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The Civil War Month by Month: Oct 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.

October 1861

This Month's Events

  • 1 October. In Pamlico Sound on the North Carolina coast, the USS Fanny, an Army tug, grounds herself and is captured by Confederates although the pilot and deckhand escape by diving overboard and swimming to shore. She is the first Union ship captured in the war. Despite this loss, the Union blockade is having an effect(see below).

  • 6 October. The "Gaston Blues" enlist at Dallas; they are assigned to the 37th North Carolina Infantry as Co. H with William Rufus Rankin as their first captain.

  • 12 October. At Head of Passes, Louisiana, on the Mississippi River, the CSS Manassas leads an attack on Union warships. She is a steam powered ram covered with 1" iron plate and is the first ironclad to be used in the war.

  • 21 October. The newspaper in Salisbury, North Carolina says: "We are authorized to announce WILLIAM LANDER, Esq., of Lincolnton, as a candidate to represent this District in the Congress of the Confederate States. Oct. 5, 1861." Lander will win his election and serve from 1862 through 1864.

  • 28 October. William Alexander Graham writes from Hillsboro, North Carolina, "All woolen goods & leather are becoming very scarce. I had some trouble to get enough for the negroes this fall. The enemy's ships prevent any from being brought into the country, and we have only what is made here."
    As winter approaches it is becoming obvious that the South lacks fabric to even supply the armies with warm uniforms as well as blankets and tents. Public meetings will be held in some cities to protest the rising prices of cloth. Cotton twill fabric for uniforms has risen from 50 cents a yard to as much as $1.50 although the price to the mill owners of the labor and materials has not risen.

  • This month Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Tennessean who had originally enlisted as a private, is given command of a regiment, Forrest's Tennessee Cavalry Battalion. He will end the war as a general despite his lack of military training.

  • During this month President Lincoln is visited by a salesman with machine guns, often referred to as "coffee-mill" guns. He buys 10 of them for $1300. This is the first machine gun order in history. The actual inventor of the guns is unknown.

This Month's Fiction

Adult Fiction

Children's Fiction

This Month's Non-Fiction

Adult Nonfiction

Children's Nonfiction:

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