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The Civil War Month by Month: Jul 1862

CW - 150

Civil War 150th anniversary

The Civil War 150th Anniversary

Interesting facts, links, and suggested books for each month of the Civil War.

July 1862

This Month's Events

  • 1 July. At Malvern Hill in Virginia, the Seven Days Battle winds down. The Confederates have made multiple attacks on a strong Union position, taking 5300 casualties without gaining any ground. However, General George B. McClellan withdraws his Union forces to a fortified position on the James River, thus gaining the protection of gunboats. He no longer presents a threat to Richmond and Lee moves on to other objectives. This is the end of the "Peninsular Campaign". In one week there were more than 35,000 casualties.

  • 1 July. The U. S. Revenue Act of 1862, passed to help fund the war, establishes a Commissioner of Internal Revenue and a progressive rate income tax. Annual income of U. S. residents, to the extent it exceeds $600, is taxed at a 3% rate, those earning over $10,000 per year at a 5% rate. By the end of the war, 10% of Union households will have paid some form of income tax and the Union raises 21% of its war revenue with this tax. The tax will end in 1872.
    The returns for this tax can be seen in our Ancestry database, "U. S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918".
    However the costs of the war are enormous. A random example, "The army spent more than $1 million a month just on forage for its horses, or more than the cumulative federal budget for the first two decades of the nineteenth century."

  • 4 July. John Franklin Speck is captain of the new company from Lincoln County that will be Co. G, 57th Regiment North Carolina Infantry.

  • 11 July. Major General Henry W. Hallack is named commander-in-chief of the U. S. armies.

  • Civil war medal of Honor
  • 12 July. The U. S. Medal of Honor is created by law. The first "Medal of Honor" had been created for the Navy in December 1861. This new legislation establishes an Army medal. There have been many changes in procedures for this award through the years, but it remains the preeminent award for valor.

  • 21 July. As he gets off the train in Boston, Massachusetts, George Fowle hears newspaper boys shouting, "Extra, extra! England coming in on the side of the South!" Dismayed by this news, George (who lives near Lexington and whose ancestors fought in the Revolution) turns around, goes home, and enlists in the 39th Massachusetts. Of course, the headlines are wrong, but George is now in the Army. [See Letters to Eliza right.]

  • Taps
  • Sometime this month at Harrison's Landing, Virginia, Union general Daniel Butterfield decides that the bugle call "To Extinguish Lights" used at the end of the day is too formal. In collaboration with bugler Oliver Norton, he revises an earlier composition, "Scott's Tattoo". Norton remembered, "After getting it to his satisfaction, he directed me to sound that call for 'Taps' thereafter in place of the regulation call. The music was beautiful on that still summer night, and was heard far beyond the limits of our Brigade. The next day I was visited by several buglers from neighboring Brigades, asking for copies of the music which I gladly furnished." The call was first used for a military funeral in this same year.

  • By this month Richmond, the capital of Virginia and the Confederacy, has become a city of hospitals and graves. Thousands of casualties from the Peninsular Campaign plus thousands suffering from disease are crammed into every available building -- such a multitude that many hospitals are numbered, not named. Wrote a reporter, "One feels the dread of infection as he gets nearer and nearer this war-scarred city." The most famous hospital does have a name: Chimborazo. It will be the largest hospital in the Confederacy and one of the largest in the world, treating an estimated 75,000 patients. [See Davis right.]

  • This month Susan Bradford Eppes of Tallahassee, Florida records in her diary, "Three days of each week are devoted to sewing for the soldiers.. Often we sew steadily for days at a time." Susan and her friends are not alone; in all parts of both North and South women are making clothes, quilts, and bandages for the soldiers. It is estimated that Northern women made and donated over 250,000 quilts to the U. S. Sanitary Commission -- all done before most women had a sewing machine.

This Month's Fiction

Adult Fiction

Children's Fiction

This Month's Non-Fiction

Adult Nonfiction

Letters to Eliza from a Union Soldier, 1862-1865, edited by Margery Greenleaf. Illustrated with original drawings, by Louis Cary and with contemporary pictorial material and documents, pub. 1970, 176 p. As George Fowle marched through Virginia in a seemingly unending war, he wrote letter after detailed letter to his sweetheart Eliza Caldwell back in Massachusetts. This well edited volume is interesting and informative reading.

Children's Nonfiction

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