Chronological History of the American Civil War
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while on a short visit back to his home "Belmead", in Powhatan County, Virginia, shot himself in the head committing suicide. Friday, December 27, 1861 : New York’s Congressional Rep. Alfred Ely from Richmond, Virginia had attended the Battle of Bull Run as a civilian observer, a polite way of saying he was one of the mob of morons, who brought carriages and picnic baskets to watch the "spectacle of battle" as if it were an entertainment. His curiosity was rewarded by capture by the Rebels and months of imprisonment. Today, more fighting breaks out at Hallsville, Missouri. Saturday, December 28, 1861 : Union troops under General Benjamin Prentiss (U.S.) attack and disperse 900 Confederates stationed at Mount Zion, Missouri. A few other skirmishes took place at Sacramento, Kentucky; and Grider’s Ferry, on the Cumberland River in Kentucky. Most armies from both sides were in winter quarters, and most soldiers were happy just to stay in shelter. Sunday, December 29, 1861 : While a civil war was going on between
North and South, another one was in progress in the (theoretically) independent Indian Territory. The Creek tribe, which favored the Union, moved as a group to a distant part of the territory. They had been opposed by the Confederate-leaning Choctaw and Chickasaw. The Seminole and Cherokee nations were themselves divided, with large factions favoring each side. While some native people had welcomed escaped slaves and allowed them to join and intermarry into their tribes, others practiced slave ownership themselves in areas where it was permitted. One Cherokee, in fact, Stand Watie, (pictured) not only enlisted in the Confederate army but rose to the rank of brigadier general and was a slave holder. In Missouri, Jeff Thompson's Southern Raiders fight pro-Union forces in Commerce and attack the Steamer City of Alton .
Monday, December 30, 1861 : Most paper money was printed by banks. These notes of different amounts could always be exchanged for gold or silver until today. The United States Government, as well as independent banks in several cities, today suspended payments in gold and silver. The worth of paper money is now questioned and inflation increases. The matter of a stable and uniform currency for the entire country was not yet settled and would not be for some time. Confederate commissioners Mason and Slidell were handed over to Lord Lyons. They were immediately put on a ship to England thus ending the “Trent Affair.” Tuesday, December 31, 1861 : President Lincoln pressed his army commanders for more action. However, McClellan did not hear his message as he was ill.
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