April 12/13 – The American Civil War officially begins when rebels in Charleston fire on the U.S. Fort Sumter in the harbor. Fire is returned from the Federals. There are no war-casualties. The fort is surrendered on the 13th.
April 15 – President Abraham Lincoln calls for 75,000 volunteers to serve a 90-day term in the U.S. Army to quell the rebellion. In December 1860 there were barely 16,000 men in the Army, most positioned in the Western region of the United States.
April 17 – the upper north part of Virginia secedes from the Union seizing the shipyard at Norfolk and the armory at Harper’s Ferry.
April 18 – Robert E. Lee rejects offer to head up the U.S. Army at request of Abraham Lincoln.
April 19 – Union soldiers of the 6th Massachusetts Infantry are attacked on the streets of Baltimore, Maryland. Four soldiers and twelve civilians are killed in the violence. Maryland would officially remain a border State throughout the war, though a slave-holding State.
April 19 – Lincolns orders a blockade of Confederate States.
See the complete Civil War Timeline here.
For more information:
- Read: The Civil War Day By Day: An Almanac, 1861-1865
- Read: Allegiance: Fort Sumter, Charleston, and the Beginning of the Civil War by David Detzer
- Read: Two Roads to Sumter: Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis and the March to the Civil War byBruce Catton
- See the complete Civil War Timeline here.