Decades: 1810s 1820s 1830s 1840s 1850s - 1860s - 1870s 1880s 1890s 1900s 1910s
Years: 1859 1860 1861 1862 1863 - 1864 - 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869
February 27 - American Civil War: The first Northern prisoners arrive at the Confederate prison at Andersonville, Georgia.
March 10 - American Civil War: The Red River Campaign begins as Union troops reach Alexandria, Louisiana.
April 22 - The United States Congress passes the Coinage Act of 1864 which mandates that the inscription "In God We Trust" needs to be placed on all coins minted as United States currency.
May 7 - American Civil War: The Army of the Potomac, under General Ulysses S. Grant, breaks off from the Battle of the Wilderness and moves southwards.
May 11 - American Civil War: Battle of Yellow Tavern - Confederate General JEB Stuart is mortally wounded at Yellow Tavern, Virginia.
May 12 - American Civil War: Battle of Spotsylvania Court House: The "Bloody Angle" - thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers die.
May 13 - American Civil War: Battle of Resaca - the battle begins with Union General Sherman fighting toward Atlanta.
May 15 - American Civil War: Battle of New Market, Virginia - Students from the Virginia Military Institute fight alongside the Confederate Army to force Union General Franz Sigel out of the Shenandoah Valley.
May 20 - American Civil War: Battle of Bermuda Hundred - In Virginia, 3,000 Confederates and l,200 Union troops are killed in this Union victory.
May 26 - Montana is organized as a United States territory.
July 20 - American Civil War: Battle of Peachtree Creek - Near Atlanta, Georgia, Confederate forces led by General John Bell Hood unsuccessfully attack Union troops under General William T. Sherman.
July 22 - American Civil War: Battle of Atlanta - Outside of Atlanta, Georgia, Confederate General John Bell Hood leads an unsuccessful attack on Union troops under General William T. Sherman on Bald Hill.
July 24 - American Civil War: Battle of Kernstown - Confederate General Jubal Early defeats Union troops led by General George Crook in an effort to keep Yankees out of the Shenandoah Valley.
July 28 - American Civil War: Battle of Ezra Church begins - Confederate troops led by General John Bell Hood make a third unsuccessful attempt to drive Union forces under General William T. Sherman from Atlanta, Georgia.
July 29 - American Civil War: Confederate spy Belle Boyd is arrested by Union troops and detained at the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, DC.
July 30 - American Civil War: Battle of the Crater - Union forces attempt to break Confederate lines by exploding a large bomb under their trenches.
August 5 - American Civil War: Battle of Mobile Bay begins - At Mobile Bay near Mobile, Alabama, Admiral David Farragut leads a Union flotilla through Confederate defenses and seals one of the last major Southern ports.
August 18 - American Civil War: Battle of Weldon Railroad - Forces under Union General Ulysses S. Grant try to cut a vital Confederate supply-line into Petersburg, Virginia, by attacking the Weldon Railroad forcing the Confederates to use wagons.
August 22 - International Red Cross founded in Geneva, Switzerland.
September 1 - American Civil War: Confederate General John Bell Hood evacuates Atlanta, Georgia after a four month siege mounted by Union General William T. Sherman.
September 1 - 8 - Delegates from the Canadian colonies meet at the Charlottetown Conference to discuss Canadian Confederation.
September 2 - American Civil War: Union forces under General William T. Sherman enter Atlanta, Georgia a day after the Confederate defenders fled the city.
September 7 - American Civil War: Atlanta, Georgia is evacuated on orders of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman.
October 2 - American Civil War: Battle of Saltville - Union forces attack Saltville, Virginia but are defeated by Confederate troops.
October 9 - American Civil War: Battle of Tom's Brook - Union cavalrymen in the Shenandoah Valley defeat Confederate forces at Tom's Brook, Virginia.
October 28 - American Civil War: Second Battle of Fair Oaks ends - Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant withdraw from Fair Oaks, Virginia, after failing to breach the Confederate defenses around Richmond, Virginia.
October 30 - Second war of Schleswig concluded. Duke Frederick and the Danish Crown recognize Prussia's and Austria's annexation of Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg.
October 30 - Helena, Montana is founded after four prospectors discover gold at "Last Chance Gulch."
October 31 - Nevada is admitted as the 36th U.S. state.
November 4 - American Civil War: Battle of Johnsonville - At Johnsonville, Tennessee, troops under the command of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest bombard a Union supply base with artillery and destroy millions of dollars in materiel.
November 8 - U.S. presidential election, 1864: Abraham Lincoln is reelected in an overwhelming victory over George McClellan.
November 15 - American Civil War: Sherman's March to the Sea begins - Union General William Tecumseh Sherman burns Atlanta, Georgia and starts to move south, destroying everything in his path in order to punish the Confederates for starting the war.
November 22 - American Civil War: Sherman's March to the Sea: Confederate General John Bell Hood invades Tennessee in an unsuccessful attempt to draw Union General William T. Sherman from Georgia.
November 29 - Indian Wars: Sand Creek Massacre - Colorado volunteers led by Colonel John Chivington massacre at least 400 Cheyenne and Arapahoe noncombatants at Sand Creek, Colorado (where they had been given permission to camp).
November 30 - American Civil War: Battle of Franklin - The Army of Tennessee led by General John Bell Hood mounts a dramatically unsuccessful frontal assault on Union positions around Franklin, Tennessee (Hood lost six generals and almost a third of his troops).
December 4 - American Civil War: Sherman's March to the Sea - At Waynesboro, Georgia, forces under Union General Judson Kilpatrick prevent troops led by Confederate General Joseph Wheeler from interfering with Union General William T. Sherman campaign of destroying a wide swath of the South on his march to the Gulf of Mexico (Union forces did suffer more than three times the casualties as the Confederates, however).
James Clerk Maxwell discovers Microwaves
First Geneva Convention
Syllabus errorum: Pope Pius IX condemns theological liberalism as an error and claims for the supremacy of RC Church authority over the civil society.
Year in topic
1864 in literature
January 8 - Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence, second in line heir to the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
January 13 -- Wilhelm Wien, physicist
March 13 - Alexej von Jawlensky, Russian impressionist painter
March 19 - Charles Marion Russell, artist (+ 1926)
April 21 - Max Weber, sociologist (+ 1920)
October 25 - Alexander Tikhonovich Grechaninov, composer (+ 1956)
November 24 - Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, painter
January 13 - Stephen Foster, composer of Camptown Races, Oh! Susannah
May 19 - Nathaniel Hawthorne, author
Roger Taney - United States Supreme Court Justice
Tuanku Imam Bonjol - Indonesian religious and military leader
Emil Nobel - the younger brother of Alfred Nobel killed in their experiemnts of nitroglycerin.