Chronological History of the American Civil War
P a g e | 131
Saturday, July 4, 1863 : Both armies continued to face each other at Gettysburg, but neither was inclined to fight. That night, Lee ordered a withdrawal; his army had lost 22,000 men killed or wounded in just 3 days – 25% of the Army of Northern Virginia. Meade had lost 23,000 men, but had emerged from the Battle of Gettysburg as the victor. The Union, was also better able to cope with such losses. Bodies of those killed at Gettysburg took weeks to clear and by November 1863, only 25% of those killed had received a proper burial. The local undertaker claimed, that he could only manage to move, clean and bury 100 bodies a day. Major General George Pickett (CSA) writes to his fiancee: “Well, it is all over now. The battle is lost, and many of us are prisoners, many are dead, many wounded, bleeding and dying. Your Soldier lives and mourns and but for you, my darling, he would rather, a million times rather, be back there with his dead, to sleep for all time in an unknown grave.” On this day, General John Pemberton formally surrendered Vicksburg to Grant. Union casualties for the battle and siege of Vicksburg, were 4,835; Confederate were 32,697 (29,495 surrendered). The full campaign, since March 29, claimed 10,142 Union and 9,091 Confederate killed and wounded. In addition, to his surrendered men, Pemberton turned over to Grant 172 cannons and 50,000 rifles. All soldiers, after turning in their weapons, were given paroles and allowed to go home, although, they could not fight again until the paroles expired. In fact, many just went home and never fought again. For the citizens, of Vicksburg, Mississippi to celebrate the 4th of July with other Americans, would have been to celebrate the defeat of the city and of the South. It took 81 years for those, who had lived through the surrender to pass on, before the 4th was looked upon as something to celebrate, again. Sunday, July 5, 1863 : Gettysburg was lost, Lee retreated with his severely weakened army but no attempt was made by Meade’s Army of the Potomac (U.S.) to pursue them such was the weakened state of his force. While Lee’s defeat at Gettysburg, is seen as the turning point in the war, it has to be remembered that he withdrew with many Union prisoners. In the South, with Vicksburg under Union control, General Sherman (U.S.) was headed now toward Jackson, Mississippi. Monday, July 6, 1863 : Meade’s army started to move out of Gettysburg and followed Lee’s army, but did nothing to actively engage it. Rear Admiral Samuel DuPont (U.S.) had been a brilliant naval innovator from the very beginning of the war, when the Union fleet had been in severe disarray. He was not as talented in politics as he was on deck, and had clashed often with Navy Sec. Welles (U.S.). After the failure to take Charleston, South Carolina, DuPont was replaced today, as commander of the South Atlantic Blockading Fleet by Rear Adm. John Dahlgren, (U.S.) a friend of Lincoln. Tuesday, July 7, 1863 : Lee was still trying to get his troops back to Virginia. Some skirmishes were being fought in the rear guard. Lincoln, although elated about the news of the fall of Vicksburg, did not quite seem to understand that although Lee was fleeing, Meade was not pursuing. He wrote to General Halleck (U.S.), “Now, if General Meade can complete his work... the rebellion will be over.” One of America’s best known trappers, scouts, and explorers today had a different task.. Lt. Colonel
Christopher “Kit” Carson (pictured) was to relocate the Navajos to Bosque Redondo, a reservation located at Fort Sumner in New Mexico, by any means necessary. Starving and exhausted, the 8,000 Navajo finally surrendered and were forced to march about 300 miles to the reservation. The journey, experienced as the Long Walk, proved to be brutal, costing the lives of hundreds of Navajos. He would subsequently be promoted a brigadier general; he is in all likelihood the lone American to reach such a high military rank without being able to read or write, although he could sign his name. Wednesday, July 8, 1863 : After learning of defeats at Vicksburg and Gettysburg, the 7,000 Confederate soldiers that were holding onto Port Hudson, Louisiana
surrendered. The Confederate force there had been severely weakened by lack of food and fresh water. Only 50% of the Confederate troops there were capable of fighting. They surrendered 20 cannon and 7,500 rifles.
Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter