The Homestead Act is passed, entitling any citizen or person who intends to acquire citizenship, who is twenty-one years or older and the head of a household, to acquire 160 acres of land in the public domain by settling on them for five years and paying a small fee. The law takes effect January 1, 1863. General Lee's invasion of the North is halted by General McClellan at the Battle of Antietam in Maryland. In the bloodiest single day of the Civil War, Union casualties are 2,108 killed and 9,549 wounded; Confederate casualties are 2,700 killed and 9,029 wounded.
January 1862 -- Abraham Lincoln Takes Action. On January 27, President Lincoln issued a war order authorizing the Union to launch a unified aggressive action against the Confederacy. General McClellan ignored the order.
March 1862 -- General McClellan Loses Command.
On March 8, President Lincoln -- impatient with General McClellan's inactivity -- issued an order reorganizing the Army of Virginia and relieving McClellan of supreme command. McClellan was given command of the Army of the Potomac, and ordered to attack Richmond. This marked the beginning of the Peninsula Campaign.
March 6-8-- CSA Major General Earl Van Dorn set out to outflank the Union position near Pea Ridge, Arkansas on the night of March 6, dividing his army into two columns. Learning of Van Dorn's approach, the Federals marched north to meet his advance on March 7. This movement