William T. Sherman entered South Carolina on February 1st.
On February 3rd, President Lincoln along with Secretary of State William Seward met on the steamboat River Queen with Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens, accompanied bu John Campbell and RMT Hunter to discuss possible peace terms. The conference failed.
On February 4th, Robert E. Lee was named General in Chief of all Confederate forces.
From February 5th through the 7th one of a series of Union offensives during the Siege of Petersburg occurred at Hatcher's Run. These actions were intended to cut off Confederate supply traffic on two vital roads west of Petersburg. General Gregg's cavalry was sent to the Boydton Plank Road looking to locate and destroy Confederate supply wagons. The Union V Corps under the command of General Gouverneur Warren marched southwest towards Dinwiddie Courthouse, taking up a blocking position on the Vaughn Road to protect Gregg's right flank. The II Corps under Andrew Humphreys marched to Armstrong's Mill to cover Warren's right flank. Late on the 5th, Confederate General John B. Gordon attacked II Corps from the north but was repulsed. Overnight, II Corps was reinforced by elements of V Corps and Gregg's cavalry, having returned after not finding any of the supply train.
On the 6th, Confederate General John Pegram sent his division against the V Corps lines. The Southerners were driven back until General Clement Evans' soldiers piled in and halted the Northern advance. Later on the 6th, Pegram and William Mahone's divisions attacked the center of the Union position near Dabney's Mill. The Union line collapsed and fell back to reform north of the mill. The next day, Warren sent his Union soldiers against the Confederate lines, recapturing the areas around Dabney's Mill which had been lost on the 6th. The Union advance was halted, but at the same time extended their siegeworks to the Vaughn Road. The Confederates were able to keep the Boydton Plank Road open, but with the extension of the Union lines, were forced to spread their already thin lines even further.
John C. Breckinridge became Confederate Secretary of War on the 6th.
The Union army appointed the first black Major, Martin Robison Delany, on the 8th. Four days later, Henry Highland Garnet became the first black to speak in the U.S. House of Representatives.
William T. Sherman captured Columbia, SC on the 17th. The city was burned, although the exact cause of the blaze remains to this day disputed.
The vital port of Charleston, SC was evacuated on the 17th, and surrendered to the Union Army the next day. Fort Sumter, where the Civil War started, once again flew the stars and stripes.
On February 22nd, Robert E. Lee, exercising his new authority as Commanding General of all Confederate forces, appointed Joe Johnston as the commander of the only other effective fighting army of the CSA in North Carolina.
On that same day, voters in Tennessee approved a new constitution which included the abolition of slavery.
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