BECK index

Lincoln’s War for Emancipation in 1863

by Sanderson Beck

US Civil War January-February 1863
US Civil War March-April 1863
US Civil War May-July 1863
US Civil War August-October 1863
US Civil War November-December 1863

US Civil War January-February 1863

      President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on 1 January 1863, and he designated the states and excepted parts of states. After talking with the historian George Bancroft about the danger of a slave insurrection the President included language enjoining the freed slaves to abstain from violence. His final version included the following paragraphs:

  And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid,
I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves
within said designated States, and parts of States,
are, and henceforward shall be free;
and that the Executive government of the United States,
including the military and naval authorities thereof,
will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.
  And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free
to abstain from all violence,
unless in necessary self-defence;
and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed,
they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.
  And I further declare and make known,
that such persons of suitable condition,
will be received into the armed service of the United States
to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places,
and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.
  And upon this act, sincerely believed to be
an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution,
upon military necessity,
I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind,
and the gracious favor of Almighty God.1

The war to preserve the Union as it had been before the forming of the Confederate States of America (CSA) was transformed into a war to emancipate the slaves in those states. Prior to this day Lincoln was committed to maintaining the Union as it was when he was elected whether slavery was ended or not. Now slaves in the Confederate States could run away to Union lines and be free. He was committed to freeing all the slaves in the CSA by means of the ongoing war which was turning out to be rather deadly and miserable for so many people. The Emancipation Proclamation also aimed at wiping out what the South considered to be $3 billion of property. William Seward made the ironic but short-sighted comment, “We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them, and holding them in bondage where we can set them free.”2
      The Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens realized that Lincoln would not put back into slavery those whom he had declared free, and therefore there was no chance anymore for “a restored Union with slavery as it was.” Yet Stephens also knew, “A large majority on both sides are tired of the war: want peace.”3 Yet the North did not want peace without Union while the South did not want peace without independence.
      By January 3 Union General Rosecrans had taken over Murfreesboro as General Bragg’s Confederate army retreated to Manchester, Tennessee. On the 9th General Grant moved his army from Holly Springs, Mississippi to Memphis, Tennessee. He suffered from severe migraine headaches that would trouble him throughout the war. Rain and flooding caused quagmires that led to spreading of smallpox, typhoid, dysentery, measles, malaria, and pneumonia, and at one time a third of his army was sick. While Grant was gone, General Sherman approved a plan to send 28,944 troops under General McClernand and Admiral Porter up the Arkansas River to the Arkansas Post. On January 11 they attacked Fort Hindman and had 134 killed and 898 wounded while killing 26 and wounding 81; but they captured the other 4,791 Confederate soldiers including 36 officers.
      On January 13 the Pennsylvania General Assembly by only two votes elected to the US Senate the Democrat Charles Buckalew over Republican Simon Cameron.
      A rainstorm on January 20 made the roads muddy as General Burnside’s Union Army of the Potomac plodded along the Rappahannock. Union desertions were especially high after Fredericksburg and the muddy march, and in 1863 they would average 4,650 per month. On January 22 Burnside tried to remove Hooker and six other generals. However, on the 25th President Lincoln accepted Burnside’s resignation and relieved generals E. V. Sumner and W. B. Franklin; but he appointed Joseph Hooker the new commander. In a letter to Hooker the next day Lincoln wrote,

I have heard, in such a way as to believe it,
of your recently saying that
both the army and the government needed a dictator.
Of course it was not for this, but in spite of it,
that I have given you the command.
Only those generals who gain successes
can set up dictators.
What I now ask of you is military success,
and I will risk the dictatorship.4

      Charles Francis Adams, Jr. commented that Hooker’s headquarters was like a barroom and a brothel. Yet Hooker won over his men by removing corrupt quartermasters, improving food, cleaning up camps and hospitals, granting furloughs, giving each corps an insignia badge to boost morale, and organizing the cavalry as a separate corps.
      Clement Vallandigham was an Ohio Democrat who opposed the war. Republicans gerrymandered his defeat in the 1862 House elections, but his farewell speech on January 14 would be published as the pamphlet “The Constitution-Peace-Reunion,” making him a leader of the anti-war Copperheads. He criticized the war’s defeats, taxes, debt, suspension of habeas corpus, and violations of free speech and press. He said,

The Constitution gives the power to Congress,
and to Congress alone,
to suspend the writ of habeas corpus,
but it can only be done in case of invasion or rebellion,
and then only when the public safety requires it.5

      Vallandigham suggested solutions such as stopping the killing, agreeing to an armistice, withdrawing troops from the seceded states, reducing both armies, restoring free trade between North and South, ending the blockade and reducing the navy, and so on. He saw a “thousand times” more barbarism and sin in the war “and the enslavement of the white race by debt and taxes and arbitrary power” than in black slavery. He was more concerned about “the welfare, peace, and safety of the white race.” He went on a speaking tour.
      At a mass meeting in New York City the Peace Democrats called the war illegal and unconstitutional. Those in the states from Ohio to the west were called “Butternuts,” and some who opposed the war even proposed a Northwest Confederacy in Union with the South in order to exclude New England for a time.
      The 109th Illinois had recruited men from the southern portion of the state, and desertions and fraternizing with the enemy resembled mutiny so much that in January the entire regiment was arrested and guarded.
      On January 31 the 1st Regiment South Carolina Volunteer Infantry was formed for free Negroes with the abolitionist Thomas Wentworth Higginson as their commander. He had supported John Brown’s efforts to free slaves. Higginson ordered his officers to treat the blacks as soldiers, and he banned the word “nigger” and other insulting terms as well as demeaning punishment. He led them on a raiding expedition at the Georgia-Florida border and was impressed by their fiery energy. He advised strict discipline and wrote,

No officer in this regiment now doubts that
the key to the successful prosecution of this war
lies in the unlimited employment of black troops.
Their superiority lies simply in the fact that
they know the country, while white troops do not,
and, moreover, they have peculiarities of temperament,
position, and motive which belong to them alone.
Instead of leaving their homes and families to fight
they are fighting for their homes and families.6

      Col. Montgomery of Kansas was authorized to raise a black regiment in January and formed the 2nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment on May 22. He employed Harriet Tubman to collect intelligence, and with 250 black soldiers on June 2 she led their expedition that brought back 727 slaves. Her inspiring speeches reminded them that she had led hundreds of slaves to freedom.
      Recruiting for the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment began in February at Camp Meigs near Boston. Two sons of Frederick Douglass enlisted, and Massachusetts Governor John A. Andrew put young Robert Shaw in command.
      On February 2 the US Congress appropriated $3,000 to purchase and distribute cotton and tobacco seeds in the states. The next day the French minister Mercier met with US Secretary of State Seward in Washington to offer mediation between the US and the CSA; but Seward rejected it as “interference by a foreign power in a family dispute,”7 and the US Congress was similarly offended.
      General Sherman was concerned that newspapers often made public military secrets that aided their enemies, and on February 5 at a court martial in Young’s Point, Louisiana he accused Thomas W. Knox, who reported for the New York Herald, of spying, informing the enemy, and of accompanying the Army in violation of orders. After several weeks a court martial convicted him only of disobeying orders. He was expelled from army lines and warned that he would be arrested if he returned.
      On February 9 Lt. Commander Fitch of the USS Fairplay reported that they had convoyed 73 steamers and 16 barges to Nashville. On the 12th the CSS Florida captured the Jacob Bell clipper ship that was bringing tea, firecrackers, matting, and camphor oil from China valued at $2 million, and the next day they burned that ship. The USS Queen of the West was attacked when it returned to Simmesport, Louisiana on February 12, and in reprisal the next day they destroyed the town’s buildings and three nearby plantations; but on the 14th Confederate forces captured the Queen of the West, though most of the crew escaped on floating cotton bales.
      General Grant was using the Yazoo River to get soldiers near Vicksburg’s defenses, and on February 19 they faced heavy skirmishing. On that day mass rallies in Liverpool and Carlisle, England supported the emancipation of slaves, making it less likely the British government would recognize the Confederacy. On February 24 the US Congress organized the Arizona Territory by removing it from the New Mexico Territory. The next day Lincoln signed the National Bank Act establishing a central bank for the third time in US history with a currency system. The Act favored the National Bank by levying a high tax on state banks. The National Bank was required to have one-third of the capital invested in government bonds and could have bank notes for 90% of those bonds. Treasury Secretary Chase believed this would improve the market for war bonds. In February the US War Department estimated that 282,000 men were absent from their commands.
      On February 26 Confederate bushwhackers stopped a Union train near Woodburn, Tennessee and stole more than 200 mules along with commercial and military supplies before burning the train.

US Civil War March-April 1863

      On March 3 the United States organized the Idaho Territory, and on the same day the US Congress passed the Civil War Military Draft Act that required every male citizen and immigrants who had applied for citizenship between 20 and 45 years to be enrolled in the military. To lower the prices paid for substitutes draftees could pay the government $300 for commutation. Also those 18 and 19 could be hired as substitutes. About 207,000 were drafted; but 87,000 paid the commutation fee while 74,000 provided substitutes, resulting in only 46,000 being enrolled. In the South substitutes could get more than $1,000. The Newark Evening Journal editorialized,

It will be seen that Mr. Lincoln has called
for another half million of men.
All who wish to be butchered will please step forward.
All others will please stay at home and defy Old Abe.8

Also on March 3 Lincoln signed the National Academy of Sciences Act. The US Congress funded the removal of all Indians from Kansas. On the 5th the Union Army recognized that having soldiers do their own cooking was not working well because they had not learned how to cook, having been served by mothers and wives.
      On March 6 in Detroit the Spanish Indian William Faulkner was tried for molesting a white girl. The Provost Guard protecting Faulkner fired blanks to disperse a crowd, and then a bullet killed a German man. The angry mob attacked blacks, and Joshua Boyd was severely wounded, beaten, and died. In the riot the homes of over 200 blacks and some whites were destroyed.
      That winter the Richmond Dispatch reported that food prices had multiplied by ten since the war began. Lee’s army was reduced to half-rations by March when food distribution in Richmond and other large cities was scarce. On March 11 the Confederate Bureau of Conscription ruled that clerks, who had been appointed after 11 October 1862, were now eligible to be drafted. On the 13th an explosion in the Richmond Arsenal killed 45 women and children. On that day Grant was so drunk that he spent the next day ill in bed. The Cincinnati Commercial editor Murat Halstead wrote that Grant was so foolishly drunk for 24 hours that his staff locked him in his state-room on the steamer for 24 hours, and the letter was sent to Treasury Secretary Chase who gave it to Lincoln.
      On March 14 Admiral Farragut led an attack with seven ships against the Port Hudson shore batteries; but only two ships could pass by as the others retreated. The USS Mississippi ran aground and lost 64 men while other ships picked up the crew of 223. The Union attempt to attack Vicksburg from the rear by rivers was cancelled on March 22, though they destroyed much corn and cotton while stealing horses, mules, and cattle.
      On March 16 War Secretary Stanton initiated the American Freedmen’s Inquiry Commission to study how the condition of the black Americans could be improved, and they would propose an agency to preside over freedmen whom they encouraged to become owners of farms and gardens they occupied. In 1862 the New England Freedmen’s Aid Society had sent 31 men and women to teach in schools established on plantations and in towns in South Carolina, and by June 1863 about 5,000 blacks were in school. This education was extended to areas where Union troops were in control. In 1863 General Banks began public education in the Department of the Gulf with a Board of Education for Freedmen supervising schools. By the end of 1864 they had 95 schools there with 162 teachers including some blacks and with 9,571 pupils in day schools and 2,000 in evening schools.
      The first Union League or Loyal League may have been started as early as June 1862 in Pekin, Illinois by a Unionist from eastern Tennessee. The Union League spread in the Midwest and Atlantic states in the winter of 1863 as tens of thousands signed pledges in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and other eastern cities. New Yorkers led by organizers of the US Sanitary Commission such as the Unitarian Henry W. Bellows, writer George Templeton Strong, the chemist Oliver Wolcott Gibbs, and historian Frederick Olmstead started the Union League Club in February. On the 23rd a Union League Club began in a mansion at Philadelphia with speeches by Governor Curtis, the lawyer Horace Binney who defended Lincoln on the habeas corpus issue. They met on March 20 at Cooper Union, heard speakers, and chose a council that included William Cullen Bryant, George Bancroft, William E. Dodge, Francis Lieber, and the wealthy Alexander T. Stewart. General John Cochrane announced that 1,700 policemen had joined the League. Democrat Caleb Cushing criticized these groups for always backing the government and

for approving its acts however unwise they may be,
and lauding its members
however perverse and corrupt they may be,
is a spectacle never before exhibited in any country,
republican or monarchical, and which deserves to be
considered as a policy of mere hopelessness and despair.9

      British Prime Minister Palmerston told Parliament on March 27 that they would maintain strict neutrality during the American Civil War.
      On that day President Lincoln met with 14 Indian chiefs: 3 Cheyenne, 5 Kiowa, 2 Arapaho, 2 Comanches, 1 Apache, and 1 Caddo. He showed them a globe of the Earth which Professor Henry explained. Then Lincoln said,

We have people now present from all parts of the globe—
here, and here, and here.
There is a great difference between this palefaced people
and their red brethren,
both as to numbers and the way in which they live.
We know not whether your own situation
is best for your race,
but this is what has made the difference in our way of living.
The pale-faced people are numerous and prosperous
because they cultivate the earth, produce bread,
and depend upon the products of the earth
rather than wild game for a subsistence.
This is the chief reason of the difference;
but there is another.
Although we are now engaged in a great war
between one another, we are not, as a race,
so much disposed to fight and kill one another
as our red brethren.
You have asked for my advice.
I really am not capable of advising you whether,
in the providence of the Great Spirit,
who is the great Father of us all, it is best for you
to maintain the habits and customs of your race,
or adopt a new mode of life.
I can only say that I can see no way in which your race
is to become as numerous and prosperous as the white race
except by living as they do, by the cultivation of the earth.
It is the object of this Government
to be on terms of peace with you,
and with all our red brethren.
We constantly endeavor to be so.
We make treaties with you, and will try to observe them;
and if our children should sometimes behave badly,
and violate these treaties, it is against our wish.
You know it is not always possible for any father
to have his children do precisely as he wishes them to do.10

      A New York Tribune editorial on March 28 observed,

Facts are beginning to dispel prejudices.
Enemies of the negro race, who have persistently
denied the capacity and doubted the courage of the Blacks,
are unanswerably confuted
by the good conduct and gallant deeds
of the men whom they persecute and slander.11

      On March 29 Union forces evacuated Jacksonville after destroying most of the city. Confederate forces besieged Washington, North Carolina from March 30 to April 20.
      Lincoln still had to deal with many applicants for offices. To one man he said,

There are no emoluments that properly belong to patriotism.
I brought nothing with me to the White House,
nor am I likely to carry anything out.12
A brigadier led his cavalry into Confederate lines, and they were captured. Learning of this, Lincoln said he was more concerned about the horses because they cost the government $125 a head; but he could make a brigadier any day. Lincoln asked the Quaker Sergeant J. M. Stradling to explain to the soldiers why he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, saying,

The first and chief reason was this,
I felt a great impulse moving me
to do justice to five or six millions of people.
The second reason was that I believed it would be
a club in our hands with which we could whack the rebels.
In other words, it would shorten the war.
I believed that under the Constitution I had a right
to issue the proclamation as a “Military Necessity.”13

      On March 30 General Halleck directed Grant to implement the policy of putting liberated slaves to work as part of the military force. Grant’s army would liberate hundreds of thousands of slaves.
      The desertions from the 128th Illinois regiment at Cairo in March reduced it to 35 men, and in six months Illinois had 2,001 deserters arrested.
      On April 1 Lt. Commander Gillis with Union soldiers on the USS Commodore Morris on the Ware River in Virginia stole over 22,000 bushels of grain from Patterson Smith’s plantation and burned the grain they could not put on the ship. Confederate cavalry attacked the landing party but were routed by the ship’s guns.
      Confederate President Davis declared a day of fasting on March 27. On April 2 in Richmond a crowd of thousands demanded food and then rioted and looted. The mayor called out the City Battalion, and Davis stood on a cart, threw coins to the crowd, and ordered them to disperse within five minutes or face gunfire. At the last minute they moved away, and Davis had police arrest the leaders who were convicted and imprisoned briefly. After this the government began distributing some rice to those in need; merchants cut their prices in half; and the Richmond city council increased the food aid. President Jefferson Davis on April 10 urged people to plant gardens and grow vegetables to supply the Confederate Army which was suffering from scurvy and typhoid fever. On April 21 General Lee ordered the daily ration to a quarter pound of meat and one pound of flour with some rice three times a week. General Daniel H. Hill complained to the Confederate War Department that conscription in North Carolina was corrupt.
      On April 3 Lt. Commander Fitch led a Union fleet of five gunboats on the Cumberland River and destroyed the town of Palmyra, Tennessee for having fired on a Union convoy.
      Lincoln invited Thurlow Weed to the White House and asked him to raise $15,000 for the elections in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire in early April. Weed went back to New York and got $1,000 each from 15 people, and this helped Republicans defeat Copperhead Democrats. The Republican Senator James Dixon in Connecticut was re-elected with 52% of the vote. In New Hampshire a War Democrat became a third candidate, and that pushed the election into the Republican legislature.
      On April 6 Lincoln visited General Hooker at Fredericksburg and told him that Lee’s Confederate Army was their concern, not the city of Richmond. On the 7th Admiral Du Pont with nine ironclad steamers led a Union attack on Charleston harbor that failed and was abandoned.
      On April 12 Admiral D. D. Porter had 8 gunboats on the Arkansas and White rivers and 23 ships on the Tennessee River with 800 soldiers that Grant provided and 600 Negro contrabands working the guns in preparation for an attack on Vicksburg. On the 17th Col. Benjamin Grierson led 1,700 Union cavalry on mules from LaGrange, Tennessee to raid Mississippi and Louisiana for the next 16 days, a campaign depicted in the 1959 movie Horse Soldiers. They arrived at Baton Rouge on May 2 with 900 tired men who were cheered by the crowd. They fought in four battles, destroyed about 60 miles of railroad, and captured more than a thousand horses and mules.
      On April 22 General Grant sent six more steamers and twelve barges down river passing Vicksburg’s guns that destroyed one steamer and damaged two. He ordered commanders to cooperate with the raising of black troops, and he confirmed the dismissal of two officers who were going to resign in protest.
      Also in April the inventor William Bullock got a patent for a continuous-roll printing press that could print on both sides of the paper 12,000 sheets per hour.
      Francis Lieber (1798-1872) fought for Prussia in the Napoleonic Wars. He studied and earned a degree at the University of Berlin. After fighting briefly for Greek independence, in 1827 he moved to Boston where he founded the Encyclopedia Americana and published 13 volumes in Philadelphia by 1833. He taught history and political economics at South Carolina College for many years until 1856, then for the next nine years at Columbia College in New York and in the law school after 1860. He wrote the Lieber Code that President Lincoln issued as General Order No. 100 on 24 April 1863 covering martial law, military jurisdiction in relation to spying, desertion, and war prisoners. His purpose was to reduce damage of total war he called “savagery.” In the Code he wrote,

Men who take up arms against one another in public war
do not cease on this account to be moral beings,
responsible to one another and to God….
All wanton violence committed against persons
in the invaded country, all destruction of property
not commanded by the authorized officer,
all robbery, all pillage or sacking,
even after taking a place by main force,
all rape, wounding, maiming, or killing of such inhabitants,
are prohibited under the penalty of death,
or such other severe punishment
as may seem adequate for the gravity of the offense….
The unarmed citizen is to be spared in person, property,
and honor as much as the exigencies of war will admit.14

The Lieber Code described “military necessity” that allows violations of “armed enemies,” but it should not be used to justify cruelty, revenge, or torture. Lincoln and others would use the term “military necessity” to justify war against civilian “enemies.” The Lieber Code advanced the development of international law during wars and would influence the Hague Conventions (1899 and 1907), the Geneva Conventions (1949), and various international tribunals and courts.
      Lieber spoke to the Union League of Philadelphia on April 11, and its publication in May as No Party Now but All for Our Country went through several editions. This Republican manifesto argued that good citizens should support the total defeat of the South, ending slavery, promoting the draft, and resisting European neutrality.
      General Hooker organized, trained, and equipped an army of 130,000 men with restored morale, and on April 27 he led the Army of the Potomac out of winter quarters at Falmouth and across the Rappahannock River toward the rear of Lee’s army.
      An attempt to get six Union boats past the Vicksburg guns had resulted in sinking or severe damage to three of them on April 21. On the 29th Porter’s gunboats fired 1,729 rounds to help transport Grant’s troops past Grand Gulf and to the eastern side of the Mississippi. From there Grant moved his army toward Fort Gibson. The Confederates evacuated Grand Gulf, and Porter went south to the Red River which he went up on May 6 to Alexandria, Louisiana.
      Following a resolution of the US Senate, President Lincoln on March 30 had proclaimed April 30 “as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer.”
      In April Union forces led by Col. William A. Phillips occupied Fort Gibson in the Indian Territory, and they fought off a Confederate attack on May 20.

US Civil War May-July 1863

      On May 1 the Confederate Congress passed a law authorizing the enslavement or execution of captured Negro soldiers.
      General Grant’s 23,000 men defeated 8,000 Confederates to take Port Gibson, Mississippi on May 1, and two days later they occupied Grand Gulf which Confederates led by Pemberton had evacuated.
      Also on May 1 General Hooker’s army of 70,000 men caught up with Lee’s army moving north, and Hooker went on the defensive near Chancellorsville, Virginia. Lee had 47,000 troops and let Stonewall Jackson use 26,000 to attack Hooker’s flank. On May 2 after dark Jackson was returning to camp after looking for a road and was wounded accidentally by North Carolina infantry and had an arm amputated. That night part of Hooker’s army attacked the rear of Lee’s army. The battle at Chancellorsville went on until May 6 between the Union Army of 133,868 men against 60,298 Confederates. Each side had more than 1,600 men killed and over 9,000 wounded, but Union forces had nearly three times as many men captured or missing. Nearby on May 3 at the second battle of Fredericksburg the Union force led by General John Sedgwick had more casualties but forced the retreat of the 12,000 Confederates led by General Jubal Early. On May 6 Hooker’s army retreated to Falmouth. Stonewall Jackson, the South’s most effective general, died on May 10. It took more than ten days to move all the wounded men from the Chancellorsville battle into field hospitals.
      Hundreds of freed slaves traveling from the South probably lost their freedom in Kentucky where local officials arrested them as fugitive slaves and then sold them. Michigan Congressman Kellogg wrote a letter to General Burnside on May 4 complaining about this. Burnside had ordered such sales voided, but it was often not enforced.
      The Confederate General Earl Van Doren was known as a womanizer, and Dr. George Peters accused him of having an affair with his wife and shot him dead on May 7.
      Both sides had exempted aliens from the draft, but on May 8 Lincoln proclaimed that aliens who applied for citizenship would be eligible to be drafted. More than a thousand men volunteered for the first black regiment, the 54th Massachusetts, and on May 12 the extras began forming the 55th Massachusetts. Because black soldiers were being paid $10 per month while others received $16.50, in protest volunteers of the 54th refused to accept their lower pay.
      On May 14 Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony founded and became president and secretary of the Women’s Loyal National League that launched a campaign to amend the US Constitution to abolish slavery. Anthony organized 2,000 collectors of petitions.
      As Union armies led by Sherman, McPherson, and Grant approached Jackson, Mississippi, and the Confederate General Joe Johnston evacuated the city on May 14. Grant’s army of 32,000 men met 22,000 Confederates led by General John Pemberton at Champion’s Hill, Mississippi on May 16. Although the Union army suffered more battlefield casualties, they had only 187 missing while most of the 2,441 missing rebels were captured. As Pemberton’s army retreated into Vicksburg, Grant’s army took 1,700 more prisoners. His army surrounded the Vicksburg stronghold with help from gunboats on the Mississippi. On May 19 the Union assault on Vicksburg was repulsed. In another attack on the 22nd Grant’s army lost 3,200 men while Confederate casualties were less than 500. The decision to make that assault was one of Grant’s two biggest regrets of the war. On May 25 Pemberton proposed a short cease-fire, and Grant accepted that. Sherman had warned Grant that General McClernand would intrigue against him, and after McClernand sent an erroneous dispatch on the 22nd, Grant replaced him with General Edward Ord. As the Union army settled down for a siege, a doctor prescribed wine to relieve Grant’s headaches; but Grant had difficulty stopping once he started drinking. His chief-of-staff John Rawlins advised Grant to keep his commitment not to drink any more during the war, and he complied.
      On May 22 the US War Department organized the Bureau of Colored Troops, and the minister James Beecher, who had been a missionary to China, chaplain of the 1st Long Island Regiment, and commanded the 141st New York Volunteers, became Col. Beecher of the 1st North Carolina Colored Volunteers, a part of the United States Colored Troops (USCT). The US War Department approved less than 100 blacks becoming officers, and three-quarters of those were in General Butler’s Louisiana Department.
      On May 26 gold was discovered at Alder Gulch in the Montana Territory which would provide $30 million in three years to help the US war effort. General Nathaniel Banks had Port Hudson, Louisiana under siege since May 22, and an attack on the 27th by 13,000 men including a black regiment resulted in nearly 2,000 being killed. In June after bombarding Port Hudson for five weeks, Admiral Farragut informed General Banks that they were almost out of shells.
      Democrat Clement Vallandigham had criticized Lincoln and the war to a large audience at Columbus, Ohio on April 30. The next day he rode in a parade four miles long in Mount Vernon, Ohio. General Burnside issued an order forbidding sympathy for the enemy, and he had Vallandigham arrested in Dayton on May 5 at 3 in the morning and jailed him in Cincinnati. That day a crowd gathered at the Dayton Journal and became a mob that set fire to that office, destroying it and nearby shops. The next two days a military tribunal tried Vallandigham for treason and sentenced him to be imprisoned at a military prison in Boston until the war ended. He protested that he should have had a trial by a regular court only after an indictment by a grand jury. On May 16 a Democratic Convention in Albany, New York passed resolutions criticizing Lincoln for permitting the arrest of Vallandigham. On the 19th Lincoln commuted his sentence and banished him to the Confederacy. Union cavalry escorted him south of Murfreesboro with a flag of truce to General Bragg’s lines on May 25. On June 2 CSA President Davis sent Vallandigham to Wilmington, North Carolina where he was held as an alien enemy. On June 11 Ohio peace Democrats by a 411-11 vote nominated Vallandigham as their candidate for Governor of Ohio. The next day Lincoln wrote a fairly long letter in response to the Albany resolutions of May 16 that he addressed to the wealthy New York Democrat, Erastus Corning, justifying the constitutionality of his suspending habeas corpus because of the rebellion.
      Lincoln asked why he must shoot a deserter but could not touch an agitator who induces desertion. His views on civil liberties were published widely by the Union League and the Loyal Publication Society which along with the Order of the Stars and Stripes were organized by Republicans to fight the Copperheads in the North and counter the Knights of the Golden Circle and the Order of American Knights. The Golden Circle claimed they had a million members in the South, but they did not have many in the North. Lincoln told a professor that if jails could hold the Knights, they were too few to threaten the government; but if jails could not hold them, he asked what was he to do with them? On May 20 the New York Herald called the Loyal National League a “contractors’ cabal” of wealthy and influential people who raised money for partisan causes.
      On June 1 General Burnside had troops shut down the Chicago Times for having published disloyal statements, and they occupied their building. Many in the North criticized this. The next day Copperheads made speeches to 20,000 people in Chicago’s Court House Square, and they threatened to burn the Chicago Tribune. US Senator Trumbull and other Congressmen passed resolutions and telegraphed them to President Lincoln, who on June 4 had War Secretary Stanton revoke Burnside’s order.
      The Confederate Government took over the Iron Works in Selma, Alabama on June 1 and put Commander Catesby Jones in charge of manufacturing cannons for the Navy. Four US ships on the 4th and 5th went up the Mattaponi River to Walterton, Virginia where they destroyed the Confederate foundry that had produced ordnance. US troops in Mississippi on June 7 burned Brierfield Plantation which was owned by Jefferson Davis and his brother.
      Also on June 7 a Texas division of the Confederate army called General “Walker’s Greyhounds” attacked a Union supply depot at Milliken Bend, Mississippi garrisoned by black soldiers who with the Iowa infantry had a major role in defeating them. Union casualties were higher, but Grant praised the colored troops in their first significant engagement of the war.
      On the 9th the largest North American cavalry battle was fought at Brandy Station, Virginia between 11,000 Union men led by General Pleasonton and 9,500 under General Jeb Stuart. The Union side had more casualties; but they gained more confidence when neither side won. The next day General Hooker wanted to march on Richmond, but Lincoln told him that the target was Lee’s army.
      On June 11 colored regiments attacked Darien, Georgia, and Col. Montgomery ordered the town looted and burned. Col. Shaw reluctantly complied, but Col. Higginson sent a letter to Senator Charles Sumner complaining that such savage warfare demoralized the soldiers.
      Lee’s Confederate Army reached Winchester and occupied Berryville on June 13. General Hooker finally began to move the Army of the Potomac out of Falmouth. Union General Milroy’s 6,900 troops at Winchester were caught between two rebel armies and lost about 4,000 men most of whom were captured by the 15th. That day Lee’s vanguard took over Hagerstown, Maryland, destroyed telegraph lines, seized cattle, and spent Confederate money. To counter Lee’s invasion President Lincoln summoned 100,000 militia with 50,000 from Pennsylvania, 30,000 from Ohio, and 10,000 each from Maryland and West Virginia. On June 20 West Virginia became a state in the US.
      On the 26th General Early led a Confederate force through Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and that state’s Governor Curtin called for 60,000 volunteers for 90 days. Lincoln replaced General Hooker with General George Meade on June 28, and the next day Meade ordered the scattered Army of the Potomac to gather at Gettysburg. When Early’s Confederate force left York to go to Gettysburg, Meade ordered General Reynolds to occupy York.
      On June 30 the Union army of about 55,000 men led by General Rosecrans drove 45,000 Confederate forces out of Tullahoma, Tennessee. General James Garfield urged Rosecrans to defeat those Confederates before General Johnston sent more reinforcements, but Rosecrans again asked for more horses.
      On July 1 the Confederacy’s main army of about 73,000 men led by General Robert E. Lee was moving toward Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. They were confronted by the 9th New York Cavalry and then by Union infantry led by General John F. Reynolds who was killed by McPherson’s Woods. Then General Abner Doubleday led those troops in heavy fighting. The main portion of the Army of the Potomac with 104,049 soldiers was being established on Cemetery Hill and Ridge by Gettysburg. The 24th Michigan Volunteers with 496 men fought Confederates and lost 316 men killed or wounded.
      General Ulysses Grant’s army had surrounded the city of Vicksburg, the Union having already taken control of the Mississippi River. Confederate General Joe Johnston had a much smaller force at Clinton, Mississippi. At Vicksburg on July 4 General Grant accepted the surrender of General John Pemberton and 29,000 Confederates who laid down 60,000 muskets and rifles and left behind 17 cannons as they marched out. The next day Federal troops occupied the city and began supplying the desperate citizens. General Halleck complained that Grant’s release of parolees violated the laws of War. Grant led his army toward Johnston’s forces who quickly retreated.
      On July 2 General Lee sent General Longstreet’s regiment against Peach Orchard and Devil’s Den, and they drove Federals to Cemetery Ridge. CSA President Davis at Richmond sent Vice President Alexander Stephens to Hampton Roads with a flag of truce to negotiate a prisoner exchange, but US President Lincoln dismissed the request.
      General Lee on the 3rd ordered a frontal attack starting with artillery, and Union gunners fired back at the approaching Confederates. In this bloody battle each side had more than 23,000 casualties with a total of 7,863 killed, 27,222 wounded, and 10,195 captured or missing.
      General Lee began retreating with his army, but Union General Meade did not pursue them despite urging by Lincoln. Stephens arrived at Hampton Roads, but Federal officials refused to meet with him. Soon after these two major defeats at Gettysburg and Vicksburg the Confederacy’s most famous commercial raider, Raphael Semmes, noted that Confederate currency depreciated 1,000%.
      Meanwhile Morgan’s rebel cavalry raided Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio from July 2 until the 26th when a Union force of 2,600 men finally defeated the 800 men at Salineville.
      After much bombardment and a seven-week siege Port Hudson surrendered on July 9. The next day General Sherman’s army surrounded Jackson, Mississippi’s capital. Many of the troops in the armies of Grant and Sherman were dispersed for garrison duty, and the Confederacy’s access to the states of Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas became difficult.
      While Lee’s army was waiting for the Potomac River to go down after the rain so that they could cross, Union General Meade did not begin moving his army south until July 11. Lee’s army safely crossed the river back into Virginia on the 14th, followed by Meade’s army five days later. On that day President Davis wrote to Senator R. W. Johnson of Arkansas, “Our people have not generally realized the magnitude of the struggle in which we are engaged.”15
      Protests against the Union draft turned into riots on July 13 in New York City and spread to Boston and other cities. Because those who could pay $300 were exempted from the draft, protestors used the slogan, “A Rich Man’s War and a Poor Man’s Fight.” In three days at least 105 people in New York were killed or wounded as mobs destroyed property valued at $1,500,000. They burned the draft building first, and then various factions went off looting and burning different targets. Gangs that were mostly Irish burned Protestant churches and missions. At night mobs burned boardinghouses for blacks and an orphanage while 237 black children escaped by the back door. On the 14th the Democratic Governor Horatio Seymour at City Hall called the Conscription Act unconstitutional. In the next two days about 70,000 people participated in the riot. They killed 11 blacks, 8 soldiers, and 2 policemen. New York regiments had gone off to attack Lee’s army in Pennsylvania, and they were brought back to quell the riot, killing 84 or more. After the riots 10,000 infantry were kept in New York City. The draft was resumed there on August 19 when it was enforced by 20,000 troops.
      General Johnston got his Confederate army out of Jackson at midnight on July 17. On that day Lee wrote President Davis that his men needed shoes and clothing. Also on the 17th Union General James Blunt with 3,000 men defeated 6,000 Confederates and native allies at Honey Springs in the Indian Territory.
      On Morris Island, South Carolina the Union army of 5,000 men, which included the black 54th Massachusetts, assaulted Fort Wagner on July 18 and suffered a devastating defeat with 1,515 casualties compared to 174 Confederate losses while Col. Shaw and General George C. Strong were killed. The Union Navy besieged Charleston, South Carolina from July 18 until General Beauregard ordered Confederate forces to evacuate Morris Island on September 6. The next day Union troops occupied Fort Wagner.
      On July 30 President Lincoln threatened to retaliate if the Confederacy enslaved black prisoners of war.

US Civil War August-October 1863

      On August 5 Lincoln wrote a letter to General Nathaniel Banks, who was governing occupied Louisiana, and the President expressed his wishes as to what Louisiana would do. He hoped that they would adopt emancipation where it applied, and in developing race relations he encouraged them to educate young blacks.
      After many Confederate desertions President Davis on August 3 asked absent soldiers to return to their units, implying amnesty. On the 8th he declined to accept Lee’s resignation. In response to price gouging South Carolina froze prices of state supplies to 30% of the market price. On August 12 the British Flying Scud managed to get through the blockade to deliver 65,000 pounds of gunpowder, 7 tons of horseshoes, and medical supplies to Brazos, Texas.
      On August 21 Quantrill’s 450 outlaws raided and burned Lawrence, Kansas, killing 164 civilians with many targeted by lists while destroying property worth $1,500,000. Union General Ewing ordered civilians not loyal to the Union to leave the Kansas City area, and about 20,000 lost their homes, barns, and crops which were destroyed.
      The Confederate Congress had declared that any Union officer who commanded Negro troops if captured would be executed, but on August 27 President Davis refused to execute the captives, ordering them held without exchange.
      Union forces led by General Blunt moved from the Indian Territory and took over Fort Smith, Arkansas on September 1, and Col. Cloud with 1,500 men defeated 1,250 Arkansas cavalry at Devil’s Backbone. As Union forces were closing in, the Confederate Governor Harris Flanagan left the capital at Bayou Fourche (later Little Rock) on September 10. General Burnside’s army occupied Knoxville, Tennessee on September 2.
      On September 3 and 5 General Alfred Sully and 2,000 Union soldiers attacked and killed or wounded about 200 Sioux and took 156 prisoners as they were fleeing from their camp at White Stone Hill in Dakota Territory. Sully’s men had 22 killed and 38 wounded. After the battles about 600 Sioux, who were mostly Santee, found refuge in Canada.
      During the Union siege of Charleston Harbor the Confederate General Gabriel Rains wrote on September 2 to Richmond that the “subterra shells” he invented helped repulse a Union assault. These landmines were generally not used in the Civil War because they were considered unethical; but Rains had permission to deploy them around fortifications at Richmond, Mobile, Charleston, and the James River. By the end of the war about 2,000 of these mines had been deployed.
      Lincoln’s friend James C. Conkling helped organize a meeting in Springfield, Illinois to be held on September 3 that was supported by Governor Yates, Owen Lovejoy, Jesse Dubois, Abe’s law partner William Herndon, and others who invited the President to speak. Instead Lincoln on August 26 wrote Conkling a letter in which he argued that the way to attain peace was by suppressing the rebellion by force, that his Emancipation Proclamation was a constitutional and successful exercise of war powers, and that Negro troops were strengthening northern military power. He even concluded that if the war is successful,

It will then have been proved that, among free men,
there can be no successful appeal
from the ballot to the bullet,
and that they who take such appeal
are sure to lose their case, and pay the cost.16

He wanted Conkling to read his letter slowly, but a “botched up” version was telegraphed and published on September 3 and 4. Lincoln had stated that Confederate leaders had made no peace proposals, a falsehood that Rep. Fernando Wood of New York challenged.
      After six months of preparation criticized by General Halleck, the large Union army led by Rosecrans was finally closing in, and Confederate General Bragg evacuated Chattanooga, Tennessee on September 9, allowing General Thomas Crittenden’s Union division to enter the city. On September 15 Lincoln issued another proclamation suspending the writ of habeas corpus in more cases.
      On the 18th General Longstreet’s force reinforced Bragg’s Army of Tennessee, giving them about 65,000 men. They crossed Chickamauga Creek and fought the 60,000 in the Cumberland Army of Rosecrans at several places until Rosecrans withdrew his army on the 21st into Chattanooga where they were besieged. The Confederates suffered many more killed and wounded, but more than three times as many Union soldiers were captured or missing. All together 3,969 were killed with 24,430 wounded and 6,225 missing. On September 23 the Lincoln administration decided to relieve Rosecrans and send Hooker’s Army of the Potomac to Chattanooga which they reached by train on the 28th.
      In September at Mobile, Alabama a mob shouted “Bread or blood” and looted stores on Dauphin street. As the Union forces occupied Confederate territory, they required residents to swear allegiance or leave; most did, but others became refugees where many were close to starving.
      Both sides prohibited trade with the enemy; but after the price of cotton multiplied by ten in the North and salt’s cost quadrupled in the South, enterprising men found ways to trade cotton for salt. In Union occupied areas the US Treasury Department granted trade permits to merchants and planters who took a loyalty oath.
      William W. Holden was a Whig who as editor of the North Carolina Standard in Raleigh defended civil liberties and criticized the Confederate prosecution of the war. Now he realized that they could not win the war and that the draft, military despotism, and economic collapse were worse than reuniting with the United States. In September a Confederate War Department official accused him of advocating reconstruction of the Union, and on the 9th a brigade of Longstreet’s corps ravaged Holden’s newspaper office. The next day Holden’s supporters destroyed the office of a pro-Confederate newspaper in Raleigh.
      The North and the US Government were strengthened by increasing wealth from capital investments, more efficient machinery, improved agriculture, and mining gold in Nevada, iron in Michigan, silver in Colorado, and petroleum in Pennsylvania. On September 28 the black volunteers sent a letter by Corporal Robert Gooding to Lincoln asking for equal pay.
      In Missouri radical Republicans became concerned that the commanding General John M. Schofield was acting too conservatively as indicated by his letter on September 29 to his Acting Adjutant-General E. D. Townsend in which Schofield advised the

policy to enlist all able-bodied negroes in Mo.
who may be willing to enter the service,
giving to their masters receipts upon which
those who established their loyalty may base a claim
upon the Government for the value of the services lost.17

On September 30 radicals from Missouri led by Charles Drake went to Washington to meet with President Lincoln who said he inclined toward the radical view, but the conservatives included Missouri Governor Gamble and Frank Blair. On October 1 Lincoln wrote a letter to General Schofield to explain his policy that included the following passages:

  There is no organized military force in avowed opposition
to the general government, now in Missouri;
and if any such shall reappear, your duty in regard to it
will be too plain to require any special instruction.
Still the condition of things, both there and elsewhere,
is such as to render it indispensable to maintain for a time,
the United States Military establishment in that State,
as well as to rely upon it for a fair contribution
of support to that establishment generally.
  Your immediate duty, in regard to Missouri, now is
to advance the efficiency of that establishment,
and to so use it, as far as practicable, to compel
the excited people there to leave one another alone….
  Allow no one to enlist colored troops,
except upon orders from you, or from here through you.
  Allow no one to assume the functions
of confiscating property, under the law of congress,
or other wise, except upon orders from here.
  At elections, see that those, and only those
are allowed to vote, who are entitled to do so,
by the laws of Missouri, including as of those laws,
the restriction laid by the Missouri convention
upon those who may have participated in the rebellion.
  So far as practicable you will,
by means of your military force,
expel guerrillas, marauders, and murderers,
and all who are known to harbor, aid, or abet them.
But, in like manner, you will repress assumptions of
unauthorized individuals to perform the same service;
because under pretence of doing this,
they become marauders and murderers themselves.
To now restore peace, let the military obey orders;
and those not of the military, leave each other alone;
thus not breaking the peace themselves.
  In giving the above directions, it is not intended
to restrain you in other expedient and necessary matters
not falling within their range.18

This letter shows some of the military repression executed by Lincoln and others to preserve a “Union” instead of allowing nearly half the nation to experiment with a separate republic that could have been reformed to remove slavery without a major war as did nearly every other nation which had developed the evil institution of slavery during their colonial phase.
      The Union Army began recruiting black soldiers in Maryland, Missouri, and Tennessee on October 3 with compensation for loyal owners.
      On October 5 Lincoln wrote to Charles D. Drake and others who were in delegations from Missouri and Kansas that he headed. They had demanded that General Schofield be relieved by General Butler, that the Enrolled Militia in Missouri be broken up, and that elections not allow some people excluded by law to vote. Lincoln declined to remove Schofield and explained some of his difficulties this way:

We are in civil war.
In such cases there always is a main question;
but in this case that question is a perplexing compound—
Union and Slavery.
It thus becomes a question not of two sides merely,
but of at least four sides,
even among those who are for the Union,
saying nothing of those who are against it.
Thus, those who are for the Union with,
but not without slavery—
those for it without, but not with—
those for it with or without, but prefer it with—
and those for it with or without, but prefer it without.
Among these again, is a subdivision of those
who are for gradual but not for immediate,
and those who are for immediate,
but not for gradual extinction of slavery….
  To restrain contraband intelligence and trade,
a system of searches, seizures, permits, and passes,
had been introduced, I think, by Gen. Fremont.
When Gen. Halleck came, he found,
and continued this system,
and added an order applicable to some parts of the State,
to levy and collect contributions from noted rebels,
to compensate losses,
and relieve destitution caused by the rebellion….
  I hold whoever commands in Missouri, or elsewhere,
responsible to me,
and not to either radicals or conservatives.
It is my duty to hear all;
but at last, I must, within my sphere,
judge what to do, and what to forbear.19

      On September 28 Sara Josepha Hale, calling herself the “Editress of the ‘Lady’s Book,’” wrote to Lincoln asking to see him about having “the day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival.” On October 3 Lincoln issued his Proclamation of Thanksgiving.

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens
in every part of the United States, and also those who are
at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands,
to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November
next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise
to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.
And I recommend to them that while offering up
the ascriptions justly due to Him
for such singular deliverances and blessings,
they do also, with humble penitence
for our national perverseness and disobedience,
commend to His tender care all those who have become
widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers
in the lamentable civil strife in which
we are unavoidably engaged,
and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand
to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it
as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes
to the full enjoyment of peace,
harmony, tranquillity and Union.20

I have emphasized a few words because I strongly believe, which others should also consider, that President Lincoln could have avoided the terrible Civil War.
      On October 2 General Hooker’s army of 20,000 men arrived at Bridgeport, Alabama near Chattanooga after traveling 1,159 miles by railroad in seven days. General Lee’s Confederate army and General Meade’s Union army in October moved around in northern Virginia trying to get a superior position to the other without engaging in a major battle in October. Their most significant encounter was at Bristoe Station on the 14th when a Union force of 8,383 men under General Gouverneur Warren defeated General A. P. Hill and 17,218 Confederates who suffered 1,380 casualties compared to 540 Union losses.
      In Ohio elections on October 13 the Union Party candidate John Brough defeated the Copperhead Democrat Vallandigham for governor by more than 101,000 votes while for governor in Pennsylvania the incumbent Republican Andrew Curtin defeated the Democrat George Woodward by only 15,335 votes.
      On October 17 Lincoln issued a proclamation calling upon the states to raise their quotas for a total of 300,000 more soldiers by 5 January 1864 when a draft to obtain the proportion lacking would begin. Although they offered bounties of $402 for veterans and $302 for new recruits, the response was disappointing.
      General Grant managed to get around after his horse had fallen on him at New Orleans on September 4. On October 17 he met War Secretary Stanton at Indianapolis and traveled on a train with him to Louisville the next day. Grant’s command was extended from the Mississippi River to the Appalachian Mountains. General Rosecrans was relieved by General Thomas. General Sherman now commanded the Army of Tennessee, and General Burnside remained at Knoxville. Grant reached Chattanooga on October 23 and was briefed by Thomas; men were on half or quarter rations, and hundreds of draft animals were dying daily. In the next five days they set up the Cracker Line that enabled them to bring in supplies, restore full rations, and end the siege of Chattanooga. At Richmond mass meetings were being held to attempt to persuade the Confederate legislature to impose price controls.
      By October 1863 the Union Army had 59 black regiments with 37,482 men. Some blacks in the Massachusetts 54th and 55th refused to accept their pay until it was equal to the white soldiers’ salaries. Democrats and conservative Republicans in Congress blocked reforming this, and two black soldiers were court martialed and executed for protesting the injustice.
      Senator Sumner argued in the October Atlantic Monthly article “Our Domestic Relations: Power of Congress over the Rebel States” that the US Congress not the President with a military government should initiate legislation for the states that return to the Union. He suggested that the land could be divided “among patriotic soldiers, poor whites, and freemen.” He argued that rescued freedmen should not be thrown back into slavery. Sumner suggested the compromise of $200 compensation for each freed slave, but many abolitionists opposed compensating those who had stolen their labor. The National Intelligencer objected to making freedmen citizens with the right to vote and hold offices and accused Sumner of trying to make the Congress “piebald.” On October 3 Postmaster General Montgomery Blair had accused the abolition party of seeking “amalgamation, equality, and fraternity.”

US Civil War November-December 1863

      General Nathaniel Banks moved his Union force from New Orleans by ship and landed at Brazos Santiago, Texas on November 2, and they occupied the port of Corpus Christi on the 16th. Most of the Civil War armies went into winter quarters in November.
      On November 9 President Lincoln went to a theatre in Washington and saw John Wilkes Booth play the villain in the Marble Heart which had been translated from French by Charles Selby. On November 12 pro-Union delegates in Arkansas met and discussed how to get back into the Union.
      The Confederacy held elections between May and November and elected 65 who supported the Davis administration to 41 opposed, but they had lost 15 seats. In Missouri the Unconditional Unionist B. Gratz Brown was elected to the US Senate, and the incumbent Unionist US Senator John B. Henderson was re-elected.
      General Sherman joined Grant at Chattanooga on November 14. General Burnside withdrew into Knoxville on the 16th and was besieged by the Confederate army of General Longstreet. By then the Union’s naval blockade had stopped coal coming from Tennessee, slowing down the economies of Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina. In the first year and a half of the war the population of Richmond had increased from 40,000 to 140,000, and many were suffering deprivation.
      President Lincoln had been invited to make a “few appropriate remarks,” and on November 19 he attended the ceremony at the National Soldiers’ Cemetery at Gettysburg for about 20,000 soldiers who were killed there. To an audience of about 9,000 people the former Massachusetts Governor Edward Everett gave the main speech that lasted two hours during which he reviewed the history of human warfare. Then Ward Hill Lamon introduced Lincoln who gave his brief but famous Gettysburg Address, saying,

  Four score and seven years ago our fathers
brought forth on this continent, a new nation,
conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition
that all men are created equal.
  Now we are engaged in a great civil war,
testing whether that nation, or any nation
so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.
We are met on a great battle-field of that war.
We have come to dedicate a portion of that field,
as a final resting place for those
who here gave their lives that that nation might live.
It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
  But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—
we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground.
The brave men, living and dead,
who struggled here, have consecrated it,
far above our poor power to add or detract.
The world will little note,
nor long remember what we say here,
but it can never forget what they did here.
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here
to the unfinished work which they who fought here
have thus far so nobly advanced.
It is rather for us to be here dedicated
to the great task remaining before us—
that from these honored dead
we take increased devotion to that cause
for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—
that we here highly resolve that
these dead shall not have died in vain—
that this nation, under God,
shall have a new birth of freedom—
and that government of the people, by the people,
for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

      On November 23 the Union army led by General Thomas captured the Confederate outposts below Missionary Ridge near Chattanooga. The next day General Hooker’s Union division of about 10,000 men captured Lookout Mountain as 8,726 Confederates commanded by Carter Stevenson suffered heavier casualties and withdrew that night during a total eclipse of the moon. On the 25th General Grant’s army of 56,359 men led by Sherman and Hooker on the flanks with Thomas making the big push in the center defeated General Bragg’s army of 44,010 at Missionary Ridge near Chattanooga. More than a thousand men were killed with over 6,700 wounded. Grant claimed his army took 6,142 prisoners, but other estimates were lower.
      On the 26th forces led by generals Sherman and Thomas pursued Bragg’s retreating troops from Chickamauga Station to Ringgold, Georgia. General Hooker’s army of 16,000 was sent after the rearguard, but they were defeated at Ringgold Gap by General Patrick Cleburne’s 4,200 Confederates who were protecting Bragg’s retreating Army of Tennessee that fled 30 miles to Dalton, Georgia. On the 27th Grant sent General Gordon Granger to relieve Burnside at Knoxville. On that day the Confederate General J. H. Morgan and six officers escaped from a prison at Columbus Ohio by a tunnel and perhaps a bribe. Criticism of General Bragg led to his resignation on November 30. He was replaced by General William Hardee for a while and then by General Joe Johnston.
      On December 1 Union General Meade led his army back across the Rapidan River into winter quarters. On the 3rd General Longstreet gave up the siege of Knoxville and moved his army to winter quarters at Greeneville, Tennessee. General Sherman joined Burnside in Knoxville on December 6. The next day US Navy Secretary Welles reported that they had 34,000 seamen and 588 ships with 4,443 guns, and their blockade had captured over 1,000 ships.
      Military victories helped the Republicans do much better in 1863 elections than in 1862, and they chose Schuyler Colfax of Indiana over Democrat Sunset Cox of Ohio 101-42 as Speaker of the House.
      Before Congress assembled on December 8 the iron dome of the Capitol was completed. On the 8th both presidents Lincoln and Davis gave their annual messages to their congresses. Davis used fewer patriotic exhortations, and his message was described as a “long and uninspiring” administrative report “with rationalizations and wishful thinking on financial and military affairs.”21
      Lincoln discussed foreign policy briefly and reported that he and Tsar Alexander II had agreed on a telegraph line from the Pacific Coast to the Russian Empire. Lincoln presented a long report on the finances and policies of his government. The interest for the public debt for the year was $24,729,847. The War Department spent $599,298,601 and the Navy Department $63,211,105. The US Navy currently had 588 ships including 75 ironclad steamers. In his message on December 8 Lincoln also explained his views on the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction he presented on the same day for those

persons heretofore engaged in said rebellion
to resume their allegiance to the United States,
and to reinaugurate loyal State governments
within and for their respective States.22

He declared, “A full pardon is hereby granted to them and each of them, with restoration of all rights of property, except as to slaves.” Also excepted were civil or diplomatic officers of the Confederacy, those who had resigned judicial positions, seats in Congress or commission in the United States Army or Navy in order aid the rebellion, high-ranking officers in the Confederate Army and Navy, and persons who mistreated prisoners of war. Any of the ten seceding states south of Virginia could re-establish their state governments once one-tenth of those who voted in 1860 had taken and held to the oath of allegiance. Senator Sumner praised Lincoln’s reconstruction plan for making emancipation the corner-stone. Treasury Secretary Chase, who was considering a run against Lincoln for the Republican nomination for President, disagreed with him in demanding that states adopt constitutions to confirm emancipation.
      Union forces on Morris Island bombarded Fort Sumter many times from September 7 to December 11 when a shell set off a powder magazine that killed 11 and wounded 41 Confederates; that was the last bombardment of the year. On that day three Union ships entered St. Andrew’s Bay, Florida, and by the 19th they had destroyed 290 saltworks. The United States had been sending rations to feed 13,000 Union prisoners at Richmond, but on December 12 the Confederacy ordered that those prisoners would no longer receive supplies from the Union.
      In the first two years of the Civil War immigration into the United States had been less than 100,000 a year; but in 1863 it increased to 176,282, and it would be 193,418 in 1864 and 248,120 in 1865. US government expenditure was $475 million in 1862; it went up to $715 million in 1863, and it would be $865 million in 1864 and $1,298 million in 1865. In 1861 the US State Department had only 33 employees, but in 1865 they employed 299.
      Strikes in coal fields near LaSalle, Illinois in 1863 led to the state legislature passing bipartisan Black Laws making it a crime to interfere with someone working or to combine to obstruct a property owner or to go into a coal mine to persuade workers to leave. In 1863 the US produced 2,611,000 barrels of crude petroleum.

Notes

1. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. VI, p. 29-30.
2. Quoted in Abraham Lincoln: The War Years, Volume 2 by Carl Sandburg, p. 21-22.
3. Quoted in Never Call Retreat by Bruce Catton, p. 49.
4. Abraham Lincoln: A History by John G. Nicolay and John Hay, Volume 8, p. 206 and The Annals of America, Volume 9, p. 401.
5. The Annals of America, Volume 9, p. 412.
6. Quoted in The Civil War Years: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of the Life of a Nation by Robert E. Denney, p. 259.
7. Quoted in Trial by Fire: A People’s History of the Civil War and Reconstruction by Page Smith, p. 309.
8. Quoted in Lincoln and the Press by Robert S. Harper, p. 126 and The War for the Union Vol. 2 by Allan Nevins, p. 389.
9. Undated memorandum early 1863, Clement Clay Papers, LC quoted in The War for the Union Vol. 3 by Allan Nevins, p. 165.
10. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. VI, p. 151-152.
11. Quoted in Trial by Fire by Page Smith, p. 320.
12. Quoted in Abraham Lincoln: The War Years, Volume 2 by Carl Sandburg, p. 33.
13. Ibid., p. 83-84.
14. Lieber Code of 1863 15, 44, 22.
15. Quoted in The War for the Union Vol. 3, p. 412.
16. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. VI, p. 410.
17. Quoted in The War for the Union Vol. 3, p. 431.
18. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. VI, p. 492-493.
19. Ibid., p. 500-501, 504.
20. Ibid., p. 497.
21. The Confederate Republic: A Revolution Against Politics by George C. Rable, p. 240.
22. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. VII, p. 54.

Copyright © 2020 by Sanderson Beck

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