January 1862

There was much uncertainty in both North and South regarding the war effort. Many northerners doubted that the Union could be restored, and many southerners doubted that they could maintain their independence. People on both sides were losing their romantic sentiments toward war as soldiers huddled in cold, muddy winter camps.

The Romney Campaign: Bath and Hancock

1 Jan – Major General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s Confederate army began moving out of winter quarters at Winchester toward the Potomac River as part of Jackson’s plan to capture Romney.

The Roanoke Island Campaign

5 Jan – Federal forces embarked on a joint army-navy operation to capture a key point on the North Carolina coast.

The End of the Trent Affair

8 Jan – The government of Great Britain received the official news that the U.S. would release Confederate envoys James Mason and John Slidell, thus averting an international crisis.

Coastal Operations: Farragut Appointed

9 Jan – U.S. Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles appointed David G. Farragut to be the flag officer of the new West Gulf Blockading Squadron.

The Middle Creek Engagement

10 Jan – A skirmish erupted in the continuing Federal effort to secure southeastern Kentucky.

Stanton Replaces Cameron

11 Jan – President Lincoln responded to the swelling charges of corruption in the War Department by firing Secretary of War Simon Cameron.

McClellan Refuses to Divulge His Plans

13 Jan – General-in-Chief George B. McClellan defended his military strategy to increasingly skeptical politicians and subordinates.

“Stonewall” Jackson Takes Romney

16 Jan – Major General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s Confederates seized the objective of their campaign in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, though not in the way they had intended.

The Battle of Mill Springs

19 Jan – Federals and Confederates clashed to determine who would control the vital Cumberland Gap on the Confederacy’s fragile defensive line across Kentucky.

Launching the U.S.S. Monitor

22 Jan – Lieutenant John L. Worden reported satisfactory progress on construction of an unnamed vessel slated to become the first Federal ironclad warship.

The Romney Campaign: Confederates Protest Jackson

25 Jan – A group of Confederate officers led by Brigadier General William W. Loring petitioned Richmond to force Major General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson to remove them from the miserable town of Romney.

Beauregard Gets Shipped West

26 Jan – President Jefferson Davis finally succeeded in transferring one of his biggest critics, General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, from Virginia to the Western Theater.

The President’s General War Order No. 1

27 Jan – President Lincoln designated February 22 as “the day for a general movement of the Land and Naval forces of the United States against the insurgent forces.”

The Arrest of Charles P. Stone

28 Jan – Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton issued orders to arrest Brigadier General Charles P. Stone for his role in the Ball’s Bluff fiasco the past October.

The Fort Henry Campaign

29 Jan – Major General Henry W. Halleck received intelligence that convinced him to allow Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant and Flag Officer Andrew H. Foote to move against Fort Henry, Tennessee.

“Stonewall” Jackson Resigns

30 Jan – An order from Confederate Secretary of War Judah P. Benjamin prompted Major General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson to submit his resignation from the Confederate army.

The President’s Special Order No. 1

31 Jan – President Lincoln followed up General War Order No. 1 by implicitly notifying General-in-Chief George B. McClellan that the order also applied to him.

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Last Updated: 2/4/2017

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