"Gettysburg" (video)

Song lyrics: Barry Rosen
Music: Barry Rosen and Joey Muller
Vocals: Julia Bordenaro

Song engineer and producer: Joey Muller
Music video storyboard: Barry Rosen
Music video director and editor: Frank Door

Amazing Grace lyrics: John Newton (1779)
Amazing Grace melody: unknown, traditional American folk melody

Lyrics
I am a country girl, my people hail from Pennsylvania
Near here a battle raged when our nation was divided
I drift off to a daydream of pictures
With a tremble I awoke to the choirmaster saying:

Reach out girls
Raise your voices to the sky
Like the Lord’s angels

I met a soldier boy dressed in gray, I blushed when he smiled 
Said I’d best leave town, “sorry miss, we’ll be fighting in a while.”
I could see men marching, and cannon on the hillside
From the thunder I awoke to the choirmaster saying 

Reach out girls
Raise your voices to the sky
Like the Lord’s angels

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me

I spy a waiting crowd, come to hear and touch our Mr. Lincoln 
Spoke about our forefathers, liberty and the price of freedom
The fields were green, still soft from the digging
From grieving I awoke to the choirmaster saying 

Reach out girls
Raise your voices to the sky
Like the Lord’s angels

I once was lost but know am found
Was blind but now I see.

Additional credits
Gettysburg (song):
Arrangement - Joey Muller and Barry Rosen
Vocals: Julia Bordenaro
Piano:  Joey Muller
Bass: Doug Polhamius
Heart drum: Joey Muller
Hi hats: Barbara Borden

Engineered and produced by: Joey Muller

Recorded and mixed at: Catsville Recording, San Rafael, CA

Gettysburg (video):
Storyboard: Barry Rosen
Video Direction and Editing: Frank Door
Photo and Video Archive Research: Barry Rosen
Photo Selection Support: Skylar Baker

Production Studio: Different Fur, San Francisco CA

Video credits:
Gettysburg, war film (1993), New Line Cinema
150th Gettyburg Reenactment, Directed by Robert Child
On to Washington (1913) Women’s Suffrage Parade March, ChangeBeforeGoing YouTube Archive (GBGP — OMGWTF)
Bus Boycott — YouTube Post by Keith Orr
1987 Gay Rights March on Washington (Part 1) YouTube Post by Jeremy Hooper

Photo credits:
(to be posted soon)

We apologize to anyone whose work contributed to this music video and who has not yet been credited. Let us know and we’ll post the source.  There are likely dozens of people — Know that we’re all in this together and we hope you feel some affinity for the artistic mashup.

This month during the Civil War - June, 1863

June 1863 saw a repetition of what had occurred earlier in the American Civil War - the president involving himself in military matters in the field and trying to override his generals. In this case Lincoln wanted the Army of the Potomac to pursue the army of Robert E Lee who was seemingly fleeing Richmond. The Union’s General Hooker wanted to press home his attack against Richmond, much to the annoyance of Lincoln.

June 2nd: General Lee decided to move north his Army of Northern Virginia. His hope was to draw General Hooker’s Army of the Potomac after him and away from Virginia. Lee did not want a battle with Hooker as his motives were entirely defensive but he also realised that a further defeat for the Army of the Potomac would be a serious blow to the Union. So while Lee wished to be defensive, he also prepared to be offensive.

June 3rd: The Army of Northern Virginia left Fredericksburg and moved north – 70,000 men with 300 artillery guns. Hooker’s Army of the Potomac was 120,000 strong. Hooker also had the advantage of intelligence as two Confederate deserters had given themselves up to Union forces and had told them about the planned movements of Lee’s army.

June 4th: Rationing was introduced in Vicksburg for the besieged population – soldiers and civilians.

June 5th: A rearguard Confederate force at Fredericksburg clashed with probing Union forces in what was called the ‘Battle of Franklin’s Crossing’. The Union force learned that the defences of Fredericksburg were strong, while the Confederate force, commanded by General Stuart, decided that the ‘attack’ was merely a demonstration of strength to unsettle the remaining Confederate defenders.

June 6th: President Lincoln and General Hooker clashed over what to do with Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Lincoln wanted Hooker to pursue Lee (as Lee himself had hoped for) while Hooker wanted to take the opportunity to attack what was now a poorly defended Richmond. Not for the first time did the President, as Commander-in-Chief, clash with his generals. In this case, Hooker’s desire was warranted as Lee had already decided that if Richmond, at any time, was threatened he would call of his march north and return to the Confederate’s capital. This was the one opportunity when Hooker could have attacked Richmond when it was poorly defended. Lincoln wanted a more aggressive campaign.

June 9th: Union cavalry attacked General Stuart’s cavalry force near Brandy Station. Some 22,000 men fought here – the largest cavalry clash of the war. Both sides were evenly matched and the Union force, commanded by Pemberton, nearly defeated Stuart’s men but news of advancing Confederate infantry convinced Pemberton that withdrawal was his best option rather than continuing the fight. Stuart’s men had a high reputation among Pemberton’s men, so this near victory did a great deal to boost Union morale, especially among the cavalry.

June 11th: Two 10-inch artillery guns arrived at Vicksburg for Grant’s army. They greatly boost the Union’s ability to destroy the defences there. Citizens in Vicksburg took to living in caves to ensure their safety from the artillery bombardment.

June 12th: Rumours of an invasion by Lee’s men led to many fleeing their homes in Union areas near to the ‘border’ with the South. Few responded to a call by the Pennsylvania governor for volunteers for a state militia.

June 14th: A Unionist force tried to end the siege at Port Hudson. While Northern troops were doing the besieging, they were suffering acute medical casualties as a result of the dire environment they were in. The attack was an attempt to end all this. It failed and the Confederate defenders held out. The Union lost 4000 men in the attack.

June 15th: The Confederates captured Winchester. They took 4,500 men prisoner along with 200,000 rounds of ammunition, 300 wagons and 300 horses.

June 17th: The South lost one of its ironclads, ‘CSS Atlanta’.

June 20th: The citizens of Baltimore started to build defences around their city fearing an attack by Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Cavalry units from both Lee’s and Hooker’s armies clashed almost on a daily basis.

June 27th: Hooker resigned as commander of the Army of the Potomac after one argument too many with his superior General Halleck. Hooker believed that Halleck was deliberately undermining his authority by refusing to allow him to do as he wished with the men under his command. Hooker’s resignation was accepted and General George Meade replaced him.

June 29th: Meade immediately ordered the Army of the Potomac to hunt out the Army of Northern Virginia. Whereas Hooker wanted to wait and see what Lee intended, Meade wanted to engage him as soon as was feasible.

June 30th: Lee’s scouts kept him well informed as to where the Army of the Potomac was. He ordered his men to march on Cashtown. A unit of Confederate troops was sent to Gettysburg where it was believed a stash of military boots was kept. The men, from III Corps, came across Unionist troops from Brigadier-General Buford’s cavalry division and withdrew.

 

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/june-1863-civil-war.htm

This month during the Civil War - May, 1863

May 1863 saw two major events of the American Civil War. The first of these was the death of ‘Stonewall’ Jackson. The South was experiencing many difficulties - be it military or economic - and the loss of a highly talented military commander who seemed to thrive on being in the field as opposed to being in a tent studying maps was a major one. The second important event of May 1863 was the North’s attack on Vicksburg.

May 1st: Stonewall Jackson halted the Union advance against Lee near Charlottesville. Hooker told his junior commanders, much to their astonishment, that the Union army would go on the defensive as a result of this setback despite having a 2 to 1 advantage in terms of men over the South (90,000 to 40,000).

May 2nd: Jackson commanded a force of 25,000 men in an attempt to get behind Hooker’s main force and to attack them in the rear. It was a very bold plan that had to work. If Jackson’s army was wiped out, Lee would have been left with just 15,000 men. To convince Hooker that his men were retreating, Lee ordered numerous trains to ride up and down the Fredericksburg/Richmond railway – even if their carriages were empty. His plan worked and Hooker became convinced that Lee was pulling back his men. Lulled into a false sense of security, Hooker may well have taken his eye off of what was going on and when Jackson launched his attack behind Hooker’s line, the Union army was unprepared. Many parts of the Union army were driven back. However, in an attempt to know what was going on at the front, Jackson went to the front line to assess the situation for himself. One of his own men did not recognise him and shot him. Jackson was badly wounded.

May 3rd: Hooker lost the Battle of Chancellorsville and he ordered the Army of the Potomac to prepare for a retreat. However, not knowing of this, General Sedgwick, believing that an attack on Fredericksburg would be successful, ordered such an attack. Initially he was very successful and captured 15 cannon and 1000 prisoners. However, without any support from Hooker he was totally isolated and at the mercy of Lee’s army. 

May 4th: Sedgwick’s men held off the first assaults on their positions by Lee’s army. Then in a stroke of fortune, the whole area was shrouded in fog and Sedgwick used this to get his men out of Fredericksburg without further loss. In a Council of War, Hooker announced that the Army of the Potomac was to retreat to Falmouth, Virginia.

May 5th: Very heavy rain helped Hooker’s army in their retreat as it greatly hindered Lee’s army in its efforts to follow up its successes in May.

May 6th: The last of the Union’s army had withdrawn. The Battle of Chancellorsville was a huge success for Lee and Jackson and if the weather had been better could have been a lot worse for Hooker. Hooker lost 17,000 men despite a 2 to 1 advantage over Lee. However, while the Union could sustain such losses, the South lost 13,000 men and they could not survive such a rate of attrition. The Confederacy agreed to spend $2 million on purchasing European naval ships. The requirement for the ships was simple: they had to be able to operate in the Atlantic yet be able to sail up the River Mississippi. The leaders of the Confederacy believed that such a ship would be able to break the Union blockade of southern ports.

May 8th: Nearly a week after being accidentally shot by one of his own men, it became obvious that the wounds suffered by ‘Stonewall’ Jackson were life threatening. An arm had already been amputated but a chronic infection meant that he wasn’t expected to live. Nearly one week after the shooting, Jackson was drifting in and out of consciousness.

May 9th: General Grant threatened to take Vicksburg, the key to the Mississippi. The Confederate leader, Davis, promised commanders in the city every means of support. The Confederate defenders of Vicksburg had a dislocated intelligence system and so had little knowledge of Grant’s movements.

May 10th: ‘Stonewall’ Jackson died.

May 14th: Jackson fell to Generals Sherman and McPherson. The Union government continued to put pressure on Great Britain not to sell naval boats to the South.

May 15th: Sherman destroyed manufacturing centres and railroads in and around Jackson so that when Union forces moved on, they could not be reused by those who lived in Jackson – and supported the Confederacy. It was a foretaste of what he would do in future months.

May 16th: Union forces attacked Southern forces defending Vicksburg at Champion’s Hill. The South had 22,000 men and faced a Union force of 27,000. Both sides suffered 2,000 casualties – though the Union army was better able to cope with such casualties. However, the South commander, John Pemberton, made one major error. Rather than keeping his men out in the field to face Union forces, Pemberton withdrew them to the poorly defended Vicksburg.

May 17th: At dawn Union forces attacked Confederate defences at Big Black Rock, just outside of Vicksburg. The attack was so swift that the defenders only had time to get off one volley of shots before being overrun. The North captured 1,700 Confederate troops and 18 cannon and lost just 39 dead and 237 wounded.

May 18th: Sherman’s leading men reached the outskirts of Vicksburg.

May 19th: General Grant ordered a hasty and not well-prepared attack on Vicksburg. There were two reasons for this. The first was that he hoped to take advantage of what he hoped would be Confederate demoralisation within Vicksburg. The second was that prior to the success at Big Black Rock he had ignored and effectively disobeyed an order by his superior, General Halleck, to withdrew his men from Vicksburg and march to Port Hudson to assist General Banks in an attack there. One way of smoothing over this breach of military discipline would have been a swift, decisive and successful attack on Vicksburg. However, the attack failed and the North lost 900 men.

May 20th: Grant’s men dug themselves in around Vicksburg. Union warships patrolled the River Mississippi around Vicksburg to hinder any Confederate use of the river. However, despite their military success, Union forces had not had it all their own way. They had to make do with five days rations over a three-week stretch.

May 21st: Grant’s troops received their first batch of food in weeks when bread arrived along with coffee. Grant hoped that this would boost the morale of his men and ordered an attack on Vicksburg the following day.

May 22nd: The attack was a failure and the North lost 500 killed and 2,500 wounded. The ruined Grant’s misguided belief that Vicksburg was not well defended. He withdrew his men and ordered Vicksburg to be besieged. Grant later described this as an attempt to “out-camp the enemy”. Grant’s siege line stretched for 15 miles around Vicksburg.

May 27th: Union forces attacked Port Hudson. It was a failure as Confederate troops were well dug in. The North lost 293 dead and 1545 wounded. As at Vicksburg, a decision was taken to besiege Port Hudson.

May 28th: The Union siege at Vicksburg was hampered by the fact that Grant had marched with small and manoeuvrable artillery. Therefore he did not have the necessary artillery to bombard Vicksburg. However, this problem was solved when large Union naval guns were brought up the Mississippi and installed ashore. Once operational, they were used to destroy known Confederate defences. In 1862, extensive defence lines had been built around Vicksburg. However, during the winter of 1862/63, they had fallen into disrepair and were only repaired after the clash at Big Black Rock on May 17th. 30,000 Confederate troops manned these defences commanded by General John Pemberton. They faced 41,000 Union troops commanded by Grant – though this figure was to rise to 70,000 men by the summer. Life for the besieged citizens of Vicksburg and Port Hudson was hard as food and fresh water supplies dwindled.

 

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/may-1863-civil-war.htm

This month during the Civil War - April, 1863

April 1863 saw the start of the third year of the American Civil War. The economic plight of the South was taking a heavy toll. Coupled with this, the Army of the Potomac started to finalise plans for an attack on Richmond, the Confederacy’s capital.

April 2nd: Riots occurred in Richmond where people were becoming desperate at the economic plight of the Confederacy. Food in particular was in short supply. The riot was termed a “bread riot” by locals though it turned into a general looting session. It was only quelled when the rioters listened to Jefferson Davis who spoke to them in person and then threw the money in his pockets at them. It was a sufficient gesture to disperse the rioters.

April 3rd: Lincoln visited Hooker and pressurised him into an attack on Richmond. In response Hooker put in for 1.5 million ration packs.

April 4th: Hooker prepared the Army of the Potomac for an attack on Richmond. The Army’s Secret Service Department was ordered to prepare updated maps on the defences at Richmond.

April 5th: Several Confederate ships were detained in Liverpool docks, as it was believed that they were blockade-runners.

April 10th: Lincoln reviewed the Army of the Potomac at its winter quarters in Falmouth, Virginia. The troops he met expressed their full confidence in Hooker – a view not totally shared by the president. Lincoln had to dampen down Hooker’s rhetoric about capturing Richmond and remind him that defeating Lee’s Army of Virginia was far more important and that Richmond was the bait to lure Lee into battle.

April 13th: General Burnside issued his General Order Number 38, which threatened the death penalty for anyone found guilty of treasonable behaviour.

April 17th: This day saw the start of Colonel Ben Grierson’s Union legendary raid into the Confederacy. With 1700 cavalrymen, Grierson roamed 600 miles during his raid deep into the South. The raid lasted 16 days and within the Union army Grierson became a legend.

April 20th: Lincoln announced that West Virginia would join the Union on June 20th 1863.

April 21st: Hooker finalised his plan of attack. He hoped to fool the South into thinking that Fredericksburg was his main target while moving three corps of troops against Lee’s left flank. 2000 mules were acquired by Hooker to speed up the movement of his army.

April 24th: The Confederate Congress passed a tax set at 8% on all agricultural produce grown in 1862 and a 10% tax on profits made from the sale of iron, clothing and cotton. There was much public hostility to these new taxes but a general acceptance that they were needed. The biggest problem facing the South’s economy was the fact that much land was used for the growing of cotton and not for food.

April 26th: Hooker’s offensive against Lee’s Army of Virginia and Richmond started. However, torrential rain turned many of the roads/tracks he used to mud and made movement very difficult.

April 28th: The rain has made movement so difficult that engineers had to lay logs on the surface of roads/tracks to allow wagons to move.

April 29th: Lee’s scouts informed him that it was their belief that the attack on Fredericksburg was a feint and that their observed movement of many men on Lee’s left flank was the real target of Hooker. Lee accepted the advice of his scouts and ordered Stonewall Jackson not to attack Union troops at Fredericksburg – despite Jackson’s request to do just this.

April 30th: Hooker ordered 10,000 cavalrymen to raid Lee’s communication bases. The raids, while impressive with regards to the number of men involved, achieved very little and if anything served to boost the confidence of Lee’s Army of Virginia. 

 

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/april-1863-civil-war.htm

This month during the Civil War - March, 1863

By March 1863 the American Civil War had been going for nearly two years and the South was experiencing major economic problems as a result of the North’s blockade of its ports. However, the North was not without its own problems as Lincoln had to sign into law what was effectively a call-up of all able-bodied men between 20 and 45 - a move that was not a popular one among the North’s male population. 

March 1st: Lincoln met with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton to discuss future military appointments.

March 2nd: Congress approved the President’s list of promotions but also dismissed 33 officers for a variety of offences.

March 3rd: Both Senate and House passed The Enrolment Act. All able-bodied men between 20 and 45 were to serve for three years. The act was unpopular with the public because of its compulsion. Congress must have sensed this as in 1863 only 21,000 men were conscripted and by the end of the war conscription only accounted for a total of 6% of the North’s army. Congress also suspended habeas corpus on this day – much to the anger of the Democrats in Congress.

March 6th: One of Hooker’s attempts to develop the Army of the Potomac was to ensure that it had the most modern weapons available. By this day, his men were starting to be equipped with the Sharp’s breech-loading carbine. This rifle gave Hooker’s army unrivalled firepower at close range.

March 10th: Such was the problem of desertion across all armies of the Union, that Lincoln pronounced an amnesty on this day for all those who were absent without leave.  Any deserter who returned to duty before April 1st would not be punished.

March 13th: 62 women workers were killed in an explosion in a munitions factory near Richmond. The Confederacy was to become more and more reliant on female workers as the war progressed.

March 24th: The last Union attempt to take Vicksburg failed. The Mississippi River was very high for this time of the year and it made navigation very difficult. Grant wanted to use the many waterways that surrounded Vicksburg to his advantage – but his plan failed.

March 26th: West Virginia voted to emancipate its slaves.

March 30th: Lincoln announced that April 30th would be a day of prayer and fasting throughout the Union.

 

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/march-1863-civil-war.htm

This month during the Civil War - February, 1863

The economic blockade of the South during the American Civil War started to really hit home by February 1863 with the South’s currency worth just 20% of its pre-war value. The weather meant that important military issues were kept to a minimum though the intelligence network of the Army of the Potomac was completely revamped.

February 1st: The dollar used in the Confederacy was worth just 20% of what it did when the war broke out. Such was the success of the Federal Navy in the rivers of the South that a decision was taken to remove any stores of cotton away from rivers. Any cotton that could not be moved was burned to save it falling into the hands of the Union.

February 2nd: Grant started his attempt to build a canal around to the rear of Vicksburg using the Yazoo River as his source of water. By doing this, Grant’s men would avoid the Confederate artillery stationed in Vicksburg.

February 3rd: The French continued to offer attempts at mediation. Secretary of State Seward met the French ambassador in Washington DC to discuss such a move.

February 5th: The British government announced that any attempts at mediation would result in failure. Their lack of action was in stark contrast to the pro-active stance of the French government.

February 6th: The Federal government officially announced that it had rejected French offers of mediation.

February 9th: General Hooker started his reorganisation of the Army of the Potomac. He decided that his first task was to improve its intelligence gathering. On his arrival at his headquarters he found no document that could inform him about the strength of the Army of Virginia. General Butterfield wrote: “There was no means, no organisation, and no apparent effort to obtain such information. We were almost as ignorant of the enemy in our immediate front as if they had been in China. An efficient organisation for that purpose was instituted, by which we were so enabled to get correct and proper information of the enemy, their strengths and movements.”

February 11th: Hooker then turned his attention to the conditions his men lived under, which he linked to the high levels of desertion. New huts were built that could cope with the winter weather and fresh fruit and vegetables were provided. Medical facilities were also improved. The impact on desertions was dramatic and even men who had deserted returned to their regiments. 

February 12th: The Union’s naval blockade had a disastrous impact on the South’s economy and the river patrols of its flat-bottomed boats were equally as successful. However, the sheer size of the fleet operating meant that the Federal government faced a supply problem no one had encountered before. It was estimated that the North had to supply 70,000 bushels of coal each month to keep the fleet on the move. Food and water could be obtained locally but there was little chance of getting hold of large quantities of coal.

February 13th: General Hooker made what was to prove to be one of the most important changes to the Army of the Potomac during the war. Scattered cavalry units were amalgamated into one corps. No one was immediately appointed to command it as no army commander had ever had access to one concentrated cavalry unit. Hooker was willing to wait to appoint the most suitable candidate – he later selected General Stoneman to command it.

February 16th: The Senate passed the Conscription Act, which was passed, as volunteers for the Union army were not forthcoming.

February 22nd: Hooker believed that his changes were starting to have an impact as the levels of scurvy and intestinal diseases dropped quite markedly.

February 25th: Congress authorised a national system of banking.

 

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/february-1863-civil-war.htm

This month during the Civil War - January, 1863

January 1863 saw arguably the most important non-political act of the American Civil War. On January 1st 1863 President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Declaration that abolished slavery throughout America. To many in the Confederacy, this was seen as an open attack on the perceived way of life in the South and any chance of peacefully bringing the American Civil War to an early end based on diplomacy vanished with the Emancipation Declaration. 

January 1st: President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Declaration. Burnside accepted responsibility for the defeat at Fredericksburg and offered to resign. Lincoln told him to reconsider.

January 2nd: The Confederates suffered a defeat at Stone’s River, Murfreesboro. They lost a total of 14,560 killed, wounded and missing. However, the North also suffered major losses with 11,578 killed, wounded and missing.  This, along with appalling weather that made the movement of troops and horses all but impossible, meant that The North could not follow up its success.

January 5th: The defeat at Murfreesboro gave the North control over much of Tennessee though Confederate raiding parties were a continual problem in the state.

January 10th: The French government made it clear that it was willing to mediate in the war should the government in Washington wish it to do so.

January 11th: A Union force commanded by General McClernand captured Fort Hindman on the Arkansas River. Nearly 4500 Confederate troops were taken prisoner.

January 13th: McClernand was ordered to blow up Fort Hindmand as it had no strategic value to the Unionists.

January 16th: The Confederate commerce raider ‘Florida’ evaded a Union blockade and slipped out of Mobile Bay. In the next 18 months the ‘Florida’ sank fifteen Union ships, mostly off the waters of the West Indies.

January 19th: General Burnside made preparations to move the Army of the Potomac against Richmond.

January 20th: It soon became clear that the Army of the Potomac was in no fit state to campaign. Snow had turned to heavy rain and the barracking arrangements simply were not good enough. Many men fell ill due to the conditions they lived in; food was poor, water frequently unsanitary and the whisky that was provided of dubious quality. One senior Union officer wrote: “I have ridden through a regimental camp whose utterly filthy condition seemed enough to send malaria through a whole military department, and have been asked by one colonel, with tears in his eyes, to explain to him why his men are dying at a rate of one a day.”

January 21st: A rainstorm that lasted 30 hours made a crossing of the Rappahannock River extremely hazardous. However, Burnside had to do this if he was to reach Richmond.    

January 22nd: Burnside gave up on trying to cross the Rappahannock River as it had become too dangerous. Frustrated that he had not been given all the support he believed he should have got from his senior officers, Burnside decided to sack a number of them.

January 24th: Burnside met with Lincoln and gave him a list of those he wanted dismissed. Burnside told Lincoln if he did not get the support of the President, he would tender his own resignation.

January 25th: Lincoln removed Burnside from his command of the Army of the Potomac. The post was given to General Hooker. Burnside was very supportive of the President’s decision as he had always felt that he was out of his depth and he offered Hooker his full support and loyalty.

January 26th: ‘Fighting Joe’ Hooker formally took charge of the Army of the Potomac. Whereas Burnside had never been confident about his ability to command a whole army of 100,000+ men, Hooker was fully confident about his own ability.

January 28th: Hooker was told that desertions in the Army of the Potomac were at 200 men a day, nearly 1500 a week or 6000 a month. Hooker had to stem this but it was a serious problem. He was also not popular with senior officers, as he had played a major part in undermining General McClelland’s position when McClelland was commander of the Army of the Potomac.

 

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/january-1863-civil-war.htm

This month during the Civil War - December, 1862

December 1862 witnessed the Battle of Fredericksburg. It was General Burnside’s first major challenge after taking over from McClellan. The battle did not go in Burnside’s favour and he lost far more men killed and wounded than the Confederates. The freezing weather killed many of the wounded. It also meant that little could be done at a military level.

December 1st: Lincoln addressed the 37th Congress in the capital and once again announced his intention of abolishing slavery within the United States.

December 7th: A battle fought at Prairie Grove left 167 Union soldiers dead, 798 wounded and 183 missing. The Confederates lost 300 killed, 800 wounded and 250 missing.

December 10th: The House of Representatives passed a bill to create the state of West Virginia.

December 13th: Burnside started his attack against Fredericksburg. However, the delay in doing so allowed Lee’s men time to dig themselves into well-fortified positions both in the town and in the hills that surrounded it. All attacks were repulsed. An attack on Confederate troops dug in on Marye’s Heights led to many Unionist deaths. By the end of the day the Army of the Potomac had lost 1200 killed, 9000 wounded and 2145 missing. Many of these were at Marye’s Heights. The Confederates had lost 570 killed, 3870 wounded and 127 missing. Many of the wounded left out on the battlefield died of the cold during the night. Lee was heard to say: “It is well that war is so terrible; we should grow too fond of it.”

December 14th: Burnside wanted to repeat the assault on Fredericksburg but was persuaded otherwise by his commanders in the field. The Army of the Potomac camped out along the Rappahannock River.

December 17th: General Grant’s reputation was tainted when he issued General Order Number 11, which expelled Jews from his department because “they are a class violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department.”

December 20th: A Confederate force attacked a major Union supply base at Holly Springs, Mississippi. Over $1 million in supplies was seized along with 1000 prisoners. Such a loss of supplies meant that Grant had to postpone his attack on Vicksburg.

December 23rd: Jefferson Davis names General Butler, formally in charge of New Orleans, an outlaw and an enemy of Mankind. Davis stated that Butler would be hanged if the Confederates captured him. 

December 28th: A unit of Union troops captured a considerable amount of Confederate supplies at Van Buren, Arkansas.

December 31st: Lincoln met Burnside to discuss what went wrong at Fredericksburg. The ironclad ‘Monitor’ sank in a storm.

Source: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/december-1862-civil-war.htm

This month during the Civil War - November, 1862

President Lincoln finally lost patience with General McClellan and he was relieved or his command in November 1862 and replaced by General Burnside. Lincoln had won the November election but not in a spectacular manner and he blamed the lack of any Unionist victory for this.

November 2nd: Grant started his campaign against Vicksburg. However, he faced a major problem in that his lines of communication were too extended and he needed to ‘drop off’ troops along his route to defend them. This meant that his force was weakened the nearer Grant got to Vicksburg.

November 4th: There was an election for President and Congress in the states loyal to the Union. The lack of any major Unionist victory was reflected in the results, which showed that the opposition picked up more support than Lincoln’s government. In the Senate, Lincoln’s supporters, who prior to the election had a majority of 41 seats, saw this slashed to the opposition having a majority of 10 seats.

November 5th: The blame for the government’s poor showing in the election was blamed on McClellan and his lack of action. A decision was made to replace him. 

November 7th: McClellan had placed his army less than ten miles from Lee’s army. Lee’s force was split in two and McClellan was confident that he could deal a mortal blow against the Confederacy. However, at the same time as he was finalising his plan of attack, he received two messages.

The first stated: “By direction of the President of the United States, it is ordered that Major General McClellan be relieved from the command of the Army of the Potomac, and that Major General Burnside take command of the army. By order of the Secretary of War.”

The second from General Halleck stated: “General; on receipt of the order of the President, sent herewith, you will immediately turn over your command to Major General Burnside, and repair to Trenton, New Jersey, reporting on your arrival in that place, by telegraph, for further orders.”

November 8th: General Butler was also relieved of his command of New Orleans. General Banks replaced him. No one was quite sure why Butler was replaced but it is thought that the political hierarchy in the capital believed that he was using his command to boost his own wealth.

November 9th: General Burnside officially took control of the Army of the Potomac. McClellan left the following day.

November 11th: Burnside immediately changed McClellan’s plan of attack. He believed capturing Richmond was more important than taking on Lee’s army. Burnside therefore ordered the Army of the Potomac to Richmond via Fredericksburg. He probably lost the best opportunity the North had of dealing the South a knockout blow by failing to take advantage of Lee’s army that was still spilt in two.

November 14th: Burnside announced that he had reorganised the Army of the Potomac into three “Grand Divisions”. Each Division was assigned its own commander and tasked to defend either the left or right flanks or the centre of Burnside’s force.

November 15th: The newly reorganised Army of the Potomac started its march on Fredericksburg. The army marched away from where Lee had based his army. There was logic in Burnside’s strategy. By marching on Fredericksburg, his army was still close enough to Washington DC to protect the capital. He could also use the Potomac River to bring up supplies to his men via Acquia Creek. Richmond was also only 75 miles from Fredericksburg. 

November 17th: An advance force of Burnside’s men reached the outskirts of Fredericksburg but could not cross the Rappahannock River to get into the town because they had no pontoons with them. The Unionists swiftly dealt with a brief Confederate artillery bombardment, which indicated to them that the town was poorly defended. However, Burnside had ordered that no Unionist unit could enter Fredericksburg until suitable communication lines had been established. This gave Lee the opportunity and time to send two divisions to the town. 

November 20th: General Lee arrived in Fredericksburg.

November 21st: Burnside called on the mayor to surrender Fredericksburg. This was refused and non-combatants were sent from the town.

November 23rd: Bridging equipment finally arrived at Fredericksburg to allow the North to cross the Rappahannock River but in the course of five days, the Confederate force in the town had done a great deal to fortify it. Any attempted crossing would be fraught with difficulties.

November 27th: President Lincoln visited Burnside at his headquarters. Whereas Lincoln had despaired at McClellan’s lack of urgency, he expressed his reservations to Burnside about his commander’s desire to launch an attack against a well dug-in enemy while having to cross a river. However, Burnside was not willing to change his plan.

November 30th: ‘Stonewall’ Jackson arrived with his men at Fredericksburg bringing the total number of Confederate soldiers in the town to 80,000.

Source: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/november-1862-civil-war.htm

This month during the Civil War - October, 1862

October 1862 saw Robert E Lee move his army away from Washington and for the time being the capital was safe. At the end of October 1862, the armies of McClellan and Lee were only two miles apart near the Blue Ridge Mountains.

October 1st: The Confederate press portrayed Lincoln’s emancipation declaration as a recipe for slave insurrection.

October 4th: The Confederates launched a major attack on Corinth. It was not a success as the Unionists were well dug in and the Confederates lost many men – 1,423 killed, 5,692 wounded and 2,248 missing. The North lost 315 dead, 1,812 wounded and 232 missing.

October 5th: As the Confederates withdrew from Corinth, their rearguard clashed with a Unionist force at Metamora by the Big Hatchie River. In this action, the Union lost over 500 men while the South lost about 400.

October 8th: A battle at Perryville in Kentucky led to heavy casualties on both sides. The North lost 916 killed, 2943 wounded and 489 missing while the South lost 500 killed, 2635 wounded and 251 missing out of their total of 16,000 men.

October 10th: Jefferson Davis requested to the Confederate Congress that 4500 African Americans be drafted in to build defences around Richmond.

October 11th: The Confederate Congress agreed with Davis but stipulated that anyone who owned twenty slaves or more was exempt from this call-up. This decision was not well received and the less well-off slave owners in the Confederacy started to comment that it was “a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight”.

October 13th: Lincoln wrote again to McClellan to urge him to do something. “You remember my speaking to you of what I called your over-cautiousness. Are you not over-cautious when you assume that you cannot do what the enemy is constantly doing? Should you not claim to be at least his equal in prowess, and act upon that claim? If we do not beat the enemy where he now is, we never can, he again being within the entrenchments of Richmond.”

October 14th: While the Confederates had failed in Kentucky, they had taken vast amounts of booty that was vital to their supplies. While the Confederate press almost certainly exaggerated what was taken – the claim was that the wagon train was over 40 miles long – large amounts of barrelled pork and bacon were taken along with an estimated 1500 horses and 8000 cattle.

October 19th: In New Orleans, where the Unionists held power, General Butler passed two important pieces of legislation. The first was to raise three regiments of “free coloured men” and the second was to introduce the legal precedent that ‘blacks were equal to whites’ in the eyes of the law.

October 25th: Lincoln once again expressed his concern that McClellan appeared to be doing nothing.

October 26th: McClellan marched the Army of the Potomac back into Virginia. Whether this was part of a plan he already had or if it was in a direct response to Lincoln’s criticisms is not known.

October 28th: To avoid getting encircled by the Army of the Potomac, Robert E Lee moved his Army of Virginia further south and, therefore, further away from Washington DC. Lee’s army numbered 70,000 men while McClellan could call on 130,000 men – so it was a wise move. Sections of Lee’s army were ordered to maintain a close observation of McClellan’s men and for two days both sides were less than 2 miles apart but separated by the Blue Ridge Mountains.

 

Source: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/october-1862-civil-war.htm