Five warships of the Union Gulf blockading squadron in early October 1862 effectively forced the surrender of the important Confederate port at Galveston, Texas. The Federal ships gave Galveston’s civil and military authorities four days to remove the women and children from the town, threatening to shell the city if it was not surrendered by the end of the fourth day.
Many in the South were openly critical of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which had been announced after the Battle of Antietam. In early October 1862, one of Richmond’s most prominent newspapers, the Whig, acknowledged that with a dash of Lincoln’s pen, the South’s investment in slavery would be destroyed, if the southern independence effort failed.
On Saturday, October 4, 1862, General Earl Van Dorn’s Confederates renewed their assault against General William Rosecrans’ Federals at Corinth, Mississippi. As the estimated 22,000 man Confederate force moved forward, Union artillery swept the field causing heavy casualties, but the Rebels continued onward.
After the battle of Iuka in September 1862, General Earl Van Dorn’s Confederates and those of General Sterling Price were combined. On October 3, 1862, this newly structured Confederate army under the leadership of Van Dorn attacked Union forces guarding the critical transportation hub of Corinth, Mississippi. After severe fighting, the Confederates exploited a gap in the Union line and continued to press the Federals until they fell back to an inner line of fortifications closer to Corinth.
Distressed over what he perceived as procrastination by the Army of the Potomac since Antietam, on October 1, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln, with a party of advisors, left Washington, D.C. for Harper’s Ferry to confer with Union General George McClellan. On October 2, Lincoln left Harper’s Ferry for McClellan’s field headquarters, where the president for two days occupied a tent next to McClellan’s.