Wednesday, December 5, 2007

1851 to 1862

The Insulted and Injured. Fyodor Dostoevsky. Russian. 1861. Novel. Purifying function of suffering. Dostoevsky's first full-length novel. Melodramatic. Verbal duels with cynical prince.

"Maryland, My Maryland." James Ryder Randall. American. 1861. Song. Sung to "O Tannenbaum." A favorite battle song of Confederate soldiers.

The Cloister and the Hearth. Charles Reade. British. 1861. Historical Novel. Uses historical characters. Erasmus as a child. The tragically thwarted love of his parents.

The House of the Dead. Fyodor Dostoevsky. Russian. 1861/62. Nonfiction. Life in Siberian prison. Based on Dostoevsky's personal experience.

1862. The Union gains its first major success in February as Fort Henry on the Tennessee River and Fort Donelson on the Cumberland fall to U.S. forces under Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

1862. The first naval battle between ironclad ships occurs March 8. The Confederate ironclad frigate Merrimac is forced to withdraw March 9 after an engagement with the Union's ironclad Monitor, built with a revolving gun turret.

1862. The Battle of Shiloh, April 6 and 7, on the Tennessee River ends after mass slaughter, with both sides claiming victory.

1862. The Second Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), August 30, ends in defeat for the Union.

1862. The Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) in Maryland, September 17, is indecisive.

1862. President Lincoln relieves Gen. McClellan of his command in November and places the Army of the Potomac under Gen. Ambrose Burnside. Gen. Lee hands Burnside a bad defeat, December 13, at the Battle of Fredericksburg.

1862. London has decided not to recognize the Confederacy on which Britain depends for cotton. The British are dependent on the North for grain exports.

1862. "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union," writes President Lincoln, August 22, in a letter to Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune, "and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could do it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and by leaving others alone, I would also do that."

1862. An Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Lincoln, September 22, declares that "persons held as slaves" within areas "in rebellion against the United States" will be free on and after January 1, 1863.

1862. Apaches led by Cochise hold Apache Pass with 500 warriors against 3,000 California volunteers until forced out by artillery fire. Cochise leads his followers deep into the Dragoon Mountains from which he continues raids that will terrorize white settlers until 1871.

1862. The Homestead Act voted by Congress declares that any U.S. citizen may have 160 acres of Western lands absolutely free (except for $10 registration fee) provided he make certain improvements and live on the tract for 5 years.

1862. English African explorer John Speke confirms that Lake Victoria is the source of the Nile, the world's longest river.

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