October 1862

President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had become the top issue of the war. Southerners were arguing that the decree exposed the North’s true war aim: to free the slaves. Northerners were voicing resentment about changing the war’s scope from preserving the Union to ending slavery. Abolitionists were arguing that it was too little.

Lincoln Visits the Stationary Army of the Potomac

1 Oct – President Abraham Lincoln left Washington to visit Major General George B. McClellan and inspect the Federal Army of the Potomac after the Battle of Antietam.

The Army of Northern Virginia Regroups

2 Oct – General Robert E. Lee reorganized his battered Confederate army, in which many men lacked the necessary food, clothing, or shelter.

The Battle of Corinth

3 Oct – Confederates under Major Generals Earl Van Dorn and Sterling Price lost the element of surprise and with it the chance to reclaim a key city in northern Mississippi.

Federals Capture Galveston

5 Oct – Federal army-navy forces occupied Galveston, the most important port on the Texas coast.

Battle Looms in Kentucky

7 Oct – Major General Don Carlos Buell’s Federal Army of the Ohio moved toward Perryville after Buell had deceived Confederate General Braxton Bragg into thinking they were headed for Frankfort.

The Battle of Perryville

8 Oct – The largest battle of the war in Kentucky ended in stalemate despite Major General Don Carlos Buell’s Federals vastly outnumbering General Braxton Bragg’s Confederates.

Stuart’s Second Ride Around McClellan

10 Oct – Major General J.E.B. “Jeb” Stuart’s Confederate cavalry reached Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, in a daring raid on Major General George B. McClellan’s Federal Army of the Potomac.

The Kentucky Campaign Ends

11 Oct – Confederate forces ended their unsuccessful Kentucky campaign, and Federal Major General Don Carlos Buell came under harsh scrutiny for not pursuing the withdrawing enemy aggressively enough.

The Army of the Potomac Remains Stationary

13 Oct – The Federal high command continued prodding Major General George B. McClellan to move his Army of the Potomac into Virginia, but McClellan continued resisting.

Morgan’s Second Kentucky Raid

15 Oct – As the two Confederate armies pulled out of Kentucky, Colonel John Hunt Morgan’s Confederate cavalry conducted another raid in the state.

Federals and Confederates Maneuver in Mississippi

16 Oct – Confederates reorganized their command structure in Mississippi, Major General Ulysses S. Grant was given new Federal responsibilities, and a secret mission to capture Vicksburg was concocted.

Confederates Return to Tennessee

20 Oct – The two Confederate armies left Kentucky, with one returning to eastern Tennessee and the other looking to threaten Middle Tennessee.

Foreign Recognition or Mediation

22 Oct – The leaders of Great Britain expressed new reluctance to recognize Confederate independence, and Emperor Napoleon III of France proposed foreign mediation between the two warring factions.

Rosecrans Replaces Buell

24 Oct – Federal Major General Don Carlos Buell received orders to turn his command over to Major General William S. Rosecrans for his failure to stop the Confederates’ escape from Kentucky.

McClellan Finally Moves

26 Oct – Major General George B. McClellan’s Federal Army of the Potomac crossed from Maryland to Virginia, nearly 40 days after the Battle of Antietam.

Confederate Struggles in the Trans-Mississippi

27 Oct – Federal forces pushed from Missouri into northwestern Arkansas, as Confederates in Arkansas were asked to provide support east of the Mississippi River.

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Last Updated: 10/28/2017

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