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This Month's Events
- 1 November. Twenty-five year old Stephen Dodson Ramseur (usually called Dodson) of Lincolnton, North Carolina becomes a brigadier general in command of Anderson's brigade while he is at home recovering from severe wounds. He will take over his new duties in January. [See October 1864.]
- 4 November. North Carolina native Richard J. Gatling patents his new rapid-fire weapon, a 6 barrel machine gun. The Union forces use a few of them before the war ends. Ironically, and in common with other inventors of new weapons, Gatling believes his terrible new killing machine will discourage warfare. His name will become the source of the gangster slang expression "gat" for gun.
Image source: This Day in North Carolina History, November 4, 2016
- 4 November. President Lincoln fires General George McClellan. His successor as commander of the Army of the Potomac is Ambrose Burnside. Burnside starts planning a move toward Richmond.
- 9 November. Private William Wagner of Co. E, 57th N. C. writes home to Catawba County from Virginia. "Dear Wife we left our ole camp last friday and it was a snowing as hard as it could from morneing till nearly 12 o clock the snow was about 4 inches deep and we marched to Richmond and such a mud and water I never traveled in and we got too late for the morning trane and then we had to ly in Richmond til 8 o clock in the Evining and I never in all my days was as near frose as I was that day."
- 11 November. In North Carolina the Moravians note that the price of firewood has increased from $1.75 to $4.00 a cord.
- 17 November. Governor Zeb Vance of North Carolina speaks to the General Assembly in a "state of the State" address. He is very concerned about the "evils of extortion" -- what a later generation will call profiteering. One problem is obtaining contracts with the state's textile mills for the uniforms and blankets that the soldiers need. At this time there are 39 cotton mills and 7 woolen mills in the state; sufficient looms to fill the needs of the state and provide for other Confederate troops. However some textile mill owners seem driven more by profits than by patriotism.
- 20 November. Two Confederate armies, the Army of Mississippi commanded by General Braxton Bragg and the Army of Kentucky under General E. Kirby Smith, are merged to form the Army of Tennessee under Bragg. This is not the same army as the Army of the Tennessee, the Union army whose name refers to the Tennessee River. Bragg becomes commander of the new army.
- 24 November. Writing from near Fredericksburg, Virginia, James A. Graham describes "large crowds of the ladies and children coming out of the town, with just such little things as they could save in their hasty flight." Union guns positioned across the river are threatening to shell the town.
- This month in Columbus, Georgia, Louis Haiman and his brother are operating a factory covering a city block. In addition to many other military items, they make swords which are now collector's items, over 100 swords a week. The factory is destroyed towards the end of the war and after the war Haiman builds a new business . . . making plows.
This Month's Fiction
Call Number: FIC FAU
Publication Date: 1991-10-29
Set in Mississippi during the Civil War and Reconstruction, this story focuses on the Sartoris family, and especially on the young boy Bayard, his black friend Ringo, and on Bayard's Granny. The stories were originally published individually and later tied together as a novel in which Bayard grows from a boy to a man and deals with his family's tragedy's and triumphs.
Call Number: FIC DAL
Publication Date: 2000-10-16
After her husband enlists in the Union army, newly married Alice Bullock and her cantankerous mother-in-law are left to tend the family farm. No stranger to hard work and responsibility, Alice undertakes her arduous tasks under the ever-watchful eye of the critical Mother Bullock. To temporarily relieve both her boredom and her fears, she indulges in two equally delightful hobbies: quilting and writing a series of diary-letters to her sister. Although her quilting provides her with a much-needed creative outlet, her matter-of-fact missives offer an often humorous glimpse at the uncertainty and daily hardships endured by women on the home front. When Alice becomes the primary suspect in a local murder, she and Mother Bullock form a previously unthinkable united front. Laced with plenty of whimsy, pathos, and intrigue, this charming, homespun narrative will appeal to Civil War buffs and fans of Cold Mountain.
The Blue and the Gray
Call Number: J BUN
Publication Date: 1996-11-01
Luminous oil paintings carry the day for this thoughtfully conceived but unevenly executed story. Bunting's tale of two realities-houses under construction and the Civil War battlefield on which the new community lies-revolves around two boys, neighbors and friends, one black and one white. The action alternates between the present day and 1862 as one of the boys' fathers describes the long-ago battle, peeling back the layers of time to reveal the history that lies beneath the boys' feet. This is a book about the importance of history and memory. Gr. 3-5.
This Month's Non-Fiction
The Gatling Gun
Publication Date: 1965, 1971
Stephen Dodson Ramseur
Call Number: 973.756 GAL N.C.
Publication Date: 1985-02-20
Stephen Dodson Ramseur, born in Lincolnton, North Carolina, in 1837, compiled an enviable record as a brigadier in the Army of Northern Virginia. Commissioned major general the day after his twenty-seventh birthday, he was the youngest West Pointer to achieve that rank in the Confederate army. He later showed great skill as a divisional leader in the 1864 Shenandoah Valley campaigns before he was fatally wounded at Cedar Creek on 19 October of that year. Based on Ramseur's extensive personal papers as well as on other sources, this absorbing biography examines the life of one of the South's most talented commanders and brings into sharper focus some of the crosscurrents of this turbulent period.
The Civil War at Sea
Call Number: 973.75 SYM
Publication Date: 2009-08-01
This title should read "at sea and on the river" as it is a good introudction to the little-known naval war on the Mississippi. Crisp writing, incisive assessments of leading personalities, and attention to details often overlooked enhance the book. The author footnotes each of the six chapters, includes good maps, and provides the obligatory photos needed for a Civil War title. A bibliographical essay completes the concise survey. Summing Up: Highly recommended for Civil War buffs.
The War the Women Lived
Call Number: 975 .03 WAR
Publication Date: 1995-12-20
Sullivan (English & creative writing, Vanderbilt Univ.) has compiled narratives of 20 Southern women and their experiences during the Civil War, drawn from years of personal readings. Mostly educated women, born and raised in the South, two immigrated to America from England and one from Havana. Caught in a war they did not understand, they came to know and hate the "Yankees" and all they represented. When asked on a spy mission to England in 1864 if she was afraid of Yankees, Belle Boyd responded, "No I am not; I was never frightened of a Yankee in my life." Even though their lives were in turmoil throughout the war, and they never knew when they might be captured, imprisoned, or killed, they still thought about the future and wondered what it held for them. While using the narratives from the war years (1859-65), Sullivan does include an epilog that provides closure to the lives of these remarkable women. Fascinating and riveting reading, this book is strongly recommended for any Civil War or women's history collection.
Great Women of the Civil War
Call Number: 973.7 RAA
Publication Date: 2005-01-01
An enticing, well-documented title that highlights aspects of our nation's history with large print and accessible information written in an engaging style. Biographical information is juxtaposed nicely alongside the political aspects of the war. Full-color and black-and-white reproductions, photographs, and maps enhance the texts. The lists of important people are a welcome addition, as are the lists for further reading and Web sites. Fine additions for reports and for recreational reading. Gr. 4-6.
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