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The Civil War Month by Month: Nov 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.

November 1864

This Month's Events


  • 5 November. The Confederate government dumps some 8,000 Union prisoners on the prison at Salisbury, North Carolina. Eventually more than 10,000 men will be confined in a hell hole even worse than Andersonville.

  • 8 November. Lincoln, running against General George B. McClellan, is re-elected by more than 400,000 popular votes including votes by soldiers in the armies. This move by several states to allow the men in the field to vote while away from home is a first in U. S. history. Andrew Johnson of Tennessee is the new Vice President.

  • 15 November. Sherman issues orders to destroy everything of military value in Atlanta. The city burns, and although it is not the first or the last city to do so, it leaves an image that will endure in American songs and stories.
    "I left my home in Georgia
    In May of sixty-three.
    I come here to Virginia
    To fight for General Lee.

    But I can't fight this mornin'
    I must be southward bound.
    My Jenny's in Atlanta
    And Atlanta's burnin' down."
  • 16 November. Sherman leaves Atlanta with 62,000 men and begins his 300 mile "March to the Sea".

  • 22 November. On the run from a Confederate prison in Columbia, South Carolina, Charles Mattocks and his companions are trying to reach Union forces in Tennessee. His carefully kept diary entries talk about the wonderful food given them by local Negroes and Union supporters in the North Carolina mountains, especially the apples. Today's entry notes, "This is a great region for "bushwhacking" and many a bloody battle has been fought between the outlyers and the provost guards sent to hunt and arrest them. Every man, even every boy above 12 years of age is thoroughly armed, and it [is] said that the long, old-fashioned, but deadly rifles, have at times made sad work with the emissaries of Jefferson Davis." Charles will make it to within a mile and a half of the Union lines, only to be recaptured.

  • 25 November. The Confederate Secret Service equips eight agents with "Greek fire", a flammable substance, to use in a plot to burn New York City by setting fire to hotels and other public buildings, including P. T. Barnum's Museum. Most of the fires are quickly extinguished without casualties. One agent is caught and hung; the others escape to Canada.

  • 30 November. The Battle of Franklin in Tennessee is a disaster for the Confederates. In a head-on attack over a mile of open ground, the Confederates lose 6200 men. Among the 6 generals killed is Patrick Cleburne, the highest ranking Irishman in both armies. There are 49 bullet holes in his body. However General John Bell Hood continues his planned march towards Nashville. [See next month.]

  • This month in Robeson County, North Carolina relations between the Lumbees, local people of Indian descent, and the surrounding whites worsen. As non-whites the Lumbee men are being used as forced labor on the defenses of Wilmington. While Lumbees are serving in the Confederate forces, as Sherman's army draws nearer, Lumbees find themselves making common cause with Union escapees from a nearby prison camp. As in other areas of the state, the fighting between local people will escalate and become bloodier.

This Month's Fiction

Adult Fiction

Children's Fiction

This Month's Non-Fiction

Adult Nonfiction

Children's Nonfiction

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