August 1863

Both North and South were reassessing their conditions and realigning their forces following the major events of July. Much of the northern resentment against the war was tempered by the recent Federal victories. Southerners were lamenting their defeats and preparing to make even harder sacrifices for their cause.

Charleston: Federals Plan Another Attack

1 Aug – Federal army-navy forces continued working to capture Morris Island at the southern entrance to Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.

Chattanooga: Bragg Looks to Counterattack

2 Aug – Confederate General Braxton Bragg looked to take back Middle Tennessee, while the Lincoln administration continued pressuring Federal Major General William S. Rosecrans to advance.

From Spencer G. Welch, 13th South Carolina

2 Aug – Letter from Dr. Spencer Glasgow Welch, a surgeon with the 13th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry.

Post-Vicksburg: Grant’s Army Reduced

3 Aug – Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s Federal Army of the Tennessee underwent vast reductions following its capture of Vicksburg.

Averell Raids into West Virginia

5 Aug – Federal Brigadier General William W. Averell initiated another of the war’s many raids into West Virginia, which culminated in an engagement at White Sulphur Springs.

Federal Conscription: Lincoln Insists the Draft Continue

7 Aug – President Abraham Lincoln rejected New York Governor Horatio Seymour’s request to suspend the military draft in his state.

Lee Submits His Resignation

8 Aug – General Robert E. Lee submitted his resignation as commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia to President Jefferson Davis.

Post-Vicksburg: Davis Deals with Crisis

9 Aug – Confederate President Jefferson Davis tried to regroup after the disastrous loss of the Mississippi River.

Federals Target Little Rock

12 Aug – A Federal force led by Major General Frederick Steele advanced westward from Helena, Arkansas, to capture the state capital of Little Rock.

The Border District: Ewing Incites Guerrillas

14 Aug – Brigadier General Thomas Ewing incurred the wrath of Confederate raiders operating along the Missouri-Kansas border by targeting their relatives, including women and children.

Chattanooga: The Federals Advance

16 Aug – Major General William S. Rosecrans’s Federal Army of the Cumberland finally began moving out of Tullahoma to capture the vital railroad city of Chattanooga.

Charleston: The Federal Bombardment Begins

17 Aug – Federal heavy artillery opened fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, while Federal naval vessels began bombarding Battery Wagner on Morris Island to the south.

The Knoxville Campaign Begins

20 Aug – Major General Ambrose E. Burnside’s Federal Army of the Ohio finally began moving to occupy eastern Tennessee and protect the left flank of the Federals advancing on Chattanooga.

The Sack of Lawrence

21 Aug – Colonel William C. Quantrill’s Confederate raiders rampaged through Lawrence, the focal point of “Bleeding Kansas” since before the war.

Federals Close in on Chattanooga

21 Aug – Federal artillery opened fire on Chattanooga, as Major General William S. Rosecrans tried enveloping the vital railroad city.

Charleston: The Swamp Angel Debuts

22 Aug – Federals unleashed the destructive cannon nicknamed the “Swamp Angel” on the people of Charleston, South Carolina.

Charleston: The Bombardment Winds Down

23 Aug – The Federal bombardment of Fort Sumter and Batteries Wagner and Gregg in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, temporarily halted.

The Missouri Relocation

25 Aug – Brigadier General Thomas Ewing, commanding the Federal District of the Border between Missouri and Kansas, issued repressive orders that threatened to escalate the bitter partisan war in the region even further.

Charleston: The H.L. Hunley Sinks

29 Aug – The experimental Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley sank in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.

Northern Virginia and the Confederate Strategy Conference

31 Aug – General Robert E. Lee attended a conference with President Jefferson Davis at Richmond to discuss upcoming Confederate strategy in Virginia and elsewhere.

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Last Updated: 9/3/2018

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