1862 in the United States
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|1862 in the United States|
|Years:||1859 1860 1861 – 1862 – 1863 1864 1865|
34 stars (1861–63)
Events from the year 1862 in the United States.
- President: Abraham Lincoln (R-Illinois)
- Vice President: Hannibal Hamlin (R-Maine)
- Chief Justice: Roger B. Taney (originally now residing in from of the U.S. state of Maryland)
- 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
- 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
- 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 – U. S. President 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
- 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 4 – Richard Jordan Gatling patents the Gatling gun.
- November 5
- 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: Union President 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.
- A smallpox epidemic breaks out in California.
- 1862 (no date) Stephen Foster writes "Willie Has Gone To War".
- American Civil War (1861–1865)
- January 9 – Carrie Clark Ward, silent film character actress (died 1926)
- January 15 – Loie Fuller, dancer (died 1928)
- January 24 – Edith Wharton, fiction writer (died 1937)
- February 7 – Bernard Maybeck, Arts and Crafts architect (died 1957)
- March 2 – John Jay Chapman, writer (died 1923)
- March 13 – Jane Delano, founder of the American Red Cross Nursing Service (died 1919)
- March 21 – Elmer Samuel Hosmer, composer (died 1945)
- March 24 – Frank Weston Benson, Impressionist painter (died 1951)
- March 25 – William E. Johnson, leader of the Anti-Saloon League (died 1950)
- April 2 – Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia University and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (died 1947)
- April 11 – Charles Evans Hughes, lawyer and statesman (died 1948)
- April 26 – Edmund C. Tarbell, Impressionist painter (died 1938)
- May 6
- May 27 – John Kendrick Bangs, author and satirist (died 1922)
- June 10 – Caroline Louise Dudley, later Mrs. Leslie Carter, stage and silent screen actress (died 1937)
- June 12 – James H. Brady, U.S. Senator from Idaho from 1913 to 1918 (died 1918)
- July 15 – Frank Putnam Flint, U.S. Senator from California from 1905 to 1911 (died 1929)
- July 16 – Ida B. Wells, journalist, suffragist, and anti-lynching crusader (died 1931)
- July 29 – Robert Reid, Impressionist painter (died 1928)
- August 11 – Carrie Jacobs-Bond, songwriter (died 1946)
- August 16 – Amos Alonzo Stagg, footballer (died 1965)
- August 30 – Lawrence C. Phipps, U.S. Senator from Colorado from 1919 to 1931 (died 1958)
- September 11
- October 6
- October 26 – Thomas J. Preston, Jr., Professor of Archeology at Princeton University, second husband of Frances Cleveland (widow of President Grover Cleveland) (died 1955)
- November 3 – Henry George, Jr., politician (died 1916)
- November 14 – George Washington Vanderbilt II, businessman (died 1914)
- November 19 – Billy Sunday, baseball player, evangelist and prohibitionist (died 1935)
- December 3 – Charles Grafly, sculptor (died 1929)
- December 5 – William Walker Atkinson, spiritual writer (died 1932)
- December 16 – John Fox, Jr., novelist and journalist (died 1919)
- Undated – Adam Emory Albright, painter (died 1957)
- January 10 – Samuel Colt, inventor (born 1814)
- January 18 – John Tyler, 10th President of the U.S. from 1841 to 1845 (born 1790)
- February 11 – Luther V. Bell, psychiatric physician (born 1806)
- February 20 – William Wallace "Willie" Lincoln, third son of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln (born 1850)
- March 2 – Frederick W. Lander, railroad surveyor, poet and Union general, died of pneumonia contracted on active service (born 1821)
- March 18 – Charles Bird King, portrait artist who notably painted Native American delegates visiting Washington, D.C. (born 1785)
- April 6
- April 10 – W. H. L. Wallace, Union general, died of wounds received at Battle of Shiloh (born 1821)
- April 19 – Louis P. Harvey, Governor of Wisconsin (born 1820)
- May 6 – Henry David Thoreau, transcendentalist author and philosopher (born 1817)
- May 21
- July 24 – Martin Van Buren, 8th President of the U.S. from 1837 to 1841 (born 1782)
- August 30 – John Hugh Means, 64th Governor of South Carolina from 1850 to 1852 (born 1812)
- September 18? – Septimus Norris, steam locomotive designer (born 1818)
- December 13 – Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb, Confederate general, killed during Battle of Fredericksburg (born 1823)
- December 18 – Barbara Fritchie, Civil War patriot (born 1766)
- San Francisco Monthly and Annual Rainfall
- "An Act to aid in the construction of a railroad and telegraph line from the Missouri river to the Pacific ocean, and to secure to the government the use of the same for postal, military, and other purposes 12 Stat. 489, July 1, 1862
- "Handwritten Manuscript by Stephen Foster, “Willie Has Gone To War”" (PDF). Foster Hall Collection, Collection Number: CAM.FHC.2011.01. University of Pittsburgh, Archives and Manuscript Collections at the University of Pittsburgh Library System. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
- Media related to 1862 in the United States at Wikimedia Commons