M08-JUNE 1861

Federal forces won a small engagement in western Virginia and gained control of Missouri, but Confederate forces won in eastern Virginia. Another southern state officially joined the Confederacy, and a large-scale Federal invasion of Virginia was imminent.

The Battle of Big Bethel | Image Credit: thisgameofgames.com

The Battle of Philippi

3 Jun – Federals won a minor victory that cleared Confederates out of the Kanawha Valley of western Virginia and secured the railroad line between Washington and the West.

The Federal Grip on Missouri Tightens

4 Jun – General Sterling Price, representing the pro-Confederate Missouri State Guard, issued a proclamation in response to a rumor that the new Federal commander in the state sought to disarm Missourians.

The U.S. Sanitary Commission

7 Jun – Secretary of War Simon Cameron reluctantly approved merging northern states’ aid societies into what became the U.S. Sanitary Commission.

The Tennessee Secession

8 Jun – Tennessee voters approved the legislature’s measure (endorsed by Governor Isham Harris) to secede from the U.S. and join the Confederacy.

The Battle of Big Bethel

10 Jun – The Confederacy won the war’s first land battle in Virginia, stopping a Federal drive up the Peninsula between the York and James rivers.

Colonel Charles P. Stone’s Maryland Expedition

15 Jun – Federals led by Colonel Charles P. Stone seized Edwards’s and Conrad’s ferries on the Potomac River, which were the main approaches from Maryland to the strategic town of Leesburg, Virginia.

The Western Virginia Secession

17 Jun – Delegates to a Unionist meeting at Wheeling in western Virginia unanimously approved declaring their independence from the Confederacy.

Neutral Kentucky Leans Toward Union

20 Jun – Pro-Confederate Kentuckians boycotted an election that resulted in several pro-Union candidates winning seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Testing New Federal Technology

24 Jun – Professor Thaddeus S.C. Lowe ascended in a balloon to demonstrate the usefulness of aerial military reconnaissance, and J.D. Mills demonstrated the “Union Repeating Gun,” forerunner to the modern machine gun.

Keeping Maryland in the Union

27 Jun – Major General Nathaniel P. Banks, commanding Federal occupation forces in Baltimore, ordered the arrest of Police Marshal George P. Kane for suspected secessionist activity as part of the ongoing effort to keep Maryland in the Union.

The Bull Run Campaign Begins

29 Jun – President Abraham Lincoln held a special cabinet meeting in which Major General Irvin McDowell explained his plan to invade northern Virginia, crush the Confederate army, and capture Richmond.

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Last Updated:  10/12/2018

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