American Civil War Timeline 1862
19 January 1862: Battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky
Union victory in Eastern Kentucky but one that failed to allow for the liberation of that pro-Union district.
6 February 1862: Capture of Fort Henry, Tennessee
Union capture of a key fort on the Tennessee River by U.S. Grant. Much of the Confederate garrison retreated to Fort Donelson.
7-8 February 1862: Battle of Roanoke Island, North Carolina
Federal seizure of Roanoke Island gave them control over Albemarle Sound, North Carolina.
10 February 1862: Battle of Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Naval battle that saw the destruction of a small Confederate fleet on the North Carolina coast.
12-16 February 1862: Siege of Fort Donelson, Tennessee
The Confederate command decided to make a stand at Donelson, but only sent 12,000 men, who were soon faced by Grant’s army of 25,000. The fort surrendered, but only after several Confederate commanders escaped, including Nathan Bedford Forest, later a famous cavalry commander. The Union victory soon led to the capture of Nashville.
23 February 1862Confederates evacuate Nashville, making it the first Confederate state capital to fall to the Union.
McClellan moves his army to the tip of the peninsular between the James and York rivers, intending to bypass the Confederate lines and attack Richmond from the east.
7-8 March 1862: Battle of Pea Ridge (or Elk Horn), Arkansas
Battle that ended a confederate attack from Arkansas that was hoped to cut Grant off from the north.
8-9 March 1862: Battle of Hampton Roads, Virginia
Two days of fighting that changed naval warfare. 8 March saw the confederates launch the first ironclad battleship, which threatened to destroy the Union army, but on the next day the Federal ironclad appeared, and held off the Confederates.
13 March 1862: Battle of New Madrid, Missouri
Union forces drive Confederate garrison out of New Madrid.
14 March 1862: Battle of New Berne, North Carolina
Second Union success during the Burnside expedition on the North Carolina coast. New Berne remained in Union hands for the rest of the war
23 March 1862: Battle of Kernstown (I), Virginia
Stonewall Jackson attacked a much larger Union army at Kernstown (Shenandoah valley), thinking he was only facing a rearguard. Although he was defeated, Lincoln assumed that Jackson must have a large army to take such risks, and withheld some troops from McClellan on the Peninsular.
29 March-26 April 1862: Siege of Fort Macon, North Carolina
Union capture of Fort Macon closses Beaufort, one of the last ports open to the Confederates on the North Carolina coastline.
4 April-3 May: McClellan at Yorktown, Virginia
A small Confederate army behind weak fortifications held off McClellan, before withdrawing as he finally prepared a bombardment.
6-7 April 1862: Battle of Shiloh (or Pittsburgh Landing), Tennessee
Confederate attempt to defeat Grant’s army of 40,000 before a second force of 25,000 under Buell could join it. The first day of the battle saw Grant nearly defeated, but on the second day Buell arrived and Grant was able to counterattack, forcing the Confederates from the field. General A.S. Johnson, the Confederate commander, was killed during the battle. Shiloh was the first of the really big battles of the Civil War.
7 April 1862: Union capture of Island No. 10, Tennessee
Confederate forces on the important Mississippi fort surrender almost without fighting.
10-11 April 1862: Siege of Fort Pulaski
The Union capture of Fort Pulaski virtually closses the port of Savannah to Confederate blockade runners.
16 April: Battle of Lee's Mill
The only Union assault on the Confederate lines at Yorktown.
16-29 April 1862: Battle of New Orleans, Louisiana
Union naval force under Farragut ran the defence of New Orleans and forced the surrender of the Confederacy’s largest city.
19 April 1862: Battle of South Mills
5 May 1862: Battle of Williamsburg, Virginia
Confederate rearguard action that delayed McClellan even more.
8 May 1862: Battle of McDowell (Shenandoah Valley), Virginia
First battle of ‘Stonewall’ Jackson’s campaign in the Valley. The battle disrupted General Fremont’s plan to attack south into Eastern Tennessee.
10 May 1862: Battle of Fort Pillow
Minor Confederate victory on the Mississippi when their gunboat fleet surprises the Union fleet attacking Fort Pillow.
15 May 1862: Battle of Drewy’s Bluff, Virginia
Confederate gun batteries repulse a Union fleet attempting to reach Richmond.
23 May 1862: Battle of Front Royal (Shenandoah Valley), Virginia
Jackson’s army destroys the much smaller Union garrison of Front Royal after receiving information from a spy in community.
26 May 1862: First Battle of Winchester (Shenandoah Valley), Virginia
Jackson’s Confederates defeat a smaller Union army at Winchester, forcing it to pull back to the Potomac.
31 May 1862: Battle of Fair Oaks/ Seven Pines, Virginia
Confederate attack on the Union army outside Richmond, notable mainly for the wounding of the Confederate commander Joe Johnston, allowing Robert E. Lee to be promoted to command the armies around Richmond.
6 June 1862: Battle of Memphis, Tennessee
Naval battle that saw the defeat of the Confederate fleet guarding Memphis and the Union capture of the city.
8-9 June 1862: Battle of Crosskeys (Shenandoah Valley), Virginia
Part of Jackson’s army holds off a larger Union force.
9 June 1862: Battle of Port Republic (Shenandoah Valley), Virginia
Jackson marches the rest of his army to join the force at Cross Keys, defeating part of a larger Union force.
25 June-1 July 1862: The Seven Days’ Battles, Virginia
Having finally reached the vicinity of Richmond, McClellan found himself the one under attack, as Lee attempted to destroy the Union army, or at least force it away from Richmond. He achieved the second objective.
25 June 1862: Battle of Oak Grove, Virginia
First fighting of the Seven Days, triggered by McClellan’s only offensive move, a probing reconnaissance.
26 June 1862: Battle of Mechanicsville, Virginia
Part of the Seven Days’ Battles. A Confederate attack launched despite the absence of a large part of the force allocated for it. A clear Union victory.
27 June 1862: Battle of Gaines’s Mill, Virginia
Seven Days’ Battles. Another Confederate attack that achieved its main aim, but at a high cost.
29 June 1862: Battle of Savage’s Station, Virginia
Failed Confederate attack on the Union army withdrawing from Richmond towards the James River.
30 June 1862: Battle of Glendale/ Frayser’s Farm/ White Oak Swamp, Virginia
Another unsuccessful confederate attack during the Seven Days’ Battle.
1 July 1862: Battle of Malvern Hill, Virginia
Final Confederate attack of the Seven Days’ Battle, and another Confederate defeat. Despite this, McClellan continued to retreat.
Late June- 26 July 1862:
First Union attack on Vicksburg, the last major obstacle on the Mississippi. Naval forces from New Orleans and Memphis fail to take the city.
Henry Halleck appointed General in Chief of the Union armies.
5 August 1862: Battle of Baton Rouge
Failed Confederate attempt to recapture Baton Rouge, defeated in part by Union gunboats on the river.
9 August 1862: Battle of Cedar Mountain, Virginia
A rare Confederate victory from a position of strength. Stonewall Jackson commanded twice the troops of his Union opponent, who still launched an attack which was initially successful but eventually defeated. Cedar Mountain confirmed that the main battle front had moved away from McClellan in the peninsular and back into the area between Richmond and Washington.
28 August 1862: Battle of Groveton, Virginia
An unimpressive Confederate attack launched by Stonewall Jackson that still achieved its main aim of making sure that the Union army was in place for the upcoming Second battle of Bull Run.
29-30 August: Second Battle of Bull Run/ Manassas, Virginia
Another Confederate victory on the same ground, against a much larger, but very badly handled Union army. The Confederate victory moved the scene of the fighting from the vicinity of Richmond to that of Washington and was a massive boost to the Confederate cause.
30 August: Battle of Richmond, Kentucky
Confederate victory over a small Union army, most of which was captured.
1 September 1862: Battle of Chantilly, Virginia
Aftermath of Second Bull Run. Lee drove the Union army back to Washington.
13-17 September 1862: Confederate capture of Munfordville, Kentucky
Confederate capture of a Union garrison during their invasion of Kentucky
14 September 1862: Battle of Crampton’s Gap, Maryland
Sluggish Union victory in the campaign that led to Antietam.
14-15 September 1862: Battle of South Mountain, Maryland
A second Federal victory in the build up to Antietam.
16 September 1862: Battle of Harper’s Ferry, Virginia
Jackson captures Harper’s Ferry, but the expedition had already derailed Lee’s great offensive.
17 September 1862: Battle of Antietam, Maryland
A much needed Union victory that turned back Lee’s invasion of Maryland, leading indirectly to the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation and dramatically reduced any chance that Britain would recognise the Confederacy.
19 September 1862: Battle of Iuka, Mississippi
Battle in which a Union army under Rosecrans repulsed a Confederate attack.
3-4 October 1862: Battle of Corinth, Mississippi
Defeat of a Confederate attack intended to help General Bragg’s invasion of Kentucky.
5 October 1862 1862, Skirmish at Hatchie Bridge, Mississippi
Skirmish during the retreat of the Confederate army defeated at Corinth that briefly threatened to result in the capture of that army.
8 October 1862: Battle of Perryville, Kentucky
Botched battle in which half of a Union army fought a Confederate army that thought most of the Union army was elsewhere. The Confederates withdrew when it became clear that they were outnumbered three to one.
26 October 1862
Army of the Potomac finally crossed the Potomac in pursuit of the Confederates beaten at Antietam, although McClellan still moves slowly.
7 November 1862
Lincoln finally replaces McClellan with General Burnside, much to Burnside’s distress.
7 December 1862: Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas
Defeat of a Confederate army that had been threatening Arkansas for most of 1862.
13 December 1862: Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia
Burnside’s first offensive ends in a crushing defeat when he foolishly attacked the main Confederate army in their fortified position at Fredericksburg.
29 December 1862: Battle of Chickasaw Bluffs, Mississippi
Heavy defeat for Sherman in an assault made as part of Grant’s already aborted first campaign against Vicksburg.
31 December 1862-2 January 1863: Battle of Stones River/ Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Battle between Rosecrans’ army from Nashville and Bragg’s Confederate Army of Tennessee. Both sides suffered heavy casualties (over 30%). Bragg claimed a victory but was then forced to withdraw when Rosecrans did not retreat.
1861 | 1862 | 1863 | 1864 | 1865
American Civil War Timeline 1862 - History
August 9, 1862 - Battle of Cedar Mountain - Class B.
Strength: Union 8,030 Confederates 16,868.
Casualties: Union 2,353 Confederates 1,338.
In the first of the Northern Virginia battles, Stonewall Jackson defeats the attack of Union General Banks who attempted to advance into central Virginia.
August 25-27, 1862 - Battles of Manassas Junction - Class A. Strength: Union, Detachements of the Army of Virginia Confederates, Army of Northern Virginia left wing. Casualties: Union 400-450 Confederates 173. Confederate attempts prior to the 2nd Battle of Bull Run to take the Union supply depot at Manassas Junction and destroy it. Three engagements Bristoe Station, Kettle Run, and Bull Run Bridge. Stonewall Jackson would move to the Bull Run battlefield on the night of August 27.
August 28-30, 1862 - 2nd Manassas - Class A. Strength: Union 77,000 Confederates 50,000. Casualties: Union 14,462 Confederates 7,298. Fought over much of the same ground as 1st Manassas one year earlier, General Robert E. Lee would defeat Pope's Union forces when reinforcements of James Longstreet surprised the Union on the third day of fighting with the largest simultaneous mass assault of the war, 25,000 men, pushing the Union across Bull Run.
August 29-30, 1862 - Battle of Richmond, Kentucky - Class B.
Strength: Union 6,850 Confederates 6,500.
Casualties: Union 5,353, including 4,303 captured Confederates 451.
First major battle of the Kentucky campaign saw a surprising Confederate victory by General Edmund Kirby Smith against the Union force defending the town. Confederates now had access to Frankfort and Lexington.
September 1, 1862 - Battle of Chantilly - Class B.
Strength: Union 6,000 Confederates 20,000.
Casualties: Union 1,300 Confederates 800.
Inconclusive battle when Stonewall Jackson attempted to cut off the Union line of retreat, but two Union divisions halted his success.
September 12-15, 1862 - Battle of Harpers Ferry - Class B.
Strength: Union 14,000 Confederates 21-26,000.
Casualties: Union 12,636, including 12,419 captured Confederates 286.
While Robert E. Lee conducted his Maryland campaign, he sent General Stonewall Jackson to the armory town of Harpers Ferry to capture the Union garrison. Surrounded by fifty guns, Union General Miles surrendered the garrison and town. Stonewall Jackson would march his troops to Antietam two days later.
September 14, 1862 - Battle of South Mountain - Class B.
Strength: Union 28,000 Confederates 18,000.
Casualties: Union 2,325 Confederates 2,685.
Union victory at three gaps in the South Mountain passes Fox's, Turner's, and Crampton's allows enough delay in the divided force of General Lee to allow his army time to reach Sharpsburg, Maryland and the subsequent Antietam battlefield.
September 17, 1862 - Antietam - Class A.
Strength: Union 87,000 Confederates 38,000.
Casualties: Union 12,410 Confederates 10-13,000.
Bloodiest day of the Civil War occurs in areas of the Cornfield, Bloody Lane, and Burnside Bridge. Union tactical victory when Confederates abandoned the field the next day, allowing President Lincoln to announce the Emancipation Proclamation, which prevented England and France from recognizing the Confederacy as a nation.
October 3-4, 1862 - Second Battle of Corinth - Class B. Strength: Union 23,000 Confederates 22,000. Casualties: Union 2,520 Confederates 4,233. General William Rosecrans defeated the troops of General Earl Van Dorn at the railroad junction at Corinth. Van Dorn's men would be allowed to escape, with Rosecrans receiving criticism from U.S. Grant about the delay of pursuit.
October 8, 1862 - Battle of Perryville, Kentucky - Class A. Strength: Union 55,000 Confederates 16,000. Casualties: Union 4,241 Confederates 3,396. Inconclusive battle in the Kentucky campaign turns into tactical Union victory when Confederate General Bragg withdraws from Kentucky into Tennessee, leaving the state in Union control for the remainder of the war.
December 7, 1862 - Prairie Grove, Arkansas - Class B. Strength: Union 9,216 Confederates 11,059. Casualties: Union 1,251 Confederates 1,317. Tactical draw, but Union victory in the sense that they remained on the battlefield while Confederates troops retreated to Van Buren, effectively allowing Union control of northwest Arkansas for the remainder of the war.
December 11-15, 1862 - Battle of Fredericksburg - Class A.
Strength: Union 122,000 Confederates 78,500.
Casualties: Union 12,653 Confederates 4,201.
Futile attempt by new Union commander General Burnside to cross the Rappahannock River into the city of Fredericksburg and charge Marye's Heights. Battles at other locations on the field and the subsequent withdraw to the other side of the river signaled Burnside's defeat, and the mud march of later days only underscores the poor decisions during the battle.
December 26-29, 1862 - Battle of Chickasaw Bayou - Class B. Strength: Union 30,720 Confederates 13,792. Casualties: Union 1,776 Confederates 187. Three Union divisions under General Sherman approach Vicksburg from the northeast along the Yazoo River while a fourth division lands upstream the next day. Confederate's strong position at Walnut Hills denied both frontal and flank assaults, resulting in their victory.
December 31, 1862 to January 2, 1863 - Battle of Stones River - Class A.
Strength: Union 43,400 Confederates 35,000.
Casualties: Union 12,906 Confederates 11,739.
Inconclusive battle with high casualties, ending with the Union repulse of two Southern attacks. Confederate withdrawal by General Bragg on January 3 ended hopes of the South controlling middle Tennessee.
Note: Photo above: Currier and Ives 1862 print of General Grant leading a charge in the 2nd day of the Battle of Shiloh. Image courtesy Library of Congress. Casualty and troop strength numbers from Wikipedia Commons via various sources.
The Civil War in America December 1862&ndashOctober 1863
On January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that all slaves within the rebellious states &ldquoare, and henceforward shall be free.&rdquo Bitterly denounced in the South&mdashand by many in the North&mdashthe Proclamation reduced the likelihood that the anti-slavery European powers would recognize the Confederacy as an independent nation and opened the way for large numbers of African Americans to join the U.S. armed forces. At the same time, tensions created by losses on the battlefield and sacrifices on both sides of the home front were reflected in public meetings and demonstrations. Though peace movements were increasing in strength in both the South and North, a majority on both sides remained bitterly determined to pursue the war to victory.
Only two months after the North’s major defeat at Chancellorsville, Virginia, in May 1863, the Union victory at Gettysburg (July 1&ndash3, 1863), dramatically raised Northern morale. The fall of Vicksburg, Mississippi, on July 4 militarily split the Confederacy in two&mdashand set Ulysses S. Grant on the path to becoming the Union’s final and most aggressive general-in-chief. In the Confederate states, food shortages and exorbitant prices caused riots in several cities. Rampant guerrilla warfare in Kansas and Missouri created a war within the war.
The Sacking of Fredericksburg
On November 5, 1862, Lincoln replaced McClellan with Ambrose E. Burnside as the commanding general of the Army of the Potomac. Burnside moved quickly and arrived at Fredericksburg, Virginia, on November 17. Essential supplies moved more slowly. But by December 11 and 12, Union troops were preparing for the ill-fated attack that began on December 13. In this unpublished drawing, sketch artist Arthur Lumley described the deplorable behavior of Federal soldiers on the eve of battle: &ldquoFriday Night in Fredericksburg. This night the city was in the wildest confusion sacked by the union troops = houses burned down furniture scattered in the streets = men pillaging in all directions a fit scene for the French revolution and a discrace [sic] to the Union Arms. this is my view of what I saw. Lumley.&rdquo
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From Parlor Table to Operating Table
As Union troops advanced throughout the South, civilians in the path of the armies had to decide whether to stay in their homes and hope for the best, or take what belongings they could and &ldquorefugee&rdquo elsewhere. Betty Maury’s family fled to Richmond before the Battle of Fredericksburg, but received reports from friends that her home in the city had been used as a Federal hospital. Surgeons performed amputations on her parlor table, and at least one soldier was buried in her yard.
Betty Herndon Maury (1835&ndash1903). Diary entry, December 28, 1862. Betty Herndon Maury Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (082.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0082p1]
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Twenty years before founding the American Red Cross, Clara Barton came to the aid of soldiers fighting in the Civil War. At the war’s outbreak, Barton worked as a U.S. Patent Office clerk and collected provisions and medical supplies for the Union army. Restless with her limited role and undeterred by War Department regulations and prevailing stereotypes, Barton became known as the &ldquoAngel of the Battlefield&rdquo as she distributed supplies and tended to the wounded and dying. During the course of the war, Barton kept notes that documented the appalling carnage and medical conditions of the wounded transported to Fredericksburg.
Unattributed. Clara Barton, ca. 1862. Albumen silver print in carte-de-visite album. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (083.00.00) [Digital ID# cph-3g06307]
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Keeping Track of Soldiers
Clara Barton came to Fredericksburg on the eve of a major battle in December 1862 to provide supplies and nursing skills to Union medical staff. She tended to wounded soldiers in the temporary hospital established at the Lacy plantation house, and noted in her pocket diary information about the soldiers she encountered, should loved ones want to find the soldiers after the battle. Recording the identities of soldiers in her diaries was a practice she continued throughout the war.
Clara Barton (1821&ndash1912). Diary, January&ndashFebruary 1863. Page 2. Clara Barton Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (084.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0084, cw0084p1]
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Hooker Appointed Commander
By January 1863, Lincoln recognized that General Burnside had lost the confidence of the Federal army. Summoning Joseph Hooker to the White House, Lincoln named him the new head of the Army of the Potomac. President Lincoln used the opportunity to warn Hooker that his earlier criticism of General Burnside, and the withholding of his support, had undermined the morale of the troops he now commanded. Aware of Hooker’s weaknesses as well as his demonstrated fighting ability, in crafting this letter Lincoln attempted to counsel his new commander.
Abraham Lincoln to General Joseph Hooker, January 26, 1863. Alfred Whital Stern Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (094.00.00) [Digital ID# al0166]
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Draft of the Emancipation Proclamation
On July 13, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln consulted Secretary of State William H. Seward and Gideon Welles, the secretary of the navy, on the particulars of the Emancipation Proclamation. Seward anticipated anarchy in the South and perhaps foreign intervention in the war. Lincoln let the matter rest, but on July 22 he presented this draft proclamation to the full cabinet, to mixed reactions. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton and Attorney General Edward Bates advocated the document’s immediate release. Salmon P. Chase, treasury secretary, was cool to the idea, fearing it would result in chaos. Postmaster General Montgomery Blair was in opposition and believed that it would lead to Republican defeat in the coming fall congressional elections. Seward favored waiting to release it until the Union achieved a battlefield victory. Lincoln again dropped the issue, but it was clear to his advisors that he was set on issuing an emancipation proclamation by year’s end.
Abraham Lincoln. Initial draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, July 22, 1862. Page 2. Abraham Lincoln Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (153.00.00) [Digital ID# al0153p1, al0153p2]
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Field Hospital at Work
Jefferson Davis first became impressed with the abilities of United States Army surgeon Samuel Preston Moore (1813&ndash1889) during the Mexican War. A graduate of the Medical College of South Carolina, Moore was persuaded by Davis in 1861 to serve as the Surgeon General of the Confederate army, a position he would retain throughout the war. Despite severe shortages of doctors and medical supplies, Moore was conscientious in his responsibilities, establishing examining boards to remove unfit surgeons and organizing the Confederate medical services along the same lines as those provided by the United States Army. Aware of the critical need to improve surgical operations in the field, Moore directed the publication of this manual and had it distributed to all medical officers.
A Manual of Military Surgery Prepared for the Use of the C. S. A. Army. Richmond, Virginia: Ayreson & Wade, 1863. Page 2. Confederate States of America Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (085.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0085, cw0085p1]
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The Emancipation Proclamation expanded the scope of Union war aims but was controversial in the North, where opinions remained mixed on the question of abolition. Nevertheless, white Unionists generally accepted the proclamation as a necessary war measure, and it was a great boost to the morale of African Americans and their allies. This broadside edition, one of only forty-eight copies printed, was signed by President Abraham Lincoln, Secretary of State William H. Seward, and presidential secretary John G. Nicolay. The edition was specifically created to raise funds for the Sanitary Commission at the Great Central Sanitary Fair held in Philadelphia in June 1864. Signed copies could be purchased for ten dollars. The event attracted more than one hundred thousand visitors and raised more than one million dollars, but not all of the signed copies were sold.
By the President. . . . Emancipation Proclamation. Philadelphia: Leypoldt, 1864. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (087.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0087]
H. H. Brownell. All Slaves Were Made Freemen by Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, January 1, 1863. Recruitment and "John Brown Song" broadside. Page 2. Alfred Whital Stern Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (089.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0089, cw0089p1]
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A Satanic Emancipator
The Southern Illustrated News published in Richmond was an attempt to offer a Confederate version of popular Northern illustrated periodicals such as Harper’s Weekly and Leslie’s Illustrated. This wood engraving from the issue of November 2, 1862, vividly pictures Southern hostility towards Abraham Lincoln following the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation. The human mask of Lincoln in the figure’s left hand is removed to reveal Satan. The chain in the right hand represents efforts to subdue the Confederacy. Additional touches include a noose awaiting Lincoln on top of the then unfinished Washington Monument, and a scrolled copy of the Emancipation Proclamation on the ground.
Southern Illustrated News, November 2, 1862. Confederate States of America Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (088.00.00) Digital ID# cw0088]
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&ldquoI always carry a haversack&rdquo
Walt Whitman believed in the power of kind attention and &ldquopersonal magnetism&rdquo to help wounded and ill soldiers heal. He visited the hospitals of Washington almost daily, using this leather haversack as a cornucopia of food and small gifts to lift the spirits or improve the health and comfort of the patients in the wards. &ldquoIt is a comfort & delight to me to minister to them&rdquo he told William Davis, who sent a donation in response to Whitman’s fundraising appeals on behalf of the wounded. Whitman sat by the bedsides of the sick, wrote letters home for the wounded, and held the hands of the dying.
Walt Whitman to William S. Davis, October 1, 1863. Feinberg-Whitman Collection, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (149.01.00) [Digital ID# cw0149_01]
Walt Whitman’s Civil War haversack. Feinberg-Whitman Collection, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (214.01.00) [Digital ID# cw0214_01]
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Passing the Time in Prison
While incarcerated at the Old Capitol Prison complex in Washington, D.C., Antonia Ford of Fairfax Court House, Virginia, made this lace collar for her mother. Ford was thought to have provided intelligence to Confederate partisan John S. Mosby prior to his raid on Fairfax in March 1863, and her case was not helped by the honorary commission as an aide-de-camp to General J.E.B. Stuart that was found at her home. Although an ardent Confederate, during her imprisonment Antonia fell in love with Union Major Joseph C. Willard, co-owner of the famous Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. After she took an oath of allegiance to the United States and he resigned from the Union army, Ford and Willard married in March 1864.
O.H. Willard, photographer. Antonia Ford Willard. Albumen print. Willard Family Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (094.01.00) [Digital ID# cw0094_01]
Antonia Ford Willard. Crocheted lace collar, 1863. Willard Family Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (098.01.00) [Digital ID# cw0098_01]
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The Loss of Jackson
The tremendous success of General Robert E. Lee’s daring maneuvers at Chancellorsville was tempered by the death of one of his most valuable subordinates, General Thomas J. &ldquoStonewall&rdquo Jackson. While on a nighttime reconnaissance ride, Jackson was mistakenly fired upon by his own troops. His arm was successfully amputated, but pneumonia proved fatal. Before Jackson’s death Lee purportedly lamented, &ldquoHe has lost his left arm but I my right arm.&rdquo With Jackson gone, Lee struggled to find another corps commander he trusted so completely. The loss of Jackson was felt deeply by his men and mourned by Confederates throughout the South.
Jedediah Hotchkiss (1828&ndash1899) to Sara Hotchkiss, May 10, 1863. Page 2. Jedediah Hotchkiss Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (097.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0097, cw0097p1]
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Fields of Chancellorsville
English-born special artist Alfred R. Waud covered the action of the Army of the Potomac from 1861 to 1865 for the New York Illustrated News and Harper’s Weekly, shaping the image of war for the home front in the North. Waud portrayed the Eleventh Corps on the night of May 1, 1863, as they, in the words of Major General Daniel Sickles, &ldquoswept frantically over the cleared fields&rdquo away from the Confederate line at Chancellorsville. Stonewall Jackson attacked the flank, forcing other Union troops to double their efforts to keep his forces at bay.
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Battlefield of Chancellorsville
In late April and early May, 1863, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia engaged Union troops near Chancellorsville, south of Fredericksburg, Virginia. A Confederate force of more than 60,000 soldiers launched an attack against Union troops. The battle resulted in a Confederate victory but at a tremendous cost. Confederate General &ldquoStonewall&rdquo Jackson, the hero of First Manassas (First Bull Run), died as a result of wounds suffered during the battle. This map illustrates actions in the early summer of 1863. Other military engagements in the region included the Battle of Fredericksburg of 1862 and the Wilderness Campaign of 1864.
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Under orders from Major General Burnside, Representative Clement L. Vallandigham (D-Ohio), was arrested for violating Burnside’s General Order No. 38 by uttering &ldquodisloyal sentiments&rdquo and hindering the government’s prosecution of the war after giving an anti-war speech at Mount Vernon, Ohio, on May 1, 1863. Convicted by a military tribunal, Vallandigham was sentenced to prison for the duration of the war. Although President Lincoln commuted the congressman’s sentence to banishment behind Confederate lines, Vallandigham petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court, unsuccessfully, to have his conviction overturned on appeal. In 1866, the use of military tribunals to try civilians in the United States would be limited by a Supreme Court decision in Ex parte Milligan.
Petition of Former Representative Clement L. Vallandigham (1820&ndash1871), to the Supreme Court of the United States, October term, 1863. Transcript of testimony before the Military Commission held at Cincinnati on May 6 and 7, 1863. Page 2 - Page 3. Law Library, Library of Congress (098.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0098, cw0098p1, cw0098p2]
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Suspension of Habeas Corpus
Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis both confronted the challenge of balancing an effective prosecution of the war with respect for the civil liberties of each region’s citizens, especially with regard to suspending the writ of habeas corpus, which requires that a person taken into custody appear in court to be charged. In 1863 Congress gave Lincoln wide latitude in suspending the writ, whereas Jefferson Davis received only temporary suspension powers from the Confederate Congress in 1862 and 1864.
Jefferson Davis (1808&ndash1889). &ldquoTo the Senate and House of Representatives of the Confederate States of America,&rdquo February 3, 1864. Burton Norvell Harrison Family Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (099.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0099]
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Battleground of Gettysburg
One of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War was fought in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on July 1&ndash3, 1863. General Robert E. Lee came face to face with a Union army led by General George G. Meade. The map shows Union positions in black and Confederate positions is red. Himself a combatant at Gettysburg, The map’s creator, Charles Wellington Reed of the 9th Massachusetts Battery, was awarded the Medal of Honor for the conspicuous bravery he exhibited in saving the life of Captain John Bigelow during the second day of that battle.
Charles Wellington Reed (1841&ndash1926). Plan of Gettysburg Battle Ground, 1863. Chas. W. Reed, 9th Mass. Battery, deposited for copyright 1864. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress (105.00.00) [Digital ID# g3824g-cw0347000]
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The Devil's Den
The photographer Alexander Gardner literally composed this iconic image of a dead Confederate soldier at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The young soldier had fallen in battle on the southern slope of Devil’s Den. Four photographs were made of the soldier in that spot before Gardner moved the body about seventy-two yards away, placing him next to the picturesque stone wall. The soldier’s head rests on a knapsack. A rifle, propped up against the wall, completes the tableau.
Alexander Gardner (1821&ndash1882). Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter, 1863. Albumen silver print. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (102.00.00) [Digital ID# LC-DIG-ppmsca-33066]
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&ldquoMake Our Effort Pretty Certain&rdquo
After two days of inconclusive fighting against the Union flanks at Gettysburg, General Lee ordered an attack against the center on July 3, known to history as &ldquoPickett’s Charge.&rdquo C.S.A. colonel Edward P. Alexander’s artillery barrage tried to weaken the Union defenses, after which the infantry, under command of Lieutenant General James Longstreet, charged the Union center. Longstreet asked Alexander to advise Pickett whether or not to make the charge based on his artillery’s effectiveness against the enemy, and Alexander’s postwar scrapbook included Longstreet’s original battlefield notes and his own replies. Pickett’s Charge was a disaster for the Confederates.
James Longstreet (1821&ndash1904) to Edward Porter Alexander (1835&ndash1910), July 3, 1863, with annotation of Alexander’s reply. Page 2. Edward Porter Alexander Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (104.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0104, cw0104p1]
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Following the News
Telegraph lines sped up the dissemination of news in the mid-nineteenth century, but it could still take days to receive the latest telegraphic dispatches from the war, particularly in the South. In Richmond, Virginia, Anna J. Sanders recorded in her diary on July 5, 1863, that a battle in Gettysburg had begun well for the Confederates, whereas the battle had already ended with a Northern victory on July 3. By July 8 Sanders knew Vicksburg had fallen, and, on July 9, it was clear that both Vicksburg and Gettysburg had been lost by the Confederates.
Anna Johnson Sanders (ca. 1815&ndash1890). Diary entries for July 1863. George Nicholas Sanders Family Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (106.00.00) Digital ID# cw0106]
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View of Vicksburg
On July 4, 1863, Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton and his Confederate garrison marched out of Vicksburg and surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant and the Federal army that had been targeting the city for nearly a year. The almost simultaneous Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg were the beginning of the end for the Confederacy. After Gettysburg, Lee’s forces never regained enough strength to seriously threaten the North. The fall of Vicksburg, and the last Confederate Mississippi River bastion, Port Hudson, a few days later, re-opened the Midwest to trade with the outside world and allowed the Union forces of Grant to operate with greater flexibility in the Deep South.
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Memoir of a Siege
Mary Ann Loughborough, wife of a Confederate officer, authored this vivid account of the hardships she and other citizens of Vicksburg experienced during the spring and summer 1863 when they took to living in caves they dug in hillsides within the beleaguered city. &ldquoI shall never forget my extreme fear during the night, and my utter hopelessness of ever seeing the morning light. Terror stricken, we remained crouched in the cave, while shell after shell followed each other in quick succession. I endeavored by constant prayer to prepare myself for the sudden death I was almost certain awaited me. My heart stood still as we would hear the reports from the guns, and the rushing and fearful sound of the shell as it came toward us.&rdquo
Mary Ann Webster Loughborough (1836&ndash1887). My Cave Life in Vicksburg. With Letters of Trial and Travel. By a Lady. New York: D. Appleton, 1864. Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (110.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0110p4, cw0110, cw0110p1, cw0110p2]
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Adalbert Volck was a Baltimore dentist whose additional talents as an artist were channeled in producing a number of political prints reflecting his pronounced Southern sympathies. This copper engraving of a young woman in prayer is a case in point. Only on closer inspection does the viewer become aware that the woman is praying not in the comfort of her home but in a cave during the bombardment of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Volck was clearly communicating the idea that the Northern siege of the city was a barbaric act against innocent civilians.
Adalbert J. Volck (1828&ndash1912). &ldquoCave Life in Vicksburg&rdquo in V. Blada’s War Sketches. London [Baltimore]: 1864. Lithograph. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (109.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0109]
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Vicksburg Daily Citizen
Vicksburg, Mississippi, like many Southern cities, suffered acutely from the ravages of the Civil War. However, this final edition of the Vicksburg Daily Citizen attests to the determination of the city’s defenders. This issue of the Confederate newspaper is printed on the back of wallpaper because supplies of every kind had been exhausted during the long and difficult siege. The defiant spirit is still in evidence on July 2 as the paper reads: &ldquoThe Yankee Generalissimo surnamed Grant has expressed his intention of dining in Vicksburg on the Fourth of July. . . . Ulysses must get into the city before he dines in it.&rdquo Vicksburg surrendered two days later. On July 4, 1863, Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton and his Confederate garrison marched out of Vicksburg and surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant. On July 2, Vicksburg surrendered, the publisher fled, and the Union forces found the type of the Citizen still standing. They printed a new edition (characterized by the misspelled &ldquoCTIIZEN&rdquo) using material already in type and added the note quoted below:
Vicksburg Daily Citizen, July 2, 1863. Vicksburg, Mississippi. Newspaper printed on wallpaper. Reverse. Newspaper Section, Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress (108.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0108, cw0108p1]
Vicksburg Daily Citizen [second edition], July 2, 1863. Vicksburg, Mississippi. Newspaper printed on wallpaper. Newspaper Section, Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress (108.01.00) [Digital ID# cw0108_02, cw0108_02p1]
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The Battle of Gettysburg reached its apex on the afternoon of July 3. Federal troops on Cemetery Ridge saw, less than a mile away, Confederate forces massing for a great frontal assault. Led by men under the command of C.S.A. general George E. Pickett, 15,000 Confederates tried to break the center of the Union lines. The objective, &ldquoa little clump of trees,&rdquo was reached, but Federal reinforcements arrived, the line held, and the Confederates withdrew under heavy fire, having lost nearly 6,000 men. New York artist Edwin Forbes covered the campaigns of the Army of the Potomac for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. His studio oil painting depicts the ill-fated &ldquoPickett’s Charge&rdquo and is based on the artist’s eyewitness account.
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Assault on Fort Wagner
Having struggled for the right to fight, African Americans played an important role in the Union Army, ultimately comprising ten percent of the troops. This Kurz and Allison print captures the moment when Sergeant William Harvey Carney (1840&ndash1908), who thirty-seven years later was awarded the Medal of Honor for his valor in this battle, carried the United States flag to the walls of Fort Wagner on Morris Island in South Carolina. The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, composed of free African Americans, took heavy losses, including the death of its commander, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (1837&ndash1863), in its failed bid to wrest the fort from Confederate forces.
Storming Fort Wagner. Chromolithograph. Chicago: Kurz & Allison Art Publishers, 1890. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (116.00.00) [Digital ID# LC-DIG-pga-01949]
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A Member of the 54th Massachusetts
Two days after the unsuccessful Union assault on Fort Wagner on Morris Island in Charleston Harbor, Lewis Douglass, son of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, wrote to his fiancée Amelia Loguen to assure her of his safety. Lewis’s thoughts focused on what his comrades in 54th Massachusetts Infantry had achieved at Fort Wagner in earning a reputation for courage and demonstrating their willingness to die for a worthy cause.
Lewis Henry Douglass (1840&ndash1908) to Helen Amelia Loguen, July 20, 1863. Page 2. Carter G. Woodson Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (117.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0117, cw0117p1]
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Recruitment for the Cavalry
Cavalry recruits of 1861 who expected to be engaged in offensive operations may have been disappointed to discover that most of their energies were aimed at reconnaissance screening, and the pursuit of retreating enemy forces. It was generally conceded that the Confederate cavalry had superior horseman during the first half of the war, as well as more daring leadership under figures such as General J. E. B. Stuart. Beginning with the Battle of Brandy Station in June 1863, the Union cavalry came into its own for the remainder of the conflict. Key reasons for the turnaround were vastly improved cavalry organization and the more than 600,000 horses procured for the Union cavalry by the U.S. Army, giving them a two-to-one advantage over the enemy.
Light Cavalry. Philadelphia: King & Baird, 1861. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (101.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0101]
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When this ambrotype was acquired by a private collector, the identity of this tough-looking C.S.A. cavalry trooper had been lost over time, as is the case with thousands of keepsake photographic images of common soldiers on both sides of the conflict. In March 2012, the portrait appeared in a special Civil War supplement in the Washington Post. Karen Thatcher, from West Virginia, opened the paper and immediately identified &ldquoUncle Dave.&rdquo Family photographs of Private Thatcher were used to confirm his identity.
Unattributed. [Private David M. Thatcher of Company B, Berkeley Troop, 1st Virginia Cavalry Regiment], between 1861 and 1865. Sixth-plate, hand-colored ambrotype. Promised gift of the Liljenquist family, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (100.00.00) [Digital ID# LC-DIG-ppmsca-32680]
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Avoiding the Draft
After the initial rush to enlist at the start of the war had passed, both the Confederacy (in 1862) and the Union (in 1863) passed conscription laws encouraging enlistment and providing for drafting recruits when necessary. Age limits exempted youth or older men from service, and men in certain occupations that contributed to the war effort were also exempted. On both sides men could hire substitutes to serve in their place, which newspaper reporter Sylvanus Cadwallader did in 1864. This sheet music cover graphically conveys the inequities of the draft enacted under the Enrollment Act of 1863.
&ldquoCertificate of Exemption on Account of Having Furnished a Substitute,&rdquo issued to Sylvanus Cadwallader (1825&ndash1908), September 30, 1864. Sylvanus Cadwallader Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (112.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0112]
Frank Wilder, composer. &ldquoWanted a Substitute.&rdquo Boston: Oliver Ditson & Co., deposited for copyright 1863. Music Division, Library of Congress (111.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0111]
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The Draft Riots
On July 11, 1863, draft officers began drawing names in heavily Democratic New York City, where sentiment against abolition and conscription ran high and racial tensions had reached a boiling point. From July 13 to 17, 1863, New York erupted into four of the bloodiest days of mob violence in United States history. The uprising began with thousands of people foregoing work to demonstrate outside the draft office on Third Avenue. A stone hurled through an office window and the discharge of a pistol turned the demonstration into a riot. Surging into the draft office, the rioters smashed everything, then proceeded to the headquarters of the New York Times and the New York Tribune, and moved on to loot and burn the four-story Colored Orphan Asylum. Hundreds were injured and 105 killed.
Unattributed. [Civil War induction officer with lottery box], ca. 1863. Sixth-plate tintype. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (113.00.00) [Digital ID# ds-00292]
&ldquoThe Mob in New York. Resistance to the Draft&mdashRioting and Bloodshed,&rdquo New York Times, July 14, 1863. Newspaper Section, Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress (114.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0114]
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Union and Emancipation for a Common Cause
Emancipation as a war aim was never universally popular in the North. In a letter that would be read aloud to a Union mass meeting in Springfield, Illinois, on September 3, 1863, Lincoln explained that if white Americans did not want to fight for black Americans then they should fight to save the Union. Only force could quell the rebellion, and emancipation had weakened the enemy and provided soldiers for the North. But having made a pledge of freedom to black soldiers and their families, Lincoln was determined to keep the promise once the Union was saved.
Abraham Lincoln to James C. Conkling (1816&ndash1899). Draft letter, August 26, 1863. Abraham Lincoln Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (115.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0115]
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Making Do With Less
The blockade of Southern seaports and the prohibition of trade with the North quickly depleted food supplies throughout the Confederacy. The deprivations forced Southern cooks to invent substitutes for the most basic foods and beverages. The only cookbook printed in the South during the war, the Confederate Receipt Book, contains recipes for apple pie without apples, artificial oysters, and substitutes for coffee and cream. In an effort to fend off insect infestation in cured meats, there was even a suggestion to &ldquoprevent skippers,&rdquo the nickname of that time for skipping insects such as locusts and grasshoppers.
Confederate Receipt Book. Richmond, Virginia: West & Johnston, 1863. Page 2. Confederate States of America Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (091.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0091, cw0091p1]
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Inflation in the Confederacy
This postwar table of the relative prices of gold and United States &ldquogreenback&rdquo currency relative to Confederate money shows at a glance one of the primary challenges faced by Confederate civilians. Their currency had lost more of its value with each year of the war. At the same time, wartime production disruptions and the Union naval blockade made basic commodities harder to come by, and they were sold at drastically inflated prices when they could be found.
Lancaster & Co. &ldquoTable of Prices in Confederate Currency of Gold and Greenbacks,&rdquo February 19, 1866. Manuscript document. Burton Norvell Harrison Family Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (093.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0093]
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A Civil War within the Civil War
Pro- and anti-slavery factions on the Kansas-Missouri border had a history of violence in the 1850s, and irregular guerrilla forces operated in the Trans-Mississippi Theater during the war. Confederate &ldquobushwacker&rdquo William Quantrill’s guerrillas burned the town of Lawrence, Kansas, and killed almost 200 men in August 1863. The Quantrill raid prompted Union general Thomas Ewing to issue General Orders No. 11, banishing all non-loyal inhabitants from several counties in western Missouri. Yet this war within a war continued.
John M. Schofield (1831&ndash1906). &ldquoEvents in Missouri, 1863&rdquo journal, August 26, 1863, entry. Page 2. John McAllister Schofield Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (119.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0119, cw0119p1]
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Philadelphia artist James Fuller Queen created a variety of images during the American Civil War that include sentimental lithographs with scenes from the front, portraits of famous generals, fund-raising images featuring local institutions for soldiers, and images of wounded soldiers recovering in local hospitals. His lithograph of folk-hero John Clem was reproduced widely. John Clem was nine years old when he was allowed to tag along with the 22nd Michigan regiment in 1861. The boy was first identified in news accounts as &ldquoJohnny Shiloh&rdquo after that 1862 battle before his fame grew as &ldquothe drummer boy of Chickamauga&rdquo in 1863. Clem became a career army man and retired as a general in 1915.
James Fuller Queen (ca. 1820&ndash1886), artist. John Clem: A Drummer Boy of 12 Years of Age Who Shot a Rebel Colonel upon the Battle Field of Chickamauga, Ga. September 20, 1863, between 1863 and 1869. Lithograph. Philadelphia: P. S. Duval & Son, ca. 1865. Marian S. Carson Collection, Prints and Photographs Division (121.00.00) [Digital ID# LC-DIG-ds-00297]
Alfred R. Waud. Chickamauga, [September 18, 1863]. Chinese white and black ink wash on paper. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (120.00.00) [Digital ID# LC-DIG-ppmsca-21066]
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Reality Becomes Legend
War has a way of embellishing the accomplishments of real people, including the nine- year-old boy who attached himself to the 22nd Michigan Infantry and was popularized as &ldquoJohnny Clem, The Drummer Boy of Chickamauga.&rdquo While historical sources dispute when Clem enlisted, where he actually served, and his real exploits during the war, U.S. brigadier general Richard W. Johnson cited Clem’s sterling example in a letter to his young son Harry as a lesson in what happens to good boys who follow orders and do their duty.
Richard W. Johnson (1827&ndash1897) to Harry Johnson, January 27, 1864. Richard W. Johnson Correspondence, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (122.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0122]
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Lookout Mountain, Tennessee
Lookout Mountain rises nearly 2,000 feet above the Tennessee River at Chattanooga. This rocky outcropping was a popular spot for soldiers to pose for a portrait. One of the men gathered here with his telescope has been identified as Union officer, Major Charles S. Cotter, chief of artillery in the 1st Ohio Light Artillery Regiment. His regiment fought in the Battles of Stones River, Chickamauga, and Chattanooga.
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Ticket to Ride
Railroads served a vital transportation role for both the Union and Confederacy in terms of moving troops and supplies quickly. The North had more trains and miles of track than did the South, but the Confederates had the advantage of using their railroads as interior lines, whereas the Yankees often had to build their own infrastructure in enemy territory. Unlike the Union, however, the Confederacy lacked the power to effectively organize private railroads for military use or the industrial capacity to repair damaged lines.
Quartermaster’s Department, Confederate States of America. Train ticket from Macon, Georgia, to Richmond, Virginia, December 27, 1862. Confederate States of America Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (124.00.00) [Digital ID# cw0124]
Quartermaster’s Department, Confederate States of America. Train ticket from Macon, Georgia, to Richmond, Virginia, December 27, 1862. Confederate States of America Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (124.00.01) [Digital ID# cw0124p1]
Isaac H. Bonsall. [Railroad Yard, Chattanoogna, Tenneessee], 1863 or 1864. Albumen silver print. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (125.00.00) [Digital ID# LC-DIG-ppmsca-32286]
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Battle of Chattanooga
The Confederates were determined to starve the Federal troops out of Chattanooga, which could be used as a Union gateway for movement into Georgia. The Federals were just as determined to stay in possession and break the siege. President Lincoln recognized Chattanooga&rsquos importance as a railroad center when he wrote: &ldquoIf we can hold Chattanooga, and East Tennessee, I think the rebellion must dwindle and die.&rdquo As Secretary of War Stanton dispatched 20,000 reinforcements by rail from the east, Major General Grant, recently named commander of the Union&rsquos newly created Military Division of the Mississippi, arrived in Chattanooga on October 23, 1863. By mid-November Major General William T. Sherman arrived with an additional 17,000 men, which gave the Federals sufficient strength to strike in late November in a series of battles that broke the siege. Chattanooga remained in Union hands for the rest of the war.
American Civil War Timeline 1862 - HistoryOctober 11th, 2010 | Author: Administrator
Timelines are an effective way to get an overview of a situation – especially one as complex as the American Civil War. This timeline – from the Library of Congress – presents the major Civil War events for the year 1862.
January 1862 — Abraham Lincoln Takes Action.
On January 27, President Lincoln issued a war order authorizing the Union to launch a unified aggressive action against the Confederacy. General McClellan ignored the order.
March 1862 — McClellan Loses Command.
On March 8, President Lincoln — impatient with General McClellan’s inactivity — issued an order reorganizing the Army of Virginia and relieving McClellan of supreme command. McClellan was given command of the Army of the Potomac, and ordered to attack Richmond. This marked the beginning of the Peninsular Campaign.
In an attempt to reduce the North’s great naval advantage, Confederate engineers converted a scuttled Union frigate, the U.S.S. Merrimac, into an iron-sided vessel rechristened the C.S.S. Virginia. On March 9, in the first naval engagement between ironclad ships, the Monitor fought the Virginia to a draw, but not before the Virginia had sunk two wooden Union warships off Norfolk, Virginia.
April 1862 — The Battle of Shiloh.
On April 6, Confederate forces attacked Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant at Shiloh, Tennessee. By the end of the day, the federal troops were almost defeated. Yet, during the night, reinforcements arrived, and by the next morning the Union commanded the field. When Confederate forces retreated, the exhausted federal forces did not follow. Casualties were heavy — 13,000 out of 63,000 Union soldiers died, and 11,000 of 40,000 Confederate troops were killed.
General Quincy A. Gillmore battered Fort Pulaski, the imposing masonry structure near the mouth of the Savannah River, into submission in less than two days, (April 10-11, 1862). His work was promptly recorded by the indefatigable Timothy H. O’Sullivan.
Flag Officer David Farragut led an assault up the Mississippi River. By April 25, he was in command of New Orleans.
April 1862 — The Peninsular Campaign.
In April, General McClellan’s troops left northern Virginia to begin the Peninsular Campaign. By May 4, they occupied Yorktown, Virginia. At Williamsburg, Confederate forces prevented McClellan from meeting the main part of the Confederate army, and McClellan halted his troops, awaiting reinforcements.
May 1862 — “Stonewall” Jackson Defeats Union Forces.
Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, commanding forces in the Shenandoah Valley, attacked Union forces in late March, forcing them to retreat across the Potomac. As a result, Union troops were rushed to protect Washington, D.C.
June 1862 — The Battle of Seven Pines (Fair Oaks).
On May 31, the Confederate army attacked federal forces at Seven Pines, almost defeating them last-minute reinforcements saved the Union from a serious defeat. Confederate commander Joseph E. Johnston was severely wounded, and command of the Army of Northern Virginia fell to Robert E. Lee. (See The Peninsular Campaign — May-August 1862)
July 1862 — The Seven Days’ Battles.
Between June 26 and July 2, Union and Confederate forces fought a series of battles: Mechanicsville (June 26-27), Gaines’s Mill (June 27), Savage’s Station (June 29), Frayser’s Farm (June 30), and Malvern Hill (July 1). On July 2, the Confederates withdrew to Richmond, ending the Peninsular Campaign. (See The Peninsular Campaign — May-August 1862)
July 1862 — A New Commander of the Union Army.
On July 11, Major-General Henry Halleck was named general-in-chief of the Union army.
August 1862 — Pope’s Campaign.
Union General John Pope suffered defeated at the Second Battle of Bull Run on August 29-30. General Fitz-John Porter was held responsible for the defeat because he had failed to commit his troops to battle quickly enough he was forced out of the army by 1863.
September 1862 — Harper’s Ferry.
Union General McClellan defeated Confederate General Lee at South Mountain and Crampton’s Gap in September, but did not move quickly enough to save Harper’s Ferry, which fell to Confederate General Jackson on September 15, along with a great number of men and a large body of supplies.
On September 17, Confederate forces under General Lee were caught by General McClellan near Sharpsburg, Maryland. This battle proved to be the bloodiest day of the war 2,108 Union soldiers were killed and 9,549 wounded — 2,700 Confederates were killed and 9,029 wounded. The battle had no clear winner, but because General Lee withdrew to Virginia, McClellan was considered the victor. The battle convinced the British and French — who were contemplating official recognition of the Confederacy — to reserve action, and gave Lincoln the opportunity to announce his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation (September 22), which would free all slaves in areas rebelling against the United States, effective January 1, 1863.
December 1862 — The Battle of Fredericksburg.
General McClellan’s slow movements, combined with General Lee’s escape, and continued raiding by Confederate cavalry, dismayed many in the North. On November 7, Lincoln replaced McClellan with Major-General Ambrose E. Burnside. Burnside’s forces were defeated in a series of attacks against entrenched Confederate forces at Fredericksburg, Virginia, and Burnside was replaced with General Joseph Hooker.
For more timelines of the Civil War, visit The Library of Congress Civil War Timeline Article.
American Civil War Timeline 1862 - History
By William E. Welsh
In 1862, Confederate forces in Virginia were enjoying a number of campaign successes, but the decisive advantage in naval power enjoyed by the Union enabled it to advance down the Mississippi, capture river forts, and conduct many coastal attacks. Although the defense of the Confederate west began to crumble, Confederate victories in Virginia gave the South hope.
January 19-20 – Brig. Gen. Felix Zollicoffer’s Confederate army advanced into eastern Kentucky where it was soundly defeated by Brig. Gen. George Thomas’ Union army in the Battle of Mill Springs. It was the first significant Union victory of the war and helped secure the anti-slavery Appalachians for the Union.
February 6 –After an artillery duel between the fort and Union gunboats, Confederate Brig. Gen. Lloyd Tilghman surrendered Fort Henry on the Tennessee River to Admiral Andrew Foote. This enabled the Union to use the Tennessee River to ferry troops as far as the Alabama border.
February 15 – Superior Union forces under Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant forced the surrender of Fort Donelson by Brig. Gen. Simon Buckner. Buckner asked what terms he could expect, and Grant replied “nothing but unconditional surrender.”
March 6-8 – An army led by Union Maj. Gen. Samuel Curtis defeated a larger Confederate force under Major Earl van Dorn in the Battle of Pea Ridge.
March 9 – A four-hour clash between the ironclads CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack) and USS Monitor ended in a draw in the Battle of Hampton Roads. The Confederates scuttled the Virginia two months later when they withdrew from Portsmouth, Va.
March 23 – Maj. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson attacked Colonel Nathan Kimball’s force at Winchester, Va. Although Kimball soundly repulsed Jackson poorly conceived attack, the First Battle of Kernstown was a strategic victory for the South because it drew forces away from Maj. Gen. George McClellan’s Army of the Potomac.
April 6-7 – Confederate General Albert S. Johnston lost his life in an initially successful attack against Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s army camped at Pittsburgh Landing on the Tennessee River in the Battle of Shiloh. With substantial reinforcements, Grant recovered the ground lost the previous day.
April 11 – The Confederates surrendered Fort Pulaski controlling Savannah, Ga., after a lengthy siege culminating in a 30-hour bombardment.
April 27 – Commodore David Farragut’s squadron fought its way past forts Jackson and St. Philip below New Orleans and landed 10,000 Union troops that forced the surrender of the Mississippi River port on April 27.
May 5 – Confederate Maj. Gen. James Longstreet’s division fought a successful rearguard action at the Battle of Williamsburg against the forces of Maj. Gen. George McClellan buying time for the main Confederate force to withdraw to the Richmond area.
May 31 – June 1 – Gen. Joseph Johnston’s Confederate army pounced on two corps of Maj. Gen. George McClellan Union army south of the Chickahominy River near Richmond at the Battle of Seven Pines, but failed to defeat them. Johnston was seriously wounded in the fighting, and on June 1 Gen. Robert E. Lee was appointed to replace him.
May 1 – June 9 – Threatened by Union forces pushing up the Shenandoah Valley and also advancing toward Staunton from the west, Jackson marched west and defeated the vanguard of Maj. Gen. John Fremont’s Union Army at the Battle of McDowell on May 8. Then, Jackson defeated a Federal garrison in the Battle of Front Royal on May 23. Afterwards, Jackson defeated Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks’ Union army at the First Battle of Winchester on May 25, forcing Banks to retreat north across the Potomac River. Jackson detached Ewell’s division, which defeated Fremont’s army in the Battle of Cross Keys on June 8. The next day, Jackson defeated Brig. Gen. Erastus Tyler’s Union force in the Battle of Port Republic. Jackson’s approximately 17,000-man army had—through an audacious campaign of maneuver known as the Valley Campaign—defeated in five battles Union forces three times its number, preventing the transfer of reinforcements to the Union army on the Virginia Peninsula.
June 25 – July 1 – Lee took the offensive in the Seven Days Battles against McClellan’s army, which was divided by the Chickahominy River. North of the Chickahominy, Lee struck Maj. Gen. Fitz-John Porter at the Battle of Mechanicsville on June 26 but was repulsed. Lee again attacked Porter in the Battle of Gaines Mill on June 27, forcing Porter to retreat across the Chickahominy. McClellan, who could have broken through a thin screen of Confederate forces south of the Chickahominy while Lee was attacking Porter north of that river, lost the perfect opportunity to seize Richmond. McClellan then switched his supply base from the Pamunkey River to the James River and began a withdrawal of his forces south to the new base for extraction. Lee’s failure to launch a coordinate attack resulted in a tactical draw in the Battle of Savage Station on June 29. At the Battle of Glendale fought June 30, McClellan’s corps commanders repulsed the Confederates. Porter also decisively defeated the Confederates in the last major encounter in the Battle of Malvern Hill on July 1. Aware that McClellan had lost his nerve, Federal corps commanders, such as Porter, saved the Union army from annihilation. Overall, the Seven Days Battle was a strategic victory for the South.
Civil War 1862
February 8, Roanoke Island, North Carolina
March 8&ndash9, Battle Of Hampton Roads, Virginia
June 26, Beaver Dam Creek, Virginia*
June 27, Gaines Mill, Virginia*
June 27&ndash28, Garnett’s Farm and Golding’s Farm, Virginia*
June 29, Savage Station and Allen’s Farm, Virginia*
June 30, White Oak Swamp, Virginia*
June 30, Glendale, Virginia*
July 1, Malvern Hill, Virginia*
(*Collectively known as the Seven Days Campaign or Seven Days Battles.)
August 9, Battle of Cedar Mountain, Virginia
August 28&ndash30, Second Battle of Bull Run Manassas, Virginia
September 12&ndash15, Harpers Ferry, (West) Virginia
September 14, Battle of South Mountain, Maryland
September 17, Battle of Antietam / Sharpsburg
September 19&ndash20, Shepherdstown, (West) Virginia
December 11&ndash15, Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia
February 6, Fort Henry, Tennessee
February 11&ndash16, Siege of Fort Donelson, Tennessee
April 6&ndash7, Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee
May 25&ndash30, Siege of Corinth, Corinth, Mississippi
June 28, Battle of Vicksburg, Mississippi
August 29, Battle of Richmond, Kentucky
October 3&ndash4, Battle of Corinth, Mississippi
October 5, Hatchie’s Bridge, Tennessee
October 8, Battle of Perryville, Kentucky.
December 31&ndashJanuary 2, Battle of Stones River / Murfreesboro, Tennessee
March 8, Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas
October 4, Battle of Galveston, Texas
To see a full timeline of all events from 1862 as well as 1861 -1865, please see our Civil War Timeline page.
The Seven Days, 1862
The American Civil War might easily have ended in the summer of 1862. In the event, it dragged on for three more years, eventually claiming the lives of 600,000 men, more than all of America’s other wars combined.
A strong case can be made that this outcome was the work of two very different men – George B McClellan and Robert E Lee. Both were from America’s gilded elite, one having been born into a rich Philadelphia family, the other into a rich Virginia family, and both were professional soldiers.
Both, too, were elevated to the highest command by the exigencies of the Civil War. But facing this supreme test, they were found to be of diametrically different characters.
What is the role of the individual in history? It is an old question, one of the oldest in historiography, as scholars contemplate the complex relationship between structure and agency, circumstance and volition, and try to decide where the balance of causation lies.
But in the case of the Seven Days Battle, the respective roles of George B McClellan, in command of the Union Army of the Potomac, and Robert E Lee, in command of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, seem to have been decisive.
Just over a year after the start of the war, mobilisation of the Union’s vastly superior manpower and industrial output was already creating a massive imbalance in all theatres of war. Pretty well everywhere, the Union had far more men, guns, and ships than the Confederacy. That imbalance, in the Eastern Theatre, was around two to one.
Two years later, in the Overland Campaign of 1864, that level of advantage would carry General Grant all the way to Richmond and Petersburg, imposing a siege on Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia that would eventually bring it to final defeat in April 1865. It is hard to see why it could not have played out this way in May/June 1862. And had it done so, it is hard to imagine that the collapse of the Confederacy as a whole would not soon have followed.
But McClellan was a man of exceptional insecurity and timidity, totally unfit for high command. Arrogant, vain, showy, and a braggart, his public persona turned out to be the façade behind which a frightened man found shelter. When the moment for decisive action came, he was incapable of leading so fearful was he of the test of battle, indeed, that he shunned the battlefield itself and turned quartermaster, leaving combat command to subordinates, while he busied himself with logistical arrangements in the rear.
Robert E Lee – McClellan’s nemesis – was, in every way, the reverse. For one thing, he carried himself with aristocratic dignity, was modest in personal relationships, and was imbued with a deep sense of duty and honour.
Ironically, his fondness for entrenchment and defensive caution in early operations in West Virginia had earned him the soubriquet ‘Granny Lee’. This did not last long. Confederate President Jefferson Davis had the measure of Lee, and in the grave military emergency of summer 1862, with a Union army of 90,000 men a few miles from Richmond, he appointed him commander of the Army of Northern Virginia after Joe Johnston was badly wounded.
Defensive caution was now seen to be mixed with bold aggression – a hallmark of Lee’s strategy and tactics throughout the war – as he posted a skeleton force to hold the trenches in front of Richmond, while concentrating the bulk of his army for a succession of fierce left hooks designed to cave in McClellan’s open flank.
Casualties were heavy, but Lee saved Richmond, and perhaps added three years to the length of the war. McClellan, on the other hand, was sacked before the year was out.
McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign in the summer of 1862 was misconceived, but ought to have succeeded. This seems contradictory, but is easily explained.
The misconception was that there was any particular advantage in dividing the Union armies converging on the Confederate capital and sending the bulk of them to the Peninsula to approach Richmond from the south-east.
This involved a major naval operation and imposed a massive logistical burden but offered no specific gain over the direct approach. It could not be done quickly enough for a sudden dash on Richmond it simply meant a change of front, as the Confederate armies covering the capital, operating on internal lines, redeployed.
It also opened the Union armies to the fate that befell them. McClellan did not simply divide the Union forces: he imposed a long maritime separation between them. This allowed the Confederates to concentrate their heavily outnumbered forces so as to defeat the Union armies in detail. Lee was enabled to bring around 85,000 men to bear on McClellan’s 90,000 during the Seven Days.
Every subsequent Union offensive in the Eastern Theatre – under Pope, Hooker, Burnside, and Meade/Grant – would take the direct line.
The former commander of the Army of the Potomac later stood against Lincoln in the 1864 presidential election campaign, fighting on a Democratic anti-war ticket. The soldiers he had once led – the men who had cheered him to the rafters in 1862 – felt their cause betrayed. Historians estimate that four out of five Union soldiers voted Republican in 1864.
This is an extract from a 17-page special feature on the Seven Days Battle, published in the September 2019 issue of Military History Matters.
Civil War Timeline
December 20, 1860: In a direct response to Lincoln's election, the South Carolina legislature convenes and votes to secede.
January 9-February 1, 1861: South Carolina seems to have been a trend-setter as Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas secede as well.
February 18, 1861: Jefferson Davis is inaugurated as the 1st President of the CSA.
March 4, 1861: Abraham Lincoln is inaugurate as the 16th President of the USA.
April 12-14, 1861: The Battle of Fort Sumter (South Carolina):Confederate victory. The fort is surrendered by Major Robert Anderson to General P. G. T.uregard of South Carolina.
April 15, 1861: Abraham Lincoln calls upon the Governors to raise 75,000 volunteers to recapture Fort Sumter and put down the rebellion. This touches off another round of secession.
April 17-May 20, 1861: Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina secede and join the Confederacy rather than provide volunteers to invade their neighboring states.
April 18, 1861: Colonel Robert E. Lee rejects a presidential offer of promotion to Major General and command of the defenses of Washington D.C. He rejects the offer for fear it might eventually require him to invade the south and more importantly, Virginia.
April 19, 1861:ꂫraham Lincoln issues an order to blockade all Confederate ports in order to limit southern trade.
May 24, 1861: Union troops take Alexandria, Virginia, directly across the Potomac River from Washington D.C.olonel Elmer E. Ellsworth becomes the first officer to die in the Civil War when he is shot by an Alexandria innkeeper.
May 30, 1861: The Confederate capitol is moved to Richmond, Virginia, from Montgomery, Alabama.
July 4, 1861: Lincoln speaks before congress and invokes "the war power." Congress approves a call for 500,000 more men.
July 5, 1861: Battle of Carthage (Missouri): Confederate victory. First major land battle of the American Civil War. Confederate troops led by sitting Missouri governor Claiborne F. Jackson.
July 21, 1861: First Battle of Manassas - or Bull Run - (Virginia): Confederate victory. Union troops retreat to Washington D.C. General Thomas Jackson earns nickname "Stonewall."
July 27, 1861: Lincoln appoints General George B. McClellan to be theommander of the Department of the Potomac. This prompts McClellan to write to his wife, "I find myself in a new and strange position here: President, cabinet, Gen. Scott, and all deferring to me. By some strange operation of magic I seem to have become the power of the land."
September 11, 1861: Lincoln revokes General John C. Fremont's proclamation which emancipated all slaves in Missouri.
November 1, 1861: Lincoln appoints General George B. McClellan to general-in-chief of the Union Armies to replace the aged General Winfield Scott.
November 2, 1861: Lincoln relieves General John C. Fremont of his command of the USਊrmy's Department of the West.
November 8, 1861:onfederate officials, James A. Mason and John Slidell,n-route to England and France are taken off the British steamer Trent by the US Navy. England threatens war, but is mollified by the release of the officials in December.
February 6, 1862: Battle of Fort Henry (Tennessee): Union victory for General Ulysses S. Grant.
February 16, 1862: Battle of Fort Donelson (Tennessee): Union victory. General Grant earns nickname "unconditional surrender."
February 20, 1862: Lincoln family struck by tragedy when 11-year-old son Willie dies of fever.
April 4, 1862: Beginning of the Peninsular Campaign (Virginia): starting southeast of Richmond, Virginia, General McClellan marches west toward Richmond.
April 4-7, 1862: Confederate General John B. Magruder uses roughly 12,000 men to stop General McClellan's advance at Yorktown. Even though McClellan had roughly 121,000 men in his command, Magruder marched his men repeatedly in view of the Union troops and behaved very aggressively. This gave the Union command the impression that they were facing a very large force. McClellan decided to dig in for a siege. This caused him to waste weeks on his march towards Richmond.
April 6-7, 1862: Battle of Shiloh (Tennessee): Union victory. General Grant prevails despite losing 13,000 men killed and wounded.
April 16, 1862: Conscription begins in the Confederacy for men from 18 to 35.
April 25, 1862: Union Admiralꃚvid G. Farragut captures New Orleans, Louisiana.
May 8, 1862: Battle of McDowell (Virginia): Confederate victory. Beginning of Stonewall Jackson's Shenandoah Valley Campaign.
May 31-June 1, 1862:ꂺttle of Seven Pines(Virginia): Inconclusive results. On May 31, Confederate commander General Joseph E. Johnston is seriously injured and is replaced in the field by General Gustavus Woodson Smith. McClellan puts Richmond under siege.
June 1, 1862: After the Battle of Seven Pines, Jefferson Davis, who was unimpressed by Smith's work as commander, replaced General Smith with General Robert E. Lee. Lee renamed his army the Army of Northern Virginia. McClellan dismisses this news by saying Lee is "likely to be timid and irresolute in action."
June 25-July 1, 1862: Seven Days' Campaign (Virginia): Confederate victory. Lee forces McClellan to retreat from Richmond and to evacuate the peninsula. This ends the Peninsular Campaign. These battles saw the first use of balloons forꂮrial surveillanceuring battle.
August 29-30, 1862: Second Battle of Manassas - or Bull Run - (Virginia): Confederate victory. Lincoln relieves Union General John Pope of his command.
September 17, 1862: Battle of Antietam - or Sharpsburg - (Maryland): Inconclusive. Should have been a Union victory, but McClellan failed to use his numerical superiority (roughly 2-1) to destroy Lee's army. McClellan then allows Lee to escape back across the Potomac into Virginia. Single bloodiest day of the war with roughly 23,000 dead, wounded, and missing combined.
September 22, 1862: Taking the opportunity provided by Lee's retreat from Maryland, Lincoln issues a Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Although this did nothing to free slaves held within the Union, it did essentially end the possibility of France or England, who had both abolished slavery, recognizing or supporting the Confederacy.
September 24, 1862: Lincoln suspends the right to writs of habeas corpus without the approval of congress. This not only denied the right of habeas corpus to those in active rebellion or treasonous action against the Union, but it also denied it to, "all persons discouraging volunteer enlistments, resisting militia drafts, or guilty of any disloyal practice."
November 7, 1862: Lincoln relieves General McClellan of his command, replacing him with Generalਊmbrose E. Burnside.
December 13, 1862: Battle of Fredericksburg (Virginia): Confederate victory. General Burnside attempted 14 frontal assaults against Lee's well fortified position on Marye's Heights. The Union suffered more than twice as many casualties as theonfederates before withdrawing. During the battle Lee remarked to General Longstreet, “It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it.”
December 31, 1862- January 3, 1863: Battle of Murfreesboro - or Stones River - (Tennessee): Union victory. Casualties accounted for over 32% of total combatants.
January 1, 1863: The Emancipation Proclamation becomes official.
January 29, 1863: General Grant is given command of the Army of the West. He is ordered to use his army to capture Vicksburg.
March 3, 1863: Lincoln signs into law a federal draft for male citizens ages 20-45. Those who provide a substitute or pay a $300 fee are exempted.
American Civil War July 1862
July 1862 saw the end of the ‘Seven Days Battle’. This battle saw Lee save Richmond and push back McClellan. But like so many other battles in the American Civil War, it was not decisive and the civil war would continue for nearly another three years.
July 1 st : President Lincoln signed a bill introducing Federal income tax of between 3% and 5%.
Lee ordered an attack on a Union position at Malvern Hill, overlooking the James River. Senior Confederate commanders cautioned Lee against this but he ignored their concerns. The attack was a major failure. Communication issues were such that two units led by Longstreet and A P Hill (both of whom had cautioned Lee against the attack) never went into battle despite the fact that both were meant to have played a pivotal role in the attack. The Union force, commanded by McClellan could have launched potentially a devastating counter-attack against the totally disorganised Confederates but McClellan was more concerned about the greater numbers Lee could call on, which could not be matched by the Army of the Potomac. Therefore, there was no counter-offensive and the so-called ‘Seven Day Battle’ ended. The Army of the Potomac lost 1582 dead, 7709 wounded and 5958 missing. The Army of Northern Virginia fared worse: 3000 dead, 15,000 wounded and 1000 missing. McClellan ordered his army to pull back – typical of his cautious approach to a campaign, though he was hampered by poor intelligence – while Richmond was saved, even if Lee had not defeated the Army of the Potomac.
July 2 nd : Lincoln called on 300,000 men to volunteer for the Union and to serve for 3 years. McClellan’s army started to pull back to Harrison’s Landing.
July 5 th : Congress was already planning for a post-war America. It authorised the building of the first trans-continental railway. Lincoln signed the Morrill Land Grant Act, which was to allow settlers to take up public land in the west to “tame the prairies”.
July 7 th : McClellan wrote to Lincoln protesting that he could not be more aggressive in his campaigning because of the President’s order that many of his soldiers be kept in Washington DC to protect the city. McClellan called for more troops: “The rebel army is in our front, with the purpose of overwhelming us by attacking our positions, or by reducing us by blocking our river communications. I cannot but regard our position as critical.”
July 11 th : General Halleck was appointed General-in-Chief of the Federal Armies.
July 13 th : Lincoln urged McClellan to start an attack on Richmond.
July 14 th : Congress approved the establishment of West Virginia. However, it did not approve Lincoln’s plan to compensate any state that abolished slavery.
July 17 th : Lincoln signed the Second Confiscation Act, which granted freedom to slaves who entered Federal jurisdiction.
July 20 th : The Union started a determined campaign in Missouri to rid the state of guerrilla groups (such as the ones led by Nathan Bedford Forest and Colonel John Hunt Morgan). Over the next two months over 500 guerrillas were killed, 1800 wounded and 560 were missing. However, the problems caused by these cavalry-based groups were not resolved.
July 22 nd : Lincoln presented his Cabinet with his draft emancipation proclamation, which called for the freeing of slaves in states in rebellion against the Union. On this day the North and South also agreed on an exchange of prisoners.
July 29 th : The steamer ‘290’ sailed from Liverpool en route to the Portuguese island of Terceira. Here, ‘290’ was equipped and armed to be a commerce raider. ‘290’ was also renamed to the ‘CSS Alabama’ – the most famous Confederate naval vessel of the war.
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October 16, 1859
John Brown&rsquos Raid
Harpers Ferry, Virginia (Now WV)
On October 16, 17, and 18, 1859, John Brown and his "Provisional Army of the United States" took possession of the United States Armory and Arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Brown had come to arm an uprising of slaves. Instead, the raid drew militia companies and federal troops from Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. On the morning of October 18, a storming party of 12 Marines broke down the door of the Armory's fire engine house, taking Brown and the remaining raiders captive. Source: NPS.