) was a common year starting on Tuesday
(link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar
(or a common year starting on Sunday
of the 12-day slower Julian calendar
Events of 1861
January - March
April - June
This is Shit!
July - September
October - December
- October 9 - American Civil War - Battle of Santa Rosa Island: Confederate forces are defeated in their effort to take the island.
- October 21 - American Civil War- Battle of Ball's Bluff: Union forces under Colonel Edward Baker are defeated by Confederate troops in the second major battle of the war. Baker, a close friend of Abraham Lincoln, is killed in the fighting.
- October 24 - The HMS Warrior, the world's first ocean-going (all) iron-hulled armored battleship, is completed and commissioned.
- October 28 - The Missouri legislature takes up a bill for Missouri's secession from the Union.
- October 30 -The bill is passed for Missouri's secession from the Union.
- October 31
- November 1 - American Civil War: U.S. President Abraham Lincoln appoints George B. McClellan as commander of the Union Army, replacing the aged General Winfield Scott.
- November 2 - American Civil War: Western Department Union General John C. Fremont is relieved of command and replaced by David Hunter.
- November 6 - American Civil War: Jefferson Davis is elected president of the Confederate States of America.
- November 5 - The first Australian Melbourne Cup horse race is held.
- November 7 - American Civil War - Battle of Belmont: In Belmont, Missouri, Union forces led by General Ulysses S. Grant overrun a Confederate camp but are forced to retreat when Confederate reinforcements arrive.
- November 8 - American Civil War - Trent Affair: The USS San Jacinto stops the United Kingdom mail ship Trent and arrests two Confederate envoys, James Mason and John Slidell, sparking a diplomatic crisis between the U.K. and U.S.
- November 21 - American Civil War: Confederate President Jefferson Davis appoints Judah Benjamin Secretary of War.
- November 25 - A tenement collapses in the Old Town of Edinburgh and buries 50; rescuers find 15 of them alive.
- November 28 - Acting on the ordinance passed by the Jackson government, the Confederate Congress admits Missouri as the 12th Confederate state.
- December 10 - American Civil War: Kentucky is accepted into the Confederate States of America.
January - June
- January 14 - Mehmed VI, Ottoman Sultan (d. 1926)
- January 30 - Charles Martin Loeffler, American composer (d. 1935)
- February 12 - Lou Andreas-Salome, Russian-born author (d. 1937)
- February 15 - Charles Edouard Guillaume, French physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1938)
- February 26 - King Ferdinand of Bulgaria (d. 1948)
- February 27 - Rudolf Steiner, Austrian philosopher (d. 1925)
- April 8 - Son, Byong-Hi, Korean nationalist (d. 1922)
- April 15 - Bliss Carman, Canadian poet (d. 1929)
- May 7 - Rabindranath Tagore, Indian writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1941)
- May 11 - Frederick Russell Burnham, American Scout, father of the international scouting movement (d. 1947)
- May 14 - Harro Magnussen, German sculptor (d. 1908)
- June 12 - William Attewell, English cricketer (d. 1927)
- June 19 - Doctor Jose Rizal, Philippine national hero (d. 1896)
- June 20 - Frederick Hopkins, English biochemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (d. 1947)
July - December
- September 10 - Niels Hansen Jacobsen, Danish sculptor and ceramist (d. 1941)
- September 23 - Mary Elizabeth Coleridge, British poet and novelist (d. 1907)
- September 30 - William Wrigley Jr., U.S. chewing gum industrialist (d. 1932)
- October 4 - Frederic S. Remington, cowboy artist and sculptor (d. 1909)
- October 16 - J. B. Bury, British historian (d. 1927)
- October 30 - Antoine Bourdelle, French sculptor (d. 1929)
- December 4 - Lillian Russell, American singer and vaudeville star (d. 1922)
- November 6 - James Naismith, Canadian inventor of basketball (d. 1939)
- December 8 - Georges Méliès, French film director (d. 1938)
- December 10 - Fridtjof Nansen, Norwegian explorer, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1930)
- December 15 - Pehr Evind Svinhufvud, Prime Minister and President of Finland (d. 1944)
- December 16 - Antonio de La Gandara, French painter (d. 1917)
- December 20 - Ivana Kobilca, Slovenian painter (d. 1926)
- 'date unknown''
January - June
July - December