On This Day

Historical Events in 1861 (Part 2)

Historic Event

Aug 15 Abraham Lincoln orders reinforcements be sent to Missouri

  • Aug 16 US President Abraham Lincoln prohibits Union states from trading with Confederacy
  • Aug 16 Skirmishes at Fredericktown/Kirkville, Missouri
  • Aug 19 Confederacy Congress allies with government of Missouri
  • Aug 20 Skirmish at Jonesboro, MO
  • Aug 27 Battle of Cape Hatteras SC-Union troops take Ft Clark
  • Aug 28 American Civil War: Battle of Fort Hatteras, North Carolina, 1st combined operation of Union Army and Navy results in Union domination of strategically important North Carolina Sounds
  • Aug 29 American Civil War: US Navy squadron captures forts at Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina.
  • Aug 30 John Frémont issues proclamation freeing slaves of Missouri rebels
  • Sep 1 Grant assumes command of Federal forces at Cape Girardeau MI
  • Sep 1 Skirmishes at Boone Court House WV & Blue Creek WV
  • Sep 3 Confederate forces enter Kentucky, thus ending its neutrality

Historic Event

Sep 6 General Ulysses S. Grant occupies Paducah, Kentucky

  • Sep 9 Nurse Sally Tompkins is officially commissioned as an officer (and its only woman officer) by the Confederate US Army
  • Sep 10 -15] Battle at Cheat Mountain, Elkwater, West Virginia
  • Sep 10 Battle of Carnifex Ferry in Virginia, 170 casualties
  • Sep 13 1st naval battle of Civil War, Union frigate "Colorado" sinks privateer "Judah" off Pensacola, Fla
  • Sep 16 Battle of Princeton, West Virginia
  • Sep 16 British Post Office Savings Banks opens
  • Sep 17 First class for escaped slaves taught by Mary Peake at Fortress Monroe Virginia (now Hampton University).
  • Sep 20 Battle of Lexington, MI-captured by Union
  • Sep 22 Fort Fauntleroy (Wingate) in New Mexico fires on and kills Navajo Indians after horse race dispute
  • Sep 25 Secretary of US Navy authorizes enlistment of slaves
  • Sep 26 British Open Men's Golf, Prestwick GC: Tom Morris Sr. beats Willie Park Sr. by 4 strokes
  • 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

Historic Event

Nov 1 General George McClellan made general in chief of Union armies

  • Nov 2 American Civil War: Western Department Union General John C. Frémont is relieved of command and replaced by David Hunter
  • Nov 3 Battle of Port Royal, fought in Port Royal Sound, South Carolina begins, Union victory (US Civil War)
  • Nov 4 University of Washington founded in Seattle

Election of Interest

Nov 6 Jefferson Davis elected to 6 year term as US Confederate President

  • Nov 7 Battle of Belmont, fought in Mississippi County, Missouri begins, first combat test for Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant, Union victory (US Civil War)
  • Nov 7 Battle of Port Royal, fought in Port Royal Sound, South Carolina ends, Union forces capture Fort Walker and Fort Beauregard (US Civil War)
  • Nov 8 Battle of Mount Ivy, Kentucky: Union Commander General William "Bull" Nelson breaks up Confederate recruiting camp

Historic Event

Nov 8 USS San Jacinto commanded by Charles Wilkes captures two Confederate diplomats from the British mail steamer Trent, almost causing a war between the US and the UK

  • Nov 9 1st documented Canadian football game (at U of Toronto)
  • Nov 13 A letter is written by Reverend Mark R. Watkinson petitioning the Treasury Department to "recognize Almighty God" on American coins; the department eventually decides on the motto "In God We Trust"
  • Nov 18 The first provisional meeting of the Confederate Congress is held in Richmond, Virginia
  • Nov 19 American abolitionist Julia Ward Howe commits lyrics of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" to paper
  • Nov 19 The first petroleum shipment (1,329 barrels) from the U.S. to Europe leaves Philadelphia, USA, for London, England on the Elizabeth Watts
  • Nov 20 Secession ordinance is filed by Kentucky's Confederate government
  • Nov 22 Battle of Fort McRee, Florida
  • Nov 24 Luik-Visé-Maastricht railway opens
  • Nov 26 West Virginia created as a result of dispute over slavery with Virginia
  • Nov 28 Confederate congress officially admits Missouri to Confederacy
  • Nov 30 Harper's Weekly publishes EE Beers' "All quiet along the Potomac"
  • Dec 9 Battle of Bird Creek, Indian Terr (High Shoal, Chusto-Talasah)
  • Dec 9 American Civil War: The Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War is established by the U.S. Congress.
  • Dec 13 Battle of Alleghany Summit, West Virginia
  • Dec 19 Battle of Black Water (American Civil War)
  • Dec 20 Battle of Dranesville, VA
  • Dec 30 Associated Banks in NYC halt gold payments to government and investors, to disrupt Abraham Lincoln's US bank reform program
  • Dec 31 22,990mm of rain falls in Cherrapunji Assam in India in 1861, a world record