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The Civil War Month by Month: Nov 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.

November 1863

This Month's Events

  • 6 November. The Tar Heels of General Hoke's brigade, encamped near Brandy Station, Virginia, have a wonderful day. They are paid for the first time in 5 months.

  • 6 November. President Lincoln takes an evening off to see one of his favorite actors, John Wilkes Booth. He invites Booth to dinner at the White House, but his invitation is declined.

  • 17 November. General Burnside's Union forces make it to Knoxville, Tennessee before the Confederates led by General Longstreet. This begins the "siege" of Knoxville.

  • 19 November. Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address.

  • 24 November. Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge both overlook the city of Chattanooga. Confederates, perched on the high point, have an excellent view of the Federal forces trapped in the city and their guns control the river. However, when the Union troops, led by General Joseph Hooker, attack the troops on the mountain itself, Bragg finally decides to abandon this strong point. By evening the Confederate troops withdraw under cover of the darkness of a lunar eclipse. This battle becomes known as the "Battle Above the Clouds" as the heavy cloud cover had made the action invisible to the anxious spectators below.
    This victory is a demonstration of the power of railroads in military logistics. Hooker's forces, 20,000 men and 3,000 horses and mules, had been moved from Virginia to Tennessee in only 7 days.

  • 25 November. At Missionary Ridge the Federal forces , now commanded by General U, S. Grant, continue their success of the day before, chasing the Confederates from their position and ending the seige of Chattanooga. Bragg's army retreats to Dalton, Georgia. Arthur MacArthur of the 24th Wisconsin succeeds in placing his regiment's flag on the crest of the ridge, for which he will be awarded the Medal of Honor. Arthur survives the war and fathers a son, Douglas, the General MacArthur of WW I and II.

  • This month in Texas, Santos Benavides, a Texas state cavalry commander, is authorized to raise a brigade of Confederate cavalry. Benavides will defend the border and defeat a combined Union-Mexican attack on Laredo in May 1864; he is later referred to as "the war's most distinguished Hispanic Confederate".

  • Also this month the Moravians in North Carolina receive word that back in September their Cherokee mission had been attacked by Cherokees belonging to the Union army. One missionary was killed and two taken prisoner with their fate unknown. Johanna Mack [see June 1862] knows only that her parents who staffed another mission are said to be alive and fleeing to Arkansas.

This Month's Fiction

Adult Fiction

Civil War women : the Civil War seen through women's eyes in stories by Louisa May Alcott, Kate Chopin, Eudora Welty, and other great women writers, edited by Frank McSherry, Jr., Charles G. Waugh, and Martin Greenberg, pub. 1990, 175 p. The 10 short stories in the anthology are linked by their female authorship and by their common subject matter, the Civil War. As the introduction to the compilation states, the stories are also similar thematically, each focusing on the strength of women who, while not on the battlefield, nonetheless played active roles in supporting the war effort, either by helping the troops or by keeping life going as best they could back home. Some of the stories were written during the war, others much later. Writers represented include well-known names and some that will be considered ``finds.'' Eudora Welty's ``The Burning,'' the last story in the book, is the best, but that's no surprise: nothing can compare with the gutsy dignity of a Welty story.

Children's Fiction

This Month's Non-Fiction

Adult Nonfiction

Children's Nonfiction

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