President Abraham Lincoln submits his first annual message to Congress, in which he describes the current state of affairs and reiterates his view that the Union must be preserved by all necessary means.
The second session of the first Republican-dominated Congress opened with many intent on destroying slavery as a means to win the war.
The U.S. and Great Britain awaited each other’s official reactions to the seizure of Confederate envoys James Mason and John Slidell aboard the neutral British steamer Trent.
Confederate officials hang two men as part of an effort to stop Unionists from sabotaging the Confederacy by burning bridges in eastern Tennessee.
News of the U.S. seizure of Confederate envoys James Mason and John Slidell aboard the British steamer Trent officially reaches Great Britain, where it is met with immediate outrage.
Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson developed a plan to join forces with William Loring’s Confederate army and conduct a winter offensive in the Shenandoah Valley.