The American Civil War 150th Anniversary – July 22-28, 1863

Here is a look at what was happening in the war this week, back in 1863.

General Meade's army crossing the Antietam in pursuit of Lee.  E. Forbes, Library of Congress

General Meade’s army crossing the Antietam in pursuit of Lee. E. Forbes, Library of Congress

July 22

Military events: Gettysburg campaign: US General Meade, in pursuit of the Army of Northern Virginia (on the other side of the Blue Ridge Mountains), sends General William French toward Manassas Gap with III Corps, with the idea of splitting Lee’s force and defeating both halves. (12)

July 23

Military events: Gettysburg campaign: The passes over the mountains are all guarded. Fierce resistance by a Confederate brigade slows down General French long enough for CS generals Longstreet and Hill to move their corps into the Luray Valley and safety. The campaign is now over. (12)

…Again, my dear general, I do not believe you appreciate the magnitude of the misfortune involved in Lee’s escape. He was within your easy grasp, and to have closed upon him would, in connection with our other late successes, have ended the war. As it is, the war will be prolonged indefinitely. If you could not safely attack Lee last Monday, how can you possibly do so South of the river, when you can take with you very few more than two thirds of the force you then had in hand? It would be unreasonable to expect, and I do not expect you can now effect much. Your golden opportunity is gone, and I am distressed immeasurably because of it… .

President Lincoln to General Meade, letter never signed or sent

US gunboat and soldiers, Hilton Head, South Carolina, 1863.  Source:  Library of Congress

US gunboat and soldiers, Hilton Head, South Carolina, 1863. Source: Library of Congress

July 26

Military events: Morgan’s Great Raid comes to an end when he and his remaining men are captured in eastern Ohio near Salineville. (12, 22)

South Carolina operations/Siege of Charleston: Gideon Welles, US Secretary of the Navy, confers with President Lincoln about reinforcements for General Quincy Gillmore. (5)

July 27

Military events: Tennessee operations: From Chattanooga, CS General Nathan Bedford Forrest orders Colonel G. G. Dibrell and his regiment to Sparta, where they will watch a US corps based at McMinnville. (17)

July 28

Military events: Louisiana operations/Bayou Teche: A US gunboat surprises a party of Confederates who have nearly raised the CSS Hart, which had been sunk back in April. The Confederates sink her again when Federal gunboats show up. (10)


(1)  The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.

(2)  Morgan’s Raiders and The L&N Railroad in the Civil War, by Dan Lee (2011).

(3)  Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson (2003 – see side bar for link).

(4) The Campaigns of Lieut.-Gen. N.B. Forrest, and of Forrest’s Cavalry by Thomas Jordan, J. P. Pryor (1868).

(5) The Lincoln Log timeline.

(6) Blue and Gray Timeline.

(7)  Grant Chronology, Mississippi State University.

(8)”The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government” (Vol. II), Jefferson Davis.

(9) Henry Halleck’s War: A Fresh Look at Lincoln’s Controversial General-In-Chief, by Curt Anders

(10)  Conquest of the Lower Mississippi.

(11) Under Siege: Three Children at the Civil War Battle for Vicksburg, Andrea Warren (2009)

(12) Civil War Interactive.

(13) Inside the Army of the Potomac, the Civil War Experience of Captain Francis Adams Donaldson, edited by J. Gregory Acken (1998).

(14) Mosby Heritage Area Association: Chronology of Mosby’s Life.

(15)  Battle of Vicksburg. Civil War Home.

(16) Born to Battle: Grant and Forrest: Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga: The Campaigns That Doomed the Confederacy, Jack Hurst (2012).

(17) Life of Lieutenant-General Nathan Bedford Forrest, by John A. Wyeth (1908/2011).

(18) Captain Raphael Semmes and the CSS Alabama, US Naval Historical Center.

(19) A. Lincoln, A Biography, Ronald C. White, Jr. (2009)

(20) The Civil War and the Press. Sachsman et al., 2000.

(21) Fort Wagner and the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Civil War Trust.

(22) Morgan’s Raid Timeline, Conner Prairie Interactive History Park.

(23) The Siege of Vicksburg, Civil War Home.

(24) Battle of Williamsport, Wikipedia.

(25) The Jackson Expedition, Wikipedia.

(26) The Louisiana Native Guards: The Black Military Experience During the Civil War. James G. Hollandsworth, Jr., 1995.

(27) This Week in the Civil War.

(28) Port Hudson Photo Album, Civil War Album.

(29) Gettysburg Campaign, Encyclopedia of Virginia.

(30) New York City’s Draft Riots. Learning Through History.

(31) The New York City Draft Riots of 1863. University of Chicago.

Categories: American Civil War

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