Federal armies were advancing on several fronts as massive efforts were underway to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond and split the Confederacy in the West. Southerners were watching the advances with apprehension because they knew that hard fighting would be needed if they were to maintain their independence. Northerners were complaining that the Federal forces were still not moving fast enough.
1 Apr – Federal forces moved farther into Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, while Confederate Major General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson began developing plans to drive them out.
2 Apr – Major General George B. McClellan landed on the Virginia Peninsula with a huge manpower advantage, even though he had fewer men than expected.
4 Apr – Major General George B. McClellan slowly advanced his Federal Army of the Potomac toward Yorktown, the first obstacle on the Virginia Peninsula.
4 Apr – Major General John Pope prepared his Federal Army of the Mississippi to capture strategic Island No. 10 on the Mississippi River with naval support.
5 Apr – The Confederate Army of Mississippi advanced into southwestern Tennessee to confront Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s force, which remained largely unaware of the enemy’s approach.
6 Apr – The most terrible battle of the war to date began as the Confederate Army of Mississippi swarmed upon unsuspecting Federals in southwestern Tennessee.
7 Apr – Federal forces counterattacked, driving the Confederates back to Corinth and ending a horrific two-day struggle.
8 Apr – Both Federals and Confederates claimed victory after a terrible two-day battle, while the shock of such enormous human loss began sinking in.
8 Apr – Federal army and navy forces captured a key stronghold on the Mississippi River.
9 Apr – President Abraham Lincoln questioned not only Major General George B. McClellan’s strategy and tactics, but also his math after McClellan opted to lay siege to Yorktown and not attack.
10 Apr – President Abraham Lincoln signed a joint congressional resolution pledging Federal compensation to states that implemented programs to free slaves.
11 Apr – Federal forces on the Atlantic coast targeted a key fort guarding the entrance to Savannah Harbor, near the South Carolina-Georgia border.
12 Apr – A daring effort to sabotage Confederate supply lines made sensational headlines in newspapers but had little impact on the war.
13 Apr – Colonel Edward R.S. Canby sought to unite all Federal forces in New Mexico, while Brigadier General Henry H. Sibley’s Confederate Army of New Mexico began a long withdrawal due to lack of supplies.
14 Apr – The Confederate high command met at Richmond to consider abandoning the Virginia Peninsula to the numerically superior Federal Army of the Potomac.
16 Apr – President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill into law abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia.
16 Apr – President Jefferson Davis signed a bill into law requiring all able-bodied white men between the ages of 18 and 35 to serve at least three years in the Confederate military. This was the first national draft in American history.
17 Apr – Commodore David G. Farragut, flag officer of the Federal West Gulf Blockading Squadron, proceeded with his plan to capture New Orleans, the Confederacy’s largest and richest city.
18 Apr – On Good Friday, Federals took the first step toward capturing New Orleans when Commander David D. Porter’s mortar boats began firing on Forts Jackson and St. Philip.
20 Apr – Confederate morale sagged on the Virginia Peninsula, as the number of Federal troops continued increasing on multiple fronts.
21 Apr – Letter from Captain Aden Cavins, Company E, 59th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, to his wife.
21 Apr – The Confederate Congress approved a measure authorizing the organization of guerrilla forces to help combat the Federal invasion.
22 Apr – Flag Officer David G. Farragut met with his fleet officers to lay out his plan for bypassing Forts Jackson and St. Philip and steaming up the Mississippi River in a daring attempt to capture New Orleans.
Last Updated: 4/14/2017
Tagged: Abraham Lincoln, Albert Sidney Johnston, Army of Mississippi, Army of the Potomac, Army of the Tennessee, Confederate Congress, Conscription, David D. Porter, David G. Farragut, Edward R.S. Canby, George B. McClellan, Henry Hopkins Sibley, Jefferson Davis, John Pope, New Orleans, Peninsula Campaign, Shenandoah Valley, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, West Gulf Blockading Squadron