Chronological History of the American Civil War

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Burnside’s strategy. By marching on Fredericksburg, his army was still close enough to Washington, D.C. to protect the capital. He could also use the Potomac River to bring up supplies to his men via the Acquia Creek. Richmond was also only 75 miles from Fredericksburg. Sunday, November 16, 1862 : U.S. General, Ambrose Burnside, had found himself in a job he did not want, the command of the Army of the Potomac, due in large part to Abraham Lincoln’s frustration with his predecessor, George McClellan. McClellan had largely created the army out of the mobs of disorganized civilians who had rushed to enlist, but then didn’t seem to want to get any of them hurt by actually fighting anybody. Burnside’s orders were clear: go fight somebody, preferably Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Therefore, despite the date, he today, ordered his men to pack up and march across the Rappahannock River. There was some difficulty with the units of Confederate forces who were keeping an eye on them, leading to a skirmish at the river crossing known as U.S. Ford. Elizabeth Woodbury Fox, the wife of Lincoln's naval aide after hearing the rumor, she wrote in her diary for November 16, 1862, "Tish says, Oh, there is a Bucktail soldier here devoted to the president, drives with him, and when Mrs. L is not home, sleeps with him. What stuff!" President Lincoln’s personal bodyguard and intimate companion between September 1862 and April 1863 was Captain David Derickson (U.S.). They shared a bed during the absences of Lincoln's wife, until Derickson was promoted in 1863. Derickson was twice married and fathered ten children. Monday, November 17, 1862 : An advance force of Burnside’s men reached the outskirts of Fredericksburg, Virginia, but could not cross the Rappahannock River to get into the town. It seems, they had no pontoons with them to cross on. The Unionists swiftly dealt with a brief Confederate artillery bombardment, which indicated to them that the town was poorly defended. However, Burnside had ordered that no Unionist unit could enter Fredericksburg, until suitable communication lines had been established. This gave Lee the opportunity and time to send two divisions to the town. Tuesday, November 18, 1862 : Another day of maneuver, concentration of forces, and minor skirmishing, rather than full-fledged battle. The two Grand Divisions of the Army of the Potomac (U.S.) continued to make progress towards Falmouth, across the Rappahannock River from Fredericksburg, Virginia. The only action here was a small scuffle at Franklin, Virginia. In the West, the Union and Confederate forces were not far apart, moving around Nashville and Tullahoma in Tennessee. This resulted in minor skirmishes at Double Bridge and Rural Hill, Tennessee. Wednesday, November 19, 1862 : Nashville Daily Union reports: “The Richmond correspondent of the Memphis Appeal gives an awful statement of the progress of intemperance in the former city. He asserts that French and German women convey whiskey to retail about the city, in bottles and bladders, under their petticoats. When a grog-seller wants to set up a saloon, all he has to do is to put a Dutchwoman "on tap." This state of things is dreadful to contemplate.” A large expedition of Union troops leaves Grand Junction, Tennessee, and is headed to Ripley, Mississippi. Captain Raphael Semmes (CSN) of the CSS Alabama, had made quite a name for himself as a commerce raider for the Confederacy in the waters of the Atlantic. Now harbored in the West Indies at the French island of Martinique, under cover of the foul weather, Semmes and the CSS Alabama got out today and escaped under the nose of the Union blockage that was waiting on him. Thursday, November 20, 1862 : General Lee (CSA) arrives in

Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Army of Mississippi (CSA) is renamed The Army of Tennessee, which would prove to be one of the finest fighting forces on either side, although cursed with questionable leadership. The Confederate structure was changed today to consist of three corps, under Generals E. Kirby Smith, Leonidas Polk, and William Joseph Hardee. The overall command was held by General Braxton Bragg (CSA)(pictured), who was very popular with President, Jefferson Davis. Friday, November 21, 1862 : General Burnside (U.S.) called on the mayor of Fredericksburg, Virginia to surrender. This was refused and non- combatants were sent from the town. The Daily Times in Leavenworth,

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