The battles on the Virginia Peninsula were followed by several Federal command changes. In the North, Republicans in Congress took advantage of the lack of southern opposition by enacting much of their agenda. In the South, Confederate officials continued seeking foreign recognition and aid. With Federal forces stalled in Virginia and the West, President Abraham Lincoln suggested a bold new strategy.
1 Jul – The last of a week-long series of battles on the Virginia Peninsula took place at Malvern Hill.
1 Jul – President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill into law authorizing the construction of a transcontinental railroad.
1 Jul – President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill into law imposing taxes on almost everything to help finance the war. This became the first enforceable national income tax.
2 Jul – President Abraham Lincoln issued a call for 300,000 more volunteers “so as to bring this unnecessary and injurious war to a speedy and satisfactory conclusion.” He used political guile to downplay the Federal defeats on the Virginia Peninsula, which were the main reason for the call.
2 Jul – President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill into law granting 30,000 acres of Federal land to states for the establishment of agricultural and mechanical schools.
3 Jul – Both Federals and Confederates regrouped as General Robert E. Lee probed the Federal defenses and Major General George B. McClellan issued yet another plea for more men.
4 Jul – President Abraham Lincoln worked to funnel more reinforcements to Major General George B. McClellan on the Virginia Peninsula, and General Robert E. Lee decided that the Federal positions were too strong to attack.
4 Jul – Confederate Colonel John Hunt Morgan led 867 cavalry partisans on a raid into Kentucky to harass the supply line for the Federal Army of the Ohio.
7 Jul – As the Army of the Potomac settled into its defenses on the Virginia Peninsula, Major General George B. McClellan took the time to write a letter to President Abraham Lincoln on how the war should be waged.
8 Jul – President Abraham Lincoln visited the Army of the Potomac on the Virginia Peninsula and contemplated a major military change.
10 Jul – As Federal forces closed in on Chattanooga, Confederate Major General Edmund Kirby Smith revealed a daring plan to take the offensive.
11 Jul – Less than 48 hours after leaving the Virginia Peninsula, President Abraham Lincoln named Major General Henry W. Halleck to become general-in-chief of all Federal armies.
12 Jul – President Abraham Lincoln held a conference with U.S. senators and representatives from the loyal slaveholding states to persuade them to accept a policy of compensating slaveholders for voluntarily freeing their slaves.
13 Jul – Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Confederate horsemen captured the key city of Murfreesboro as part of a raid to disrupt Federal communication and supply lines in Middle Tennessee.
14 Jul – Major General John Pope issued a pretentious address to his new Federal Army of Virginia before embarking on a new campaign.
15 Jul – As Major General Henry W. Halleck prepared to go to Washington to become general-in-chief, he reorganized the armies within his Department of the Mississippi.
15 Jul – A new Confederate ironclad blasted through Federal ships and threatened to turn the tide of the war on the Mississippi River.
16 Jul – The lack of southern opposition made the Thirty-seventh U.S. Congress one of the most productive in history, as the Republican majority worked to enact nearly every plank of their party platform.
17 Jul – Colonel John Hunt Morgan’s Confederate horsemen attacked a Federal garrison at the key railroad town of Cynthiana before successfully ending their Kentucky incursion.
17 Jul – This evening, Confederate Captain Adam R. Johnson led 35 partisans out of Henderson, Kentucky, to raid the Federal arsenal across the Ohio River at Newburgh, Indiana.
18 Jul – Major General John Pope, commanding the Federal Army of Virginia, issued orders that sparked fury throughout the South and threatened to change the character of the war.
19 Jul – Federal cavalry discovered that Major General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s Confederates had reached the important railroad town of Gordonsville ahead of them.
22 Jul – President Abraham Lincoln surprised his cabinet by reading a draft of an executive order freeing all slaves in Confederate states.
22 Jul – With the number of prisoners of war quickly growing, Federals and Confederates agreed to a tentative system of prisoner exchange.
23 Jul – General Braxton Bragg mobilized his Confederate Army of Mississippi to move from Tupelo to Chattanooga and ultimately join forces with Major General Edmund Kirby Smith.
25 Jul – President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation warning southerners to “cease participating in, aiding, countenancing, or abetting the existing rebellion, or any rebellion, against the Government of the United States, and to return to their proper allegiance to the United States, on pain of the forfeitures and seizures” of their property under a controversial law enacted the week before.
26 Jul – Major General Earl Van Dorn, commanding Confederates in the area of Vicksburg, Mississippi, detached a portion of his force to try regaining the Louisiana capital of Baton Rouge.
28 Jul – Confederates tried currying favor with France, and Great Britain suffered a severe economic downturn due to the lack of southern cotton.
Last Updated: 10/14/2018