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The Civil War Month by Month: Aug 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.

August 1863

This Month's Events

  • 3 August. Desertion from the Confederate ranks has reached such huge proportions that President Davis issues an appeal to all absentee soldiers to return to their regiments, promising no punishments will be inflicted. It is estimated that eventually 1 in 8 Confederates and 1 in 10 Union soldiers will desert. The Union could, however, withstand the manpower drain much more than the Confederacy.

  • 5 August. Rose O'Neale Greenhow, notorious Confederate spy boards the Confederate blockade runner Phantom; her mission is to cross the Atlantic and convince England to recognize the Confederacy.

  • 15 August. Brigadier General Stephen D. Ramseur writes to his sweetheart in Lincolnton about the growing strength of his brigade and about the problem of desertion, much of which he blames on William W. Holden, editor of the Raleigh paper, The North Carolina Standard and opponent of the war. .
    Private William E. Wagner, Co. E, 57th Regt., is concerned about the same issue, but from a differing viewpoint. Writing home to Catawba County, he says, "Dear Wife I jest tell you I wouldent Care if the last man would Run away and then I reckon they will quit it [.] I heard this Morne thare 300 Hundred Run a way out of pender's brigate..." and he then goes on to discuss the unfairness of the furlough process. William neither deserted nor got his furlough. He will die 6 months later in a prison camp.
    Meanwhile a "peace meeting" is being held in Randolph County, one of many.

  • 21 August. Confederate guerillas led by William Quantrill attack the pro-Union town of Lawrence, Kansas, murdering between 185 to 200 men and boys and destroying most of the town.
    Among the raiders are the Younger boys and a young man named Jesse James.

  • 27 August. Prisoner of war, Lt. Col. William G. Morris writes home to Gaston County from Johnson's Island in Ohio.

  • 29 August. The Union Army of the Cumberland begins the Chickamauga Campaign in southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia, with one major objective being to capture Chattanooga.

This Month's Fiction

Adult Fiction

Children's Fiction

The Perilous Road, by William Steele, pub. 1958, 191 p. This is one of Mr. Steele's best books, an engrossing, realistic story of a Tennessee mountain boy who, during the Civil War, comes to realize that war is terrible no matter where one's sympathies lie. Chris Brabson hates Yankees with all his heart because they've stolen from him and his family, leaving them with little food for the winter. They stand for everything that's gone wrong with his world. Then, to Chris's dismay and embarrassment, his older brother, Jethro joins up with the Union as a soldier. A Newberry Honor Award winner. Gr. 4-8.

This Month's Non-Fiction

Adult Nonfiction

Children's Nonfiction

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