June 1861

Federal forces win a small engagement in western Virginia and gain control of Missouri, but Confederate forces win in eastern Virginia. Another southern state officially joins the Confederacy, and a large-scale Federal invasion of Virginia is imminent.

The Military Situation in Northern Virginia

The first land battle of the war takes place in northern Virginia, and Confederates blockade the Potomac waterway into Chesapeake Bay.

The Battle of Philippi

Federal forces win a minor victory in western Virginia and secure the railroad line between Washington and the West.

Unprovoked and Unparalleled Outrages

A conference between Federal officers and Missouri state officials leads to open warfare between the Federals and Missourians.

The Death of Stephen A. Douglas

Prominent U.S. Senator Stephen A. Douglas, a Democrat who supports the Lincoln administration’s war effort, dies at 48.

A Set of Aristocrats and Overbearing Tyrants

Tennessee voters approve secession from the Union, but eastern Tennessee remains defiantly Unionist.

The U.S. Sanitary Commission

The Lincoln administration approves centralizing efforts to aid volunteer soldiers into a unified U.S. Sanitary Commission.

The Battle of Big Bethel

The Confederacy wins the first land battle on Virginia’s Peninsula and stops a Federal drive toward Yorktown and Richmond.

Powerful Energies Called Forward

Texas announces a state of war with the U.S., Federals in New Mexico brace for a Confederate invasion, and Confederates in Arkansas are authorized to aid the Missouri State Guard.

Confederates Abandon Harpers Ferry

Confederates abandon Harpers Ferry in northwestern Virginia as Federals cautiously prepare to enter that part of the state.

The Rockville Expedition

Federals led by Charles P. Stone seize two key ferries on the Potomac River while Confederates begin stirring at Leesburg, Va.

Rebellion Dissolved Into Smoke

Federal forces advance in northern Missouri and win a minor victory at Boonville. But the secessionists are not done fighting yet.

The “Reorganized” Virginia State Government

Western Virginians gather at a convention and declare themselves to be the lawful, reorganized government of the state of Virginia.

Military Maneuvers in Northwestern Virginia

George B. McClellan comes to take personal command of Federals in western Virginia as Confederates try to strengthen their defenses.

Neutral Kentucky Leans North

Pro-Confederate Kentuckians boycott an election that results in Unionist candidates winning seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Naval Strategies North and South

Confederate and U.S. officials work to develop strategies to wage war against each other on the waters.

Ballooning Operations and the Coffee Mill Gun

Professor Thaddeus Lowe ascends in a balloon to demonstrate the usefulness of aerial military reconnaissance, and J.D. Mills demonstrates a forerunner to the modern machine gun.

A Foreign and Hostile Country

Various detachments of Federal and Confederate forces maneuver toward a confrontation in Unionist western Virginia.

You Are All Green Alike

President Lincoln holds a special cabinet meeting to decide on a plan for immediate offensive operations in northern Virginia.

The C.S.S. Sumter Escapes

The Confederate cruiser Sumter runs the Federal blockade and begins her career as a commerce raider.

Last Updated: 7/7/2021

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