1862 events in history

Jan 16 Hartley Colliery Disaster: 204 men and boys killed in a mining disaster, prompted a change in UK law which henceforth required all collieries to have at least two independent means of escape
Jan 19 American Civil War: Battle of Mill Springs – The Confederacy suffers its first significant defeat in the conflict
Jan 24 Bucharest is proclaimed the capital of Romania
Jan 30 The first American ironclad warship, the USS Monitor is launched
Jan 31 Alvan Graham Clark discovers the white dwarf star Sirius B, a companion of Sirius, through an 18.5-inch (47 cm) telescope now located at Northwestern University
Feb 6 American Civil War: forces under the command of Ulysses S. Grant and Andrew H. Foote give the Union its first victory of the war, capturing Fort Henry, Tennessee in the Battle of Fort Henry
Feb 10 American Civil War: A Union naval flotilla destroys the bulk of the Confederate Mosquito Fleet in the Battle of Elizabeth City on the Pasquotank River in North Carolina
Feb 15 American Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant attacks Fort Donelson, Tennessee
Feb 16 American Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant captures Fort Donelson, Tennessee
Feb 21 American Civil War: Battle of Valverde is fought near Fort Craig in New Mexico Territory
Feb 22 Jefferson Davis is officially inaugurated for a six-year term as the President of the Confederate States of America in Richmond, Virginia. He was previously inaugurated as a provisional president on February 18, 1861
Mar 7 American Civil War: Union forces defeat Confederate troops at the Pea Ridge in northwestern Arkansas
Mar 8 American Civil War: The iron-clad CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack) is launched at Hampton Roads, Virginia
Mar 9 American Civil War: The USS Monitor and CSS Virginia fight to a draw in the Battle of Hampton Roads, the first battle between two ironclad warships
Mar 13 American Civil War: The U.S. federal government forbids all Union army officers from returning fugitive slaves, thus effectively annulling the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and setting the stage for the Emancipation Proclamation
Mar 23 The First Battle of Kernstown, Virginia, marks the start of Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign. Though a Confederate defeat, the engagement distracts Federal efforts to capture Richmond
Mar 28 American Civil War: Battle of Glorieta Pass – in New Mexico, Union forces stop the Confederate invasion of New Mexico territory. The battle began on March 26
Apr 5 American Civil War: The Battle of Yorktown begins
Apr 6 American Civil War: The Battle of Shiloh begins – in Tennessee, forces under Union General Ulysses S. Grant meet Confederate troops led by General Albert Sidney Johnston
Apr 7 American Civil War: Battle of Shiloh ends – the Union Army under General Ulysses S. Grant defeats the Confederates near Shiloh, Tennessee
Apr 12 American Civil War: The Andrews Raid (the Great Locomotive Chase) occurs, starting from Big Shanty, Georgia (now Kennesaw)
Apr 16 American Civil War: Battle at Lee's Mills in Virginia
Apr 16 American Civil War: The District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act, a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia, becomes law
Apr 20 Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard complete the experiment falsifying the theory of spontaneous generation
Apr 25 American Civil War: Forces under Union Admiral David Farragut demand the surrender of the Confederate city of New Orleans, Louisiana
Apr 29 American Civil War: New Orleans, Louisiana falls to Union forces under Admiral David Farragut
May 1 American Civil War: The Union Army completes its capture of New Orleans
May 5 Cinco de Mayo: troops led by Ignacio Zaragoza halt a French invasion in the Battle of Puebla in Mexico
May 11 American Civil War: The ironclad CSS Virginia is scuttled in the James River northwest of Norfolk, Virginia
May 12 U.S. federal troops occupy Baton Rouge, Louisiana
May 13 The USS Planter, a steamer and gunship, steals through Confederate lines and is passed to the Union, by a southern slave, Robert Smalls, who later was officially appointed as captain, becoming the first black man to command a United States ship
May 15 President Abraham Lincoln signs a bill into law creating the United States Bureau of Agriculture. It is later renamed the United States Department of Agriculture
May 20 U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signs the Homestead Act into law
May 31 American Civil War Peninsula Campaign: Battle of Seven Pines or (Battle of Fair Oaks) – Confederate forces under Joseph E. Johnston & G.W. Smith engage Union forces under George B. McClellan outside Richmond, Virginia
Jun 1 American Civil War, Peninsula Campaign: the Battle of Seven Pines (or the Battle of Fair Oaks) ends inconclusively, with both sides claiming victory
Jun 3 A 3000-strong riot occurred at Wardsend Cemetery in the Sheffield, England, against rumours of bodysnatching from the grounds
Jun 4 American Civil War: Confederate troops evacuate Fort Pillow on the Mississippi River, leaving the way clear for Union troops to take Memphis, Tennessee
Jun 5 As the Treaty of Saigon is signed, ceding parts of southern Vietnam to France, the guerrilla leader Trương Định decides to defy Emperor Tự Đức of Vietnam and fight on against the Europeans
Jun 6 American Civil War: Battle of Memphis – Union forces capture Memphis, Tennessee, from the Confederates
Jun 7 The United States and the United Kingdom agree to suppress the slave trade
Jun 8 American Civil War: Battle of Cross Keys – Confederate forces under General Stonewall Jackson save the Army of Northern Virginia from a Union assault on the James Peninsula led by General George B. McClellan
Jun 9 American Civil War: Stonewall Jackson concludes his successful Shenandoah Valley Campaign with a victory in the Battle of Port Republic; his tactics during the campaign are now studied by militaries around the world
Jun 19 The U.S. Congress prohibits slavery in United States territories, nullifying Dred Scott v. Sandford
Jun 20 Barbu Catargiu, the Prime Minister of Romania, is assassinated
Jul 1 American Civil War: The Battle of Malvern Hill takes place. It is the final battle in the Seven Days Campaign, part of George B. McClellan's Peninsula Campaign
Jul 1 The Russian State Library is founded as The Library of the Moscow Public Museum
Jul 1 Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, second daughter of Queen Victoria, marries Prince Louis of Hesse, the future Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse
Jul 4 Lewis Carroll tells Alice Liddell a story that would grow into Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequels
Jul 12 The Medal of Honor is authorized by the United States Congress
Jul 16 American Civil War: David Farragut is promoted to rear admiral, becoming the first officer in United States Navy to hold an admiral rank