November 1862

The Confederacy was emboldened by the midterm Federal elections in the North. Confederate commerce raiders continued harassing northern shipping on the high seas, but the Federal naval blockade continued its slow strangulation of the southern economy. The controversial career of the North’s most popular general ended, and the Federals embarked on another major movement in Virginia.

The Vicksburg Campaign Begins

Ulysses S. Grant starts moving toward the key town of Vicksburg, Mississippi, unaware that another Federal general was secretly planning to take the town with a different force.

Crumbling Into Bloodstained Fragments

Democrats make substantial gains in both the Federal and state elections, which reflects growing dissatisfaction with Abraham Lincoln’s war policies among northern voters.

Lincoln Removes McClellan

George B. McClellan receives orders finally removing him as commander of the Federal army that he had created.

The Romance of War Was Over

George B. McClellan formally turns the Army of the Potomac over to Ambrose E. Burnside and bids his troops a sad but fond farewell.

Seeking to Open the Mississippi

Nathaniel P. Banks receives orders assigning him to command the Federal Department of the Gulf, operating mostly in Louisiana and Texas. Banks would eventually succeed the controversial Benjamin F. Butler.

Burnside Proposes a Bold New Strategy

Ambrose E. Burnside takes command of the Federal Army of the Potomac and quickly develops a plan to move southeast down the Rappahannock River to the key Virginia town of Fredericksburg.

Grant Looks to Drive Deeper Into Mississippi

Ulysses S. Grant experiences many obstacles while trying to advance his Federal Army of the Tennessee southward into northern Mississippi.

The Fall of Holly Springs

Ulysses S. Grant begins his drive on the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg by securing an important town for his supply base.

A Nominal and Useless Job

Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston finds himself at odds with President Jefferson Davis over strategy, and the Confederate secretary of war resigns.

The Army of the Potomac Mobilizes

The Army of the Potomac prepares for its march on Fredericksburg under its new commander, Ambrose E. Burnside.

The Army of the Potomac Reaches Falmouth

Ambrose Burnside’s Federal Army of the Potomac steals a march on Robert E. Lee’s Confederates and arrives at Falmouth in northeastern Virginia.

Fredericksburg: Confederates Take the Heights

One of Robert E. Lee’s Confederate corps begin taking positions on the heights outside Fredericksburg, as Ambrose E. Burnside’s Federal Army of the Potomac assembles across the Rappahannock River at Falmouth.

Seeking Supremacy in Middle Tennessee

Braxton Bragg reorganizes his Confederate army in Middle Tennessee, and William S. Rosecrans plans to oppose him.

Fredericksburg: Federals Threaten Bombardment

Federals threaten to bombard Fredericksburg, Virginia, while men of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia hurry to strengthen the town’s defenses.

Fredericksburg: Federal Pontoons Finally Arrive

Ambrose Burnside continues waiting for all his pontoons to arrive, while Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s Confederate corps hurries east from the Shenandoah Valley to reinforce Robert E. Lee’s army outside Fredericksburg.

Moving Toward Battle in Northwestern Arkansas

A Federal division isolated in northwestern Arkansas becomes prey to Confederates poised to not only wipe the Federals out of the state but to reenter Missouri as well.

Fredericksburg: The Army of Northern Virginia Unites

Ambrose Burnside’s Federals are finally poised to cross the Rappahannock River in northern Virginia, while Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s Confederates hurry to reinforce Robert E. Lee’s army behind Fredericksburg.

Last Updated: 11/27/2022

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