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|( 1860s: ) 1862|
- January 1 – The United Kingdom annexes Lagos Island, in modern-day Nigeria.
- January 6 – French intervention in Mexico: French, Spanish and British forces arrive in Veracruz, Mexico.
- January 10 – John Gately Downey, 7th Governor of California, is succeeded by Amasa Leland Stanford.
- January 16 – Hartley Colliery disaster in north-east England: 204 men are trapped and die underground, when the only shaft becomes blocked.
- January 30 – American Civil War: The first U.S. ironclad warship, Template:USS, is launched.
- January 31 – Alvan Graham Clark makes the first observation of Sirius B, a white dwarf star, through an eighteen-inch telescope at Northwestern University.
- February 1 – American Civil War: Julia Ward Howe's "Battle Hymn of the Republic" is published for the first time in the Atlantic Monthly.
- February 2 – The first railway is opened in New Zealand, by the Dun Mountain Copper Mining Company.
- February 6 – American Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant gives the United States its first victory of the war, by capturing Fort Henry, Tennessee.
- February 11–16 – American Civil War: Battle of Fort Donelson – General Ulysses S. Grant attacks Fort Donelson, Tennessee, capturing it on the last day.
- February 20 – Ángel de Saavedra, 3rd Duke of Rivas, is named director of Spain's Real Academia Española.
- February 21 – American Civil War: Battle of Valverde – Confederate forces defeat Union troops near Fort Craig, in New Mexico Territory:
- February 22 – American Civil War: Jefferson Davis is officially inaugurated in Richmond, Virginia, to a 6-year term as president of the Confederate States of America.
- March 7 – American Civil War: Battle of Pea Ridge – The Confederates are shut out of Missouri.
- March 8 – American Civil War: Ironclad CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack) is launched at Hampton Roads, Virginia; the Battle of Hampton Roads starts the same day.
- March 9 – American Civil War: The first battle between two ironclad warships, USS Monitor and CSS Virginia, begins.
- March 13
- March 26–28 – American Civil War: Battle of Glorieta Pass – In New Mexico, Union forces succeed in stopping the Confederate invasion of New Mexico Territory.
- March 31 – Victor Hugo's epic French historical novel Les Misérables begins publication in Brussels.
- April 1 – Second French intervention in Mexico: The Spanish and the British end their alliance with France.
- April 5 – American Civil War: Battle of Yorktown – The battle begins when Union Army forces under General George B. McClellan close in on the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.
- April 6–7– American Civil War: Battle of Shiloh – The Union Army, under General Ulysses S. Grant, defeats the Confederates near Shiloh, Tennessee.
- April 12 – American Civil War: Great Locomotive Chase (Andrews' Raid) – Union volunteers steal Confederate steam railroad locomotive The General (which will still exist in the 21st century) in an attempt to sabotage the rail network.
- April 13 – The government of Vietnam is forced to cede the territories of Biên Hòa, Gia Định and Định Tường to France.
- April 22 – Global financial group UBS is founded in Switzerland as the Bank in Winterthur.
- April 25 – American Civil War: Capture of New Orleans – Forces under Union Admiral David Farragut occupy the Confederate city of New Orleans, securing access to the Mississippi River.
- April 26 – American Civil War: Siege of Fort Macon – The besieged Confederate garrison at Fort Macon, North Carolina surrenders.
- May 1–November 1 – The 1862 International Exhibition is held at South Kensington in London; it is particularly noteworthy for an exhibit from Japan, influential in the development of Anglo-Japanese style.
- May 2 – The California State Normal School (later San Jose State University) is created by an Act of the California Legislature.
- May 5 – Second French intervention in Mexico: Battle of Puebla – Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza defeats the French Army; commemorated each year as Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for Fifth of May).
- May 11 – American Civil War: Ironclad Template:Ship is scuttled in the James River northwest of Norfolk, Virginia.
- May 15 – U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signs a bill into law creating the U.S. Bureau of Agriculture (later renamed U.S. Department of Agriculture).
- May 20 – U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signs the Homestead Act into law.
- May 24 – Westminster Bridge is opened across the Thames in London. This new bridge, designed by Thomas Page, replaces the old bridge.
- June 1 – American Civil War: Battle of Fair Oaks – Both sides claim victory.
- June 4 – American Civil War: Confederate troops evacuate Fort Pillow on the Mississippi River, leaving the way clear for U.S. Army troops to capture Memphis, Tennessee.
- June 5 – Treaty of Saigon: Emperor Tự Đức of the Nguyễn dynasty in Vietnam cedes Saigon, Côn Sơn Island and three southern provinces of what is to become known as Cochinchina (Biên Hòa, Gia Định and Định Tường) to become part of the French colonial empire. Guerilla leader Trương Định refuses to recognise the treaty.
- June 6 – American Civil War: First Battle of Memphis – U.S. Army troops capture Memphis, Tennessee, from the Confederate States.
- June 8 – American Civil War: Battle of Cross Keys – Confederate troops under General Stonewall Jackson save the Army of Northern Virginia from a U.S. Army attack on the James Peninsula that is led by General George B. McClellan.
- June 12 – John Winter Robinson, the Secretary of State of Kansas, is convicted and removed from office as the result of a bond scandal, becoming the first state executive official to be impeached and removed from office in American history.
- June 26 – American Civil War: Battle of Mechanicsville – Confederate General Robert E. Lee defeats the troops of General George B. McClellan in the first of the Seven Days Battles.
- July 1
- The Bureau of Internal Revenue, the forerunner of the Internal Revenue Service, is established in the United States.
- Princess Alice, the second daughter of Queen Victoria, marries Prince Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine.
- U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signs into law the Pacific Railroad Acts, authorizing construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad.
- The Russian State Library is founded, as The Library of the Moscow Public Museum.
- July 2 – U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signs the Morrill Land-Grant Act into law, creating a system of land-grant colleges, to teach agricultural and mechanical sciences across the United States.
- July 4 – Charles Dodgson (better known as Lewis Carroll) extemporises the story that becomes Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, for ten-year-old Alice Liddell and her sisters, on a rowboat trip on The Isis from Oxford to Godstow.
- July 18 – Dent Blanche, one of the highest summits in the Alps, is first ascended.
- August 14 – U.S. President Abraham Lincoln meets with a group of prominent African-Americans, the first time an American President has done so. He suggests that Black people should migrate to Africa or to Central America, but this advice is rejected.
- August 17 – The Dakota War of 1862 begins in Minnesota, as Dakota Sioux attack white settlements along the Minnesota River. They are overwhelmed by the U.S. Army six weeks later.
- August 19 – Dakota War of 1862: During an uprising in Minnesota, Dakota warriors decide not to attack heavily defended Fort Ridgely and instead turn to the settlement of New Ulm, killing white settlers along the way.
- August 21 – The Vienna Stadtpark opens its gates.
- August 28–30 – American Civil War: Second Battle of Bull Run – Confederate forces inflict a crushing defeat on Union General John Pope.
- August 29–30 – American Civil War: Battle of Richmond, Kentucky – Confederate forces, led by General Edmund Kirby Smith, inflict a crushing defeat on Union General William "Bull" Nelson.
- September 2 – American Civil War: U.S. President Abraham Lincoln reluctantly restores Union General George B. McClellan to full command, after General John Pope's disastrous defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run.
- September 5 – American Civil War: In the Confederacy's first invasion of the North, General Robert E. Lee leads 55,000 men of the Army of Northern Virginia across the Potomac River at White's Ford near Leesburg, Virginia, into Maryland.
- September 10 – Francisco Solano López is appointed second President of Paraguay.
- September 17 – American Civil War
- September 19 – American Civil War: Battle of Iuka – Union troops under Major General William Rosecrans defeat a Confederate force commanded by Major General Sterling Price at Iuka, Mississippi.
- September 22
- September 29 – New Prussian prime minister Otto von Bismarck delivers his Blood and Iron (Blut und Eisen) speech to the Prussian Landtag.
- October 8 – American Civil War: Battle of Perryville – Union Army forces under General Don Carlos Buell halt the Confederate invasion of Kentucky, by defeating troops led by General Braxton Bragg at Perryville, Kentucky.
- October 9 – The Transvaal Civil War breaks out, following Stephanus Schoeman’s unconstitutional ousting of the acting President of the Executive Council of the South African Republic.
- October 11 – American Civil War: In the aftermath of the Battle of Antietam, Confederate General J. E. B. Stuart and his men loot Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, during a raid into the North.
- October 23 – Otto is deposed as King of Greece.
- October 24 – Ramón Castilla loses the Presidency of Peru for a second time.
- October 25 – In the Granadine Confederation (modern-day Colombia), rebel troops of the southern states defeat government forces.
- November 4 – Richard Jordan Gatling patents the Gatling gun in the United States.
- November 5
- November 14 – American Civil War: President Abraham Lincoln approves the plan by General Ambrose Burnside to capture the Confederate capital city of Richmond, Virginia. This plan leads to a disastrous Union defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg on December 13.
- November 28
- American Civil War: Battle of Cane Hill – Union Army troops, led by General John Blunt, push back Confederate troops, commanded by General John Marmaduke, into the northwestern Boston Mountains of Arkansas.
- Notts County F.C. is founded in Nottingham, England, making it (by the 21st century) the world's oldest professional Association football team.
- December – Peruvian slave raiders land on Easter Island, beginning a decade of the destruction of the society and population on the island.
- December 1 – In his State of the Union address, President Abraham Lincoln reaffirms the necessity of ending slavery, as he ordered ten weeks earlier in his Emancipation Proclamation.
- December 2 – The first United States Navy hospital ships enter service.
- December 12 – American Civil War: Yazoo Pass Expedition – Union ironclad gunboat Template:USS is sunk by a remotely-detonated "torpedo" (naval mine) while clearing mines from the Yazoo River, the first armored ship sunk by mine.
- December 13 – American Civil War: Battle of Fredericksburg – The Union Army suffers massive casualties and abandons its attempts to capture the Confederate capital city of Richmond, Virginia.
- December 17 – American Civil War: General Order No. 11, which expels all Jews from his military district, is issued by General Ulysses S. Grant. This order is rescinded just a few weeks later.
- December 26 – William D. Duly hangs 38 Dakota Sioux Indians in Minnesota.
- December 26–29 – American Civil War: Battle of Chickasaw Bayou – Another victory for the Confederate Army, outnumbered two to one, results in six times as many Union casualties, defeating several assaults commanded by Union general William T. Sherman.
- December 30 – USS|Monitor sinks in a storm in the Atlantic, off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
- December 31 – American Civil War: President Abraham Lincoln signs an act that admits West Virginia to the Union, thus dividing Virginia into two. Meanwhile, the Battle of Stones River opens near Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
- Iwai Fumisuke Shoten (岩井文助商店), predecessor of Japanese conglomerate Sojitz, is founded in Osaka.
- Japanese construction company Satō Kōgyō is founded in Toyama as Satō-gumi.
|American Civil War|
|University of Maine||University in the US state of Maine.|
|University of Southampton||Public||Significant research activities|
|Title||Born||Place of birth||Died||Summary|
|George Perkins Sr||31 January 1862||Chicago|
|18 June 1920||Politician|
Deep state functionary
|George Sutherland||25 March 1862||Stony Stratford|
|18 July 1942||Politician|
|Aristide Briand||28 March 1862||Nantes||7 March 1932||Politician|
|Charles Evans Hughes||11 April 1862||New York|
|27 August 1948||Judge|
|Edward Grey||25 April 1862||7 September 1933||Deep politician|
- Stormvoël van die Noorde by O JO Ferreira; Jan Viljoen – ‘n Transvaalse Wesgrenspionier (unpublished MA dissertation); documents and notes from the Jack Seale collection.