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The Civil War Month by Month: Jun 1861

CW - 150

Civil War 150th anniversary

The Civil War 150th Anniversary

Interesting facts, links, and suggested books for each month of the Civil War.

June 1861

This Month's Events

  • 1 June. Captain John Quincy Marr is killed in a skirmish at Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia -- the first Confederate officer to die in the war.

  • 1 June. The Confederate Postal Service begins operations. Until this time, strange as it seems, the U. S. Postal Service has continued to deliver and send mail in the Confederacy.

  • 3 June. The Battle of Philippi, in and around Philippi, Virginia (now West Virginia) is the first organized land action in the war. It is sometimes described as a "skirmish" rather than a "battle". A Union attack, ordered by Major General George B. McClellan, on sleeping Confederate forces results in a Confederate flight with relatively few casualties.
          This minor action has some interesting consequences. It gives McClellan a reputation and aids in his promotion to commander of the Union armies.
          Also, one of the wounded is James E. Hanger, an 18-year old college student whose leg is amputated. After recovering, he makes an artificial leg for himself from barrel staves with a hinge at the knee. Hanger patents his device in 1863 and founds what is still today the Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc., a leading manufacturer of prosthetics.
          Philippi is named after the town in Macedonia where a decisive battle of the Roman civil wars took place in 42 BC.

  • 6 June. An article in the Salisbury, North Carolina Watchman talks about the importance of paper. "The Mills of Messers OAKS & WISWALL, Lincolnton, N. C., are turning out the various kinds of writing paper ... This is an important branch of business, and if the blockade continues, must succeed completely." Mentioning an earlier Lincolnton mill, the editor points out that manufacture of "blank books -- Ledgers, Dockets, Day Books, is not less important at a time like this." He is an accurate prophet -- by the end of the war the South will have an acute paper shortage even for such necessities as court records.

  • 8 June. Tennessee secedes, the last state to do so. The vote reflects a deep split in the state with Unionist sentiment especially strong in East Tennessee. This division will lead to continued guerilla and "bushwhacker" conflict in the state that adds to the destruction caused by the numerous battles there.

  • 10 June. In Virginia Confederate troops at the Battle of Big Bethel include the 1st North Carolina Volunteers led by Colonel Daniel Harvey Hill. The battle is a Confederate victory; 1400 Confederates defeat a force 3 times their size. Hill is rapidly promoted to general. The regiment becomes known as "the Bethel Regiment" and is authorized to add the word "Bethel" to its flag.
          Henry Lawson Wyatt,19, of Edgecombe County, North Carolina is killed here. He is the first North Carolina soldier killed in action. There are 10 men wounded including Private William White of the Lincoln County "Southern Stars".

  • 10 June. Famed reformer Dorothea Dix is appointed superintendent of women nurses for the U. S. military hospitals.

  • 12 June. The "Gaston Guards" enlist in Gaston County. They will be Co. H, 23rd N. C. Infantry. Their first captain is Elias M. Faries.

  • 14 June. Robert E. Lee becomes a full general.

  • 16 June. In Illinois, the 21st Illinois, a regiment known as Governor Yates's Hellions, get a new commander, Ulysses S. Grant.

  • 19 June. The war has theological implications. For example, at Salem, North Carolina the Moravian Provincial Council states, "Since...the state of North Carolina has severed its relations with the government of the United States and has joined...the Confederate States, the P. A. C. holds this to be the time so to amend the prayers in the church litany which refer to the government of our country, and also the prayer in times of war, that they would be consistent with our circumstances."

  • 21 June. Daniel Harvey Hill writes to Governor Ellis reporting on the battle at Bethel. His report includes the names of many individual soldiers. (See Papers of John Willis Ellis, v. 2, p. 856-865 [923.275 Ellis NCC].)

  • 22 June. The Beattie's Ford Riflemen from Lincoln County enlist at Garysburg. Their captain is Robert Daniel Johnston. The Riflemen will be Co. K, 23rd N. C. Infantry.

  • 27 June. Captain James Harmon Ward of the Thomas Freeborn is killed while erecting a breastworks for a cannon. He is the first U. S. naval officer to die in the conflict.

  • This month North Carolina builds Fort Hatteras and Fort Clark on Hatteras Island to control the entrance to Pamlico Sound.

This Month's Fiction

Adult Fiction

Young Adult fiction

Children's Fiction

The Haunting of Holroyd Hill, by Brenda Seabrooke, pub. 1995, 137 p. Almost-12 Melinda is finding the adjustment from Alexandria to her new home in rural Virginia a difficult one. A run-in with surly Mr. Sasser is just one more piece of proof of how awful the whole change has been. All other problems fade into insignificance, however, when the girl discovers that a ghost has started walking through the house every night. Her older brother, Kevin; their new friend Dan, the grandson of the unpleasant neighbor; and Melinda begin keeping watch, trying to discover where the ghost comes from and where it goes on its nightly journey. A little research at the local library provides some clues, while Dan's recollections of some family stories yield additional hints. Gradually, the young people put all the information together and the three investigators confront three ghosts caught up in a tragic event from Civil War days. Gr. 5-8.

This Month's Non-Fiction

Adult Nonfiction

Children's Nonfiction

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