|Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside, USA, and his famous namesake whiskers|
|Gen. Burnside Relieves Gen. McClellan of Command|
—On this date, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler, the hated commandant of occupying Union forces in New Orleans, and military governor of southern Louisiana, is relieved of his command—or rather, the orders are drafted and given. It will take some time for his replacement, Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks, to arrive and deliver those orders. Butler has engaged in all kinds of sketchy projects, including confiscation of citizens’ property, forcing all citizens to swear allegiance to the U.S. (and jailing those who did not), levying steep taxes on the rich, and executing men who had desecrated the U.S. flag. He also closed down Episcopal Churches, which refused to include Pres. Lincoln in their prayers and engaged in secessionist activity; such churches claimed to be operating under the instructions of their Bishop—who happened to be Maj. Gen. Leonidas Polk of the Confederate Army. Butler had been skimming profits from the sale of confiscated property of Rebels, including siezed cotton. He arranged for ships that carried his goods to be let through the blockade so that he could make a fortune selling salt to the Confederate Army. He controlled all aspects of smuggling in the region, especially in liquor.
|Maj. Gen. Benjamin Franklin Butler, USA|
—George Grenville Benedict, of the 12th Vermont Infantry, writes home to his hometown newspapers about a soldier’s efforts to stay warm in an unseasonably early snowstorm in Virginia, by an ingenious attempt at a makeshift "stove":
The heating surface was pretty small, it is true; but we kept the old plate red hot by assiduous feeding. In an hour or two the ground around began to be sensibly warmed. A dry spot developed itself, as soon as the snow stopped falling, in the canvas of our tent over the stove, and extended slowly along the side. The temperature rose sensibly within;—and when by a fortunate stroke of policy we were enabled to substitute a sheet iron mess pan for our dinner plate, thus quadrupling our heating surface, we had all the heat we needed. We can no longer see our breath within our linen house. We laid our bread on the top of our stove and had hot toast with our tea for supper; and the prospects are that we shall sleep warm and dry to-night.
—Gen. Grant’s army approaches Holly Springs, Mississippi, and the Rebel garrison abandons the city to the Yankees.
—The merchant steamer T.B. Wales is captured by the CSS Alabama and burned at sea.