Confederates fired upon Fort Sumter, and both sides mobilized for war. A vital state seceded from the Union along with one of the most promising military commanders. Civil unrest occurred in various cities as the Lincoln administration exceeded its constitutional limits in an effort to restore order. The war had begun.
1 Apr – Secretary of State William H. Seward met with an intermediary to Confederate envoys and submitted an extraordinary memo to President Abraham Lincoln offering to serve as de facto prime minister.
4 Apr – President Abraham Lincoln notified special agent Gustavus V. Fox that the relief expedition to Fort Sumter would go ahead.
6 Apr – President Abraham Lincoln learned that his order to reinforce Fort Pickens in Pensacola Bay, Florida had not been obeyed.
9 Apr – Tension increased as three vessels left New York to relieve Fort Sumter, Confederate envoys in Washington expressed dismay with the Lincoln administration, and President Jefferson Davis felt increased pressure to address the Sumter issue.
12 Apr – Federal Lieutenant John L. Worden delivered President Abraham Lincoln’s order to break the unofficial truce with local Confederates by reinforcing Fort Pickens, Florida.
12 Apr – Confederates opened fire on the Federal garrison at Fort Sumter, touching off the most horrific conflict in American history.
13 Apr – The bombardment of Fort Sumter ended when Major Robert Anderson agreed to surrender his Federal garrison.
15 Apr – President Lincoln issued an official proclamation declaring that the Confederate states were in rebellion against the U.S. Lincoln asked for 75,000 volunteers to join their state militias to help put down the rebellion, and he called for a special session of Congress to assemble on July 4.
17 Apr – Delegates to the Virginia Convention at Richmond approved an ordinance of secession in a secret ballot, 88 to 55.
18 Apr – U.S. Colonel Robert E. Lee met with influential statesman Francis P. Blair and received an offer to command the Federal army.
19 Apr – Troops of the 6th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment traveling through Baltimore fired on a jeering mob of citizens, sparking mass unrest.
20 Apr – President Lincoln’s Federal naval blockade on all ports in Confederate states took effect.
21 Apr – Virginia militia seized the Gosport Navy Yard at Norfolk after Federals partially burned and abandoned the vital naval base.
26 Apr – North Carolina Governor John Ellis joined Tennessee in rejecting President Abraham Lincoln’s call for volunteers to destroy the Confederacy.
26 Apr – President Lincoln met with a Kentucky Unionist to keep that state loyal, while Federal troops in Missouri worked to keep weapons out of secessionist hands.
29 Apr – Maryland legislators voted against secession after President Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus in the area surrounding the state.
Last Updated: 10/12/2018