Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter in the harbor at Charleston, South Carolina, officially beginning the American Civil War. Fort Sumter surrendered after thirty-four hours of bombardment.
Richmond, Virginia, was established as the capital of the Confederacy.
The United States Sanitary Commission was established to see to the health and comfort of Federal soldiers.
The Battle of the Wilderness (also known as Combats at Parker’s Store, Craig’s Meeting House, Todd’s Tavern, Brock Road, and the Furnaces), Virginia, ended inconclusively with 29,800 casualties.
The Maryland legislature voted 53 to 13 against secession.
The National Bank Act established a federal banking system and a national currency based on the holdings of the federal Treasury.
Revenue Act of 1861 created the first federal income tax in US history.
General William Tecumseh Sherman pushed back Confederate forces to capture and occupy Atlanta, Georgia. Sherman sent a telegraph to Washington: “Atlanta is ours, and fairly won.”
Both Union and the Confederate forces mobilized for war; Lincoln ordered a blockade of Confederate ports.
West Virginia was admitted into the Union with gradual emancipation provided for in its constitution.