In Washington, President Abraham Lincoln continued urging his military commanders to move and made the first cabinet change in his administration. In Richmond, President Jefferson Davis handled infighting among his commanders. Federal officials commandeered railroads for military purposes. The Confederate line in Kentucky was broken, and the Federal navy began impacting the southern war effort.
1 Jan – Major General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s Confederate army began moving out of winter quarters at Winchester toward the Potomac River as part of Jackson’s plan to capture Romney.
5 Jan – Federal forces embarked on a joint army-navy operation to capture a key point on the North Carolina coast.
8 Jan – The government of Great Britain received the official news that the U.S. would release Confederate envoys James Mason and John Slidell, thus averting an international crisis.
9 Jan – U.S. Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles appointed David G. Farragut to be the flag officer of the new West Gulf Blockading Squadron.
10 Jan – A skirmish erupted in the continuing Federal effort to secure southeastern Kentucky.
11 Jan – President Lincoln responded to the swelling charges of corruption in the War Department by firing Secretary of War Simon Cameron.
13 Jan – General-in-Chief George B. McClellan defended his military strategy to increasingly skeptical politicians and subordinates.
16 Jan – Major General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s Confederates seized the objective of their campaign in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, though not in the way they had intended.
19 Jan – Federals and Confederates clashed to determine who would control the vital Cumberland Gap on the Confederacy’s fragile defensive line across Kentucky.
22 Jan – Lieutenant John L. Worden reported satisfactory progress on construction of an unnamed vessel slated to become the first Federal ironclad warship.
25 Jan – A group of Confederate officers led by Brigadier General William W. Loring petitioned Richmond to force Major General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson to remove them from the miserable town of Romney.
26 Jan – President Jefferson Davis finally succeeded in transferring one of his biggest critics, General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, from Virginia to the Western Theater.
27 Jan – President Lincoln designated February 22 as “the day for a general movement of the Land and Naval forces of the United States against the insurgent forces.”
28 Jan – Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton issued orders to arrest Brigadier General Charles P. Stone for his role in the Ball’s Bluff fiasco the past October.
29 Jan – Major General Henry W. Halleck received intelligence that convinced him to allow Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant and Flag Officer Andrew H. Foote to move against Fort Henry, Tennessee.
30 Jan – An order from Confederate Secretary of War Judah P. Benjamin prompted Major General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson to submit his resignation from the Confederate army.
31 Jan – President Lincoln followed up General War Order No. 1 by implicitly notifying General-in-Chief George B. McClellan that the order also applied to him.
Last Updated: 9/29/2018