Civil War Homefront

Date Event
In Philadelphia, John Wanamaker and Nathan Brown open their first store on Market Street
In Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania legislature enacts pensions for war widows with children
- The Presbyterian General Assembly is meeting in Philadelphia and its decisions will split the Church
In Philadelphia, the Cooper Shop Volunteer Refreshment Saloon opens
Philadelphia man arrested on a charge of inciting riot then freed on First Amendment grounds
In downtown St. Louis, Missouri, nervous Union troops, thinking they were shot at, fire on civilians, killing six
Federal troops arrest Baltimore's four Police Commissioners in pre-dawn raids on their homes
With a presidential proclamation, Abraham Lincoln calls for a day of "humiliation, prayer, and fasting"
Editor of a Southern-leaning newspaper tarred and feathered in Haverhill, Massachusetts
Slave owning Philadelphian Pierce Butler, former husband of Fanny Kemble, arrested for treason
- Federal troops in Maryland swoop to arrest pro-secession legislators, officials, and newspaper editors
In New York City, prominent Catholic editor James A. McMaster arrested and his journal suspended
Philadelphia arms itself to resist any Confederate attack on the city
In Baltimore, federal troops begin a systematic search for arms caches in the city
U.S. Post Office excludes "disloyal" Louisville newspaper from its mails and post offices
The Union, by presidential proclamation, holds a day of "humiliation, prayer, and fasting" for the nation
In Missouri, U.S. Army officials seize $33,000 of Cherokee Nation funds held in St. Louis banks
The Confederate Post Office issues its first postage stamps, bearing the likeness of Jefferson Davis
In Philadelphia, the Committee on the Safety and Defense of the City reports on its preparations
On E Street in the capital, the Washington Infirmary, now a military hospital, burns to the ground
Republican governors Andrew of Massachusetts and Ramsey of Minnesota easily re-elected
In Maryland, Unionists triumph in the statewide elections and Augustus Bradford is elected as governor
- In Eastern Tennessee, local Unionists burn five railroad bridges prompting a furious Confederate response
Jefferson Davis declares a day of "fasting, humiliation, and prayer" across the Confederacy
Julia Ward Howe composes the verses that will become the words to "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"
In Baltimore, a hotel suspected of being a Confederate mail station is raided and seized
In Paducah, Kentucky, Union officers clash over the treatment of a local secessionist
Philadelphia's Home Guard, instituted in September, now numbers around four thousand members
Ethel Beers publishes her poem "The Picket Guard" with its famous lines "All Quiet Along the Potomac"
In Greeneville, Tennessee, the Confederate military executes two local Unionists for burning railroad bridges
- A devastating fire destroys a third of Charleston, South Carolina destroying hundreds of historic buildings
Kansas Volunteers burn the western Missouri towns of Papinsville and Butler in Bates County
At the Academy of Music in New York City, William Hanlon debuts his celebrated trapeze act
In Missouri, Union troops searching for Confederate guerrillas burn most of Platte City to the ground
In Jackson County, Virginia, Confederate irregulars raid the town of Ripley and rob the post office
In Knoxville, Tennessee, a condemned Unionist saboteur receives an eleventh hour reprieve from President Davis
Union Colonel James A. Mulligan, hero of the Battle of Lexington, speaks for a Catholic charity in Philadelphia
Banks in New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia suspend payment in gold and silver
Federal Income Tax takes effect in the United States
In Annapolis, Unionist Augustus Bradford is sworn in as the 32nd Governor of Maryland
In Columbus, National Union Democrat David Tod is sworn in as the 25th Governor of Ohio
Agoston Haraszthy brings 100,000 vine cuttings from Europe to the vineyards of northern California
St. Louis southern sympathizer contests local tax to help refugees and lands in jail, with his lawyer
In Washington DC, President and Mrs. Lincoln attend an evening of Verdi and Bellini opera
Verses of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" published anonymously in the Atlantic Monthly
Massachusetts court orders six men to trial for the August tarring and feathering of a Haverhill editor
In Warren County, Kentucky, Confederate forces begin the evacuation of Bowling Green
In Philadelphia, the city's War of 1812 veterans organize a militia company
In Warren County, Kentucky, Confederate forces complete the evacuation of Bowling Green
In Washington, the House of Representatives votes 125-7 to establish a Department of Agriculture
The victory at Fort Donelson met with enthusiastic celebrations in Philadelphia and across the North
War souvenir kills two young men in a Camden, New Jersey hotel
Massachusetts votes to build its own ironclads to defend its coast against the Confederate Navy
The governors of Pennsylvania and New Jersey also react to the emergence of naval ironclad warfare
In Cincinnati, Wendell Phillips is forced from the stage as he attempts agitate for abolition and disunion
Abolitionist lecture in Burlington, New Jersey ends in chaos and a barrage of rotten eggs
Massive explosion at a Philadelphia cartridge factory kills sixteen people and levels the complex
The War Department suspends military recruitment across the North
- In billiards, Michael Foley wins his much anticipated return match with Dudley Kavanaugh
On Fifth Avenue in New York City, the Delmonico Brothers open their third establishment
Confederate president Jefferson Davis signs the first Conscription Act in American history
In Virginia, defiant Fredericksburg officials surrender their town to Union General Irvin McDowell
The U.S. Congress completes a bill to establish a new mint in Denver, Colorado
In Richmond, Virginia, Union agent Timothy Webster becomes the first spy executed during the war
U.S. House censures former Secretary of War Simon Cameron for his lax fiscal dealings while in office
Major General Benjamin Butler begins his notorious eight months as military governor of New Orleans
In Washington, President Lincoln signs a bill to establish a separate Department of Agriculture
Maryland slaveholders meet President Lincoln to complain about non-enforcement of Fugitive Slave Act
President Lincoln signs the Homestead Act
The War Department reopens military recruitment across the North
The harness racing season opens in New York City with a $800 match race on Long Island
Virginia working women demonstrate and then precipitate a "Bread Riot"in the Confederate capital
In municipal elections, Unionists wrest political control of Des Moines, Iowa from Democrats
The well-to-do women of Springfield, Illinois form a "Loyal Ladies League"
The American Temperance Union holds its annual meeting in New York City
In Dixon, Illinois, four thousand Union supporters dedicate a new Unionist meeting hall
In New Jersey, a clandestine bareknuckle prize fight ends in mayhem
Indiana's Democrats hold a mass meeting at their convention in Indianapolis
Registration of those eligible under the Conscription Act begins in New York City
In Ohio, a massive Union meeting at Mount Vernon in Knox County reaffirms Ohio's loyalty
In Wisconsin, Provost-Marshal's Office in Milwaukee moved to Racine over anti-draft mob threats
In New York, German leaders angrily defend German-born Union troops
- In Chicago, the American Medical Association holds its first annual meeting since 1860
The press reports that a draft enroller in Berks County, Pennsylvania resigns in fear of his life
New York City's editors meet to condemn infringements of the free press
In Indiana, sheriff's deputies escorting the federal draft commissioner are fatally ambushed
The New York Yacht Club holds its annual regatta around Manhattan
In central Ohio, serious armed resistance to the draft enrollment grows more threatening
At "Fort Fizzle" in Holmes County, Ohio, federal troops end active draft resistance
Striking railroad company workers riot in Albany, New York
Federal draft official shot dead from ambush in Sullivan County, Indiana
- In New York City, violent protests against the Draft Lottery develop swiftly into four days of deadly rioting
Rioters in New York City loot and burn the Colored Orphans' Asylum on Fifth Avenue
Rioters brutally beat, torture, and kill Colonel Henry F. O'Brian, commander of the 11th New York Volunteers
Washington D.C. suspends the draft in the riot-stricken city of New York
The military draft lottery resumes in New York City, more than a month after the Draft Riots
More than a thousand names are drawn in the resumed Draft Lottery in New York's Sixteenth Ward
In New York City elections, Independent Democrat C. Godfrey Gunther wins the mayor's race
The Great Western Sanitary Fair opens in Cincinnati, Ohio
Archbishop John Hughes is buried in a ceremony at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City
The New York City fire department welcomes home the Second Regiment of Fire Zouaves
In Philadelphia, a Massachusetts colonel dispenses rough justice to a tavern owner for selling his men liquor
In Connecticut, the new Travellers' Insurance Company sells the country's first travel insurance policy
The combined Sanitary Fair of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware opens in Philadelphia
In San Francisco, William Ralston founds the Bank of California, initial capital two million dollars in gold
Confederate raiders infiltrating from Canada fail in an attempt to rob the town bank in Calais, Maine
In Philadelphia, parts of a female asylum collapse, killing fifteen patients and injuring twenty more
Confederate raiders infiltrating from Canada attack the Vermont town of St. Albans
Eighteen years after ground was broken, the new Roman Catholic Basilica of Philadelphia is dedicated
- In New York City, Confederate agents make an apparent but failed attempt to fire much of Manhattan
In Texas, the bodies of the German-American victims of the 1862 "Nueces Massacre" are buried together.
In Philadelphia, the Cooper Shop Volunteer Refreshment Saloon closes its doors
The U.S. Supreme Court decides "Ex Parte Milligan" in favor of the plaintiffs and orders them released
In Columbus, Ohio, Lambdin P. Milligan walks free after almost two years in prison
Former Maryland congressman Henry May, imprisoned at the start of the Civil War, dies in Baltimore.
George W.L. Bickley, notorious Copperhead and founder of the the Knights of the Golden Circle, dies in Baltimore.
John A. Andrew, War Governor of Massachusetts, dies suddenly at his home in Boston, aged forty-nine.
Date Title
New York Herald, “Our Fashionable Summer Resorts,” June 2, 1861
Raleigh (NC) Register, “Signs of Distress,” June 5, 1861
Fayetteville (NC) Observer, “The Mothers and Wives,” June 6, 1861
Ripley (OH) Bee, “Fugitives from Oppression,” June 20, 1861
New York Times, “Famine Among the Confederates,” June 20, 1861
Atchison (KS) Freedom’s Champion, “The Fourth of July,” June 22, 1861
Fayetteville (NC) Observer, “From the West,” June 24, 1861
Cleveland (OH) Herald, “Does It Pay to Feed Passing Troops?,” July 3, 1861
Charleston (SC) Mercury, “A Pleasant Summer Beverage,” July 11, 1861
New York Tribune, “Our Soldiers’ Families,” July 16, 1861
Charleston (SC) Mercury, “The Mississippi Women,” July 18, 1861
Memphis (TN) Appeal, “Clothing For Our Army,” August 8, 1861
Cleveland (OH) Herald, “Vallandigham’s District,” August 15, 1861
Fayetteville (NC) Observer, “A Dismal Foreboding,” August 22, 1861
Atchison (KS) Freedom’s Champion, “The Cry of Peace,” August 31, 1861
Gen. William Nelson's Proclamation and Offer of Amnesty in Kentucky, October 17, 1861
George W. Phillips, Assistant U.S. Marshall, to Judges of U.S. Circuit Court of the District of Columbia, October 26, 1861
Gen. B. F. Kelley to the People of Hampshire County, Virginia, October 26, 1861
Gen. John Dix to the U.S. Marshals in Maryland, Instructions on the upcoming State Elections, November 1, 1861
Major-General John Adams Dix, To the People of Accomac and Northampton Counties of Virginia, November 13, 1861
President Jefferson Davis, Message to the Confederate Congress, November 18, 1861
Brigadier-General Henry Lockwood, To the People of Accomac and Northampton Counties of Virginia, November 23, 1861
Judah P. Benjamin to Colonel W.B. Wood, Instructions concerning Eastern Tennessee, November 25, 1861
Colonel Charles R. Jennison, Proclamation to the People of Eastern Missouri, November 26, 1861
Brigadier-General Charles F. Smith, General Orders No. 36, Paducah, Kentucky, November 27, 1861
Major-General David Hunter to Trustees of Platte City, Missouri, December 1, 1861
Claiborne Fox Jackson to the Soldiers and Fellow-Citizens of Missouri, December 13, 1861
Major-General Henry Wager Halleck, General Order 32, Department of Missouri, December 22, 1861
Colonel James A. Garfield to the Citizens of the Big Sandy Valley, Kentucky, January 16, 1862
Fayetteville (NC) Observer, “Burning Towns,” February 24, 1862
Proclamation of Governor John A. Andrew, March 1, 1862
Fayetteville (NC) Observer, “Mob-Law by the Ladies,” April 7, 1862
President Abraham Lincoln, Proclamation to the Nation
Shreveport (LA) News, “The Ladies Making Shoes,” April 25, 1862
Major General Benjamin F. Butler, Proclamation to the Citizens of New Orleans, May 1, 1862
Major-General Mansfield Lovell, General Order 17, May 3, 1862
Abraham Lincoln to Henry Wilson, May 15, 1862
Raleigh (NC) Register, “Reception of the Wounded,” December 24, 1862
Carlisle (PA) American Volunteer, “Every Man To Duty,” July 9, 1863
Carlisle (PA) American, “What Invasion Has Taught Pennsylvania,” July 15, 1863
Abraham Lincoln to Horatio Seymour, August 7, 1863
Stephen Minot Weld, Jr. to Stephen Minot Weld, Sr, Annapolis, Maryland, March 25, 1864
Abraham Lincoln, Speech at Great Central Sanitary Fair, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 16, 1864
Abraham Lincoln to Mrs. Lydia Bixby, November 21, 1864
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