Author Archives: Civil War-Civil Rights

About Civil War-Civil Rights

Jack Hurst is a former longtime print journalist who has written three Civil War books: Nathan Bedford Forrest: A Biography (Alfred A. Knopf, 1993), Men of Fire: Grant, Forrest, and the Campaign That Decided the Civil War (Basic Books, 2007), and a second book about Ulysses S. Grant and Nathan Bedford Forrest, Born To Battle, published in June 2012 by Basic Books. He also had a desk in the rear of the cityroom of the Nashville Tennessean and watched David Halberstam go about covering the desegregation movement in Nashville in 1960-61 and himself covered some of the civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham for the Tennessean in 1963. He owes profuse thanks to Jennifer Kelland Fagan, copy editor extraordinaire and computer guru,for indispensable aid in the design evolution of this blog. Her eye-catching website can be accessed at

January ’65

1865 Winter’s onset stalled most major military operations and pushed diplomatic thrusts toward center stage. But from both sides those initiatives were fitful and abortive. Neither chief executive–Abraham Lincoln nor Jefferson Davis–would budge from his fundamental position. Or could. Davis … Continue reading

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February ’65

1865 The Confederate States of America and its “peculiar” institution were nearing the bottom of an increasingly slippery slope to extinction. The most telling sign was ratification of a brand-new constitutional amendment, the 13th, by the state of Illinois just … Continue reading

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March ’65

1865 The once-vaunted Confederate military, winnowed to dribs and drabs, now fell to pieces. On the month’s third day, at Waynesborough, Va., a unit of Union cavalry under Brig. Gen. George Armstrong Custer routed and destroyed most of the surviving … Continue reading

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April ’65

1865 And then suddenly it was over. Not completely, of course. There still would be pockets of resistance and individual Confederates who would try to get to Texas to keep fighting or escape to Canada, England, or elsewhere to avoid … Continue reading

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May ’65

1865 Subsequent Confederate surrenders, all minor compared to the April ones of the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of Tennessee, kept coming. General Richard Taylor–commanding Confederates in Alabama, Mississippi, and eastern Louisiana–capitulated on May 4 to Maj. Gen. … Continue reading

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June ’65

1865 June saw the last significant surrender of soldiers flying the Confederate flag. The final organized force to lay down its arms did so on June 18, 1865 at Doaksville in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. These Confederates were American Indians, … Continue reading

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December ’64

1864 The Confederate Army of Tennessee–its ranks and officer corps vastly thinned by the failed assaults the previous afternoon at Franklin, Tenn.–headed to Nashville behind a fleeing Union army on Dec. 1. The Confederate commander, Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood, … Continue reading

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November ’64

1864 November–Nov. 8, specifically–offered the Confederacy its last best chance of survival. The date was that of the presidential election, which pitted Union Maj. Gen. George McClellan, nominee of the Peace Democrats, against incumbent Abraham Lincoln. The height of the … Continue reading

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October ’64

1864 Confederate war-making strategies, particularly west of the Appalachians, became increasingly wild gambles in October. The undermanned aims of these gambits were all the same: to stave off Union drives that, if successful, would produce inexorable Dixie defeat. Lt. Gen. … Continue reading

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September ’64

1864 A comparatively quiet military act that would profoundly affect Union politics occurred on the month’s first day. The Confederates gave up Atlanta. Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, ordered by General-in-Chief U. S. Grant to press Georgia’s defenders as hard … Continue reading

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