Political map of North America & the Caribbean on 12 Apr 1861 (American Civil War: Attack on Fort Sumter), showing the following events: Colorado Territory created; Dakota Territory created; Nevada Territory created; Texas joins Confederacy; Lincoln inaugurated as US President; Spain annexes Dominican Republic; Confederates take Fort Sumter.

Attack on Fort Sumter

American Civil War

North America 1861.0412

Attack on Fort Sumter

American Civil War, French intervention in Mexico, Dominican Restoration War (12 April 1861)

Historical Map of North America & the Caribbean

Despite the Confederacy's declaration of independence, the United States Army still garrisoned a number of forts in the south. The most vulnerable was Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor, South Carolina, which desperately needed to be resupplied. However when newly elected US President Lincoln ordered the navy to ship in supplies, the Confederate government considered it an act of war and attacked the fort from land. The American Civil War had begun.

Main Events

Colorado Territory created

The United States organized the Colorado Territory from land left over from the Kansas Territory, with additional land from the Utah, New Mexico, and Nebraska Territories.

Dakota Territory created

The United States formed the Dakota Territory from the unorganized territory and the northern portion of the Nebraska Territory.

Nevada Territory created

In 1858, massive amounts of silver were discovered in the Comstock Lode, just east of the California-Utah border. As this discovery led to a large influx of immigrants who came into conflict with the Utah Territory's predominant Mormon population, the Comstock region successfully lobbied the United States Government to create a separate Nevada Territory.

Texas joins Confederacy

Texas formally joined the Confederated States of America, timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Texas Declaration of Independence- ironically under protest from Texas revolutionary Sam Houston.

Lincoln inaugurated as US President

Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as 16th President of the United States on 4 March 1861.

Spain annexes Dominican Republic

On the request of Dominican President Pedro Santana, Spain took control of the Dominican Republic, restoring the Colony of Santo Domingo.

Confederates take Fort Sumter

Shortly after forming, the Confederacy began confiscating United States military posts, but was unable to peacefully assume control of Fort Sumter, near Charleston, South Carolina. Refusing to grant legitimacy to the Confederacy by entreating with its government, the US refused to hand over or sell the fort. Finally, on 12-13 April, Confederate forces bombarded and captured the Fort, marking the outbreak of the American Civil War.

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