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Husband, father, grandfather, friend...a few of the roles acquired in 62 years of living.  I keep an upbeat attitude, loving humor and the singular freedom of a perfect laugh.  I don't let curmudgeons ruin my day; that only gives them power over me.  Having experienced death once, I no longer fear it, although I am still frightened by the process of dying.  I love to write because it allows me the freedom to vent those complex feelings that bounce restlessly off the walls of my mind; and express the beauty that can only be found within the human heart.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Civil War: Events of November 1863

On November 2nd, President Lincoln, almost as an afterthought, is invited to make "a few appropriate remarks" at the dedication of the National Cemetery in Gettysburg.

On the 4th, Confederate General Bragg orders Longstreet to Knoxville to take on Union forces under Ambrose Burnside.

November 6th opened the Battle of Droop Mountain in Pocahontas County, West Virginia.  Confederate forcers under John Echols and a fellow named Patton were driven from their positions to the summit of Droop Mountain.  They were reinforced, but in the afternoon, Union General Averell turned the left flank, and sent dismounted cavalry in a brutal frontal assault against the main Confederate line.  The Rebs gave way, fleeing into the woods.  Echols eventually rallied his troops, but was forced to retreat back to Virginia.  As a result of this battle, Confederate resistance in West Virginia collapsed.

In the afternoon of November 7th, Union forces under John Sedgwick and William French attacked river crossings at Rappahannock Station and Kelly's Ford. After heavy fighting, the Union troops carried the positions.  The loss of these two bridgeheads destroyed Lee's plans for an offensive, forcing him to move his army back south again.

The siege of Charleston Harbor continued, with Fort Sumter falling under heavy shelling between November 7th and the 10th.  After a quiet couple of days, the shelling resumed on the 12th

D. H. Hill's corps is turned over to John Breckinridge on the 8th.

On the 9th, President Lincoln attended a play starring John Wilkes Booth.

William T. Sherman arrived in Stevenson, Alabama to confer with General Grant.

On the 16th, Longstreet attacked Burnside at Campbell's Station, Kentucky, forcing Burnside to withdraw into Knoxville.  Longstreet then attempted to besiege the town, but they weren't set up or supplied for a siege.  Longstreet was forced to await reinforcements before renewing the attack.

On November 19th, President Lincoln delivered a 2-minute address at the dedication of the National Cemetery in Gettysburg.  The speech, which Lincoln termed "a flat failure," became known as the Gettysburg address, which is now considered the finest Presidential address, and one of the most profound messages in history.

Federals resumed the bombardment of Fort Sumter on the 20th, a shelling that would continue through December 4th.

Braxton Bragg detaches Buckner's Corps on the 22nd to join Longstreet in Knoxville, unaware that Grant has reinforced and resupplied Chattanooga.

On November 23rd, George Thomas advanced from Chattanooga and seized high ground at Orchard Knob, while Sherman's forces launched a surprise attack against Bragg's right flank on Missionary Ridge.

Joe Hooker's forces defeated the Southerners in the Battle of Lookout Mountain and moved on Bragg's left flank at Rossville.

On the 25th, Grant ordered Thomas to advance to the base of Missionary Ridge.  However, orders were misunderstood and under the tactical pressure of the moment, Thomas' troops took the ridge summit, routing the Southern Army of Tennessee.  The Rebels fell back to Dalton, Georgia, stopping Union pursuit at the Battle of Ringgold Gap.  Bragg's decisive defeat at Chattanooga eliminated Southern control of Tennessee and opened the route by which Sherman in 1864 would march to the sea.

George Meade crossed the Rapidan River on November 26th in an attempt to turn Lee's right flank.

On November 28th, Bragg telegraphs his resignation to President Davis.  On that same day, Grant ordered Sherman to advance to Knoxville and relived Burnside.

Union General Gouvernor Warren is ordered to move against Lee's right flank on the 29th, but is late in arriving at his position and instead, digs in to wait until morning.  Overnight, the Rebel line near Mine Run is reinforced, and the next morning, Warren decides not to attack.
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