1861 events in history

Jan 1 Porfirio Díaz conquers Mexico City, Mexico
Jan 3 American Civil War: Delaware votes not to secede from the United States
Jan 9 Mississippi becomes the second state to secede from the Union before the outbreak of the American Civil War
Jan 9 American Civil War: The "Star of the West" incident occurs near Charleston, South Carolina. It is considered by some historians to be the "First Shots of the American Civil War"
Jan 10 American Civil War: Florida secedes from the Union
Jan 11 Alabama secedes from the United States
Jan 19 American Civil War: Georgia joins South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama in seceding from the United States
Jan 21 American Civil War: Jefferson Davis resigns from the United States Senate
Jan 26 American Civil War: The state of Louisiana secedes from the Union
Jan 29 Kansas is admitted as the 34th U.S. state
Feb 1 American Civil War: Texas secedes from the United States
Feb 4 American Civil War: In Montgomery, Alabama, delegates from six break-away U.S. states meet and form the Confederate States of America
Feb 9 American Civil War: Jefferson Davis is elected the Provisional President of the Confederate States of America by the Confederate convention at Montgomery, Alabama
Feb 10 Jefferson Davis is notified by telegraph that he has been chosen as provisional President of the Confederate States of America
Feb 11 American Civil War: United States House of Representatives unanimously passes a resolution guaranteeing noninterference with slavery in any state
Feb 13 In Gaeta the capitulation of the fortress decreeing the end of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies is signed
Feb 18 With Italian unification almost complete, Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont, Savoy and Sardinia assumes the title of King of Italy
Feb 18 In Montgomery, Alabama, Jefferson Davis is inaugurated as the provisional President of the Confederate States of America
Feb 19 Serfdom is abolished in Russia
Feb 23 President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrives secretly in Washington, D.C., after the thwarting of an alleged assassination plot in Baltimore, Maryland
Feb 27 Russian troops fire on a crowd in Warsaw protesting against Russian rule over Poland, killing five protesters
Mar 3 Alexander II of Russia signs the Emancipation Manifesto, freeing serfs
Mar 4 The first national flag of the Confederate States of America (the "Stars and Bars") is adopted
Mar 10 El Hadj Umar Tall seizes the city of Ségou, destroying the Bambara Empire of Mali
Mar 11 American Civil War: The Constitution of the Confederate States of America is adopted
Mar 16 Edward Clark becomes Governor of Texas, replacing Sam Houston, who has been evicted from the office for refusing to take an oath of loyalty to the Confederacy
Mar 17 The Kingdom of Italy is proclaimed
Mar 19 The First Taranaki War ends in New Zealand
Mar 20 An earthquake completely destroys Mendoza, Argentina
Mar 21 Alexander Stephens gives the Cornerstone Speech
Apr 6 First performance of Arthur Sullivan's debut success, his suite of incidental music for The Tempest, leading to a career that included the famous Gilbert and Sullivan operas
Apr 12 American Civil War: The war begins with Confederate forces firing on Fort Sumter, in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina
Apr 13 American Civil War: Fort Sumter surrenders to Confederate forces
Apr 15 President Abraham Lincoln calls for 75,000 Volunteers to quell the insurrection that soon became the American Civil War
Apr 19 American Civil War: Baltimore riot of 1861: A pro-Secession mob in Baltimore, Maryland, attacks United States Army troops marching through the city
Apr 20 American Civil War: Robert E. Lee resigns his commission in the United States Army in order to command the forces of the state of Virginia
Apr 27 American President Abraham Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus
Apr 29 American Civil War: Maryland's House of Delegates votes not to secede from the Union
May 6 American Civil War: Richmond, Virginia is declared the new capital of the Confederate States of America
May 6 American Civil War: Arkansas secedes from the Union
May 8 American Civil War: Richmond, Virginia is named the capital of the Confederate States of America
May 13 American Civil War: Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom issues a "proclamation of neutrality" which recognizes the breakaway states as having belligerent rights
May 13 Pakistan's (then a part of British India) first railway line opens, from Karachi to Kotri
May 13 The Great Comet of 1861 is discovered by John Tebbutt of Windsor, New South Wales, Australia
May 20 American Civil War: The state of Kentucky proclaims its neutrality, which will last until September 3 when Confederate forces enter the state. Meanwhile, the State of North Carolina secedes from the Union
May 24 American Civil War: Union troops occupy Alexandria, Virginia
May 29 The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce is founded, in Hong Kong
Jun 1 American Civil War, Battle of Fairfax Court House (June 1861): the first land battle of the American Civil War after the Battle of Fort Sumter, producing the first Confederate combat casualty
Jun 3 American Civil War: Battle of Philippi (also called the Philippi Races) – Union forces rout Confederate troops in Barbour County, Virginia, now West Virginia, in first land battle of the War
Jun 8 American Civil War: Tennessee secedes from the Union