a call for 75,000 militia, referring to the Confederate States as "combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings", and calling for a special session of the U.S. Congress to meet starting on July 4th.
- In Virginia, in response to the bombardment of Fort Sumter and to Lincoln's call for militia, the special state convention passes an Ordinance of Secession, to be submitted for approval in a referendum on May 23rd.
- At Harpers Ferry, Virginia, the Federal armory is burned and abandoned by Union forces.
- U.S. President Abraham Lincoln declares a blockade of the seven Confederate states.
- In Baltimore, Maryland, the 6th Massachusetts Militia is marching between railroad stations when it is attacked by a mob; the regiment reacts by firing into the crowd, killing a dozen civilians and wounding an unknown number of civilians. Of the regiment, four soldiers are killed and thirty-six wounded.
- In Missouri, a group of pro-secessionists sieze the Liberty arsenal.
- Colonel Robert E. Lee submits his resignation from the U.S. army to the Union War Department.
- At Norfolk, Virginia, the U.S. Navy shipyard and drydock facilities are burned; any ship not taken away is burned or scuttled, including the frigate U.S.S. Merrimack.
- In Virginia, governor John Letcher appoints Robert E. Lee to command of the Virginia state forces.
- Florida becomes the seventh state to ratify the permanent Constitution of the Confederate States.
- At Clarksburg in western Virginia, a meeting of 1,200 people approve resolutions which oppose secession and call for a convention of Virginia's northwestern counties to meet in Wheelin on May 13th.
- Robert E. Lee assumes command of the Virginia state forces, with the rank of major general.
- Goerge B. McClellan is commissioned major general of the Ohio Volunteeers and takes command of the Ohio militia.
- In Maryland, the state legislature meets in Frederick, due to the occupation of Annapolis by Union troops.
- The Union Department of Pennsylvania is formed, consisting of Pennsylvania and northern Maryland, with Robert Patterson in command.
- In Virginia, Joseph E. Johnston is appointed comamnder of Virginia state forces in the Richmond area, while Thomas J. Jackson is assigned to command the forces around Harpers Ferry.
- In Montgomery, Alabama, the second session of the Confederate Provisional Congress begins.
- In Frederick, Maryland, the state legislature votes 53 to 13 against secession.
- The North Carolina legislature calls for a convention to consider secession.
- In Missouri, Governor Claibourn Jackson calls out the Missouri Volunteer Militia for six days of drilling and training.
- U.S. President Abraham Lincoln calls for an additional 42,000 volunteers to serve for three years; he also expands the U.S. regular army by 22,714 men.
- The Union Department of the Ohio is created, consisting of the states of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois; George B. McClellan is appointed commander.
- In Tennessee, in response to the bombardment of Fort Sumter, the General Assembly passes an Ordinance of Secession, to be submitted for approval in a referendum to be held on June 8th.
- In Arkansas, the state convention reconvenes and votes to seceede by a vote of 69 to 1.
- In Missouri, militia units from the northeastern part of the state assembly near St. Louis under the command of Brigadier General Daniel M. Frost; the encampment is named Camp Jackson.
- The government of the United Kingdom recognizes the Confederate States as a belligerant.
- The Kentucky General Assembly passes a declaration of neutrality in the war.
- Battle of Gloucester, Virginia: the gunboat U.S.S. Yankee bombards a Confederate battery, which returns fire; this exchange of fire results in no casualties.
- Virginia is admitted to the Confederate States as the eighth state.
- The Confederate Provisional Congress votes to move the Confederate national capital to Richmond, Virginia.
- The Union Department of the Ohio is expanded to include western Virginia and western Pennsylvania.
- At St. Louis, Missouri Union Captain Nathaniel Lyon decides to force the surrender of the Missouri militia units at Camp Jackson, convinced they were plotting to capture the St. Louis arsenal. After militia commander Daniel Frost surrenders, Lyon attempts to march the militia back through St. Louis to the arsenal, intending to parole them. However, Lyon's troops fire into the crowd which lined the route, killing 28 civilians and wounding more than 75 civilians. This incident rallies support for the secessionist cause throughout Missouri.
- In Maryland, Union Major General Benjamin Butler occupies Baltimore and declares martial law.
- The First Wheeling Convention meets in western Virginia (modern West Virginia); composed of Unionists, the convention debates overturning the recently passed Virginia Ordinance of Secession.
- The government of the United Kingdom announces a policy of stict neutrality in the conflict, while granting the Confederacy belligerancy rights.
- Ohio becomes the second state to ratify the Corwin Amendment.
- Robert E. Lee is commissioned brigadier general in the Confederate army (the highest rank authorized at the time) and is placed in command of Confederate forces in Virginia.
- George McClellan is commissioned major general in the Union regular army.
- The Missouri state legislature passes a bill which reorganizes the state militia into the Missouri State Guard; the bill also authorizes that a major general be appointed to command the Guard.
- The Confederate War Department assigns Joseph E. Johnston to command Confederate troops at Harpers Ferry, Virginia.
- The Provisional Confederate Congress authorizes the issue of $20 million in Treasury notes and $50 million in bonds.
- Arkansas is admitted to the Confederate States as the ninth state.
- In North Carolina, a state convention passes an Ordinance of Secession by a vote of 72 to 40; the convention then votes to join the Confederate States.
- In Missouri, a meeting between Missouri State Guard commander Sterling Price and Union Department of the West commander William S. Harney agree to a truce.
- In Montgomery, Alabama, the Confederate Congress votes to move the national capital to Richmond, Virginia.
- Confederate President Jefferson Davis proclaims North Carolina a Confederate state
- The second session of the Confederate Provisional Congress ends.
- In a popular referendum, voters in Virginia pass the Ordinance of Secession by a four-to-one margin; however, most of the support comes from the eastern and central portions of the state. The western mountainous part remained strongly pro-Union.
- In Wheeling, western Virginia, the last company of the Union 1st (West) Virginia Infantry is mustered into service.
- Union troops based in the District of Columbia cross the Potomac River and occupy Alexandria, Virginia.
- The Choctaw Nation adopts a resolution of independence from the United States.
- The Department of Northeastern Virginia is created, covering the part of Virginia south of the Potomac River, east of the Allegheny Mountains, and north of the James River. Irvin McDowell is appointed commander of the department.
- In Missouri, William S. Harney is relieved of command of the Department of the West and replaced by Nathaniel Lyon.
- Union forces from the Department of the Ohio occupy Grafton, northwestern Virginia.
- In Knoxville, Tennessee, a Unionist convention meets, electing representative T.A.R. Nelson as president.
- Confederate general P.G.T. Beauregard is appointed to command the "Alexandria Line" in northern Virginia.
- Rhode Island becomes the third state to ratify the Corwin Amendment.
- In Knoxville, Tennessee, a Unionist convention, consisting of 469 delagates, adopts several resolutions condemning secession; the convention then disbands, after authorizing T.A.R. Nelson to summon the convention at a future date and place.
- At Fairfax Court House, Virginia, a Union scouting detachment from the 2nd U.S. Cavalry skirmishes with a Confederate outpost commanded by Richard S. Ewell.
- Battle of Philippi, West Virginia: Union forces lead by Brigadier General Thomas A. Morris suprises a Confederate force, commanded by Colonel George A. Porterfield; after exchanging a few shots, the Confederate forces flee the town.
- Union Senator Stephen A. Douglas dies in Chicago, Illinois.
- In a popular referendum, voters in Tennessee pass the Ordinance of Secession by a two-to-one margin, with most support coming from western and central Tennessee.
- All Virginia state troops are transferred to the control of the Confederate government; Robert E. Lee is retained as military advisor to Virginia governor Letcher and Confederate president Jefferson Davis.
- In northwestern Virginia, Brigadier General Robert S. Garnett takes command of Confederate forces.
- Battle of Big Bethel, Virginia: A Union force from Fort Monroe is defeated by a Confederate detachment commanded by John Magrudger and D.H. Hill.
- In Missouri, Governor Claiborne Jackson, Sterling Price, and Nathaniel Lyon meet but fail to agree to extend the truce; Lyon then declares that he will commence hostilities against the Missouri State Guard and the Missouri state government.
- In Tennessee, representative T.A.R. Nelson calls for the Unionist convention to reconvene in Greenville on June 17th.
- In Missouri, Governor Claiborne Jackson issues a call for 50,000 volunteers for state service.
- The Choctaw National Council declares the Choctaw Nation "free and independent of the United States".
- In the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Joseph E. Johnston abandones Harpers Ferry and retreats south towards Winchester.
- In Missouri, Union forces commanded by Nathaniel Lyon occupy the state capital of Jefferson City; governor Claiborne Jackson and most of the state legislature leave for the southwestern part of the state.
- In Greenville, Tennessee, a Unionist convention convenes with 285 delagates.
- In Virginia, the Wheeling convention delcares that the state offices are vacant, due to secession of the state, and elects a new slate of officials as the Restored Government of Virginia; Francis H. Pierpont is chosen as governor of Virginia
- At the Norfolk Navy Yards, Virginia, work is started to convert the C.S.S. Virginia (formerly the U.S.S. Merrimack) into an ironclad.
- Folowing the resignation of William W. Loring from the U.S. army, Colonel E.R.S. Canby is appointed commander of the Union Department of New Mexico.
- Battle of Falling Waters, Virginia: in the Shenandoah Valley, Union forces commanded by Robert Patterson crosses the Potomac River and skirmishes with a Confederate brigade commanded by Thomas J. Jackson.
- Tennessee is admitted to the Confederate States as the eleventh state.
- The Union Western Department is formed, consistin of Illinois and the states and territories west of the Mississippi.
- The Union Department of New Mexico is merged with the Western Department.
- In Washington, D.C., both houses of the 37th U.S. Congress meet in an extraordinary session, starting the first session of the congress. During the secession, Abraham Lincoln requests 400,000 troops and $400 million for the war.
- In Washington, D.C., the U.S. Senate passes the Crittenden Resolution by a vote of 30 to 5.
- Confederate Brigadier General Henry H. Sibley is authorized to recruit a mounted brigade in Texas, for use in an invasion of New Mexico Territory.
- The Creek Nation, led by Principle Chief Motey Kennard, with Daniel N. and Chilly McIntosh, sign a treaty of alliance with the Confederate States.
- In Maryland, a grand jury of a U.S. district court indicts six men for their part of the April 1861 Baltimore riots.
- In the Cherokee Nation, Stand Watie begins recruiting troops for the Confederate army; his regiment is eventually designated the 2nd Cherokee Mounted Rifles.
- The Choctaw Nation signs a treaty of alliance with the Confederate States.
- The Chickasaw Nation signs a treaty of alliance with the Confederate States.
- Nathaniel Lyon's Union forces occupies Springfield, Missouri.
- The first military execution of the war takes place in Missouri; Private Joseph N. Cole of the 1st Kansas Infantry is executed for killing another soldier of the same regiment.
- In the Shenandoah Valley, Union forces commanded by Robert Paterson skirmishes with Joseph Johnston's Army of the Shenandoah near Bunker Hill, north of Winchester, Virinia.
- Irvin McDowell starts his Army of Northeastern Virginia towards Manassas Junction, Virginia.
- Joseph Johnston is ordered to transfer his army from the Shenandoah Valley to Manassas Junction, to reinforce P.G.T. Beauregard's army, as Irvin McDowell's army reaches Fairfax Court House.
- Battle of Blackburn's Ford, Virginia: As the Union Army of Northeastern Virginia arrives near Centreville, Irvin McDowell orders a reconnaissance of Confederate defenses along Bull Run. Daniel Tyler's division attempts to cross at Blackburn's Ford but is pushed back and forced to retreat in confusion.
- In Richmond, Virginia, the third session of the Confederate Provisional Congress begins.
- Near Manassas Junction, Virginia Union commander Irvin McDowell continues a reconnaissance of the Confederate line along Bull Run, as elements of Joseph Johnston's army continue to arrive at Manassas Junction.
- First Battle of Manassas/Bull Run: In the first major battle of the war, Union troops suffer a defeat after fighting the combined Confederate forces of Joseph Johnston and P.G.T. Beaureard.
- Robert Patterson's army arrives back at Harper's Ferry.
- The Crittenden Resolution, declaring that the war is being fought "to defend and maintain the Supremacy of the Constitution and to preserve the Union", is passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.
- At Mesilla, New Mexico Territory, a battalion of the Confederate 2nd Texas Mounted Rifles, commanded by John R. Baylor, arrives in the town intending to attack the Union garrison of the nearby Fort Fillmore.
- At Harper's Ferry, Virginia, Robert Patterson is replaced as commander of the Union Department of Pennsylvania by Nathaniel P. Banks.
- At St. Louis, Missouri, John C. Fremont arrives to take command of the Union Department of the West.
- Battle of Mesilla, New Mexico Territory: Union Major Isaac Lynde leads the garrison of Fort Fillmore on an attack on John Baylor's Confederate battalion in Mesilla. The attack is repulsed, and Lynde retreats back to the fort.
- The U.S. Senate passes the Crittenden Resolution by a vote of 30 to 5.
- In the New Mexico Territory, Confederate John Baylor receives reinforcements and prepares to launch an attack on Fort Fillmore.
- In Washington, D.C., George B. McClellan takes command of Union forces in the Departments of Pennsylvania, Washington, and Northeastern Virginia; his command is designated the Military Division of the Potomac.
- At Fort Fillmore, New Mexico Territory, Union Major Isaac Lynde abandones the post and attempst to reach Fort Stanton but after marching twenty miles, he is forced to surrender to John Baylor at San Augustine Springs.
- In the Indian Territory, the Seminole Nation signs a treaty of alliance with the Confedrate States.
- In Missouri, the Missouri state convention meets in Jefferson City and declares the state offices vacant; Hamilton Gamble is appointed governor.
- In Mesilla, New Mexico Territory, Confederate Lieutenant Colonel John Baylor issues a proclamation, which organizes the Confederate Territory of Arizona as a military government with himself as governor; the territory was to comprise the portion of New Mexico south of the 34th parallel north latitude.
- The Empire of Brazil recognizes the Confederate States as a belligerant power but not as a sovereign nation.
- In Washington, D.C., Union President Abraham Lincoln appoints Gustavus V. Fox, chief clerk of the Navy Department, to the post of Assistant Secretary of the Navy.
- In state elections in Kentucky, pro-Union canidates win an overwhelming majority in the General Assembly, with a majority of 76 to 24 in the state House of Representatives and 27 to 11 in the state Senate.
- A pro-Confederate convention in Tuscon, Confederate Territory of Arizona (Union Territory of New Mexico) elects Granville Oury as the territory's representative in the Confederate Congress.
- The U.S. Congress passes the Revenue Act of 1861, adopting an income tax to pay for the war.
- In Washington, D.C., the first session of the 37th U.S. Congress ends.
- Battle of Wilson's Creek, Missouri: Union forces under the command of General Nathaniel Lyon attacks the combined forces of the Missouri State Guard, commanded by Sterling Price, and Confederate forces, commanded by Ben McCulloch. After a stalemate of several hours, Lyon is mortally wounded and Lyon's successor orders a retreat back to Springfield when Union forces begin to run low on ammunition.
- The Union Departments of Washington, Northeastern Virginia, and the Shenandoah are merged into the Department of the Potomac, with George B. McClellan in command.
- At Tahlequah, Indian Territory, Chief John Ross of the Cherokee Nation and the tribal Executive Council call a general assembly; it votes to ally the tribe with the Confederacy. Ross then authorizes the recruitment of the 1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles under the command of Colonel John Drew.
- A Union expeditionary force commanded by Major General Benjamin Butler leaves Hampton Roads, Virginia for Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina.
- At Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina, Butler's forces starts landing on the island and the Union Navy begins bombarding the two Confederate forts guarding the bay, Forts Clark and Hatteras; Fort Clark is abandoned without opposition.
- At Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina, the Confederate garrison of Fort Hatteras surrenders.
- In Missouri, John C. Fremont declares martial law in the state, ordering the confiscation of the propery of secessionists and the freeing of their slaves.
- In Richmond, Virginia, the third session of the Confederate Provisional Congress ends.
- The Confederate government apppoints five full generals to the army. In order of senority, they are: Samuel Cooper, Albert S. Johnston, Robert E. Lee, Joseph E. Johnston, and P.G.T. Beauregard.
- Union general U.S. Grant is assigned command of the Southeast District of Missouri.
- On the order of Leonidas Polk, Confederate forces commanded by Gideon Pillow enter neutral Kentucky in order the city of Columbus on the Mississippi.
- Union general U.S. Grant sends troops to occupy the city of Paducah, Kentucky, giving Union forces control of the junction of the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers.
- General Albert Sydney Johnson is appointed to command Confederate Department No. 2.
- Abraham Lincoln orders the revocation of the emancipation clause in John C. Fremont's delcaration of martial law in Missouri.
- In Kentucky, the legislature calls for the expulsion of Confederate forces from the stae; a resolution calling for the expulsion of forces from both sides fail.
- First Battle of Lexington, Missouri: An advance force of Missouri State Guard cavalry skirmishes with the Union garrison of Lexington, before withdrawing and waiting for the main body of the MSG to arrive.
- LeRoy P. Walker resigns as Confederate Secretary of War.
- Judah P. Benjamin resigns as Confederate Attorney General; Assistant Attorney General Wade Keyes temporarily takes his place.
- First Battle of Lexington, Missouri: Sterling Price attacks the town; MSG forces manage to capture the Anderson House, a strategic site used as a hospital, but are unable to force the Union garrison to surrender.
- First Battle of Lexington, Missouri: Sterling Price begins a heavy artillery fire on Union positions, followed by an infantry assault moving behind bales of hemp; this attack forces the 3,500-man Union garrison to surrender. The Missouri State Guard suffers 100 casualties.
- Kansas Jayhawkers loot and burn the town of Osceola, Missouri.
- Union Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles authorizes Flag Officer Du Pont, commanding the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, to enlist contrabands into the Union navy.
- A treaty between the Confederate government and the Cherokee Nation is concluded and signed.
- Battle of Santa Rosa Island, Florida: Confederate forces commanded by Richard H. Anderson attempt but fail to capture Union Fort Pickens; Confederate casualties are 87, while the Union garrison loses 67 men.
- In Texas, Henry Sibley starts marching his brigade towards El Paso.
- The keel for the U.S.S. Monitor is laid at Greenpoint, New York.
- In Russellville, Kentucky, a convention first meets to discuss the formation of a pro-Confederate government for the state; Henry Burnett of Trigg County is elected chairman of the convention.
- In Neosho, Missouri, a remnant of the Missouri state legislature meets and passes an Ordinance of Secession.
- In Washington, D.C., Union general Winfield Scott is replaced by George B. McClellan as commanding general of the army.
- In Missouri, John C. Fremont is relieved of command of the Union Department of the West and replaced by David Hunter.
- In Confederate national elections, Jefferson Davis is elected to a six year term as Confederate president, under the terms of the permanent Confederate Constitution.
- The Battle of Belmont, Missouri: Union Brigadier General U.S. Grant attacks and overruns a Confederate camp along the Mississippi River; however, he loses control of his troops to looting, which allows Confederate reinforcements to recapture the camp.
- Battle of Port Royal, South Carolina: A Union naval force commanded by Flag Officer Samuel F. Du Pont bombards two Confederate forts guardin Port Royal Sound and captures both.
- In the Bahama Channel between Cuba and the Bahamas, the frigate U.S.S. San Jacinto stops the British ship R.M.S. Trent and arrests two Confederate envoys to Europs, James Mason and John Slidell.
- The Union Western Department is disbanded, and the Departments of Kansas, New Mexico, and the Missouri formed from its territory.
- The Union Department of New Mexico is re-created, consisting of the Territory of New Mexico, with Colonel E.R.S. Canby in command.
- Major General Henry W. Halleck is appointed commander of the Union Department of the Missouri.
- In Richmond, Virginia, the fifth session of the Confederate Provisional Congress begins.
- A convention in Russellville, Kentucky passes an ordinance of secession and forms a Confederate government, with its capital at Bowling Green; a state government is organized with George W. Johnson as governor, Horatio F. Simrall as lieutenat governor, Theodore Legrand Burnett as treasurer, and Josiah Pillsbury as auditor, along with a legislative council of ten members, one each from the state's representative districts.
- Battle of Round Mountain, Oklahoma: Douglas Cooper's force of Confederate Indians, supported by the 9th Texas Cavalry, attacks a group of Unionist Indians lead by Chief Opothleyahola. The battle ends when the Unionist force starts a prarie fire and then retreats after dark.
- In Richmond, Virginia, Thomas Bragg is appointed as the second Confederate Attorney General and Judah Benjamin becomes Confederate Secretary of War.
- Pro-Confederate governor of Kentucy George W. Johnson writes to the Confederate government, requesting the state's admission to the Confederacy.
- The Confederate Congress admits Missouri as the 12th Confederate state.
- British Foreign secretary Lord Russell informs the British minister to the U.S. that the Trent affair constitutes an aggression against the United Kingdom; unless Confederate envoys James Mason and John Slidell are released and an apology is given, the minister is to return to the U.K. with all of his personnel.
- In Washington, D.C., the second session of the 37th U.S. Congress begins.
- The members of the Confederate Electoral College cast their votes in their respective states; Jefferson Davis and Alexander H. Stephens receive all 109 votes for president and vice president, respectively.
- The U.S.Congress forms the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War to oversee the Union war effort; it consists of four senators (Republicans Benjamin Wade of Ohio and Zachariah Chandler of Michigan, and Democrats Andrew Johnson of Tennessee and Joseph A. Wright of Indiana) and four representatives (Republicans George W. Julian of Indiana, John Covode of Pennsylvania, and Daniel W. Gooch of Massachusetts, and Democrat Moses Odell of New York).
- Kentucky is admitted to the Confederacy as its 13th state.
- In the Confederate Arizona Territory (Union New Mexico Territory), Henry Sibley assumes command of Confederate forces on the Rio Grande north of Fort Quitman, Texas, designating his troops as the Army of New Mexico.
- The Confederate government of Kentucky appoints representatives to the Confederate Provisional Congress.
- In the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, General T.J. Jackson and the Stonewall Brigade leaves Winchester and marches 28 miles to Dam No. 5 on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.
- In northern Virginia, at Dam No. 5 on the Cheasapeake and Ohio Canal, a detachment from the Stonewall Brigade begins to demolish the dam.
- In northern Virginia, Union forces discover the Stonewall Brigade at Dam No. 5 at daylight; skirmishing continues for the rest of the day, which halts Confderate destruction of the dam.
- In northern Virginia, the stalemate between local Union forces and the Stonewall Brigade continues at Dam No. 5.
- In northern Virginia, at Dam No. 5, Stonewall Jackson feints upriver towards Dam No. 4, with the entire Union force moving upriver as well. Jackson then immediately returns to Dam No. 5 and completes the dam's destruction without interferrence.
- Battle of Dranesville, Virginia: A Confederate foragining expedition, commanded by Jeb Stuart, attack a Pennsylvania brigade commanded by E.O.C. Ord. After two hours, the Confederates retreat after losin 230 casualties; the Union forces lose 71 casualties.
- In northern Virginia, T.J. Jackson and the Stonewall Brigade start on the return march to Winchester.
- Battle of Chustenahlah, Oklahoma: Confederate Indian forces lead by Douglas Cooper attack and rout a force of pro-Union Indians lead by Chief Opothleyahola. The Unionist Indians then retreat northward into Kansas. This battle allows the Confederates to consolidate control of the Indian Territory.
- In Washinton, D.C., Abraham Lincoln and the cabinet decide to release James Mason and John Slidell.
- Battle of Mount Zion Church, Missouri: A Union force commanded by Benjamin M. Prentiss attacks Missouri State Guard forces; after a short battle, the MSG force retreats, abandoning supplies and the wounded. This defeat slows MSG recruitin in central Missouri.
- Maryland becomes the fourth state to ratify the Corwin Amendment (this ratification would be recinded on April 7, 2014).
- Henry Sibley's Confederate Army of New Mexico arrives at Mesilla, Arizona Territory (Union New Mexico Territory), joining John Baylor's battalion.
- In Washington, D.C., Union Secretery of War Simon Cameron offers his resignation, which Abraham Lincoln immediately accepts.
- Ambrose Burnside arrives at Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina, and assumes command of the Union Department of North Carolina.
- In Washington, D.C., Edwin Stanton is confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the next Secretary of War.
- Confederates in Kentucky hold elections for the Confederate Congress.
- In southwestern Missouri, the Union Army of the Southwest commanded by Samuel Curtis launches a campaign to drive Sterling Price's forces out of Missouri.
- The Restorted Government of Virginia ratifies the Corwin Amendment.
- In Richmond, Virginia, the fifth session of the Confederate Provisional Congress ends.
- In Richmond, Virginia, the first session of the 1st Confederate States Congress begins.
- In Richmond, Virginia, Jefferson Davis is inagurated as President of the Confederate States.
- The Union Department of the Gulf is formed, consisting of the coast of the Gulf of Mexico west of Pensacola Harbor, Florida. The Department of Texas is merged with the new command.
- In the Boston Mountains of Arkansas, Confederate Major General Earl Van Dorn arrives to take command of the combined Confederate forces of Sterling Price and Ben McCulloch, which Van Dorn designates as the Army of the West. He immediately plans for an offensive against Samuel Curtis's army.
- The Union Department of Missouri is merged into the Department of the Mississippi.
- The U.S. Congress directs Union forces to cease enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act.
- Thomas Bragg resigns as Confederate Attorney General; he is replaced by Thomas H. Watts.
- Union general Benjamin Butler task command of the Department of the Gulf.
- The U.S. Senate passes the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act, which would end slavery in the District of Columbia by paying owners for releasing their slaves.
- Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee: Albert S. Johnson's Army of the Mississippi launches its attack on Grant's Army of the Tennessee near Shiloh Church, overrunning the initial Union positions and pushing the Union army towards Pittsburg Landing. However, the Confederates are stopped before completely destorying Grant's final defensive line; Don Carlos Buell's Army of the Ohio arrives during the night. During the afternoon, Johnson is mortally wounded leading a Confederate charge against the Hornet's Nest, and command of the Confederate army passes to P.G.T. Beauregard.
- Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee: Grant's and Buell's combined armies lead a counterattack against Beaureard's Confederates, slowly driving them back through the Union camps of the previous day. Early in the afternoon, Beauregard concludes that a Confederate victory is impossible and orders the army to retreat back towards Corinth, Mississippi.
During this second day of the battle, the Confederates suffer a political loss when the Confederate governor of Kentucky, George W. Johnson, is mortally wounded.
- The U.S. House of Representatives passes the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act.
- Great Locomotive Chase: In northern Georgia, a group of Union raiders, lead by civilian James J. Andrews, steal the locomotive The General in an attempt to damage the Western & Atlantic Railroad, in preparation to a Union advance on Chattanooga, Tenneessee. However, a pursuit lead by the locomotive's conductor, William Allen Fuller, prevent the raiders from causing permanent damage to the railroad and eventually the entire party is captured.
- The Confedrate Congress passes the first conscription act. It extends the enlistments of all twelve month volunteers then in the Confederate army to three years or to the end of the war; all men between the ages of 18 and 35 are liable to be drafted for similar terms.
- U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signs the District of Columiba Compensated Emancipation Act.
- In Richmond, Virginia, the first session of the 1st Confederate Congress ends.
- In Richmond, Virginia, the Confederate Congress adopts the Second Confederate National Flag (nicknamed the "Stainless Banner").
- Richard Hawes is sworn in as the Confederate governor of Kentucky while in Corinth, Mississippi.
- In Atlanta, Georgia, Union raider James J. Andrews is hanged for his role in the Great Locomotive Chase; due to being a civilian, he was charged with being an unlawful combatant and a spy.
- U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signs into law the Revenue Act of 1862, which establishes the first progressive income tax in U.S. history; incomes of more than $600 a year are taxed at 3% and incomes above $10,000 a year are taxed at 5%.
- Under orders from the Union War Department, Ambrose Burnside begins to transfer troops from the Department of North Carolina to Newport News, Virginia to reinforce George B. McClellan's army; Burnside also hands command of the department to John G. Foster.
- At Park Hill, Cherokee Nation, Chief John Ross surrenders to Union forces and leaves for Kansas, with his family, a few supporters, and the tribal treasury and records.
- In Washington, D.C., the second session of the 37th U.S. Congress ends.
- Ambrose Burnside's command at Newport News, Virginia is designated the Union IX Corps.
- In Richmond, Virginia, the second session of the 1st Confederate States Congress begins.
- At Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation, the pro-Confederate faction of the tribe deposes John Ross and elects Stand Watie Principle Chief.
- In the Cherokee Nation, the 1st and 2nd Cherokee Mounted Rifles are merged together under the command of Colonel Stand Watie, due to desertions in the 1st Regiment; the combined unit continues to use the designation of 1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles.
- At Sharpsburg, Maryland, the Battle of Antietam/Sharpsburg is fought to a tactical draw; casualties total 23,110 (12,410 Union and 10,700 Confederate), making this the bloodiest single day of the entire war.
- The Confederate Congress passes the second conscription act; the age limit for the draft is changed from 35 to 45.
- In Richmond, Virginia, the second session of the 1st Confederate Congress ends.
- The Department of the Cumberland is created, consisting of Tennessee east of the Tennessee River and northern Alabama and Georgia; William S. Rosecrans is appointed commander.
- James A. Seldon is appointed Confederate Secretery of War.
- In Washington, D.C., the third session of the 37th U.S. Congress begins.
- The U.S. Congress votes to admit West Virginia as a U.S. state, pending a presidential proclamation.
- U.S. president Abraham Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation.
- In Richmond, Virginia, the third session of the 1st Confederate States Congress begins.
- In Virginia, Major General Ambrose Burnside is removed from command of the Army of the Potomac and replaced by Joseph Hooker.
- The U.S. territory of Arizona is organized from the territory of New Mexico.
- The U.S. territory of Idaho is organized from the territories of Dakota, Nebraska, and Washington.
- Abraham Lincoln signs into law the Enrollment Act (also called teh Conscription Act), allowing the federal government to draft men between the ages of 20 and 45.
- In Washington, D.C., the third session of the 37th U.S. Congress ends.
- In Washington, D.C., a special session of the 38th U.S. Congress begins.
- In Washington, D.C., a special session of the 38th U.S. Congress ends.
- The remaining six Union raiders of the Great Locomotive Chase are exchanged for Confederate prisoners.
- In Richmond, Virginia, the third session of the 1st Confederate States Congress ends.
- Illinois becomes the fifth and last state to ratify the Corwin Amendment (the Illinois state senate voted to recind this ratification on May 2nd, 2019).
- The Gettysburg Campaign begins as Richard Ewell's Second Corps starts marching towards Culpeper Court House, Virginia.
- The first draft held under the March 1863 Enrollment Act starts as Lincoln calls for one hundred thousand men.
- The Restored Government of Virginia relocates to Alexandria, Virginia.
- In Arkansas, Union forces occupy Little Rock.
- In Richmond, Virginia, Thomas H. Watts resigns as Confederate Attorney General; Wade Keyes serves as temporary Attorney General.
- The Union War Department reorganizes the forces in the Western Theater by creating the Military Division of the Mississippi, consisting of the Departments of the Ohio, the Cumberland, and the Tennessee; Major General U.S. Grant is appointed commander.
- In Richmond, Virginia, the fourth session of the 1st Confederate States Congress begins.
- In Washington, D.C., the first session of the 38th U.S. Congress begins.
- In Richmond, Virginia, George Davis takes office as the fourth Confederate Attorney General.
- The Union War Department issues General Order No. 14, creating the Department of Arkansas, which covers that state except for Fort Smith, which remains part of the Department of Kansas; the troops in the department are designated the VII Corps. Frederick Steele is appointed commander of the department and the corps.
- The Confederate Congress passes the third conscription act; it changes the age limits for the draft from 17 to 50.
- In Richmond, Virginia, the fourth session of the 1st Confederate States Congress ends.
- In Washington, D.C., U.S. Congres recreates the rank of lieutenant general in the Union army.
- U.S. Grant is commissioned lieutenant general.
- Union Secretary of War Edwin Stanton issues General Order No. 98, making U.S. Grant general-in-chief of the Union armies.
- The Ohio legislature recinds its approval of the Corwin Amendment.
- The U.S. Senate passes what would become the 13th Amendment to the Constitution by a vote of 38 to 6.
- Fort Smith, Arkansas and the Indian Territory are transferred from the Union Department of Kansas to the Department of Arkansas.
- In Richmond, Virginia, the first session of the 2nd Confederate States Congress begins.
- The Territory of Montana is organized from the territory of Idaho.
- In Cleveland, Ohio, a group of disgruntled Radical Republicans convened to form the Radical Democracy Party. John C. Frémont is nominated for presidential, with John Cochrane nominated as vice president.
- In Baltimore, Maryland, the Republican Party (renaming itself the National Union Party) convenes to nominate a presidental ticket.
- In Baltimore, Maryland, the Republican National Convention re-nominates Abraham Lincoln as president on the first ballot; for vice president, Military Governor Andrew Johnson of Tennessee is nominated.
- In Richmond, Virginia, the first session of the 2nd Confederate States Congress ends.
- The U.S. House of Representatives fails to pass what would become the 13th Amendment by a vote of 93 to 65, short of the two-thirds majority necessary to pass it.
- In Washington, D.C., the first session of the 38th U.S. Congress ends.
- In Chicago, Illinois, the Democratic National Convention convenes; on this first day, the convention adopts a peace platform.
- In Chicago, Illinois, George McClellan is nominated for president on the first ballot; for vice president, Representative George H. Pendleton of Ohio is nominated on the second ballot.
- Second Battle of Cabin Creek, Indian Territory: Confederate generals Stand Watie and Richard M. Ganoe capture a Union military train which was traveling to Fort Gibson.
- Radical Democracy Party canidates John C. Frémont and John Cochrane withdraw from the 1864 U.S. presidential race.
- Near Funchal, Madeira, the British ship Sea King of officially commissioned as the Confederate cruiser Shenandoah.
- In Richmond, Virginia, the second session of the 2nd Confederate States Congress begins.
- In the U.S. presidential election, Abraham Lincoln wins with 212 electoral votes and 55% of the popular vote.
- In elections to the U.S. Congress, the Republican Party retains control of both houses. The Senate is composed of 37 Republicans, 9 Democrats, and single members of the Unconditional Unionist Party and the Unionist Party, while the House of Representatives is composed of 137 Republicans, 18 Unionists, and 28 Democrats.
- In Washington, D.C., the second session of the 38th U.S. Congress begins.
- Frederick Steele is relieved of command of the Union Department of Arkansas and replaced by Joseph J. Reynolds.
- The Department of the Ohio is merged with the Department of the Cumberland, with the enlarged department remaining under the command of Geore H. Thomas; after the merger, the department consisted of Kentucky, Tennessee east of the Tennessee River, and the parts of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi occupied by Thomas's troops.
- The 13th Admendment, which abolished slavery in the United States, is passed by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 119 to 56 and sent to the states for ratifications.
- Illinois becomes the first state to ratify the 13th Admendment.
- Rhode Island ratifies the 13th Admendment.
- Michigan, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia ratify the 13th Admendment.
- The Union state government of Missouri ratifies the 13th Admendment.
- Maine and Kansas approve the Thirteenth Amendment.
- Massachusetts and Pennsylvania approve the Thirteenth Amendment, while Delaware rejects it.
- In Washington, D.C., the second session of the 38th U.S. Congress ends.
- In Washington, D.C., Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated for his second term in office; Andrew Johnson is sworn in as vice-president.
- A special session of the 39th U.S. Congress starts.
- In Richmond, Virginia, the Confederate Congress approves the Third Confederate National Flag, addin a red bar along the edge (resulting in the nickname of "Blood-Stained Banner").
- Battle of New Bern, North Carolina: Confederate General Braxton Bragg attacks Union forces commanded by Jacob D. Cox.
- Battle of Monroe's Crossroads, North Carolina: Confederate cavalry commanded by Wade Hampton and Joseph Wheeler suprises and routs Judson Kilpatrick's Union cavalry division. However, Kilpatrick manages to raly his men and recapture the Union camps.
- Vermont approves the Thirteenth Amendment.
- In Washington, D.C., the special session of the 39th U.S. Congress ends.
- The Confederate Congress authorizes the enlistment of slaves into the Confederate army.
- New Jersey rejects the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (this would be overturned on January 23rd, 1866).
- In Richmond, Virginia, the second session of the 2nd Confederate States Congress ends.
- In Washington, D.C., Abraham Lincoln is shot by John Wilkes Booth while attending the play Our American Cousin at Ford's Theater. At the same time, other conspirators attacked and severly wounded Secretary of State William H. Seward. Booth manages to escape during the night into Virginia.
- In Washington, D.C., Lincoln dies at 7:22 am; Vice President Andrew Johnson is sworn in as president by Chief Justice Salmon Chase between 10 and 11 am.
- Abraham Lincoln's funeral train left Washington, D.C. for a tour of the North before eventually arriving in Illinois.
- Lincoln's body lies in state in New York City.
- In North Carolina, William Sherman is informed that the terms given to Joseph Johnston are unacceptable to the Union government; Johnson is then given 48 hours to re-negotiate his surrender.
- North of Bowling Green, Virginia, Union cavalrymen surround John Wilkes Booth and David E. Herold on the Garrett farm. After Herold surrenders, Booth is fatally shot by Sergeant Boston Corbett.
- In North Carolina, Sherman and Johnston met again and agree to the same terms given to Robert E. Lee at Appomattox.
- On the Mississippi River north of Memphis, Tenneessee, the steamer Sultana blows up due to faulty boilers; while the exact death toll is unknown, estimates range from 931 up to 1,238 deaths, out of the 2,139 passangers on board at the time.
- In South Carolina, Jefferson Davis accepts the resignation of Treasury Secretary G.A. Trenholm.
- Abraham Lincoln's body lies in state in Cleveland, Ohio, where it was viewed by over fifty thousand people.
- Jefferson Davis meets with his cabinet in Charlotte, North Carolina and agree on an attempt to escape across the Mississippi River and continue the war. Attorney General George Davis resigns and returns to his home.
- Near Mobile, Alabama, Union Major General E.R.S. Canby meets with Confederate Lieutenant General Richard Taylor to discuss the surrender of Taylor's Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana.
- Lincoln's body lies in state in Chicago, being viewed by thousands of mourners.
- Jefferson Davis and his party reach Washington, Georgia, where Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin and Secretary of the Navy Stephen R. Mallory resign.
- Abraham Lincoln is buried in Springfield, Illinois.
- At Citronelle, Alabama, Richard Taylor surrenders the Confederate Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana to E.R.S. Canby.
- The trial of the Lincoln conspirators start in Washington, D.C.
- Near Taylorsville, Kentucky, guerilla William C. Quantrill is mortally wounded in a skirmish with Union troops.
- Near Irwinville, Georgia, Jefferson C. Davis is captured by a Union cavalry detachment from the 4th Michigan Cavalry.
- Jefferson Davis arrives at Fort Monroe, Virginia to be imprisoned while awaiting trial.
- The Grand Review begins in Washington, D.C., as the Army of the Potomac marches down Pennsylvania Avenue.
- In Washington, D.C., the Grand review concludes as the Armies of Georgia and the Tennessee march down Pennyslania Avenue.
- In Mobile, Alabama, ordanince being stored at a warehouse explodes, demolishing the warehouse and damaging another 68 buildings. A court of inquiry listed military casualties as 44 wounded and 111 killed or missing; the exact number of civilian casualties are unknown, with an estimated one hundred to two hundred killed and at least 150 injured.
- Confederate naval forces on the Red River (Transmississippi Theater) officially surrendered.
- U.S. President Andrew Johnson issues a proclamation declaring the end of the war in Tennessee.
- The Choctaw Nation surrendered to Union forces at Doaksville, Indian Territory
- Confederate General Stand Watie surrenders his forces (including the Cherokees, Creeks, Seminoles, and Osages) at Doakville, Indian Territory.
- The Chicksaw Nation and the Caddos tribe surrender to Union authorities.
- At Fort Smith, Arkansas, U.S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs Dennis N. Cooley meets with the Indian tribes then living east of the Rocky Mountains for the Fort Smith Council; the main purpose of the council was to come to terms with those tribes that had sided with the Confederate States.
- In North Carolina, the state legislature formally repeals the articles of secession.
- Lieutenant Commander James Weddell surrenders the C.S.S. Shenandoah to British authorities in Liverpool, United Kingdom; the ship's flag is the last sovereign Confederate flag to be officially furled.
- In Washington, D.C., Confederate Major Henry Wirz is hanged for reponsibility of the conditions of Camp Sumter (the Andersonville POW camp), becoming one of two people convicted of war crimes committed during the Civil War.
- In Washington, D.C., the first session of the 39th U.S. Congress begins.
- North Carolina passes the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
- Georgia becomes the 27th state to pass the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, meeting the three-fourths requirement to make the amendment part of the Constitution.
- Oregon becomes the 28th state to pass the 13th Amendment.
- U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward certifies that the 13th Amendment had been ratified by three-fourths of the states, making it part of the U.S. constitution.
- California passes the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
- Florida passes the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
- Iowa passes the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
- New Jersey passes the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constituion, after having rejected it on March 18th, 1865.
- U.S. President Andrew Johnson issues a proclamation declaring the end of the war in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Tennesse, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas.
- The U.S. House of Representatives overrides Andrew Johnson's veto of the Civil Rights Act of 1866.
- The Choctaw Nation signs a peace treaty with the U.S. Government; among other things, it provides for the adoption or else relocation of the tribe's former slaves, the creation of local U.S. courts, and the creation of railroad right-of-ways.
- Former Confederate president Jefferson Davis is indicted for treason in the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Virginia.
- The U.S. government announces that the Atlantic Squadron would be reduced from 600 ships to 90 ships.
- The U.S. Senate passes the 14th Amendment to the Constitution on a vote of 33 to 11 (with five members absent).
- The U.S. House of Representatives passes the 14th Amendment on a vote of 138 to 36 (with ten members not voting) and sends it to the states for ratification.
- The U.S. Government and the Creek tribe agree to terms of Reconstruction.
- The Union Military Division of the Tennessee is created, consisting of the Departments of Kentucky, the Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi; George H. Thomas is appointed commander, with his headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee.
- The Department of California is formed from the Department of the Pacific, consisting of the states of California and Nevada, and the territories of Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; Irvin McDowell is appointed commander.
- The Department of the Columbia is formed from the Department of the Pacific, consisting of the state of Oregon and the territories of Washington and Idaho; Horatio G. Wright is appointed commander, with his headquaters at Fort Vancouver, Washington Territory.
- The Military Division of the Pacific is created, consisting of the Departments of California and the Columbia; Henry W. Halleck is appointed commander, with his headquaters in San Francisco, California.
- Connecticut becomes the first state to ratify the 14th Amendment.
- New Hampshire becomes the second state to ratify the 14th Amendment.
- Tennessee ratifies the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
- The U.S. Government and the Cherokee Nation agree to terms of Reconstruction.
- Tennessee is re-admitted to the Union, becoming the first former Confederate state to do so.
- In Washington, D.C., the first session of the 39th U.S. Congress ends.
- U.S. President Andrew Johnson issues a proclamation declaring the end of the war in Texas.
- New Jersey ratifies the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
- Oregon ratifies the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
- Vermont ratifies the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
- In Washington, D.C., the second session of the 39th U.S. Congress begins.