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Eastern theater of war 1862, blue: Union campaigns, red: Confederation campaigns
Otto von Bismarck, around 1860To implement his army reform, the Prussian Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck gives
his blood and iron speech.
Contemporary poster for the proclamation Abraham Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation , the end of slavery in the southern United States , dedicated to the Union in the war are.
Attack of the Iron Brigade at Antietam (a lithograph from a painting by Thure de Thulstrup)The Battle of Antietam
will be “the bloodiest day in American history”.
1862 in other calendars
Armenian calendar 1310/11 (turn of the year July)
Ethiopian calendar 1854/55 (September 10-11)
Baha'i calendar 18/19 (March 20/21)
Bengali solar calendar 1267/68 (beginning of April 14th or 15th)
Buddhist calendar 2405/06 (southern Buddhism); 2404/05 (alternative calculation according to Buddha's Parinirvana )
Chinese calendar 75th (76th) cycle

Year of the Water Dog壬戌 ( at the beginning of the year metal rooster 辛酉)

Chula Sakarat (Siam, Myanmar) / Dai calendar (Vietnam) 1224/25 (turn of the year April)
Dangun era (Korea) 4195/96 (October 2/3)
Iranian calendar 1240/41 (around March 21)
Islamic calendar 1278/79 (June 28-29)
Jewish calendar 5622/23 (September 24/25)
Coptic calendar 1578/79 (September 10-11)
Malayalam calendar 1037/38
Rumi Calendar (Ottoman Empire) 1277/78 (March 1)
Seleucid era Babylon: 2172/73 (turn of the year April)

Syria: 2173/74 (turn of the year October)

Vikram Sambat (Nepalese Calendar) 1918/19 (April)

By 1862 at the latest, it became clear to the parties to the conflict that the American Civil War would develop into a long and costly war for both sides. A march of Union troops on Richmond , Virginia, can only be stopped a few kilometers from the Confederate capital, and the Union capital Washington is briefly confronted with enemy units in the immediate vicinity during the course of the year.

The Civil War is one of the first to be documented photographically, and the unadorned pictures of dead soldiers are, in addition to the lack of military success, a reason why Abraham Lincoln increasingly loses support for "his" war in the Union and several commanders in chief during the year his army must exchange. Even so far formally neutral European states are flirting more and more openly with the diplomatic recognition of the confederation . The Battle of Antietam turns out to be the bloodiest day in American history . The battle, which ends in a draw, but can be sold as a tactical victory by the Union because the new Confederate Commander in Chief Robert E. Lee has to withdraw from Union territory. This gives Lincoln the opportunity for the already prepared Emancipation Proclamation , with which he declares slavery to be abolished in those southern states that are at war with the Union.

In its western territories, the Union is fighting a Sioux uprising triggered by mismanagement , which can only be put down with great effort and bloody after several months.

In neighboring Mexico , the French Emperor Napoleon III. the fact that the US is otherwise busy for its military intervention and conquers large parts of the country in the course of the year, even if the defeat in the Battle of Puebla means a brief setback and the powers Spain and Great Britain, allied with France, withdraw their support .

In Prussia , Otto von Bismarck is appointed Prime Minister. When the liberally dominated House of Representatives refused to support him for an army reform despite his blood and iron speech, he dissolved it without further ado and proclaimed a “budget-free regiment”, which ultimately escalated the Prussian constitutional conflict .


January 1st

Switzerland : Jakob Stämpfli becomes Federal President for the third time .

11th January

Honduras : President José Santos Guardiola is assassinated.

12 - February 15

Civil War : Battle of Fort Donelson

February 18

The 1st Congress of the Confederate States of America begins its work.

March 7th / 8th

Civil War: Battle of Pea Ridge

March 8th / 9th

Civil War: Battle of Hampton Roads

March 12th

The smallpox epidemic on the Pacific coast of North America begins in 1862 .

March 23

Jackson's Shenandoah campaign begins in 1862 .

26 / March 28

Civil War: Battle of the Glorieta Pass

March 29

Civil War: Battle at Stanwix Station

6 / 7 April

Civil War: Battle of Shiloh

12. April

Civil War: Andrews Raid

April 28

Civil War: David Glasgow Farragut conquers New Orleans .

5th of May

Civil War: Battle of Williamsburg

5th of May

French intervention in Mexico : Battle of Puebla

May 6th

Elections to the Prussian House of Representatives

May 15

Civil War: First Stand at Drewry's Bluff

May 20th

Abraham Lincoln signs the Homestead Act .

May 29th

Japan : Teradaya Incident

May 29th / 30th

Civil War: First Battle for Corinth

May 31 / June 1

Civil War: Battle of Seven Pines

20th June

Romania : Prime Minister Barbu Catargiu is assassinated.

June 25th - July 1st

Civil War: Seven Day Battle

August 9

Civil War: Battle of Cedar Mountain

August 10

Civil War: Nueces River Massacre, 1862

17th August

The Sioux uprising in Minnesota begins.

August 24th

The Italian lira becomes the sole currency in Italy .

August 28th - 30th

Civil War: Second Battle of Bull Run

September 10

Francisco Solano López becomes President of Paraguay .

12. - 15. September

Civil War: Battle for Harpers Ferry

September 14th

Japan : Namamugi incident

September 14th

Civil War: Battle of South Mountain

17th of September

Civil War: Battle of Antietam

September 22

Abraham Lincoln announces the proclamation of emancipation .

September 23rd

Prussian constitutional conflict : Otto von Bismarck becomes Prussian Prime Minister.

September 26th

Liechtenstein receives its first constitution.

30. September

Otto von Bismarck gives his blood and iron speech.

3rd / 4th October

Civil War: Second Battle for Corinth

5th October

Bartolomé Miter becomes President of Argentina .

5th October

Civil War: Battle at Hatchies Bridge

8th October

Civil War: Battle of Perryville

October 13th

Otto von Bismarck dissolves the Prussian House of Representatives.

October 24th

King Otto of Greece is deposed.

November 2

The first Vicksburg campaign begins.

11. - 15. December

Civil War: Battle of Fredericksburg

December 26th

38 Dakota are hanged in public after the Sioux uprising in Mankato .

Ongoing events
French intervention in Mexico (since 1861)
Civil War in North America (since 1861)
Prussian constitutional conflict (since 1860)
Federal War in Venezuela (since 1859)
Rotativismo in Portugal (since 1856)
Nian Uprising (since 1853) and Taiping Uprising (since 1850) against the Qing Dynasty in China (since 1644)
Bakumatsu (since 1853) of the Edo period in Japan (since 1603)
Second French Empire in France (since 1852)
Founding period in Germany and Austria (since around 1840)
Tanzimat reforms in the Ottoman Empire (since 1839)
Victorian Age in Great Britain (since 1837)

Politics and world events

United States / Confederate States of America

Political and strategic developments in the Civil War
United States 1862/63
Eastern theater of war

Union attacks on Confederate seaports

Jackson's Shenandoah campaign

Shenandoah Campaign: Kernstown - McDowell
  • March 23rd : The battle at Kernstown is the only one General Jackson loses during the campaign. However, it can bind a considerable number of Union units to itself, thereby relieving other Confederate armies.
  • May 8 : During the battle near McDowell, Jackson repels several attacks by the Northern Army under Robert H. Milroy .
Shenandoah Campaign: Front Royal - Winchester - Cross Keys - Port Republic
  • May 23rd : In the battle at Front Royal, 900 Northerners surrendered after a brief fierce battle. The Union troops under General Nathaniel Prentiss Banks are forced to evade to Winchester .
  • May 25 : The Confederates win the first Battle of Winchester. General Banks then evades with his troops over the Potomac to Maryland. However, tracking the defeated troops remains inefficient. On the one hand, the Confederate troops are exhausted, and on the other hand, there are once again disputes over competence between Ewell and Jackson. Only on May 27th, Jackson began to pursue the Union troops and reached the Harpers Ferry area on May 29th . After the defeat, Union President Lincoln decides that a victory over Jackson's troops has top priority and, contrary to the advice of his generals, sends two more divisions to the Shenandoah Valley, thus playing into the hands of General Robert E. Lee's plans .
  • June 8 : The Battle of Cross Keys and
  • June 9th : the battle of Port Republic decides the Shendandoah campaign in favor of the Confederation. The Union Army leaves the Shenandoah Valley, which is strategically important for Virginia .

Peninsula campaign

The peninsula campaign until May
The sinking of the
USS Cumberland, which was rammed by CSS Virginia
Battle of the ironclad
  • March 9th : On the second day of the Battle of Hampton Roads, the CSS Virginia and the USS Monitor fight for the first duel between two armored warships , this ends in a draw, but the Virginia must finally withdraw.
  • April 5 : The Potomac Army under George B. McClellan begins marching on Richmond. The battle for Yorktown ends on May 4th without a decision.
Battle of Williamsburg by Kurz & Allison (1893)
Map of the peninsula campaign from May to the seven-day battle
red: Confederate troops
blue: Union troops
Battle of Seven Pines or Fair Oaks by Currier & Ives

Northern Virginia Campaign and Maryland Campaign

Battle of Cedar Mountain by Currier & Ives
Second battle at the Bull Run
The Maryland campaign off Antietam
Soldiers fallen at Antietam, photo by Alexander Gardner

Fredericksburg Campaign

Western theater of war
western theater of war 1862
  • January: Fort Knox enters service under the name Fort Duffield .
  • December 17 : General Ulysses S. Grant issues General Order No. 11 , which commands all Jews to leave Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee within 24 hours. This anti-Semitic expulsion is based on the widespread suspicion that Jews are involved in smuggling with the southern states in the areas mentioned and are fundamentally on their side. The order is the culmination of a series of attempts by Grant to evict the Jews from the area occupied by his troops.

Union advance along the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers

Battle of Fort Donelson, artist impression by Kurz and Allison, 1887
Battle of Shiloh, painting by Thure de Thulstrup

Iuka Corinth campaign

Battle of Corinth

Maneuvers along the Mississippi

David Glasgow Farragut

More battles and campaigns in the west

The Andrews Raid
Trans-Mississippi Theater of War
Battle of Pea Ridge, Ark., Kurz and Allison
The Battle of Glorieta Pass
Route the California Column between April through August
Other events in the western territories
Important places at the time of the Sioux uprising
Chief Taoyateduta, better known as Little Crow
  • Aug 17 : After the Bureau of Indian Affairs payments were delayed, starving Sioux ambushed and murdered five white men in search of food. This is considered to be the beginning of the Sioux uprising in Minnesota under the leadership of Chief Little Crow (Taoyateduta).
  • August 19 : Sioux unsuccessfully attack the city of New Ulm , Minnesota. After an equally unsuccessful attack on Fort Ridgely from August 20-22, the Indians reappear outside the city. Far superior in numbers, they completely encircle the city, but in turn cannot conquer it. The city is finally evacuated on August 25th after heavy losses among the defenders, as there is little ammunition and food available. Around 2,000 people escape to Mankato, 30 miles to the east .
  • September: Abraham Lincoln dispatches Major General John Pope and Col. Henry Hastings Sibley , former Minnesota governor, west to crush the rebellion.
  • September 2 : The Indians defeat a small division under Major Joseph R. Brown at Birch Coulee.
  • September 23 : Colonel Sibley decisively defeats the Sioux at Wood Lake. Little Crow escapes with some warriors, but most of the Sioux give up the fight and release their prisoners.
  • Six weeks later, 392 Dakota will be tried in military tribunals. In trials, some of which last only five minutes, 303 of them are sentenced to death for rape and murder. But there is protest against this, and President Lincoln is commuting most of the death sentences to prison terms. It only upholds the convictions of those found to have raped and murdered civilians.
The execution of the 38th Dakota
  • December 26 : The largest mass execution in US history to date takes place in Mankato . 38 Dakota warriors sentenced to death are hanged in public after the failed Sioux uprising .
  • In the course of the uprising, the US government decides to dissolve the reservation. All contracts with the Dakota are null and void, and the state of Minnesota is offering a $ 25 bounty for each scalp of a freely encountered Dakota. The captive members of the tribe, approximately 1,300 to 1,700 people, are taken to the newly established Crow Creek Reservation in Nebraska and South Dakota , including some Sioux white-friendly groups.


Map of the Stikine Territory


Battle of Puebla
Élie-Frédéric Forey


José Santos Guardiola , president of Honduras since 1856 , was murdered by his bodyguards on January 11th . Since his deputy Victoriano Castellanos Cortés is currently in El Salvador, the parliament elects José Francisco Montes Fonseca as president. On February 4th , Castellanos Cortés took office as President of Honduras and convened a Constituent Assembly. These published on May 8 , the Decree No 3 , the name in the first Republic of Honduras is used. However, due to his rapidly deteriorating health, he hands the office back to Montes Fonseca on December 4th . Victoriano Castellanos Cortés dies a few days later on December 11th .

South America

Francisco Solano López


Wilhelm Grabow, 1862, graphic by Hermann Scherenberg

Further events in the German Confederation

Switzerland / France

Jakob Stämpfli

After French troops marched into the Dappental last year , the status of the Dappental was clarified in the form of an exchange of territory covering an area of ​​seven square kilometers. France receives the western part of the valley and the road it built. As a substitute, Switzerland will receive areas from the intersection of the streets of Saint-Cergue and the Col de la Faucille (the strategic road) along the slope of the Noirmont to the existing border with the Vallée de Joux . Article I of the State Treaty also defines a strip of land east of the strategic road "with an average width of roughly 500 Swiss feet or 150 meters" to French territory. The contract also stipulates that no military installations may be built in the Dappental area, and that those residing in the exchanged territories may freely choose their citizenship and may remain in the area. In addition, Switzerland is granted the right to use the road from the Vallée de Joux via the French Bois-d'Amont to La Cure free of charge and without customs duties.


Apostol Arsache
Dimitrios Voulgaris

Other events in Europe



Namamugi incident
  • Bakumatsu : The practice of Sankin kōtai , the obligation of the daimyō to appear regularly (the timing varied) in the capital Edo and to be accountable to the Shōgun , is abolished. This also includes the obligation to maintain adequate residences in Edo and to let their families live there as hostages all year round.




  • June 5 : In view of the French military successes and the resurgence of peasant unrest in Tongking , the Vietnamese government in Hu sieht is forced to sign a treaty with France in which it cedes three northern provinces of Cochinchina to France. In addition, it undertakes to pay reparations and guarantees the French the right to proselytize, to trade on the Mekong and to trade in some port cities. In the Treaty of Saigon , the city becomes the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina .


Scotsman William Landsborough heads south from the Gulf of Carpentaria on February 10 with the six-person Queensland Relief Expedition in search of Burke and Wills' expedition . It follows the Flinders River for some time , but finds itself pushed too far to the east and is oriented towards Cooper's Creek . On May 21, he reached a farm near Cunnamulla and finally learned of the fate of wanted Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills . Two days later, Landsborough is already setting out again with renewed supplies to finally reach Melbourne in October via the Darling River and Menindee, 300 km away . This makes him the first white man to have crossed the Australian continent from north to south. None of the expedition members was harmed during the trip. Landsborough is rewarded with a gold watch by the Royal Geographical Society in November for discovering a walkable north-south route through Australia .

New Zealand

  • July 7th : A parliamentary session is provisionally held for the first time in what will later be the capital, Wellington .
Alfred Domett



World exhibition

Main nave of the London Exhibition Palace from the west

Taxes and Money Economy

One Dollar Greenback, 1862

Business start-ups


The Vienna Westbahnhof 1862
St. Petersburg Railway Station in Warsaw
  • December: The last section of the Petersburg-Warsaw Railway , which has been under construction since 1851 , is completed and opened.


Overview map of the development plan of the surroundings of Berlin

science and technology

Africa research

  • January: Alexandrine Tinné sets off up the Nile from Cairo to meet John Hanning Speke . Together they then want to search for the source of the Nile . When Speke does not arrive at the agreed meeting point, Tinné sets off alone with her people. By land, she advances to the hardly explored regions in the Congo and arrives at Gondokoro on September 30th . However, the expedition lacks porters and food, and after several attacks of malaria , Tinné breaks off the trip and soon sets off back. On this trip she meets slave caravans for the first time, documents this, does not shy away from messing with the slave traders and buys many people free, whom she offers to join her entourage. As soon as she returned to Cairo, she began planning the exploration of the Gazelle River.
  • February 10th : After putting down his travel reports in writing, Karl Moritz von Beurmann also decides to go in search of Eduard Vogel and sets off south from Tripoli .
  • April 4 : Theodor von Heuglin and Hermann Steudner establish friendly relations with the Abyssinian Emperor Theodor II . Heuglin was then withdrawn from leading the expedition to search for Eduard Vogel. Werner Munzinger , who has been in Khartoum since March 1st with a split off part of the expedition , is appointed as the new leader.


Edwin Smith Papyrus
  • The American antiques dealer Edwin Smith purchases a papyrus roll at a market in Luxor . The ancient Egyptian medical text, later baptized Edwin Smith Papyrus, is one of the oldest written documents of medical treatment.


List of asteroids discovered in 1862
No. and name Diameter
Date of discovery Explorer
(73) Klytia 44.4 7th of April Horace Parnell Tuttle
(74) Galatea 118.7 29th August Ernst Wilhelm Leberecht Temple
(75) Eurydice 55.9 September 22 Christian Heinrich Friedrich Peters
(76) Freia 183.7 October 21 Heinrich Louis d'Arrest
(77) Frigga 669.3 November 12th Christian Heinrich Friedrich Peters


Thomas Henry Huxley


Teaching and Research




Visual arts

Music in the Tuileries Garden , oil on canvas
A Ride for Liberty - The Fugitive Slaves
  • Eastman Johnson produces the work A Ride for Liberty - The Fugitive Slaves in oil on canvas .


Depiction of the "Cosette" by Emile Bayard, from the original edition of Les Misérables
The first page
  • The Swiss humanist Henri Dunant publishes a memory of Solferino ( Un souvenir de Solférino ) in French at his own expense and sends it to leading figures from politics and the military. Within a few years it was translated into eleven languages.
  • End of the year: The novel Salambo by Gustave Flaubert appears.

Music and theater

Johann Nepomuk Nestroy
Théâtre du Châtelet
Auditorium of the Baden-Baden City Theater
  • George Frederick Root wrote the song Battle Cry of Freedom . The song, originally intended for use by the Union, became so popular that it was adapted for the Confederation and thus also sung in the southern states.


Wiener Stadtpark 1862, color lithograph


Johann Carl Fuhlrott
The Tolstoy couple, 1862


Rheinau monastery church
Ofteringen Castle , core building of the Marienburg Monastery


The Brother Jonathan 1862


Historical maps and views

Alvin J. Johnson: Upper and Lower Canada
Map of the southern tip of South America 1862
Alvin J. Johnson: British India



David Hilbert, 1912


March April

Aristide Briand

May June

Seidler von Feuchtenegg's birthplace in Schwechat
Philipp Lenard (around 1905)

July August

Gustav Klimt, 1913
Claude Debussy, around 1908

September October

Louis Botha, before 1915
Theodor Boveri


Gerhart Hauptmann, 1914


Joseph Bruce Ismay (1912)

Exact date of birth unknown


January to March

Samuel Colt
John Tyler

April to August

James Clark Ross, 1833-34
Martin Van Buren

September to December

Bahadur Shah II., Painting around 1854

Exact date of death unknown

Web links

Commons : 1862  - Collection of Images, Videos, and Audio Files