Compiled by Mitchell Werksman and Jim Klag
December 21, 1800 - Robert Barnwell Smith is born in Beaufort, SC. He will later become famous as Robert Barnwell Rhett.
December 21, 1822 - As a result of the Denmark Vesey slave revolt, South Carolina passes a law requiring free Negro sailors to be imprisoned while their ships are in Charleston Harbor.
December 21, 1832 - John Henry Ketcham, American politician and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Dover Plains, New York (d. 1906)
December 21, 1848 - Representative Daniel Gott, a New York Whig, offers a resolution condemning the slave trade in Washington D. C. The resolution passes 98-88.
December 21, 1857 - Kansas's Lecompton Constitution ratification vote. Voters were not voting for the Constitution, rather they were voting for the Constitution with slavery or the Constitution without slavery. With freestaters waiting for the vote on January 4, pro-slavery factions easily carry the vote
December 21, 1860 - South Carolina representatives withdraw from the U. S. House of Representatives.
December 21, 1861 - Abraham Lincoln signs a bill creating the Navy Medal of Honor, America's first medal. It is to be presented to sailors or marines who "...distinguish themselves by their gallantry and other seamanlike qualities..."
December 21, 1861 - Brig. Gen. Henry Alexander Wise, CSA, is assigned to duty in North Carolina, being removed from Western Virginia for his lackluster performance.
December 21, 1861 - Skirmish at Hudson, MO.
December 21, 1861 - The British Minister, Lord Lyons, continue to meet with the Secretary of State William H. Seward regarding the "Trent" Affair.
December 21, 1862 - John Hunt Morgan leads a raid against William S. Rosecrans' supply lines in Kentucky.
December 21, 1862 - Federal expedition from Fayetteville to Huntsville, AR, including the capture of Confederate stragglers from the Battle of Prairie Grove.
December 21, 1862 - Skirmish at Van Buren, AR.
December 21, 1862 - Skirmish at Davis' Mill, MS.
December 21, 1862 - President Jefferson Davis visits Vicksburg, MS.
December 21, 1862 - Affair at Rutherford's Station, TN.
December 21, 1862 - The Confederate capture of Union City, TN, by Brig. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, CSA.
December 21, 1862 - Skirmish on the Wilson Creek Pike, TN.
December 21, 1862 - Federal scout to Catlett's Station and Brentsville, VA. (Dec 21 -23)
December 21, 1862 - Federal reconnaissance from Potomac Creek Bridge toward Warrenton, VA. (Dec 21-22)
December 21, 1862 - Federal reconnaissance from Stafford Court-House to Kellysville, VA. (Dec 21-23)
December 21, 1862 - Skirmish at Strasburg, VA.
December 21, 1862 - William Seward resumes his duties as Secretary of State.
December 21, 1863 - Lawrence Sullivan Ross, CSA, is appointed Brig. Gen.
December 21, 1863 - Federal scout from Rossville to La Fayette, GA, with the capture of Rebel prisoners, citizens, forage, etc. (Dec 21-23)
December 21, 1863 - Federal scout from Rocky Run toward Trenton, NC, in an effort to capture Rebel guerrillas. (Dec 21-24)
December 21, 1863 - Skirmish at Clinch River, TN, the Knoxville, TN, Campaign.
December 21, 1863 - Skirmish at McMinnville, TN.
December 21, 1863 - Brig. Gen. Jacob D. Cox, USA, supersedes Brig. Gen. Mahlon D. Manson, USA, in the command of the 23rd US Army Corps, TN, the Knoxville, TN, Campaign.
December 21, 1863 - Federal expedition from Bealeton to Luray, VA, and skirmishes, including the burning of a large 3 story tannery at Luray. (Dec 21-23)
December 21, 1863 - Affair near Hunter's Mill, VA, as guerrillas fire on and seriously wound a couple of Yankees on the road to Fairfax Court-House.
December 21, 1864 - Sherman occupies Savannah and sends President Lincoln a "Christmas present."
December 21, 1864 - Skirmish at Franklin Creek MS. (Dec 21-22)
December 21, 1864 - Federal expedition, under Brig. Gen. Benjamin H. Grierson, USA, from Memphis, TN, to destroy the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, about 100 miles of railroad track, and capturing 800 Confederates with horses. (Dec 21-Jan 5)
December 21, 1864 - The siege of Petersburg is ongoing.
December 21, 1865 - Brig. Gen. James Heyward Trapier, CSA, dies from camp fever sickness developed during the Civil War, near Georgetown, SC.
December 21, 1872 - Ambrose R. Wright, American Civil War General (CSA), dies at 46 in Augusta, GA.