Warfare was revolutionized with the first naval battle between ironclads in history. George B. McClellan prepared to move his massive Federal army into Virginia. A major battle took place in Arkansas, and Federals held firm in New Mexico Territory. Federals threatened the Atlantic Coast at North Carolina, while Confederates began a counteroffensive in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.
Federal troops abandon Albuquerque in the face of Henry H. Sibley’s advancing Confederate Army of New Mexico.
Earl Van Dorn leads a unified Confederate army northward to confront Samuel R. Curtis’s outnumbered Federals in northwestern Arkansas.
Henry W. Halleck receives authorization to remove Ulysses S. Grant from command after Halleck alleged that Grant had neglected his duty.
Joseph E. Johnston issues orders to withdraw his Confederate army from its Manassas Junction-Centreville line southward to the Rappahannock River, almost halfway to the Confederate capital at Richmond.
Abraham Lincoln submits a message asking Congress to consider a plan of gradual, compensated slave emancipation.
Earl Van Dorn’s Confederates attack Samuel R. Curtis’s Federals in northwestern Arkansas, as part of Van Dorn’s mission to reclaim Missouri.
Samuel R. Curtis regroups his Federal Army of the Southwest and prepares to counterattack Earl Van Dorn’s Confederates at Pea Ridge and Elkhorn Tavern.
A naval duel off Hampton Roads, Virginia, marks the first time in history that two ironclad warships do battle.
George B. McClellan’s Federals finally enter northern Virginia, but the Confederate retreat from that area jeopardizes McClellan’s overall strategy.
Abraham Lincoln issues an executive order removing George B. McClellan as general-in-chief of all U.S. armies and creating new military departments that would report directly to the secretary of war.
Letter from David Ash, Company B, 37th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, three days after the Battle of Pea Ridge.
Confederate defenders abandon a position on the Mississippi River under artillery bombardment from John Pope’s Army of the Mississippi.
Federals occupying points on the North Carolina coast advance to the mainland in hopes of capturing one of the state’s largest cities.
Federal forces advance southward up the Tennessee River as Henry W. Halleck directs two armies to converge to invade the Deep South.
George B. McClellan finally mobilizes the Army of the Potomac to begin its grand offensive to destroy the Confederacy.
Ulysses S. Grant is reinstated as Federal commander in western Tennessee after charges that he had been derelict in duty prove unfounded.
“Stonewall” Jackson begins a campaign intended to keep Federals busy so they could not move east and join the Federal drive on Richmond.
The steamship Oreto leaves England, destined to become the menacing commerce raider C.S.S. Florida.
“Stonewall” Jackson’s 3,500-man Confederate army attacks 9,000 Federals south of Winchester in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. This marks an inauspicious start to what will become a legendary campaign.
Federals advance deep into western Tennessee this month as Confederates gather in northern Mississippi to counterattack.
Detachments of the Federal and Confederate armies in the New Mexico Territory clash east of Santa Fe.
The resumption of fighting around Apache Canyon marks a turning point in the New Mexico theater of war.
Jefferson Davis submits a special message to the Confederate Congress urging members to approve military conscription.
As the Federal Army of the Potomac heads for the Virginia Peninsula, Confederates scramble to determine their landing point.
Last Updated: 3/31/2022