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The Civil War Month by Month: Jun 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.

June 1864

This Month's Events

  • 1 June - July 15. Colonel George W. Kirk, leads 130 men of the Federal 3rd N. C. from Morristown, Tennessee into North Carolina to capture and destroy Camp Vance near Morganton. They capture a number of prisoners, enlist a number of Confederate draftees who are at the camp for training, and then return safely to Tennessee.
    Word of this raid comes to Lincolnton. Wrote diarist David Schenck, "At once our quiet town was in commotion, the Court house bell was rung and the citizens assembled for consultation. It was a very serious time and every man felt that war had come to his door. A volunteer company, 58 strong, composing al present was immediately formed under command of Capt John F. Hoke and by 10 o'clock pickets were thrown out on all the roads of approach and the balance were held as reserve at the Court House. I remained on picket all night on the Newton road." After this alarm, the Lincolnton council asks for arms to equip a home defense force.

  • 3 June. Today is the heaviest day of fighting in the 13 day battle at Cold Harbor, Virginia. Lee wins his last major victory over Union troops, defeating a vastly larger force. However, once again, the Union can replace lost troops and Lee is less and less able to do the same.

  • 14 June. In 8 hours 450 Union engineers build a pontoon bridge across the James River, enabling Grant's forces to cross the river and move toward Petersburg, Virginia. At 2100 feet this is the longest pontoon bridge ever used in war.

  • 15-18 June. Grant is unable to take Petersburg and begins a siege that will continue for almost a year. The city is an important railroad center and its possession important to both sides.

  • 17 June. General Gabriel Raines, a North Carolinian, is made the head of the Confederacy's new Torpedo Bureau. The "torpedoes" are based on an invention of Samuel Colt's and are more akin to what we today call a mine.

  • 19 June. Private Benjamin H. Freeman writes home to Franklin County, North Carolina from Virginia "in line of battle on the north side of Petersburg VA clost to the Apermatox." Among other items of news, he tells them, "I washed and put on a clean shirt and draw[er]s. Today the first time since about the second of May. I threw away the ones I pulled off." (Obviously the lack of bathing facilities and clean clothes is contributing to the high number of deaths from disease.)
  • The Battle of the USS Kearsarge and the CSS Alabama, Edouard Manet
  • 19 June. Off the coast of France in front of a crowd of spectators, the USS Kearsage sinks the famous raider, the CSS Alabama. Inspired by the accounts of the spectacle, artist ├ëdouard Manet painted "Battle of the USS Kearsarge and the CSS Alabama."

  • 21 June. A Union officer, Brigadier General Francis Channing Barlow (1834-1896), captures several Confederate officers on June 21, 1864. This otherwise unnoticed incident was immortalized in paint by artist Winslow Homer who was an artist-correspondent [journalist] during the war. The painting did much to make him famous.
    Prisoners from the Front, Winslow Homer

  • 27 June. Fires break out along the Kennesaw Mountain battle lines as Union troops are forced back. Confederate Colonel William Martin orders his men to stop firing and both sides work to rescue the wounded before the fire reaches them. The next day Union officers will present Martin with a pair of Colt pistols as a token of appreciation.

This Month's Fiction

Adult Fiction

Children's Fiction

This Month's Non-Fiction

Adult Nonfiction

The Confederate letters of Benjamin H. Freeman, compiled and edited by Stuart T. Wright, pub. 1974, 109 p., call #: 973.782 F NC. Benjamin, a young farmer (he always reports on the condition of the crops he sees), wrote faithfully to his parents in Franklin County, North Carolina. This collection begins with him as a new recruit in May 1862 and ends with a letter from Petersburg, Virginia in March 1865. Ben survived to surrender at Appomattox.

The Confederate Raider Alabama: Selections from Memoirs of Service Afloat During the War Between the States, by Raphael Semmes. Edited, with an introduction, by Philip Van Doren Stern, pub. 1962, 464 p.

Children's Nonfiction:

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