James Garfield Timeline
Timeline Description: United States' President James Garfield served his country faithfully through the Civil War, both in the Union Army and U.S. Congress. Not long after his election as President, he was shot and fatally injured.

Date Event
November 19, 1831 Birth of James Garfield

James Garfield was born on November 19, 1831 in a log cabin in Moreland Hills, Ohio. He was raised by his mother after his father's death when he was two years old.
1847 Canal Driver in Cleveland

At 16, Garfield took a job as a canal driver in Cleveland. He had dreams of going to sea.
1851 Attended Seminary

When he was around 20, Garfield entered the seminary, studying religion, Latin and Greek.
1856 Began Attending Williams College

Following seminary, Garfield went to Williams College in Massachusetts, eventually becoming a professor there.
1861 Civil War Service

Garfield volunteered to serve in the Union Army. He was a skilled officer, becoming a general in the Union Army at only 31 years old.
1862 Nominated for Congress

With the encouragement of President Abraham Lincoln, Garfield left his military career to serve in Congress.
1863 Returned to War Service

While continuing in Congress, Garfield also served as Chief of Staff in the Army of the Cumberland, an essential position in the Union Army.
1864 Re-elected to Congress

Garfield was easily re-elected to Congress in 1864. He was considered a good politician, and was well-respected. He continued to serve in Congress until 1880.
1880 Presidential Nomination

While working for the nomination of another candidate, Garfield was surprised to gain the Republican nomination in 1880.
1881 Presidential Election

James Garfield won the 1881 election by a narrow margin of only a few thousand votes. He began taking action immediately, but would serve very little of his term.
July 2, 1881 Garfield Shot

James Garfield was shot by Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881, at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station in Washington, D.C.. He did not die immediately and was taken to the White House for treatment.
September 19, 1881 Garfield Died

James Garfield died from injuries sustained in the July 1881 shooting on September 19, 1881.