Feb. 20, 1862: Sibley’s Confederates in New Mexico struggle to reach the Valverde ford on the Rio Grande, but deep sand slows their progress, with some wagons sinking up to their axles.
—Willie Lincoln, son of the President, having suffered for several weeks from typhoid fever, finally on this date succumbs to the common disease and dies. Pres. and Mrs. Lincoln are plunged into grief, and the President into one of his periodic attacks of clinical depression.
—The USS Monitor engages in sea trials off Long Island.
—Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, in command of the western theatre for the Confederate Army, begins to evacuate Nashville, feeling the pinch from Grant’s advance and from Gen. Buell (who has finally begun to advance south).