War - 1860
Celebrate the Civil War: 150 Year Anniversary
slave population in the 1860 United States Census: 3,954,174.
The United States Census of 1860 concludes the U.S. population
is 31,443,321, which is an increase of 35.4 percent over the
23,191,875 persons enumerated during the 1850 Census.
The 1860 Census shows 26 percent
of all Northerners but only 10 percent of Southerners live in
towns or cities. The census also shows that 80 per cent of the
Southern workforce but only 40 per cent of the Northern work
force works in agriculture.
Southern opposition kills the
Pacific Railway Bill of 1860. President Buchanan vetoes a
1860 Wiyot Massacre: 80 to 250 Wiyot people were killed on
Indian Island, near Eureka, California.
Abraham Lincoln gives his Cooper Union speech.
May 1: A
Chondrite type meteorite falls to earth in Muskingum County,
Ohio near the town of New Concord.
May 6: The
Paiute War begins as Northern Paiutes raided Williams
Station in Utah Territory.
May 9: The
U.S. Constitutional Union Party holds its convention and
nominates John Bell for President of the United States.
Paiute War – First Battle of Pyramid Lake: American
vigilantes seek out the Paiutes and are soundly defeated.
Disorganized and outnumbered, nearly all of the vigilantes
are killed or wounded.
Abraham Lincoln is selected as the U.S. presidential
candidate for the Republican Party.
U.S. presidential election: Abraham Lincoln beats John C.
Breckinridge, Stephen A. Douglas, and John Bell and is
elected as the 16th President of the United States, the
first Republican to hold that office. Lincoln wins all of
the electoral votes in all of the free states except New
Jersey where he wins 4 votes and Douglas wins 3.
Charleston, South Carolina authorities arrest a Federal
officer. The officer attempted to move supplies to Fort
Moultrie from Charleston Arsenal.
the Palmetto Flag of South Carolina is raised over the
Charleston harbor batteries.
The South Carolina
legislature calls a convention to consider whether the
State should secede from the Union for December 17.
U.S. Senators James
Chesnut, Jr. and James Henry Hammond of South Carolina
resign from the U.S. Senate.
Congressman Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia, later
Vice President of the Confederate States of America, speaks
to the Georgia legislature in opposition to secession.
Major Robert Anderson of
the First United States Artillery, a 55-year old career
army officer from Kentucky, was ordered to take command
of Fort Moultrie and the defenses in Charleston Harbor,
including Fort Sumter.
United States Navy
Lieutenant Tunis Craven informs authorities in
Washington, D.C. that he is proceeding to take moves to
protect Fort Taylor at Key West, Florida and Fort
Jefferson on the Dry Tortugas, Florida. Craven rightly
suspects Southern States will try to seize federal
property and military supplies.
Lincoln says that his administration will permit states to
control their own internal affairs.
Major Anderson requests reinforcements for his
small force at Charleston.
South Carolina delegates meet with Buchanan and believe he
agrees not to change military situation at Charleston.
Major Don Carlos Buell delivers a message to Major Anderson
from Secretary of War Floyd. Anderson is authorized to put
his command in any of the forts at Charleston to resist
their seizure. Later in the month Floyd says Anderson
violated the President's pledge to keep the status quo
pending further discussions and the garrison should be
removed from Charleston.
Secretary of State Lewis Cass of Michigan resigns. He
believes President Buchanan should reinforce the Charleston
forts and is unhappy about Buchanan's lack of action.
The South Carolina Secession Convention begins.
Senator John J.
Crittenden proposes the so-called Crittenden Compromise
hoping to resolve the U.S. secession crisis.
Texas Rangers defeat a
band of Comanches at the Battle of Pease River; Cynthia
Ann Parker is recaptured and returned to her family
after 24 years.
South Carolina becomes
the first state to secede from the United States.
Secession begins when the convention declares "that the
Union now subsisting between South Carolina and other
states under the name of the 'United States of America'
is hereby dissolved." The convention published a
Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and
Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal
Union in explanation and support of their position. The
document cites "encroachments on the reserved rights of
the states" and "an increasing hostility of the
non-slaveholding states to the institution of slavery"
and "the election of a man to the high office of
President of the United States, whose opinions and
purposes are hostile to slavery" as among the causes.
Vice President John C.
Breckenridge of Kentucky, unsuccessful candidate of the
Southern Democrats for President and later Confederate
general and Secretary of War, appoints a Committee of
Thirteen U.S. Senators of differing views, including
Jefferson Davis, Robert Toombs, William Seward and
Stephen A. Douglas, to consider the state of the nation
and to propose solutions to the crisis.
The four United States Congressmen from South
Carolina withdraw from the U.S. House of Representatives.
President Buchanan asks for the resignation of Secretary of
War John B. Floyd, a former governor of Virginia, whose
actions appear to favor the Southern secessionists. He
arranged to shift weapons from Pittsburgh and other
locations to the South. The War Department stops the
transfer of weapons from Pittsburgh on January 3.
Under cover of darkness, Major Anderson moves the
Federal garrison at Charleston, South Carolina from Fort
Moultrie, which is indefensible from the landward side, to
the unfinished Fort Sumter, which is located on an island in
Charleston harbor. He spikes the guns of Fort Moultrie.
Secessionists react angrily and feel betrayed because they
thought President Buchanan would maintain the status quo.
South Carolina troops occupy the abandoned Fort Moultrie and
another fortification, Castle Pinckney, which had been
occupied only by an ordnance sergeant.
December 29: Secretary of
War John B. Floyd resigns.
Buchanan meets with South Carolina commissioners as "private
gentlemen." They demand removal of federal troops from
Charleston. Buchanan states he needs more time to consider
South Carolina troops
seize the Charleston Arsenal.
General Winfield Scott, general-in-chief of the U.S.
Army, asks permission from President Buchanan to
reinforce and resupply Fort Sumter but receives no
The Committee reports
they are unable to agree on a compromise proposal.
Buchanan says Congress
must define the relations between the Federal government
and South Carolina and that he will not withdraw the
troops from Charleston.