The Confederacy suffered several devastating military setbacks in Tennessee and on the Atlantic Coast, while a new hero emerged in the North. In Washington, Congress passed part of the Republican Party agenda and held military officers accountable for defeats. The Lincolns suffered a personal tragedy, and the president continued trying to compel his commanders to advance.
The Federal invasion of Tennessee begins with a joint army-navy operation against Fort Henry on the Tennessee River.
George B. McClellan submits a 22-page report arguing in favor of his plan to move the Federal Army of the Potomac down the Virginia coast by water.
Confederate officials talk Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson out of resigning from his command in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.
First Lady Mary Lincoln hosts a lavish ball at the White House, prompting some to criticize her for being insensitive to those suffering hardships due to war.
Federals capture a key point on the Tennessee River that opens a path into Tennessee.
Ulysses S. Grant plans to follow up the victory at Fort Henry by capturing a much stronger Confederate fort in Tennessee.
The Federal army-navy effort to seize North Carolina’s Outer Banks continues, with the potential reward being a strengthening of the naval blockade and the opening of an invasion route into southern Virginia.
Federal troops arrest General Charles P. Stone in the early morning hours after new “evidence” surfaces confirming Stone’s disloyalty to the Union.
Federals confront the Confederate “mosquito” fleet north of Albemarle Sound on the North Carolina coast, threatening nearby Elizabeth City in the process.
Federal army and navy forces attack Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River, but they find the defenses much stronger than Fort Henry.
The Confederate try breakout out of the Federal grip around Fort Donelson before deciding on whether or not to surrender.
Federals score their greatest victory of the war up to this time, generating a new national hero in the process.
Federal forces push Sterling Price’s Missouri State Guards out of their home state, where they join a new army and prepare to counterattack.
President and Mrs. Lincoln’s 12-year-old son dies from what doctors call “bilious,” or typhoid, fever.
Henry H. Sibley’s Confederate Army of New Mexico begins its mission to conquer the New Mexico Territory, culminating in a fight for a ford on the Rio Grande.
Jefferson Davis takes the oath of office to become the first official president of the Confederate States of America.
Abraham Lincoln signs a bill into law establishing the first Federal paper currency in U.S. history–the “U.S. Note.”
George B. McClellan coordinates a Federal invasion of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, but unexpected complications thwart his plans.
Joseph E. Johnston concludes that his Confederate army must abandon its positions along the Centreville-Manassas line in northern Virginia.
Last Updated: 2/28/2022