The American Civil War 150th Anniversary: 1861 Timeline update

According to the Library of Congress and Smithsonian timelines, November 1861 was fairly active on the political and military front.  I also need to supply a fairly brief review of what happened in the earlier part of this important year in the American Civil War.

The timeline information

On November 1st, George McClellan replaced Winfield Scott as general-in-chief of the Union armies.

On November 7th, Union blockade forces silenced Confederate guns in Fort Walker and Fort Beauregard.  “This victory,” per the Library of Congress timeline, “enabled General Thomas W. Sherman’s troops to occupy first Port Royal and then all the famous Sea Islands of South Carolina, where Timothy H. O’Sullivan recorded them making themselves at home.”

On November 8th, the Union navy seized James A. Mason and John Slidell, two Confederate commissioners to Great Britain and France, from the British steamer Trent.  Great Britain was not amused.

Julia War Howe composed the lyrics to “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Troops started heading for winter quarters.  Here are some images of Confederate quarters.

Reviewing the earlier part of 1861 – new sources

I’ve decided to add two books to my resources on this war, and of course that means needing to take some time and read them.  Both are listed on the Chief of Staff of the Army’s Professional Reading List, and both are available as eBooks at Google Books:

Gerald F. Linderman,  Embattled Courage: The Experience of Combat in the American Civil War.  New York: The Free Press, A Division of Macmillan, in., 1987. (357 pages).

James M. McPherson,  Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era.   New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

These not only will help me get some intelligent idea of what led to the events of 1861, they also will provide a good source of military information from the time that should go into this series but is currently unavailable to me here, adrift in modern culture.

The next post(s) will be combined ones for November and December, sharing what I’ve learned to date about events in 1861 and some things that we can relate to today that might have led up to the 1861 break.

Categories: American Civil War

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