CivilWarTraveler.com
Sesquicentennial events

December 1862 & 2012

Dec 7, 1862 – Battle of Prairie Grove (AR)

Then: In an attempt to destroy Union forces in northwest Arkansas, Confederate Gen. Thomas Hindman attacked the Federal forces near Prairie Grove Church. The fight here resulted in a draw but cost nearly 2,600 casualties.


2012: The battlefield is preserved in the Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park.
State park commemoration TBA.
Website: arkansasstateparks.com/prairiegrovebattlefield.

Dec 7, 1862 – Morgan's Raid at Hartsville (TN)

Then: A large Federal detachment camped near this Cumberland River crossing was surprised by this early-morning Confederate attack. This turned out to be one of Confederate cavalryman John Hunt Morgan's greatest exploits. The Confederates swept up more than 1,800 prisoners here.


2012: A driving tour that includes a park and cemetery is available.
Anniversary event TBA.
Website: www.hartsvilletrousdale.com/civilwartour.html.

Dec 11, 1862 – Federals occupy Fredericksburg (VA)

Then: Confederates on the heights above Fredericksburg turned back wave after wave of Union attacks in one of the bloodiest and most futile assaults of the war.


2012: The Fredericksburg NPS plans special walking tours matching the time and location of the major battle-related events Dec 11-13.
Website: www.nps.gov/frsp

Dec 12, 1862 – Sinking of the USS Cairo (MS)

Then: The USS Cairo, a Union ironclad operating on the Mississippi River, was sunk by Confederate torpedoes (mines) during an operating on the Yazoo River.


2012: The wreck settled into silt and was raised in 1964. The restoration was completed in 1984 and is now on exhibit in a museum setting at the Vicksburg National Military Park.

Rangers at the Vicksburg National Military Park offer "anniversary of the sinking" programs at the museum Dec 8–9 and on the anniversary, Dec 12.
Website: www.nps.gov/vick.

Dec 13, 1862 – Battle of Fredericksburg (VA)

Then: Confederates on the heights above Fredericksburg turned back wave after wave of Union attacks in one of the bloodiest and most futile assaults of the war.


2012: The Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park preserves much of that high ground defended by Lee's Confederates that day. The Civil War Trust has preserved and interpreted part of the Union attack route at "The Slaughter Pen" south of downtown.
Website: www.nps.gov/frsp.
Website: www.civilwar.org/battlefields/fredericksburg.html.

An area-wide slate of living history events and walking tours, "Fire on the Rappahannock" is planned Dec. 7-9.
Website: fredericksburg150.org.

The Fredericksburg NPS plans special walking tours matching the time and location of the major battle-related events Dec. 11-13.
Website: www.nps.gov/frsp.

Fredericksburg

Dec 13–14, 1862 – Battle of Kinston (NC)

Then: Designed to coordinate with assault at Fredericksburg (VA) Union planners ordered an attack against the important railroad junction at Goldsborough (now Goldsboro). The Union raiders ran into resistance here.


2012: The site of the fighting is now marked with a driving tour and small park. Pick up information at the Blue-Gray Information Center on US 70 at Route 258.
Plans for the anniversary TBA.
Website: kinstoncivilwar.com.

Dec 17, 1862 – Battle of Goldsborough Bridge (NC)

Then: Designed to coordinate with assault at Fredericksburg (VA) Union planners ordered an attack against the important railroad junction at Goldsborough (now Goldsboro). Led by Gen. John Foster, Union troops fought their way to the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad bridge over the Neuse River, then burned it as Confederates withdrew to the other side. A Confederate counterattack later in the day against the Union rearguard resulted in more bloodshed before Union forces finally withdrew.


2012: A critical part of the battlefield is protected and interpreted in a park supported by a local organization.
A reenactment of the battle is planned Dec 15-16.
Website: www.goldsboroughbridge.com.

Dec 20, 1862 – Holly Springs (MS) Raid

Then: Confederate Gen. Earl Van Dorn staged a dramatic raid on Union Gen. US Grant's supply base here. This raid plus Forrest's raid against Union supply lines in Tennessee caused Grant to abandon his "overland" campaign against Vicksburg.


2012: The town features many antebellum homes that were landmarks during the raid. Pick up self-guided tour info at the Tourism Bureau, 148 E College Ave.
More info including audio tour: www.visithollysprings.com.

The annual "Holly Springs Pilgrimage" (April 13–15 this year) features Civil War history.

Dec 29, 1862 – Battle of Chickasaw Bayou (MS)

Then: Union Gen. William T. Sherman ordered frontal assaults on the Confederate defenses of Vicksburg, approaching from the northeast. The attacks failed, resulting in another setback to Grant's plans to attack Vicksburg directly.


2012: The battlefield can be viewed from Stop 9 on the Vicksburg National Military Park.

Ranger programs describe the action 9 am–4 pm on Dec 29.
Website: www.nps.gov/vick

Dec 31, 1862 – Battle of Parker's Crossroads (TN)

Then: N.B. Forrest was almost done in here after Union forces caught up during the Confederate genearal's December raid on Federal supply lines. But he managed to escape in part by ordering his troops to "charge both ways."


2012: More information about self-guided driving and walking tours is available at the visitor center just off I-40 in Parkers Crossroads.
Annual anniversary commemoration TBA.
Website: www.parkerscrossroads.com.

Dec 31, 1862–Jan 2, 1863 – Battle of Stone's River/Murfreesboro begins (TN)

Then: Bloody battle fought as Gen. William Rosecran's Union army marched from Nashville to clear out Confederates under Gen. Braxton Bragg at Murfreesboro. Union forces finally beat back the last Confederate counterattack after three days of fighting and Bragg withdrew to Tullahoma.


2012: Key parts of the battlefield are preserved in the Stones River National Battlefield.
Website: www.nps.gov/stri.

Living history, ranger tours and talks are planned Dec 26, 2012–Jan 2, 2013, at the Stones River National Battlefield. The programs follow the course of the battle. Details: www.nps.gov/stri/planyourvisit/upload/Anniversary-2012.pdf.