- March 4: With the threat of war on the horizon, Thomas Green Clemson, IV, resigns his post as United States Superintendent of Agriculture. He walks to Richmond with his son, John Calhoun Clemson.
- October: Future Clemson prof and three-time acting president Mark Bernard Hardin is appointed Major of Artillery, in the active volunteer forces of Virginia, and assigned to duty at Craney Island, where he will remain until the evacuation of Norfolk, on May 10, 1862.
- November 2: Thomas Green Clemson, IV, speaks to the Farmers Society in Pendleton and publicly "Urged the establishment of a department of agriculture in the government of the Confederate States which, in addition to fostering the general interest of agriculture, would also serve as a sort of university of the diffusion of scientific knowledge and the improvement of agriculture." According to Beth Ann Klosky's "The Pendleton Legacy", (Sandlapper Press, Inc., Columbia, South Carolina, 1971, Library of Congress card number 73-143043, ISBN 0-87844-005-4), the proposed institution was to be called the Confederate States Scientific University (page 97).
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