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Civil War Timeline / Chronology for 1860

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Century000's 1700's 1800's 1900's 2000's
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Year1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869
January 2, 1860 The Louisiana State Seminary of Higher Learning is established at Pineville. William Tecumseh Sherman is Superintendent. It later becomes LSU. Louisiana
  William Tecumseh Sherman
January 5, 1860 Jefferson Davis comes out in favor of secession for the first time
  Jefferson Davis
February 27, 1860 After being photographed by Matthew Brady, Abraham Lincoln speaks at the Cooper Institute in New York City. New York
  The Election of 1860
  Abraham Lincoln
March 2, 1860 Classes begin at the Seminary of Higher Learning at Pineville
  William Tecumseh Sherman
April 23, 1860
May 3, 1860
The Democratic National Convention, meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, cannot agree on a nominee. The only thing they can agree on is to continue the debate in Baltimore the next month South Carolina
  The Election of 1860
  1860 Democratic National Convention
  1860 Democratic Party Platform
  Democratic Party
May 8, 1860
May 9, 1860
The Constitution Union Party, meeting in Baltimore, creates a platform taken heavily from the U. S. Constitution and selects John Bell of Tennessee for President and Edward Everett of Massachusetts for Vice-President. It represents southern Whigs and Know-nothings (American Party). Sometimes called the Bell-Union Party Maryland
  The Election of 1860
May 16, 1860
May 18, 1860
Republican Convention is held in Chicago, Illinois. William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase and Abraham Lincoln of Illinois are the leading contenders from a field of 12 candidates. Lincoln wins on the third ballot. Hannibal Hamlin of Maine, an outspoken, long-time abolitionist is chosen for vice-president. Illinois
  The Election of 1860
  Salmon P. Chase
  1860 Republican Convention
  Abraham Lincoln
  William Seward
  Republican Party
June 11, 1860 Southern delegates hold a National Democratic convention in Richmond. Party leaders urge a "wait and see" approach. Virginia
  1860 Democratic National Convention
  Richmond, Virginia
  Robert Barnwell Rhett
  Democratic Party
June 18, 1860
June 23, 1860
The Democrats reconvene in Baltimore to select a nominee, but Douglas can't make the necessary 2/3 majority until the anti-Douglas delegates leave on June 22 and the floor rules are changed to require 2/3 vote of the members present. On June 23rd the Convention nominates Stephen Douglas and Herschal V. Johnson Maryland
  The Election of 1860
  1860 Democratic National Convention
  Stephen A. Douglas
  1860 Democratic Party Platform
  Democratic Party
June 26, 1860
June 28, 1860
Southern Democrats hold a convention in Richmond where they select John C. Breckinridge as their nominee for President Virginia
  The Election of 1860
  1860 Democratic National Convention
  Richmond, Virginia
  John Breckinridge
  1860 (Southern) Democratic Party Platform
  Democratic Party
June 28, 1860 Joseph E. Johnston appointed Quartermaster General
September 8, 1860 Lieutenant Colonel William Hardee is replaced by Major John F. Reynolds as commander of cadets at West Point
  William Hardee
October 5, 1860 Governor William Henry Gist notifies other Deep South states that South Carolina is considering secession as an option South Carolina
November 5, 1860 Governor Gist sends a message to the Legislature that "...our institutions are in danger from the fixed majorities of the North..." South Carolina
November 6, 1860 Republican Abraham Lincoln wins the Presidential election with 39.7% of the vote, defeating Stephen Douglas, John Breckinridge and John Bell.
  Stephen A. Douglas
  Abraham Lincoln
  Causes of the Civil War
  John Breckinridge
  The Election of 1860
  Republican Party
November 9, 1860 South Carolina calls for a convention on December 17 to decide if the state should secede from the Union South Carolina
November 10, 1860 James Chesnut becomes the first Southerner to resign from the Senate. He is quickly followed by James H. Hammond South Carolina
  Civil War Firsts
November 12, 1860 In Preston County, Western Virginia holds its first organizational meeting, expressing a desire to "adhere to the Union". West Virginia
  First Wheeling Convention
November 13, 1860 At the end of a fiery, pro-secession speech, Robert Toombs announces his resignation from the U. S. Senate at the end of his term. Georgia
  Robert Toombs
November 14, 1860 In Milledgeville, Alexander Stephens gives a response to Toombs' speech the day before, calling for a meeting of southern states to discuss secession. Georgia
  Alexander Stephens
November 23, 1860 Major Robert Anderson reports Fort Sumter is being threatened in Charleston as federal forces begin to improved Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter in the harbor. South Carolina
  Fort Sumter
  Robert Anderson
December 1, 1860 Robert Anderson makes his third request for reinforcements at Fort Moultrie
  Robert Anderson
December 4, 1860 Outgoing President James Buchanan sends a distressed State of the Union message to Congress. In it he states that secession is unconstitutional, says the federal government lacks the authority to prevent it and calls for a constitutional amendment allowing Southern states to retain slaves as property.
  James Buchanan
December 8, 1860 Governor Isham Harris calls for a special session of the Tennessee legislature to consider secession Tennessee
December 11, 1860 Under orders from Secretary of War John Floyd, General Don Carlos Buell visits Robert Anderson at Fort Sumter. Buell tells Anderson he may occupy any fort that he wants to if he is attacked or feels he is about to be attacked.
  Don Carlos Buell
  Fort Sumter
  Robert Anderson
  Special Memorandum to Robert Anderson, December 11, 1860
  John Floyd
December 12, 1860 Lewis Cass tenders his resignation as Secretary of State over President Buchanan's refusal to reinforce federal troops in Charleston.
  Fort Sumter
  James Buchanan
December 14, 1860 Georgia calls for a convention of Southern states to form an independent nation. Georgia
  Convention of Seceding States
December 17, 1860 South Carolina Secessionist Convention is called to order. The convention decides unanimously to secede from the United States and appoints a committee to draw up the needed documents. South Carolina
  Confederate Order of Secession
  Edmund Ruffin
December 18, 1860 Pro-Union Senator John Crittenden of Kentucky proposes the Crittenden Compromise, which allowed states south of the old Missouri Compromise line to determine for themselves whether they entered the Union slave or free.
  John Crittenden
December 20, 1860 South Carolina's convention officially approves the Ordinance of Secession South Carolina
  Confederate Order of Secession
  South Carolina Ordinance of Secession
December 20, 1860 Governor Francis Pickens of South Carolina demands President Buchanan relinquish control of Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie. South Carolina
  James Buchanan
December 20, 1860 Governor Francis W. Pickens takes office South Carolina
December 20, 1860 Edwin Stanton becomes Attorney-General in the Buchanan Administration
  Edwin Stanton
December 20, 1860 Secretary of War John Floyd orders 113 columbiad cannon and 11 32-pounders from the Pittsburgh arsenal to Ship Island, Mississippi, and Galveston.
  John Floyd
December 21, 1860 South Carolina representatives withdraw from the U. S. House South Carolina
December 22, 1860 South Carolina selects 3 commissioners to arrange for delivery of public lands, including Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter, to the independent state. South Carolina
December 22, 1860 Lincoln's opposition to a section of the Crittenden Compromise becomes public, ending the proposal's potential as a possible solution
  Abraham Lincoln
December 23, 1860 President Buchanan, tipped to upcoming problems for Secretary of War John Floyd, requests his resignation.
  James Buchanan
  John Floyd
December 26, 1860 Major Robert Anderson transfers his command from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter on his own initiative. He felt it was impossible to hold Fort Moultrie against South Carolina militia. South Carolina
  Fort Sumter
  Robert Anderson
December 29, 1860 As requested, John Floyd tenders his resignation as Secretary of War. Charges come out later in the day that he had misdirected funds to contractors and guns to the South. Neither charge will be fully investigated and his guilt (or innocence) is still a hotly debated subject
  John Floyd
December 30, 1860 Federal arsenal at Charleston falls into the hands of the Rebels
December 31, 1860 Charleston is notified by telegraph that a man of war with troops is on the way South Carolina
  Fort Sumter
  Star of the West

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Year1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869

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