July 1862

The war’s momentum had shifted from the North to the South. The Federals had gone from nearly capturing Richmond to trying to avoid destruction on the Virginia Peninsula. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Robert E. Lee were emerging as southern heroes, but Confederate fortunes in the West were still precarious.

The Seven Days Battles: Malvern Hill

1 Jul – The last of a week-long series of battles on the Virginia Peninsula took place at Malvern Hill.

The Pacific Railway Act

1 Jul – President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill into law authorizing the construction of a transcontinental railroad.

The Internal Revenue Act

1 Jul – President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill into law imposing taxes on almost everything to help finance the war. This became the first enforceable national income tax.

Lincoln Calls for More Volunteers

2 Jul – President Abraham Lincoln issued a call for 300,000 more volunteers “so as to bring this unnecessary and injurious war to a speedy and satisfactory conclusion.” He used political guile to downplay the Federal defeats on the Virginia Peninsula, which were the main reason for the call.

The Morrill Land Grant College Act

2 Jul – President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill into law granting 30,000 acres of Federal land to states for the establishment of agricultural and mechanical schools.

The Seven Days Battles: Aftermath

3 Jul – Both Federals and Confederates regrouped as General Robert E. Lee probed the Federal defenses and Major General George B. McClellan issued yet another plea for more men.

Standoff on the Peninsula

4 Jul – President Abraham Lincoln worked to funnel more reinforcements to Major General George B. McClellan on the Virginia Peninsula, and General Robert E. Lee decided that the Federal positions were too strong to attack.

John Hunt Morgan’s Kentucky Raid

4 Jul – Confederate Colonel John Hunt Morgan led 867 cavalry partisans on a raid into Kentucky to harass the supply line for the Federal Army of the Ohio.

McClellan Writes the Harrison’s Bar Letter

7 Jul – As the Army of the Potomac settled into its defenses on the Virginia Peninsula, Major General George B. McClellan took the time to write a letter to President Abraham Lincoln on how the war should be waged.

Lincoln Visits the Virginia Peninsula

8 Jul – President Abraham Lincoln visited the Army of the Potomac on the Virginia Peninsula and contemplated a major military change.

Edmund Kirby Smith Eyes Kentucky

10 Jul – As Federal forces closed in on Chattanooga, Confederate Major General Edmund Kirby Smith revealed a daring plan to take the offensive.

Halleck Becomes General-in-Chief

11 Jul – Less than 48 hours after leaving the Virginia Peninsula, President Abraham Lincoln named Major General Henry W. Halleck to become general-in-chief of all Federal armies.

Moving Toward Emancipation: The Border State Conference

12 Jul – President Abraham Lincoln held a conference with U.S. senators and representatives from the loyal slaveholding states to persuade them to accept a policy of compensating slaveholders for voluntarily freeing their slaves.

Nathan Bedford Forrest Raids Middle Tennessee

13 Jul – Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Confederate horsemen captured the key city of Murfreesboro as part of a raid to disrupt Federal communication and supply lines in Middle Tennessee.

The Army of Virginia: Pope’s Suppression

14 Jul – Major General John Pope issued a pretentious address to his new Federal Army of Virginia before embarking on a new campaign.

Reorganizing the Department of the Mississippi

15 Jul – As Major General Henry W. Halleck prepared to go to Washington to become general-in-chief, he reorganized the armies within his Department of the Mississippi.

The C.S.S. Arkansas on the Mississippi

15 Jul – A new Confederate ironclad blasted through Federal ships and threatened to turn the tide of the war on the Mississippi River.

Legislation of the Thirty-Seventh U.S. Congress

16 Jul – The lack of southern opposition made the Thirty-seventh U.S. Congress one of the most productive in history, as the Republican majority worked to enact nearly every plank of their party platform.

John Hunt Morgan’s Kentucky Raid Ends

17 Jul – Colonel John Hunt Morgan’s Confederate horsemen attacked a Federal garrison at the key railroad town of Cynthiana before successfully ending their Kentucky incursion.

The Newburgh Raid

17 Jul – This evening, Confederate Captain Adam R. Johnson led 35 partisans out of Henderson, Kentucky, to raid the Federal arsenal across the Ohio River at Newburgh, Indiana.

John Pope’s Suppression Continues

18 Jul – Major General John Pope, commanding the Federal Army of Virginia, issued orders that sparked fury throughout the South and threatened to change the character of the war.

The Northern Virginia Campaign Begins

19 Jul – Federal cavalry discovered that Major General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s Confederates had reached the important railroad town of Gordonsville ahead of them.

Moving Toward Emancipation

22 Jul – President Abraham Lincoln surprised his cabinet by reading a draft of an executive order freeing all slaves in Confederate states.

The Prisoner Exchange Cartel

22 Jul – With the number of prisoners of war quickly growing, Federals and Confederates agreed to a tentative system of prisoner exchange.

Confederates on the Move in the West

23 Jul – General Braxton Bragg mobilized his Confederate Army of Mississippi to move from Tupelo to Chattanooga and ultimately join forces with Major General Edmund Kirby Smith.

The Second Confiscation Act

25 Jul – President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation warning southerners to “cease participating in, aiding, countenancing, or abetting the existing rebellion, or any rebellion, against the Government of the United States, and to return to their proper allegiance to the United States, on pain of the forfeitures and seizures” of their property under a controversial law enacted the week before.

The Baton Rouge Campaign

26 Jul – Major General Earl Van Dorn, commanding Confederates in the area of Vicksburg, Mississippi, detached a portion of his force to try regaining the Louisiana capital of Baton Rouge.

Cotton Exportation and the Federal Blockade

28 Jul – Confederates tried currying favor with France, and Great Britain suffered a severe economic downturn due to the lack of southern cotton.

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Last Updated: 7/28/2017

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