Texas Historical Documents

Texas Civil War Timeline

*Events outside of Texas are italicized. 
Summer , 1860Intense anti-Union sentiment in the state results in violence. Lynchings and property destruction occur in isolated incidents across the state.
November 8, 1860Abraham Lincoln elected sixteenth President of the United States. Texas votes with ten other slave states for Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky.
January 8, 1861Elections for delegates to state convention to consider secession.
January 21, 1861The state legislature convenes in Austin at the request of Gov. Sam Houston.
January 28, 1861Approval by the legislature of a joint resolution authorizing a state convention to act for the people of Texas on the secession matter.
January 30, 1861Appointment of a Committee of Public Safety by the Secession Convention.
February 1, 1861Approval of an ordinance of secession by the convention.?
February 2, 1861Committee of Public Safety directed to seize all federal property in Texas.
February 9, 1861Proclamation by Gov. Houston setting an election on the Ordinance of Secession.?
February 16, 1861Seizure of the US Army facility at San Antonio under authority of the Committee of Safety.
February 18, 1861US General David E. Twiggs surrenders all US military posts in Texas.?
February 19, 1861Carlos A. Waite replaces Gen. Twiggs as US Army commander, Department of Texas.?
February 21, 1861Volunteers under the command of Col. John S. 'Rip' Ford seize US property at Brazos Santiago in the Rio Grande Valley.
February 23, 1861State election on the ratification of the Ordinance of Secession.
March 1, 1861Dismissal of Gen. Twiggs from US Army service.?
March 2, 1861Secession Convention reassembles in Austin; seizure of US revenue schooner Henry Dodge by authority of the Committee of Safety.
March 4, 1861Votes on secession canvassed, and ordinance passes. Only eighteen counties show a majority of voters in opposition Gov. Houston signs order showing official secession date as March 2, Texas Independence Day.
March 5, 1861Texas secession convention passes ordinance uniting Texas with the Confederate States of America.
April 12, 1861Southern forces fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor, South Carolina.
April 17, 1861Confederate Col. Earl Van Dorn leads volunteers in capture of Star of the West off coast near Indianola.
April 20, 1861Customs official at Aransas seizes US Coast Guard schooner, Twilight.
April 21, 1861Confederate Col. Earl Van Dorn assumes military command of Texas.
April 28, 1861Capture of US 8th Infantry at San Antonio prisoners of war taken.
May 4, 1861Juan N. Cortina of Mexico leads border raids into Zapata County and is repulsed by Confederates under Capt. Santos Benavides.
May 5, 1861Occupation of forts Arbuckle, Cobb and Washita, Indian Territory (present Oklahoma) by Texans under Col. W. C. Young.
May 8, 1861Capture of US troops at Adams Hill near San Antonio.
July 2, 1861Galveston blockade initiated by USS South Carolina.
July 5, 1861Brig. Gen. H. H. Sibley, CSA, ordered to expel federal forces from New Mexico.
July 21, 1861First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), Virginia.
July 27, 1861Lt. Col. John R. Baylor, CSA, leads capture of Fort Filmore, near Mesilla, New Mexico.
August 14, 1861Gen. Paul 0. Hebert appointed commander of Confederate forces in Texas.
September 9, 1861Terry's Texas Rangers mustered into service in Houston.
October 11 to 16, 1861Texas forces involved in military operations against Indians at Fort Inge, Uvalde County.
October 28, 1861Gen. Sibley's Brigade leaves San Antonio for the invasion of New Mexico.
November 7, 1861Francis R. Lubbock inaugurated governor.
January 11, 1862Texas Military Board created to buy and manufacture arms and munitions.
February 21, 1862Gen. Sibley's Brigade defeats federal forces at Valverde, New Mexico.
February 22, 1862US Navy attacks Aransas Pass.
March 7, 1862Gen. Ben McCulloch of Texas killed at Battle of Pea Ridge Arkansas.
March 28, 1862Battle of Glorieta, New Mexico. Both sides claim victory, but the Confederates are forced to return to Texas following destruction of their supply reserves.
April 6 to 7, 1862Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee. Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston of Texas killed on the first day.
April 18, 1862Enactment of the first Confederate conscription law.
April 25, 1862Capture of US troops at Matagorda Island; surrender of US forces at Indianola.
May 26, 1862The Trans-Mississippi Military Department of the Confederacy created.
May 30, 1862Martial law declared in Texas.
July 28, 1862First Marshall Conference held to discuss wartime affairs of the Trans-Mississippi states of the Confederacy.
August 10, 1862Battle of the Nueces, Kinney County, between Confederates and Hill Country Unionists.
August 16-18, 1862US Navy bombards Corpus Christi; attempts to capture the city are repulsed.
August 29-30, 1862Second Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), Virginia.
September 17, 1862Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg), Maryland.
September 24, 1862US Navy bombards Fort Sabine; two days later federal troops burn a railway depot near Sabine City.
October 1 to 20, 1862Suspected Union sympathizers in Cooke County and surrounding area captured and hanged. Forty die in the event known as the Great Hanging at Gainesville.
October 8, 1862Federal forces capture Galveston.
October 10, 1862Gen. John Bankhead Magruder arrives to command Confederate forces in Texas.
October 29, 1862Confederates attack US Steamer Dan at Sabine City.
October 31, 1862US naval forces bombard Port Lavaca.
November 20, 1862US naval action near Matagorda.
December 12, 1862Naval action against Confederate installation on Padre Island.
January 25, 1862US forces land at Galveston.
January 1, 1863Battle of Galveston Confederates regain control of the city.
January 11, 1863Naval engagement near Galveston between the Union Hatteras and the Confederate Alabama.
January 21, 1863Confederate gunboats Josiah H. Bell and Uncle Ben capture Union warships Morning Light and Velocity off Sabine Pass.
April 18, 1863Federal landing party captured at Sabine Pass.
May 10, 1863Death of Stonewall Jackson.
May 30, 1863US naval attack at Port Isabel.
July 1 to 3, 1863Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
July 4, 1863The fall of Vicksburg, Mississippi.
August 15 to 18, 1863Second Marshall Conference on Trans-Mississippi affairs.
September 8, 1863Battle of Sabine Pass. Federal forces under Gen. William B. Franklin repulsed by small unit led by Lt. Dick Dowling.
September 29 to 30, 1863Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia.
November 2 to 6, 1863Combined federal army and navy operation results in occupation of Brazos Island and Brownsville.
November 5, 1863Pendleton Murrah inaugurated governor.
November 17, 1863Capture of Confederate battery at Aransas Pass.
November 22, 1863Skirmish at Cedar Bayou, Matagorda County.
November 29, 1863US Navy attacks and captures Fort Esperanza, Matagorda Island.
December 15, 1863Laws enacted defining 'sedition' and 'disloyalty'.
December 16, 1863Confederate and Union forces skirmish in Matagorda Bay; US naval attack on Pass Covallo.
January 8, 1864Naval action at mouth of Caney Creek, Matagorda County.
February 11, 1864Union navy bombards and destroys the town of Lamar, Aransas County.
February 17, 1864Conscription law changed to include men from ages 17 to 50.
February 23, 1864Naval fighting near Indianola.
March 10, 1864Federals evacuate Indianola.
March 12, 1864Confederates evacuate Fort McIntosh at Laredo.
March 17, 1864Confederates attack Union forces at Corpus Christi.
March 19, 1864Federal attack on Laredo.
March 21, 1864Union blockading ship attacks at Velasco.
March 22, 1864Federal forces under Texan E. J. Davis defeated near Laredo.
March - May , 1864Texas troops mass in Northeast Texas around Marshall and Tyler to join Confederate action in the Red River campaign in Western Louisiana.
March - May , 1864Intense fighting at Mansfield, Pleasant, Hill and other sites help repulse federal invasion force of Gen. Nathaniel Banks.
June 18, 1864Skirmish at Eagle Pass.
June 25, 1864Skirmish at Las Rucias, Cameron County.
July 7, 1864US naval expedition into Galveston Bay.
July 30, 1864Confederate forces reoccupy Brownsville.
August 4 to 15, 1864Military operations off Brazos Santiago Island by federal forces.
August 17, 1864Maj. Gen. John G. Walker replaces Gen. Magruder as Texas military commander.
August 19, 1864Skirmish at Port Isabel.
September 1, 1864The fall of Atlanta, Georgia.
October 13 to 20, 1864Elm Creek raid near Fort Belknap, Young County; Confederate forces lead punitive expedition.
October 14, 1864Skirmish at Boca Chica, near Brownsville.
December 15 to 20, 1864Indians from Oklahoma area raid Montague County.
January 8, 1865Indian forces defeat Texas troops in the Battle of Dove Creek, southwest of San Angelo.
March 31, 1865Gen. Magruder replaces Gen. Walker as Commander of the District of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.
Spring , 1865Confederates under Capt. James Kaiser move against a suspected community of draft evaders in Hardin County and burn over 3,000 acres of the Big Thicket.
April 9, 1865Gen. Robert E. Lee surrenders to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.
April 14, 1865President Lincoln shot at Ford's Theater, Washington, DC.
May 13, 1865Skirmishing and fighting at Palmito Ranch (near Brownsville), the last land battle of the Civil War.
May - June? , 1865Federal troops enter Texas to enforce Reconstruction efforts under military of Gen. Phillip Sheridan.
June , 1865Gen. George A. Custer headquartered at Austin, among those stationed in Texas.
June 2, 1865Gen. E. Kirby Smith, CSA, surrenders the Trans-Mississippi Department at Galveston.
June 17, 1865A.J. Hamilton appointed provisional governor of Texas.
June 19, 1865US Gen. Gordon Granger, commander of US troops in Texas, arrives in Galveston and issues an order that the Emancipation Proclamation is in effect, thereby ending slavery in Texas. The event is later celebrated as Juneteenth.