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The Civil War Month by Month: Dec 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.

December 1863

This Month's Events

  • 4 December. General James Longstreet's Confederate forces abandon the siege of Knoxville, Tennessee leaving the city to be occupied by the Union 2 days later. Longstreet has tied up men who could have reinforced Bragg at Chattanooga without gaining any advantage. The Union now controls eastern Tennessee.

  • 8 December. Lincoln issues a proclamation offering full pardon to all rebels who will voluntarily take a prescribed oath.

  • 15-16 December. Major General George Thomas wins a "resounding victory" over John Bell Hood's Confederates at Nashville, Tennessee. Hood had originally planned to block Sherman's march east, but Sherman evaded him and left the defense of Tennessee to Thomas who effectively destroys the Confederate army facing him.

  • 27 December. General Joseph E. Johnston takes command of the Army of Tennessee at Dalton, Georgia; Jefferson Davis having finally accepted a resignation from his favorite general, Braxton Bragg.

  • This month The Confederate Congress repeals the law allowing men to buy substitutes for military service. This practice has existed since the Revolution, but is bitterly resented as the price of a substitute has risen to over $1000, much more than the average small farmer can afford. Many soldiers grumble, "This is a rich man's war and a poor man's fight."

  • This month at Salem, North Carolina, Moravian minister George Frederic Bahnson writes a summary of the past year, commenting on hard times caused by the war and by floods in the area. "While we were once living in a land flowing with milk and honey and yielding even to the poor the necessaries of life, not only have plenty and abundance left us in general, but want and destitution have taken their place." He mentions high prices and shortages (bacon "not to be had"), but nevertheless is thankful. "No footprint of an enemy has been seen in our parts, while elsewhere the fairest portions of the land, our own state not excepted, have been overrun and destroyed." .

This Month's Fiction

Adult Fiction

Young Adult Fiction

Children's Fiction

This Month's Non-Fiction

Adult Nonfiction

Children's Nonfiction

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