Military activity accelerated. George B. McClellan’s Federals finally reached the Virginia Peninsula and moved toward Richmond. The largest battle ever fought in North America took place in southern Tennessee. The Federals captured the South’s largest city, along with key forts on the Mississippi River and the Atlantic Coast, making this the Confederacy’s worst month of the war to date.
1 Apr – Federal forces moved farther into Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, while Confederate Major General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson began developing plans to drive them out.
2 Apr – Major General George B. McClellan landed on the Virginia Peninsula with a huge manpower advantage, even though he had fewer men than expected.
4 Apr – Major General George B. McClellan slowly advanced his Federal Army of the Potomac toward Yorktown, the first obstacle on the Virginia Peninsula.
4 Apr – Major General John Pope prepared his Federal Army of the Mississippi to capture strategic Island No. 10 on the Mississippi River with naval support.
5 Apr – The Confederate Army of Mississippi advanced into southwestern Tennessee to confront Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s force, which remained largely unaware of the enemy’s approach.
6 Apr – The most terrible battle of the war to date began as the Confederate Army of Mississippi swarmed upon unsuspecting Federals in southwestern Tennessee.
7 Apr – Federal forces counterattacked, driving the Confederates back to Corinth and ending a horrific two-day struggle.
8 Apr – Both Federals and Confederates claimed victory after a terrible two-day battle, while the shock of such enormous human loss began sinking in.
8 Apr – Federal army and navy forces captured a key stronghold on the Mississippi River.
9 Apr – President Abraham Lincoln questioned not only Major General George B. McClellan’s strategy and tactics, but also his math after McClellan opted to lay siege to Yorktown and not attack.
10 Apr – President Abraham Lincoln signed a joint congressional resolution pledging Federal compensation to states that implemented programs to free slaves.
11 Apr – Federal forces on the Atlantic coast targeted a key fort guarding the entrance to Savannah Harbor, near the South Carolina-Georgia border.
12 Apr – A daring effort to sabotage Confederate supply lines made sensational headlines in newspapers but had little impact on the war.
13 Apr – Colonel Edward R.S. Canby sought to unite all Federal forces in New Mexico, while Brigadier General Henry H. Sibley’s Confederate Army of New Mexico began a long withdrawal due to lack of supplies.
14 Apr – The Confederate high command met at Richmond to consider abandoning the Virginia Peninsula to the numerically superior Federal Army of the Potomac.
16 Apr – President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill into law abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia.
16 Apr – President Jefferson Davis signed a bill into law requiring all able-bodied white men between the ages of 18 and 35 to serve at least three years in the Confederate military. This was the first national draft in American history.
17 Apr – Commodore David G. Farragut, flag officer of the Federal West Gulf Blockading Squadron, proceeded with his plan to capture New Orleans, the Confederacy’s largest and richest city.
18 Apr – On Good Friday, Federals took the first step toward capturing New Orleans when Commander David D. Porter’s mortar boats began firing on Forts Jackson and St. Philip.
20 Apr – Confederate morale sagged on the Virginia Peninsula, as the number of Federal troops continued increasing on multiple fronts.
21 Apr – Letter from Captain Aden Cavins, Company E, 59th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, to his wife.
21 Apr – The Confederate Congress approved a measure authorizing the organization of guerrilla forces to help combat the Federal invasion.
22 Apr – Flag Officer David G. Farragut met with his fleet officers to lay out his plan for bypassing Forts Jackson and St. Philip and steaming up the Mississippi River in a daring attempt to capture New Orleans.
24 Apr – Flag Officer David G. Farragut’s Federal warships made their daring attempt to move up the Mississippi River, bypass Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and capture New Orleans.
25 Apr – Federal warships arrived at the harbor of the Confederacy’s largest and richest city, and despite wrangling over surrender terms, the city’s fall was virtually assured.
26 Apr – Commander David D. Porter’s Federal mortar fleet continued bombarding the two forts below New Orleans, and a Confederate mutiny helped force their surrender.
26 Apr – A formal surrender ceremony took place after the Confederates gave up a formidable stronghold on the North Carolina coast.
27 Apr – Major General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson launched an offensive in the Valley, while the Federals remained unaware of either his intention or location.
28 Apr – Flag Officer David G. Farragut tried to end the standoff between his Federals and New Orleans officials by threatening the bombard the city if they did not surrender. Meanwhile, Federal occupation troops were on the way.
30 Apr – Major General Henry W. Halleck combined three Federal armies in southwestern Tennessee to begin a methodical advance on the vital railroad town of Corinth, Mississippi, 22 miles away.
Last Updated: 9/29/2018