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The Civil War Month by Month: Feb 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.

February 1863

This Month's Events


  • 3 February. French diplomats offer their services as mediators to end the war. Their offer is rejected several days later by the United States.
              Meanwhile Great Britain announces that their country will not play the part of mediators either.

  • 5 February. General Joseph Hooker reorganizes the Army of the Potomac. His cavalry chief is George Stoneman, a name North Carolinians will become familiar with.

  • 9 February. Francis Fries of Salem, North Carolina is a frustrated man. His mills are all set to make desperately needed cloth for Confederate army uniforms and blankets, but the wool he has purchased is stuck in Texas -- the Union advance along the Mississippi is preventing materials from crossing the Confederacy -- just what the Union wants to do. Fries's wool sits and rots in Texas and he writes today that he has lost "between 50 & $60,000", much more than his profits for the year.

  • 25 February. Major General Daniel Harvey Hill takes command of all North Carolina forces.

  • 28 February. The newspaper in Richmond, Virginia carries a long ad offering a $200 reward for the return of 5 slaves, all lately purchased from North Carolina, "runaway from the Carbon Hill Mines". Their names are Harry Williams, Ben Williams, Jim Lawrence, George Holy, and Ryall Griffin. After detailing their descriptions, the ad notes, "Jim is no doubt the leader of the party, and is probably endeavoring to reach the Yankee lines near Goldsborough." These men and many others will run great risks in their attempts to reach the freedom of the Union lines.

  • During this month the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory reverses it position on both secession and slavery, swinging support to the Union.

  • During this month in Charlotte, North Carolina which is now a major manufacturing and munitions center, the Charlotte and South Carolina Railroad announces that, due to heavy use, the company has bought 40 slaves to work on the railroad. The railroad links to Charlotte will remain important to the very end of the war.

This Month's Fiction

Adult Fiction

Children's Fiction

Rebel Mail Runner, by Manly Wade Wellman, pub. 1954, 221 p., call #: J Wel NC. This story about the Confederate Underground Mail Service is based on fact and, while the hero Barry Mills is fictional, his commander Absalom Grimes was a real person who smuggled mail from Missouri into the deep South.

This Month's Non-Fiction

Adult Nonfiction

Lee's Maverick General, Daniel Harvey Hill, by Hal Bridges, pub. 1961, 323 p., call #: 923.573 Hill B. Among the high-ranking gray uniforms Daniel Harvey Hill caused a stir as a sash of red in a bullpen would. Hot-tempered, outspoken, he stormed his way through the Civil War, leading his soldiers at Malvern Hill and Antietam, and sometimes stepping on the toes of superiors. But he was much more than a seemingly impervious shield against Union bullets: a devout Christian, a family man, a gloomy fatalist, an intellectual. This book makes clear that he was often caught in the crossfire of military politics and ultimately made a scapegoat for the costly, barren victory at Chickamauga

Children's Nonfiction

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