Military activity accelerated. George 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.
Federal forces move farther into Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, while Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson begins developing plans to drive them out.
George B. McClellan lands on the Virginia Peninsula with a huge manpower advantage, even though he has fewer men than he had expected.
George B. McClellan begins the Federal advance up the Virginia Peninsula but becomes outraged when part of his army is held back from joining him.
John Pope readies his Federal army to capture strategic Island Number 10 on the Mississippi River with naval support.
The Confederate Army of Mississippi advances into southwestern Tennessee to confront Ulysses S. Grant’s Federals, who remain largely unaware of the enemy’s approach.
The most terrible battle of the war to-date begins as the Confederate Army of Mississippi swarms upon unsuspecting Federals in southwestern Tennessee.
Reinforced Federals launch a counterattack in southwestern Tennessee, and one of the most horrific battles of the war comes to an end.
Both Federals and Confederates claim victory after a terrible two-day battle, while the shock of such enormous human loss starts to sink in.
Federal army and navy forces capture a key stronghold on the Mississippi River.
Abraham Lincoln questions not only George B. McClellan’s strategy and tactics, but also his math after McClellan opts to lay siege to Yorktown rather than attack head-on.
Federal forces use a destructive new weapon to reduce a key fort guarding the entrance to Savannah Harbor.
Federal forces invade Alabama for the first time and capture a strategic town as part of a grand plan to capture Chattanooga.
A daring effort to sabotage Confederate supply lines make sensational headlines but have little impact on the war.
Edward R.S. Canby looks to unite all Federal forces in the New Mexico Territory, while Henry H. Sibley’s Confederates begin a grueling withdrawal from the territory due to lack of supplies.
The Confederate high command meets at Richmond to consider abandoning the Virginia Peninsula to the numerically superior Federal Army of the Potomac.
Abraham Lincoln signs a bill into law freeing the slaves in the District of Columbia, despite bitter opposition.
Jefferson Davis signs a bill into law creating the first national military draft in American history.
David G. Farragut, flag officer of the Federal West Gulf Blockading Squadron, proceeds with his plan to capture New Orleans, the Confederacy’s largest and richest city.
Federals take the first step toward capturing New Orleans when David D. Porter’s mortar fleet begins firing on Forts Jackson and St. Philip.
Abraham Lincoln signs a joint congressional resolution pledging Federal compensation to states that voluntarily implement programs to free slaves.
Confederate hopes fade on the Virginia Peninsula as the Federals continue to gather in overwhelming numbers outside Yorktown.
The Confederate Congress approves a measure authorizing the organization of guerrilla forces to help combat the Federal invasion.
Letter from Captain Aden Cavins, Company E, 59th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, to his wife.
David G. Farragut lays out his plan to steam his gunboats past Forts Jackson and St. Philip on their way to capturing New Orleans.
David G. Farragut’s Federal warships make their daring attempt to move up the Mississippi River, bypass Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and capture New Orleans.
Federal warships arrive at the harbor of the Confederacy’s largest and richest city, and despite wrangling over surrender terms, the fate of New Orleans is virtually sealed.
David D. Porter’s Federal mortar fleet continues bombarding the two forts below New Orleans, and a Confederate mutiny helps force their surrender.
A formal surrender ceremony takes place after the Confederates give up a formidable stronghold on the North Carolina coast.
Nathaniel P. Banks looks to unify Federal forces in the Shenandoah Valley, confident there is no opposition. But Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson has other ideas.
David G. Farragut tries to end the standoff between his Federals and New Orleans officials by threatening to bomb the city if she does not surrender. Meanwhile, Federal occupation troops are on the way.
Henry W. Halleck combines three Federal armies in southwestern Tennessee to start a methodical advance on the vital railroad town of Corinth, Mississippi.
Last Updated: 5/3/2022