Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

December 7.—Major-General Foster, from his headquarters at Tazewell, Tenn., sent the following to the National War Department: “Longstreet is on a full retreat up the valley. Your orders about following with cavalry, shall be carried out. My division of cavalry attacked the enemy’s cavalry in one of the passes of Clinch Mountains, yesterday P.M., and are pushing them vigorously. Couriers from Knoxville arrived last night. The road is clear. Sherman arrived here yesterday.”

—President Lincoln issued the following recommendation for prayer and thanksgiving, for the defeat of the rebels under General Longstreet: “Reliable information having been received that the insurgent force is retreating from East-Tennessee, under circumstances rendering it probable that the Union forces cannot hereafter be dislodged from that important position, and esteeming this to be of high national consequence, I recommend that all loyal people do, on receipt of this information, assemble at their places of worship, and render special homage and gratitude to Almighty God for this great advancement of the national cause.”—A debate on the question of the employment of substitutes in the Southern army was held in the rebel Congress.—The steamer Von Phul, on a trip from New-Orleans to St Louis, was fired into at a point about eight miles above Bayou Sara, and seriously damaged. — Major-General John A. Logan assumed command of the Fifteenth army corps, at Bridgeport, Ala.—The British steamer Ceres was captured off the port of Wilmington, North-Carolina.

—Full and enthusiastic meetings were held in various portions of Indiana. At the capital of the State, General Carrington made a strategical speech, illustrated by maps and diagrams, showing how the rebels could be circumvented.—Jefferson Davis sent a message to the rebel Congress, which was received and read in both houses.—(Doc. 21.)

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