Friday, August 25, 2006
An Amateur’s Look at the American Civil War: July
1861: US War Department announces a recruitment effort in Tennessee and Kentucky. There are two problems with that; Kentucky has declared neutrality and Tennessee has joined the Confederacy.
1862: Battle of Malvern Hill, VA. . Union commander: General George McClellan. Confederate commander: General Robert E. Lee. Lee has problems getting his entire army in place and it is the afternoon before he can attack. The battle is preceded by an artillery duel that renders all the Confederate artillery ineffective. Lee decides to launch a massive infantry attack on the Union positions, but the expert employment of artillery by Union General Henry Hunt is instrumental in repulsing the Confederates. Union victory. This ends the Seven Days Battles. McClellan won all but one, but still withdraws to Harrison’s Landing, where he plans to pull out his entire force!
Private Robert Sneeden, mapmaker for III Corps, writes, "About 6 p.m. by pushing out about twenty pieces of artillery from their front, followed by four lines of solid infantry colors flying, as if on parade, they advanced at a run with terrifying yells, heard all above the crash of musketry and roar of artillery. We now opened on them with terrible effects..."
Union Admiral Farragut’s fleet is united with the fleet of Flag Officer Davis below Vicksburg, MS.
Union cavalry under General Sheridan defeats Confederate forces south of Corinth, MS.
1863: Battle of Gettysburg, PA. Union commander: General George Meade. Confederate commander: General Robert E. Lee. Day one: At dawn, Confederates under General Henry Heth attack a defensive line west of Gettysburg consisting of two cavalry brigades and one battery of US Artillery. By 10 a.m. Union General Reynolds arrives and has the cavalry hold long enough for his infantry to arrive. At midday, while counterattacking in a wooded area, Reynolds is killed and General Abner Doubleday assumes command. By 12:15 p.m. 11th Corps under General Oliver Howard arrives and command of the battlefield is assumed by him. This command will soon be taken by General Winfield Hancock by order of General Meade, who is on his way. At 2 p.m. General Lee arrives on the field and assumed operational command. General A.P. Hill’s corps is pushing the Federals to the east while General Ewell’s corps is moving south from Carlisle, PA. By 3 p.m. the Confederate forces outnumber the Federals. By 4 p.m. the Federals are pushed through the town and begin to form on ridges to the south. By midnight, the Union forces are solidly entrenched and reinforcements arrive during the night, including General Meade, who arrives at 1 a.m. During the night, several couriers are sent by General Lee in order to find General Stuart.
Lt Col Arthur Freemantle hears firing throughout the day while on a tour of the area. He catches up with General Lee west of Gettysburg, PA.
1864: Union General Irwin McDowell is assigned command to the US Department of the Pacific, headquartered in San Francisco, CA.
US President Lincoln appoints Senator William Fessenden of Maine as Secretary of the Treasury.
Private Robert Sneeden, mapmaker for III Corps, writes about traders selling everything from "goober beans" (peanuts), beer made from cornmeal, even whiskey for .50 a tablespoonful, to tobacco cut in 1-inch squares and selling for .25.
1861: US President Lincoln suspends writ of habeas corpus as regards to any military lines between Washington, DC and New York, NY.
Union General Robert Patterson moves his army into the Shenandoah Valley, VA to counter any possible moves by Confederate General Joe Johnston’s forces.
1862: Union Army of the Potomac completes retreat to Harrison’s Landing, VA.
US President Lincoln calls for 300,000 men to volunteer for three years.
US Congress approves the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad as well as the Morrill Land Grant Act, opening up lands in the West for settlement. US President Lincoln signs them into law.
1863: Battle of Gettysburg, Day Two. General Lee has decided to try a flank attack in order to dislodge the Federal Army from the heights south of Gettysburg. He orders General Longstreet to move his corps to the south and hit the Union left flank. Due to slow planning, those forces were not in place until 4 p.m. Union General Dan Sickles, commanding III Corps, advances his line forward in violation of General Meade’s orders. Meade was in the process of ordering Sickles back when the Confederates attacked. Despite Confederate General John Hood getting wounded by artillery fire, his troops manage to push the Union troops into a rocky area called Devil’s Den. While in the area, Army of the Potomac Chief Engineer General Gouverneur Warren notices two hills that the Confederates could use to reach the Federal rear. General Warren soon finds V Corps moving through the area and was able to direct the brigade of Colonel Strong Vincent to the area. This brigade consisted of the 16th MI, 44th NY, 83rd PA and 20th ME. This brigade was placed near the summit of a hill the locals called Little Round Top. Soon the Confederates were through the Devil’s Den and were attacking the hill. After several attacks, in which Colonel Vincent was mortally wounded, Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, 20th ME commander, orders a bayonet charge which breaks up the Confederate attack. Else ware, General Sickles receives a cannon ball in the right knee, resulting in that leg being amputated (that leg is in the Armed Forces Medical Museum in Washington, DC).
At 6:30 p.m. an attack was made on Union positions on Culp’s Hill, at the Union north end, with no results. Another attack on Cemetery Hill, the apex of the Union line also fails. Firing stops at midnight.
Lt Col Arthur Freemantle stays with General Longstreet and observes the Confederate assault on the Federal left.
At Vicksburg, MS, after six weeks on bombardment, white flags appear on the Confederate lines as Union General Grant and Confederate General Pemberton meet to discuss surrender terms.
Confederate General John Hunt Morgan begins his raid into Indiana and Ohio.
1864: Confederate General Johnston pulls back from Kennesaw Mountain, GA.
Union General Wilson’s troops reach Union lines near Petersburg, VA.
James Island at Charleston, SC occupied by Union forces.
Confederate General Early receives orders to rest and resupply, then try to hit the Baltimore and Ohio lines in Maryland.
Susie King Taylor, an African-American woman with the Union Army as a laundress, writes about cooking and caring for wounded soldiers.
Private Robert Sneeden, mapmaker for III Corps, writes that his health is deteriorating; he is now relying on a crutch to get around.
1861: Union troops under General Patterson approach Martinsburg, VA and forcing Confederate General Joe Johnston to pull his troops back toward Winchester, VA.
1862: Union General McClellan orders fortification of the Army of the Potomac’s positions around Harrison’s landing, VA.
Small action at Ellington Heights, western VA.
1863: Battle of Gettysburg, Day Three. At 6 a.m. Confederate General Ewell has made another attempt to dislodge Union forces from Culp’s Hill with no success. By noon, Ewell has no choice to pull back. General Lee devises a plan to attack the Union center at Cemetery Ridge. He orders General Longstreet to assemble his corps for the attack. Longstreet resists but finally agrees to Lee’s orders. All of the Confederate artillery is set up to deliver a massive fire on the Union center. Three divisions, commanded by Generals Isaac Trimble, Johnson Pettigrew, and George Pickett, are formed in the woods behind the artillery. At 1 p.m. the artillery bombardment begins. By 2:55, Union counter fire slackens and the Confederates believe the way is clear for the infantry attack. At 3 p.m. the infantry begins the over one mile march to the Union positions, not knowing that the Union artillery was resupplied and reinforced. The Union artillery fire smashes whole formations and as soon as the Confederates reached the Emmitsburg Road, they came within range of Union musket fire. The Confederate troops manage to reach the Union positions but had to withdraw after a sharp fight. General Lee has no choice but to begin to withdraw back into Virginia. Battle of Gettysburg ends. Union victory.
Lt Col Arthur Freemantle was at the cupola of the Seminary when the bombardment started. He heads back to General Longstreet's headquarters and sees wounded men returning from the assault. He writes, "When I got close up to General Longstreet, I saw one of his regiments advancing through the woods in good order; so, thinking I was just in time to see the attack, I remarked to the General that, 'I wouldn't have missed this for anything.' Longstreet was seated at the top of a snake fence at the edge of the wood, and looking perfectly calm and impertubed. He replied, laughing, 'The devil you wouldn't! I would like to have missed it very much; we've attacked and been repulsed: look there!'" He later sees General Lee accepting blame for the failed attack.
Union cavalry skirmish with Confederate rear guard at Cowan, TN.
Two Confederates approach the Union lines at Vicksburg, MS to offer to surrender. US General Grant wants unconditional surrender but Confederate General Pemberton knows that 30,000 prisoners will be impossible to transport. Grant, knowing reality when he sees it, agrees to parole the surrendering army. (NOTE: Parole was when a captured soldier makes a pledge not to take up arms against the enemy until receiving a notice that an enemy soldier has been exchanged for him. Parolees either went home or to parole camps to await notification.)
1864: Union General Sherman moves toward new Confederate lines at Nickajack Creek, GA.
A Union attack on Ft Johnson near Charleston, SC is repulsed.
Union General Sigel pulls his troops back toward Maryland Heights, MD in the face of Confederate General Early’s movement.
1861: US Congress meets in session and hears US President Lincoln press his case for putting down the rebellion. Secretary of War Cameron calls for three-year enlistments for incoming volunteers. Secretary of the Treasury Chase asks for $240,000,000 for war expenses and $80,000,000 for other governmental expenses. Secretary of the Navy Wells begins pushing an expansion plan to include ironclad vessels.
1862: Confederate General Morgan begins a raid into Union territory in Kentucky with a force of Georgians, Texans, and Tennesseans.
1863; Confederate General Lee begins to move his army south from Gettysburg, PA.
Lt Col Arthur Freemantle accompanies General Longstreet during the pullout.
Confederates abandon most of Tennessee as General Bragg’s army reaches Chattanooga, TN.
Vicksburg, MS surrenders to Union forces. Upon hearing of the criticism over surrendering, Confederate General Pemberton replies that as a Northerner, he knew that he could get favorable terms on the 4th of July.
Confederate forces under General Theophilus Holmes attack Helena, AR with no success.
1864: Confederate General Johnson’s forces pull back yet again, this time to the Chattahoochee River.
US President Lincoln vetoes a resolution calling for harsh treatment on the South after the war’s conclusion.
Confederate forces briefly occupy Harper’s Ferry, WV.
Private Robert Sneeden, mapmaker for III Corps, writes that there was a great raid on the Raiders shanties, with 125 arrested and might be tried.
1861: Union General Franz Sigel’s forces attack Confederates under Missouri governor Claiborne Jackson at Carthage, MO. Union troops forced back and Confederates escape to join up with the army of General Sterling Price.
1863: Confederate General Morgan captures Lebanon, KY garrison.
Confederate Army of Northern Virginia has fully withdrawn from the Gettysburg, PA area.
1864: Union General A.J. Smith leads 14000 troops in a campaign to keep Confederate General Forrest from hitting General Sherman’s supply lines.
Confederate General Early crosses the Potomac at Shepherdstown, MD.
New York Times editor Horace Greeley receives news of Confederate commissioners in Canada with the authority to negotiate. Information is passed on to US President Lincoln.
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes that new potatoes are selling for $4 a quart.
Private Robert Sneeden, mapmaker for III Corps, writes that a court-martial has begun for six of the worst Raiders. Those being tried were identified as William Collins, 88th PA, John Sarsfield, 154th NY, Charles Curtis, 5th RI Battery, Patrick Delaney, 83rd PA, John "Terrence" Sullivan, 72nd NY, and Andy Muir, USS Watch Witch.
Union Sergeant John Ransom writes about witnessing the same trial.
1861: CSS Sumter arrives at Cienfuegos, Cuba with seven Union ships in tow.
Skirmish at Buckhannon, western VA.
1862: Union General Burnside moves his forces from Roanoke Island and New Bern, NC to reinforce McClellan in Virginia, leaving behind a garrison.
Skirmish at Grand Prairie, AR.
1863: Union General Meade begins his pursuit of General Lee’s army.
There is a skirmish between Union General Buford’s cavalry and Confederate General Lee’s advance guard at Williamsport, MD.
1864: Hagerstown, MD captured by Confederate General Early’s troops. Demands $20,000 ransom.
Union 3rd Division of VI Corps is ordered out of the line at Petersburg, VA in order to help defend Washington, DC. This is one of the objectives of Early’s raid.
1861: Skirmish at Great Falls, VA.
1862: Union General McClellan has written US President Lincoln, blaming him for the “difficulties” his army is facing. He claims that massive Confederate forces are at his front when in fact, Confederate General Lee has begun a pullback
Action at Cotton Plant, AR.
1863: Confederates begin to dig in at Hagerstown, MD upon finding the Potomac River too high to cross.
Confederate General Bragg has concentrated his forces around Chattanooga, TN leaving the rest of Tennessee in Union hands.
A Union assault on the Port Hudson, LA is called off as news of the victory at Vicksburg, MS arrives.
Lt Col Arthur Freemantle has decided to leave the Confederates on their way back to Virginia and receives a pass from General Lee for safe conduct through the lines.
1864: Union 3rd Division of VI Corps arrives at Baltimore, MD.
Confederate General Early decides to bypass Union defenders at Maryland Heights, MD and heads for South Mountain. He receives a break in the form of a shipment of shoes that he ordered.
Confederates counter attack at James Island, SC as Union cannon continue to batter Ft Sumter.
CS President Davis writes Confederate General Joe Johnston that no reinforcements can be sent his way.
Skirmish at Ripley, MS.
1865: The co-conspirators in the assassination of President Lincoln, Lewis Powell, George Atzerodt, David Herold, and Mary Surratt are executed in Washington, DC. There is considerable protest over the hanging of Surratt, since she was only the owner of the boarding house where the conspirators roomed. US President Johnson was not in the mood to pardon anyone remotely connected with the Lincoln assassination. The minor players in this drama, Michael O’Laughlin, Dr Samuel Mudd (his only crime was setting Booth’s broken ankle), Edward Spangler, and Samuel Arnold, were sentenced to life imprisonment at the Dry Tortugas, FL.
1861: Confederate forces under General Sibley move into New Mexico Territory in order to secure it for the CSA. Sibley has been appointed Governor of the territory.
1862: Confederate General Lee continues to pull his troops back toward Richmond, VA while employing a deception tactic that keeps Union General McClellan in the dark.
Skirmish at Black River, MO.
Private Robert Sneeden, mapmaker for III Corps, writes about a visit by US President Lincoln to Harrison's Landing, VA, describing him as looking "ungainly on horseback."
1863: Port Hudson, MS surrenders to Union forces, placing the entire Mississippi River under Union control. US President Lincoln would proclaim that, “the Father of Waters flows again unvexed to the sea.”
At Gettysburg, PA, local farmers are charging high prices to transport wounded soldiers to the rail station. The railroad company that is providing the trains to carry the wounded away has not bothered to clean the cattle cars that are being used. US Army Medical Corps officers soon intervene.
1864: Confederate General Early sends his army through South Mountain, MD in three columns while a makeshift force under Union General Lew Wallace (of Ben Hur fame) assembles at Frederick, MD.
Union General Sherman’s troops cross the Chattahoochee River near Soap Creek, GA. Confederate General Joe Johnston orders his troops to fall back on Atlanta, GA itself.
1861: Confederate camp at Florida, MO is broken up by a small Union force.
1862: Confederates General John Morgan escapes capture in Tompkinsville, KY.
Confederate General Lee has his artillery to drive away Union gunboats on the James River, VA with no success.
Confederate positions along the Roanoke River, NC.
Skirmishing at Aberdeen, AR.
1863: Confederate General Morgan’s forces cross into Indiana, against orders.
Lt Col Arthur Freemantle encounters Federal cavalry and id taken to a General Kelly, who allows him to pass through.
1864: Battle of Monocacy, MD. Union commander: General Lew Wallace. Confederate commander: General Jubal Early. Using a cobbled together force and the 3rd Division of VI Corps, General Wallace holds off General Early while the Washington defenses are strengthened. Wallace is flanked and has to leave the field. Confederate victory. Afterwards, Early demands $200,000 from the citizens of Frederick.
Union forces cross the Chattahoochee River, north of Atlanta, GA, forcing Confederate General Johnston to pull his forces to Peachtree Creek. Johnston is flanked once more and retreats into Atlanta proper.
1861: US President Lincoln sends a letter to the Kentucky Inspector General of Militia, Simon Bolivar Buckner, stating that Union troops will respect the states neutrality stance.
Union forces under General Rosecrans move toward Rich Mountain in western Virginia.
Confederate force defeated at Monroe Station, MO.
1862: Union General Pope, commander of the Army of Virginia, declares that he will be harsh with Confederate supporters in the Shenandoah Valley, VA.
1863; Union troops under General George Strong land at Morris island, SC with the objective of taking Battery Wagner.
Union General Meade’s troops make contact with retreating Confederates at Williamsport, MD as General Lee is now able to get his army across the Potomac. He sends the wounded and 4000 Union prisoners across first.
1864: Confederate General Early’s troops reach Rockville, MD where they encamp.
Union General Sherman has decided to besiege Atlanta, GA, sending cavalry to hit the rail line between Columbus, GA and Montgomery, AL.
Private Robert Sneeden, mapmaker for III Corps, writes that the six
Raiders that were on trial were found guilty and sentenced to hang.
1861: Union forces under General William Rosecrans defeat Confederates at Rich Mountain in western Virginia.
At Laurel Hill, western VA, Union General T.A. Morris forces Confederates under General Robert Garnett to abandon their positions.
1862: Union General Henry Halleck assumes duties as commander in chief of Union forces in the field.
Skirmish at Williamsburg, VA.
Confederate General Morgan’s troops attack Lebanon, KY but fail to prevent Union forces from destroying the supplies there.
Skirmish at Pleasant Hill, MO.
1863: An initial Union attack on Battery Wagner, SC is repulsed.
Union General Sherman had Confederate General Johnston surrounded at Jackson, MS.
Lt Col Arthur Freemantle reaches Johnstown, PA where he takes a train for Philadelphia, PA.
1864: Union cavalry under General Smith reach Pontotoc, MS while Confederate General Forrest has his troops at nearby Okolona, MS.
Confederate General Early reaches the outskirts of Washington, DC, finding the area reinforced.
Private Robert Sneeden, mapmaker for III Corps, writes that the condemned Raiders were hanged in the stockade. John Collins' rope broke, but new rope was found and the hangings were soon finished. This is also witnessed and accounted by Union Sergeant John Ransom.
1861: Union troops take Beverly, Western Virginia.
Union forces under General Jacob Cox move into the Great Kanawha Valley in Western Virginia.
1862: Lebanon, KY captured by Confederate General Morgan’s forces.
Skirmish at Culpepper, VA.
1863: Union General Meade’s advance force arrives at Williamsport, MD and begins clashing with Confederates there. It is ironic that this is taking place only a few miles from the site of the Battle of Sharpsburg/Antietam.
Lt Col Arthur Freemantle reaches Philadelphia, PA and switches trains for New York, NY.
1864: Union General Wright engages Confederate General Early outside Washington, DC, with US President Lincoln watching. Lincoln was standing on the parapet watching the battle when a Union Captain shouted, “Get down you d***ed fool or you will be killed!” Lincoln replies, “Captain, I see you already learned how to address a civilian.” The Captain involved would become Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes of the US Supreme Court.
1861: At Carrick’s Ford, VA, Confederate General Garnett becomes the first general officer to die in the Civil War. His death and the surrender of 555 troops clears the northern part of western Virginia of Confederates.
1862: Confederate forces under General Forrest capture the Union garrison at Murfreesboro, TN.
Confederate General Lee begins to move his army to the north towards Manassas Junction, VA.
Confederate General Morgan’s forces advance on Cynthiana, KY.
1863: Confederate forces under General Morgan cross into Ohio.
Confederate General Lee begins moving his army back into Virginia.
Draft Riots begin in New York as opposition to a planned draft of men into the Union Army explodes into violence aimed at African-Americans. Riots spread to Boston, MA, Portsmouth, NH, Rutland, VT, Wooster, OH, and Troy, NY.
Lt Col Arthur Freemantle observes some of the rioting.
1864: Union General Smith’s forces move to Tupelo, MS.
Union General Wright pursues Confederate General Early as he pulls back from Washington, DC.
1861: Union troops under General McDowell prepare to move into Virginia with Fairfax Court House as the main line of advance.
1862: Confederate General Morgan’s forces reach Cynthiana, KY, putting Ohio and Indiana under threat.
US Congress votes for the formation of the State of West Virginia.
Union Army of Virginia advances on Gordonsville, VA.
Skirmish at Batesville, AR.
1863: Union cavalry attack the Confederate crossing point at Williamsport, MD, taking 500 prisoners. It was during this time that Confederate General Pettigrew was mortally wounded. It is during this tine that General Meade learns about the Draft Riots and receives orders to send troops to New York.
1864: Battle of Tupelo, MS. Union commander: General A.J. Smith. Confederate commanders: General Nathan Forrest and Stephen Lee. Confederate forces attack at 7 a.m. but are not properly controlled, allowing both formations to be repulsed. Union victory.
Confederate General Early crosses back into Virginia.
1861: Union troops under General Patterson clash with Confederates near Winchester, VA.
USS Daylight has been stationed off Wilmington, NC as a blockade force. It is apparent that more warships are needed.
1862: Union Flag Officer Farragut takes his fleet by Vicksburg, MS, facing heavy fire.
CSS Arkansas attacks two Union ships on the Yazoo River north of Vicksburg, then faces heavy Union fire as the ship is sailed for Vicksburg itself.
Small Confederate force defeated at Fayetteville, AR.
Skirmish at Apache Pass, Arizona Territory.
1863: Draft Riots end as Union troops from the Gettysburg battlefield put down the rioters.
Confederate Army of Northern Virginia continues withdraw through the Shenandoah Valley, VA.
After much difficulty, Lt Col Arthur Freemantle boards a ship for the UK. his account ends here.
1864: Union General Smith moves his forces back toward Memphis, TN.
Union Sergeant John Ransom writes that the death rate at Camp Sumter (Andersonville, GA) is about 150 a day.
1861: 30,000 men, at the time the largest army on the North American continent, under the command of Union General Irwin McDowell, began moving toward Manassas Junction, VA.
Skirmish at Wentzville, MO.
1862: Union Flag Officer David Farragut promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral, the first in US Navy history.
France declines to give diplomatic recognition to the CSA.
1863: Confederate General Johnston pulls his troops put of Jackson, MS in the face of advancing Union forces under General Sherman.
At Shepherdstown, MD, there is a cavalry clash at the Potomac River between Union General Gregg and Confederate Generals Fitzhugh Lee and J.R. Chambliss with no advantage gained by either side.
Confederate General Morgan’s troops heading into Ohio after causing havoc in Indiana.
1864: Confederate General Early and his troops retreat from Washington, DC towards the Shenandoah Valley and back into Virginia.
In Atlanta, GA, Union General Sherman advances across the Chattahoochee River. Confederate General Joe Johnston receives a telegram from CS President Davis demanding to know what he is doing about the situation. Johnston plans to hold the city with militia troops and send the field army against Sherman.
Soldiers of the 54th and 55th MA are refusing pay in protest of unequal pay for African-American soldiers. Whites were paid $13 a month while Blacks were paid $10 a month with $3 taker for clothing. This has gone for over a year and they write US President Lincoln for help.
1861; Union forces reach Fairfax Court House, VA.
Union General Patterson ordered to leave Winchester, VA, allowing Confederate General Joe Johnston to move his army toward Manassas in order to support General Beauregard.
Skirmishes at Fulton, MO, Martinsburg, MO, Scarrytown, western VA, and Bunker Hill, VA.
Among the many Union soldiers now marching into Virginia is a private named Franklin Thompson of the 2nd MI. In reality, Pvt. Thompson is a Canadian woman named Sarah Emma Edmonds.
1862: Union General Grant assumes command of all Union armies in the West.
US Congress passes lifetime pension plan for disabled naval personnel.
US president Lincoln signs the Second Confiscation Act into law. This law grants freedom to slaves who enter Federal areas.
Confederate General Morgan captures Cynthiana, KY.
1863: Battle of Honey Springs. Union commander: General James Blunt. Confederate commander: General Douglas Cooper. Union troops make a frontal assault on Confederate positions. Defenders counterattacked several times but are forced to abandon the position. Union victory.
Confederate General Morgan’s troops ride through the suburbs of Cincinnati, OH.
Union forces bombard Battery Wagner, on James Island, SC.
1864: Confederate General Joe Johnston is relieved of command of the Army of Tennessee in favor of General John Hood.
Confederate General Early, retreating from Washington DC, receives intelligence that a Union force under Generals Hunter and Crook are waiting to attack him.
In an interview with Northern journalist James R. Gilmore, CS President Davis states “We are not fighting for Slavery. We are fighting for Independence, and that, or extermination, we will have.”
1861: Union and Confederate troops clash at Centerville, VA. Union troops are forced to retreat.
Confederate General Joe Johnston leaves a force at Winchester, VA to hold any Union troops while he marches the rest of his army through Ashby’s Gap to take trains to Manassas Junction, VA.
1862: Skirmish at Memphis, MO.
1863: Union troops make a second attempt to take Battery Wagner, near Charleston, SC. This time the attack is spearheaded by the all African-American 54th Massachusetts. Despite gaining the ramparts and penetrating the fort’s interior, Confederate reinforcements force the 54th back with heavy losses, including its commander, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, and most of its officers. Union General Strong decides on a siege.
Confederate General Morgan and his troops reach the Ohio River at Buffington Bar, OH. Union forces are closing in.
1864: US President Lincoln learns from New York Times editor Horace Greeley that the Confederate commissioners that he met with at Niagara Falls, NY are only interested in a negotiated settlement that leaves the CSA independent. Lincoln dismisses any thought of any settlement other than one that restores the Union.
Union troops under General Crook are attacked by Confederates under General Robert Rodes while crossing the Shenandoah River. Crook is forced to withdraw.
1861: Union General McDowell’s forces arrive at Fairfax Court house, VA but do not find any Confederates. He decides to proceed at a creek called Bull Run. The motivation for continuing is the fact that many of his troops are 90-day volunteers and their enlistments will end in a couple of days. McDowell finds a crossing and decides to use it in a flanking movement against the Confederate’s right. He does not know that reinforcements are coming to the aid of the Confederates.
An article in the Charleston Daily Courier advocates a complete break between Southerners and any friends and family in the North.
Diarist Judith McGuire has fled her Alexandria, VA home and is living with friends in Manassas. The war is now catching up with her.
1862; Confederate General Morgan’s troops clash with Federals at Paris, KY.
A court-martial clears Confederate Flag Officer Tattnall on any wrong doing in the scuttling of CSS Virginia on May 11.
Confederate forces are mostly expelled from Missouri, but concerns about guerilla activity continue.
1863: Confederate General Morgan’s command is encircled at Buffington Bar, OH, but he and 300 others escape.
Union Army of the Potomac crosses over the Potomac in pursuit of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.
1864: Confederate General Early’s force heads toward Winchester, VA.
Union General Sherman has divided his army into three segments. The Army of the Cumberland (General Thomas) holds north of Atlanta, GA, the Army of the Ohio (General Schofield) holds the east, and the Army of the Tennessee (General McPherson) is at Decatur, GA. Confederate General Hood decides to head north and strike Thomas first.
1861: Confederate General Johnston’s army completes their move to Manassas Junction, VA.
Confederate Congress meets in Richmond, VA.
Confederate General Joe Johnston has reached Manassas Junction, VA with 9000 men.
2000 Union troops leave as their 90 day enlistments expire and couldn’t be persuaded to stay.
1862: Union Department of Missouri, under command of General John Schofield, launches an anti-guerilla campaign.
1863: Union General Meade’s advance forces reach the Blue Ridge Mountains but have not spotted the retreating Confederates.
Merchants in New York meet to discuss compensation for the African-American victims of the recent riots.
O.G. Eiland, a Mississippi planter, writes CS President Davis advocating the enlistment of slaves into the army in order to save the Confederacy.
1864: Battle of Peachtree Creek, GA. Union commander: General George Thomas. Confederate commander: General John Hood. In his first engagement as an army commander, Hood attacks Thomas as his army is crossing the creek. A hasty move into a defensive line prevents Hood from gaining any advantage and forces him to retreat. Hood loses four of his brigadiers in the process. Union victory.
Bombardment of Ft Sumter, SC continue. On this day, the forts commander is mortally wounded.
Union troops under General Averill attack Confederate General Stephen Ramseur at Rutherford’s Farm, VA causing General Early to retreat further south.
1861: Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), VA. Union commander: General Irwin McDowell. Confederate commander: General Joseph Johnston. Two armies of green troops try flanking each other until General Jackson’s troops find a secure area. Jackson orders a full charge which sends the Union troops into a rout. A full blown cavalry charge led by Colonel James Ewell Brown “Jeb” Stuart adds to the panic. The panic is compounded by the presence of civilians who were there to watch the battle. Confederate victory. Confederates too disorganized to press an attack toward Washington, DC.
1862: Union General Pope has failed to seize Gordonsville, VA, but still presents a considerable threat to central Virginia. Confederate General Lee has dispatched General Jackson to Gordonsville to keep an eye on things. Lee is waiting on what Union General McClellan will do before reinforcing Jackson.
1863: Union General Meade turns his army toward the Shenandoah Valley, VA in order to intercept Confederate General Lee.
1864: Confederate General Hood sends General Hardee to hit Union General McPherson near Decatur, GA. There were too many delays and the movement will not leave until early the next morning. Meanwhile, Union General McPherson’s troops hit a Confederate position at Bald Hill, east of Atlanta.
1861: There are two state governments in Missouri. The pro-Union government in Jefferson City and the pro-Confederate government in southwest Missouri.
Mary Chesnut writes, “Mrs. Davis came in, sat by me. Kissed me, said a great battle had been fought at Manassas--- Jeff Davis led the centre—Beauregard the right wing--- Johnston the left. Beauregard’s staff safe. What a load from my heart. Wade Hampton wounded--- Leiut. Col. Johnson killed--- Gen Bee killed--- Kirby Smith killed (wounded). Poor Col. Bartow--- killed gallantly leading his men into action.” In actuality, CS President Davis did not arrive until late in the day, so he never led troops in battle. General Smith was wounded, so she made a correction later.
1862: Confederate General Morgan reaches Livingston, TN.
Two Union ships attack CSS Arkansas but fail to sink her.
Union and Confederate governments sign an accord regulating the exchange of prisoners of war.
US President Lincoln presents the first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation to his Cabinet. After debate, it was decided that they would wait until a Union victory.
1863: Union III Corps makes contact with Confederates at Manassas, VA as the remainder of the Army of Northern Virginia escapes further south.
1864: Battle of Atlanta, GA. Union commander: General James McPherson. Confederate commander: General William Hardee. Hood now focuses his attention in the Union Army of the Tennessee, having General Hardee send his troops on a 15 mile march, in the very early morning hours, into McPherson’s rear area. From the start the Confederates become confused. When Confederate General Walker goes forward to see where they are going, he is killed by a Union rifleman. The attack is finally launched at noon, but is repulsed. McPherson is killed when he accidentally rides into a Confederate line held by General Cheatham. Troops under General John Logan forced Hood back with heavy casualties. Union victory, but Hood tries to claim victory. Truth is the Confederates fail to force Sherman back from Atlanta.
Union troops under General Horaito Wright move to rejoin General Grant at Petersburg, VA.
1861: Union General John Fremont is named commander of the Department of Missouri.
1862: Confederate General Bragg begins to move his army from Tupelo, MS to Chattanooga, TN, but has to go by way of Mobile and Montgomery, AL due to state of the railroads.
Skirmishes at Florida and Columbus, both in MO.
1863: Confederate General Morgan and his troopers have spent 20 hours in the saddle in an attempt to shake off Federal pursuers.
1864: Confederate General Early turns his army around and advances on Union troops near Kernstown, VA.
Union General Smith’s troops return to Memphis, TN as Confederate General Forrest continues to raid.
1861: Union General Jacob Cox attacks the Confederate garrison, commanded by General Henry Wise, at Charleston, western VA, forcing them to retreat.
1862: Skirmishes at Trinity, AL and Santa Fe, MO.
1863: Confederate General Lee’s army has passed Front Royal, VA as Union troops enter.
1864: Confederate General Early attacks Union General Crook at Kernstown, VA forcing him back.
1861: Union General Nathaniel Banks assumes command of Union forces in the Shenandoah Valley, VA.
Union General Cox secures Charleston, VA, allowing the Union to hold the headwaters of the Ohio River and the Northwestern Virginia counties that will one day become the State of West Virginia.
US Congress passes a resolution that the preservation of the Union, not the abolishment of slavery, is the main war aim.
Skirmishing at Harrisville and Dug Springs, MO.
Federal troops at Ft Fillmore, New Mexico Territory, repel Confederates invading the area.
1862: Union troops leave Natchez, MS.
Confederates capture 100 Union troops at Courtland Bridge, AL.
1863: US Navy attempts to clear torpedoes (mines) from the entrance of Mobile Bay, AL.
Union bombardment of Battery Wagner continues. The failure of the Union artillery to reduce the fort’s walls is a testimony to the superiority of earthen (sand or dirt) walled forts to masonry (brick) ones.
1864: The Union tunneling operation has aroused the suspicion of Confederates at Petersburg, VA. They begin to do some tunneling of their own in an attempt to find the Federal tunnel.
Union General Grant orders that some of his troops be sent north of the James River, near Petersburg, VA in order to break the rail line between Petersburg and Richmond.
1861: Union Major Isaac Linde withdraws from Ft Fillmore, New Mexico Territory despite enjoying a 2-1 advantage.
1862: Skirmishes at Mountain Store and Big Piney, both in MO.
1863: Confederate General Morgan and his remaining troops surrender at New Lisbon, OH to Union forces that finally caught up with them. This ends Morgan’s Raid.
Sam Houston, who commanded the Texas Army in the Texas War of Independence, first president of the Republic of Texas, first US Senator from Texas, and Governor of the state at the time of secession (and who was thrown out of office for refusing to swear allegiance to the CSA), dies.
1864: Union General Crook pulls his army out of the Shenandoah Valley, VA.
The tunnel at Petersburg, VA is declared ready. The plan at this point is that when the gallery at the end of the tunnel is exploded, African-American troops under General Edward Ferrero will go through the breach and take a hill just inside Petersburg.
1861: The remnants of the Union army that lost at First Bull Run (Manassas, VA) are reorganized and redesignated the Army of the Potomac. General George Brinton McClellan is given command of the new army. (Union armies were named after rivers. Confederate armies were named after states or regions.)
1862: Skirmishing continues in Missouri in Brown’s Spring, Carroll County, Ray County, and Livingstone County.
Skirmish at Ft Gibson, Indian Territory (Oklahoma).
1863: Skirmishing at Rogersville, KY, Cassville, MO, and Bridgeport, AL.
1864: A Union Navy boat crew, commanded by LT J.C. Watson, runs into Mobile Bay, AL to study the depth of the bay and the area where torpedoes might be, in broad daylight.
Union II Corps (General Hancock) crosses the James River and head toward Richmond, VA.
Union General Otis Oliver Howard is given command of the Army of the Tennessee, replacing General McPherson who was killed at the Battle of Atlanta. In protest, General Joseph Hooker resigns his commission.
Union Sergeant John Ransom writes that he is hanging on despite his illness. Reports about 200 a day are dying at Camp Sumter (Andersonville, GA). Most of his friends in prison with him are now dead.
1861: US Seventh Infantry surrender to Confederates at Augustine Springs, New Mexico Territory.
CS President Davis calls for a follow-up action on the heels of the Confederate victory at Manassas Junction, VA.
1862: Confederate guerillas lose a short battle at Moore’s Mills, MO.
Skirmish at Bayou Bernard, Indian Territory (Oklahoma).
1863: Rear areas of the Army of the Potomac in Virginia are being struck in hit and run raids by Confederate partisans under Colonel John Singleton Mosby.
1864: Battle of Ezra Church, GA. Union commander: General O.O. Howard. Confederate commander: General Stephen D. Lee. Howard is sent on a mission to cut General Hood’s last rail line. General Lee, along with General Alexander Stewart, attacks Howard’s troops at Ezra Church. Howard has anticipated this and has already formed a defensive line that results in the Confederates withdrawing with heavy losses. Union victory, but Howard was not able to cut the rail line.
Union General Hancock finds entrenched Confederates near Four Mile Creek, VA and is forced to withdraw.
1861: CS President Davis decides to send his military advisor, General Robert E. Lee, to western Virginia to take command of Confederate forces there.
1862: Confederate spy Belle Boyd captures at Warrenton, VA and taken to Old Capital Prison at Washington, DC.
Steamer 290 leaves Liverpool, UK for the Azores where she will receive guns and munitions. This steamer will then be renamed CSS Alabama.
Confederate camp seized at Bollinger’s Mills, MO.
Skirmishes at Russellville, KY and Brownsville, TN.
1863: Plans are made to construct a Union artillery battery in the marshes of Morris Island, SC.
In London, UK, Queen Victoria reaffirms the Government’s stand on neutrality in response to statements that the British Government is pro-Confederate.
1864: Confederate General Early crosses the Potomac River and heads for Pennsylvania.
Union General Hancock’s troops return to their original position south of the James River, VA.
There is a meeting of Army of the Potomac concerning the plans for the follow-on attack after the tunnel is blown up. General Meade orders that the African-American troops, who have been training for weeks, not be used for fear of a public backlash if the attack fails. General Grant agrees and orders General Burnside to choose another division to spearhead the assault. Burnside then calls his division commanders and has them draw straws to choose who will go. The short straw was drawn by General James Ledlie, a noted drunkard and coward.
1861: Union General Butler at Ft Monroe, VA has about 900 runaway slaves on his hands and is waiting for orders from Washington, DC on what to do with them.
1862: Union General McClellan begins to pull his army out of Harrison’s Landing, VA. Meanwhile, General John Pope has placed his Army of Virginia (the only Union army to be named after a state) on the Rappahannock River and 12000 troops under General Burnside is near Fredericksburg, VA.
Skirmish at Paris, KY.
1863: CS President Davis announces that all African-American troops that are captured will be turned over to State authorities. The problem with that is that it is a State capital crime for an African-American to carry arms, with death as the penalty. The announcement also threatens White officers leading Black troops. US President Lincoln responds with a threat to execute a Confederate soldier for anyone executed by the Confederates. Lincoln added that any Black Union soldier sold into slavery will result in Confederate prisoners forced to do hard labor.
Skirmishes at Lexington and Marshall, both in MO.
Skirmishes at Grand Junction, TN and Barnwell’s Island, SC.
1864: Confederate General Early burns Chambersburg, PA after town officials do not pay a $500,000 ransom.
Battle of the Crater, Petersburg, VA. Union commander: General Ambrose Burnside. Confederate commander: General William Mahone. For the past several months, members of a Pennsylvania regiment who were coal miners have been digging a tunnel from the Union lines to a Confederate section of the line known as Pegram’s Salient. The end of the tunnel is widened to accommodate several tons of gunpowder. After a false start, the powder was exploded, blowing a huge hole in the Confederate lines. The follow-up attack was un-coordinated and got bogged down in the crater. An African-American division that was trained for the attack was held back and a white division was the first to go in, with their commander, General James Ledlie, hiding in a bomb shelter and getting drunk. The African-American troops were sent in as a reserve, but they got bogged down too. Their commander was found in the same shelter as Ledlie. Confederate General Mahone rushed reinforcements to the crater and the result was very high casualties among the Union troops. General Grant orders the assault pulled back, but not until after hundreds of African-American soldiers were massacred by enraged Confederates. General Burnside is relieved of his command and sent home for another assignment, which never comes. Confederate victory. This is the last major Union defeat of the war.
1861: Union Colonel Ulysses Grant is appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers.
Richmond Enquirer prints an article about the Union sympathies of Elizabeth Van Lew. Little did the paper’s staff know that Van Lew was a spy for the Union and leader of the Union Resistance in Richmond, VA. Her greatest coup was the placing of a spy in the Confederate White House.
1862: Confederate General D.H. Hill has his artillery send 1000 shells into the Union lines at Harrison’s Landing, VA with little effect.
Private Robert Sneeden, mapmaker for III Corps, records this event in his journal.
1863: Both armies have completed their withdrawal from Gettysburg, PA and have taken up positions along the Rappahannock River, VA. The situation in the East has returned to the status quo.
Skirmishes at Paint Lick Bridge, KY and St Catherine’s Creek, MS.
US President Lincoln receives a letter from Hannah Johnson, whose son is with the 54th MA and survived the assault on Battery Wagner, SC. She asks for fair treatment for the African-Americans now serving in the Union Army.
1864: Union General Averill’s cavalry engages Confederate cavalry under General John McCausland near Hancock, MD. Confederates flee.
US President Lincoln meets General Grant at Ft Monroe, VA to discuss the situation in the East.
Union General John Dix, 1798
Union Admiral David Farragut, 1801
US Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles, 1802
John Ericsson, designer and builder of USS Monitor, 1803
Union General Silas Casey, 1807
Confederate General Thomas Clingman, 1812
Samuel Colt, inventor of the Colt revolver used by both sides, 1814
Union General Thomas Rodman, 1815
CS Secretary of War James Seddon, 1815
Union General George Thomas, 1816
Union Nurse Mary “Mother” Bickerdyke, 1817
Confederate Chief of Ordnance Josiah Gorgas, 1818
Union General Nathaniel Lyon, 1818
Union General James Steedman, 1818
Union General Alexander Hays, 1819
Anti-Union Democrat Clement Vallandigham, 1820
Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, 1821
Confederate General Daniel Harvey Hill, 1821
Union General W.H.L Wallace, 1821
Union general Darius Couch, 1822
Confederate General John Walker, 1822
Union General Wladimir Kryzanowski, 1824
Union General Alfred Pleasonton, 1824
Confederate Naval Captain James Waddell, 1824
Union General James Blunt, 1826
Union general Benjamin Grierson, 1826
Confederate General James Pettigrew, 1828
Union Cavalry General Elon Farnsworth, 1837
Confederate Guerilla William Quantrill, 1837
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]