April 1862

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.

The Blow Must Be Sudden and Heavy

Federal forces move farther into Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, while Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson begins developing plans to drive them out.

McClellan Leaves That Sink of Iniquity

George B. McClellan lands on the Virginia Peninsula with a huge manpower advantage, even though he has fewer men than he had expected.

The Most Infamous Thing That History Has Recorded

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.

Preparing to Attack Island Number 10

John Pope readies his Federal army to capture strategic Island Number 10 on the Mississippi River with naval support.

I Would Fight Them if They were a Million

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 Battle of Shiloh

The most terrible battle of the war to-date begins as the Confederate Army of Mississippi swarms upon unsuspecting Federals in southwestern Tennessee.

The Battle of Shiloh: Day Two

Reinforced Federals launch a counterattack in southwestern Tennessee, and one of the most horrific battles of the war comes to an end.

The Battle of Shiloh: Aftermath

Both Federals and Confederates claim victory after a terrible two-day battle, while the shock of such enormous human loss starts to sink in.

The Fall of Island Number Ten

Federal army and navy forces capture a key stronghold on the Mississippi River.

You Better Break the Enemies’ Line

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.

The Fall of Fort Pulaski

Federal forces use a destructive new weapon to reduce a key fort guarding the entrance to Savannah Harbor.

The Fall of Huntsville

Federal forces invade Alabama for the first time and capture a strategic town as part of a grand plan to capture Chattanooga.

The Great Locomotive Chase

A daring effort to sabotage Confederate supply lines make sensational headlines but have little impact on the war.

The End of Confederate New Mexico

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 Siege of Yorktown: Confederate Response

The Confederate high command meets at Richmond to consider abandoning the Virginia Peninsula to the numerically superior Federal Army of the Potomac.

The District Emancipation Act

Abraham Lincoln signs a bill into law freeing the slaves in the District of Columbia, despite bitter opposition.

The Confederate Conscription Act

Jefferson Davis signs a bill into law creating the first national military draft in American history.

Federals Target Forts Jackson and St. Philip

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 Bombard Forts Jackson and St. Philip

Federals take the first step toward capturing New Orleans when David D. Porter’s mortar fleet begins firing on Forts Jackson and St. Philip.

The Day-Star of a New National Dawn

Abraham Lincoln signs a joint congressional resolution pledging Federal compensation to states that voluntarily implement programs to free slaves.

We Must Abandon the Peninsula at Once

Confederate hopes fade on the Virginia Peninsula as the Federals continue to gather in overwhelming numbers outside Yorktown.

The Partisan Ranger Act

The Confederate Congress approves a measure authorizing the organization of guerrilla forces to help combat the Federal invasion.

From Aden Cavins, 59th Indiana

Letter from Captain Aden Cavins, Company E, 59th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, to his wife.

An Unflinching Trust in God

David G. Farragut lays out his plan to steam his gunboats past Forts Jackson and St. Philip on their way to capturing New Orleans.

The Lord of Hosts Was with Us

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.

The Fall of 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.

The Fall of Forts Jackson and St. Philip

David D. Porter’s Federal mortar fleet continues bombarding the two forts below New Orleans, and a Confederate mutiny helps force their surrender.

The Fall of Fort Macon

A formal surrender ceremony takes place after the Confederates give up a formidable stronghold on the North Carolina coast.

Nothing to be Done in This Valley

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.

The New Orleans Occupation Begins

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.

It is Better to Retreat Than to Fight

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

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