American Abolitionists and Antislavery Activists:
Conscience of the Nation

Updated April 4, 2021

l to r: Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips

Black Soldiers Timeline

Black Soldiers Timeline: 1638-1862





First discriminatory law in American history is passed by the Virginia legislature.  It states that all Virginians except Blacks must arm themselves.[i]



Massachusetts excludes Blacks from serving in the military.[ii]



Connecticut colony excludes Blacks from military service.[iii]



Hundreds of enslaved individuals in South Carolinian fight alongside their owners against Yamassee Indians.[iv]


March 5, 1770

Crispus Attucks, who escaped from slavery, is the first American killed in the Boston Massacre.[v]


April 19, 1775

Free Blacks volunteer for service in the Continental Army.  They later fight in the battles of Lexington and Concord.[vi]  Blacks are killed and wounded in these battles.


May 11, 1775

Volunteer Black soldiers participate in the battle for the capture of Fort Ticonderoga.[vii]


May 29, 1775

The Massachusetts Committee of Safety forbids the recruitment and enlistment of slaves as “inconsistent with the principles that are to b supported, and reflect dishonor on this colony.”[viii]


June 17, 1775

George Washington is appointed Commander in Chief of the American Army by the Continental Congress.  He soon forbids the enlistment of Black soldiers.[ix]


July 9, 1775

An order instructs officers not to enlisted “any stroller, Negro, or vagabond.”[x]


October 8, 1775

Washington considers whether Blacks should be enlisted in the new Continental Army, and whether a distinction should be made between “such as are slaves and those that are free.”[xi]


November 12, 1775

Washington issues order from his headquarters prohibiting enlistment of Black soldiers.  Other colonies adopt these rules.[xii]


November 7, 1775

Lord Dunmore, the British Royal Governor of Virginia, issues an order offering freedom to enslaved individuals if they fight with the British Continental Forces.  By December, 300 enslaved individuals joined Dunmore’s Army.  They form a special unit called the Ethiopian Regiment.[xiii]


December 30, 1775

Due to a manpower shortage, Washington reverses his earlier order and allows free Black men to enlist in the Continental Army.[xiv]


January 17, 1776

The Continental Congress allows for the reenlistment of free Blacks in the Army.[xv]



Connecticut colony authorizes slaveowners to free enslaved individuals who have served in the Continental Army as substitutes for White men.[xvi]



Massachusetts colony allows for Black soldiers to serve in the Continental Army.[xvii]


January 1778

The colony of Rhode Island proposes recruiting Black soldiers to fill its state militia.  Governor Nicholas Cooke approves the recommendation.  Blacks enlisting are promised freedom at the end of the war.[xviii]


March 25, 1779

Due to manpower shortages in the deep South, South Carolina Governor John Rutledge recommends that enslaved persons be recruited into the Continental Army.  He further recommends that the Continental Congress reimburse the master for services of his enslaved persons.  On March 29, the Continental Congress endorses the proposal.  It is, however, turned down by state legislatures.[xix]


October 1780

The Maryland colony authorizes enlistment of enslaved persons, with the consent of their owner.[xx]


May 4, 1781

A Rhode Island Black battalion endures heavy casualties at the battle at Points Bridge, Croton River, New York.[xxi]



Virginia colony sells most of its state-owned enslaved persons who had served in its Navy during the war.[xxii]


October 20, 1783

Virginia colony prohibits the re-enslavement of Back veterans who served in the Continental Army and specifies that they “should enjoy the blessings of freedom as a reward.”[xxiii]


May 8, 1792

A Militia Act calls for the enlistment of “each and every able-bodied white male citizen between the ages of 18 and 45.”  Most Northern states, along with Virginia and Maryland, use the law to exclude Blacks from enlistment.  Nonetheless, Georgia and South Carolina make use of free Blacks as laborers and musicians.[xxiv]



Blacks are prohibited from enlisting in the Marines and Navy.[xxv]



Continental Congress passes acts that contain no racial restrictions on enlistments for military service.  Although there are no specific restrictions, in practice Blacks are not permitted to serve.[xxvi]


June 12, 1812

United States declares war on Great Britain.


August 1812

Louisiana state legislature allows for the enlistment of free Black landholders in its militia.[xxvii]


March 3, 1813

A federal act allows for free Black men to serve in the US Navy.  For a number of years, African American men comprised from 10-20% of the Navy.[xxviii]


September 21, 1814

General Andrew Jackson allows enlistment of Black soldiers in the defense of New Orleans against the British.  Jackson issues this statement: “To the free colored inhabitants of Louisiana…Brave fellow citizens…sons of freedom…to rally around the standard of the eagle, to defend all which is dear in existence.”  Jackson offers free Blacks equal pay and allotment of 160 acres of land for their service.[xxix]


October 1814

New York state legislature allows for the recruitment of 2,000 Black soldiers.[xxx]


January 8, 1815

Six hundred African American troops aid in the defense of New Orleans, in a significant victory over the British Army.[xxxi]


February 18, 1820

The US Army issues order as follows: “No Negro or Mulatto will be received as a recruit of the Army.”[xxxii]



US Army regulations restrict enlistment to “all free white male persons.”  African Americans are now excluded, without exception, from the Army.  Blacks are, however, allowed to serve as servants and laborers. [xxxiii]



The Secretary of the Navy limits Blacks to five percent of the overall service.  This remains the same until the outbreak of the Civil War.[xxxiv]



William Cooper Nell, an African American and active abolitionist, writes a pamphlet on the history of Blacks in the American Revolution and the War of 1812.[xxxv]



The National Colored Convention, held in Rochester, New York, calls for ending the prohibition of Blacks from serving in the militia.[xxxvi]



Vermont passes an anti-kidnapping law.

Militant abolitionist John Brown begins plans to create an organization comprised of armed guerrillas to fight slavery.

Kansas and Wisconsin state legislatures pass personal liberty laws designed to shield fugitive slaves from capture.

Republican Party gains new seats in the U.S. Congress.

Former slave and abolitionist William Wells Brown publishes his play, “The Escape; or, A Leap for Freedom.”

Abraham Lincoln is on the Board of Managers of the Illinois Colonization Society.[xxxvii]

Massachusetts state legislatures passes bill allowing Blacks to serve in the state militia.[xxxviii]


May 24, 1858

Abolitionist leader, lawyer, Ellis Gray Loring, dies.  He is one of the founders of the New England Anti-Slavery Society.  Loring aided fugitive slaves in his home and in courts.


June 16, 1858

Abraham Lincoln is nominated as Republican Senatorial candidate for Illinois.  He delivers speech: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.  I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.  I do not expect the Union to be dissolved.  I do not expect the house to fall, but I do expect it will case to be divided.”[xxxix]


August 2, 1858

Voters in Kansas vote for the territory to become a free territory.  It becomes a free state in 1861.


August 21-October 15, 1858

Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas have seven debates while campaigning for U.S. Senator from Illinois.  Lincoln opposes slavery in the debates.[xl]


October 1858

Abraham Lincoln declares in the seventh and last of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, in Alton, Illinois, that the Democratic Party wants to “dehumanize the negro—to take away from him the right of ever striving to be a man … to make property, and nothing but property of the Negro in all the states of this Union.”[xli]  “That is the real issue.  That is the issue that will continue in this country when these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent.  It is the eternal struggle between these two principles—right and wrong—throughout the world. … The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings. … It is the same spirit that says, ‘You work and toil and earn bread, and I’ll eat it.’  No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.”[xlii]


November 6, 1858

Samuel Eli Cornish, African American leader and abolitionist, dies.



Abraham Lincoln has gone on record for five years opposing the extension of slavery to the territories, since his Peoria, Illinois, speech in 1854.


February 1859

State legislature in Arkansas enacts laws that will enslave free Blacks residing in the state.


March 7, 1859

The United States Supreme Court rules in Ableman v. Booth case.  It upholds the constitutionality of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.


March 13, 1859

Arnold Buffum, abolitionist leader and founder of Anti-Slavery Societies, dies.


October 4, 1859

Kansas Territorial voters ratify a new anti-slavery constitution.


October 16-17, 1859

John Brown leads an attack on the U.S. Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia.  The attack is quickly put down.  Brown and several of his followers are captured.


December 2, 1859

John Brown is hanged along with four of his Black soldiers in Charleston, Virginia.


December 14, 1859

Georgia makes it illegal to manumit slaves through a last will and testament.


December 17, 1859

Georgia passes law permitting free Blacks convicted of vagrancy to be sold into slavery.


December 19, 1859

In his message to Congress, President James Buchanan states opposition to legalizing the importation of African slaves.




There are 31,443,321 people living in the United States.  The North has 19,127,948. The South has 12,315,373 people.  The 1860 Census shows 3,953,760 slaves and 487,970 free Blacks in the United States.  There is an increase of 23.39% in slave population compared to 1850.  The total Black population is 4,441,730, representing 14.1% of the total U.S. population.[xliii]

The slave populations by state in the South are:  Alabama:  435,080; Arkansas:  111,115; Florida:  61,745; Georgia:  462,198; Louisiana:  331,726; Mississippi:  436,631; North Carolina:  331,059; South Carolina:  402,406; Tennessee:  275,719; Texas:  182,566; Virginia:  490,865.   According to the Constitution, enslaved individuals are counted as three-fifths of a person for tallying representation in the U.S. House of Representatives.  These states have 45 congressional representatives and 14 senators.  The enslaved individuals residing in the South give the South disproportionate representation in Congress.  The reason that the slave states can dictate national policy is the direct result of the millions of enslaved individuals living within their borders.[xliv]

There are an estimated 60,000 Blacks residing in upper Canada.  45,000 are fugitive slaves from the U.S.[xlv]

The price of a field hand slave is approximately $1,200-1,800.


February 27, 1860

Abraham Lincoln delivers his famous Cooper Union speech in New York City.[xlvi]




March 5, 1860

Lincoln delivers speech in Hartford, Connecticut.  It is printed in the Hartford Daily Courant on March 6.[xlvii]  He declares, “One-sixth of the population of the United States is slave. One man of every six, one woman of every six, one child of every six, is a slave. Those who own them look upon them as property, and nothing else. They contemplate them as property, and speak of them as such. The slaves have the same ``property quality,'' in the minds of their owners, as any other property. The entire value of the slave population of the United States, is, at a moderate estimate, not less than $2,000,000,000. This amount of property has a vast influence upon the minds of those who own it.”[xlviii]  … “For instance, out in the street, or in the field, or on the prairie I find a rattlesnake. I take a stake and kill him. Everybody would applaud the act and say I did right. But suppose the snake was in a bed where children were sleeping. Would I do right to strike him there? I might hurt the children; or I might not kill, but only arouse and exasperate the snake, and he might bite the children. Thus, by meddling with him here, I would do more hurt than good. Slavery is like this. We dare not strike at it where it is. The manner in which our constitution is framed constrains us from making war upon it where it already exists. The question that we now have to deal with is, ‘Shall we be acting right to take this snake and carry it to a bed where there are children?’ The Republican party insists upon keeping it out of the bed.”[xlix] … “The Republicans want to see all parts of the Union in harmony with one another. Let us do our duty, but let us look to what our duty is, and do nothing except after due deliberation. Let us determine, if we can, what will satisfy the South. Will they be satisfied that we surrender the territories to them unconditionally? No. If we promise never to instigate an invasion upon slavery? No. Equally without avail is the fact that they have found nothing to detect us in doing them any wrong. What then? We must say that slavery is right; we must vote for Douglas's new Sedition laws; we must withdraw our statement that slavery is wrong. If a slave runs away, they overlook the natural causes which impelled him to the act; do not remember the oppression or the lashes he received, but charge us with instigating him to flight. If he screams when whipped, they say it is not caused by the pains he suffers, but he screams because we instigate him to outcrying. We do let them alone, to be sure, but they object to our saying anything against their system. They do not ask us to change our free State constitutions, but they will yet do that. After demanding what they do, and as they do, they cannot stop short of this. They may be justified in this, believing, as they do, that slavery is right, and a social blessing. We cannot act otherwise than we do, believing that slavery is wrong. If it is right, we may not contract its limits. If it is wrong, they cannot ask us to extend it. Upon these different views, hinges the whole controversy. Thinking it right, they are justified in asking its protection; thinking it wrong, we cannot consent to vote for it, or to let it extend itself. If our sense of duty forbids this extension, let us do that duty. This contrivance of a middle ground is such that he who occupies it is neither a dead or a living man. Their ‘Union’ contrivances are not for us, for they reverse the scriptural order and call the righteous, not sinners to repentance. They ask men who never had an aspiration except for the Union, to swear fealty to the Union. Let us not be slandered from our duties, or intimidated from preserving our dignity and our rights by any menace; but let us have faith that Right, Eternal Right makes might, and as we understand our duty, so do it!”[l]

In a speech at Hartford, Connecticut, reported the next day in the Evening Press, Lincoln said: “Public opinion at the South regards slaves as property and insists upon treating them like other property. / On the other hand, the free states carry on their government on the principle of the equality of men. We think slavery is morally wrong, and a direct violation of that principle. We all think it wrong. It is clearly proved, I think, by natural theology, apart from revelation. Every man, black, white or yellow, has a mouth to be fed and two hands with which to feed it---and that bread should be allowed to go to that mouth without controversy. (Applause.)”[li]  He further stated, “If slavery is right, it ought to be extended; if not, it ought to be restricted---there is no middle ground. Wrong as we think it, we can afford to let it alone where it of necessity now exists; but we cannot afford to extend it into free territory and around our own homes. Let us stand against it! / The “Union” arrangements are all a humbug---they reverse the scriptural order, calling the righteous and not sinners to repentance. Let us not be slandered or intimidated to turn from our duty. Eternal right makes might---as we understand our duty, let us do it!”[lii]


March 6, 1860

In a speech at New Haven, Connecticut, reported the next day in the New Haven Daily Palladium, Lincoln said:  “To us it appears natural to think that slaves are human beings; men, not property; that some of the things, at least, stated about men in the Declaration of Independence apply to them as well as to us. [Applause.] I say, we think, most of us, that this Charter of Freedom applies to the slave as well as to ourselves ….  We think Slavery a great moral wrong, and while we do not claim the right to touch it where it exists, we wish to treat it as a wrong in the Territories, where our votes will reach it. We think that a respect for ourselves, a regard for future generations and for the God that made us, require that we put down this wrong where our votes will properly reach it. We think that species of labor an injury to free white men---in short, we think Slavery a great moral, social and political evil, tolerable only because, and so far as its actual existence makes it necessary to tolerate it, and that beyond that, it ought to be treated as a wrong.”[liii]  Lincoln further stated: “It is easy to demonstrate that ‘our Fathers, who framed this government under which we live,’ looked on Slavery as wrong, and so framed it and everything about it as to square with the idea that it was wrong, so far as the necessities arising from its existence permitted. In forming the Constitution they found the slave trade existing; capital invested in it; fields depending upon it for labor, and the whole system resting upon the importation of slave-labor. They therefore did not prohibit the slave trade at once, but they gave the power to prohibit it after twenty years. Why was this? What other foreign trade did they treat in that way? Would they have done this if they had not thought slavery wrong? / Another thing was done by some of the same men who framed the Constitution, and afterwards adopted as their own act by the first Congress held under that Constitution, of which many of the framers were members; they prohibited the spread of Slavery into Territories. Thus the same men, the framers of the Constitution, cut off the supply and prohibited the spread of Slavery, and both acts show conclusively that they considered that the thing was wrong. / If additional proof is wanting it can be found in the phraseology of the Constitution. When men are framing a supreme law and chart of government, to secure blessings and prosperity to untold generations yet to come, they use language as short and direct and plain as can be found, to express their meaning. In all matters but this of Slavery the framers of the Constitution used the very clearest, shortest, and most direct language. But the Constitution alludes to Slavery three times without mentioning it once! The language used becomes ambiguous, roundabout, and mystical. They speak of the ‘immigration of persons,’ and mean the importation of slaves, but do not say so. In establishing a basis of representation they say ‘all other persons,’ when they mean to say slaves---why did they not use the shortest phrase? In providing for the return of fugitives they say ‘persons held to service or labor.’ If they had said slaves it would have been plainer, and less liable to misconstruction. Why didn't they do it. We cannot doubt that it was done on purpose. Only one reason is possible, and that is supplied us by one of the framers of the Constitution---and it is not possible for man to conceive of any other---they expected and desired that the system would come to an end, and meant that when it did, the Constitution should not show that there ever had been a slave in this good free country of ours!”[liv]  He also stated, “I want every man to have the chance---and I believe a black man is entitled to it---in which he can better his condition ---when he may look forward and hope to be a hired laborer this year and the next, work for himself afterward, and finally to hire men to work for him! That is the true system.”[lv]  He further stated, “So long as we call Slavery wrong, whenever a slave runs away they will overlook the obvious fact that he ran because he was oppressed, and declare he was stolen off. Whenever a master cuts his slaves with the lash, and they cry out under it, he will overlook the obvious fact that the negroes cry out because they are hurt…”[lvi]


March 8, 1860

Lincoln delivers “powerful” speech in Woonsocket.[lvii]


May 9, 1860

In Baltimore, Maryland, the Constitutional Union Party is founded.


May 16-18, 1860

Republican Party holds its nominating convention in Chicago. It nominates Abraham Lincoln as its presidential candidate.  The Party platform opposes the future expansion of slavery into the new western territories.[lviii]


May 19, 1860

Lincoln receives notice he has been nominated.[lix]


May 21, 1860

Lincoln sends note to prominent Ohio abolitionist and associate congressman Joshua Giddings: “It is indeed, most grateful to my feelings, that the responsible position assigned me, comes without conditions, save only such honorable ones as are fairly implied. I am not wanting in the purpose, though I may fail in the strength, to maintain my freedom from bad influences. Your letter comes to my aid in this point, most opportunely. May the Almighty grant that the cause of truth, justice, and humanity, shall in no wise suffer at my hands.”[lx]


May 23, 1860

Lincoln accepts nomination as presidential candidate of the Republican Party.  He writes to George Ashmun, President of the convention: “Imploring the assistance of Divine Providence, and with due regard to the views and feelings of all who were represented in the convention; to the rights of all the states, and territories, and people of the nation; to the inviolability of the constitution, and the perpetual union, harmony, and prosperity of all, I am most happy to co-operate for the practical success of the principles declared by the convention. Your obliged friend, and fellow citizen.”[lxi]


June 18-23, 1860

The Democratic Party nominates Stephan A. Douglas as its presidential candidate at its convention in Charleston, South Carolina.


November 6, 1860

Abraham Lincoln is elected the Sixteenth President of the United States, Hannibal Hamlin, Vice President.  They are elected from the Republican Party.  They receive 1,866,452 votes and win in 17 of 33 states.  Lincoln is elected President by a minority of only 40% of the popular vote.[lxii]


December 4, 1860

President James Buchanan gives report on the State of the Union.  About the abolition of slavery, he states, “The long-continued and intemperate interference of the Northern people with the question of slavery in the Southern states has at length produced its natural effects.”  He counsels against secession by declaring “The election of any one of our fellow-citizens to the office of President does not of itself afford just cause for dissolving the Union.”[lxiii]


December 10, 1860

President-Elect Lincoln writes, “Let there be no compromise on the question of extending slavery.  If there be, all our labor is lost, and, ere long, must be done again… The tug has to come & better now, than any time hereafter.”[lxiv]


December 11, 1860

President elect Lincoln writes to William Kellogg, “Entertain no proposition for a compromise in regard to the extension of slavery. The instant you do, they have us under again; all our labor is lost, and sooner or later must be done over. Douglas is sure to be again trying to bring in his ‘Pop. Sov.’ Have none of it. The tug has to come & better now than later. / You know I think the fugitive slave clause of the constitution ought to be enforced---to put it on the mildest form, ought not to be resisted.”[lxv]

New York Herald reports about secession, “The president elect prepared for the inevitable calamity, and his plans of action, it is said, are being adapted to it.[lxvi]


December 13, 1860

Lincoln writes to Elihu B. Washburne, “Prevent, as far as possible, any of our friends from demoralizing themselves, and our cause, by entertaining propositions for compromise of any sort, on ‘slavery extension.’ There is no possible compromise upon it, but which puts us under again, and leaves all our work to do over again.”[lxvii]


December 15, 1860

President-Elect Lincoln writes to Congressman John Gilmer, of North Carolina, “I have no thought of recommending the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, nor the slave trade among the slave states, even on the conditions indicated; and if I were to make such recommendation, it is quite clear Congress would not follow it.”  He further writes, “You think slavery is right and ought to be extended; we think it is wrong and ought to be restricted.  For this, neither has any just occasion to be angry with the other.”[lxviii]


December 17, 1860

Lincoln writes to Congressman Thurlow Weed, “My opinion is that no state can in any way lawfully get out of this Union, without the consent of the others; and that is the duty of the president and other government functionaries to run the machine as it is.”[lxix]


December 18, 1860

Senator John J. Crittenden, of Kentucky, proposes a “compromise” to prevent southern states from seceding from the Union.  It states, in part, that “…no amendment should be made which would give Congress power to abolish or interfere with slavery in states where state laws permitted it.”[lxx]


December 20, 1860

By a vote of 169 to 0, South Carolina secedes from the Union.[lxxi]


December 22, 1860

Lincoln writes to Alexander H. Stephens, the future vice-president of the Confederacy: “You think slavery is right and ought to be extended; while we think it is wrong and ought to be restricted. That I suppose is the rub. It certainly is the only substantial difference between us.”[lxxii]



A slave girl, Harriet Jacobs, publishes influential slave narrative, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.


January 8, 1861

President Buchanan calls for the Congress to pass and adopt the Compromise of Senator Crittenden.  He states, “Let us pause at this momentous point and afford the people both North and South, an opportunity for reflection…  Let the question be transferred from the political assemblies to the ballot box.”[lxxiii]


January 9, 1861

At a state convention, Mississippi votes 84 to 15 to secede from the Union.  It is the second southern state to do so.[lxxiv]


January 10, 1861

At a state convention, Florida votes 62 to 7 to secede from the Union.  It is the third southern state to do so.[lxxv]

William H. Seward, a political leader and abolitionist, accepts post of Secretary of State in President-Elect Lincoln’s cabinet.[lxxvi]


January 11, 1861

At a state convention at Montgomery, Alabama votes 61 to 39 to secede.  It is the fourth southern state to do so.[lxxvii]

Lincoln writes to Republican Congressman J. T. Hale, “We have just carried an election on principles fairly stated to the people.  Now we are told in advance, the government shall be broken up, unless we surrender to those we have beaten, before we take the offices… If we surrender, it is the end of us, and of the government.”  He further writes, “There is, in my judgment, but one compromise which would really settle the slavery question, and that would be a prohibition against acquiring any more territory.”[lxxviii]

Senator Seward, of New York says, in a speech before the Senate, “The alarm is appalling; for the Union is not more the body than liberty is the soul of the nation… A continuance of the debate on the constitutional power of Congress over the subject of slavery in the Territories will not save the Union.  The Union cannot be saved by proving that secession is illegal or unconstitutional… I do not know what the Union would be worth if saved by the use of the sword.”[lxxix]


January 12, 1861

An amendment protecting slavery is adopted in the Congress.  It fails, however, to be ratified by the states.  Senator Seward of New York says, in speech before the Senate, “The alarm is appalling; for the Union is not more the body than liberty is the soul of the nation… A continuance…”[lxxx]


January 16, 1861

The proposed Crittenden Compromise is voted down in the U.S. Senate.[lxxxi]


January 19, 1861

At a state convention in Milledgeville, the state of Georgia votes 208-89 to secede from the Union.  It is the fifth southern state to do so.  However, some prominent state political leaders oppose secession.[lxxxii]


January 21, 1861

The New York state legislature pledges support for the Union.


January 23, 1861

The Massachusetts state legislature pledges its support for the Union.


January 24, 1861

The Pennsylvania state legislature pledges its support for the Union.


January 26, 1861

The state of Louisiana, at a convention in Baton Rouge, votes 113 to 17 to leave the Union.  It is the sixth state to do so.[lxxxiii]


January 29, 1861

Congress votes to admit Kansas as the 34th state.  Its constitution prohibits slavery in the new state.[lxxxiv]


February 1, 1861

The state of Texas votes in the capital in Austin, 166 to 7, to leave the Union.[lxxxv]

President elect Lincoln writes to Secretary of State designate Seward.  He refuses to compromise on the extension of slavery into the territories: “I say now, however, as I have all the while said, that on the territorial question---that is, the question of extending slavery under the national auspices,---I am inflexible. I am for no compromise which assists or permits the extension of the institution on soil owned by the nation. And any trick by which the nation is to acquire territory, and then allow some local authority to spread slavery over it, is as obnoxious as any other. / I take it that to effect some such result as this, and to put us again on the high-road to a slave empire is the object of all these proposed compromises. I am against it.[lxxxvi]


February 4-9, 1861

Seven of the southern states that seceded meet in Montgomery, Alabama, and adopt provisional confederate constitution on February 9.  They elect Senator Jefferson Davis as provisional president.[lxxxvii]


February 11, 1861

Lincoln leaves by train for Washington, DC.  The trip lasts 12 days and is 2,000 miles.  He makes more than 100 spontaneous speeches at various state capitols and towns.


February 15, 1861

Lincoln gives speech in Cleveland, Ohio.  He says, “I am convinced that the cause of liberty and the Union can never be in danger. Frequent allusion is made to the excitement at present existing in our national politics, and it is as well that I should also allude to it here. I think that there is no occasion for any excitement. The crisis, as it is called, is altogether an artificial crisis. In all parts of the nation there are differences of opinion and politics. There are differences of opinion even here. You did not all vote for the person who now addresses you. What is happening now will not hurt those who are farther away from here. Have they not all their rights now as they ever have had? Do they not have their fugitive slaves returned now as ever? Have they not the same constitution that they have lived under for seventy odd years? Have they not a position as citizens of this common country, and have we any power to change that position? (Cries of ``No.'') What then is the matter with them? Why all this excitement? Why all these complaints? As I said before, this crisis is all artificial. It has no foundation in facts.”[lxxxviii]


February 18, 1861

Jefferson Davis describes slavery as “necessary to self-preservation” in his inaugural address as President of the Confederacy.[lxxxix]


February 21, 1861

Lincoln addresses New Jersey Senate in Trenton: “…in my childhood, the earliest days of my being able to read, I got hold of a small book, such a one as few of the younger members have ever seen, ‘Weem's Life of Washington.’ I remember all the accounts there given of the battle fields and struggles for the liberties of the country, and none fixed themselves upon my imagination so deeply as the struggle here at Trenton, New-Jersey. The crossing of the river; the contest with the Hessians; the great hardships endured at that time, all fixed themselves on my memory more than any single revolutionary event; and you all know, for you have all been boys, how these early impressions last longer than any others. I recollect thinking then, boy even though I was, that there must have been something more than common that those men struggled for. I am exceedingly anxious that that thing which they struggled for; that something even more than National Independence; that something that held out a great promise to all the people of the world to all time to come; I am exceedingly anxious that this Union, the Constitution, and the liberties of the people shall be perpetuated in accordance with the original idea for which that struggle was made.”[xc]


February 22, 1861

In a speech in Philadelphia, Lincoln declares, “I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence…  In my view of the present aspect of affairs, there is no need of bloodshed and war.”[xci]


February 23, 1861

Texas voters approve referendum to secede from the Union, 34,794 to 11,235 in favor.[xcii]


March 1861

The vice president of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens, states that his government “rested upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man, that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is a natural and normal condition… our new Government, is the first in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”


March 2, 1861

The United States Congress passes a proposed constitutional amendment that the U.S. government would not “abolish or interfere…with the domestic institutions” of the states.  This amendment is not ratified.[xciii]


March 4, 1861

Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated, in Washington City, as President of the United States.  He states, in his inaugural address, “I hold, that in contemplation of universal law, and of the Constitution, the Union of these States is perpetual. …It follows from these views that no State, upon its own mere motion, can lawfully get out of the Union,--that resolves and ordnances to that effect are legally void;… I therefore consider that in view of the Constitution and the laws, the Union is unbroken; and, to the extent of my ability, I shall take care,… that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. … In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence; and there shall be none unless it be forced upon the national authority. … One section of our country believes slavery is right, and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong, and ought not to be extended. … I have no purpose… to interfere with the institution of slavery…  In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not mine, is the momentous issue of civil war.  The government will not assail you.  You can have no conflict, without being yourselves the aggressors.  You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to ‘preserve, protect and defend’ it.”[xciv]


April 12, 1861

Start of the Civil War in the United States.  Confederate Army begins the shelling of the U.S. Army garrison at Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.


April 15, 1861

Lincoln calls for 75,000 troops to enlist for three months.  Black men who seek to volunteer for the Union Army are turned back.[xcv]


April 17, 1861

General Benjamin F. Butler is replaced as commander of the Union Department of Virginia, headquartered at Fortress Monroe.[xcvi]


May 13, 1861

United Kingdom issues Proclamation of Neutrality in the war.[xcvii]

Union troops occupy Baltimore, Maryland.


May 20, 1861

North Carolina secedes from the Union.[xcviii]


May 22, 1861

Union General Benjamin F. Butler assumes command of Fortress Monroe on the James River in Virginia, near Norfolk.[xcix]


May 23, 1861

Three enslaved individuals escape to Fortress Monroe.  Butler gives them sanctuary and refuses to return them to their owners.  He refuses to abide by the Federal Fugitive Slave Act.  Butler asserts that it did not apply because it “did not affect a foreign country, which Virginia claimed to be.”[c]

Virginia votes three to one to approve secession from the Union.[ci]


May 24, 1861

Union General Benjamin F. Butler declares fugitive slaves to be “contraband of war.”  Fugitive slaves who escape to Fort Monroe, Virginia, are put to work for the Union.[cii]

Federal troops enter and occupy Alexandria, Virginia.[ciii]


May 27, 1861

Forty-seven escaped slaves arrive at Fortress Monroe.  They call it “Freedom Fort.”  General Butler puts them to work.  He requests a decision from Washington regarding his actions.  Lincoln approves of General Butler’s policy, calling it “Butler’s fugitive slave law.”[civ]


June 3, 1861

Senator Stephan A. Douglas dies.[cv]


June 4, 1861

Southern newspapers recommend that slaves be utilized in Confederate fortification, in lieu of state volunteer forces.[cvi]


July 21, 1861

Battle of Bull Run, or Blackburn’s Ford, in Virginia.  Union forces driven back in a rout.  It is the first major battle of the Civil War.  460 Federals are killed and 387 confederates.[cvii]


July 22, 1861

The Union is shocked over its defeat at Bull Run.  Major General George B. McClellan is given command of the Army.[cviii]

The United States Senate declares that the war was being fought “to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and to preserve the Union,” and that “this war is not waged… for any purpose… of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions… [of the] southern states.”  Congress thus declares that the principle war aim is to preserve the Union.  Lincoln supports the resolution.  It passes the House 117 to 2, and the Senate, on July 25, 30 to 5.[cix]


July 27, 1861

Major General McClellan is given command of the Division of the Potomac by Lincoln.[cx]


July 29, 1861

President Lincoln approves Congressional bill to call up the state militias to fight the Rebellion.  It amends the 1795 Militia Act.  The Regular Army is enlarged by 11 regiments.[cxi]


July 30, 1861

More than 850 enslaved individual escape to Fortress Monroe.[cxii]

General Benjamin Butler seeks to declare escaped slaves freed.  He writes to Secretary of War Cameron, “In a loyal State I would put down a servile insurrection.  In a state of rebellion I would confiscate that which was used to oppose my arms, and take all that property, which constituted the wealth of that State, and furnished the means by which the war is prosecuted, besides being the cause of the war; and if, in so doing, it should be objected that human beings were brought to the free enjoyment of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, such objection might not require much consideration.”[cxiii]


August 1861

Daniel R. Goodloe, an abolitionist and correspondent for the New York Times, writes Emancipation and the War: Compensation Essential to Peace and Civilization.[cxiv]


August 1, 1861

The U.S. Senate debates a proposed bill to end the insurrection.[cxv]


August 2, 1861

The United States Congress passes the first national income tax bill.  It calls for new and higher tariffs.[cxvi]


August 6, 1861

U.S. Congress ends its 34-day special session.

The U.S. Congress passes the First Confiscation Act.  This act authorizes the freeing of slaves in areas of Union Army occupation and where slaves have been employed to support the Confederate military.[cxvii]


August 8, 1861

Secretary of War Simeon Cameron writes General Butler regarding federal policy toward returning slaves who have entered Union lines.  Butler determines that escaped slaves from Confederate states would not be returned.[cxviii]


August 10, 1861

Battle of Wilson’s Creek is fought in area southwest of Springfield, Missouri.  It is a Union defeat.  1317 Union casualties; Confederate casualties, 1230.[cxix]


August 16, 1861

Lincoln declares that the people of the Confederate states “are in a state of insurrection against the United States, and that all commercial intercourse” between Union and Confederates states is illegal.[cxx]


August 30, 1861

Major General John C. Frémont invokes martial law within his military command in Missouri.  Further, he issues a proclamation that frees slaves within his military jurisdiction.  He confiscates the property of “those who shall take up arms against the United States” and declares that “their slaves, if any they have, are hereby declared free men.”  Northern abolitionists support the order.  He has no authorization to issue these orders.  On September 11, Lincoln overrules his decisions.  Frémont refuses to comply, and is ordered by the President to nullify his orders.  Frémont is then reassigned.[cxxi]


September 2, 1861

President Lincoln requests that General Frémont “modify” his emancipation proclamation of August 30, 1861.  Lincoln declares it “will alarm our Southern Union friends, and turn them against us—perhaps ruin our rather fair prospects for Kentucky.”[cxxii]  Lincoln is fearful of losing Kentucky to the Confederacy.


September 3, 1861

Confederate military units invade Kentucky.  The action ends the “neutrality” of the states.[cxxiii]


September 10, 1861

Mrs. John C. Frémont meets with President Lincoln in order to persuade him to support General Frémont’s emancipation and confiscation proclamation of August 30.[cxxiv]


September 17, 1861

An old friend of Lincoln, Orville H. Browning, writes to the President regarding his approval of General John C. Frémont’s proclamation freeing enslaved individuals in his jurisdiction in Missouri.  He writes that the proclamation had “the unqualified approval of every true friend of the Government … I do not know of an exception.”[cxxv]


September 22, 1861

President Lincoln replies to Orville H. Browning letter of September 17, 1861.  Lincoln explains his lack of support for General Frémont’s action regarding freeing of enslaved individuals in his department.  Lincoln writes, “Yours of the 17th is just received; and coming from you, I confess it astonishes me. That you should object to my adhering to a law, which you had assisted in making, and presenting to me, less than a month before, is odd enough. But this is a very small part. Genl. Fremont's proclamation, as to confiscation of property, and the liberation of slaves, is purely political, and not within the range of military law, or necessity.”[cxxvi]  Lincoln further explains that to support Frémont’s order would jeopardize Kentucky and Missouri loyalty to the Union.  He states: “I think to lose Kentucky is nearly the same as to lose the whole game. Kentucky gone, we can not hold Missouri, nor, as I think, Maryland. These all against us, and the job on our hands is too large for us. We would as well consent to separation at once, including the surrender of this capitol.”[cxxvii]


September 23, 1861

John L. Scripps, a Lincoln biographer, writes the President, “‘This nation cannot endure part slave and part free.’ … To you sir has been accorded a higher privilege than was ever before vouchsafed to man.  The success of free institutions rests with you.  The destiny not alone of four millions of enslaved men and women, but of the great American people … is committed to your keeping.  You must either make yourself the great central figure of our American history for all time to come, or your name will go down to posterity as one who … proved himself unequal to the grand trust.”[cxxviii]


September 25, 1861

Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Wells, authorizes the enlistment of enslaved Black persons into the U.S. Navy.  Eventually, 30,000 African Americans would serve in the ranks of the Navy (among 118,000 enlistments overall during the Civil War).  Four African American men of the Navy would receive the Medal of Honor. [cxxix]


October 1, 1861

Senator Charles Sumner declares his support for emancipation of enslaved individuals at a state Republican convention.[cxxx]


October 14, 1861

To prevent subversion of the Union cause, President Lincoln authorizes General Winfield Scott to suspend the right of writ of habeas corpus between Bangor, Maine, and Washington, DC.[cxxxi]


October 21, 1861

Battle of Ball’s Bluff on Leesburg, Virginia.  It is a Union defeat.  Union casualties are 921, Confederate are 155.[cxxxii]


October 24, 1861

In Wheeling, citizens of western Virginia vote in favor of forming a new state.[cxxxiii]


November 1861

President Lincoln proposes plan for gradual, compensated emancipation of slaves in Delaware, which would be supported by the federal government.  Lincoln drafts two bills to be entered into the state legislature.  The bills, however, are not introduced.  Slavery remains in Delaware until the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in December 1865.[cxxxiv]


November 2, 1861

Major General John C. Frémont is removed from his command of the Western Department.  Major General Hunter is placed in temporary command.[cxxxv]


November 6, 1861

Jefferson Davis is elected without opposition as President of the Confederate States.  Members of the Confederate Congress are also selected.[cxxxvi]


November 7, 1861

Battle of Port Royal Sound, South Carolina.[cxxxvii]


November 15, 1861

Historian George Bancroft writes President Lincoln that “Divine Providence” caused the war to “root out social slavery.”  Lincoln writes back that it “does not escape my attention, and with which I must deal in all due caution, and with the best judgment I can bring to it.”[cxxxviii]


November 28, 1861

Federal authorities order the confiscation of all crops in Port Royal Sound area.  Formerly enslaved individuals are to be utilized in harvesting them and to work on Union Army installations and defensive works.[cxxxix]

The North celebrates a Day of Thanksgiving.[cxl]


December 1861

Petitions, resolutions and bills to abolish slavery in states “in rebellion” are introduced into the United States Congress.  Thomas Eliot, of Massachusetts, submits a resolution asking Lincoln, under the War Powers provision of the Constitution, to free enslaved individuals in the rebellious states.  Congressman Owen Lovejoy calls for allowing Blacks to serve in the Union Army.  Additionally, there are resolutions to repeal the Fugitive Slave Act.[cxli]


December 3, 1861

President Lincoln sends annual message to Congress.  He writes, “…A disloyal portion of the American people have, during the whole year, been engaged in an attempt to divide and destroy the Union. … The Union must be preserved, and hence, all indispensable means must be employed.  We should not be in haste to determine that radical and extreme measures, which may reach the loyal as well as the disloyal, are indispensable.”[cxlii]  Lincoln recommends official program of compensated emancipation and colonization of individuals freed from slavery.[cxliii]



Treaty signed between United States and Great Britain for the suppression of the slave trade (African Slave Trade Treaty Act).


January 1862

The United States Congress continues the debate on emancipating enslaved individuals, colonization, and compensation of slaveholders.  Radical Republicans continue to submit petitions and bills to this effect.[cxliv]


January 12, 1862

Union Secretary of War Simon Cameron resigns.  Lincoln accepts his resignation.[cxlv]


January 13, 1862

President Lincoln announces his nomination of Edwin M. Stanton as the new Secretary of War.  Stanton is an opponent of slavery.[cxlvi]


January 15, 1862

The United States Senate confirms the appointment of Edwin M. Stanton as Secretary of War.[cxlvii]


February 6, 1862

Confederate forces surrender Fort Henry, Tennessee.  It is a major Union victory.[cxlviii]


February 8, 1862

Union victory in the Battle of Roanoke Island, North Carolina.[cxlix]


February 13-16, 1862

A Union victory in the Battle of Fort Donelson, in Tennessee.[cl]


February 25, 1862

The Union Army enters and occupies Nashville, Tennessee, the state capitol.  It is a vital base of operations for the Union for the rest of the war.[cli]


March 1862

President Lincoln writes to newspaper editor and abolitionist Horace Greeley that the primary war aim of the United States is saving the Union, and “not either to save or destroy slavery.”


March 6, 1862

Abraham Lincoln sends message to the U.S. Congress proposing a plan of gradual, compensated emancipation in the loyal slave states.  It states, “I recommend the adoption of a Joint Resolution by your honorable bodies which shall be substantially as follows: ‘Resolved that the United States ought to co-operate with any state which may adopt gradual abolishment of slavery, giving to such state pecuniary aid, to be used by such state in it's discretion, to compensate for the inconveniences public and private, produced by such change of system.’” [clii]  The proposal is very quickly approved by Congress.  Many of the New York papers endorse the proposal.  Lincoln makes the goal of ending slavery in the United States an official policy.  The abolitionist community also enthusiastically supports the proposal.[cliii]


March 9, 1862

President Lincoln discusses possible conference on gradual compensated emancipation with Congressman Blair.[cliv]

President Lincoln comments to Congressman Henry Raymond on the subject of the cost of compensated emancipation: “My dear Sir: I am grateful to the New-York Journals, and not less so to the Times than to others, for their kind notices of the late special Message to Congress. Your paper, however, intimates that the proposition, though well-intentioned, must fail on the score of expense. I do hope you will reconsider this. Have you noticed the facts that less than one half-day's cost of this war would pay for all the slaves in Delaware, at four hundred dollars per head?---that eighty-seven days cost of this war would pay for all in Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Kentucky, and Missouri at the same price? Were those states to take the step, do you doubt that it would shorten the war more than eighty-seven days, and thus be an actual saving of expense. Please look at these things, and consider whether there should not be another article in the Times?”[clv]


March 13, 1862

President Lincoln approves an act of the Congress that prohibits Union Army commanders from returning captured or fugitive slaves to their owners (except for loyal slave states).  It supersedes the Fugitive Slave Act.[clvi]


March 14, 1862

Union Army, under Major General Ambrose Burnside, captures New Berne, North Carolina.


March 24, 1862

President Lincoln writes to editor of the New York Tribune and abolitionist Horace Greeley regarding his support of gradual, compensated emancipation: “I am grateful for the generous sentiments and purposes expressed towards the administration. Of course I am anxious to see the policy proposed in the late special message, go forward; but you have advocated it from the first, so that I need to say little to you on the subject. If I were to suggest anything it would be that as the North are already for the measure, we should urge it persuasively, and not menacingly, upon the South. I am a little uneasy about the abolishment of slavery in this District, not but I would be glad to see it abolished, but as to the time and manner of doing it. If some one or more of the border-states would move fast, I should greatly prefer it; but if this can not be in a reasonable time, I would like the bill to have the three main features---gradual---compensation---and vote of the people---I do not talk to members of congress on the subject, except when they ask me. I am not prepared to make any suggestion about confiscation. I may drop you a line hereafter.”[clvii]

Horace Greeley, publisher of the New York Tribune, agrees to endorse gradual compensated emancipation of slaves.[clviii]

United States Congress debates issue of compensated emancipation.[clix]


Late March 1862

Lincoln discusses his proposal for gradual compensated emancipation with abolitionist leader Wendell Phillips.  Lincoln tells Phillips, “the negro who has once touched the hem of the government’s garment shall never again be a slave.”[clx]


April 2, 1862

On Lincoln’s recommendation, U.S. Senate passes resolution calling for gradual compensated abolition of slavery.[clxi]


April 3, 1862

Union General David Dard Hunter requests permission from the Army to recruit Black men from the South Carolina Sea Islands for service in the military.  The War Department does not respond, and he begins recruiting Black soldiers on his own authority.


April 5, 1862

The Union Army, under General McClellan, begins setting up siege lines in front of Yorktown, Virginia.[clxii]

Lincoln supports bill abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia.[clxiii]


April 6-7, 1862

Battle of Pittsburg Landing (Shiloh), Tennessee.  It is a limited Union victory, with 13,047 Union casualties, 10,694 Confederate.[clxiv]


April 7, 1862

United States House of Representatives appoints a Committee on Emancipation and Colonization of Blacks.[clxv]

Lincoln signs treaty with England for the Suppression of the International African Slave Trade.  He transmits the treaty to the Senate for ratification on April 10, 1862.[clxvi]  The treaty is ratified unanimously by the upper house on April 24, 1862.[clxvii]


April 10, 1862

United States Congress announces it will cooperate with any state in the gradual emancipation of its slaves (House Resolution 48).[clxviii]

Lincoln proclaims a Day of Thanksgiving by Union forces.


April 11, 1862

Union Major General David D. Hunter, commander of the Department of the South, issues order freeing slaves who come into his lines.[clxix]

After much debate, United States Congress passes bill abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia.[clxx]

Fall of Fort Pulaski on the Savannah River near the Port of Savannah, Georgia.  This is a significant Union success.[clxxi]


April 13, 1862

Representatives from the Freedman’s Association call on Lincoln to give Blacks abandoned plantations at Port Royal, South Carolina.[clxxii]


April 16, 1862

Lincoln signs law, “An Act for the Release of Certain Persons Held to Service, or Labor in the District of Columbia,” passed by United States Congress, providing for immediate, compensated emancipation of slaves in the District of Columbia.  It is the first Federal law giving enslaved individuals immediate emancipation.  It ends slavery as an institution; it is not a measure to enforce the Confiscation Act.  More than 3,000 enslaved individuals are freed.  Approximately $900,000 is paid to the former slaveholders by the Federal government.  Congress soon repeals the Black Codes of the District.  Many enslaved individuals in the areas surrounding Washington will soon escape to freedom there. [clxxiii] 


April 25, 1862

Union Navy under Admiral Farragut arrives at New Orleans, capturing the city.  New Orleans’ waterfront is burned by city population.  The Mississippi River is opened.[clxxiv]

Union victory with capture of the coastal fort of Fort Macon, North Carolina.[clxxv]


April 30, 1862

Secretary of the Navy Welles issues an order authorizing the enlistment of black sailors, “the large numbers known as ‘contrabands’ flocking to the protection of the United States flag affords an opportunity to provide in every department of a ship, especially for boats’ crews acclimated labor. The flag-officers are required to obtain the services of these of these persons for the country by enlisting them freely in the navy with their consent, rating them as “boys” and at minimal cost.


May 3, 1862

After a month-long siege, Confederate forces evacuate Yorktown, Virginia.  The Union Army enters the city.[clxxvi]


May 5, 1862

Union victory at the Battle of Williamsburg, Virginia.  The Union Army occupies the city on May 6.[clxxvii]


May 9, 1862

Major General David D. Hunter, an abolitionist, issues General Order No. 11, freeing slaves in his Department in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.  He does it without presidential authority.  It affects more than 900,000 African Americans.  He also authorizes his officers to enlist Black volunteers.[clxxviii]

Confederates evacuate Norfolk, Virginia, a strategic naval base and supply depot.  The Union Army occupies the city.[clxxix]


May 19, 1862

President Lincoln nullifies orders of Union Major General Hunter that freed slaves in states of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.[clxxx]  He writes “that neither General Hunter, nor any other commander, or person, has been authorized by the Government of the United States to make proclamations declaring the slaves of any State free.”[clxxxi]

The U.S. House of Representatives approves resolution that will prohibit slavery from all Federal territories, without compensation to slaveholders.[clxxxii]


May 20, 1862

Lincoln signs the Homestead Act, enacted by Congress.  It is an important anti-slavery program.  It makes 160 acres of public land available to citizens who have not carried arms against the United States.[clxxxiii]


May 25, 1862

Confederate victory in the Battle of Winchester, Virginia.[clxxxiv]


May 30, 1862

Union victory, Confederate forces leave Corinth, Mississippi.  Union Army begins occupation of city, which is a vital rail center, under General Halleck.[clxxxv]


May 31 – June 1, 1862

Battle of Seven Pines, or Fair Oaks, Virginia.[clxxxvi]


June 5, 1862

President Lincoln approves congressional bill to appoint commissioners and establish relations with Haiti and Liberia.  These are the first Black-led governments to be recognized by the United States Congress.[clxxxvii]


June 6, 1862

Union naval victory in the Battle of Memphis, Tennessee.  The mayor surrenders the city to Union forces.[clxxxviii]


June 9, 1862

The U.S. Senate approves of a resolution that will prohibit slavery from all federal territories.  This is without compensation to former slave holders.[clxxxix]

Lincoln signs bill prohibiting slavery from all federal territories into law.


June 19, 1862

The U.S. Congress approves of a resolution that will prohibit slavery from all federal territories.  This is without compensation to former slave holders.[cxc]


June 20, 1862

Delegation of Progressive Friends (Quakers) visits with Lincoln at the White House.  They present him a memorial opposing slavery.  Their petition expresses their “desire that he might… free the slaves and thus save the nation from destruction.”  Lincoln replies that he believes that slavery is wrong, and that he “had sometime thought that perhaps he might be an instrument in God's hands of accomplishing a great work and he certainly was not unwilling to be.”[cxci]


June 25, 1862

The Seven Days Campaign, near Richmond, Virginia, begins.[cxcii]


July 1862

Union Brigadier General Phelps requests permission to form three Black regiments in Louisiana.  He is denied permission, and resigns his commission.[cxciii]


July 1, 1862

General McClellan withdraws his army to Harrison’s Landing, ending the Peninsular Campaign.[cxciv]

Battle of Malvern Hill, north of the James River.  General McClellan’s strategy to take Richmond fails.[cxcv]


July 7, 1862

Lincoln meets with Major General McClellan at Army of the Potomac headquarters at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia.  McClellan attempts to advise the president on military and political policy.  He recommends against “forcible abolition of slavery.”[cxcvi]


July 11-12, 1862

After much debate, the United States Congress approves the Second Confiscation Act.  It signals a major shift in Union policy toward the freeing of enslaved individuals who enter Union lines or are in occupied Union territory.[cxcvii]


July 12, 1862

President Lincoln asks senators and congressmen from the four Union border states to support gradual, compensated emancipation.  On July 14, the political leaders from these states reject Lincoln’s plan.[cxcviii]

President Lincoln appoints a United States Consul General for Haiti.[cxcix]


July 13, 1862

Lincoln discusses plans for general emancipation of slaves with cabinet members William H. Seward and Gideon Welles. [cc]  Welles recalls Lincoln saying that “It was a military necessity absolutely essential for the salvation of the Union,” and “that emancipation in Rebel areas must precede that in the border, not the other way around.”


July 14, 1862

Lincoln sends Congress draft of a bill to give Federal compensation to states who emancipate their slaves.  Congress does not act on this proposal.[cci]



July 17, 1862

Congress enacts the Second Confiscation Act.  It is called “An Act to Suppress Insurrection, and to Punish Treason and Rebellion, to Seize and Confiscate Property of Rebels and for Other Purposes.”  This act grants freedom to slaves whose masters participated in the secession.[ccii]

Congress passes the Militia Act.  This act allows the U.S. Armed Forces to give employment to Blacks “in any military or naval service for which they may be found competent.”  Slaves who worked for the U.S. military are to be declared free.[cciii]


July 22, 1862

Abraham Lincoln submits a draft of the Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet, to be effective July 1, 1863.  It declares that on January 1, 1863, “All persons held as slaves within any state or states [in Confederate control] shall then, thenceforward, and forever, be free.”  Abolition was to be immediate and with no compensation to the slaveholders.  The Secretary of War calls for it to be issued immediately.  Secretary of State Seward advises Lincoln not to issue it until after a major victory in the war.[cciv]

Lincoln issues executive order authorizing, “1. Military commanders may seize and use real property in rebel States for military purposes. 2. Military and naval commanders may employ as laborers persons of African descent, giving them reasonable wages for their labors. 3. Accounts of property of all kinds taken from owners shall be kept as basis for proper compensation.”[ccv]


July 25, 1862

President Lincoln promulgates the Confiscation Act of Congress.[ccvi]


July 28, 1862

President Lincoln writes to prominent New Orleans citizen Cuthbert Bullitt, who protested Union General John W. Phelps’ aid to enslaved individuals who came to Union lines.  “Mr. Durant complains that in various ways the relation of master and slave is disturbed by the presence of our Army; and he considers it particularly vexatious that this, in part, is done under cover of an act of Congress, while constitutional guaranties are suspended on the plea of military necessity. The truth is, that what is done, and omitted, about slaves, is done and omitted on the same military necessity. It is a military necessity to have men and money; and we can get neither, in sufficient numbers, or amounts, if we keep from, or drive from, our lines, slaves coming to them. Mr. Durant cannot be ignorant of the pressure in this direction; nor of my efforts to hold it within bounds till he, and such as he shall have time to help themselves.”[ccvii]


July 31, 1862

President Lincoln writes to August Belmont regarding ending of slavery and its effects.  “Broken eggs cannot be mended; but Louisiana has nothing to do now but to take her place in the Union as it was, barring the already broken eggs. The sooner she does so, the smaller will be the amount of that which will be past mending. This government cannot much longer play a game in which it stakes all, and its enemies stake nothing. Those enemies must understand that they cannot experiment for ten years trying to destroy the government, and if they fail still come back into the Union unhurt. If they expect in any contingency to ever have the Union as it was, I join with the writer in saying, ‘Now is the time.’”[ccviii]


August 1862

General Benjamin Butler, in Louisiana, begins recruiting free Black men into the First, Second, and Third Native Guards, which are Black units.[ccix]


August 2, 1862

President Lincoln discusses emancipation of slaves with his cabinet members.[ccx]


August 3, 1862

Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, in cabinet meeting, called for: “1. Assuring freedom to Negroes in seceded states on condition of loyalty; 2. Organizing best of them into military companies; 3. Providing for cultivation of plantations by remaining ones.”[ccxi]


August 4, 1862

President Lincoln is offered two African American regiments from Indiana for the Union Army.  He agrees only to use them as laborers, not as soldiers.[ccxii] He tells them “to arm the Negroes would turn 50,000 bayonets from the loyal Border states against us.”

President Lincoln calls for 300,000 volunteers for service in the military for a term of nine months.[ccxiii]


August 9, 1862

Battle of Cedar Mountain, Virginia.[ccxiv]


August 14, 1862

Lincoln meets with African leaders at the White House.  This is the first time that an American president meets with Black community leaders in a public meeting.  He recommends that they support colonization of African Americans in Central America or in Africa.  They reject this proposed plan.  He tells them, “But for your race among us there could not be war…  It is better for us both, therefore, to be separated.”[ccxv]


August 19, 1862

Horace Greeley’s anti-slavery New York Tribune editorial, “A Prayer of the Twenty Millions,” is read by President Lincoln.  It calls into question Lincoln’s policy on slavery and the war: “We complain that the Union cause has suffered…from mistaken deference to Rebel Slavery.” [ccxvi]


August 21, 1862

Confederate President Jefferson Davis declares that Union Major General David D. Hunter and Brigadier General John W. Phelps are acting as criminals because they are enlisting slaves for the Federal Army.  He directs that if taken, they should be held as felons.  General Phelps resigns from the Army the same day.[ccxvii]


August 22, 1862

President Lincoln responds to Horace Greeley’s editorial, “A Prayer of Twenty Millions,” which had called for immediate emancipation of slaves.  Lincoln writes, “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or to destroy slavery.  If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.  What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views. / I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free.” (See Appendix for full text.)[ccxviii]


August 25, 1862

Major General Rufus Saxton, Union Commander of the Southern Department, is authorized by the War Department to arm and train 5,000 former slaves for use as guards of captured plantations and settlements in the South Carolina Sea Islands.[ccxix] Former slaves who serve in the Union Army and their families will be declared “forever free”.


August 26, 1862

Second Bull Run, or Manassas Campaign, commences.  The battle lasts until August 30, 1862.  It is a Union defeat.  The Union casualties are 16,054, the Confederate casualties are 9,197.[ccxx]

Lincoln states his plans to enforce the Confiscation Acts recently passed by Congress.[ccxxi]


September 2, 1862

Lincoln writes “Meditation on the Devine Will.”  He ponders: “In great contests each party claims the act in accordance with the will of God.  Both may be, and one must be wrong.  God can not be for and against the same thing at the same time.”[ccxxii]


September 13, 1862

President Lincoln replies to delegation from Chicago advocating for national emancipation of slaves.  He states, “It is my earnest desire to know the will of Providence in this matter.  And if I can learn what it is I will do it! ... I view the matter as a practical war measure, to be decided upon according to the advantages or disadvantages it may offer to the suppression of the rebellion.”[ccxxiii]


September 14, 1862

Battle of South Mountain/Crampton’s Cap, Maryland.  Federal casualties are 2,325; Confederate casualties are 2,685.[ccxxiv]


September 15, 1862

President Lincoln rejects offer of service of three African American regiments from Massachusetts and Rhode Island.[ccxxv]


September 17, 1862

Union victory at Antietam, in Maryland.  Lee’s Maryland Campaign is ended.  The Union suffers the largest number of casualties in a single day of fighting in the Civil War, with 2,010 killed, 9,416 wounded and 1,043 missing, totaling 12,469 out of 75,000 soldiers.[ccxxvi]

President Lincoln completes second draft of preliminary emancipation proclamation at the cottage in the Soldier’s Home.[ccxxvii]


September 20, 1862

Lincoln continues to work on his text of the preliminary emancipation proclamation.[ccxxviii]


September 22, 1862

United States President Abraham Lincoln announces preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.  It declares that “on the first day of January in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred sixty-three, all persons held as slaves, within any state, or designated part of a state, the people whereof shall be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”  The Proclamation further states (as summarized by Miers): “President will designate states in rebellion on Jan. 1.  Army and navy personnel are prohibited by Act of March 13, 1862, from returning fugitive slaves.  The act to suppress insurrection, approved July 17, 1862, provides that: 1. Escaped slaves and those in territory occupied by forces of U.S. shall be free.  2. Run-away slaves will not be delivered up except for crime or claim of lawful owner under oath that he has not borne arms against government.  Executive will recommend that loyal citizens be compensated for all losses by acts of U.S., including loss of slaves.”[ccxxix]  Lincoln calls on Congress to approve legislation for compensated emancipation of slaves.[ccxxx]


September 24, 1862

Crowd gathers at the presidential executive mansion in honor of the issuing of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.  Lincoln declares, “What I did, I did after full deliberation, and under a very heavy and solemn sense of responsibility.  I can only trust in God I have made no mistake.”[ccxxxi]

Fourteen Northern governors meeting in Altoona, Pennsylvania, approve of the Emancipation Proclamation.[ccxxxii]

Lincoln issues proclamation suspending the writ of habeas corpus.  “Now, therefore, be it ordered, first, that during the existing insurrection and as a necessary measure for suppressing the same, all Rebels and Insurgents, their aiders and abettors within the United States, and all persons discouraging volunteer enlistments, resisting militia drafts, or guilty of any disloyal practice, affording aid and comfort to Rebels against the authority of the United States, shall be subject to martial law and liable to trial and punishment by Courts Martial or Military Commission;  Second. That the Writ of Habeas Corpus is suspended in respect to all persons arrested, or who are now, or hereafter during the rebellion shall be, imprisoned in any fort, camp, arsenal, military prison, or other place of confinement by any military authority or by the sentence of any Court Martial or Military Commission.” [ccxxxiii]


September 25, 1862

President Lincoln meets with Henry Ward Beecher and General Association of Congregational Churches of New York City to present resolutions regarding his Emancipation Proclamation.[ccxxxiv]


September 28, 1862

Lincoln discusses public opinion of preliminary Emancipation Proclamation with Vice President Hannibal Hamlin.  It is “not very satisfactory.”  “The North responds to the proclamation sufficiently in breath; but breath alone kills no rebels.”[ccxxxv]


October 1, 1862

The Richmond Whig reported its opinion on Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: “It is a dash of the pen to destroy four thousand millions of our property, and is as much a bid for the slaves to rise in insurrection, with the assurance of aid from the whole military and naval power of the United States.”[ccxxxvi]


October 3-4, 1862

Battle of Corinth, Mississippi.  The Confederate Army is repulsed.  There are 2,520 Union casualties, 4,233 Confederate casualties.[ccxxxvii]


October 8, 1862

Battle of Perryville, Kentucky, is a partial Union victory.[ccxxxviii]


October 11, 1862

Confederate Congress amends the draft exemption law.  It exempts Southern owners or overseers of more than 20 slaves from military service.[ccxxxix]


October 14, 1862

Democrats gain seats in Congressional elections in Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania.  Republicans gain in Iowa.[ccxl]


October 26, 1862

Of the war, Lincoln writes, “If I had had my way, this war would never have been commenced; … but we find it still continues; and we must believe that He permits it for some wise purpose of his own, mysterious and unknown to us.”[ccxli]  On his opinion of divine will, Lincoln writes, “The will of God prevails.  In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be wrong.  God can not be for, and against the same thing at the same time. … By his mere quiet power, on the minds of the now contestants, He could have either saved or destroyed the Union without a human contest.  Yet the contest began.  And having begun He could give the final victory to either side any day.  Yet the contest proceeds.”[ccxlii]


November 4, 1862

Midterm elections are held.  Democrats gain Congressional seats in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Wisconsin.  Republicans, however, hold majority in Congress with wins in New England, Michigan and California.[ccxliii]


November 7, 1862

President Lincoln relieves Major General George McClellan of the command of the Army of the Potomac.  He is replaced by General Ambrose Burnside.[ccxliv]


November 13, 1862

Lincoln tasks U.S. Attorney General Edward Bates with the enforcement of the Provision of Federal Confiscation (“An Act to Suppress Insurrection, to Punish Treason and Rebellion”).[ccxlv]


November 21, 1862

Lincoln meets with unconditional Union Kentuckians to discuss issue of emancipation.  The New York Times reports, “He said that he would rather die than take back a word of the Proclamation of Freedom…”[ccxlvi]


November 29, 1862

U.S. Attorney General issues ruling that freedmen born in the U.S. are legally American citizens.[ccxlvii]


December 1, 1862

Third Session of the Thirty-Seventh Congress.

Abraham Lincoln sends annual message to Congress continuing to support compensated emancipation.  Lincoln states, “Is it doubted, then, that the plan I propose, if adopted, would shorten the war, and thus lessen its expenditure of money and of blood? Is it doubted that it would restore the national authority and national prosperity, and perpetuate both indefinitely? … The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall our selves, and then we shall save our country. / Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation. We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We---even we here---hold the power, and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free---honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best, hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just---a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless. / December 1, 1862. ABRAHAM LINCOLN[ccxlviii]


December 13, 1862

Union Army is defeated in major battle at Fredericksburg, Virginia.  There are 12,655 Union and 5,390 Confederate casualties.  This causes a political crisis in Lincoln’s cabinet.[ccxlix]


December 23, 1862

Confederate President Jefferson Davis signs order that Black troops captured will be treated as slaves in insurrection and not as prisoners of war.[ccl]


December 29, 1862

President Lincoln reads Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet.[ccli]


December 30, 1862

President Lincoln presents copy of Emancipation Proclamation to members of his cabinet.  He asks for comments from them.[cclii]


December 31, 1862 – January 2, 1863

Battle of Murfreesboro (Stone’s River), in Tennessee.


December 31, 1862

Lincoln’s cabinet meets to finalize draft of the Emancipation Proclamation.[ccliii]

Lincoln signs act admitting West Virginia into the Union as a state.ccliv]

Return to Top of Page

[i] Foner, 1974, p. 3.


[ii] Foner, 1974, p. 3.


[iii] Foner, 1974, p. 3.


[iv] Foner, 1974, p. 4.


[v] Foner, 1974, p. 5.


[vi] Foner, 1974, p. 6.


[vii] Foner, 1974, p. 6.


[viii] Foner, 1974, p. 6.


[ix] Foner, 1974, p. 6.


[x] Foner, 1974, p. 6.


[xi] Foner, 1974, p. 7.


[xii] Foner, 1974, p. 7.


[xiii] Foner, 1974, p. 8.


[xiv] Foner, 1974, p. 9.


[xv] Foner, 1974, p. 9.


[xvi] Foner, 1974, p. 11.


[xvii] Foner, 1974, p. 11.


[xviii] Foner, 1974, p. 10.


[xix] Foner, 1974, p. 13.


[xx] Foner, 1974, p. 11.


[xxi] Foner, 1974, p. 15.


[xxii] Foner, 1974, p. 17.


[xxiii] Foner, 1974, pp. 17-18.


[xxiv] Foner, 1974, p. 20.


[xxv] Foner, 1974, p. 21.


[xxvi] Foner, 1974, p. 22.


[xxvii] Foner, 1974, p. 24.


[xxviii] Foner, 1974, p. 26.


[xxix] Foner, 1974, pp. 24-25.


[xxx] Foner, 1974, p. 23.


[xxxi] Foner, 1974, p. 25.


[xxxii] Foner, 1974, p. 27.


[xxxiii] Foner, 1974, p. 27.


[xxxiv] Foner, 1974, p. 26.


[xxxv] Foner, 1974, p. 30.


[xxxvi] Foner, 1974, p. 30.


[xxxvii] Bassler, Vol. II.


[xxxviii] Foner, 1974, p. 31.


[xxxix] Foner, pp. 99-103; Miers, p. 218.


[xl] Foner.


[xli] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. II, pp. 225-226; Foner, p. 109.


[xlii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. II, pp. 254-255; Foner, p. 109.


[xliii] Bureau of the Census. Population of the United States in 1860, p. ix.


[xliv] Bureau of the Census. Population of the United States in 1860, p. ix; Dumond, p. 70.


[xlv] Dumond, p. 336.


[xlvi] Foner, pp. 96, 102, 136-138, 153.


[xlvii] Miers.


[xlviii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 3.


[xlix] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 5.


[l] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 8.


[li] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 9.


[lii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 13.


[liii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 16-17.


[liv] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 22.


[lv] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 24-25.


[lvi] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 26.


[lvii] Miers, p. 275; Chicago Tribune.


[lviii] Foner.


[lix] Miers, p. 281; Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 51; New York Tribune.


[lx] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 51; Miers, p. 281.


[lxi] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 52-53; Miers, p. 281.


[lxii] Long, E. B., with Barbara Long, The Civil War Day by Day: An Almanac, 1861-1865, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1971, pp. 2-3; Foner.


[lxiii] Long, pp. 8-9.


[lxiv] Long, p. 10.


[lxv] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 150.


[lxvi] New York Herald, Dec. 15, 1860.


[lxvii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 151.


[lxviii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 152; Long, p. 11.


[lxix] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 154.


[lxx] Long, p. 12.


[lxxi] Long, pp. 12-13.


[lxxii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 160.


[lxxiii] Long, p. 23.


[lxxiv] Long, p. 23.


[lxxv] Long, p. 24.


[lxxvi] Long, p. 24.


[lxxvii] Long, p. 25.


[lxxviii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 172; Foner, p. 154; Long, p. 25.


[lxxix] Long, p. 26.


[lxxx] Long, p. 26.


[lxxxi] Long, p. 27.


[lxxxii] Long, p. 27.


[lxxxiii] Long, p. 29.


[lxxxiv] Long, p. 30.


[lxxxv] Long, p. 31.


[lxxxvi] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 183; Foner, p. 154.


[lxxxvii] Long, pp. 31-34.


[lxxxviii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 215-216.


[lxxxix] Long, p. 38.


[xc] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 235-236; Miers, Vol. III, p. 19.


[xci] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 240-241.


[xcii] Long, p. 41.


[xciii] Long, p. 44; Foner, E. The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, New York: Norton, 2010.


[xciv] Long, p. 46; Foner; Miers, pp. 24-25.


[xcv] Long, p. 59; Miers, p. 35.


[xcvi] Long, p. 109.


[xcvii] Long, p. 74.


[xcviii] Long, p. 76.


[xcix] Official Records; Long, p. 77.


[c] Long, p. 78.


[ci] Long, p. 77.


[cii] Dumond, p. 370.


[ciii] Long, p. 77.


[civ] Foner, p. 170.


[cv] Long, p. 82.


[cvi] Long, p. 82.


[cvii] Long, pp. 98-100.


[cviii] Long, p. 100.


[cix] Long, p. 101.


[cx] Long, pp. 101-102; Miers, Vol. III, p. 57.


[cxi] Long, p. 102.


[cxii] Foner, p. 171; Long, pp. 102-103.


[cxiii] Dumond, p. 370; Long, pp. 102-103.


[cxiv] Foner, p. 183; autobiography.


[cxv] Congressional Globe.


[cxvi] Congressional Globe; Long, p. 104.


[cxvii] Dumond, p. 372; Foner, pp. 175-179, 183, 186, 187, 191, 202, 204, 287.


[cxviii] Foner, p. 175; Long, p. 106.


[cxix] Long, p. 107.


[cxx] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 487-488; Long, p. 109.


[cxxi] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 515, 517-518; Dumond, p. 372; Foner; Long, pp. 112-113; Miers, p. 66.


[cxxii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 506-507; Long, p. 114.


[cxxiii] Long, p. 114.


[cxxiv] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 515; Long, p. 117; Miers, Vol. III, p. 66.


[cxxv] Foner, p. 179.


[cxxvi] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 531.


[cxxvii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 532.


[cxxviii] Foner, pp. 178-179.


[cxxix] Foner, 1974, p. 47.


[cxxx] Foner, pp. 180-181.


[cxxxi] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 554.


[cxxxii] Long, p. 129.


[cxxxiii] Long, p. 131.


[cxxxiv] Foner, pp. 182-184, 342.


[cxxxv] Long, p. 134.


[cxxxvi] Long, p. 135.


[cxxxvii] Long, pp. 135-136.


[cxxxviii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 25-26.


[cxxxix] Long, p. 144.


[cxl] Long, p. 144.


[cxli] Foner, p. 191; Long, p. 146.


[cxlii] Miers, p. 80.


[cxliii] Foner, p. 342.


[cxliv] Long, p. 158.


[cxlv] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 95.


[cxlvi] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 96; Long, p. 160.


[cxlvii] Long, p. 160; National Intelligencer, Jan. 16, 1863.


[cxlviii] Long, p. 167.


[cxlix] Long, pp. 168-169.


[cl] Long, pp. 170-172.


[cli] Long, p. 175.


[clii] Dumond, p. 372; Foner; Long, p. 179; Miers, p. 98.


[cliii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 144-146; Foner, pp. 195-196.


[cliv] Miers, Vol. III, p. 99; H. Nicolay, pp. 134-135.


[clv] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 152-153.


[clvi] Dumond, p. 372; Foner, p. 195; Miers, p. 98; Congressional Globe, 37th Congress, 2nd Session, 944, 955, 958-959, 1143.


[clvii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 169.


[clviii] Miers, Vol. III, p. 103.


[clix] Long, p. 188.


[clx] Foner, p. 197.


[clxi] Long, p. 192.


[clxii] Long, p. 193.


[clxiii] Miers, Vol. III, p. 105; Philadelphia News, April 7, 1862.


[clxiv] Long.


[clxv] Long, p. 196.


[clxvi] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 265; Miers, Vol. III, p. 105.


[clxvii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 186.


[clxviii] Miers, p. 106.


[clxix] Dumond, p. 372.


[clxx] Congressional Globe, 37th Congress, 2nd Session, pp. 1191, 1300, 1523, 1526.


[clxxi] Long, p. 198.


[clxxii] New York Tribune, April 14, 1862.


[clxxiii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 192; Dumond, p. 372; Foner, p. 201; Miers, p. 107.


[clxxiv] Long, pp. 203-204.


[clxxv] Long, p. 204.


[clxxvi] Long, p. 206.


[clxxvii] Long, pp. 207-208.


[clxxviii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 222-223; Dumond, p. 372.


[clxxix] Long, p. 209.


[clxxx] Foner, p. 342.


[clxxxi] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 224-225.


[clxxxii] Dumond, p. 372; Foner, p. 203; Statute L, xii, 432.


[clxxxiii] Dumond, p. 372; Foner, pp. 204-262.


[clxxxiv] Long, p. 216.


[clxxxv] Long, p. 218.


[clxxxvi] Long, pp. 219-220.


[clxxxvii] Miers, Vol. III, p. 119; Monaghan, p. 227.


[clxxxviii] Long, pp. 222-223.


[clxxxix] Dumond, p. 372; Foner, p. 203; Statute L, xii, 432; Congressional Globe, 37th Congress, 2nd Session, pp. 1137, 2917-2920, 2929, 2999.


[cxc] Dumond, p. 372; Foner.


[cxci] New York Tribune, June 21, 1862; Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 278-279.


[cxcii] Long, p. 230.


[cxciii] Foner, 1974, p. 35.


[cxciv] Miers, Vol. III, p. 123.


[cxcv] Long, p. 235.


[cxcvi] Long, p. 237; Sears (1989), pp. 344-345.


[cxcvii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 329-331; Foner, pp. 215-216; Congressional Globe, 37th Congress, 2nd Session, pp. 3006, 3267-68, 3383, 3400.


[cxcviii] Dumond, p. 372; Basler, Roy P., ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (8 vols.), New Brunswick, NJ: 1953-1955, Vol. V, pp. 317-319.


[cxcix] Foner, p. 222.


[cc] Miers, p. 128; Gideon Welles’ diary.


[cci] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 324; Foner, p. 213.


[ccii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 328-331; Dumond, p. 372; Foner; Long, p. 241; Miers, p. 128; Statute L, xii, 589.


[cciii] Long, p. 241.


[cciv] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 336-337; Dumond, p. 372; Foner, pp. 218-219; Long, pp. 242-243; Samuel Chase diary.


[ccv] Miers, p. 129.


[ccvi] Long, p. 244.


[ccvii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 344-346.


[ccviii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 350-351.


[ccix] Foner, 1974, p. 35.


[ccx] Miers, p. 131; Rice, pp. 521-522.


[ccxi] Donald, 1954, pp. 105-106; Miers, p. 131.


[ccxii] Basler, Vol. V, pp. 356-357.


[ccxiii] Long, p. 247; Miers, Vol. III, p. 131.


[ccxiv] Long, pp. 249-250.


[ccxv] Long, p. 251; Foner; Basler, Vol. V, pp. 370-375.


[ccxvi] Miers, Vol. III, p. 134.


[ccxvii] Long, pp. 253-254.


[ccxviii] Long, p. 254; Foner; Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 388-389.


[ccxix] Foner; Long, p. 255.


[ccxx] Long, pp. 255-258.


[ccxxi] Miers, p. 136.


[ccxxii] Long, p. 261.


[ccxxiii] Basler, Vol. V, pp. 419-425; Miers, p. 139.


[ccxxiv] Long, p. 266.


[ccxxv] New York Tribune, September 16, 1862; Miers, p. 139.


[ccxxvi] Long, pp. 267-268.


[ccxxvii] Miers, p. 140.


[ccxxviii] Hay diary, cited in Miers, p. 139.


[ccxxix] Miers, p. 141.


[ccxxx] Foner; Long, p. 270; Basler, Vol. V, pp. 433-436.


[ccxxxi] Washington Star, September 24, 1862; Basler, Vol. V, pp. 438-439.


[ccxxxii] Long, p. 271.


[ccxxxiii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 436-437; Long, p. 270.


[ccxxxiv] Miers, p. 141.


[ccxxxv] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 444.


[ccxxxvi] Long, p. 273.


[ccxxxvii] Long, pp. 274-275.


[ccxxxviii] Long, p. 276.


[ccxxxix] Long, p. 278.


[ccxl] Long, p. 278.


[ccxli] Miers, p. 147.


[ccxlii] Miers, p. 147.


[ccxliii] Long, p. 284.


[ccxliv] Long, p. 265.


[ccxlv] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 496.


[ccxlvi] New York Times, Nov. 24, 1862; Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 503-504.


[ccxlvii] Foner, p. 343.


[ccxlviii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 537; Long, p. 292.


[ccxlix] Foner, p. 238; Long.


[ccl] Long, p. 300.


[ccli] Miers, p. 159; Welles’ diary.


[cclii] Miers, p. 159.


[ccliii] Welles’ diary.


[ccliv] Basler, Vol. VI, p. 17.

Return to Top of Page


Black Soldiers Timeline: 1863-1867





The American Freedman’s Inquiry Commission is created by the U.S. War Department.

Women’s National Loyal League is founded by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  It lobbies for the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to grant African Americans the right to vote.  It collects 400,000 signatures in a petition presented to the Congress.


January 1863

The 1st South Carolina Volunteers regiment is mustered into service in the Union Army, commanded by Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson, who is a prominent abolitionist from Boston.[i]


January 1, 1863

On New Year’s Day at noon, in the cabinet room, United States President Abraham Lincoln signs Emancipation Proclamation.  It goes into effect, freeing slaves in states that have seceded and are part of the Confederacy.  Most slaves in “border states” are freed by state action.  It states: “That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.”[ii] Lincoln’s proclamation included the provision for enlisting former slaves, “ such persons [slaves] of suitable condition will be received into the armed services of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.”


January 7, 1863

The Richmond Enquirer states that the Emancipation Proclamation is “The most startling political crime, the most stupid political blunder, yet known in American history. … Southern people have now only to choose between victory and death.”[iii]


January 8, 1863

President Lincoln writes to Major General McClernand, defending the Emancipation Proclamation, “…it must stand.  As to the states not included in it, of course they can have their rights in the Union as of old.”[iv]


January 12, 1863

Congressman Thaddeus Stevens introduces bill calling for the enlistment of 150,000 African American soldiers in the Union Army.[v]


January 19, 1863

President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation is debated in the Confederate Congress.[vi]


January 26, 1863

Secretary of War Stanton authorizes the establishment of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, a Black volunteer regiment.[vii]


February 1863

Anti-slavery and abolitionist congressman Thaddeus Stevens gets a bill through Congress authorizing the enlistment of 150,000 United States colored soldiers.[viii]


March 1, 1863

Congress passes Conscription Act.


March 2, 1863

Frederick Douglass calls for Black men to enlist in the 54th Massachusetts regiment.  He states, “Men of color, to arms… Liberty won only by white men will lose half its luster.”[ix]


March 3, 1863

President Lincoln calls for an act by Congress, which will be the first federal draft.  It is called “An Act for enrolling and calling out the National Forces, and for other purposes.”  Male citizens between 20 and 40 are eligible.  162,535 men are drafted during the war, about six percent of the total number of men who serve in the Union forces.[x]


March 4, 1863

The United States Congress adjourns.


March 16, 1863

The American Freedmen’s Inquiry Commission (AFIC) is created within the War Department by Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.  It is tasked with helping freed slaves.[xi]


March 17, 1863

The Battle of Kelly’s Ford, Virginia.


March 18, 1863

Lincoln writes to Congressman Davis, “Let the friends of the government first save the government, and then administer it to their own liking.”[xii]


March 23, 1863

President Lincoln writes Governor Horatio Seymour of New York, who has been critical of the administration:  “Private & Confidential… you and I are substantially strangers; and I write this chiefly that we may become better acquainted. … As to maintaining the nation’s life, and integrity, I assume, and believe, there can not be a difference of purpose between you and me. … In the performance of my duty, the co-operation of your State, as that of others, is needed—in fact, is indispensable. … Please write me at least as long a letter as this—of course, saying in it, just what you think ft.”[xiii]

Treaty between Liberia and the United States is enacted.[xiv]


March 26, 1863

West Virginia approves gradual emancipation for slaves.[xv]

Lincoln writes the military governor of Tennessee, Andrew Johnson, “I am told you have at least thought of raising a negro military force. In my opinion the country now needs no specific thing so much as some man of your ability, and position, to go to this work. When I speak of your position, I mean that of an eminent citizen of a slave-state, and himself a slave-holder. The colored population is the great available and yet unavailed of, force for restoring the Union. The bare sight of fifty thousand armed, and drilled black soldiers on the banks of the Mississippi, would end the rebellion at once. And who doubts that we can present that sight, if we but take hold in earnest? If you have been thinking of it please do not dismiss the thought.”[xvi]


May 28, 1863

The 54th Massachusetts leaves Boston on its way to participate in the war.[xvii]


March 31, 1863

President Lincoln writes General David D. Hunter: “I am glad I am glad to see the accounts of your colored force at Jacksonville, Florida. I see the enemy are driving at them fiercely, as is to be expected. It is important to the enemy that such a force shall not take shape, and grow, and thrive, in the South; and in precisely the same proportion, it is important to us that it shall. Hence the utmost caution and vigilance is necessary on our part. The enemy will make extra efforts to destroy them; and we should do the same to preserve and increase them.”[xviii]


April 2, 1863

President Lincoln meets noted abolitionist journalist Jane Grey Swisshelm at the White House.[xix]


April 7, 1863

Union naval attack on Confederate-held forts in Charleston Harbor.  The assault is unsuccessful.[xx]


April 15, 1863

Lincoln meets with Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts on the subject of influencing policy regarding slavery, which would positively influence England toward the Union.  Lincoln drafts this resolution:  “Whereas, while heretofore, States, and Nations, have tolerated slavery, recently, for the first in the world, an attempt has been made to construct a new Nation, upon the basis of, and with the primary, and fundamental object to maintain, enlarge, and perpetuate human slavery, therefore, Resolved, That no such embryo State should ever be recognized by, or admitted into, the family of christian and civilized nations; and that all ch[r]istian and civilized men everywhere should, by all lawful means, resist to the utmost, such recognition or admission.[xxi]

President Lincoln meets U.S. Senator Charles Sumner in the White House regarding slavery and British attitudes toward the Union.[xxii]


April 16, 1863

On the Mississippi, Union naval flotilla, commanded by Admiral David Porter, successfully passes under Confederate artillery past Vicksburg.


April 20, 1863

President Lincoln issues proclamation declaring the State of West Virginia will be admitted to the Union.[xxiii]


May 1-4, 1863

Battle of Chancellorsville (Second Fredericksburg; Salem Church), Virginia.  Confederate victory.  The Union sustains 17,287 casualties between April 27 and May 11; Confederates, 12,764.[xxiv]


May 18, 1863

General Ulysses S. Grant begins siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi.[xxv]


May 21, 1863

Union siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana, begins.[xxvi]


May 22, 1863

The Union War Department creates the Bureau of Colored Troops to enlist, equip and administer African American soldiers.[xxvii]

The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society meets in London.  It supports the U.S. government and the Union.[xxviii]


May 27, 1863

First Union assault of Port Hudson, Mississippi begins.  It is led by General Nathaniel Banks, with a Federal force of 13,000 soldiers.  It includes U.S. Colored infantrymen.  Federal casualties are 1,995; Confederate, about 235.[xxix]


May 28, 1863

The U.S. Black regiment, the Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Volunteers, departs Boston for Hilton Head, South Carolina.[xxx]


June 9, 1863

Battle of Brandy Station/Fleetwood Hill/Beverly Ford, Virginia.  It is the largest cavalry battle of the war.  There are 866 Union and 523 Confederate casualties.[xxxi]


June 14-15, 1863

Union defeat in the Battle of Second Winchester, Virginia.[xxxii]


June 15, 1863

President Lincoln calls for 100,000 volunteer militia from Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.[xxxiii]


June 16, 1863

Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia crosses the Potomac River into Maryland.  The news of this causes panic in Harrisburg.[xxxiv]


June 20, 1863

West Virginia officially becomes the 35th state of the Union.[xxxv]


June 23, 1863

Tullahoma, or Middle Tennessee Campaign, begins under Union Major General William S. Rosecrans.  It is a Union victory, ending in early July with no major fighting.[xxxvi]

President Lincoln relieves Major General Joseph Hooker from command of the Army of the Potomac.  Major General George Gordon Meade is name commander.[xxxvii]


July 1-3, 1863

Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  General Meade’s Army of the Potomac defeats General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.  In three days of fighting, more than ten thousand are killed and forty thousand wounded on both sides.[xxxviii]


July 4, 1863

General Lee and his army retreat from Gettysburg.  He is not pursued by Union forces.[xxxix]

Vicksburg, Mississippi, formally surrenders to Union forces, commanded by General U. S. Grant.[xl]


July 7, 1863

Lincoln addresses a large crowd at the White House.  “I do most sincerely thank Almighty God for the occasion on which you have called. How long ago is it?---eighty odd years---since on the Fourth of July for the first time in the history of the world a nation by its representatives, assembled and declared as a self-evident truth that ‘all men are created equal.’ … Gentlemen, this is a glorious theme, and the occasion for a speech, but I am not prepared to make one worthy of the occasion.”[xli]


July 8, 1863

After a six-week siege, Confederate forces unconditionally surrender Port Hudson, Louisiana.  It is the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi.[xlii]


July 10, 1863

Beginning of the Union siege of Fort Wagner, on Morris Island, in Charleston Harbor.  It is a key fortification of the harbor.  The siege will continue until September.[xliii]


July 12, 1863

Lincoln gets request for help in quelling the New York anti-draft riots.[xliv]


July 13-17, 1863

New York City draft riots.  Fires break out throughout the city.  A Black church and orphanage are burned.  Blacks are the primary targets of mobs.  It is estimated that a thousand people are killed or wounded, several hundred of whom are Black.  Property losses are estimated at $1.5 million.[xlv]


July 18, 1863

The 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry leads a major assault on Fort Wagner, near Charleston, South Carolina.  It takes very heavy casualties, including the death of its commanding officer, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw.[xlvi]


July 20, 1863

Lincoln discusses issues of slavery in the border states with Congressmen Lovejoy and Arnold.[xlvii]


July 21, 1863

Lincoln confers with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton “to raise colored forces along the shores of the Mississippi.”  Recommends Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas for the task.[xlviii]


July 30, 1863

After the Confederate government threatens to kill captured U.S. Colored Troops, President Lincoln announces that the U.S. government would “give the same protection to all its soldiers, and if the enemy shall sell or enslave anyone because of his color, the offense shall be punished by retaliation upon the enemy’s prisoners in our possession.”[xlix]  It is General Order No. 252.  It states “that for every soldier of the United States killed in violation of the laws of war, a rebel soldiers shall be executed; and for every one enslaved by the enemy or sold into slavery, a rebel soldier shall be placed at hard labor on the public works.”[l]


August 5, 1863

Lincoln writes Union General Nathaniel Banks.  He declares he is “an anti-slavery man…  For my part I think I shall not, in any event, retract the Emancipation Proclamation; nor, as executive, even return to slavery any person who is free by the terms of that proclamation, or by any of the acts of Congress.”[li]


August 6, 1863

The north observes Day of Thanksgiving for its victories in the war.[lii]


August 9, 1863

Lincoln writes General Grant that colored troops are “a resource which, if vigorously applied now, will soon close the contest.”[liii]


August 10, 1863

Frederick Douglass meets with President Lincoln in the White House to discuss recruiting of African American troops.[liv]


August 19, 1863

Federal draft begins again in New York City.[lv]


August 21, 1863

Confederate guerrillas attack Lawrence, Kansas; 150 civilians are killed, with one and a half million dollars in damage to property.[lvi]


August 26, 1863

Lincoln sends letter to J. C. Conkling discussing peace and the emancipation of slaves.  “There are those who are dissatisfied with me.  To such I would say: You desire peace; and you blame me that we do not have it.  But how can we attain it? … If you are not for force, nor yet for dissolution, there only remains some imaginable compromise.  I do not believe any compromise, embracing the maintenance of the Union, is now possible.  All I learn, leads to a directly opposite belief.  The strength of the rebellion, is its military—its army.”[lvii]


September 2, 1863

Lincoln meets with Secretary of Treasury Salmon P. Chase regarding enforcing the Emancipation Proclamation in the areas of Louisiana and Virginia.[lviii]

Union troops, commanded by General Ambrose E. Burnside, occupy Knoxville, Tennessee.  It serves vital rail links throughout the South.[lix]

Alabama State legislature authorizes the use of enslaved individuals in the Confederate Army.[lx]


Septemer 6-7, 1863

Confederate forces leave Fort Wagner and Morris Island, South Carolina.  Fort Sumter holds out under Union siege and bombardment.[lxi]


September 9, 1863

Federal troops under General William S. Rosecrans enter and occupy Chattanooga, Tennessee.  It is a vital river and rail transportation center.[lxii]


September 10, 1863

Union forces capture and occupy Little Rock, Arkansas, the state capitol.[lxiii]


September 11, 1863

President Lincoln asks governor of Tennessee Andrew Johnson to establish loyal state government.[lxiv]


September 15, 1863

President Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus for persons held by Union military and civil authorities.[lxv]


September 19-20, 1863

Battle of Chickamauga, southeast of Chattanooga, Tennessee.  General George H. Thomas commands the Federal Army of the Cumberland opposing General Braxton Bragg’s Confederate Army of Tennessee.  It is a tactical victory for the South.  The North sustains 16,170 casualties, the South, 18,454.[lxvi]


October 3, 1863

President Lincoln issues proclamation declaring last Thursday in November as Day of Thanksgiving.[lxvii]

Lincoln discusses enlistment of slaves and Blacks from Maryland with Governor Bradford.[lxviii]


October 17, 1863

President Lincoln issues proclamation calling for enlistment of 300,000 volunteers.[lxix]


November 2, 1863

President Lincoln is invited to make a “few appropriate remarks” at a dedication ceremony on November 19 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for a new national military cemetery.[lxx]


November 19, 1863

Lincoln delivers Gettysburg Address at the dedication of a newly established military cemetery.[lxxi]


November 23-25, 1863

Battle of Chattanooga, Tennessee.[lxxii]


November 24, 1863

Battle of Lookout Mountain, Union victory.

Battle of Missionary Ridge, Union victory.


December 6, 1863

General William T. Sherman enters Knoxville, Tennessee.[lxxiii]


December 8, 1863

President Lincoln issues Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction.  It would pardon individuals who “directly or by implication, participated in the existing rebellion.”[lxxiv]

Lincoln issues annual message to Congress.  He states that emancipation is having a favorable effect.  The message states, in part: “The preliminary emancipation proclamation, issued in September, was running its assigned period to the beginning of the new year. A month later the final proclamation came, including the announcement that colored men of suitable condition would be received into the war service. The policy of emancipation, and of employing black soldiers, gave to the future a new aspect, about which hope, and fear, and doubt contended in uncertain conflict. According to our political system, as a matter of civil administration, the general government had no lawful power to effect emancipation in any State, and for a long time it had been hoped that the rebellion could be suppressed without resorting to it as a military measure. It was all the while deemed possible that the necessity for it might come, and that if it should, the crisis of the contest would then be presented. It came, and as was anticipated, it was followed by dark and doubtful days. Eleven months having now passed, we are permitted to take another review.”[lxxv] 


December 17, 1863

President Lincoln sends plan to Congress to create a Federal Bureau of Emancipation, as proposed by the Freedmen’s Aid Society.[lxxvi]


December 20, 1863

President Lincoln tells Henry C. Wright, an abolitionist official of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, “I shall not attempt to retract or modify the emancipation proclamation, nor shall I return to slavery any person who is free by the terms of that proclamation, or by any acts of Congress.”[lxxvii]



400,000 enslaved individuals have escaped into Union Army lines and areas.[lxxviii]


January 11, 1864

Senator John B. Hewson, of Missouri, proposes a thirteenth amendment to the constitution to abolish slavery.[lxxix]


January 23, 1864

President Lincoln proposes plan to have plantation owners honor the freedom of their former slaves and hire them back with fair wages.  He states, “I should regard such cases with great favor, and should, as the principle, treat them precisely as I would treat the same number of free white people in the same relation and condition.”[lxxx]


February 1, 1864

President Lincoln orders that 500,000 men be drafted on March 10.  They are to serve three years, or the duration of the war.[lxxxi]


February 3, 1864

Major General William T. Sherman begins Meridian, Mississippi, Campaign.[lxxxii]


February 11, 1864

Lincoln meets with committee of religious leaders who call for constitutional amendment extending freedom.[lxxxiii]


February 14, 1864

General Sherman’s troops capture Meridian, Mississippi.  Much of its military material is destroyed.[lxxxiv]


February 22, 1864

President Lincoln is endorsed for re-election by the Republican National Convention.[lxxxv]


February 24, 1864

President Lincoln approves an act of Congress to compensate Union (border state) slave owners whose slaves enlist in the U.S. Army.  The slaves would become free.  Blacks would also be subject to the draft.[lxxxvi]


February 28, 1864

President Lincoln sends Union Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas to aid Blacks (“contrabands”) along Union-held territory on the Mississippi.[lxxxvii]


March 4, 1864

The United States Senate confirms Andrew Johnson as Union military governor of Tennessee.[lxxxviii]


March 7, 1864

Lincoln writes to U.S. Congressman John A. J. Creswell, Representative from Maryland, regarding gradual emancipation of slaves from the state.  He states, “My wish is that all who are for emancipation in any form, shall co-operate, all treating all respectfully, and all adopting and acting upon the major opinion, when fairly ascertained.”[lxxxix]


March 8, 1864

President Lincoln meets General U. S. Grant in the White House for the first time.[xc]


March 9, 1864

General Grant is officially commissioned as Lieutenant General in the Regular Army.  Lincoln remarks, “The nation’s appreciation of what you have done, and it’s reliance upon you for what remains to do, in the existing great struggle, are now presented with this commission, constituting you Lieutenant General in the Army of the United States.”[xci]


March 10, 1864

Lieutenant General Grant is given command of the Armies of the United States.[xcii]


March 12, 1864

Major General Henry Halleck is appointed Chief of Staff of the Union Army.[xciii]

Major General William T. Sherman is assigned to command the Military Division of the Mississippi.  He will command the Departments of the Arkansas, Cumberland, Ohio and Tennessee.[xciv]


March 13, 1864

President Lincoln writes Governor Michael Hahn of Louisiana, “I congratulate you on having fixed your name in history as the first-free-state Governor of Louisiana.  Now you are about to have a Convention which, among other things, will probably define the elective franchise.  I barely suggest for your private consideration, whether some of the colored people may not be let in—as, for instance, the very intelligent, and especially those who have fought gallantly in our ranks.  They would probably help, in some trying time to come, to keep the jewel of liberty within the family of freedom.”[xcv]


March 14, 1864

President Lincoln calls for draft of 200,000 soldiers for Federal service.[xcvi]


March 16, 1864

Pro-Union voters in Arkansas ratify state constitution that formally abolishes slavery.[xcvii]


March 17, 1864

Lincoln writes to Maryland Congressman John A. J. Creswell, “It needs not to be a secret, that I wish success to emancipation in Maryland.  It would aid much to end the rebellion.”[xcviii]


March 22, 1864

Lincoln writes, “I never knew a man who wished to be himself a slave.  Consider if you know any good thing, that no man desires for himself.”[xcix]


March 25, 1864

Abolitionist and political leader Owen Lovejoy dies.  He supported the abolition of slavery as a United States Congressman.


April 4, 1864

President Lincoln writes to Albert G. Hodges, a Kentucky newspaper editor, “I am naturally anti-slavery.  If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.  I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel.  And yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and feeling. … And I aver that, to this day, I have done no official act in mere deference to my abstract judgment and feeling on slavery. … I did understand however, that my oath to preserve the constitution to the best of my ability, imposed upon me the duty of preserving, by every indispensable means, that government—that nation—of which that constitution was the organic law. … When, in March, and May, and July 1862 I made earnest, and successive appeals to the border states to favor compensated emancipation, I believed the indispensable necessity for military emancipation, and arming the blacks would come, unless averted by that measure.  They declined the proposition; and I was, in my best judgment, driven to the alternative of either surrendering the Union, and with it, the Constitution, or of laying strong hand upon the colored element.  I chose the latter.”[c]


April 5, 1864

Lincoln acknowledges petition of “the children of the United States; that the President will free all slave children.”  The petition was given to Lincoln by Mrs. Horace Mann.  Lincoln writes, “The petition of persons under eighteen, praying that I would free all slave children, and the heading of which petition it appears you wrote, was handed me a few days since by Senator Sumner. Please tell these little people I am very glad their young hearts are so full of just and generous sympathy, and that, while I have not the power to grant all they ask, I trust they will remember that God has, and that, as it seems, He wills to do it. Yours truly A. LINCOLN[ci]


April 6, 1864

Louisiana State Constitutional Convention adopts new state constitution, abolishing slavery.[cii]

Lincoln goes to U.S. House of Representatives to hear speech by English anti-slavery orator George Thompson.[ciii]


April 7, 1864

Lincoln meets with anti-slavery lecturer George Thompson at White House.  Discusses emancipation.[civ]


April 8, 1864

U.S. Senate passes a joint resolution approving the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, calling for the immediate, uncompensated abolition of slavery. The vote is 38 to 6, in favor.[cv]


April 11, 1864

Union state government in Arkansas is established.  Dr. Isaac Murphy is its governor.[cvi]


April 12, 1864

Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest massacres U.S. Colored Troops at the Battle of Fort Pillow, Tennessee.  262 Black soldiers are murdered after they surrender.[cvii]


April 18, 1864

Lincoln speaks at the Sanitary Fair in Baltimore.  “We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing.”[cviii]


April 19, 1864

By an Act of Congress, Nebraska Territory is admitted to the Union.[cix]


May 3, 1864

Lincoln discusses Fort Pillow massacre in Tennessee with members of his cabinet.[cx]


May 4, 1864

Army of Potomac, led by General Grant, moves across the Rapidan River into Virginia.  Grant has 122,000 soldiers.[cxi]


May 5, 1864

Battle of the Wilderness commences.  It is the first major battle of 1864.[cxii]


May 7, 1864

General William T. Sherman begins march on Atlanta, Georgia.  He has 100,000 soldiers.


May 8-21, 1864

Battle of Spotsylvania Court House.[cxiii]


May 11, 1864

Newly adopted Louisiana state constitution has provisions for emancipation of slaves without compensation.[cxiv]


May 14-15, 1864

Battle of Resaca, in Northern Georgia.


May 15, 1864

Battle of New Market, Virginia.[cxv]


May 16, 1864

Battle of Drewry’s Bluff/Fort Darling, Virginia.[cxvi]


May 23-26, 1864

Battle of North Ana, Virginia.[cxvii]


May 24, 1864

Abolitionist leader, attorney, and congressman, Joshua Reed Giddings, dies.  He opposed the Gag Rule in Congress, and the extension of slavery to the western territories.


May 25 – June 4, 1864

Campaign of New Hope Church, Georgia.[cxviii]


June 1-3, 1864

Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia.[cxix]


June 5, 1864

Congress votes 95-66 for a joint resolution abolishing slavery.  The resolution fails, as a two-thirds majority is needed.[cxx]


June 8, 1864

Delegates to the National Union Convention Meeting in Baltimore nominate Abraham Lincoln for a second term as president.  Andrew Johnson, military governor of Tennessee, is nominated for vice president.  The party platform calls for a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery.[cxxi]


June 9, 1864

Party leaders notify Lincoln of his nomination for president.  He approves one of the party platforms of a constitutional amendment to end slavery. Lincoln declares, “Such [an] amendment of the Constitution as is] now proposed became a fitting, and necessary conclusion to the final success of the Union cause.[cxxii]


June 11-12, 1864

Battle of Trevilian Station, Virginia.[cxxiii]


June 12, 1864

General Grant begins to move the Army of the Potomac across the James River, withdrawing from his position at Cold Harbor.[cxxiv]


June 15, 1864

President Lincoln signs bill giving partial retroactive equal pay for U.S. Colored Troops.  He gives full equal pay in March 1865.[cxxv]


June 16, 1864

Army of the Potomac assaults Petersburg, Virginia.[cxxvi]


June 17, 1864

President Lincoln delivers a speech at the Great Central Fair in Philadelphia.  He says, “War, at the best, is terrible, and this war of ours, in its magnitude and in its duration, is one of the most terrible… We accepted this war for an object, a worthy object, and the war will end when that object is attained.”[cxxvii]


June 18, 1864

General Grant’s attempt to take Petersburg is unsuccessful.  He begins siege against the city.[cxxviii]


June 22, 1864

Union Army engages Confederates against the Weldon Rail Road at Petersburg.  The Federal assault is halted.[cxxix]


June 24, 1864

In a State Constitutional Convention, Maryland votes to abolish slavery.[cxxx]


June 27, 1864

President Abraham Lincoln formally accepts the Republican Party’s nomination for president.[cxxxi]

Union defeat at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, near Marietta, Georgia.  There are 2,000 Union and approximately 500 Confederate casualties.[cxxxii]


June 28, 1864

President Lincoln signs acts repealing Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and all laws for returning fugitive slaves to their owners.[cxxxiii]


June 30, 1864

Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase resigns from office.  Lincoln accepts his resignation, stating, “You and I have reached a point of mutual embarrassment in our official relation which it seems can not be overcome, or longer sustained, consistently with the public service.”[cxxxiv]


July 1, 1864

Long-time Senator from Maine and prominent abolitionist, William Pitt Fessenden, is appointed by Lincoln as the new Secretary of the Treasury.  He replaces Salmon P. Chace, who resigned.  His appointment is immediately confirmed by Congress.[cxxxv]

The United States Senate votes to approve the Wade-Davis Reconstruction Bill.  Lincoln refuses to sign the bill.[cxxxvi]


July 4, 1864

The first session of the Thirty-Eighth Congress adjourns.  President Lincoln pocket-vetoes the Wade Davis Bill, which in part would have given freedom to all slaves in the Confederate South through Congressional laws.  The Bill also specified that Congress would control reconstruction, not the President.[cxxxvii]

U.S. Congress authorizes Northern states to send representatives to the South to enlist Black soldiers to satisfy the draft quotas.[cxxxviii]


July 5, 1864

President Lincoln suspends writ of habeas corpus and declares martial law in Kentucky.[cxxxix]


July 8, 1864

President Lincoln announces his support for a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery.  Further, he states that he does not believe that Congress has the authority to end slavery.[cxl]

President Lincoln issues presidential proclamation regarding reconstruction in the South.[cxli]


July 9, 1864

Union and Confederate forces clash in Battle of Monocacy, Maryland.  Southern forces under General Jubal Early are temporarily halted in their invasion toward Washington.  Union forces endure 2,000 casualties, Confederates, 700.[cxlii]


July 11, 1864

Confederate forces under General Early invade outskirts of Washington, DC.  Skirmishing takes place in Frederick, Maryland, and at Fort Stevens.  President Lincoln, witnessing the attack, comes under fire.[cxliii]


July 12, 1864

Confederate attack in Washington suburbs is repulsed.  General Early’s forces retreat.  Lincoln again sees fighting.[cxliv]


July 18, 1864

Lincoln writes memorandum regarding his policy for peace.  It is delivered to Horace Greely and John Hay for transmission to persons in Canada.  It states, “Any proposition which embraces the restoration of peace, the integrity of the whole Union, and the abandonment of slavery, and which comes by and with an authority that can control the armies now at war against the United States will be received and considered by the Executive government of the United States, and will be met by liberal terms on other substantial and collateral points; and the bearer, or bearers thereof shall have safe-conduct both ways..”[cxlv]

Lincoln calls for 500,000 additional volunteers for the Union Army.[cxlvi]


July 20, 1864

Union forces in the Army of the Cumberland, under Major General George H. Thomas, engage Confederates in Battle of Peachtree Creek, Georgia.  It is a Union victory.[cxlvii]


July 22, 1864

General William T. Sherman defeats General John Bell Hood’s Confederate forces in the Battle for Atlanta, Georgia.  Union casualties are 3,722; Confederate are at least 7,000.[cxlviii]


July 23, 1864

The Louisiana State Constitutional Convention adopts measure that will abolish slavery in the state.[cxlix]


August 5, 1864

Victory for Admiral David Farragut and the Union Navy in the Battle of Mobile Bay.  The Confederate bay is captured and closed.[cl]


August 19, 1864

Lincoln meets with Frederick Douglass in the White House.  They discuss announcing the Emancipation Proclamation to slaves.[cli]


August 23, 1864

Lincoln asks his cabinet secretaries to sign without reading a statement written by the President in event he lost the election: “This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this Administration will not be reëlected.  Then it will be my duty to so cooperate with the President-elect as to save the Union between the election and the inauguration; as he will have secured the election on such grounds that he cannot possibly save it afterward.”[clii]

President Lincoln addressed the 166th Ohio Regiment at the White House.  He says, “It is not merely for to-day, but for all time to come that we should perpetuate for our children’s children this great and free government, which we have enjoyed all our lives. … I happen temporarily to occupy this big White House.  I am a living witness that any one of your children may look to come here as my father’s child has.  It is in order that each of you may have through this free government which we have enjoyed, an open field and a fair chance for your industry, enterprise and intelligence; … The nation is worth fighting for, to secure such an inestimable jewel.”[cliii]


August 31, 1864

In Chicago, General George B. McClellan is nominated for President by the Democratic Party.[cliv]


September 1, 1864

Confederate Army, under General John Bell Hood, evacuates Atlanta, Georgia.[clv]


September 2, 1864

General Sherman and his combined armies capture and occupy Atlanta, Georgia.  General Slocum’s corps occupies the city.  Sherman wires Abraham Lincoln, “Atlanta is ours, and fairly won.”  This is a decisive Union victory and marks another major turning point in the war.[clvi]


September 5, 1864

President Lincoln proclaims day of victory for the capture of Atlanta and Mobile, Alabama.

Louisiana voters ratify a new state constitution, which provides for the abolition of slavery.[clvii]


September 6, 1864

Maryland’s State convention adopts new constitution, ending slavery.[clviii]


September 19, 1864

Federal victory in the Third Battle of Winchester, Virginia.  Major General Phillip H. Sheridan commands Union forces.[clix]


October 10, 1864

President Lincoln writes to Henry W. Hoffman, referring to the adoption of a new Maryland state constitution, which would prohibit slavery: “I wish all men to be free.  I wish the material prosperity of the already free which I feel sure the extinction of slavery would bring.  I wish to see, in process of disappearing, that only thing which ever could bring this nation to civil war.”[clx]


October 13, 1864

Maryland adopts new state constitution, which includes a provision for the abolition of slavery.  The vote was 30,174 for and 29,799 opposed, a margin of only 375 votes.[clxi]


October 19, 1864

Union victory for Major General Phillip H. Sheridan in Battle of Cedar Creek, Virginia.[clxii]


October 29, 1864

President Lincoln issues proclamation declaring the last Thursday in November “as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to Almighty God….”

President Lincoln meets African American Sojourner Truth.[clxiii]


October 31, 1864

President Lincoln admits the Territory of Nevada to the Union as the 36th state.[clxiv]


November 7, 1864

Confederate President Davis recommends that his government purchase slaves to work in the army and then emancipate them at the end of service.  Further, he states that the Confederacy would favor a negotiated peace, but only with an independent Confederacy, not “our unconditional submission or degradation.”[clxv]


November 8, 1864

Abraham Lincoln is re-elected as President of the United States, and Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee, as Vice President.  Lincoln states that the victory “will be to the lasting advantage, if not the very salvation, of the country.”[clxvi]


November 10, 1864

In a speech, Lincoln states, “It has long been a grave question whether any government, not too strong for the liberties of its people, can be strong enough to maintain its own existence, in great emergencies.”  In further remarks, Lincoln calls for unity: “May not all, having a common interest, be reunited in an effort to save our common country?”  Lincoln commented that “the election was a necessity.  We cannot have free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forego or postpone a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us…  [The election] had demonstrated that a people’s government can sustain a national election in the midst of a great civil war.”[clxvii]


November 14-15, 1864

General W. T. Sherman begins March from Atlanta to the Sea.[clxviii]  He has 62,000 Federals in two Armies.


November 19, 1864

Editorializing on Lincoln’s election, Harper’s Weekly writes: “This result is the proclamation of the American people that they are not conquered; that the rebellion is not successful; and that, deeply as they deplore war and its inevitable suffering and loss, yet they have no choice between war and national ruin, and must therefore fight on…  Thank God and the people, we are a nation which comprehends its priceless importance to human progress and civilization, and which recognizes that law is the indispensable condition of Liberty.”[clxix]


November 30, 1864

Union victory in the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee.[clxx]


December 5, 1864

  1. S. Congress convenes for the second session of the 38th Congress.[clxxi]


December 6, 1864

Lincoln delivers annual message to Congress.  The Union, he declares, has “more men now than when the war began…  We are gaining strength, and may, if need be, maintain the contest indefinitely.”  The Union has one million men in uniform, with the world’s largest navy, comprised of 671 ships.  He states that Sherman’s March to the Sea is “the most remarkable feature of military operations.”  Lincoln urges the House of Representatives to pass the “proposed amendment of the Constitution abolishing slavery throughout the United States,” which had passed the Senate, and as it is to so go, may we not agree that the sooner the better.” [clxxii]

Salmon P. Chace, former Secretary of the Treasury, is named Chief Justice of the United States.[clxxiii]


December 15-16, 1864

Decisive Union victory for Union General George H. Thomas in the Battle of Nashville, Tennessee.[clxxiv]


December 21, 1864

Savannah, Georgia is captured and occupied by Sherman’s Army.  17,000-25,000 enslaved individuals are freed during Sherman’s March to the Sea.  Thousands of freemen volunteer as laborers, cooks, teamsters and pontoon and road builders.  8,000 individuals who had been freed from slavery enter Savannah with Sherman’s March.  In addition, the 7,587 enslaved individuals living in and around Savannah are also freed.[clxxv]


December 22, 1864

Sherman telegraphs President Lincoln:  “I beg to present you as a Christmas-gift the city of Savannah…”[clxxvi]


December 24, 1864

Union Naval forces, under Admiral David D. Porter, begin shelling of Confederate Fort Fisher in North Carolina.[clxxvii]


December 26, 1864

President Lincoln telegraphs General Sherman: “MY DEAR GENERAL SHERMAN: Many, many thanks for your Christmas gift – the capture of Savannah.”



Victory for the Union is virtually assured, with Grant at Petersburg, Thomas in Tennessee, and Sherman at Savannah.  The Union Navy controls the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

The Confederate Congress expresses increasing unhappiness with President Davis and his administration.  Confederates consider using enslaved individuals as soldiers.  The U.S. Congress takes up the constitutional issue of enacting a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery.

The Union Army stands at more than 600,000 soldiers ready for active duty.  More than 300,000 are in reserve, for a total of nearly 960,000 soldiers.  The Confederate forces total approximately 160,000 soldiers ready for active duty and a total force of 358,000.[clxxviii]


January 6, 1865

Congressman J. M. Ashley (R-Ohio) attempts to revive interest in the proposed 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery.  He states, “Mr. Speaker, if slavery is wrong and criminal, as the great body of enlightened Christian men admit, it is certainly our duty to abolish it, if we have the power.”  The amendment had previously passed the Senate, but failed in the House.  The House spends much of its time debating the issue.[clxxix]


January 9, 1865

Tennessee Constitutional Convention adopts amendment abolishing slavery.  It is ratified by votes on February 22.[clxxx]


January 10, 1865

The debate over a constitutional amendment for the abolition of slavery continues in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Speaking in favor of the amendment, Congressman John A. Kasson, of Iowa, states that “you will never, never have reliable peace in this country while that institution exists…”[clxxxi]


January 11, 1865

Missouri’s Constitutional Convention adopts ordinance abolishing slavery.[clxxxii]

Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, along with U.S. Army Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs and other officials, arrives in Savannah, Georgia, to meet with General Sherman.


January 12, 1865

Congress continues to debate the Thirteenth Amendment and the abolition of slavery.  Future president and Republican member of the House James A. Garfield states, “Mr. Speaker, we shall never know why slavery dies so hard in this Republic and in this Hall, till we know why sin outlives disaster, and Satan is immortal…”  Radical Republican congressman Thaddeus Stevens regards slavery as “the worst institution upon earth, one which is a disgrace to man and would be an annoyance to the infernal spirits.”[clxxxiii]

General Sherman and Secretary of War Stanton, along with Acting Adjutant General of the Army Brevet Brigadier General E. D. Townsend, meet with a group of 20 prominent African American clergymen and community leaders.  Reverend Garrison Frazier, a 67-year old former pastor of the Third African Baptist Church, is asked to be the spokesman for the group.  Sherman is asked to leave the room and is greatly offended by this.  Stanton inquires about Sherman’s treatment of the African American community: “State what is the feeling of the colored people toward General Sherman, and how far do you regard his sentiments and actions as friendly to their rights and interests, or otherwise?”  Frazier replies: “We looked upon General Sherman, prior to his arrival, as a man, in the providence of God, specially set aside to accomplish this work, and we unanimously felt inexpressible gratitude to him, looking upon him as a man who should be honored for the faithful performance of his duty.  Some of us called upon him immediately upon his arrival, and it is probable he did not meet the secretary with more courtesy than he did us.  His conduct and deportment toward us characterized him as a friend and gentleman.  We have confidence in General Sherman, and think what concerns us could not be in better hands.  This is our opinion now, for the short acquaintance and intercourse we have had.”[clxxxiv]


January 13-15, 1865

Renewed massive Union Naval bombardment on Fort Fisher.  The Fort falls on January 15, 1865.[clxxxv]


January 16, 1865

General Sherman issues Special Field Order No. 15.  It provides for the confiscation of 400,000 acres of land along the Atlantic coast of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.  The order was issued to deal with the thousands of African American refugees who had joined Sherman’s march and were recently freed from slavery in the Savannah area.  The order reads, in part:  “I. The islands from Charleston south, the abandoned rice-fields along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering the St. John’s River, Florida, are reserved and set apart for the settlement of the negroes now made free by the acts of war and the proclamation of the President of the United States. / II. At Beaufort, Hilton Head, Savannah, Fernandina, St. Augustine, and Jacksonville the blacks may remain in their  chosen or accustomed vocations; but on the islands, and in the settlements hereafter to be established, no white person whatever, unless military officers and soldiers detailed for duty, will be permitted to reside, and the sole and exclusive management of affairs will be left to the freed people themselves, subject only to the United States military authority, and the acts of Congress.  By the laws of war and orders of the President of the United States, the negro is free, and must be dealt with as such.” 

The Field Order and its provisions were revoked by President Johnson’s administration.


January 19, 1865

General William T. Sherman orders his armies to begin to prepare for a march north through the Carolinas.[clxxxvi]


January 31, 1865

The U.S. House of Representatives achieves two-thirds vote majority on the Thirteenth Amendment, forbidding slavery in the U.S.  It reads, “Article XIII, Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction.  Section 2. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”  It sends the Amendment to the states for ratification.  It is the first to be added since the Twelfth Amendment, of 1803, ratified in 1804.[clxxxvii]  By December 18, the Thirteenth Amendment becomes law.[clxxxviii]


February 1, 1865

Lincoln approves the resolution to submit the Thirteenth Amendment to the states for ratification.[clxxxix]

Crowd serenades Lincoln at the White House in celebration of passage of the Thirteenth Amendment.  He addresses crowd.[cxc]

Illinois ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery.  It is the first state to do so.[cxci]

General Sherman’s two Federal Armies begin their March into South Carolina.[cxcii]


February 3, 1865

President Lincoln and Secretary of War Stanton meet aboard the steamboat “River Queen” with Confederate leaders to discuss ending the war.  It is called the Hampton Roads Peace Conference.  Lincoln calls for unconditional restoration of the Union.  Nothing comes of the meeting and the war continues.[cxciii]

Maryland, New York and West Virginia ratify the Thirteenth Amendment.[cxciv]


February 5-7, 1865

Battle of Hatcher’s Run, Virginia.[cxcv]


February 5, 1865

Lincoln proposes to his cabinet a joint resolution of Congress to pay 16 Southern states $100 million pro rata for their slaves to end the war.  The cabinet unanimously disapproves of the proposal.[cxcvi]


February 7, 1865

Maine and Kansas ratify thirteenth Amendment.  Delaware fails to do so.[cxcvii]


February 12, 1865

Electoral vote in Presidential race is tallied.  Lincoln wins by vote of 212 to 21.[cxcviii]


February 17, 1865

Sherman’s Army captures state capitol in Columbia, South Carolina.  The city is heavily damaged in a major fire. The cause is disputed.[cxcix]

Charleston, South Carolina, is evacuated by the Confederate Army.[cc]


February 20, 1865

The Confederate House of Representatives authorizes the utilization of slaves as soldiers.


February 22, 1865

Tennessee approves new state constitution abolishing slavery.  Kentucky state legislature rejects Thirteenth Amendment.[cci]

Confederate port city of Wilmington, North Carolina, is captured and occupied by the Union Army.[ccii]


February 23, 1864

Minnesota state legislature ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment.[cciii]


March 1, 1865

Wisconsin ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment; New Jersey rejects it.[cciv]


March 2, 1865

Confederate forces at Waynesborough, Virginia, are routed by General Sheridan’s forces.[ccv]


March 3, 1865

Congress passes a bill establishing the Bureau of Refugees, Freedman, and Abandoned Lands, under the auspices of the War Department.  The Bureau will supervise abandoned lands in the South and will have “control of all subjects relating to refugees and freedmen from the rebel states.”  General Howard would be appointed its head.[ccvi]

President Lincoln signs bill that will emancipate wives and children of African American soldiers.[ccvii]


March 4, 1865

President Lincoln is inaugurated in Washington, DC, for his second term.  Andrew Johnson is sworn in as the new Vice President.  In his speech, he declares about slavery: “One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war…”  He further stated, Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword…”  He concludes his speech by saying: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”[ccviii]

For the first time, thousands of African Americans attend the inauguration.  They cheer the president.  Frederick Douglass attends the program.[ccix]


March 11, 1865

General Sherman’s two Armies capture and occupy Fayetteville, North Carolina.  They remain in the city until March 14.[ccx]


March 13, 1865

The Confederate States Senate authorizes the enlistment of Blacks as soldiers in the Confederate army.  The vote passes narrowly, 9 to 8.  Blacks are never actually enlisted in the Confederate army.[ccxi]

Confederate President Jefferson Davis signs authorization for recruiting Blacks in the Southern forces.  It asks Southerners to “volunteer” their slaves.[ccxii]


March 16, 1865

Major General Henry W. Slocum defeats Confederate forces under General Hardee in the Battle of Averasboro, North Carolina.[ccxiii]


March 17, 1865

In a speech to a Union Army regiment, Lincoln remarks: “I have always thought that all men should be free; but if any should be slaves it should be first for those who desire it for themselves… Whenever [I] hear any one, arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”[ccxiv] Lincoln also commented on the use of Black troops by the Confederacy. 


March 19-21, 1865

Union victory of General Sherman’s troops in the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina.  This is the last major engagement in the western Carolinas campaign.  Casualties on the Union side are 1,500, and for the Confederates, 2,600.[ccxv]


March 27-28, 1865

President Lincoln meets with his military and naval commanders on the riverboat, River Queen, off City Point, Virginia.  They include General Grant, General Sherman, and Admiral Porter.  They plan the overall strategy for the last campaigns of the war.[ccxvi]


March 29, 1865

Lincoln is at Union Army headquarters at City Point, Virginia.

The final Union campaign begins.  The Northern Armies of the Potomac and James begin campaign against Confederate General Lee at Petersburg and Richmond.  The total Union strength is 125,000 soldiers.[ccxvii]


April 1, 1865

Lincoln remains at Army of the Potomac headquarters.

Union victory for General Sheridan in the Battle of Five Forks, Virginia.[ccxviii]

Confederate President Davis writes to Confederate Commander General Lee that he had “been laboring without much progress to advance the raising of negro troops,” and that “the distrust is increasing and embarrasses in many ways.”[ccxix]


April 2, 1865

Lincoln remains in Army headquarters.

Union Army breaks through Confederate defenses in Petersburg, Virginia.  Confederate President Jefferson Davis abandons the capital, Richmond.  Rebel army burns Richmond.[ccxx]  Lincoln telegraphs Grant, “Allow me to tender to you, and all with you, the nation’s grateful thanks for this additional and magnificent success.[ccxxi]

Southern mobs loot and burn the Confederate capital.  Noted historian James McPherson wrote, “Southerners burned more of their own capital than the enemy had burned of Atlanta or Columbia.”[ccxxii]

Selma, Alabama, is captured by Federal forces.[ccxxiii]


April 3, 1865

Lincoln meets with General Grant in Petersburg.

Union Army enters and occupies Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia.[ccxxiv]  Lincoln telegraphs Secretary of War Stanton, “It is certain now that Richmond is in our hands, and I think I will go there tomorrow.  I will take care of myself.[ccxxv]


April 4, 1865

President Lincoln tours Richmond.  Crowd of recently freed African Americans enthusiastically hails him as “the Great Messiah” and “Father Abraham.”  One formerly enslaved individual knelt at Lincoln’s feet and blessed him.  A humbled Lincoln said, “Don’t kneel to me.  You must kneel to God only, and thank him for the liberty you will enjoy hereafter.”[ccxxvi]  Another Black woman kisses Lincoln’s hand and exclaims, “I know that I am free for I have seen Father Abraham and felt him.”[ccxxvii]


April 5-8, 1865

Lincoln remains at Union Army headquarters at City Point, Virginia.[ccxxviii]


April 6, 1865

Four Black non-commissioned officers of the 5th Ohio US Colored Troops are awarded the Medal of Honor for the battle at Chapin’s Farm, Virginia, on September 29, 1864.[ccxxix]


April 9, 1865

At 1 p.m., Lee surrenders his Army of Northern Virginia to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox courthouse in Virginia.[ccxxx]


April 11, 1865

At the White House, Lincoln delivers his last speech before his assassination.  He declares support for limited African suffrage in the Southern states.[ccxxxi]

Lincoln meets with General Benjamin Butler regarding freed slaves.[ccxxxii]


April 12, 1865

Union Army occupies Mobile, Alabama.[ccxxxiii]


April 14, 1865

Abraham Lincoln is assassinated at Ford's Theater in Washington, DC.[ccxxxiv]

General Johnston begins surrender negotiations with General Sherman.  The negotiations drag on for two weeks.  Except for small engagements, the Civil War is over.


April 15, 1865

At 7:22 a.m., President Lincoln dies.  Secretary of War Stanton is present and declares: “Now he belongs to the ages.”[ccxxxv]

Andrew Johnson is sworn in as President.[ccxxxvi]


April 17-18, 1865

The Confederate Army, under General Joseph E. Johnston, surrenders at Bennett’s Place, outside of Durham, North Carolina.  They sign a memorandum regarding the surrender.  The terms are rejected by President Johnson.[ccxxxvii]


April 19, 1865

Funeral services for President Lincoln are held in the East Room of the Executive Mansion.  Lincoln’s body is escorted to the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.  Lincoln lies in state until the evening of April 20.[ccxxxviii]


April 20, 1865

Arkansas state legislature ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment.[ccxxxix]


April 21, 1865

President Lincoln’s body leaves Washington for Springfield, Illinois.[ccxl]


April 22, 1865

Lincoln’s funeral train goes through Philadelphia.[ccxli]


April 26, 1865

At Bennett’s Place, near Durham Station, North Carolina, General Johnston signs the revised and less liberal terms of surrender to General Sherman.  The terms are approved by General Grant.  Johnston’s army of 30,000 solders is surrendered.[ccxlii]


May 1865

General Oliver O. Howard is appointed Commissioner of the Freedmen’s Bureau (the U.S. Army’s Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands).  He serves in this post until July 1874.  The Freedmen’s Bureau was tasked by Congress to help formerly enslaved individuals integrate into American society.  The Bureau’s programs included education, the courts and healthcare.


May 4, 1865

Abraham Lincoln is buried in Springfield, Illinois.[ccxliii]


May 5, 1865

The Connecticut state legislature ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment.[ccxliv]


May 24, 1865

General Sherman’s army passes in review.  Many newly-freed individuals were accorded the honor of participating in the Union victory parade.  They accompanied Sherman’s army to the very end of the March.[ccxlv] 


May 25, 1865

Most of the Union Army is disbanded and soldiers return to their homes.[ccxlvi]


May 29, 1865

President Andrew Johnson grants amnesty and pardons to all persons (with exceptions) who took part in “the existing rebellion.”  Property rights for Southerners were restored, except for slaves.  An oath of loyalty is required.[ccxlvii]


June 6, 1865

Missouri ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery.[ccxlviii]


June 19, 1865

Slaves in Galveston Bay, Texas, receive the news of the Emancipation Proclamation.  There were 200,000 slaves living in the area.  They later celebrated the day as “Juneteenth.”


July 1, 1865

New Hampshire ratifies Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery.[ccxlix]


July 23, 1865

Abolitionist leader, organizer, activist Arthur Tappan dies.  He supported the publication of numerous anti-slavery newspapers, including the Emancipator, the National Era, and the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Reporter.[ccl]


November 13, 1865

South Carolina ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment.[ccli]


December 2, 1865

Alabama ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment.[cclii]


December 4, 1865

North Carolina ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment.  Mississippi rejects it.[ccliii]


December 5, 1865

Georgia ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment.[ccliv] 


December 11, 1865

Oregon ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment.[cclv]


December 18, 1865

The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, abolishing slavery, is in effect after being approved by 27 states.[cclvi]


December 6, 1865

President Johnson announces that the Union is restored.


December 18, 1865

Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery, has been ratified by 27 states.[cclvii]


February 19, 1866

The New Freedman’s Bureau Bill is signed into law.  This is to care for newly-freed enslaved peoples.[cclviii]



Slavery is abolished in the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).

African American anti-slavery activist Samuel Ringgold Ward dies.

The Ku Klux Klan founded in Pulaski, Tennessee.[cclix]

General Order #92 of the United States Army creates six African American segregated regiments.  Four are infantry regiments and two are cavalry regiments.  They serve throughout the period of 1866 through 1890, which is generally called the Indian Wars period.  They are called by Native Americans “Buffalo Soldiers.”  These include the 9th and 10th Cavalry and, later, the 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments.[cclx]

Three black colleges are established: Fiske University, Nashville, Tennessee; Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri; and Rust College, Holly Springs, Mississippi.[cclxi]

In racial violence, 46 African Americans are killed in Memphis, Tennessee.  Seventy-five are injured.  Hundreds of African American homes, churches and schools are destroyed.[cclxii]

Thirty-five African Americans are killed in New Orleans, Louisiana.  One hundred are wounded.[cclxiii]

Congressman Thaddeus Stevens proposes law to distribute land in the South to freedmen in 40-acre lots.  It is defeated in the House by a vote of 126 to 37.[cclxiv]


February 19, 1866

Congress passes law expanding the authority of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands.  President John vetoes the law.


March 16, 1866

Congress passes Civil Rights Act for African Americans.  It is vetoed by President Johnson.


April 2, 1866

President Johnson writes, “Now therefore, I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, do hereby proclaim and declare that the insurrection which heretofore existed in the States of Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Florida is at an end and is henceforth to be so regarded.”[cclxv]


April 9, 1866

The Civil Rights Act is passed by Congress.  It officially bestows citizenship upon African American men and grants civil rights to all men born in the United States except Native Americans.[cclxvi]


June 16, 1866

The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution is passed by Congress and submitted to the states for ratification.  The Amendment defines national citizenship for African Americans and gives them federal protection.[cclxvii]


November 6, 1866

In midterm elections, radical Republicans take many new seats.  They now have a two-thirds majority to override President Johnson’s vetoes.


November 20, 1866

General Howard and other individuals meet in Washington to create a theological seminary to train African American clergymen.  The institution’s mission is expanded and is renamed the Howard Normal and Theological Institute for the Education of Preachers and Teachers.  The school is renamed Howard University on January 8, 1867.



Congress readmits Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina.[cclxviii]

African American John W. Menard is elected to the House of Representatives from Louisiana.  He is denied the office by the House.[cclxix]

Georgia state legislature declares that African Americans cannot hold office, and dismisses black state members.[cclxx]

William Still organizes a campaign against segregated streetcars in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[cclxxi]

The Pullman Palace Car Company allows African Americans to be porters on rail cars in the United States.[cclxxii]

Black colleges and universities are founded: Biddle Memorial Institute, Charlotte, North Carolina (later renamed Johnson C. Smith University); Howard University, Washington, DC; Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia; and Talladega College, Talladega, Alabama.[cclxxiii]


January 8, 1867

African American males are given the right to vote in the District of Columbia.  President Johnson vetoes the bill, but both the House of Representatives and the Senate override his veto.[cclxxiv]


February 7, 1867

The Peabody Education Fund is founded to finance the education of freedmen.[cclxxv]

Frederick Douglass meets with President Johnson urging suffrage to all qualified Blacks.


March 2, 1867

Congress passes the first Reconstruction Act.  The Act divides the South into five military districts occupied by the U.S. Army and subject to martial law.  Southern states are required to write new constitutions that guarantee universal suffrage to African American men.[cclxxvi]

Congress fails to pass legislation that will give land to freedmen.[cclxxvii]

Congress enfranchises African American men in the District of Columbia.[cclxxviii]

African American voters are a majority in at least five Southern states.[cclxxix]


March 11, 1867

Senator Thaddeus Stevens introduces a slave reparations bill into the U.S. House of Representatives.  The bill is defeated.


March 23, 1867

The Second Reconstruction Act is passed by the U.S. Congress.  It allows for the registration of Black male voters.


July 19, 1867

The Third Reconstruction Act is passed by Congress, requiring Southern states to ratify the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution.


August 2, 1867

President Johnson removes Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, from office.  Congress reviews possibility of charges of impeachment against the President for violating the recent Tenure of Office Act.

Return to Top of Page

[i] Foner, 1974, p. 35.


[ii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 28-31; Foner; Long, p. 306; Miers, p. 160.


[iii] Long, p. 309.


[iv] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 48-49.


[v] Foner, p. 249.


[vi] Long, p. 312.


[vii] Foner, 1974, p. 36.


[viii] Long.


[ix] Foner, 1974, p. 37.


[x] Long, p. 325.


[xi] Foner, pp. 284, 285, 294.


[xii] Long, p. 329; Basler, Vol. VI, pp. 140-141.


[xiii] Miers, Vol. III, p. 175.


[xiv] Long, p. 331.


[xv] Long, p. 332.


[xvi] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 149-150; Miers, Vol. III, p. 175.


[xvii] Foner, 1974, p. 37.


[xviii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, p. 151; Miers, Vol. III, p. 177.


[xix] Miers, Vol. III, p. 177.


[xx] Long, pp. 335-336.


[xxi] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, p. 176.


[xxii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 176-177; Miers, Vol. III, p. 179.


[xxiii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, p. 181.


[xxiv] Long, p. 348.


[xxv] Long, p. 354.


[xxvi] Long, p. 356.


[xxvii] Foner, 1974, p. 38.


[xxviii] Long, p. 357.


[xxix] Long, p. 359.


[xxx] Long, p. 359.


[xxxi] Long, pp. 363-364.


[xxxii] Long, p. 365.


[xxxiii] Long, p. 367.


[xxxiv] Long, p. 367.


[xxxv] Long, p. 369.


[xxxvi] Long, p. 370.


[xxxvii] Long, p. 372.


[xxxviii] Long, p. 378.


[xxxix] Long, pp. 378-379.


[xl] Long, pp. 378-379.


[xli] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 319-320; Miers, Vol. III, p. 195; Washington Chronicle, July 8, 1863.


[xlii] Long, p. 381.


[xliii] Long, pp. 382-383.


[xliv] Miers, Vol. III, p. 196.


[xlv] Long, p. 384.


[xlvi] Long, p. 387.


[xlvii] Miers, Vol. III, p. 198.


[xlviii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, p. 342.


[xlix] Long, p. 392.


[l] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, p. 357; Miers, p. 199.


[li] Long, pp. 394-395.


[lii] Long, p. 395; Miers, p. 200.


[liii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 374-375; Long, p. 396.


[liv] Foner, p. 343.


[lv] Long, p. 399.


[lvi] Long, p. 399.


[lvii] Miers, p. 204.


[lviii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 428-429.


[lix] Long, p. 403.


[lx] Long, p. 404.


[lxi] Long, p. 405.


[lxii] Long, p. 407.


[lxiii] Long, pp. 407-408.


[lxiv] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 440-441.


[lxv] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 444-449; Long, p. 409.


[lxvi] Long, pp. 411-412.


[lxvii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 496-497.


[lxviii] Long, p. 211.


[lxix] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 523-524.


[lxx] Miers, Vol. III, p. 217.


[lxxi] Long, p. 435; Miers, pp. 221-222.


[lxxii] Long, p. 436.


[lxxiii] Long, p. 443.


[lxxiv] Long, p. 444.


[lxxv] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 36-56; Long, p. 444.


[lxxvi] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 76-77; Long, p. 447.


[lxxvii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, p. 81; Long, p. 448.


[lxxviii] Foner, p. 167.


[lxxix] Long, p. 454.


[lxxx] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, pp. 145-146; Long, p. 457.


[lxxxi] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, p. 164.


[lxxxii] Long, p. 460.


[lxxxiii] Miers, Vol. III, p. 239.


[lxxxiv] Long, p. 464.


[lxxxv] Miers, Vol. III, p. 241.


[lxxxvi] Long, p. 468.


[lxxxvii] Long, p. 470.


[lxxxviii] Long, p. 472.


[lxxxix] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, pp. 226-227; Long, p. 473; Miers, Vol. III, pp. 244-245.


[xc] Nicolay, pp. 195-196; Grant, personal memoirs, Vol. II, p. 121.


[xci] Long, p. 473; Miers, Vol. III, p. 245.


[xcii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, p. 236; Long, p. 473.


[xciii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, pp. 239-240.


[xciv] Long, p. 474.


[xcv] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, p. 243; Miers, p. 246.


[xcvi] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, pp. 243-244.


[xcvii] Long, p. 476.


[xcviii] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, p. 251; Long, p. 467.


[xcix] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, pp. 260-261; Long, p. 467.


[c] Foner, pp. 297-298; Long, p. 481.


[ci] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, p. 287.


[cii] Long, p. 481.


[ciii] Miers, Vol. III, p. 252; Washington Star, April 7, 1864.


[civ] Miers, Vol. III, p. 252.


[cv] Foner, pp. 294-295; Long, p. 482.


[cvi] Long, p. 464.


[cvii] Long, p. 484.


[cviii] Long, p. 487.


[cix] Long, p. 487.


[cx] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, pp. 328-329.


[cxi] Long, p. 492.


[cxii] Long, pp. 492-493.


[cxiii] Long, p. 496.


[cxiv] Long, p. 499.


[cxv] Long, pp. 501-502.


[cxvi] Long, p. 503.


[cxvii] Long, p. 507.


[cxviii] Long, p. 508.


[cxix] Long, p. 512.


[cxx] Foner.


[cxxi] Long, p. 518.


[cxxii] Long, p. 518.


[cxxiii] Long, pp. 519-520.


[cxxiv] Long, p. 520.


[cxxv] Foner, 1974, p. 43.


[cxxvi] Long, p. 523.


[cxxvii] Long, p. 524.


[cxxviii] Long, pp. 524-525.


[cxxix] Long, p. 527.


[cxxx] Long, p. 528.


[cxxxi] Long, p. 529.


[cxxxii] Long, p. 529.


[cxxxiii] Miers, Vol. III, p. 268; Statue L., XII, 200.


[cxxxiv] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, p. 419; Long, p. 530.


[cxxxv] Long, p. 531; Miers, Vol. III, p. 269.


[cxxxvi] Long, pp. 531-532.


[cxxxvii] Foner, p. 301-302.


[cxxxviii] Foner, 1974, p. 38.


[cxxxix] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, pp. 425-427; Long, p. 534.


[cxl] Long, p. 535.


[cxli] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, pp. 433-434.


[cxlii] Long, pp. 535-536.


[cxliii] Long, p. 537; Miers, Vol. III, p. 271; Hay Diary.


[cxliv] Long, pp. 537-538; Miers, Vol. III, p. 271; Washington Chronicle, July 13, 1864.


[cxlv] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, p. 451.


[cxlvi] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, pp. 448-449.


[cxlvii] Long, pp. 542-543.


[cxlviii] Long, pp. 543-544.


[cxlix] Long, p. 545.


[cl] Long, pp. 551-552.


[cli] Foner, p. 344; Basler, Vol. VII, pp. 503-504.


[clii] Lincoln, Basler, Vol. VII, p. 514.


[cliii] Miers, Vol. III, p. 279.


[cliv] Long, p. 563.


[clv] Long, p. 564.


[clvi] Long, p. 565.


[clvii] Long, p. 567.


[clviii] Long, p. 567.


[clix] Long, p. 571.


[clx] Long, p. 582.


[clxi] Long, p. 583.


[clxii] Long, p. 585.


[clxiii] Miers, Vol. III, p. 292.


[clxiv] Long, p. 591.


[clxv] Long, p. 164.


[clxvi] Long, p. 594; Miers, Vol. III, p. 294.


[clxvii] Lincoln, in Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VIII, p. 100-102; Nevins, 1971; Washington Chronicle, Nov. 11, Hay Diary.


[clxviii] Long, pp. 596-597.


[clxix] Harper’s Weekly.


[clxx] Long, p. 603.


[clxxi] Long, p. 606.


[clxxii] Lincoln, Basler, Vol. 7, cited in Nevins, p. 208.


[clxxiii] Long, p. 606.


[clxxiv] Long, pp. 610-612.


[clxxv] Bureau of the Census, Population of the United States in 1860, p. 599; Drago; Official Records, I, xliv.


[clxxvi] Long, p. 614.


[clxxvii] Long, pp. 614-615.


[clxxviii] Nevins, p. 254.


[clxxix] Long, p. 620.


[clxxx] Long, p. 621.


[clxxxi] Long, p. 621.


[clxxxii] Long, p. 621.


[clxxxiii] Long, p. 623.


[clxxxiv] Official Records.


[clxxxv] Long, pp. 623-625.


[clxxxvi] Long, pp. 626-627.


[clxxxvii] Nevins, p. 213.


[clxxxviii] Foner.


[clxxxix] Basler, Vol. VIII, p. 249.


[cxc] New York Tribune, February 3, 1865.


[cxci] Long, p. 632.


[cxcii] Long, pp. 631-632.


[cxciii] Long, p. 632; Grant Memoirs, Vol. II, p. 422.


[cxciv] Long, p. 632.


[cxcv] Long, p. 634.


[cxcvi] Basler, Vol. VIII, pp. 260-261; Miers, p. 311.


[cxcvii] Long, p. 635.


[cxcviii] Long, p. 637.


[cxcix] Long, pp. 639-640.


[cc] Long, pp. 639-640.


[cci] Long, p. 643.


[ccii] Long, p. 642.


[cciii] Long, p. 643.


[cciv] Long, p. 645.


[ccv] Long, p. 645.


[ccvi] Long, p. 646.


[ccvii] Foner.


[ccviii] Basler, Vol. VIII, pp. 332-333.


[ccix] Miers, pp. 317-318.


[ccx] Long, p. 650.


[ccxi] Long, p. 649.


[ccxii] Long, p. 651.


[ccxiii] Long, pp. 652-653.


[ccxiv] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VIII, pp. 360-362; Long, p. 653.


[ccxv] Long, pp. 654-656.


[ccxvi] Long, pp. 658-659; Sherman’s Memoirs, Vol. II, pp. 325-327.


[ccxvii] Long, p. 659.


[ccxviii] Long, pp. 661-662.


[ccxix] Long, p. 662.


[ccxx] Long, p. 663.


[ccxxi] Basler, Vol. VIII, pp. 384-385.


[ccxxii] Long, p. 664.


[ccxxiii] Long, p. 663.


[ccxxiv] Long, p. 665; Official Records, Vol. XLVI, pt. 3, p. 508.


[ccxxv] Basler, Vol. VIII, p. 385.


[ccxxvi] Long, p. 666.


[ccxxvii] Foner.


[ccxxviii] Miers, pp. 325-326.


[ccxxix] Foner, 1974, p. 46.


[ccxxx] Long, p. 670.


[ccxxxi] Washington Star, April 11-12, 1865; Foner, p. 345.


[ccxxxii] Basler, Vol. VIII, p. 588.


[ccxxxiii] Long, p. 673.


[ccxxxiv] Long, pp. 675-676; Miers, pp. 329-330.


[ccxxxv] Long, p. 677; Miers, p. 330; Nicoly and Hay, X, p. 302.


[ccxxxvi] Long, p. 677.


[ccxxxvii] Long, p. 678.


[ccxxxviii] Long, p. 679.


[ccxxxix] Long, p. 680.


[ccxl] Long, p. 680.


[ccxli] Long, p. 680.


[ccxlii] Long, p. 680.


[ccxliii] Long, p. 685.


[ccxliv] Long, . 686.


[ccxlv] Long, pp. 689-690.


[ccxlvi] Long, p. 690.


[ccxlvii] Long, pp. 690-691.


[ccxlviii] Long, p. 692.


[ccxlix] Long, p. 694.


[ccl] Dumond.


[ccli] Long, p. 696.


[cclii] Long, p. 696.


[ccliii] Long, p. 696.


[ccliv] Long, p. 696.


[cclv] Long, p. 696.


[cclvi] Long.


[cclvii] Long.


[cclviii] Morris and Morris, 1996, p. 276.


[cclix] Finkelman, 2006, vol. 3, p. 408; Morris and Morris, 1996, p. 280.


[cclx] Jenkins, 1998, vol. 2, p. 25.


[cclxi] Finkelman, 2006.


[cclxii] Finkelman, 2006; Jenkins, 1998, vol. 2, p. 25.


[cclxiii] Finkelman, 2006; Jenkins, 1998, vol. 2, p. 25.


[cclxiv] Jenkins, 1998, vol. 2, 25.


[cclxv] Long, p. 696.


[cclxvi] Morris and Morris, 1996, p. 276.


[cclxvii] Morris and Morris, 1996, p. 276.


[cclxviii] Finkelman, 2006.


[cclxix] Finkelman, 2006; Jenkins, 1998, vol. 2, p. 43.


[cclxx] Finkelman, 2006.


[cclxxi] Jenkins, 1998, vol. 2, p. 35.


[cclxxii] Jenkins, 1998, vol. 2, p. 35.


[cclxxiii] Finkelman, 2006; Jenkins, 1998, vol. 2, p. 38.


[cclxxiv] Jenkins, 1998, vol. 2, p. 38.


[cclxxv] Jenkins, 1998, vol. 2, p. 38.


[cclxxvi] Finkelman, 2006; Jenkins, 1998, vol. 2, p. 33.


[cclxxvii] Finkelman, 2006.


[cclxxviii] Finkelman, 2006.


[cclxxix] Finkelman, 2006.

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