Chronological History of the American Civil War

P a g e | 155

speech. Lincoln had better grasped “the central idea of the occasion,” he said. Lincoln, modestly, wrote back to Everett his thanks. “I am pleased to know that, in your judgment, the little I did say was not entirely a failure.” General William T. Sherman, commanding the U.S. Army of the Tennessee, arrives in Bridgeport, Alabama. He plans a concealed march on the Confederate right, but heavy rain delays moving any closer to Chattanooga. Saturday, November 21, 1863 : The Union armies that had been bottled up in Chattanooga since the battle of Chickamauga had reached its disastrous conclusion were about to be idle no longer. U. S. Grant was on the scene and settling the last details of the breakout battle with his commanders. The weather was now better as Sherman was to engage in a complicated movement requiring not one, but two crossings of the Tennessee River to get to the Confederate right flank. Thomas was to strike the center, a formation known as Missionary Ridge. General Hooker (U.S.) was to move into the valley below Lookout Mountain then attack the Confederate left. Now confined to his bed, President Lincoln, ill with mild case of smallpox, quips: “Now I have something I can give everybody.”

Sunday, November 29, 1863 : It was his final chance to capture the city of Knoxville, Tennessee, as General James Longstreet (CSA) knew that General Sherman (U.S.) was on his way from Chattanooga to help Union General Burnside break out of this besieged city. Longstreet attacked the Union earthworks at dawn, thinking it vulnerable. It started to sleet, and in horrid conditions so slick that it was difficult to merely walk, much less charge, fire and reload a gun. Worst yet, the intelligence reports failed to mention the vertical ditch (pictured) laid in front of them. This ditch was twelve feet wide and from four to ten feet deep with vertical sides. The fort’s exterior slope was almost vertical, also. Without scaling

ladders, the ill-fated attack was called off by Longstreet after lasting only 20 minutes, dealing the final blow to the Confederate hopes of holding on to anything in Eastern Tennessee. Union only lost 8 men and 5 wounded, but Longstreet lost 129 killed, 458 wounded and 226 captured. Monday, November 30, 1863 : Condemned by the Southern press and criticized by the public, General Bragg resignation is as commander of the Army of Tennessee (CSA) is accepted by Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and appoints Lieut. General William Hardee (CSA) in temporary command of the Army of Tennessee. Confederate evacuate Fort Esperanza, just north of Corpus Christi, Texas. President Abraham Lincoln begins his recovery from smallpox. The armies on both sides of the American Civil War are effectively driven to a halt by the weather. The impact on the soldiers in the field was huge with scurvy and dysentery affecting many. The month of November had claimed another 11,519 more in casualties. Tuesday, December 1, 1863 : Since the Battle of Chickamauga, General Nathan Bedford Forrest (CSA) has been in Mississippi and Western Tennessee recruiting more soldiers for the cause. Today, he has a small skirmish after leaving Ripley, Mississippi, on the Pocahontas and Middleton road in Hardeman County, Tennessee. Reputed Confederate spy, Belle Boyd, is released from prison at Washington, D.C., and sent to Richmond, Virginia, due to her suffering from typhoid fever, and warned never to return to the Union lines. The Army of the Potomac (U.S.), under Major General George G. Meade, retires across the Rapidan River, after the Federal repulse at Mine Run, Virginia, and goes into winter quarters, ending the Mine Run Campaign against General Lee (CSA) that began on Nov 26. Wednesday, December 2, 1863 : Major General Stephen Hurlbut (U.S.) in his report states: “The enemy, under Lee, Forrest, and Ferguson, broke into Saulsbury (Tennessee) yesterday. We had no troops there. They destroyed track and bent rails. It will take twenty-four hours to repair. Mizner fell back to Pocahontas against orders, and left this gap open. Hatch is following their main body, which is retreating

Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter