1862 in the United States
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|1862 in the United States|
|Years:||1859 1860 1861 – 1862 – 1863 1864 1865|
34 stars (1861–1863)
Events from the year 1862 in the United States.
- President: Abraham Lincoln (Republican/National Union)
- Vice President: Hannibal Hamlin (Republican)
- Chief Justice: Roger B. Taney
- Speaker of the House of Representatives: Galusha A. Grow (R-Pennsylvania)
- Congress: 37th
- January 10 – John Gately Downey, 7th Governor of California, is succeeded by Amasa Leland Stanford.
- January 30 – The first US ironclad warship, the USS Monitor, is launched.
- January 31 – Alvan Graham Clark makes the first observation of Sirius B, a white dwarf star, through an eighteen inch telescope at Northwestern University.
- In the Great Flood of 1862, San Francisco receives 24.49 inches (622.0 mm) of rainfall for January, its highest monthly rainfall on record, and the “rain year” total from July 1861 to June of 49.27 inches (1,251.5 mm) is also the highest ever.
- February 1 – Julia Ward Howe's Battle Hymn of the Republic is published for the first time in the Atlantic Monthly.
- February 6 – American Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant gives the United States its first victory of the war, by capturing Fort Henry, Tennessee.
- February 15 – American Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant attacks Fort Donelson, Tennessee and captures it the next day.
- February 21 – American Civil War: Battle of Valverde fought near Fort Craig in New Mexico Territory.
- February 22 – American Civil War: Jefferson Davis is officially inaugurated in Richmond, Virginia, to a 6-year term as president of the Confederate States of America.
- March 7 – American Civil War – The Battle of Pea Ridge: The Confederates are shut out of Missouri.
- March 8 – American Civil War: The iron-clad CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack) is launched at Hampton Roads, Virginia.
- March 8–9 – American Civil War – Battle of Hampton Roads: The first battle between two ironclad warships, the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia.
- March 13 – American Civil War: The U.S. federal government forbids all Union army officers from returning fugitive slaves, thus effectively annulling the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and setting the stage for the Emancipation Proclamation.
- March 28 – American Civil War – Battle of Glorieta Pass: In New Mexico, Union forces succeed in stopping the Confederate invasion of New Mexico territory (the battle began on March 26).
- April 5 – American Civil War – Battle of Yorktown: The battle begins when Union forces under General George B. McClellan close in on the Confederate capital Richmond, Virginia.
- April 6 – American Civil War: In Tennessee, the Battle of Shiloh begins.
- April 7 – American Civil War – Battle of Shiloh: Union Army under General Ulysses S. Grant defeats the Confederates near Shiloh, Tennessee.
- April 12 – American Civil War – Andrew's Raid Union volunteers steal a Confederate locomotive, setting off The Great Locomotive Chase.
- April 25 – American Civil War: Forces under Union Admiral David Farragut capture the Confederate city of New Orleans, Louisiana.
- April 26 – American Civil War: The besieged Confederate garrison at Fort Macon, North Carolina surrenders.
- May 2 – The California State Normal School (now San Jose State University) is created by an Act of the California Legislature.
- May 11 – American Civil War: The ironclad CSS Virginia is scuttled in the James River northwest of Norfolk, Virginia.
- May 15 – U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signs a bill into law creating the United States Bureau of Agriculture (later renamed the Department of Agriculture).
- May 20 – U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signs the Homestead Act into law.
- June 1 – American Civil War: Robert E. Lee takes command of the Army of Northern Virginia.
- June 1 – American Civil War – Battle of Fair Oaks: Both sides claim victory.
- June 4 – American Civil War: Confederate troops evacuate Fort Pillow on the Mississippi River, leaving the way clear for Union troops to take Memphis, Tennessee.
- June 6 – American Civil War – Battle of Memphis: Union forces capture Memphis, Tennessee from the Confederates
- June 8 – American Civil War – Battle of Cross Keys: Confederate forces under General Stonewall Jackson save the Army of Northern Virginia from a Union assault on the James Peninsula led by General George B. McClellan.
- June 12 – John Winter Robinson, Secretary of State of Kansas, is convicted and removed from office as the result of a bond scandal, becoming the first state executive official to be impeached and removed from office in U.S. history.
- June 26 – American Civil War – Battle of Mechanicsville: Confederate General Robert E. Lee defeats Union General George McClellan in the first of the Seven Days' Battles.
- July 1 – United States president Abraham Lincoln signs into law the Pacific Railway Acts, authorizing construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad.
- July 2 – U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signs the Morrill Land Grant Act into law, creating land-grant colleges to teach agricultural and mechanical sciences across the United States.
- July 16 – American Civil War: David G. Farragut becomes the first United States Navy rear admiral.
- July 19 – American Civil War – Morgan's Raid: At Buffington Island in Ohio, Confederate General John Hunt Morgan's raid into the North is mostly thwarted when a large group of his men are captured while trying to escape across the Ohio River.
- July 23 – American Civil War: Henry W. Halleck takes command of the Union Army.
- August 2 – American Civil War – Skirmish at Taberville, Missouri: Union forces force Confederate troops to march south, near Taberville.
- August 5 – American Civil War – Battle of Baton Rouge: Along the Mississippi River near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Confederate troops drive Union forces back into the city.
- August 6 – American Civil War: The Confederate ironclad CSS Arkansas is scuttled on the Mississippi River after suffering damage in a battle with the USS Essex near Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
- August 9 – American Civil War – Battle of Cedar Mountain: At Cedar Mountain, Virginia, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson narrowly defeats Union forces under General John Pope.
- August 14 – Abraham Lincoln meets with a group of prominent African-Americans – the first time a President has done so. He suggests Black people should migrate to Africa or Central America, but this advice is rejected.
- August 17 – Dakota War: A Lakota (Sioux) uprising begins in Minnesota as Lakota Sioux attack white settlements along the Minnesota River. They are overwhelmed by the U.S. military 6 weeks later.
- August 19 – Dakota War: During an uprising in Minnesota, Lakota warriors decide not to attack heavily defended Fort Ridgely and instead turn to the settlement of New Ulm, killing white settlers along the way.
- August 28–August 30 – American Civil War – Second Battle of Bull Run: Confederate forces inflict a crushing defeat on Union General John Pope.
- September 1 – American Civil War – Battle of Chantilly: Confederate General Robert E. Lee leads his forces in an attack on retreating Union troops in Chantilly, Virginia, driving them away.
- September 2 – American Civil War: President Abraham Lincoln reluctantly restores Union General George B. McClellan to full command after General John Pope's disastrous defeat at the Battle of Second Bull Run.
- September 5 – American Civil War: In the Confederacy's first invasion of the North, General Robert E. Lee leads 55,000 men of the Army of Northern Virginia across the Potomac River at White's Ford near Leesburg, Virginia, into Maryland.
- September 17 – American Civil War: Battle of Antietam: Union forces defeat Confederate troops at Sharpsburg, Maryland, in the bloodiest day in U.S. history (with over 22,000 casualties).
- September 17 – American Civil War: The Allegheny Arsenal explosion results in the single largest civilian disaster during the war.
- September 19 – American Civil War – Battle of Iuka: Union troops under Major General William Rosecrans defeat a Confederate force commanded by Major General Sterling Price at Iuka, Mississippi.
- September 22 – American Civil War: Preliminary announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln
- October 8 – American Civil War – Battle of Perryville: Union forces under General Don Carlos Buell halt the Confederate invasion of Kentucky by defeating troops led by General Braxton Bragg at Perryville, Kentucky.
- October 11 – American Civil War: In the aftermath of the Battle of Antietam, Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart and his men loot Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, during a raid into the North.
- November 5 – American Civil War: Abraham Lincoln removes George B. McClellan as commander of the Union Army.
- November 5 – Dakota War: In Minnesota, more than 300 Santee Sioux are found guilty of rape and murder of white settlers and are sentenced to hang.
- November 14 – American Civil War: Union President Abraham Lincoln approves General Ambrose Burnside's plan to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia (this leads to a dramatic Union defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg on December 13).
- November 28 – American Civil War – Battle of Cane Hill: Union troops led by General John Blunt push back Confederate forces commanded by General John Marmaduke into northwestern Arkansas' Boston Mountains.
- December 1 – In his State of the Union Address, President Abraham Lincoln reaffirms the necessity of ending slavery as ordered 10 weeks earlier in the Emancipation Proclamation.
- December 2 – The first U.S. Navy hospital ships enter service.
- December 13 – Battle of Fredericksburg: The Union Army suffers massive casualties and abandons attempts to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.
- December 18 – General Order No. 11, expelling all Jews in his military district, is issued by General Ulysses S. Grant (it is rescinded a few weeks later).
- December 26 – Dakota War: William D. Duly hangs 38 Dakota Sioux in Minnesota.
- December 26–29 – American Civil War – Battle of Chickasaw Bayou: Another victory for the Confederate Army, outnumbered 2 to 1, results in 6 times as many Union casualties, defeating several assaults coordinated by Union commander William T. Sherman.
- December 30 – The USS Monitor sinks off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
- December 31 – American Civil War: Abraham Lincoln signs an act that admits West Virginia to the Union (thus dividing Virginia in two); meanwhile, the Battle of Stones River is fought near Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
- Richard Jordan Gatling patents the Gatling gun.
- A smallpox epidemic breaks out in California.
- The Bureau of Internal Revenue, forerunner of the IRS, is founded.
- American Civil War (1861–1865)
- May 6
- June 12 – James H. Brady, United States Senator from Idaho from 1913 till 1918. Died in 1918.
- July 15 – Frank Putnam Flint, United States Senator from California from 1905 till 1911. Died in 1929.
- August 30 – Lawrence C. Phipps, United States Senator from Colorado from 1919 till 1931. Died in 1958.
- October 6
- January 10 – Samuel Colt, inventor (born 1814)
- January 18 – John Tyler, 10th President of the United States (born 1790)
- July 24 – Martin Van Buren, 8th President of the United States (born 1782)
- August 30 – John Hugh Means, governor of South Carolina (born 1812)
- Media related to 1862 in the United States at Wikimedia Commons