1861: Secession, inauguration, start of Civil War
February 23, 1861 Lincoln secretly arrived in Washington, D.C., after having changed travel plans to avoid possible assassination attempt in Baltimore, Maryland. Inaugurated 16th President on March 4, 1861. April 12, 1861 Confederates in Charleston fired on Union-held Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, effectively starting the Civil War. July 21, Union forces defeated in first major land battle of the Civil War fought at Manassas, Virginia.