Almanac History - December 1862

December 1st, 1862

Lincoln gives his State of the Union Address to the 37th Congress. He discusses several proposed amendments which center around slavery and points out that "we cannot escape history,... In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free."

December 2nd, 1862

Confederates attack Union soldiers along the Hardin Pike near Nashville, TN. Southerners destroy 15 locomotives and about 100 railroad cars in the face of advancing Northern troops in Mississippi.

December 4th, 1862

Union troops capture Winchester, Virginia and take 145 Confederate soldiers prisoner. Northern troops clash with Confederates near Fredericksburg and also on Stone's River.

December 6th, 1862

Following the September Indian uprisings in Minnesota, Lincoln orders the execution of 39 Indians.

December 7th, 1862

President Jefferson Davis is worried about General John Pemberton's ability to hold out against an attack by Grant's men in Vicksburg. John Hunt Morgan carries out yet another raid in Hartville, TN taking more than 1800 Federal troops as prisoners.

December 10th, 1862

In a vote of 96 - 55, the United States House of Representatives passes a bill creating the state of West Virginia.

December 11th, 1862

General Burnside's Union forces occupy Fredericksburg, Virginia.. Near Nashville, Nathan Bedford Forrest moves in with nearly 2500 men to disrupt General Grant's lines of communication.

December 13th, 1862

About 106,000 Union troops descend on Stonewall Jackson's force of 72,000 at Fredericksburg. Union troops attempt to break through the Confederate defenses at Marye's Height but it is impossible for them to do more than struggle along the base of the ridge where the South is entrenched. One Union soldier comments, "It was a great slaughter pen...;they might as well have tried to take Hell."

December 14th, 1862

The Northern Army of the Potomac in and around Fredericksbug makes preparations to move back across the Rappahannock River.

December 15th, 1862

General Nathan Bedford Forrest with about 2,500 soldiers, has started toward Vicksburg intending to interfere with Grant's lines of communication along the way. Butler leaves Louisiana as military governor and few of New Orleans' citizens are sorry to see him leave!

December 16th, 1862

General Burnside and the Army of the Potomac occupy Falmouth, Virginia. He issues a statement accepting full responsibility for the Union failure at Fredericksburg. Banks succeeds General Butler in New Orleans.