Chronological History of the American Civil War
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Thursday, January 1, 1863 : Today, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that abolished slavery freeing all slaves in captured Confederate territory. To many in the Confederacy, this was seen as an open attack on the perceived way of life in the South and any chance of peacefully bringing the American Civil War to an early end based on diplomacy vanished with the Emancipation Proclamation. The war originally started over the state's rights to either have slavery or not have slavery and their rights to succeed from the Union. In Bolivar, Tennessee, settler, planter, and diarist, John Houston Bills writes again in his diary, "The new year comes in most suspiciously, a white frost and clear sky. My servants in town at home and proceed to work getting wood as usual. They do not conceive that they are free by Lincoln's proclamation. We have anticipated trouble and I think will have it with Negros ~ no holding them." General Burnside (U.S.) accepted responsibility for the defeat at Fredericksburg and offered to resign. Lincoln told him to reconsider. The Battle of Stones River, took a day off as both sides considered their next move. In Galveston, Texas, General John B. Magruder (CSA) captures the city after a 4 hour battle. Confederate troops seize a federal ship and blow up another, but all of the other ships escape. Friday, January 2, 1863 : In Tennessee, Confederate General John C. Breckenridge’s (CSA) “Orphan Brigade” did the major part of the fighting today; taking after a heavy battle, a small hill on the north side of the river. They held it only briefly, though, being pushed off with heavy losses. This allowed overall commander General Bragg (CSA) to wire to Jefferson Davis in Richmond that they had won a great victory. The early winter sunset called a halt to action, with both sides hoping desperately that their opponents would withdraw, which was the usual way of figuring out who won Civil War battles. In reality, the Confederates suffered a defeat at Stone’s River, Murfreesboro. They lost a total of 14,560 killed, wounded and missing. However, the North also suffered major losses with 11,578 killed, wounded and missing. This, along with appalling weather that made the movement of troops and horses all but impossible, meant that The North could not follow up their success. Bragg (CSA) was forced back to Chattanooga, Tennessee. The North was now in control of central Tennessee, and the Union victory provided a much-needed morale boost in the aftermath of the Yankees' loss at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Saturday, January 3, 1863 : Skirmish near Clifton, Tennessee, with Majer General Nathan Bedford Forrest, (CSA) and more fighting at Somerville, Tennessee. Sunday, January 4, 1863 : General Roger Hanson (CSA) (pictured) died of his wounds received
during a charge at Murfreesboro (Stones River). It was his first fight since making the rank of general in the Confederate Army. He was leading his “Orphan Brigade” a unit composed of 5,000 Kentucky residents who were cut off from their homes by the Union occupation of their state. At the age of 35, his last words were: "I die in a just cause, having done my duty." Major General McClernand (U.S.) begins to move up the Arkansas River towards Arkansas Post. He orders General Sherman to accompany him, but he has not received authorization for such a movement. James Plimpton of Medfield, Massachusetts patents the 4 wheeled roller skates. His “Quad skates” allowed people to steer just by leaning to the left or the right. Monday, January 5, 1863 : The defeat at Murfreesboro gave the North control over much of Tennessee; though Confederate raiding parties were a continual problem in the state. Skirmishes today were at Lytle’s Creek on Manchester Pike
and on Shelbyville Pike. The New York Times reports, “Correspondents from Murfreesboro report that all blacks found in service to the Union Army are immediately shot by Confederate troops. One writer mentions seeing 20 bodies of murdered African Americans lying along Murfreesboro Pike.” Tuesday, January 6, 1863 : At Beaver Station, Missouri, Brig. General, John Sappington Marmaduke, (CSA), burns Fort Lawrence. President Lincoln directs Secretary Seward not to countersign the contract between U.S. government and B. Kock for colonizing 5,000 Negroes on Ile à Vache (a small island lying off the south-west peninsula of Haiti).
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