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December 1

1860- Robert Anderson renews his plea for reinforcements.

1861- U.S. gunboat Penguin captures the blockade-runner Albion of Nassau off
Charleston and confiscates her cargo.

1863- Finding Lee's Mine Run defenses too strong, Meade withdraws the Army of
the Potomac into winter quarters at Culpeper, Va.

      - Bragg is removed from the Army of Tennessee to become military advisor to
Pres. Davis.

1864- James Speed replaces Edward Bates at U.S. Attorney General.

December 2

1863- Lt. Gen. William Hardee receives Bragg's command at Dalton, Ga.

1864- Hood takes up a defensive line south of Nashville.

December 3

1826- George Brinton McClellan is born in Philadelphia.

December 4

1860- In his annual message to Congress, Pres. James Buchanan declares that
secession is unconstitutional but denies that Federal government has power to
force states to remain in the Union.

1862- Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston assumes overall command in the

1863- Longstreet retreats toward southwestern Virginia after ending the siege of

December 5

1839- George Armstrong Custard (USA) is born in New Rumley, Ohio.

December 6

1833- John Singleton Mosby (CSA) is born in Edgemont, Va.

1864- Salmon P. Chase is appointed Chief Justice of the United States, after the
death of Roger B. Taney.

      - Pres. Lincoln reports that in the year ending July 1, 1863, the War and Navy
Departments had spent $776,525,135.74

December 7

1862- Confederate raider John Hunt Morgan, with 1,400 men, surprises a Federal
garrison at Hartsville, Tenn., taking 1,800 prisoners.

December 8

1860- Secretary of the Treasury Howell Cobb of Georgia resigns, believing
secession is imperative.

1863- Pres. Lincoln issues Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, pardoning
participants "in the existing rebellion" if they take an oath to the Union.

December 9

1860- Buchanan agrees not to reinforce the Charleston forts without notifying South
Carolina congressmen.

1862- Negro Federal troops at Fort Jackson, La., mutiny over alleged mistreatment
by one white officers of his soldiers.

December 10

1861- An act of the Confederate Congress in Richmond admits Kentucky to the
Confederacy, thus completing the thirteen states.

December 11

1861- Already suffering under Federal blockade, Charleston, S.C., is struck by a
disastrous fire that sweeps through its business district.

1862- Burnside's troops start to cross the Rappahannock at Fredericksburg.

      - Brig. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest launches a cavalry attack upon Grant's
communication lines in Tennessee.

December 12

1862- On the Yazoo River, Miss., the Federal ironclad Cairo strikes a mine and
sinks; the crew escapes.

December 13

1818- Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln, is born in Lexington, Ky.

1862- Burnside's repeated frontal assaults on Lee's lines are repulsed with heavy
loss in the Battle of Fredericksburg.

1864- Sherman captures Fort McAllister, guarding Savannah, and establishes
contact with Dahlgren's Union blockading fleet.

December 14

1860- Secretary of State Lewis Cass of Michigan resigns because of Buchanan's
failure to reinforce Anderson at Fort Sumter.

1861- Brig. Gen. H.H. Sibley assumes command of the Confederate forces on the
upper Rio Grande and in New Mexico and Arizona Territories.

December 15

1862- The defeated Army of the Potomac withdraws across the Rappahannock

1863- Confederate Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early is assigned to the Shenandoah Valley

1864- Thomas assaults Hood's army in front of Nashville.

December 16

1864- Battle of Nashville ends as Confederate army commanded by Gen. John B.
Hood is almost destroyed by Union troops under Gen. George Thomas.

December 17

1861- Federals sink several old hulks loaded with stones in Savannah Harbor in an
effort to halt shipping.

December 18

1860- Senator John J. Crittenden of Kentucky proposes six amendments to the
Constitution, protecting slavery.

1865- Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is declared in effect by
Secretary of State Seward after approval by 27 states.

December 19

1814- Edwin McMasters Stanton, U.S. Secretary of War 1862-1868, is born in
Steubenville, Ohio.

December 20

1860- In Charleston, the South Carolina Convention passes formal declaration of
secession being the first state to secede.

      - The Senate forms the Committee of Thirteen to seek compromise.

1861- The Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War is organized, consisting of
U.S. Senators Benjamin Wade (Chairman), Zachariah Chandler, and Andrew
Johnson; and Representatives D.W. Gooch, G.W. Julian, John Covode, and
Moses F. Odell.

1862- Van Dorn destroys Grant's supply depot at Holly Springs, Miss., halting his
advance on Vicksburg.

      - Sherman leaves Memphis and heads down the Mississippi River for

December 21

1862- Confederate Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan starts a cavalry raid on the Federal
supply lines in central Tennessee.

1864- Threatened by an assault from Sherman, Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee
evacuates Savannah, Ga.; Sherman occupies the city.

December 22

1860- Lincoln's opposition to the key Crittenden proposal protecting slavery in the
territories is made public.

1864- Gen. Sherman sends Pres. Lincoln a message: "I beg to present you, as a
Christmas gift, the city of Savannah...."

December 23

1864- A Federal fleet rendezvouses near Wilmington, N.C., for an attack on Fort

December 24

1860- The Senate Committee of Thirteen rejects the Crittenden Compromise.

1864- Federal fleet begins bombardment of Fort Fisher, N.C., which guards the
Wilmington, the last Confederate port even partially open.

December 25

1864- Federal army and navy troops take Fort Fisher, N.C., but the attack fails.

December 26

1860- Anderson withdraws all the Federal forces in Charleston Harbor from Fort
Moultrie to stronger Fort Sumter.

1862- Federals attack a guerrilla camp in Powell County, Ky.

December 27

1860- The U.S. flag is raised over Fort Sumter as South Carolina troops occupy
Charleston forts.

1861- Seward announces the release of Mason and Slidell and acknowledges
Wilkes' error in seizing them.

1863- Joseph E. Johnston assumes command of the Confederate Army of

December 28

1862- Federal Army of the Frontier pushes back Confederates at Dripping Springs,
Ark., capturing Van Buren, Ark.

December 29

1808- Andrew Johnson, 17th U.S. President (1865-1869), succeeding Abraham
Lincoln, is born in Raleigh, N.C.

1860- Secretary of War John Floyd of Virginia resigns.

December 30

1862- U.S.S. Monitor, hero of the battle with the Merrimac, sinks of Cape Hatteras
in heavy seas, 16 officers and men are lost.

December 31

1815- George Gordon Meade (USA) is born in Cadiz, Spain.

1860- The Committee of Thirteen reports its failure to reach a compromise.

      - Buchanan orders reinforcements for Anderson.

1862- Bragg holds the edge over Rosecrans after a day of heavy fighting at
Murfreesboro, Tenn.