1865 December

December 1865

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December 1 1865 Friday

USA. US President Andrew Johnson ended the suspension of habeas corpus everywhere except in the District of Columbia, the former Confederate states, and the Territories of New Mexico and Arizona.

Tennessee. The White Supremacist association known as the Ku Klux Klan was founded during a series of local meetings in Pulaski.

USA: Colonel Charles Swain Lovell arrived to command the Department of the Columbia, succeeding Lieutenant Colonel John Miller Drake.

USA: Gershom Mott confirmed Major-General USV 1 December 1865 to rank from 26 May 1865.

USA: Major-General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick resigned from US Volunteers.

USA: Brigadier-General Stephen Gano Burbridge resigned from US Volunteers.

USA: Brigadier-General Charles Ewing resigned from US Volunteers.

USA: Brigadier-General Davis Tillson mustered out of US Volunteers.

December 2 1865 Saturday

Alabama. The state of Alabama became the 24th state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, which abolished slavery.

Mississippi. The Mississippi state legislature enacted the “Black Codes”, a group of laws under the Reconstruction Plan to control and regulate the conduct of black freedmen. These laws, which represented the southern definition of the status of emancipated black slaves, imposed restrictions on their participation on juries, limited their legal testimony against whites, required them to have steady work, and also imposed harsh vagrancy laws. The most notorious Black Codes were laws passed by Southern states in 1865 and 1866. These laws had the intent and the effect of restricting African Americans’ freedom and compelling them to work in a labour economy based on low wages or debt. Since the early 1800s, many laws in both North and South had discriminated systematically against free Blacks. In the South, “slave codes” placed significant restrictions on Black Americans who were not themselves slaves. A major purpose of these laws was maintenance of the system of white supremacy that made slavery possible. After the legal prohibition of slavery ordered by the Emancipation Proclamation, acts of the State legislatures, and eventually the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constituion, Southern states adopted new laws to regulate Black life. Although these laws had different official titles, they were commonly known as Black Codes. The defining feature of the Black Codes was vagrancy law which allowed local authorities to arrest freed people and commit them to involuntary labour.

USA: Brigadier-General John Thomas Croxton resigned from US Volunteers.

December 4 1865 Monday

USA. The US Congress denied the right of former Confederate Generals to serve as Federal Representatives and Senators.

USA. US Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles announced that the West India Squadron of the US Navy was to be re-established under the command of Commodore James Shedden Palmer.

North Carolina. The state of North Carolina became the 25th state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, which abolished slavery.

USA: Brigadier-General Henry Shaw Briggs mustered out of US Volunteers.

USA: Brigadier-General George Peabody Este resigned from US Volunteers.

December 5 1865 Tuesday

Georgia. The state of Georgia became the 26th state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, which abolished slavery.

December 10 1865 Sunday

USA: Major-General James Harrison Wilson assumed command of the Department of Georgia, succeeding Major-General James Blair Steedman.

December 11 1865 Monday

Oregon. The state of Oregon became the 27th state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, which abolished slavery.

December 13 1865 Wednesday

USA. The Joint Congressional Committee on Reconstruction was appointed under the chairmanship of Senator Francis Fessenden. This group, known as the “Joint Committee of Fifteen”, drawn mainly from the radical wing of the Republican Party, imposed punitive reconstruction measures on the Southern states.
Alabama. Conservative Robert M Patton was inaugurated Governor of Alabama.

December 14 1865 Thursday

Georgia. Charles J Jenkins became Governor of Georgia.

December 15 1865 Friday

Alabama. The Alabama state legislature enacted the “Black Codes”.

North Carolina. Jonathan Worth became Provisional Governor of North Carolina

December 18 1865 Monday

USA. The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, which abolished slavery, was declared to be in effect by US Secretary of State William Henry Seward because it had now received the necessary approval of the twenty-seven states.

December 20 1865 Wednesday

Alabama. Robert M Patton became provisional Governor of Alabama.

Florida. Harrison Reed became Governor of Florida.

Louisiana. The Louisiana state legislature enacted a set of “Black Codes”.

December 21 1865 Thursday

South Carolina. The South Carolina state legislature enacted a set of “Black Codes”.

USA: Brigadier-General Emory Upton assumed temporary command of the Middle Department, succeeding Major-General Winfield Scott Hancock.

December 26 1865 Tuesday

USA: Major-General Orlando Bolivar Willcox assumed temporary command of the Department of the Ohio, succeeding Major-General Edward Otho Cresap Ord.

December 29 1865 Friday

USA: Major-General Winfield Scott Hancock resumed command of the Middle Department, succeeding Brigadier-General Emory Upton.

December 31 1865 Sunday

USA: In round numbers, the Civil War was fought by two million Union soldiers and sailors and at least 640,000 of these became casualties. Of 750,000 men who served in the Confederate armed forces, 450,000 became casualties. Of the Union fatalities, 110,000 occurred in battle and 255,000 from disease or non-combat causes; and 275,000 were wounded. For the Confederates, there were 94,000 killed in battle, 162,000 from disease or otherwise and there were 194,000 wounded. The computed total for both sides was 623,026 dead and 471,427 wounded. Over 10,000 military actions were recorded in one calculation, listing 76 battles, 310 other engagements, 6,337 skirmishes, and numerous sieges, raids, and expeditions. By one estimate, of the 583 confirmed Union generals, 47 (8%) were killed in action, while for the Confederates 77 (18%) were killed out of 425. One in ten able-bodied Northern men was dead or wounded and one in four Southern men, inclusive of non-combatant black men.

USA: Brigadier-General William Grose resigned from US Volunteers.

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