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Eastern Theater of War 1862, blue: Union campaigns, red: Confederate campaigns
Otto von Bismarck, around 1860King Wilhelm I appoints Otto von Bismarck Prime Minister of Prussia to implement army reforms Contemporary poster for the proclamation Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the end of slavery in the American Southern States, which were at war , with the Emancipation Proclamation .
Attack of the Iron Brigade at Antietam (a lithograph from a painting by Thure de Thulstrup)The Battle of Antietam
becomes "the bloodiest day in American history".
1862 in other calendars
Armenian calendar 1310/11 (July New Year)
Ethiopian calendar 1854/55 (10/11 September)
Baha'i calendar 18/19 (20/21 March)
Bengali solar calendar 1267/68 (beginning of the year April 14 or 15)
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 (April New Year)
Dangun era (Korea) 4195/96 (October 2nd/3rd)
Iranian calendar 1240/41 (around March 21)
Islamic calendar 1278/79 (28/29 June)
Jewish calendar 5622/23 (24/25 September)
Coptic calendar 1578/79 (September 10/11)
Malayalam calendar 1037/38
Rumi Calendar (Ottoman Empire) 1277/78 (March 1)
Seleucid era Babylon: 2172/73 (April turn of the year)

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

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

By 1862 at the latest , it was finally becoming clear to the conflicting parties that the American War of Secession was expanding into a long war involving losses for both sides. A march by Union troops on Richmond , Virginia, can only be stopped a few kilometers from the Confederate capital, and the Union capital , Washington , also briefly encounters enemy units in the immediate vicinity during the year.

The Civil War is one of the first to be documented photographically, and the unembellished images of dead soldiers, along with the lack of military successes, are one reason why Abraham Lincoln increasingly lost support for “his” war in the Union, and several as the year progressed commander-in-chief of his army. Even previously formally neutral European states are flirting more and more openly with diplomatic recognition of the confederation . The Battle of the Antietam eventually becomes the bloodiest day in American history . It ends in a tie but can be sold as a tactical victory by the Union as the new Confederate Commander-in-Chief Robert E. Lee is forced to withdraw from Union territory. This gives Lincoln the opportunity for the already prepared Emancipation Proclamation , with which he will declare slavery abolished in those Southern states that are at war with the Union.

In its western territories, the Union is simultaneously fighting a mismanaged Sioux rebellion , which is struggling and bloody to put down after several months.

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

In Prussia , Otto von Bismarck is appointed Prime Minister . When the liberal-dominated House of Representatives refused to support army reform despite his blood and iron speech, he dissolved it without further ado and proclaimed a “budgetless regiment”, which finally 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.

12-15 February

Civil War : Battle of Fort Donelson

February 18th

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

7th/8th March

Civil War: Battle of Pea Ridge

8th/9th March

Civil War: Battle of Hampton Roads

March 12th

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

March 23rd

Jackson's 1862 Shenandoah Campaign begins.

26./28. March

Civil War: Battle of Glorieta Pass

March 29th

Civil War: Battle at Stanwix Station

6th/7th April

Civil War: Battle of Shiloh

12. April

Civil War: Andrews Raid

April 28th

Civil War: David Glasgow Farragut captures 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 15th

Civil War: First engagement at Drewry's Bluff

May 20th

Abraham Lincoln signs the Homestead Act .

May 29th

Japan : Teradaya Incident

29/30 May

Civil War: First Battle of Corinth

May 31/May 1 June

Civil War: Battle of Seven Pines

20th June

Romania : Prime Minister Barbu Catargiu is assassinated.

June 25–June 1 July

Civil War: Seven Days Battle

August 9th

Civil War: Battle of Cedar Mountain

August 10th

Civil War: Nueces River Massacre, 1862

August 17th

The Sioux Rebellion in Minnesota begins.

August 24th

The Italian lira becomes the sole currency in Italy .

28-30 August

Civil War: Second Battle of Bull Run

September 10

Francisco Solano López becomes President of Paraguay .

12-15 September

Civil War: Battle of Harpers Ferry

September 14th

Japan : Namamugi Incident

September 14th

Civil War: Battle of the South Mountain

17th of September

Civil War: Battle of the Antietam

September 22nd

Abraham Lincoln proclaims the Emancipation Proclamation .

September 23rd

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

September 26th

Liechtenstein receives its first constitution.

30. September

Otto von Bismarck delivers his Blood and Iron speech.

3rd/4th October

Civil War: Second Battle of Corinth

5th October

Bartolomé Miter becomes President of Argentina .

5th October

Civil War: Battle of 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 publicly hanged in Mankato after the Sioux Rebellion .

Ongoing Events
French intervention in Mexico (since 1861)
Civil War in North America (since 1861)
Prussian constitutional conflict (since 1860) and end of the New Era
Federal War in Venezuela (since 1859)
Rotativismo in Portugal (since 1856)
Nian Rebellion (since 1853) and Taiping Rebellion (since 1850) against the Qing Dynasty in China (since 1644)
Bakumatsu (since 1853) of the Edo period in Japan (since 1603)
Second Empire in France (since 1852)
Gründerzeit in Germany and Austria (since about 1840)
Tanzimat reforms in the Ottoman Empire (since 1839)
Victorian era in Britain (since 1837)

politics and world affairs

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 23 Battle of Kernstown is the only General Jackson lost during the campaign. However, he can retain a significant number of Union units, thereby relieving other Confederate armies.
  • May 8: At the Battle of McDowell, Jackson fends off several attacks by the Confederate Army under Robert H. Milroy .
Shenandoah Campaign: Front Royal - Winchester - Cross Keys - Port Republic
  • May 23: At the Battle of Front Royal, 900 Northerners surrender after a short, fierce battle. This forces Union troops under General Nathaniel Prentiss Banks to retreat to Winchester .
  • May 25 Confederates win First Battle of Winchester. General Banks then moves his troops across the Potomac to Maryland. However, pursuing the defeated troops remains inefficient. On the one hand, the Confederate troops are exhausted, on the other hand, there are once again disputes over competence between Ewell and Jackson. Jackson only begins pursuing the Union troops on May 27 and reaches the Harpers Ferry area on May 29 . After the defeat, Union President Lincoln decides that defeating Jackson's troops is the top priority and, against the advice of his generals, sends two more divisions into the Shenandoah Valley, playing into the hands of General Robert E. Lee 's plans.
  • June 8: The Battle of Cross Keys and
  • June 9: Battle of Port Republic decides Shendandoah campaign in favor of Confederacy. The Union Army leaves the Shenandoah Valley , strategically important for Virginia .

Peninsula campaign

The Peninsula Campaign through May
The sinking of the
USS Cumberland , rammed by CSS Virginia
Battle of the Ironclads
  • March 9: On the second day of the Battle of Hampton Roads, the first battle between two armored warships occurs between the CSS Virginia and the USS Monitor , this ends in a draw, but the Virginia is eventually forced to retreat.
  • April 5 Army of the Potomac under George B. McClellan begins march on Richmond. The Battle of Yorktown ends May 4th indecisively.
Battle of Williamsburg by Kurz & Allison (1893)
Map of the Peninsular Campaign from May to the Seven Days 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 of Bull Run
The Maryland campaign before Antietam
Soldiers killed at Antietam, photo by Alexander Gardner

Fredericksburg campaign

  • December 11-15: The Confederates inflict high casualties on the Northern States at the Battle of Fredericksburg with comparatively few casualties, bringing an early end to General Ambrose Burnside 's campaign to Richmond.
Western theater of war
western theater of war 1862
  • January: Fort Knox is commissioned under the name Fort Duffield .
  • December 17: General Ulysses S. Grant issues General Order no. 11 ordering all Jews to leave Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee within 24 hours. This anti-Semitic expulsion stems from the widespread suspicion that Jews in the areas mentioned were involved in smuggling with the southern states and were fundamentally on their side. The order is the culmination of a series of attempts by Grant to expel the Jews from territory occupied by his troops.

Union advance along the Cumberland and Tennessee

Battle of Fort Donelson, artist's impression by Kurz and Allison, 1887
  • February 12–16: The Battle of Fort Donelson ends with the unconditional surrender of the Confederates under Simon Bolivar Buckner . The capture of the fort subsequently enabled a Union advance under General Grant along the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers . The Confederates have to give up large parts of Kentucky and Tennessee .
  • February 23: Nashville , Tennessee, becomes the first Confederate capital to fall into Union hands and remains under Union control until the end of the war.
Battle of Shiloh, 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 of the California Column between April to August
Other Events in the Western Territories
Important places at the time of the Sioux rebellion
Chief Taoyateduta, better known as Little Crow
  • August 17 After the Bureau of Indian Affairs payments are delayed, starving Sioux ambush and murder five whites in search of food. This is considered the beginning of the Sioux rebellion in Minnesota led by Chief Little Crow (Taoyateduta).
  • August 19: Sioux unsuccessfully attack the city of New Ulm , Minnesota. After an equally unsuccessful attack on Fort Ridgely on August 20-22, the Indians reappear outside the town. Far outnumbered, they completely encircle the city, but again cannot conquer it. The city is finally evacuated on August 25, after heavy casualties among the defenders, with little ammunition and food left. Around 2,000 people escape to Mankato , 30 miles to the east .
  • September: Abraham Lincoln dispatches Major General John Pope and Colonel Henry Hastings Sibley , former Minnesota governor, to quell the insurgency west.
  • September 2 Indians defeat a small detachment under Major Joseph R. Brown at Birch Coulee.
  • September 23 Colonel Sibley decisively defeats the Sioux at Wood Lake. Little Crow manages to escape with some warriors, but most of the Sioux give up the fight and release their captives.
  • Six weeks later, 392 Dakota are brought before military tribunals. In trials, some of which last only five minutes, 303 of them are sentenced to death for rape and murder. However, there was protest, and President Lincoln commuted most of the death sentences to imprisonment. He only confirms the verdicts of those found guilty of raping and murdering civilians.
The Execution of the 38 Dakota
  • December 26: The largest mass execution in United States history to date takes place in Mankato . 38 Dakota warriors sentenced to death are publicly hanged 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 declared null and void, and the state of Minnesota is offering a $25 bounty for each scalp of a Dakota found free. The captured members of the tribe, about 1,300 to 1,700 people, are taken to Nebraska and South Dakota on the newly established Crow Creek Reservation , including some pro-white groups of Sioux.


Map of Stikine Territory


  • January 6th to 8th: After Spanish troops arrived in Veracruz in December , English and French ships also land in Mexico.
  • January 25: The Republican government of Benito Juárez enacts a law making any armed resistance to the state punishable by death.
  • March 5: French General Charles Ferdinand Latrille Lorencez lands in Mexico and assumes supreme command of the invading forces.
Battle of Puebla
Elie-Frédéric Forey


José Santos Guardiola , President of Honduras since 1856 , is assassinated by his bodyguard on January 11. With his deputy Victoriano Castellanos Cortés in El Salvador, Parliament elected MP José Francisco Montes Fonseca as President. On February 4, Castellanos Cortés takes office as President of Honduras and convenes a Constituent Assembly. On May 8, the latter published Decree No. 3 , in which the designation Republic of Honduras was used for the first time. However, due to his rapidly deteriorating health, he handed the post back to Montes Fonseca on December 4th. Victoriano Castellanos Cortés dies a few days later on December 11th.

South America

Francisco Solano Lopez


Wilhelm Grabow, 1862, graphic by Hermann Scherenberg

Other events in the German Confederation


Jacob Stampli

After French troops marched into the Dappental last year , the status of the Dappental was clarified in the form of an area swap covering seven square kilometers. France gets the western part of the valley and the road it built. In replacement of this, Switzerland is given areas from the junction of the roads 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 designates a strip of land east of the strategic road at an average width of approximately 500 Swiss feet or 150 meters from French territory. Furthermore, the contract stipulates that no military installations may be built in the area of ​​the Dappental, and that those living in the exchanged territories may freely choose their citizenship and remain resident in the place. In addition, Switzerland is given 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.


Apostle Arsache
Dimitrios Voulgaris

Other events in Europe



Namamugi Incident
  • September 14: During the Namamugi Incident , several British citizens are attacked by Japanese samurai for disrespect to their daimyo , killing one and injuring the others.
  • Bakumatsu : The practice of sankin kōtai , the requirement for daimyō to appear regularly (temporal modalities varied) in the capital Edo and give account to the shogun , is abolished. This also eliminates the obligation to maintain proper residences in Edo and to let their families live there as hostages all year round.





Scotsman William Landsborough sets out February 10 with the six-person Queensland Relief Expedition in search of the Burke and Wills expedition south from the Gulf of Carpentaria . It follows the Flinders River for some time , but finds itself pushed too far to the east and orients itself towards Cooper's Creek . On May 21, he arrives at a farm near Cunnamulla and finally learns of the fate of Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills . Landsborough set off again two days later with renewed supplies, finally reaching Melbourne in October via the Darling River and Menindee , 300 km away . He is the first white person to cross the Australian continent from north to south. None of the expedition members were harmed during the journey. In November, Landsborough was awarded a gold watch by the Royal Geographical Society for discovering a walkable north-south route through Australia .

New Zealand

  • July 7th: Provisionally, a parliamentary session is held for the first time in what later becomes the capital , Wellington .
Alfred Domett
  • August 6: After a successful motion of no confidence in William Fox , Alfred Domett is offered the post of Prime Minister of New Zealand , which he accepts. However, he soon comes under fire himself.



world exhibition

Nave of the London Exhibition Palace from the west

taxes and finance

One dollar greenback, 1862



The Vienna West Railway Station in 1862
St. Petersburg railway station in Warsaw


Overview map of the development plan of the surroundings of Berlin

science and technology

Africa research


Papyrus Edwin Smith


List of asteroids discovered in 1862
No. and name diameter
date of discovery explorer
(73) Clytia 44.4 7th of April Horace Parnell Tuttle
(74) Galatea 118.7 29th August Ernst Wilhelm Leberecht Temple
(75) Eurydice 55.9 September 22nd Christian Heinrich Friedrich Peters
(76) Freia 183.7 October 21 Henry 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 A Ride for Liberty — The Fugitive Slaves in oil on canvas .


Depiction of Emile Bayard's "Cosette", from the original edition of Les Misérables
The first page

music and theatre

Johann Nepomuk Nestroy
Theater du Chatelet
Auditorium of the Baden-Baden City Theater


Vienna Stadtpark 1862, color lithograph


Johann Carl Fuhlrott
The Tolstoy couple in 1862


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


The Brothers 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


January February

David Hilbert, 1912

March April

Aristide Briand

May June

Birthplace Seidler von Moisteneggs in Schwechat
Philipp Lenard (around 1905)

July August

Gustav Klimt, 1913
Claude Debussy, around 1908

September October

Louis Botha, before 1915
Theodor Boveri

November December

  • 0November 1: Johan Wagenaar , Dutch composer and organist (died 1941)
  • 0November 2: Maironis , pseudonym of Lithuanian national poet Jonas Mačiulis (died 1932)
  • 0November 7: Louis Svećenski , Croatian-American violist, violinist and music teacher (d. 1926)
  • November 10 Adolf Wallenberg , German internist and neurologist (died 1949)
  • November 12: Georg L. Sarauw , Danish archaeologist (died 1928)
  • November 15 Adolf Bartels , German writer and literary historian (died 1945)
Gerhard Hauptman, 1914
Joseph Bruce Ismay (1912)
  • December 12: J. Bruce Ismay , British businessman and director of the White Star Line, survivor of the Titanic disaster (d. 1937)
  • December 17: Moriz Rosenthal , Polish-American pianist (died 1946)
  • December 18: Ulrich Wilcken , German ancient historian and papyrologist († 1944)
  • December 19: Ruth Bré , German maternal rights activist, women's rights activist, writer, journalist, playwright and radical critic of patriarchy († 1911)
  • December 20 Washington Ellsworth Lindsey , American politician (died 1926)
  • December 22 – Walter Samuel Goodland , American politician (died 1947)
  • December 23 – Hans Wessely , Austrian violinist and music teacher (d. 1926)
  • December 25 Lee Meriwether , American writer, lawyer and diplomat (died 1966)
  • December 28 Morris Rosenfeld , American poet (d. 1923)
  • December 31: Richard Abramowski , German Protestant theologian (died 1932)
  • December 31: Albert Sleeper , American politician (died 1934)

Exact date of birth unknown


January to March

Sam Colt
John Tyler

April to August

James Clark Ross, 1833-34
Martin Van Buren

September to December

Bahadur Shah II, painting c.1854

Exact date of death unknown

web links

Commons : 1862  - Collection of images, videos and audio files