Ulysses S. Grant increased pressure on the Confederates defending Petersburg and Richmond. William T. Sherman’s Federals invaded South Carolina. All major Confederate seaports were sealed by Federal naval forces. Officials on both sides clamored for peace as the futility and desperation of southern resistance became more apparent.
1 Feb – William T. Sherman’s Federal armies continued moving into South Carolina, disregarding the elements and sporadic Confederate resistance along the way.
2 Feb – Abraham Lincoln accepted a suggestion to meet with Confederate envoys in person to discuss possible peace.
3 Feb – Abraham Lincoln and William H. Seward met with three Confederate envoys to discuss a possible end to the war.
4 Feb – William T. Sherman’s two Federal armies were now entirely in South Carolina while what remained of a Confederate resistance scrambled to stop them.
5 Feb – Fighting erupted over Ulysses S. Grant’s effort to extend his Federal siege line around Petersburg, Virginia.
6 Feb – Jefferson Davis submitted his report on the Hampton Roads peace conference to the Confederate Congress, along with his denunciation of the Federals’ insistence on reunion.
7 Feb – The fighting in the southwestern sector of the Petersburg lines ended inconclusively, which by this time meant Federal victory because the dwindling Confederate Army of Northern Virginia could no longer afford to just hold off the enemy.
10 Feb – Abraham Lincoln unveiled a new plan for slave emancipation, and members of Congress demanded to know what happened at Hampton Roads.
11 Feb – Robert E. Lee issued his first order as the new general-in-chief of the Confederacy.
12 Feb – William T. Sherman’s Federal armies continued storming through South Carolina, leaving destruction in their wake.
14 Feb – By this time, William T. Sherman’s Federal armies were moving directly toward the South Carolina capital of Columbia.
17 Feb – William T. Sherman’s Federals captured the South Carolina capital of Columbia.
18 Feb – City officials surrendered Charleston, South Carolina, to Federal forces this morning.
19 Feb – The Confederate garrison guarding Wilmington, North Carolina, became one of many to fall to overwhelming Federal numbers this month.
20 Feb – The Confederate House of Representatives approved a measure allowing for the recruitment of slaves into the military.
22 Feb – John Schofield’s new Federal army captured a once-vital Confederate port city on the North Carolina coast.
23 Feb – Minnesota became the 15th state to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution permanently abolishing slavery.
25 Feb – Joseph E. Johnston reluctantly took command of the shattered Army of Tennessee and all other Confederates in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas.
27 Feb – William T. Sherman’s Federals continued their devastating northward march and approached the North Carolina state line by month’s end.
28 Feb – Philip Sheridan’s Federal cavalry struggled through harsh weather to cut the Confederate supply line into the Shenandoah Valley and starve Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia into submission.
Last Updated: 2/28/2020