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The Civil War Month by Month: Jun 1863

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 1863

This Month's Events

  • This month in Madison County, Montana local residents want to name their new town "Varina" after Jefferson's Davis's wife. However the local judge -- not a Confederate sympathizer -- emphatically rejects the idea. They compromise on "Virginia City", now the state capitol. The gold discovered in Montana is funneled to both Union and Confederate governments due to the large number of Southerners in the territory.

  • During the month the siege of Vicksburg continues. Residents dig caves in the river bluff sides to escape the constant shelling.

  • 9 June. The Battle of Brandy Station (Virginia) is the largest cavalry battle ever fought on the North American continent. Of the 20,000 soldiers involved, about 17,000 are of the mounted branch. Brandy Station is also the first battle of the war's most famous campaign - Gettysburg.

  • 20 June. West Virginia, the only state to form by seceding from a Confederate state, is admitted to the Union as the 35th state.

  • 22 June. Ralph Gorrell, lawyer and former state senator in Greensboro, North Carolina, wants the legislature to take action. "The State ought to appoint someone to collect the facts of the history and progress of this war, and revolution so far as our State is concerned, in order to have them recorded and perpetuated as materials for the future history of the times. It was the misfortune of our State after the termination of the war of the revolution, that her history was written by Virginians and South Carolinians. The Consequence of which was justice was denied to her, her merits suppressed and smothered, and unfounded Calumnies and slanders heaped up on her on all occasions."

  • 24 June. North Carolinian General Dorsey Pender writes to his wife, "Tomorrow I do what I know will cause you grief, and that is to cross the Potomac. The advance of our column is at Chambersburg, Penna, tonight. .. I feel that we are taking a very important step, but see no reason why we should not be sucessful."

  • 28 June. At 3 o'clock in the morning a messenger from Lincoln awakens General George Meade to inform him that he is now the commander of the Army of the Potomac. Although he has no way to know what lies in store, he has only 3 days to prepare his army for one of the most famous battles in history.

  • This month the ship Advance, one of several blockade runners actually owned by the State of North Carolina, makes her first run under the command of Thomas M. Crossan. She will make 17 successful voyages from Bermuda to Wilmington (including one run through the Federal fleet in broad daylight) before being captured in September 1864. The cargos of this Tar Heel navy all belong to the state of North Carolina and not to the Confederate government.

  • This month one of 5 Confederate medical laboratories opens below Lincolnton, North Carolina on the Catawba River. The laboratory is to manufacture medicines from local plants and materials to replace the drugs no longer available due to the Union blockade. A building is constructed and water power is used to run the machinery. Dr. A. S. Piggott is the director.

This Month's Fiction

Adult Fiction

Where I'm Bound, by Allen B. Ballard, pub. 2000, 316 p. Ballard has penned a stirring novel extolling the long-neglected contributions and heroics of black soldiers during the Civil War. Factually grounded in the military campaigns of the Third U.S. Colored Cavalry in Mississippi, the more intimate story line revolves around the personal and professional exploits of Sergeant Joe Duckett. Duckett, an escaped slave turned soldier, serves proudly and with distinction, inevitably enduring all the indignities heaped on black enlisted men in the Union army. Alternately exalted and frustrated by the course of the war, he never loses sight of his ultimate goal: to be reunited with his wife and children, the family he lost to the cruel vagaries of slavery.

Young Adult Fiction

The Tamarack Tree : a novel of the siege of Vicksburg, by Patricia Clapp, pub. 1986, 214 p. Clapp gives a graphic account of living conditions during the siege and in defeat. The scenes where Rosemary tends the wounded in the makeshift hospitals are particularly strong and the quarrels and reconciliations between Rosemary and her Northern beau, and between emancipationist Derek and Southern belle Mary Byrd, will please romance fans. Gr. 7-10.

Children's Fiction

This Month's Non-Fiction

Adult Nonfiction

Meade of Gettysburg, by Freeman Cleaves, pub. 1960, 384 p., call #: 923.573 Meade C. This biography for a general audience recounts Meade's life from birth to death. While Gettysburg obviously figures largely in his story, his military career was long and varied.

Children's Nonfiction

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