Georgia in 1861

Event in Georgia during 1861[1]

January 1, 1861

Georgia votes against holding a secession convention, but the results are manipulated by Governor Joseph E. Brown to indicate that the state strongly supported the convention. Research by the Georgia Historical Society indicates that the returns were overstated in favor of the secessionists.[2]

January 3, 1861

Georgia militia under the command of Francis “Frank” Bartow seize Fort Pulaski, at the mouth of the Savannah River, from a single federal soldier and a contractor.[3]

January 7, 1861

Robert Toombs delivers a farewell to the U. S. Senate, almost two weeks before Georgia votes to secede.

January 19, 1861

Georgia votes to secede from the Union at a convention held in Milledgeville, Georgia.

January 22, 1861

Six delegates to the Georgia Secessionist Convention issue a “statement of protest.”[4]

January 25, 1861

The federal arsenal in Augusta, GA, is taken by the Georgia Militia.

January 28, 1861

Alfred Iverson, Sr. resigns from the U. S. Senate.

February 4, 1861

Georgia joins Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina, becoming a member of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States of America. Georgian Howell Cobb is named president of the assembly.

February 9, 1861

Jefferson Davis elected provisional president of the Confederate States.

February 21, 1861

After being cut off from the U. S. Postal Service the Confederate States of America organized their own post office with John H. Reagan as Postmaster General.

February 21, 1861

Robert Toombs selected Secretary of State, Confederate States of America.

February 24, 1861

The Montgomery Convention completes the Constitution of the Confederate States of America.

April 12, 1861

Start of the American Civil War.

June 17, 1861

James Longstreet joins the Confederate Army at the rank of Brigadier General.

July 19, 1861

Robert Toombs resigns his post as Secretary of State for the Confederate States of America.

July 21, 1861

Robert Toombs promoted to Brigadier General.

July 21, 1861

Francis S. Bartow dies from a gunshot wound received during the battle of First Manasas.

September, 1861

Construction begins on the Confederate Powderworks in August, Ga.[6]

October 7, 1861

James Longstreet promoted to major general.

October 29, 1861

Combined land-sea fleet leaves Hampton Roads, Virginia.

November 5, 1861

General Robert E. Lee placed in charge of Georgia coastal defenses.

November 6, 1861

Jefferson Davis elected president of the CSA.

November 7, 1861

Battle of Port Royal Sound.

November 24, 1861

Union forces take Tybee Island.

December 5, 1861

Major General William J. Hardee assumed command of the Central Confederate Army in Kentucky.

December 8, 1861

Cass County is renamed to Bartow County.

Georgia's U.S. Senators in 1861[5]

Alfred Iverson, Sr.
Robert Toombs

Georgia's U.S. Representatives in 1861

1st District Peter Early Love
2nd District Martin J. Crawford
3rd District Thomas Hardeman, Jr.
4th District Lucius J. Gartrell
5th District John W. H. Underwood
6th District James Jackson
7th District Joshua Hill
8th District John J. Jones

For more information visit


  1. Our Georgia History - Georgia History Timeline / Chronology 1861  [Online]
  2. Georgia's Blue and Gray Trail - Civil War Timeline / Chronology for January 1861   [Online]
  3. Georgia's Blue and Gray Trail - Civil War Timeline / Chronology for January 1861   [Online]
  4. Georgia's Blue and Gray Trail - Civil War Timeline / Chronology for January 1861   [Online]
  5. Wikipedia - List of United States Senators from Georgia  [Online]
  6. Wikipedia -  [Online]