Chronological History of the American Civil War

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The South was not without its own monetary mismanagement problems. The Confederate States of America suffered from financial instability for almost its entire period of existence, from the initial

difficulties in printing paper money and minting coinage, to catastrophic inflation later in the War. Lucy Petway Holcombe Pickens (pictured) was a 19th-century American socialite, known during and after her lifetime as the "Queen of the Confederacy." She was described as "beautiful, brilliant, and captivating" by her male contemporaries, and this perception of her helped shape the

stereotype of the "Southern belle." She married Francis Wilkinson Pickens, the U.S. ambassador to Russia before the war. She was born to Beverly LaFayette Holcombe and Eugenia Dorothea Hunt Holcombe at the family plantation near La Grange, Tennessee. She attended the La Grange Female Academy. Francis Pickens was elected governor by the General Assembly of South Carolina, just 3 days before the State seceded from the Union. She was the only woman to be depicted on the currency of the Confederate States of America (three issues of the $100 CSA bill and one issue of the $1 CSA bill, which were printed in Columbia, South Carolina). Monday, January 19, 1863 : General Ambrose Burnside (U.S.) finally persuaded Lincoln to let him try it again; even after five futile attacks at Fredericksburg, Virginia, just a month earlier. Burnside makes preparations once again to move the Army of the Potomac against Richmond. In Savannah, Georgia, prices for food is getting more expensive. The newspaper there reports, "There was a scarcity of beef in the market on Saturday last, and prices, we learn, which started in the morning at 25 cents per lb., suddenly rose to 40 cents. This may suit long purses, but the poor are not able to stand such figures." Tuesday, January 20, 1863 : It soon became clear that the Army of the Potomac (U.S.) was in no fit state to fight. The snow had turned to heavy rain that would last the next four days. Many men fell ill due to the conditions they lived in; food was poor, water frequently unsanitary, and the whiskey that was provided of questionable character. One senior Union officer wrote: “I have ridden through a regimental camp whose utterly filthy condition seemed enough to send malaria through a whole military department, and have been asked by one colonel, with tears in his eyes, to explain to him why his men are dying at a rate of one a day.” Wednesday, January 21, 1863 : In what now was called “ The Mud March ,” marching in knee deep mud, the 5th New York (U.S.) moved only a mile and a half. The roads became impassable, and conflicting orders caused two corps to march across each other's paths. Horses, wagons, and cannons were stuck in mud, and the element of surprise was lost. Jeering Confederates taunted the Yankees with shouts and signs that read "Burnside's Army Stuck in the Mud." Lincoln establishes width of track of Pacific railroads at five feet, at this time no standard scale for track width made it difficult to switch trains or cars from one rail line to another. Lincoln also endorses the letter of General Halleck to General Grant: "It may be proper to give you some explanation of the revocation of your order expelling all Jews from your department. The President has no objection to your expelling traitors and Jew peddlers, which, I suppose, was the object of your order; but, as it in terms prescribed an entire religious class, some of whom are fighting in our ranks, the President deemed it necessary to revoke it." Confederate attack on the blockading squadron at Sabine Pass, Texas, with two Union blockade vessels captured. This would open the Texas coast again to the South. Thursday, January 22, 1863 : General Burnside gave up on trying to cross the Rappahannock River as it had become too dangerous. Frustrated that he had not been given all the support he believed, he should have gotten from his senior officers; Burnside decided to sack a number of them. Burnside tried to lift spirits by issuing liquor to the soldiers, but this only compounded the problems. Drunken troops began brawling, and entire regiments fought one another. The Nashville Dispatch reports: “The Cincinnati Enquirer learns from Mr. James Ayres, Hospital Steward at Gallatin, Tennessee, that there are now three thousand sick and wounded soldiers from the different States of the West in the thirty-one hospitals at that place.”

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