The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, granting African American men the right to vote.
President Andrew Johnson issued a proclamation granting amnesty and pardon to all persons who participated in “the existing rebellion,” with a few exceptions.
The Amnesty Act of 1872 removed voting and office-holding restrictions on most former members of the Confederacy.
Congress passed the Resumption Act of 1875, which created compensatory deflationary pressure that contributed to general decline prices.
Many African Americans, called “Exodusters,” left the South for Kansas.
Ulysses S. Grant issued his famous ultimatum at Fort Donelson, Tennessee: “No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works.” Confederate forces accepted. (17,398 casualties)
Navy gunboats captured Fort Henry, Tennessee, opening the Deep South to Union forces.
The Battle of Perryville ended Confederate incursions in Kentucky.
The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia, ended inconclusively with 30,000 casualties.
Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, the first autobiography of an African American woman, was published.