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The Civil War Month by Month: Feb 1864

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 1864

This Month's Events

  • 4 February. In Richmond, J. B. Jones notes in his diary, "Eighteen car loads of coffee went up to the army today. I have not tasted coffee or tea for more than a year."

  • 7 February. A Union force occupies Jacksonville, Florida.

  • 9 February. After 45 days of digging a tunnel, 109 Union officers escape from the Confederate Libby Prison in Richmond. Although 48 escapees are recaptured, it is still the largest prison break of the war.

  • 9 February. The Fanny and Jennie, a Confederate blockade runner is sunk off Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. According to John Harden's The Devil's Tramping Ground and Other North Carolina Mystery Stories, she has aboard a special present for Robert E. Lee from British sympathizers -- a sword made of gold and studded with jewels. Although the wrecked ship remained visible for many years, no one has ever found the fabled sword.

  • 17 February. In the world's first successful submarine attack on a warship, the Confederate ship Hunley sinks the USS Housatonic off Charleston, S. C. and then sinks herself on the way back. The discovery and salvaging of the Hunley, now on display in Charleston, is an archaeological triumph.

  • 17 February. The Confederate Congress passes "An act to organize forces to serve during the war." It extends the draft to include men between 17 and 50 (and including those ages).

  • 19 February. David Schenck in Lincoln County is very upset by anti-war sentiment in neighboring Gaston County. "I was grieved to see Gaston County so much disaffected, chiefly through the influence of one Wm. Stone, a man of bad moral character, but whose profession as a physician gives him some standing," he wrote. "The intelligence of the county is all loyal but the bad men of every class are united in opposition to the Government and the war - in fact are tories of the worst stamp." He even went one step further noting that, "one observable feature is that the tories of this day are the direct descendants of the tories in the revolution of 1776."

  • 20 February. At Olustee, Florida, (aka Ocean Pond) the Union troops striking inland from Jacksonville are badly defeated, losing 2,000 men. This is the largest battle in Florida.

  • 20 February. The Confederate Secretary of the Treasury issues a "communication" outlining new taxes. The Confederate Congress has finally decided to tax land and slaves, but at their 1860 values, ignoring rampant inflation, so the taxes will not produce the revenue the nation needs to support its currency.

  • 24 February. A train of "platform cars" [flat cars] carrying Union prisoners to Salisbury crosses the Yadkin River in North Carolina. Aboard is Private Robert Knox Seden who will write and illustrate what has been described as "one of the most important Civil War documents ever produced." His picture of the train on the Yadkin trestle is one of very few images available of this part of North Carolina at the time. See Eye of the Storm below.

  • 25 February. The first Union captives are placed in the prison at Andersonville, Georgia. It is formally known as Camp Sumter, but will always be remembered as Andersonville.

This Month's Fiction

Adult Fiction

Young Adult Fiction

Children's Fiction

After the Rain: Virginia's Civil War Diary, by Mary Pope Osborne, pub. 2001, 108 p. In Ms. Osborne's sequel to My Brother's Keeper, Ginny moves to Washington, D.C. ... where the cold winter brings uncertainty and hardship. Virginia takes a job as a servant in a wealthy home to help her family. But, just as things start to improve as her father gets a job, and the war finally comes to an end, the tragic assassination of Ginny's beloved President Lincoln occurs. In this, her second diary chronicling the Civil War, Ginny learns that life is constantly changing. Indeed, even as Lincoln dies, her nephew is born. Throughout, Ginny faces life with hope and courage. Gr. 2-5.

This Month's Non-Fiction

Adult Nonfiction

Children's Nonfiction

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