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The Civil War Month by Month: Jan 1865

CW - 150

Civil War 150th anniversary

The Civil War 150th Anniversary

Interesting facts, links, and suggested books for each month of the Civil War.

January 1865

This Month's Events

  • 2 January. The captain of the Rebecca Hertz slips into Savannah at night with a full cargo from Nassau. Going to report his cargo at the Customs House, the captain finds an American flag flying over it and his ship is confiscated. It appears that the Rebecca had been the last blockade runner to leave Savannah before its capture by Union troops and that news of that event had not reached Nassau.

  • 5 January. Today a fire breaks out at the Charlotte, North Carolina railroad depot, destroying a Quartermaster's warehouse and an estimated $20,000,000 dollars in buildings, military supplies, food, and clothing. Two engineers manage to couple their locomotives to waiting cars and pull them through the flames so, through luck and courage, little rolling stock is lost.

  • 12 January. Fort Fisher on the Cape Fear River in North Carolina is attacked for a second time. [See previous month.] Fifty-eight Union warships bombard the fort. It is estimated that 100 shells a minute are bursting above and inside the fort. After 3 days of bombardment 5200 Union soldiers attack the 1900 defenders. In hand-to-hand combat, the fort is captured, but the cost is high in the war's largest sea-land battle: more than 1300 Union casualties and 500 Confederates. The Union now controls all Confederate ports.

  • 14 January. Emil Frey, a Union captain who had been captured at Gettysburg, is released from Libby Prison. He promptly rejoins his regiment and will serve in the final campaigns in the Carolinas. After the war he will return home to Switzerland -- he had been touring America when he impulsively volunteered for the army. He does well at home, becoming president of the Swiss Confederation. Emil is the only known Civil War soldier to become the head of a foreign government.

  • 25 January. Florena Budwin, age 20, dies of pneumonia at the POW prison in Florence, South Carolina. Disguised as a male, she had been serving alongside her husband when both were captured and sent to Andersonville. After her husband is killed by a guard, she remains in Andersonville until transferred to Florence. Only after she becomes ill, does a doctor realize that she is a woman. Florena's origins are a mystery; she seems to have given a false name.

  • 31 January. Robert E. Lee is made commander-in-chief of all Confederate forces.

  • 31 January. The U. S. Congress passes the proposed 13th Amendment to the Constitution. "Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." Lincoln will sign the bill the next day and the amendment goes to the states for ratification.

This Month's Fiction

Adult Fiction

Children's Fiction

This Month's Non-Fiction

Adult Nonfiction

How the North Won : a Military History of the Civil War, by Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones, pub. 1982, 762 p."This is superb military history: analytic, comprehensive, discursive, controversial in the best sense and always stimulating . . . a book which has been and will be read and reread by students of the War, for information, fresh interpretation, and sheer enjoyment."--Dudley T. Cornish, Military Affairs.

Children's Nonfiction

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