Get Back to Gettysburg


By Daniel Franc

Nov. 1,  1861: George B. McClellan succeeds Winfield Scott as general-in-chief of the U.S. Army, a post he will hold until mid-1862.

Nov. 2,  1861: Major General John C. Fremont, a former Republican senator and presidential candidate, is removed from command of the Army’s Department of the West following his unauthorized declaration of martial law and emancipation of slaves in Missouri, which President Lincoln feared would strengthen the Confederate cause in that state.

Nov. 6,  1861: Jefferson Davis is elected regular President of the Confederate States of America.

Nov. 7,  1861: Inconclusive Battle of Belmont in southeastern Missouri. In Ulysses S. Grant’s first action of the war, Federal troops cross the Mississippi and quickly overrun Confederates under Brigadier General Gideon Pillow, but after capturing and burning the Confederate encampment at Belmont, they are cut off by reinforcements and forced to fight their way out. In one of the earliest amphibious operations of the war, Port Royal, South Carolina, falls to a Federal assault after a lengthy bombardment of Forts Walker and Beauregard.

Nov. 8,  1861: The Trent Affair. Confederate diplomats John Slidell and James Mason, en route to England aboard the British merchant steamer RMS Trent, are captured near Havana by the frigate USS San Jacinto under Captain Charles Wilkes. Their seizure from a British vessel provokes international outrage and threatens war with Britain, but the dispute is resolved thanks in large part to Union alumnus Secretary of State William Seward. Mason and Slidell are later released and continue to Britain, but fail to win diplomatic recognition for the Confederacy.

Nov. 18,  1861: The 5th Session of the Provisional Confederate Congress convenes.

Nov. 28,  1861: Missouri is admitted as the 12th Confederate state despite not having officially seceded.



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