December 9, 1861 – The U.S. Senate approved a measure creating a joint House-Senate military oversight committee whose investigative methods quickly proved controversial. The recent
December 3, 1861 – The Maryland legislature assembled with most secessionists removed from office. This ensured that Washington would not be surrounded by Confederate states.
December 3, 1861 – President Abraham Lincoln submitted his first annual message to Congress, which described the current state of affairs and reiterated his view
December 2, 1861 – The second session of the first Republican-dominated Congress opened amid growing discontent with the way the Lincoln administration was prosecuting the
December 1, 1861 – The U.S. and Great Britain awaited each other’s official reactions to the seizure of Confederate envoys James Mason and John Slidell
October 1860 – Republicans won majorities in the state elections of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. This proved that the Republican campaign strategy worked: Disavowing immigration