On This Day

What Happened in October 1861

Historical Events

  • Oct 2 Former US VP John C Breckinridge flees Kentucky
  • Oct 6 Naval Engagement at Charleston, South Carolina, USS Flag vs BR Alert
  • Oct 6 Revolt of Russian student shuts down university of Petersburg
  • Oct 11 Battle of Dumfries, VA (Quantico Creek)
  • Oct 12 Confederate ironclad Manassas attack Union's Richmond on Mississippi
  • Oct 16 Confederacy starts selling postage stamps
  • Oct 21 Battle of Balls Bluff, VA (Leesburg, Harrison's Island)
  • Oct 22 1st telegraph line linking West & East coasts completed
  • Oct 24 First US transcontinental telegram is sent (from San Francisco to Washington, D.C.)
  • Oct 24 West Virginia secedes from Virginia
  • Oct 25 First Battle of Springfield [Zagonyi's Charge], fought in Springfield, Missouri, Union victory (US Civil War)
  • Oct 25 Telegraph message sent from St Louis to San Francisco
  • Oct 25 Toronto Stock Exchange created

Pony Express

Oct 26 Pony Express (Missouri to California) ends after 19 months

Famous Birthdays

  • Oct 4 Frederic Remington, American artist and sculptor of American West, born in Canton, New York (d. 1909)
  • Oct 4 João Marcelino Arroio, Portuguese composer (Amor de Perdiçâo), born in Porto, Portugal (d. 1930)
  • Oct 8 Theodore Roberts, American actor (Roaring Road, 10 Commandments), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1928)

Fridtjof Nansen

Oct 10 Fridtjof Nansen, Norwegian Arctic explorer and advocate for refugees (Nobel Peace Prize 1922), born in Store Frøen, Christiania (d. 1930)

  • Oct 14 Bjarni Thorsteinsson, Icelandic organist, composer, musical folklorist, and priest, born Melur, Mýrasýsla, Iceland (d. 1938)
  • Oct 14 Artur Gavazzi, Croatian geographer, born in Split, Austria-Hungary (d. 1944)
  • Oct 16 J. B. Bury, Irish historian (d. 1927)
  • Oct 26 Richard Sears, American tennis player (US Nat C'ship 1881-87), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1943)
  • Oct 29 Andrei Ryabushkin, Russian painter, born in Borisoglebsk Uyezd (d. 1904)
  • Oct 30 Antoine Bourdelle, French sculptor, born in Montauban, Tarn-et-Garonne, France (d. 1929)

Famous Deaths

  • Oct 5 Antoni Melchior Fijałkowski, Polish bishop (b. 1778)
  • Oct 6 Elias Canneman, liberal minister of Finance (1813-14), dies at 84
  • Oct 21 Edward Dickinson Baker, US attorney/senator, dies in battle at 50
  • Oct 21 John Breckinridge Grayson, Confederate brigadier general, dies
  • Oct 25 Friedrich C von Savigny, German lawyer, dies at 82