In November 1864 Lincoln won the election for President. In the South, such was the impact of Sherman that a call for the people in Georgia in rise up against him received minmal support. Towards the end of November the state capital, Midgeville, was burned and looted by Sherman’s men.
November 1st: Promised supplies had not arrived and promised repairs to railroads were not carried out – both of which seriously hindered Hood in his attempt to defeat Sherman in the South.
November 5th: Hood met General Beauregard at Tuscumbia to discuss their strategy against Union forces. Most senior officers under Hood wanted him to actively seek out Sherman while Hood himself wanted to launch an offensive north towards the Union. This prospect greatly concerned officers under Hood who could not comprehend why Hood would let Sherman and his army roam around the South unhindered.
November 7th: The Congress of the Confederate States of America met in Richmond. Jefferson Davis spoke in an optimistic manner underplaying the loss of Atlanta. Davis also publicly urged Hood to seek out Sherman and defeat his army. Hood had other ideas. He wanted to march into Kentucky and Tennessee to launch an attack on the Union forces based there so that Union troops would be sucked away from their armies opposing Lee in the Eastern Theatre to support their comrades in Tennessee/Kentucky. In view of Hood’s lack of supplies, he probably did not have a full knowledge as to his true military situation when compared to the armies that opposed him.
November 8th: Lincoln won the Presidential election. He had feared a move towards the Democrats because of his belief that the war was becoming unpopular. In fact the Republicans increased their representation within both the House and the Senate. The election results indicated to Davis and the Confederate Congress that there would be no negotiated peace settlement.
November 9th: Sherman ordered the resumption of the Union advance into Georgia. He ordered General Thomas to defeat the army of Hood while he planned to advance north to assist Grant in his defeat of Lee. Grant was fighting 1,000 miles away so Sherman marched his men to Savannah to allow for a march up the eastern coastline. Bolstered with plenty of supplies acquired from Atlanta, Sherman was confident of success. He also knew that the land his men were marching through was rich in supplies.
November 11th: Union troops in Atlanta and Rome destroyed anything that could be of use to the Confederacy before they left. In Atlanta all buildings except churches and a few houses were destroyed.
November 14th: Lincoln accepted the resignation of Major-General George McClellan – the man who had opposed him in the election. Lincoln promoted Sheridan to the rank of Major-General.
November 15th: The destruction of Atlanta was completed. The economic hub of Georgia was destroyed – this action by Sherman created much bitterness in the South.
November 16th: Sherman’s army of 60,000 men left Atlanta. The twenty days rations they carried came from the city and left the people there with little to eat or drink. Facing Sherman’s large army was just 20,000 Confederate troops with few supplies.
November 17th: Davis denounced any Southern state that intimated that as an individual state it might seek a peace settlement with the Union. In particular, he was concerned that Georgia might do this and contacted the state’s senators accordingly.
November 19th: A call to arms in Georgia met with little response – it was as if the morale of the state had imploded after the treatment handed out to Atlanta. There was a fear that what had happened to Atlanta might happen to other areas within the state if they were seen to be still opposing Sherman.
November 20th: Confederate forces continued to harass Sherman’s army as it advanced to Savannah – but to success. Sherman’s response was to order the destruction of even more property.
November 22nd: Sherman’s army entered Georgia’s state capital, Midgeville. The city was burned and looted.
November 23rd: General William J Hardee was given command of the army that was meant to oppose Sherman’s march to the sea.
November 29th: Hood’s Army of Tennessee had the opportunity to defeat a Union army at Spring Hill, Tennessee, but failed to do so because of a collapse in the ability of senior officers to communicate with one another.
November 30th: Hood continued in his attempt to defeat the Union force at Spring Hill, Tennessee. Both armies numbered 23,000 men. The North lost a total of 2,326 men but the battle cost Hood’s army dearly – 6,252 men were lost, including six generals. The Union army, commanded by General Schofield, moved on to Nashville while Hood’s men had to remain on the land in increasingly poor weather.
- November 1863 is best remembered for what was to become the most famous speech made during the American Civil War - the Gettysburg Address by…