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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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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Civil War: Events of October 1863

On October 3, President Lincoln called for a national day of thanksgiving at the end of November.

Starting October 2, Confederate cavalry General Joseph "Fightin' Joe" Wheeler began a series of raids in central Tennessee. On the 2nd, he raided a Union supply base at Powell's Crossroads and destroyed more than 700 wagons.  Pursuit was begun, but he managed to raid McMinnville and scooped up the 600 men of that Union garrison.  On the 5th, he cut the railroad between Nashville and Chattanooga at Stones River.  These raids helped tighten the Confederate siege of Chattanooga.

Also on October 5th, the submarine CSS David damaged the USS New Ironsides in Charleston Harbor.  The Union ship, as tough as her name, remained on station.

The next day, Confederate President Jefferson Davis embarked on an inspection tour through South Carolina and North Georgia, speaking in Atlanta on the 8th.

Starting October 9th, Robert E. Lee led the Army of Northern Virginia across the Rapidan River in an attempt to outflank the Army of the Potomac.  In response, Union General Meade withdrew to the river on the 10th.  On the 11th, heavy skirmishing broke out as the two armies clashed between the Rapidan and the Rappahannock.

On the 13th, Jefferson Davis approved Bragg's request to relieve General D. H. Hill of duty.

On October 14th, Confederate forces under Ambrose Powell Hill struck General Meade's forces as he withdrew to the Rappahannock.  Meade's fortified rear guard repelled Hill's corps.

October 17th saw Union Secretary of War Edwin Stanton order Ulysses S. Grant to assume command of the Military Division of the Mississippi.

On October 19th, J.E.B Stuart routed Union cavalry under Judson Kilpatrick in the Battle of Buckland Mills.

Grant relieved Rosecrans on the 19th, replacing him with George Thomas, known as "The Rock of Chickamauga."  Grant arrived in Chattanooga on the 23rd and immediately began to secure a better supply line to the city.  The next day, he approved the plan of Baldy Smith to open a supply line between Chattanooga and the Stevenson, Alabama railhead.

On October 25th, Confederate forces under John Marmaduke attempted to take Pine Bluff, Arkansas away from the Union garrison under Powell Clayton.  Despite being attacked on three sides, the Union troops, augmented by 300 freed slaves, held off the Rebs.

On October 27th, a small action was fought at Brown's Ferry, Tennessee which had major repercussions.  Two Union Brigades under William F. Smith drove Rebel sharpshooters under Evander Law and William Oates (who faced Chamberlain at Gettysburg) away from the Tennessee River.  This allowed the Union army to be resupplied without interruption.  This breakthrough paved the way for the eventual Union victory at Chattanooga.

Oliver Howard and his Union 11th Corps arrived at Brown's Ferry opening the badly needed supply line.  Supplies reached the besieged army on the 29th.

Also on the 29th, Jefferson Davis granted the request of Nathan Bedford Forrest to independently command his cavalry forces in North Mississippi and West Tennessee, freeing him from Braxton Bragg.
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