Chronological History of the American Civil War

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Burnside’s retreat, and his forces escaped into Knoxville. The Union lost 318 men killed and wounded; the Confederates lost 174. Tuesday, November 17, 1863 : The Siege of Knoxville, Tennessee, begins by Lieut. General James Longstreet, (CSA), thus begins what is known as his Knoxville, Tennessee Campaign. The military governor of Tennessee, Andrew Johnson’s alcoholic son, Colonel Robert Johnson, of the 1st Regiment Tennennessee Cavalry, (U.S.) tenders his resignation from the army. Union force under Major General Nathaniel P. Banks, (U.S.) was near the now occupied Corpus Christi, Texas, when they decided to attack a Confederate battery at Aransas Pass. They made their attack and quickly took the battery. The Daily Times (Leavenworth, Kansas) reported, “Twenty-three negroes, found in arms on the river plantation of Jeff Davis, in Mississippi, were captured on Tuesday, the 3d. The negroes fired on our troops, but without effect. Several of the negroes are the property of Jeff.” In evening, President Lincoln examines drawings of burial plot of National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania with William Saunders, the designer. The President also informs James Speed, he has prepared about half of his Gettysburg Address. Wednesday, November 18, 1863 : President Abraham Lincoln, Secretary of State, William Seward, and U.S. Postmaster, Frank Blair, along with diplomats, foreign visitors, a military guard and a Marine band leave Washington, D. C. on a “special” 4-car train organized by the B&O Railroad. The train arrives about 5 p.m. in Gettysburg, where Lincoln is guest of Judge Wills. Thursday, November 19, 1863 : The dedication of the cemetery at Gettysburg took place with some Some in the gathering were unaware that he had even spoken. ‘The Times’ in London considered Everett’s speech to have been very good, while the President’s was a disappointment. Lincoln himself said “the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here.” Feeling tired and ill, Lincoln leaves for Washington right after the speech. The last known copy written by Lincoln, and the only one signed and dated by him, today it is on display at the Lincoln Room of the White House. It reads: "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead, we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Abraham Lincoln The Daily Times (Leavenworth, Kansas) reports, “Rev. H. M. Turner, colored pastor of the Israel Bethel Church in Washington, has been appointed Chaplain of the First regiment of United States colored troops, now in South Carolina. He is the first colored minister, who has been commissioned chaplain.” Friday, November 20, 1863 : The news press was not impressed with Lincoln’s short speech, as most of them missed it. Today, however, it was Everett, who sent Lincoln a letter of congratulations on his 15,000 people assembled there. The dedication started with a two-hour speech by Edward Everett as to the course of the battle. Lincoln (pictured) spoke after Everett and for only ten minutes and received polite applause.

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