Friday, August 25, 2006

An Amateur’s Look at the American Civil War: August

August 1

1861: Brazil recognizes the CSA as a belligerent.
Confederate Captain Baylor declares both New Mexico and Arizona Territories as part of the CSA.

1862: In response to Union General Pope’s order to treat harshly anyone who gives aid to the Confederate cause, the CS Government issues General Order #54, declaring that General Pope and his officers were not entitled to prisoner-of-war status and could be hanged if anyone is executed by Pope’s orders.
US President Lincoln signs the Second Confiscation Act into law. One of the provisions was that any slave that reached Union territory would be automatically freed.
Private Robert Sneeden, mapmaker for III Corps, writes about Union troops destroying a plantation that served as an observation post for Confederates.

1863: The army Union General Grant used to take Vicksburg, MS is broken up for occupation duty.
Union and confederate cavalry skirmish near Brandy Station, VA.
Confederate spy Belle Boyd once again captured and taken to Old Capital prison, Washington, DC. (Where she was this time the previous year.)
CS President Davis offers amnesty to all Confederate soldiers absent without leave.
Skirmish at Smith’s Shoals, KY.
While the blockade is strangling Southern ports, Northern ports, such as Boston, MA are having a boom.

1864: Union General Sheridan is named commander of the Army of the Shenandoah.
Confederate cavalry ride toward Cumberland, MD while pursued by Union General Averill’s cavalry. A scratch force under Union General Benjamin Kelly ambushes the Confederates, forcing a withdrawal.

August 2

1861: Union General Fremont sends reinforcements for General Lyon who is engaging Confederates near Dug Springs, MO.
Confederates take Ft Stanton, New Mexico Territory.

1862: US Minister to the UK, Charles Francis Adams, receives instructions to refuse any British offer of mediation. C. F. Adams is the son of President John Quincy Adams and the grandson of President John Adams.
Union forces seize Orange Court House, VA.
Skirmish at Coahoma County, MS.
Skirmishes at Ozark and Clear Creek, both in MO.

1863: Plan is submitted that involves mounting a single heavy cannon at the battery to be constructed at Morris Island, SC. This cannon could engage targets in Charleston, 7900 yards away.
Skirmishing along the Rappahannock River, VA.

1864: Union and Confederate cavalry engage again at Hancock, MD.
US Navy begins clearing Mobile Bay, AL of blockade runners.
Union Commodore George Colvocoresses and 115 men arrest Confederates at McIntosh Court house, GA who were trying to organize a coast guard.
CSS Rappahannock is abandoned at Calais, France after being repaired. The French will only allow a 35-man crew to sail the ship out of port and that is not enough to go out on the high seas. This is a sign of waning support for the Confederacy amongst Europeans.

1865: CSS Shenandoah hails a British ship in the eastern Pacific and her crew learns that the war is truly over. Realizing that they could now be considered pirates for attacking the US Whaling Fleet, Captain Waddell orders all arms dismounted and placed in the hold. Then he orders the crew to sail to England where he will turn her over to British authorities. This journey will make the CSS Shenandoah the only Confederate States Navy vessel to circumnavigate the globe.

August 3

1861: Union reinforcements reach General Lyon at Dug Springs, MO
Skirmish at Mesilla, New Mexico territory with Union troops getting the upper hand.

1862: Union General Halleck orders General McClellan to move his army back to Alexandria, VA.
Skirmish at Chariton Bridge, MO.
Action at Jonesboro and Lauguelle Ferry, both in AR.
At a meeting of the Federal Cabinet, Secretary of the Treasury Chase expressed the opinion that emancipation should be the main war aim.
New York Herald leads its news with a report on the capture of Confederate spy Belle Boyd, “the betrayer of our forces at Front Royal.” She had tipped Confederate General Jackson to the disposition of Federal forces in the area.
Jennie Hodges assumes the name of “Albert Cashier” and enlists in the 95th IL.

1863: Union troops begin building the access road for the new battery at Morris Island, SC.
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes that $12 to $15 Confederate will buy $1 in gold. Flour sells for $40 a barrel. Bacon is $1.75 a pound. Coal sells for $25 for a cart full. Fire wood can be had for $30 per cord. Butter can be had for $3 a pound.

1864: Union troops land on Dauphin Island, AL and besiege Ft Gains.

August 4

1861: US Government advertisements asking for proposals to improve the Navy, especially in ironclads.
Ralph Waldo Emerson writes to a friend that “If the abundance of heaven only sends us a fair share of light & conscience, we shall redeem America for all its sinful years since the century began.” Referring to slavery and that the war is the nations penance for slavery.

1862: Union General Burnside has moved his troops from Fredericksburg, VA, fearing an attack by Confederate General Lee.
Indiana offers two African-American regiments but is declined by US President Lincoln, despite a problem with raising troops. There is resistance to three-year enlistments and a nine-month enlistment is offered.
Skirmish at White Oak Swamp Bridge, VA.
Skirmish at Sparta, TN.

1863: At the Morris Island, SC Battery site, Union engineers come under Confederate fire. A dummy site is planned to be built so the Confederates will be distracted.
Skirmishing continues along the Rappahannock River, VA.

1864: Union General John Schofield’s Army of the Ohio crosses Utoy Creek in an attempt to cut the last rail line going to Atlanta, GA.
US Army Signal Corps officers have reported to Admiral Farragut near Mobile Bay, AL. They will maintain communication with ground forces during the attack planned for the next day.

August 5

1861: Union General Lyon’s troops are forced back from Dug Springs, MO in the face of heavy Confederate pressure.
Confederate blockade runner Alvarado is captured and burned by USS Vincennes off the Florida coast.
Henry Brooks Adams writes to a friend from London, England of the humiliation Americans living in Britain felt when news of the Battle of Bull Run (Manassas, VA) hit the front pages of UK papers.

1862: Confederate forces under General Breckenridge launch an attack on the Union garrison at Baton Rouge, LA. Before the assault is made, a group of Confederate partisans mistakes them for Union infantry and open fire. Among those killed is Captain Alexander Todd, brother-in-law of US President Lincoln. The attack itself has initial success but it was also dependent on supporting fire from CSS Arkansas, which never arrives. Breckenridge is forced to pull back. Among the Federal dead is the garrison commander, General Thomas Williams.
Iowa Governor Samuel Kirkwood sends a letter to Union General-in-Chief Halleck calling in him to allow African-Americans to join the Army, but only as cooks and laborers, not as soldiers.

1863: Foundation of Morris Island Battery, now named after a Colonel Serrell, commander of the effort, is in place.
Confederates strengthen both Battery Wagner and Ft Sumter in order to counter Union moves on James Island.
USS Commodore Barney is damaged by a electric (battery powered) torpedo near Dutch Gap, VA.
Skirmishes at Cold Spring Gap, WV, Little Washington, VA, and Muddy Run, VA.
US President Lincoln begins planning on how territory now under Federal control can be reintegrated into the USA.

1864: Battle of Mobile Bay, AL. Union commander; Admiral David Farragut aboard USS Hartford. Confederate commander: Admiral Franklin Buchanan aboard CSS Tennessee. At dawn, troops under the command of Union General Gordon Granger attack Ft Gains while Admiral Farragut’s fleet sails past Ft Morgan, guarding the east end of the bay opening. The area was covered with a field of torpedoes (mines). At 7:45 a.m. USS Tecumseh strikes a torpedo and sinks, taking 90 with her. Both fleets engage each other until 10 a.m. when CSS Tennessee surrenders. Union forces control the entrance of the bay but not the two main forts yet. Union victory. (It has been noted that Admiral Farragut had ordered when hearing of the torpedoes, “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” Today there is a debate whether or not he actually said that.)
A radical faction of the Republican Party issued a manifesto accusing US President Lincoln of overstepping his power when he vetoed a reconstruction bill.

August 6

1861: US Congress passes a law that allows for the confiscation of any and all property that is used for insurrection. That includes slaves used in the construction of Confederate fortifications. US President Lincoln signs the bill, although he felt by doing so he was giving belligerent status to the CSA, and therefore recognition.

1862: CSS Arkansas, while attempting to assist in an assault on Baton Rouge, LA loses her engines south of Vicksburg, MS. USS Essex appears and attacks. Arkansas’s commander decides to scuttle the vessel to prevent her from falling into Union hands.
In that same attack, Confederate forces under General Breckenridge contend with thick fog and Union gunboat support and have to withdraw.
Union General Robert McCook is ambushed by Confederate partisans north of Athens, AL. He will die of his injuries.
Skirmishes at Beech Creek, western VA, Thornburg, VA, and Tazewell, TN.

1863: US President Lincoln has declared this day a Day of Thanksgiving for the recent victories in Pennsylvania and Mississippi.
Confederate partisans under Colonel Mosby capture a Union wagon train near Fairfax Court House, VA.
At Table Bay, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, CSS Alabama captures the merchant vessel Sea Bride to the delight of a crowd of watchers onshore.
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes that the price of flour in Richmond, VA has risen to $30 a barrel with a limit of one.

1864: Union General Schofield renews his attempt to sever the rail lines west of Atlanta, GA with no success.
Ft Powell, northwest of Ft Gains at Mobile Bay, AL is evacuated.
CSS Tallahassee departs Wilmington, NC, now the last major Confederate port.

August 7

1861: Town of Hampton, VA burned by Confederate General John Magruder upon hearing that Union General Butler planned to use the town as a holding center for runaway slaves.

1862: Confederate General Lee finds that Union General McClellan has totally pulled out of the Malvern Hill, VA area. His attention soon turns north.
Confederate Generals Jackson and A.P. Hill reach Gordonsville, VA and spots Union troops. Upon reporting this to General Lee, the order comes to attack. Jackson moves his army to Orange, VA and prepares to cross the Rapidan River.
Skirmish at Trenton, TN
Confederates forced from Ft Fillmore, New Mexico Territory.

1863; US President Lincoln refuses a request to suspend the draft in New York.
Skirmish at New Madrid, MO.

1864: Confederate General McCausland cavalry is attacked by Union cavalry under General Averill and routed near Moorefield, VA.
There is an attempt to surrender Ft Gaines but the commander’s orders are countermanded.

August 8

1861: US Congress approves $1,500,000 for construction of ironclad warships, including USS Monitor.
CS Congress officially recognizes Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, and Delaware as Confederate states, allowing citizens of those states to be mustered into Confederate service, even though those states are not controlled by Richmond.
Union General Butler is ordered by Secretary of War Cameron to adhere to fugitive slave laws, but only in states not in rebellion.

1862: Union General Pope orders General Banks to deploy his troops south of Culpepper, VA in order to stop General Jackson.
US Congress passes a law making it a criminal offense to avoid conscription.
Skirmishing in the Cumberland Gap, TN.

1863: Confederate General Lee, citing the failure of the Gettysburg Campaign and ill health (possibly a mild heart attack, he was suffering from angina) offers to resign as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. CS President Davis refuses.

1864: Ft Gaines, at Mobile Bay, AL surrenders to Union forces.
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes that watermelons are selling for $20 each and corn for $10 for a dozen.

August 9

1861: Union General Lyon heads for Wilson’s Creek, MO in order to delay advancing Confederates.
Mary Chesnut writes, “Prince Napoleon, he is very stout & as he reviewed our troops--- it was so hot. John Manning says “en avant,” “Allons” is all he heard him say.” This is in reference to the French Crown Prince paying a visit to the CSA.

1862: Battle of Cedar Mountain, VA. Union commander: General Nathaniel Banks. Confederate commander: General Thomas Jackson. Confederate infantry hits Banks while on the march from Culpepper, VA to the Rapidan River. Union forces successfully flank the Confederates in several places, one of those attacks resulted in Confederate General Charles Winder being killed. The timely arrival of General A.P. Hill’s troops allows the Confederates to push Banks back. Union troops withdraw but Jackson keeps up the pursuit until midnight. Confederate victory.

1863: Siege of Battery Wagner, SC continues as Union troops dig a series of trenches to cover the advance.

1864: Union forces begin bombarding Ft Morgan, near Mobile Bay, AL.
Confederate agents penetrate Union security at City Point, VA and blow up a ammunition barge.
Union General Sherman begins bombarding Atlanta, GA.

August 10

1861: Battle of Wilson’s Creek, MO. Union commanders: Generals Nathaniel Lyon and Franz Sigel. Confederate commander: General Ben McCulloch. In the first major battle in the West, the Union troops were sent in a two pronged attack. Sigel’s attack on the Confederate rear was repulsed with heavy losses and Lyon was killed leading a charge. Union troops held off three Confederate charges. Confederates withdrew, but Union troops did not pursue due to lack of ammunition. The Federals pull back to Rolla, MO, leaving the Confederates in control of a large part of Missouri. Confederate victory because they were left on the field.

1862: Donaldson, LA is shelled by Union gunboats.
Union General Banks, retreating from Cedar Mountain, VA is reinforced by troops under Generals Sigel and McDowell, with General Burnside’s troops on the way. Union forces now outnumber General Jackson’s Confederate army.
Skirmishes in Missouri at the following locations; Grand River, Lee’s Ford, Chariton River, Walnut Creek, Compton Ferry, Switzler’s Mills, and Yellow Creek
A group of Texas Unionists, mostly Germans, are attacked on the Nueces River, TX.

1863: Union force under General Steel leaves Helena, AR for the state capital of Little Rock.

1864: Confederate cavalry under General Joseph Wheeler begin a mission to raid northern Georgia and eastern Tennessee.
Union General Sheridan begins moving his command toward the Shenandoah Valley, VA. Confederate General Early begins to maneuver in order to counter Sheridan’s moves.
CSS Tallahassee captures seven vessels off Sandy Hook, NJ.

August 11

1861: Union General McClellan urges the formation of a massive army that would totally crush the rebellion.

1862: Confederate General Jackson, seeing that the odds are now against him, pulls his army back to Gordonsville, VA.
Skirmish at Wyoming Court House, WV.
Union General Grant issues an order that any fugitive slaves in his area of operations will be employed by the military.
Action at Independence, MO and Helena, AR.

1863: Confederate artillery at Battery Wagner, SC shell Union trenches.

1864: Confederate General Early begins moving from Winchester to Cedar Creek, VA.

August 12

1861: Confederate patrol is attacked by Apaches in West Texas. Local militias are now guarding the frontier, a job that the US Army used to do.

1862: Confederate General John Morgan raids Gallatin, TN capturing the Union garrison there.

1863: Union gunboats patrol the area around Morris Island, SC to protect the new battery under construction.

1864: Skirmish at Cedar Creek, VA
CSS Tallahassee captures six vessels off New York.
Poet Walt Whitman writes about witnessing one of US President Lincoln’s daily outings. He saw Lincoln heading out to the Soldiers Home, where he slept during the summer, since the White House was too hot during that season.

August 13

1861: The popular opinion at this time was that it would take longer to build a pontoon bridge then to defeat the CSA. The Union army is learning that it might not be the case.

1862: Confederate General Lee sends General Longstreet to Gordonsville, VA to assist General Jackson while sending General John Hood to Hanover junction, VA to watch Union General Burnside’s troops at Fredericksburg, VA.
Collision of Federal ships George Peabody and West Point on the Potomac River.
Confederate General Morgan’s forces flee Gallatin, TN in the face of a large Federal force.
Fighting at Grand River, MO and Clarendon, AR.

1863: Confederate defenders of Battery Wagner, SC manage to keep up a defense despite losing their 32-pounder rifled cannon to a barrel burst. They only have two guns, 10-inch Columbiads, capable of engaging the Union guns on nearby Morris Island.

1864: Fighting at Berryville, VA as Union General Sheridan begins to move against Confederate General Early.
Union General Hancock begins another maneuver across the James River, VA.
CSS Richmond, CSS Fredericksburg, and CSS Virginia (Virginia II?) engaging Union monitors on the James River, VA.
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes that the price of flour has fallen to $200 a barrel, while bacon fell to $6 a pound.
Union Sergeant John Ransom writes about the spring of water that came up in the middle of Camp Sumter (Andersonville, GA) after a massive rain storm.

August 14

1861: Martial law is imposed in St Louis, MO and two pro-Southern newspapers closed by order of Union General Fremont.
A mutiny in the 79th New York is put down.

1862: Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith leads a force from Knoxville, TN towards the Kentucky River valley.

1863: The Union battery at Morris Island, SC is almost complete, with 2300 soldiers dumping sandbags to create a stable platform for the guns.

1864: Battle of Dalton, GA. Union commander: Colonel Bernard Laibolt. Confederate commander: General Joseph Wheeler. Wheeler demands the surrender of the Union garrison, which is refused. Laibolt brings his troops into fortifications near Dalton and withstands a day of attacks. The next morning, a Union column under General James Stedman arrives and drives Wheeler off. Union victory.
Union General Sheridan orders a pullback from Confederate General Early’s position and will assume the defensive while awaiting reinforcements.
Union General Sherman continues the bombardment of Atlanta, GA as his troops extend their lines in order to encircle the confederate defenders.

August 15

1861: Former Ft Sumter commander, Union General Robert Anderson, is named commander of the Department of the Cumberland, covering Kentucky and Tennessee.
Another mutiny, this time in the 2nd Maine, is also put down.
US President Lincoln orders reinforcements to Missouri.

1862: Skirmish at Merriweather’s Ferry, TN.
Private Robert Sneeden, mapmaker for III Corps, writes about meeting some women while marching towards Williamsburg, VA who ask for tobacco and declare that they will not be conquered.

1863: CSS H.L. Hunley, a submarine, arrives at Charleston, SC.
At Morris Island, SC, 13,000 sandbags were used to create an artificial island in the middle of a swamp. Now they are ready to place the single gun chosen for this position.

1864: CSS Tallahassee captures and burns six ships off New England.
Union General Sheridan, citing supply problems, retires from Cedar Creek, VA.
Confederate General Richard Taylor is appointed commander, Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana.
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes that the price of flour fell to $175 a barrel and bacon to $5 a pound.

August 16

1861: US President Lincoln formally declares the Southern states in rebellion.
Skirmishing at Fredericktown and Kirkville, MO.

1862: Confederate troops under General Edward Smith enter Kentucky.
Most of the Union Army of the Potomac has begun to leave Harrison’s Landing VA. General McClellan receives orders to link up with General Pope’s army and try again to capture Richmond, VA.
Fighting at Lone Jack, MO.

1863: Union General Rosecrans begins his campaign to take Chattanooga, TN.
Union General Burnside leaves Louisville, KY in order to support Rosecrans.
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes that a new pair of shoes can be had in Richmond, VA for $50. Meanwhile, sugar is selling for $2 a pound.

1864: CSS Tallahassee captures and burns five more ships off New England.
Union Cavalry under General Wesley Merritt captures 300 Confederates near Front Royal, VA. A rally by remaining Confederates force Merritt to withdraw to Cedarville, VA and then on to Nineveh, VA.
Union General Sheridan’s troops reach Winchester, VA.
Union General Hancock attacks Confederate lines at Fussell’s Mill, VA. After initial successes, he is forced back.

August 17

1861: Union Departments of Northeastern Virginia, Washington DC, and the Shenandoah are merged into the Army of the Potomac.
Skirmish at Brunswick, MO.

1862: Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart’s cavalry are surprised at Clark’s Mountain, VA. In his escape, he loses his hat with plume, cape, and a satchel containing General Lee’s plans.

1863: At Charleston, SC, the siege continues against Battery Wagner while Union batteries pound Ft Sumter and Charleston Harbor with no effect. Meanwhile on Morris Island, a single, 8-inch, 200-pounder Parrott rifled cannon is dragged into position. It takes all day to carry sufficient powder and shells into the battery, but the result is that for the first time, Charleston, SC itself is in artillery range.

1864: CSS Tallahassee heads toward Nova Scotia to resupply with coal, capturing three more vessels enroute.
Confederate General Early’s troops advance from Cedar Creek, VA while Union General Sherman’s troops head for Berryville, VA.

August 18

1861: Any Northern newspaper publishing pro-Southern opinions is targeted either for legal action or violence by outraged citizens.
Union General Butler is relieved as commander, Department of Virginia but remains at Ft Monroe, VA.

1862: CS President Davis delivers a “State of the Nation”” address before the Confederate Congress.
Confederate General Lee begins a series of probes to seek a weakness in Union General Pope’s lines. Pope’s army is wedged between the Rappahannock and Rapidan Rivers and manages to cross the Rappahannock before Lee can entrap him. Pope then sends a call to General McClellan for reinforcements. These reinforcements will never arrive.
Confederate ship Fairplay captured near Milliken’s Bend, LA.

1863: US President Lincoln test fires a Spencer Repeating Carbine, and orders 60,000 for the Union army.
An inspector for the US Treasury Department reports on the conditions at a plantation whose owner fled when Federal troops arrived. Report contains descriptions of the appalling condition that slaves were forced to live in.

1864: Union cavalry under General Judson Kilpatrick, on a mission to destroy remaining Confederate supply lines near Atlanta, GA, destroys part of the Atlanta and West Point Railroad.
Union forces under General Warren seize Globe Tavern, on the Weldon railroad, south of Petersburg, VA, stands up to counterattacks by Confederates under General Henry Heth.
Union General Grant again refuses any more prisoner exchanges. This will keep releases Confederates from rejoining the army but will worsen the situation for Union troops held in Southern prisons. The CSA can barely feed its troops, let alone its prisoners.
Union General Sheridan’s troops now heading for Charles Town, WV.
Confederate General Early’s army heading for Bunker Hill, VA.

August 19

1861: Confederate Congress declares a alliance with Missouri.
Fighting at Charlestown (Bird’s Point), MO.

1862: Confederate forces capture Clarksville, TN.

1863: Heavy artillery bombardment of both Battery Wagner and Ft Sumter, SC.

1864: Union General Kilpatrick’s forces destroy Confederate supplies at Jonesborough, GA.
Five Confederate brigades under General A.P. Hill drive Union General Warren out of his position at Globe Tavern, VA. He is soon reinforced and recaptures the station.

August 20

1861: Union General George McClellan formally assumes command of the Army of the Potomac.
Confederate Congress appoints commissioners who will be sent to Europe to buy supplies and weapons for the CS Army.
Skirmish at Hawk’s Nest, Western Virginia.
Engagement at Jonesboro, MO.

1862: Union and Confederate cavalry clash at Brandy Station, VA. This alerts Union General Pope that the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia is on the move and coming at him.
Skirmish at Union Mills, MO.
Private Robert Sneeden, mapmaker for III Corps, writes about reaching Yorktown, VA.

1864: Union cavalry under General Kilpatrick manage to destroy the Macon and Western Railroad at Lovejoy’s Station, GA, but has to flee to avoid being captured by Confederate General Cleburne.
Union General Hancock returns to his former positions but maintains a bridgehead across the James River at Deep Bottom, VA.
Union General Warren extends his lines from Globe Tavern, VA to the Jerusalem Plank Road, heading west from Petersburg.
Confederate General Early’s troops engage Union General Sheridan at Berryville, VA.

August 21

1861: With Ft Monroe, VA a secure Union base, operations along the Confederate Atlantic coast are being planned.

1862: Confederate General Bragg’s army departs Chattanooga, TN to campaign in Kentucky.
Union General Don Carlos Buell responds by deploying his troops to Murfreesboro, TN.
Union and Confederate artillery exchange fire along the Rappahannock River, VA as Confederate General Lee tries to find a way across.

1863: Union troops under Colonel John Wilder begin shelling Chattanooga, TN. General Rosecrans begin moving most of his army to the west and south of the city.
Confederate partisan Colonel William Quantrill’s forces raid Lawrence, KS and kill 150 men and boys.
Union General Gillmore demands that Battery Wagner and Ft Sumter be evacuated or else Charleston, SC will be fired on. Confederate General Beauregard decries this as a violation of the laws of war and asks for several days to evacuate the city. Meanwhile at the Morris Island Battery, the cannon, now christened the “Swamp Angel” is ready for firing.

1864: Confederate cavalry under General Forrest attacks Memphis, TN in an attempt to free Confederate POWs. Forrest withdraws after two hours.
Confederate General Early splits his forces in two and attacks Union General Sheridan near Charles Town, VA, forcing a Federal delaying action. Sheridan is then forced to pull back to Harper’s Ferry, WV.
Confederate General A.P. Hill attempts to break Union General Warren’s lines to no effect. The extension of the Union lines has severed the rail link between Petersburg, VA and Wilmington, NC.

August 22

1861: The Augusta (GA) Chronicle and Sentinel publishes an editorial calling for the strengthening of costal defenses against any Union seaborne attack.

1862: Confederate General Stuart’s cavalry raid Union General Pope’s headquarters in which Pope’s book containing copies of all his orders is taken.
Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Times, published an open letter to US President Lincoln called “The Prayer of Twenty Millions” calling for a declaration that the main aim of the war is to free the slaves.
US President Lincoln responds to Greeley’s letter with a letter of his own, stating,” If I could save the Union without freeing any slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all of the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.”

1863: CS postal workers go on strike in Richmond, VA, hampering vital war communication.
At 1:30 a.m. the Swamp Angel is fired at Charleston, SC. Upon learning that they had the range to hit the city, 16 more rounds are sent. 12 of those are filled with a flammable liquid concocted by William Parrott and the other four with something called “Short’s Solidified Greek Fire.” (Perhaps an early form of napalm.)

1864: Union General Sheridan pulls his troops toward Halltown, VA.
Union forces attack Ft Morgan, Mobile Bay, AL with both land and sea forces. The defenders are not able to respond and the cannon are soon knocked out. The forts commander orders the powder magazine flooded to prevent an explosion.
Judith McGuire writes on the prices paid during a shopping trip in Richmond, VA. She paid $110 for a pair of ladies’ boots, $22 per yard for linen, several spools of thread at $5 a piece, and $5 for a good amount of pins.

August 23

1861: Confederate forces in Western Virginia receive reinforcements under General Floyd. This will prove a disaster for the Confederate effort there. Floyd is an incompetent officer who has a newspaper editor as his chief-of-staff and a farmer as his cavalry commander.
Rose Greenhow, a Washington, DC socialite, is arrested for spying for the Confederacy when it was found that she had sent details of Union General McDowell’s movements to the Confederates.

1862: The Rappahannock River, VA has been swollen by rain storms, preventing both armies from crossing. Confederate General Lee decides to use Union General Pope’s orders book against him. A small force will keep Pope occupied while Lee takes the rest of his army around and into the Federal rear, cutting Pope off from communications with Washington, DC and prevent reinforcements from arriving.

1863: Confederate General Beauregard protests the shelling of Charleston, SC but the Swamp Angel itself decided the issue. The barrel burst after another 20 shells were fired. (The barrel is now on display in Trenton, NJ.)

1864: Ft Morgan, near Mobile Bay, AL surrenders to Union forces.
US President Lincoln, believing that he will lose the upcoming election, has his Cabinet sign a memo pledging to cooperate with an incoming administration. He also plans to force the war to a favorable conclusion before the new president, likely George McClellan, can make a settlement that would grant the CSA its independence.

August 24

1861: CS President Davis names James Mason as commissioner to Great Britain, John Slidell as commissioner to France, and Pierre Rost as commissioner to Spain. All three have been tasked with seeking diplomatic recognition as well as arms and equipment from the three European powers.

1862: CSS Alabama arrives at Terceira, Azores and is officially commissioned into the CS Navy.
Skirmishing at Dalls and Coon Creek, MO.

1863: CSS Hunley attacks USS New Ironsides in Charleston Harbor, SC but the water there was too shallow to dive deep enough.
Confederate Colonel Alfred Rhett, commander of Ft Sumter, SC reports that he has only one gun operational and the walls of the fort are now piles of broken bricks.
Confederate Colonel Mosby making raids in Northern Virginia along the Rappahannock River.
Skirmishes at Barbee’s Cross Roads and Coyle’s Tavern, VA.

1864: Confederate General Early moves against Union General Sheridan, now in positions along the Potomac River.
Skirmishing along the Weldon Railroad, south of Petersburg, VA.

August 25

1861: Union General McClellan continues to improve the Union Army but will not take the offensive as the public is demanding. He believes that only trained army with an intricate plan will defeat the Confederates with one blow. He does not seem to understand that 1). One of the first rules of war is that the plan will last until contact with the enemy, and 2). The nature of war was already changing and that a single victory will not end this war.

1862: Confederate General Jackson begins a flanking movement to draw Union General Pope out. Pope receives information that Jackson has 30 regiments plus cavalry moving around him. The truth is that Jackson has 66 regiments.
Confederate forces attack Ft Donaldson and the Cumberland Iron Works, both in TN.

1863: A Union attempt to take the rifle pits in front of Battery Wagner, SC is repulsed.
Skirmishing continues along the Rappahannock and Chickahominy Rivers in Virginia.
Union cavalry destroy Confederate saltpeter works at Jackson’s River, WV. (Saltpeter is an important ingredient in gunpowder.)
Union General Thomas Ewing issues General Order 11 in retaliation for Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence, KS. This order expels 20,000 people from Bates, Cass, and Jackson counties. Ewing then orders all the property and crops in those counties destroyed.
US President Lincoln defends his decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation in a letter to James Conkling, a Springfield, IL resident and a critic of the measure.

1864: Union General Sherman moves six of seven corps in an effort to encircle Atlanta, GA. Confederate General Hood counters with two corps under General Hardee.
CSS Tallahassee reaches Wilmington, NC by evading the blockade.
Confederate general Heth overruns Union General Hancock’s position at Ream’s Station, VA.

August 26

1861: Union forces defeated at Cross Lanes (Summerville), Western Virginia.
Action at Wayne Court House and Blue’s House, both in Western Virginia.
Eight Union vessels depart Hampton Roads, VA for Hatteras Inlet, NC.

1862: Confederate General Jackson’s troops reach the Union supply depot at Manassas Junction, VA and proceed to loot the place. Confederate General Longstreet begins to move his corps to join Jackson. Union General Pope decides to head for Manassas himself.
Confederate steamer Fairplay taken a second time, this time on the Yazoo River, MS.

1863: Troops of the 24th Massachusetts capture the rifle pits outside Battery Wagner, SC.
Union cavalry engage Confederates at Rock Gap, WV.
Confederate General John Floyd, a Secretary of War in the Buchanan Administration, dies at Abington, VA.

1864: Union General Sherman’s advance threatens to cut off any avenues of escape form Atlanta, GA. Confederate General Hood is pondering this development while skirmishing takes place along the Chattahoochee River.

August 27

1861: Skirmishing at Ball’s Cross Roads, VA.

1862: Confederate troops under General Jackson move on the Federal supply depot at Manassas, VA. Union General Pope moves to the north to face him.

1863: As Federal troops approach Battery Wagner, SC, they find what they call “sub-surface torpedo mines,” or in today’s terms, land mines.

1864: Confederate General Early pulls back to Bunker hill, WV.
Union General Sherman’s troops cut another rail link into Atlanta, GA. It is now a matter of time before the city falls.

August 28

1861: A Union force is landed at Hatteras Inlet, NC in order to attack the two Confederate forts, Hatteras and Clark. Ft Clark is evacuated but Ft Hatteras presents a problem for the Union warships.
Union General Grant is appointed commanded of Union forces in southern Illinois and southeastern Missouri.

1862: Union General Pope arrives at Manassas, VA while Confederate General Jackson forms his troops on the old battlefield of the previous year. Confederate General Longstreet begins moving his troops in order to support Jackson.
Private Robert Sneeden, mapmaker for III Corps, writes about moving from Alexandria, VA to Manassas, VA to join General Pope's forces.
Confederate spy Belle Boyd released due to lack of evidence.
Confederate General Bragg moves his troops to join General Smith’s troops, who are advancing into Kentucky.

1863: Confederate General Beauregard plans to evacuate Battery Wagner, SC.

1864: Union General Sheridan sets off from Halltown, VA toward Charles Town, WV.
Union forces destroy 10 miles of the rail line from Atlanta, GA to the Alabama line.
Skirmish at Holly springs, MS.

August 29

1861: Ft Hatteras, NC, falls to Union troops in the first incursion into Confederate territory. In one of the ironies of the war, the fort’s commander, a Commodore Barron, notices as he is going into captivity that one of the ships in the Union force is USS Wabash. Barron was that ship’s commander six months previously.
Engagement at Lexington, MO.
Diarist Mary Chesnut expresses her anger in her diary about William Russell’s account on the Battle of Manassas, VA written in the London Times. She was expressing the feeling that most Southerners had about Russell’s articles.

1862: Second Battle of Manassas (Bull Run), VA. Union commander: General John Pope. Confederate commander: General Thomas Jackson, but Generals Lee and Longstreet will arrive later. Pope orders troops under Generals McDowell and Porter to move against Jackson, who is already under attack by General Sigel. At midday, Pope himself is on the field. Longstreet and Lee arrive on the field in the early afternoon and see the situation. Jackson’s troops had run low on ammunition and were forced to throw rocks at one point. Lee orders Longstreet to attack, but Longstreet states there may be Union reinforcements in some woods (he is right, McDowell and Porter are there). At 4:30, Pope orders Porter to hit Jackson’s right and rear. At 5:30, an attack is ordered on Jackson’s left, turning the flank and forcing a pullback of several Confederate divisions. Neither side has left the field but Pope sends a victory telegram to Washington and asks for reinforcements.
Private Robert Sneeden, mapmaker for III Corps, writes, "I saw the head of one of our artillerymen taken off, shot within fifty feet of my position. His blood spattered his gun. He was pulled up by his arms a few paces away, the blood gushing in streams from his neck....The other artillerymen kept on loading and firing without giving him further notice....Having seen enough of the terrible fighting, I returned to our headquarters..."
Small action at Manchester, TN.

1863: CSS Hunley accidentally sunk in Charleston Harbor, SC. Five crew members drowned.
Union troops cross the Tennessee River at Caperton’s Ferry, TN in order to counter moves by Confederate General Bragg.
CS Congress begins working on closing loopholes in the draft law which had allowed government clerks to be exempt from military service.

1864: Two Confederate divisions engage Union cavalry at Smithfield, VA but are stopped by Federal reinforcements.
Democrats begin their convention at Chicago, IL.

August 30

1861: Union General John Fremont declares martial law in Missouri and declares all slaves in the state free.
Union General Butler proposes that Ft Hatteras, NC be kept as a base for future Union operations along the Confederate Atlantic Coast.
Frederick Douglass writes to a minister of the fear he has that the US Government will not declare emancipation of slaves a war aim.

1862: Second Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) continues with General Pope renewing his attack on Jackson. At midday, Porters corps advances forward to hit Jackson’s lines, but Longstreet has put his troops in a position to hit Porter of his left and does so. Longstreet’s attack crushes Porter and forces the Federals to withdraw at sundown. Battle ends. Confederate victory.
Union General Buell orders a pursuit while Confederate troops under General Kirby Smith attack the Federal garrison at Richmond, KY, forcing a withdrawal.

1863: Confederates begin to withdraw operational cannon from Ft Sumter, SC.

1864: Union troops continue to encircle Atlanta, GA as Confederate General Hood sends the corps of Generals Hardee and Stephen D. Lee (no relation to Robert E. Lee) to Jonesboro, GA to protect the last rail line, the Macon Railroad.

August 31

1861: Confederate Government promotes Samuel Cooper, Albert Sidney Johnston, Robert E. Lee, Joseph Johnston, and Pierre Beauregard to the rank of General, equivalent to four-star rank in today’s military. The US Army will not use that rank until after the war.
Small action at Munson’s Mill, VA.

1862: Heavy rain in the area prevents Confederate Jackson from pursuing the defeated Union Army of Virginia. Union general Pope has not given up yet. Upon hearing that Jackson has started marching on Fairfax, VA, Pope sent three corps (Generals McDowell, Heintzelman, and Reno) to counter the Confederate’s move. Meanwhile, two corps from General McClellan arrived to assist Pope, but far too late.
Federal troops evacuate Fredericksburg, VA
Clara Barton, a volunteer nurse, helps attend to wounded Union soldiers brought back from the Second Manassas battlefield.

1863: 627 Union shells are fired at Ft Sumter, SC but the Confederates can no longer fire back.
In Washington, DC there is outrage at a $5 a month tax assessed on free African-Americans and several made their views known in a letter to Secretary of War Stanton.

1864: Democrats nominate former Union General George McClellan at its nominee for President on a peace at any costs platform. Including letting the CSA have its independence.
Confederate General Hardee attack Union General Sherman’s positions near Jonesborough, GA, but is repulsed. During the action, Union troops capture the station at Rough and Ready, severing the Macon Railroad and isolating Atlanta.
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes that salted herrings are going for $16 a dozen and salted shad (fish) for $8 each.
Union Sergeant John Ransom writes that rumors of a prisoner exchange are floating around Camp Sumter (Andersonville, GA).


Union General John Abercrombie, 1798
Charles Francis Adams, Minister to the UK, 1807
US Vice-President (Lincoln’s first term) Hannibal Hamlin, 1809
Union General Ormsby Mitchel, 1809
Union General James Morgan, 1810
CS Secretary of State Judah Benjamin, 1811
Confederate General John Pemberton, commander at Vicksburg, MS, 1814
Union General John Eugene Smith, 1816
Union General William Barry, 1818
Union spy Allen Pinkerton, 1819
Confederate General William Barksdale, 1821
Union General John Newton, 1822
Union General Fitz-John Porter, 1822
Union General George Stoneman, 1822
Union General Thomas Meagher, 1823
Union General George Andrews, leader of the raid that resulted in the Great Locomotive Chase, 1828
Union Chief of Aeronautics (Balloons) Thaddeus Lowe, 1832
Union Colonel Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the United States, 1833
Confederate General Nathaniel Harris, 1834
Confederate General Evander Law, 1836
Union General Emory Upton, 1839
Union Captain Robert Lincoln, 1843

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