As troops on both sides begin to enter winter camps, fighting has subsided with the onset of cold weather this month 150 years ago in the Civil War. The Associated Press reported on Dec. 27, 1863, that the U.S. steamer Massachusetts arrived from the Carolinas at Union-held Fort Monroe off the Virginia coast with more than 200 federal military personnel recently discharged from duty.
The ship also was carrying dozens of sick and 16 rebel prisoners taken from the captured rebel steamer Chatham off the Carolinas. AP also reported that the ship was bringing northward examples of some of the obstructions removed from Charleston Harbor in South Carolina that Confederates were using to defend the area. The obstructions were to be taken to Navy officials in Washington for examination.
AP added federal warships were continuing a blockade of Charleston with "little firing" between Confederate land batteries and federal warships anchored in nearby waters.