The Civil War 145 Years Ago: November 1864

by James Durney on November 4, 2009 · 0 comments

145 Years Ago

November 1864

  • The biggest news is the election of Lincoln & Johnson on the eighth.  The popular vote was almost 500,000 higher for Lincoln, about one out of eight votes, but the Electoral College cast 212 votes for Lincoln and 21 for McClellan.  This victory ends any hope of the war ending in anything but a Confederate defeat.
  • On the second, Secretary of State Seward tells the mayor of New York that Confederate agents are planning to burn the city.
  • On the fifth, General N.B. Forrest ends a very successful raid into Tennessee.  The Union Army lost equipment having a value of over $6.7 million.  Forrest ends the raid to join J.B. Hood in what will become the Nashville Campaign.
  • In Chicago, on the sixth, authorities arrest over 100 Copperheads and CSA sympathizers.  They are part of a plot to disrupt the coming election and burn the city.  None of those arrested are even tried.
  • On the 12th, a landing party from the USS Hedrick Hudson & Nita attack salt works near Tampa, FL.  Cavalry manage to drive the party away prior to the destruction of the salt works.
  • On the 14th, President Lincoln accepts General George B. McClellan’s resignation from the army.  Philip H. Sheridan becomes a Major General.
  • Sherman departs Atlanta on the 15th, starting his famous March to the Sea.  O.O. Howard commands the right wing (XIV & XX Corps), Henry W. Slocum commands the left wing (XV &XVII Corps) with the cavalry under Judson Kilpatrick.
  • As Sherman heads toward Savannah, on the 16th, J.B. Hood’s army starts marching toward Tennessee.
  • Jefferson Davis instructs General Howell Cobb to use the Georgia militia to oppose Sherman on the 18th.  The next day, John Brown orders all men between 16 & 45 to join the militia.  General William J. Hardee commands this “force”.
  • On the 22nd, the Georgia legislature flees Milledgeville as Slocum approaches.  At Griswoldville, showing more bravery than good sense, the Georgia militia attacks Kilpatrick’s cavalry.  The militia suffers over 600 casualties while inflicting only about 100 on Kilpatrick.  This is the biggest battle of the March to the Sea.  In Tennessee, Schofield marches northward to escape Hood’s approaching army.
  • On the 25th, New York has ten fires set in hotels by CSA agents that entered from Canada.  One agent is captured, tried and executed.  In Texas, Colonel Kit Carson is defeated at the battle of Adobe Wells.  He manages to withdraw his command to safety without undue losses.  This is the largest Indian battle in Texas.
  • In Tennessee, Hood forces Schofield to withdraw from the Duck River after several days of maneuvering.  Schofield finds Hood has most of his army North of the river and in position to cut him off from Nashville.  On the 28th, preparations to withdraw begin.  On the 29th, Schofield marches his army past Hood at Spring Hill reaching safety in Franklin.  What happened, who is responsible, why this happened are still hot topics and “The Spring Hill Affair” enters into history.
  • November 30th, Hood angered at the failure to trap Schofield orders the largest charge of the Civil War.  About 4 PM, three divisions charge over two miles of open ground at entrenched Union veterans.  Six Confederate Generals are killed, six other badly wounded along with over 6,200 solders.  The Union line holds and that night Schofield withdraws to Nashville.  He suffered just over 2,300 causalities in the Battle of Franklin.  The Confederate Army of Tennessee never recovers from this battle.  Among those killed is CSA General Patrick Cleburne, the Stonewall of the West, leading his division at the focal point of the attack.
  • November is almost the close of the active campaign season.  Sherman is marching through Georgia.  Grant & Lee remain locked together at Petersburg.  Hood is badly battered but advancing on Thomas entrenched at Nashville.  Lincoln’s election indicates the North’s resolve to see things through to total victory.  Jefferson Davis is insisting that the CSA will accept no terms but independence and that no vital area is conquered.  This is starting to ring hollow as desertions from the army and desperation at home take a larger toll.  The war is not over and will not end in April 1865 either.

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