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The Civil War Month by Month: Nov 1862

November 1862

This Month's Events


  • 1 November. Twenty-five year old Stephen Dodson Ramseur (usually called Dodson) of Lincolnton, North Carolina becomes a brigadier general in command of Anderson's brigade while he is at home recovering from severe wounds. He will take over his new duties in January. [See October 1864.]

  • Gatling gun patented
  • 4 November. North Carolina native Richard J. Gatling patents his new rapid-fire weapon, a 6 barrel machine gun. The Union forces use a few of them before the war ends. Ironically, and in common with other inventors of new weapons, Gatling believes his terrible new killing machine will discourage warfare. His name will become the source of the gangster slang expression "gat" for gun.
    Image source: This Day in North Carolina History, November 4, 2016

  • 4 November. President Lincoln fires General George McClellan. His successor as commander of the Army of the Potomac is Ambrose Burnside. Burnside starts planning a move toward Richmond.

  • 9 November. Private William Wagner of Co. E, 57th N. C. writes home to Catawba County from Virginia. "Dear Wife we left our ole camp last friday and it was a snowing as hard as it could from morneing till nearly 12 o clock the snow was about 4 inches deep and we marched to Richmond and such a mud and water I never traveled in and we got too late for the morning trane and then we had to ly in Richmond til 8 o clock in the Evining and I never in all my days was as near frose as I was that day."

  • 11 November. In North Carolina the Moravians note that the price of firewood has increased from $1.75 to $4.00 a cord.

  • 17 November. Governor Zeb Vance of North Carolina speaks to the General Assembly in a "state of the State" address. He is very concerned about the "evils of extortion" -- what a later generation will call profiteering. One problem is obtaining contracts with the state's textile mills for the uniforms and blankets that the soldiers need. At this time there are 39 cotton mills and 7 woolen mills in the state; sufficient looms to fill the needs of the state and provide for other Confederate troops. However some textile mill owners seem driven more by profits than by patriotism.

  • 20 November. Two Confederate armies, the Army of Mississippi commanded by General Braxton Bragg and the Army of Kentucky under General E. Kirby Smith, are merged to form the Army of Tennessee under Bragg. This is not the same army as the Army of the Tennessee, the Union army whose name refers to the Tennessee River. Bragg becomes commander of the new army.

  • 24 November. Writing from near Fredericksburg, Virginia, James A. Graham describes "large crowds of the ladies and children coming out of the town, with just such little things as they could save in their hasty flight." Union guns positioned across the river are threatening to shell the town.

  • This month in Columbus, Georgia, Louis Haiman and his brother are operating a factory covering a city block. In addition to many other military items, they make swords which are now collector's items, over 100 swords a week. The factory is destroyed towards the end of the war and after the war Haiman builds a new business . . . making plows.

This Month's Fiction

Adult Fiction

Children's Fiction

This Month's Non-Fiction

Adult Nonfiction

Children's Nonfiction

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