January 9 – The unarmed vessel, Star of the West, arrives to reinforce the Federal garrison of soldiers at Ft. Sumter in Charleston harbor and is fired upon by southerners. The reinforcements are never delivered.
January 9 – Mississippi becomes the second State to secede from the Union.
January 11 – Alabama becomes the third State to secede.
January – 19 – Georgia secedes from the Union, becoming the fourth southern State to do so.
January 26 – Louisiana becomes the fifth southern State to formally secede.
January 29 – Kansas is admitted to the Union as a free state.
For a complete timeline of the American Civil War see the Civil War Gazette’s timeline here.