Both Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis experienced trouble with stubborn military commanders. A French invasion of Mexico threatened to spark an international incident. The Federals sustained another military disaster, and one of the greatest military careers in American history ended.
1 Oct – Confederate President Jefferson Davis met with General Joseph E. Johnston, commanding the Confederate Army of the Potomac, and Johnston’s two corps commanders to discuss military strategy at Centreville in northern Virginia.
3 Oct – In western Virginia, Brigadier General Joseph J. Reynolds’s 5,000 Federals abandoned their supply base at Cheat Mountain to attack about 1,800 Confederates under Brigadier General Henry R. Jackson on the southern fork of the Greenbrier River.
4 Oct – As Confederates scrambled to defend the North Carolina coast, Colonel A.E. Wright devised a plan to take back Forts Clark and Hatteras.
6 Oct – Military and political turmoil continued in Kentucky, both within and among the various opposing factions.
7 Oct – Major General John C. Fremont left St. Louis to lead his Federal Army of the West against the pro-secession Missouri State Guards under General Sterling “Pap” Price.
9 Oct – A Confederate assault failed to dislodge Federals from Fort Pickens on Florida’s Gulf coast.
11 Oct – Confederate envoys James M. Mason and John Slidell boarded a steamship in the hopes of eluding the Federal blockade and reaching Europe to gain Confederate recognition.
12 Oct – The Confederacy unveiled a new metal-sheathed ram named the C.S.S. Manassas to try breaking the Federal blockade where the Mississippi River met the Gulf of Mexico.
12 Oct – Brigadier General M. Jeff Thompson led 3,000 secessionist Missourians in disrupting Federal operations and engaging in several skirmishes in southeastern Missouri.
16 Oct – The European powers entertained the possibility of recognizing Confederate independence, while France capitalized on the war by invading Mexico.
18 Oct – Federal forces converged on an isolated Confederate force at Leesburg, a Virginia town up the Potomac River from Washington, and prepared to attack.
21 Oct – Federal forces suffered another horrific defeat when they were driven off a cliff overlooking the Potomac River.
23 Oct – The Federal defeat at Ball’s Bluff outraged northerners, sent the Lincolns into mourning, and increased calls for Major General George B. McClellan to wage “all-out war” against the Confederates.
24 Oct – President Lincoln issued formal orders replacing John C. Fremont with David Hunter. However, complications in executing the order would arise.
25 Oct – Major General John C. Fremont touted the Federal recapture of Lexington and Springfield as great victories, but they did little to change the military situation in Missouri.
25 Oct – Colonel John R. Baylor, commanding the proclaimed Confederate Territory of Arizona at Mesilla, expressed concern that Federals were working to drive him out of the region.
28 Oct – Remnants of the popularly elected Missouri legislature gathered at Neosho to consider leaving the Union, even though a new Unionist government claimed to be the legitimate governing body over Missouri.
29 Oct – A massive Federal army-navy expedition left Hampton Roads to capture Port Royal, South Carolina, located between Charleston and Savannah.
30 Oct – Confederate officials reorganized the army forces in northern Virginia while President Jefferson Davis took issue with General P.G.T. Beauregard.
31 Oct – The legendary General-in-Chief Winfield Scott submitted his formal letter of resignation from the U.S. army after 53 years of service.
31 Oct – General Robert E. Lee returned to Richmond after this three-month campaign in western Virginia that many southerners considered a failure.
Last Updated: 10/12/2018