On Monday, November 16, 1863 Confederate troops under General James Longstreet, ordered north from Chattanooga, were nearing Knoxville, Tennessee. Union forces under General Ambrose Burnside had successfully withdrawn into Knoxville; the city was now besieged for all practical purposes.
In mid-November 1863 the relentless Union assault against Confederate held, Charlestown Harbor continued. From November 7 through the 10th 1753 rounds pounded Fort Sumter’s brick and earthen walls, with few Confederates wounded.
On November 15, 1863 four divisions commanded by General William Tecumseh Sherman arrived at Bridgeport on the Tennessee River. Sherman immediately went into Chattanooga to confer with Grant and to reconnoiter before moving his men closer to the city.
On Thursday, November 12, 1863 in what was described as “the social event of the year,” Kate Chase, eldest daughter of United States Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, married Rhode Island senator William Sprague.
Salmon Chase’s presidential ambitions had long constituted the ruling passions of Kate’s life. She made herself absolutely essential to her father, helping with his correspondence, editing his speeches, discussing political strategy, and entertaining his friends and colleagues.
The Union War Department on Wednesday, November 11, 1863 announced that Major General Benjamin F. Butler was being restored to active duty, replacing General John G. Foster as commander of the Union Department of Virginia and North Carolina.
An early war, political ally of Abraham Lincoln, Butler had been removed eleven months earlier from his command in New Orleans after embarrassing the Lincoln administration with his infamous “woman order,” for illegal confiscation of foreign assets, and for his injudicious, administrative rulings.
On Saturday, November 7, 1863 the Union Army of the Potomac under General George Meade pushed across the Rappahannock at Kelly’s Ford and Rappahannock Station, despite spirited engagements at both sites. Robert E. Lee immediately began withdrawing toward the Rapidan River.
While he was no doubt pleased with the initial success of General Nathaniel Banks’ invasion of South Texas, on Thursday, November 5, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln wrote Banks, expressing his personal disappointment that a constitutional government had not yet been established in Union occupied Louisiana and urged Banks to “lose no more time” in returning to New Orleans from South Texas so he could establish a Unionist, Louisiana state government.
On Wednesday, November 4, 1863 Confederate General Braxton Bragg, responding to an earlier suggestion by Jefferson Davis, ordered James Longstreet’s corps to move against east Tennessee which was controlled by Ambrose Burnside’s Union forces.
On Monday, November 2, 1863 President Jefferson Davis arrived in Charlestown, South Carolina, welcomed by General Pierre Beauregard and Charlestown Mercury editor Robert Barnwell Brett, two of his greatest detractors.
On Monday, November 2, 1863 at the mouth of the Rio Grande River in south Texas General Nathaniel Banks’ 3500 man Union expeditionary force successfully occupied the island of Brazos Santiago, gaining a toehold in Confederate Texas.