On This Day

What Happened in April 1861

Historical Events

  • Apr 5 Federals abandon Ft Quitman, Texas
  • Apr 8 US mint at Dahlonega, Georgia, seized by Confederacy (US Civil War)

Battle of Fort Sumter

Apr 12 Fort Sumter in South Carolina is attacked by the Confederacy, beginning the American Civil War

  • Apr 13 After 34 hours of bombardment, Fort Sumter surrenders to Confederates (US Civil War)
  • Apr 14 Formal Union surrender of Fort Sumter (US Civil War)

Historic Event

Apr 15 Federal army (75,000 volunteers) mobilized by US President Abraham Lincoln (US Civil War)

  • Apr 16 US President Abraham Lincoln outlaws business with Confederate States (US Civil War)
  • Apr 17 Indianola TX - "Star of West" taken by Confederacy
  • Apr 17 Virginia secedes from the Union (US Civil War)

Historic Event

Apr 18 Colonel Robert E. Lee turns down offer to command Union armies (US Civil War)

  • Apr 19 Baltimore riots - 4 soldiers, 9 civilians killed
  • Apr 19 Lincoln orders blockade of Confederate ports (Civil War)
  • Apr 23 Robert E. Lee named commander of Virginia Confederate forces (US Civil War)
  • Apr 23 Arkansas troops seize Fort Smith on the Arkansas River
  • Apr 25 Battle of Lavaca, fought in Texas, Union victory (US Civil War)
  • Apr 25 The Union Army arrives to reinforce Washington, D.C. (US Civil War)
  • Apr 27 US President Abraham Lincoln suspends writ of habeas corpus (US Civil War)
  • Apr 27 West Virginia secedes from Virginia after Virginia secedes from Union (US Civil War)
  • Apr 29 Maryland's House of Delegates votes against seceding from Union (US Civil War)
  • Apr 30 US President Abraham Lincoln orders Federal Troops to evacuate Indian Territory (US Civil War)

Famous Birthdays

  • Apr 9 Charles Holroyd, English artist and curator, Director of the National Gallery (1906-16), born in Potternewton, Leeds (d. 1917)
  • Apr 15 Bliss Carman, Canadian poet, born in Fredericton, New Brunswick (d. 1929)
  • Apr 16 Isaac Murphy, American jockey (won 628 races), born in Clark County, Kentucky (d. 1896)
  • Apr 19 Edward Vermeulen, Flemish writer, born in Beselare, Belgium (d. 1934)
  • Apr 23 Edmund Allenby, Viscount Allenby, British Fieldmarshal, General at Battle of Megiddo, born in Brackenhurst, England (d. 1936)
  • Apr 25 Marco Enrico Bossi, Italian concert organist, composer and teacher, born in Salò, Lombardy, Kingdom of Italy (d. 1925)
  • Apr 27 Georgy Catoire, Russian composer, born in Moscow, Russia (d. 1926)
  • Apr 27 Johan Skjoldborg, Danish writer (Dynaes-Digte), born in Øsløs, Thisted, Denmark (d. 1936)

Famous Deaths

  • Apr 4 John McLean, American Supreme Court Justice (1829-61) and Postmaster General, dies at 76

Elisha Otis

Apr 8 Elisha Otis, American founder of the Otis Elevator Company and inventor of a safety device that prevents elevators from falling if the hoisting cable fails, dies of diphtheria at 50

  • Apr 11 Francisco González Bocanegra, Mexican poet (b. 1824)
  • Apr 18 August Neithardt, German composer, dies at 67