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July - August 1862

Originally published on Published Online: May 09, 2012 
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Rebels go marauding, emancipation occupies Abraham Lincoln and starving Sioux get restless



1 – Battle of Malvern Hill ends the Seven Days' battles with a Union victory.

The Revenue Act of 1862 establishes the Bureau of Internal Revenue and implements the first successful income tax. The tax would be repealed in 1872.

The Pacific Railway Act authorizes railroad construction from Omaha, Neb., to Sacramento, Calif., funded with federal loans.

2 - The Morrill Act, named for its sponsor, Vermont Congressman Justin Morrill, establishes the land-grant university system to encourage agricultural studies.

9 - Confederate Colonel John Hunt Morgan conducts his first raid into Kentucky, capturing Tompkinsville.

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11 - Henry Halleck is named general in chief of Union armies

12 - President Lincoln signs legislation authorizing the Medal of Honor.

Federal troops occupy Helena, Ark.

13 - Confederate cavalry led by Nathan Bedford Forrest raid the Federal garrison at Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Lincoln reads a draft of his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation to Secretary of State William H. Seward and Navy Secretary Gideon Welles.

14 - By a vote of 23-17, the U.S. Senate approves a bill granting statehood for West Virginia. The House will take up the matter at a later date.

16 - David G. Farragut becomes the first officer to rank as rear admiral in the U.S. Navy.

17 - Lincoln raises the issue of emancipation with his full Cabinet and gets mixed reviews.

22 - John Hunt Morgan captures Cynthiana, Ky.

The Militia Act of 1862 authorizes the U.S. Army to accept soldiers and laborers of African descent.

The Confiscation Act of 1862 permits Union troops to free refugee slaves of Confederate owners.

27 – More than 200 die when the steamer Golden Gate, en route from San Francisco to Panama, burns and sinks off the west coast of Mexico.

29 - Belle Boyd, a young Virginia woman, is arrested and imprisoned
for spying for the Confederacy.



5 - Federals repulse a Confederate attempt to recapture Louisiana's capital, Baton Rouge.

9 – Confederates led by Stonewall Jackson and A.P. Hill stage a come-from-behind win at Cedar Mountain in Virginia.

14 – Lincoln meets with a "committee of colored men" and proposes voluntary colonization to a Central American country. It is the first time a black delegation is invited to the White House.

16 - Union General Charles Stone, previously arrested for—but not charged with—improper communication with the enemy after the Union's loss at Ball's Bluff, Va., in 1861, is released from prison in New York.

17 - Hungry Sioux, convinced the U.S. government has violated its treaties, kill a group of white settlers near Acton, Minn., igniting the Dakota War of 1862.

Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart is assigned command of the entire cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia.

28 - Belle Boyd is released from Old Capitol Prison in Washington, D.C.

Union forces under Brig. Gen. James B. Ricketts pull back after a skirmish at Thoroughfare Gap, Va., inadvertently allowing Rebel divisions under James Longstreet and Stonewall Jackson to unite at Manassas.

29 - U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing begins operation.

29-30 - Confederates win a second contest at Manassas, Va.

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