Friday, August 25, 2006

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

February 1

1861: Texas votes to secede.

1862: Confederate General Albert Johnston finds out that he can expect no reinforcements for his army in Tennessee. This as General Beauregard arrives from Virginia.
Private Robert Sneeden, mapmaker for III Corps, observes a discussion in which it is suggested that live shells could be dropped on Confederate formations from a balloon. It was rejected as not in line with the rules of war.

1863: CS Dollar now 1/5 its original value.
Union expedition departs New Berne, NC for Plymouth, NC.
Franklin, TN falls to Union troops.
Confederate agents attempt to hide cotton from Union forces, who can sell the cotton in order to assist the Union war effort.
In an example of growing Northern depression with the war, New York elites distract themselves with balls, banquets, and dances.

1864: Union General William “Sooey” Smith leads a cavalry force out of Memphis, TN in order to reach General Sherman at Meridian, MS.
US Congress revived the rank of Lieutenant General. General U.S. Grant is the only candidate considered for the rank.
US President Lincoln calls for a draft of 500,000 additional men.
Octave Johnson, an escaped slave who is now a Corporal in the 15th United States Colored Troops, gives an account of his escape to the American Freedmen’s Inquiry Commission meeting in New Orleans, LA.

1865: Illinois votes to ratify the 13th Amendment.
Three Confederate peace commissioners arrive at Hampton Roads, VA.
Union General Sherman begins his invasion of South Carolina.

February 2

1862: Confederate General Albert Johnston notices Union activity but believes that they are not ready to attack him.

1863: USS Queen of the West sails past Vicksburg, MS in broad daylight and engages CSS City of Vicksburg. Neither are damaged.
Skirmish at Rappahannock Station, VA.

1864: USS Underwriter, a gunboat, is captured and burned by Confederates near New Berne, NC.

1865: Union ships are sent up the James River, VA to break ice on the river.
Union General Sherman orders the building of bridges in order to bypass Confederates on the Salkehatchie River, SC.
US President Lincoln travels to Hampton Roads to meet with the CS commissioners.
Michigan and Rhode Island ratify the 13th Amendment.
CSS Stonewall arrives at Ferrol, Spain.
Skirmishes along the Salkehatchie River, SC.
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes that a barrel of flour can fetch about $1000 in the market.

February 3

1862: The US Federal government declares captures Confederate privateers to be considered prisoners of war.
The King of Siam (modern day Thailand) offers US President Lincoln war elephants. The offer was politely refused.
The Forts Henry and Donaldson campaign starts as four gunboats and troop carriers with 23 regiments under the command of Union General Grant leave Cairo, IL.
US President Lincoln urges General McClellan to launch an offensive on Richmond, VA. McClellan instead proposes moving the Army of the Potomac to the James River Peninsula, VA and attack Richmond from that direction.
USS Tuscarora attempts to intercept CSS Nashville off Southampton, UK but is stopped by HMS Shannon.

1863: USS Queen of the West captures three Confederate supply boats that were headed for Port Hudson, MS.
A levee north of Vicksburg, MS is blown to make a passage for Union gunboats. The passage proves too narrow.
Confederate forces attack Ft Donaldson, TN but are forced back by Union gunboat fire.
US Secretary of State Seward confers with the French Minister to the US, but nothing will come of it.
Skirmish at Mingo Swamp, MO.

1864: Union General Sherman leaves Vicksburg, MS for Meridian.
Confederate General Pickett abandons plans to assault New Berne, NC.
CS President Davis orders the suspension of habeas corpus.

1865: Two Union brigades use the bypass and launch a flanking attack on Confederate right flank. CS forces under General Layfatte McLaws retreat toward Branchville, SC. Main effort of the Union advance is now Columbia, SC, the state capital.
US President Lincoln meets with the CS commissioners aboard the steamer River Queen
and tells them that the only way to end the war was to agree to Union terms. The meeting ends in failure.
Maryland, New York, and West Virginia ratify the 13th Amendment.
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes that a cord of wood now costs $500.

February 4

1861: A convention of the seceded states is held in Montgomery, AL. This will result in the formation of the Confederate States of America.
Peace commissioners are in Washington for a conference.

1862: Union General Grant’s forces are landed south of Ft Henry, TN.
1863: Skirmish at Lake Providence, LA.

1864: Union troops under General Sherman now find Confederates under General Polk in the way of their advance in Mississippi.

1865: Confederate General Beauregard assumes command of the Carolina’s defense.
Skirmishes at Angley’s Post Office and Buford’s Bridge, SC.
Union General Slocum’s troops struggle to cross the Savannah River, GA.
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes, "Yesterday much of the day was consumed by Congress in displaying a new flag for the Confederacy--- before the old one is worn out! Idiots!" This is in reference to the Confederate Third National flag.

February 5

1862: Union General Grant halts his forces at Bailey’s Ferry, TN so that all of his army can be present when nearby Ft Henry is assaulted. Grant orders Commodore Foote to beginning shelling the fort the next morning. Confederate General Tlighman orders all of his forces within the walls of the fort.
Federal fleet leaves Pamlico Sound, NC.

1863: Union General Hooker begins reorganization of the Army of the Potomac, with the first thing being done is eliminating the Grand Divisions that General Burnside had formed.
Skirmishes at Rappahannock Bridge and Grove Church, VA.

1864: Union forces under General Sherman reach Jackson, MS.
Union Sergeant John Ransom writes about a plan to escape Belle Island (Richmond, VA) but the Confederate officers there had found out and had him and the other "escapees" held in confinement for a few days.

1865: First attack at the Petersburg, VA lines begins as Union troops take the Boydton Plank Road and extend their lines to the southwest.
As the winter begins to fade, the food situation in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia is critical. Rations are now a pint of oatmeal a day. General Lee’s attempts to get more food are not getting results. There are food supplies, but the rail network is almost non-existent. All the good rail lines are now in Federal hands. General Lee was heard to say that the Confederate Congress seemed happy to eat peanuts and chew tobacco while his army starves. The situation is so grave; there were 3000 desertions during the winter.

February 6

1862: At 10:30, Federal gunboats Essex, Carondelet, Cincinnati, St Louis, Conestoga, Tyler, and Lexington approach Ft Henry, TN, causing Confederate General Tlighman to order his Ft Henry garrison to evacuate to Ft Donaldson, with the exception of the artillery. At noon, the Federal vessels open fire, starting an engagement that dismounted 13 of the fort’s 17 guns. Despite damaging the Essex, Tlighman was forces to surrender, allowing Grant to take the fort without an infantry assault. Commodore Foote orders his flotilla back to Cairo, IL. The Tennessee River is now entirely in Union hands.

1863: US Secretary of State Seward formally rejects any French offer of mediation.
Union General Heintzelman is named commander of the Department of Washington and charged with protecting the Nation’s Capital.

1864: Union General George Meade forces several crossings at the Rapidan River, VA. This advance is resisted by Confederates under the command of General Richard Ewell.
Confederate Congress bans imports of luxury goods and the circulation of US currency within the CSA.

1865: Confederate Generals John Pegram and William Mahone launch attacks on Union General Warren’s position on the Boydton Plank Road, VA. Pegram is killed and the attack repulsed.
Confederate Secretary of War James Seddon resigns and is replaced by General John C. Breckenridge.
Confederate General Lee formally assumes command of all Confederate armies.

February 7

1861: The Choctaw Indian Nation declares themselves for the Confederacy.

1862: Confederate reinforcements are rushed to Ft Donaldson as Union General Grant begins moving his forces towards the fort.
Ft Henry is renamed Ft Foote.
Union assault on Roanoke Island, NC begins with the signal, “This day our country expects every man to do his duty.”

1863: Skirmish at Williamsburg, VA.
Confederate authorities announce the reopening of the port of Galveston, TX.
As the Confederate economy continues to decline, cotton becomes a medium of exchange, except that cotton exports are 1/10 of pre-war levels. Prices for goods and services are skyrocketing, with staples such as tea reaching $500.00 a pound. Another factor that is affecting the economy is that the rail network, not very large to begin with, is deteriorating.

1864: Union General Meade’s advance stalls, forcing a withdrawal back across the Rapidan River in Virginia.
Union troops under General Seymour land at Jacksonville, FL.
Union General Sherman resumes his march to Meridian, MS.
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes, "The tocsin is sounding a 9 a.m." This is in reference to a report that Union General Butler's troops are marching towards Richmond, VA.

1865: Maine and Kansas pass the 13th Amendment. Delaware fails to pass it.
Union troops are forced back from the Boydton Plank Road, VA by a second Confederate counter-attack, but the line at nearby Hatcher’s Run holds.
The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia now holds 37 miles of defenses, from Richmond to Petersburg, VA, and has only 46,000 to do it with. (About 1243 per mile.)

February 8

1861: Convention in Montgomery, AL approves a Provisional Constitution for the Confederate States of America.

1862: Union forces under General Burnside succeed in capturing Roanoke Island, ensuring Union control over most of the NC coast.
Two Confederate riverboats taken at Chickasaw, MS.

1863: Union General Hooker completes his reorganization of the Army of the Potomac.

1864: Union General Smith and his troops have had trouble organizing and have not been able to support General Sherman’s march on Meridian, MS.

1865: Massachusetts and Pennsylvania pass the 13th Amendment.
Skirmishing at North Platte, Colorado Territory and Rush Creek, Nebraska Territory.

February 9

1861: Former Senator Jefferson Davis of Mississippi is elected Provisional President of the CSA.

1862: Confederate General Gideon J. Pillow assumes command of Ft Donaldson.
Federal warships begin crossing Albemarle Sound, NC to search for Confederate vessels.

1863: With the reorganization of the Army of the Potomac complete, Union General Hooker turns his attention to his headquarters staff.

1864: 109 Union prisoners tunnel out of Libby Prison in Richmond, VA. 59 will make it to Union lines.
Union General George Custer married Elizabeth Bacon.

1865: Union General Schofield named commander of the Department of North Carolina as he begins preparations to assault Wilmington, NC.
Confederate General Lee convinces CS President Davis to allow amnesty to deserters who return within 30 days.

February 10

1861: Former US Senator Jefferson Davis learns he is elected Provisional President of the CSA.

1862: USS Delaware engages a small Confederate fleet, known as the “Mosquito Fleet” off Roanoke Island, sinking one, capturing another, and forcing the Confederates to burn the remaining three.
Union General Grant orders troops to prepare to attack Ft Donaldson, TN.
Six Confederate steamships are burned on the Tennessee River to prevent them from falling into Union hands while three more are captured.

1863: Skirmish at Chantilly, VA.
Fighting at Camp Sheldon, MS and Old River, LA.
USS Queen of the West heading for the Red River, LA.

1864: Union General William S. Smith has completed preparations to launch a cavalry raid in support of General Sherman. Problem is that the raid was supposed to have been launched a week ago. A possible reason was that he had disobeyed orders and waited for reinforcements before leaving Memphis, TN.
CSS Florida gets past USS Kearsarge at Brest, France.

1865: Confederate Naval Captain Raphael Semmes assumes command of James River Squadron, part of the Richmond defenses.
Skirmishing at James Island and Johnson’s Station, SC as Union troops make contact with the Charleston, SC defenses.

February 11

1861: US President-elect Abraham Lincoln leaves his home in Springfield, IL for Washington, DC.

1862: Confederate General Simon Bolivar Buckner arrives at Ft Donaldson with more troops.
Union Commodore Foote sails from Cairo, IL in support of Union General Grant’s operations against Ft Donaldson. Union General John McClernand leads his troops overland to the Confederate fort.

1863: Union General Hooker reforms the Army of the Potomac by replacing bad officers and improving food and living conditions. As a result the level of desertions drops almost to zero.

1864: Confederate guerillas rob a train in West Virginia.
Union General Smith’s cavalry raid finally begins. This is happening one day past the time he was supposed to link up with General Sherman’s forces.
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes that bacon is selling for $6 a pound.

1865: With Union General Sherman’s army about to cut off Charleston, SC, CS President Davis orders the city defended at all costs while Confederate General Beauregard suggests evacuation.
Tennessee and Alabama are hotbeds of partisan activity, raising concerns that not all Confederates would surrender when organized armies are defeated.

February 12

1862: Union General Grant’s forces reach Ft Donaldson, TN and proceeds to surround the fort.

1863: Skirmish at Bolivar, TN.
There is action at the mouth of the Atchafalaya River, LA as USS Queen of the West and USS De Soto destroy several Confederate ammunition wagon trains on the river bank. The Union vessels then head up the Red River.
USS Conestoga captures two Confederate ships on the White River, AR.
CSS Florida captures the merchant ship Jacob Bell in the West Indies.

1864: Skirmishes at Chunky Station and Decatur, MS.
Skirmish at Macon and California House, MO.
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes that sugar is selling for $8 a pound and rice for .85 a pound.

1865: US President Lincoln is formally elected to a second term by the Electoral College.
Union General Sherman receives a letter from Nora Walker, a Union spy, confirming Confederate General Hood’s resignation and requesting payment for her services to the Union.

February 13

1862: Confederate General John Floyd arrives at Ft Donaldson and assumes command as Union General Grant’s first attack is driven back. Grant then proceeds to bombard the fort. That night, a snowstorm makes life rough for the defenders.
CSS Virginia, an ironclad warship built on the hull of the USS Merrimack, believed to have been destroyed as Union troops evacuated Norfolk Navy Yard, is launched.

1863: Union General Hooker reorganizes the cavalry in his army under a single corps command.
USS Indianola departs the mouth of the Yazoo River and sails past Vicksburg, MS without alerting the shore batteries.

1864: Expedition underway to clear Confederate forces from Indian Territory, now Oklahoma.
A Confederate force under General Joseph Finnegan is assembled at Lake City, FL to counter any Union advance from Jacksonville, FL. Union General Seymour has already left Jacksonville and is headed to the Suwanee River to destroy some bridges.

1865: Confederate General William Hardee withdraws his troops from Charleston, SC into North Carolina. CS Navy vessels in Charleston Harbor are destroyed.
There is a complaint by the UK about the increase in US Navy operations in the Great Lakes. This action, in response to the St Albans, VT raid, is making the Canadians nervous.

February 14

1862: Additional Union reinforcements arrive, allowing General Grant begin his assault on Ft Donaldson, TN in earnest. Gunboats begin shelling the fort at 3:00 p.m. but after St Louis and Louisville are damaged, Grant decides to wait until more reinforcements arrive before renewing the attack. Confederate General Pillow plans to attack the Federal right flank and break out of the fort and go south.

1863: USS Queen of the West comes under Confederate fire and is abandoned. This after she captured the Confederate steamer New Era Number 5. The crew makes it back to De Soto and also uses the New Era to get away.
Skirmish at Brentsville, VA.

1864: Confederate General Leonidas Polk evacuates Meridian, MS as Union General Sherman’s troops enter. General Smith’s cavalry still has not showed up.
Union Sergeant John Ransom writes that groups of prisoners are being taken out of Belle Island (Richmond, VA). Confederates say that they are being sent to Union lines. Word is that they are headed to the new prison in Georgia.

1865: Union General Sherman’s army crosses the Congaree River en route to Columbia, SC.

February 15

1862: Confederate General Pillow attempts to break through the Union lines but fails. That night he and General Floyd, a former US Secretary of War, flee the fort. Confederate General Nathan B. Forrest takes his cavalry out and escapes. General Buckner is left in command.

1863: Action at Nolansville and Cainsville, TN.
Steamer New Era reaches the Mississippi River while pursued by CSS Webb. The timely arrival of USS Indianola forces the Confederate ironclad to turn back.

1864: Confederate forces form a defensive line at Ocean Pond, FL along the Olustree River.

1865: Union General Sherman’s forces approach Columbia, SC as skirmishing takes place Red Bank Creek and Two League Cross Roads.

February 16

1862: Ft Donaldson is surrendered to Union General Grant, who refuses anything but unconditional surrender. Grant writes to Confederate General Buckner, a West Point classmate, in response to the question about terms of surrender: “Yours of this date proposing an armistice and appointment of commissioners to settle the terms of capitulation is just received. No terms other than an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works.”
Union Flag Officer Foote’s gunboats destroy the Tennessee Iron Works.

1863: US Congress passes first Conscription Act.
Skirmish at Romney, WV.
Skirmishing along the Yazoo Pass, MS.

1864; Skirmish at Lauderdale Springs, MS.

1865: Union troops arrive at Columbia. SC. During the afternoon, Confederate General Beauregard orders the city evacuated.
Confederate General Hardee prepares to evacuate Charleston, SC to avoid getting cut off by Union General Sherman’s troops.
Union gunboats shell Ft Anderson, near Wilmington, NC.

February 17

1862: Provisional Congress of the CSA meets for the last time.
Skirmish at Sugar Creek, MO.

1863: Union troops depart Lexington, TN and march on Clifton, TN.
USS Indianola takes up station on the Mississippi river south of Vicksburg, MS.

1864: In Charleston Harbor, SC the CSS H. L. Hunley, a submarine, attacks and sinks the USS Housatonic. The Hunley was lost with all hands in the attack. (It was found in 1995 and brought up in 2003. It is undergoing restoration. Its crew was interred with full Confederate military honors in 2004)
Confederate Government extends the conscription eligibility to cover all white males from 17 to 50.

1865: Columbia, SC is surrendered to Union forces. That night the city is burned to the ground, either by departing Confederates or drunken Union soldiers.
Union forces make a feint towards Charleston, SC, causing Confederate forces to abandon the remaining forts protecting the city. This evacuation includes Ft Sumter.
Union forces close in on Ft Anderson, NC.
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes about buying a bushel of black beans for $65.

February 18

1861: Jefferson Davis inaugurated as CSA President.
Mary Chesnut writes: …our wise men say that if the President (Buchanan) had left us there to fret & fume a while with a little wholesome neglect we would have come back in time--- certainly nobody would have joined us. But Fort Sumter in (Union Major) Anderson’s hands united the cotton states…

1862: First elected Confederate Congress meets in Richmond, VA.
News of the Union victory reaches Washington, DC and Union General Grant is referred to as “Unconditional Surrender” Grant.

1863: Confederate Army of Northern Virginia moves a few divisions to better cover Richmond, VA.

1864: Union General Smith’s cavalry reaches Okolona, MS.
Confederate Naval Commander Bullock sends a letter to CS Secretary of the Navy Mallory that two ironclads being built in France will not be allowed to leave.
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes that sugar is selling for $12 a pound.

1865: Charleston, SC surrenders to Union forces under General Alexander Schimmelfennig.
Union General Sherman orders all useful buildings and material in Columbia, SC destroyed.
Confederate General Lee endorses the idea of allowing African-Americans to enlist in the Confederate Army. Unofficially, there have been African-Americans already in the CS Army as laborers and cooks, but quite a few are also carrying muskets.
Ft Anderson, NC is abandoned by Confederate forces.
CSS Shenandoah departs Melbourne, Australia and sails for the North Pacific.
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes that $1 in gold is now worth $100 Confederate.

February 19

1862: Confederate forces evacuate Clarksville, TN. This as the effect of the Confederate losses at Forts Henry and Donaldson is felt throughout the region.
Confederate Congress authorizes release of 2000 Union prisoners.

1863: At Keokuk, IA, the offices of the local newspaper is ransacked by Union troops who were home recovering from wounds suffered in recent battles. The paper had published anti-Union articles.
Despite concerns about the quality of leadership out west, CS President Davis refuses to relieve General Bragg.

1864: Union cavalry under General Smith head toward West Point, MS.

1865: Union General Sherman begins movement from Columbia, SC to Fayetteville, NC as his troops complete wrecking the rail station and yards.
Union troops attempting to encircle Wilmington, NC are stopped by Confederate defenders, leading to fighting at Town Creek. That night, the Confederates pull back to the east bank of the Cape Fear River.

February 20

1862: Tennessee state government moves from Nashville to Memphis.
Columbus, KY is evacuated at Confederates attempt to form a defensive line to counter any Federal moves toward the Tennessee capital.
Union Admiral David Farragut arrives at Ship Island, MS, staging area for the assault on New Orleans, LA.
US President Lincoln’s son William dies of typhoid fever.

1863: Mass rallies in Liverpool and Carlisle in support of the Emancipation Proclamation.
A Confederate attack at Yazoo Pass, MS is repulsed.

1864: Union General Sherman leaves Meridian, MS to look for General Smith, who is on his way from Memphis.
Union General Smith, enroute to meet Sherman, is hit by Confederate skirmishers.
Battle of Olustree, FL. Union commander: General Truman Seymour. Confederate commander: General Joseph Finnegan. Union troops attempt to secure North Florida but run into Confederate defense lines between Jacksonville and Lake City at the rail station of Olustree. Confederate victory as Union line is broken with last CS reserves.
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes that a ham was sold at a market for $350.

1865: Confederate lines at Cape Fear River, NC collapse.
CS House of Representatives approve the use of slaves as troops.

February 21

1862: Tons of Confederate supplies in Nashville destroyed.
Battle of Val Verde, NM. Union commander: Colonel Edward Canby. Confederate commander: General Henry Sibley. A Confederate incursion into the New Mexico Territory reaches Ft Craig, on the Rio Grande River. Canby hoped to make the Confederates besiege the post and let their lack of supplies drove them off. Sibley instead orders his troops to seize the Val Verde fords up river. A detachment of Union troops hold the Confederates (mainly Texas troops) in a ravine, but reinforcements under the command of Confederate Colonel Tom Green arrive and drive the Federals off, allowing the fords to be taken. Confederate victory.

1863: Skirmish at Prairie Station, MS.
Even though the Union industrial advantage was making itself apparent, there is proof that war profiteering is not a new thing. Colt Firearms was selling its Model 1861 Revolver on the open market for $15 per weapon. The price the US Army was paying was $25 per weapon. Politicians steering rich war contracts to companies in their districts were not helping the situation.

1864: Union General Smith’s troops are drawn into a swamp near West Point, MS. Waiting for them is Confederate General Forrest's troops.

1865: Confederate troops evacuate Wilmington, NC.
CS Senate delays debate of the bill authorizing slaves to enlist in the Confederate Army.

February 22

1861: California declares itself for the Union.
US President-elect Lincoln speaks at Independence Hall, Philadelphia, PA, en route to Washington, DC.

1862: Union gunboats have isolated Ft Pulaski, GA.
Jefferson Davis is inaugurated as President over a permanent Confederate government.
Private Robert Sneeden, mapmaker for III Corps, writes about going to Washington, DC on errands and observing officers at the various hotel bars around the city. He also attends a play and has an oyster supper afterwards.

1863: All the reforms that Union General Hooker imposed on the Army of the Potomac is having a positive effect on the health and morale of the troops.
Skirmish at Tuscumbia, AL.
Skirmish at Manchester Pike, TN.

1864: Confederate troops under General Forrest attack Union General Smith’s troops at Okolona, MS, forcing them to go back to Tennessee.
Union General Seymour’s troops reach Jacksonville, FL
Unionist Michael Hamm is elected Louisiana governor.
A paper advocating Salmon P. Chase for president in the upcoming 1864 elections is issued.
Private Robert Sneeden, mapmaker for III Corps, writes about receiving orders to prepare to leave Libby Prison and board rail cars.

1865: Confederate General Joseph Johnston is assigned command of all CS forces in SC, GA, FL, TN, and NC.
Kentucky rejects the 13th Amendment.
Wilmington, NC falls to Union troops.
February 23

1861: US President-elect Lincoln arrives in Washington DC.
Texas voters approve the secession declaration.

1862: Confederate troops in Missouri continue retreat into Arkansas.

1863: Around the Union Army of the Potomac's operational area, the Cavalry Corps is still having trouble with Confederate cavalry conducting raids and ambushes.
US Minister to Russia, Simon Cameron, resigns.

1864: US President Lincoln meets with his Cabinet without Secretary of the Treasury Chase, who is in trouble due to the paper issued the day before.
Private Robert Sneeden, mapmaker for III Corps, and other prisoners are on a train and all they know is they are headed south.
Union Sergeant John Ransom and other prisoners are being held in a building at Richmond, VA after removal from Belle Island.

1865: Union gunboats sail into Georgetown, SC to make contact with General Sherman. Ft White was already abandoned. Meanwhile, Sherman's troops are approaching the SC/NC line. The only thing slowing them down is the rain.
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes on the amassing of Confederate gold in Richmond, VA.

February 24

1862: Union troops under General Don Carlos Buell reach the Cumberland River opposite Nashville, TN.
Union troops under General Nathaniel Banks occupy Harpers Ferry, VA.
Skirmishing at Pohick Creek and Mason's Neck, VA

1863: Confederates used the recovered Queen of the West to capture the USS Indianola.
Arizona Territory is created.
Union troops continue advance down the Yazoo River towards Vicksburg, MS.

1864: CS President Davis appoints General Braxton Bragg chief-of-staff of the Confederate armies.
US President Lincoln approves a plan to pay former masters whose slaves enlist in the army at the rate of $300 per former slave.
Union General Thomas orders a probe of Confederate defense lines at Tunnel Hill, GA.
With the sale of proposed Confederate ironclad vessels to Denmark and Prussia, the efforts of the CS Navy to buy warships seems finished.
First 500 Union prisoners transferred from Belle Island, VA to Camp Sumter, GA.
Private Robert Sneeden, mapmaker for III Corps, writes about reaching the prison at Salisbury, NC.

1865: CS General Hampton denies knowledge that his troops are executing Union General Sherman's "bummers."
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes that beef is selling for $7 a pound, pork for $9 a pound, and butter for $20 a pound.

February 25

1861: Diarist Mary Chesnut expressed pride that her husband, James, became the first US Senator to resign his seat.

1862: Nashville, TN falls to Union troops.
US War Department now has complete control over telegraph lines.
Union troops moving into Arkansas in pursuit of Confederate General Price's army.

1863: An international incident is avoided when mail aboard the British flagged blockade runner Peterhoff is returned unopened.
US Congress passes the National Currency Act, allowing the creation of a national paper currency.
Confederate cavalry continues attacks on Union outposts in Virginia.

1864: Union General Thomas is trying to see if he can break through the Confederate lines at Buzzard's Roost Gap, GA.
Private Robert Sneeden, mapmaker for III Corps, writes about going back on the train and resuming the trip south.

1865: Confederate General Joe Johnston assumes command of the Army of Tennessee once again. This time, that army is in North Carolina and only fields 25,000 men, including militia.

February 26

1862: Paper money (“greenbacks”) are recognized as national currency in the US.
Skirmish at Keytesville, MO.

1863: Cherokee Nation declares its support for the Union, overturning their earlier declaration for the Confederacy.
Confederate General Longstreet appointed commander of CS Department of Virginia and North Carolina.
Skirmish at Woodstock, VA.
Union Admiral Porter sends a dummy vessel down the Mississippi River past Vicksburg, MS. The ensuing panic causes the Confederates to destroy the captured USS Indianola to prevent a Union recapture.

1864: Union General Smith’s troops reach Memphis, TN, while General Sherman's forces reach Canton, MS.
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes that pork is selling for $8 a pound.

1865: Skirmish at Lynch's Creek, SC.

February 27

1862: CS Congress gives President Davis the right to suspend the writ of habeas corpus if necessary. Davis also asks to impose martial law at Norfolk and Portsmouth, VA.
USS Monitor departs New York, NY.

1863: Union cavalry are ordered to be more aggressive in facing Confederate cavalry incursions into the Army of the Potomac's area in Virginia.

1864: Union General Thomas’ troops are pulled to Dalton, GA.
First Union prisoners reach Camp Sumter, which will be known by the more notorious name of Andersonville.
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones writes that sugar is selling for $20 a pound, bacon for $8 a pound, and $12 will buy a pair of chickens.

1865: Union General Merritt launches an attack into the Shenandoah Valley, VA. Opposing them are two weak brigades under Confederate General Early.

February 28

1861: Colorado Territory is formed.
Mary Chesnut writes, “…these men (leaders in the new Confederate government) have brought old hatreds & grudges & spites from the old Union. Already we see they are will willing injure our cause to hurt Jeff Davis.”

1862: Day of Fasting held throughout the Confederacy.
Charleston, Western Virginia occupied by Federal troops.

1863: USS Montauk engages and destroys CSS Nashville on the Ogeechee River. The Montauk is commanded by Commodore Worden, who once commanded USS Monitor.

1864: Union cavalry under General George Custer makes a diversion to allow a raid led by General Judson Kilpatrick and Colonel Ulric Dahlgren to proceed against the prison at Belle Isle, VA.

1865: Union General Merritt's 10,000 cavalry troopers cross the North Fork of the Shenandoah River with each man carrying 15 days of rations, as the valley can no longer support an army in the field.

February 29, 1864: Dahlgren’s column splits from the main body to enter Richmond, VA. (1864 was a leap year)
Private Robert Sneeden, mapmaker for III Corps, writes that he and his fellow prisoners have reached Camp Sumter (Andersonville, GA).
Union Sergeant John Ransom writes that the Union prisoners heard of the Dahlgren raid and are hopeful for release.


Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston, 1803
Claude Minie, inventor of the Minie bullet, 1804
Union General Samuel Curtis, 1805
Confederate General Joseph Johnston, 1807
16th President of the United States Abraham Lincoln, 1809
CS War Department clerk John B. Jones, 1810
Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Herald, 1811
Union Admiral Samuel Lee, cousin of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, 1812
Confederate Vice-President Alexander Hamilton Stephens, 1812
Confederate General Henry Gray, 1816
African-American writer and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, 1817
Confederate General Richard Ewell, 1817
Union General William Tecumseh Sherman, 1820
Union Surgeon Elizabeth Blackwell, 1821
Union General Francis P. Blair, 1821
Union General John Chivington, 1821
Union General William Franklin, 1823
Confederate General Barnard Bee, who gave General Thomas Jackson the nickname of "Stonewall", 1824
Union General Winfield Hancock, 1824
Union General Quincy Adams Gilmore, 1825
Union General John Logan, 1826
Confederate General Lewis Armistead, 1827
Confederate General Robert Ransom, 1828
Confederate General Alfred Iverson Jr, 1829
Union General John Rawlins, 1831
Confederate General John Gordon, 1832
Secretary to US President Lincoln John Nicolay, 1832
Confederate General Camille Armand Jules Marie, Prince de Polignac, 1832
Union General Henry Pleasants, whose idea led to the Battle of the Crater (Petersburg, VA), 1833
Confederate General James Ewell Brown Stuart, 1833
Confederate General Dorsey Pender, 1834
Union General Alexander Webb, 1835
Confederate General Gilbert Moxley Sorrel, 1838

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