Abraham Lincoln surprises his cabinet by reading a draft of an executive order freeing all slaves in Confederate states.
Abraham Lincoln revokes David Hunter’s order freeing all slaves in his military department. But Lincoln also declared for the first time that he had the power to free slaves as a wartime necessity.
Abraham Lincoln personally directs an operation that results in capturing one of the Confederacy’s most important naval bases.
Abraham Lincoln signs a bill into law establishing the first Federal paper currency in U.S. history–the “U.S. Note.”
General-in-Chief George B. McClellan develops a plan of attack and defends his military secrecy to increasingly skeptical politicians and subordinates.
The suspension of specie payments by the leading northern banks plunges the North into a financial crisis as the year ends.