The American Civil War, day by day - Page 57 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Those who do not remember the past are condemned to relive it. Note: nostalgia *is* allowed.
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#15148850
Potemkin wrote:He was correct about that, but wrong about it being a bad thing. :)

Pretty much. At the beginning of the war the Moderate Republicans (including Lincoln) would have been satisfied with just restricting slavery to the states that allowed it, to let it die a slow death (as pretty much everyone, North and South, believed it would). But by this point I believe pretty much the whole party just wants it gone, with the debate being over how to do that. The ones in the North opposing the ending of slavery as a war aim are the Democrats.
#15149131
January 13, Tuesday

A Federal expedition from Helena operates up the White River until the nineteenth, capturing St. Charles, Clarendon, Devall’s Bluff, and Des Arc, Arkansas. At the same time there is a Union reconnaissance from Nashville to the Harpeth River and Cumberland River Shoals, and another from Murfreesboro to Nolensville and Versailles, Tennessee. There is a skirmish at Carthage, Missouri, and a Union expedition from Yorktown to West Point, Virginia.

At the Harpeth Shoals on the Cumberland in Tennessee, US gunboat Sidell surrenders to Confederate troops under Joseph Wheeler, three transports with wounded troops are also seized. The wounded are put on board one vessel and allowed to go on, while the other boats are burned.

USS Columbia runs aground off North Carolina. Efforts to float her fail, and the vessel is captured and burned by Confederates.

Federal officials formally authorize the raising of Black troops for the South Carolina Volunteer Infantry to be commanded by Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson.
#15149219
An interesting and sweet piece of history:

Woman believed to be last remaining widow of US civil war soldier dies
Helen Viola Jackson’s 1936 marriage to James Bolin was unusual to say the least: he was 93 and in declining health, and she was a 17-year-old schoolgirl.

Bolin was also a civil war veteran who fought for the Union in the border state of Missouri. Jackson was almost certainly the last remaining widow of a civil war soldier when she died on 16 December at a nursing home in Marshfield, Missouri. She was 101.

Several civil war heritage organizations have recognized Jackson’s quiet role in history, one that she hid for all but the final three years of her life, said Nicholas Inman, her pastor and longtime friend. Yet in those final years, Inman said, Jackson embraced the recognition that included a spot on the Missouri Walk of Fame and countless cards and letters from well-wishers.

“It was sort of a healing process for Helen: that something she thought would be kind of a scarlet letter would be celebrated in her later years,” Inman said.

Jackson grew up one of 10 children in the tiny south-western Missouri town of Niangua, near Marshfield. Bolin, a widower who had served as a private in the 14th Missouri Cavalry during the civil war seven decades earlier, lived nearby.

Jackson’s father volunteered his teenage daughter to stop by Bolin’s home each day to provide care and help with chores. To pay back her kindness, Bolin offered to marry Jackson, which would allow her to receive his soldier’s pension after his death, a compelling offer in the context of the Great Depression.

Jackson agreed in large part because “she felt her daily care was prolonging his life,” Inman said.

They wed on 4 September 1936, at his home. Throughout their three years of marriage there was no intimacy and she never lived with him. She never told her parents, her siblings or anyone else about the wedding. She never remarried, spending decades “harboring this secret that had to be eating her alive,” Inman said.

After Bolin’s death in 1939, she did not seek his pension.

She also realized the stigma and potential scandal of a teenager wedding a man in his 90s, regardless of her reason. In an oral history recording in 2018, Jackson said she never spoke of the wedding to protect Bolin’s reputation as well as her own.

“I had great respect for Mr Bolin, and I did not want him to be hurt by the scorn of wagging tongues,” she said.

Inman and Jackson were longtime friends. She was a charter member of the Methodist church where he serves as pastor. One day in December 2017, she told Inman about her secret marriage to a much older man. She mentioned in passing that he fought in the civil war.

“I said, ‘What? Back up about that. What do you mean he was in the civil war?”’ Inman said.

Inman checked into her story and found that everything she told him was “spot on”.

Officials at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield sent him copies of Bolin’s service information. She identified where he was buried, in Niangua.

She also kept a Bible that he gave her, in which he wrote about their marriage. Those written words were good enough for the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and other heritage organizations to recognize Jackson’s place in history.

After a lifetime of avoiding her past, Jackson embraced it in her final years, Inman said. She spoke to schoolchildren and had a Facebook page dedicated to her. She enjoyed getting cards and letters.

She also found new peace. A stoic nature that kept her from shedding tears at her own siblings’ funerals seemed to evaporate.

After Bolin’s relatives found out about Jackson’s role in his life, they went to the nursing home and presented her with a framed photo of him.

“She broke down and cried,” Inman recalled. “She kept touching the frame and said, ‘This is the only man who ever loved me.”’
#15149387
January 14, Wednesday

At Bayou Teche, Louisiana, three Federal gunboats and troops attack the Confederate gunboat Cotton and land fortifications. After a sharp assault the gunboat is burned by Confederates the following morning.

Confederate General E. Kirby Smith is assigned to command the Army of the Southwest.
#15149588
January 15, Thursday

Federal troops and sailors burn Mound City, Arkansas, a center of guerrilla activities.

The Confederate raider Florida sails from Mobile the night of January 15-16 in a foray against Federal shipping.

President Davis suggests to General Bragg, who has retreated from Murfreesboro to Tullahoma, Tennessee, “For the present all which seems practicable is to select a strong position and fortifying it to wait for attack.” Bragg’s retreat after his declaration of victory has spread dismay throughout the Confederacy. Newspapers and the public have renewed their angry cries for Bragg’s head. The Chattanooga Daily Rebel, along with other newspapers, declare that Bragg has lost the confidence of his generals. Furthermore, various newspapers, including the Rebel, charge that he retreated from Stones River against his Generals’ advice. This allegation is untrue, and Bragg, outraged, decides to make an issue of it and he calls on his corps and division commanders to support him. The gambit might have worked to Bragg’s satisfaction except for a fateful sentence he adds at the end of his letter: “I shall retire without regret if I find I have lost the good opinion of my generals, upon whom I have ever relied as upon a foundation of rock.” Bragg has built his foundation on sand. All five of the generals who receive Bragg’s letter absolve him of the newspaper charge that he retreated against their advice, and all five of them declare that he does not have their confidence and should be replaced.

President Lincoln asks if a concentrated horse food should be tested, and orders a test of some gunpowder, showing his interest in inventions and scientific developments.
#15149592
The gambit might have worked to Bragg’s satisfaction except for a fateful sentence he adds at the end of his letter: “I shall retire without regret if I find I have lost the good opinion of my generals, upon whom I have ever relied as upon a foundation of rock.” Bragg has built his foundation on sand. All five of the generals who receive Bragg’s letter absolve him of the newspaper charge that he retreated against their advice, and all five of them declare that he does not have their confidence and should be replaced.

:lol: :lol: :lol:
#15149603
Potemkin wrote: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Amen! When it comes to generalship Bragg is fine at the operations level and not bad (though far from great) at the tactical level, and top-notch on the managerial side. But when it comes to the leadership section of the equation--! :eek:
#15149809
January 16, Friday

There is a Federal expedition from Fort Henry to Waverly, Tennessee.

Federal gunboat De Kalb seizes guns and munitions at Devil’s Bluff, Arkansas.
#15150093
January 17, Saturday

President Lincoln signs a resolution of Congress providing for the immediate payment of the armed forces, and asks for currency reforms to halt the additional issue of notes that increases the cost of living through inflation.

McClernand’s Army of the Mississippi begins its move downriver to Milliken’s Bend near Vicksburg.

There is a skirmish near Newtown, Virginia. From this day to the twenty-first there is a reconnaissance by Federals from New Berne to Pollocksville, Trenton, Young’s Cross Roads, and Onslow, North Carolina, with skirmishes on the nineteenth at White Oak Creek and on the twentieth near Jacksonville.
#15150428
January 18, Sunday

There is a skirmish in the Cherokee Country of Indian Territory, and there is fighting as the Federal expedition proceeds up the White River in Arkansas.
#15150756
January 19, Monday

The Confederate Congress debates the Emancipation Proclamation.

There is a Federal scout from Williamsburg and a skirmish at Burnt Ordinary, Virginia. In Tennessee there is a skirmish near Woodbury.

On the Rappahannock Burnside’s Federal army begins to move in his long-contemplated second attempt to cross the river. Shortly after noon the troops start for U.S. Ford, about ten miles above Fredericksburg. By night the grand divisions of Hooker and Franklin are near the ford. Weather has been mostly excellent since the December battle of Fredericksburg.

President Lincoln, in answer to an address from workingmen of Manchester, England, says he knows and deplores the sufferings among mill hands in Manchester and Europe caused by the cotton shortage, but it is the fault of “our disloyal citizens.”
#15150757
Doug64 wrote:January 19, Monday

The Confederate Congress debates the Emancipation Proclamation.

There is a Federal scout from Williamsburg and a skirmish at Burnt Ordinary, Virginia. In Tennessee there is a skirmish near Woodbury.

On the Rappahannock Burnside’s Federal army begins to move in his long-contemplated second attempt to cross the river. Shortly after noon the troops start for U.S. Ford, about ten miles above Fredericksburg. By night the grand divisions of Hooker and Franklin are near the ford. Weather has been mostly excellent since the December battle of Fredericksburg.

President Lincoln, in answer to an address from workingmen of Manchester, England, says he knows and deplores the sufferings among mill hands in Manchester and Europe caused by the cotton shortage, but it is the fault of “our disloyal citizens.”

Indeed. And, as Marx pointed out, the mill workers of Manchester could never be free so long as labour was enslaved in the Southern states of the USA. Contrary to what many of the apologists for slavery were claiming at the time, the de jure enslavement of Blacks in the South was the 'master-signifier' for the de facto enslavement of workers everywhere. In order for there to be any meaningful political or economic progress for the working class, the Confederacy first had to be defeated, no matter what the short-term cost.

[/end commie rant]
#15150794
@Potemkin, I have to disagree with Marx, that’s the “nobody’s happy if anyone isn’t happy” fallacy. And there were fundamental differences between slave economies and free economies. That said, as with the pro-life movement today, the anti-slavery movement then was from the beginning a bottom-up phenomenon and because of that, generally speaking, the working and middle classes of Great Britain were on the side of the North despite the damage the ACW was doing to their own personal economies. It was because of them that the Emancipation Proclamation scotched any still-existing chance of Great Britain formally recognizing the Confederacy.
#15151064
January 20, Tuesday

Today Burnside proclaims to his troops: “The auspicious moment seems to have arrived to strike a great and mortal blow to the rebellion, and to gain that decisive victory which is due to the country.” He then forms the Army of the Potomac into columns and, as a band plays “Yankee Doodle,” sends the men off. The skies are clouding in the morning, but the air is filled with optimism. However, by dusk fog has moved in; by dark rain has begun to fall. The rain comes down harder as the night progresses, and the wind rises. The men pitch their tents, and try to start fires with tree branches that are too wet to burn. It is a dismal night, one of those sleepless nights when “everything has funereal aspect, in which the enthusiasm is extinguished; in which courage is worn out, the will enfeebled and the mind stupefied.” It snows in Washington.

Confederate Marmaduke takes Patterson, Missouri, in his continuing raiding.

Major General David Hunter, US Army, resumes command of the Department of the South.
#15151342
January 21, Wednesday

For the Army of the Potomac, come morning the rain is falling in torrents. The roads are dissolving into ribbons of mud. The pontoon and artillery trains become backed up in a two-mile-long tangle, delaying the crossing of the Rappahannock all day. Wagons sink in up to their wheel hubs, and artillery pieces become mired so deeply that neither 12-horse teams nor gangs of 150 men hauling on ropes can pull them out. Dozens of horses and mules die of exhaustion. Others give up the struggle and have to be killed. The men slip, flounder, and fall sprawling, their shoes sucked off by the mud.

At Sabine Pass, Texas, two Federal blockaders are seized by Confederate steamers. There is a skirmish near Columbia, Missouri. A Federal forage train is taken near Murfreesboro, Tennessee, while other Union troops carry out a reconnaissance from that city.

President Davis is appalled at the new outburst of acrimony around Bragg’s Army of Tennessee. He writes an exasperated letter to General Joseph E. Johnston—the man he has placed in overall command in the West in the vain hope of ending this kind of bickering—instructing him to inspect the army and determine if Bragg “had so far lost the confidence of the army as to impair his usefulness in his present position…” If such is the case, Johnston is to take command. Johnston, awash in troubles, distracted, and suffering from the wounds he received last June, is on an inspection trip to Mobile, Alabama, when Davis’s letter reaches him. After having disagreed bitterly with Davis over strategy in the west, Johnston predicted that the movements Davis forced him to make would result in defeat both at Vicksburg and in east Tennessee. Now Johnston can take little satisfaction from seeing his predictions coming true. Reluctantly, Johnston goes to Bragg’s headquarters at Tullahoma and for more than a week conducts an inspection of conditions there. by this time, Bragg is doing what he does best—managing a resting army—and Johnston will report to Richmond that whatever the complaints of Bragg’s subordinates, the troops are in good shape and there is no reason to replace the commander.

The governor of North Carolina warns the legislature of the Federal invasion.

In Ashton, England, the president of the British Board of Trade urges continuation of the policy of neutrality.

At Washington President Lincoln endorses a letter from Halleck to Grant explaining the revocation of Grant’s Order No. 11. It states that the President does not object to expelling “traitors and Jew peddlers,” but “as it in terms proscribed an entire religious class, some of whom are fighting in our ranks, the President deemed it necessary to revoke it.”

Lincoln formally orders that Major General Fitz John Porter be cashiered and dismissed from the service of the nation and forever disqualified from holding any office of trust or profit in the government. This comes from an investigation of the proceedings against Porter for his part in Second Manassas. In 1879 a review of Porter’s case will result in a decision in his favor, but it will not be until 1886 that he is reappointed to the rank of colonel.
#15151772
January 22, Thursday

The Federal winter campaign to cross the Rappahannock has failed again, this time due to weather; the Army of the Potomac is literally stalled in the mud. Ammunition trains and supply wagons are mired, horses and mules dropping dead, the whole army dispirited, wet, and hungry. No longer is it a question of how to go on, but of how to get back to the camps opposite Fredericksburg. Ironically President Davis writes to Lee of his concern over Burnside’s movement and points out the hazards of retreat if the Federals cross the Rappahannock.

In the West, McClernand’s victory at Arkansas Port or Fort Hindman had done little to ease Grant’s reservations about him. Grant still believes that the Illinois politician has more rank than ability. McClernand’s men dislike him, and his brother officers mistrust him. Yet while Grant has the authority to remove him, he lacks cause. If Grant remains at his Memphis headquarters and controls the campaign against Vicksburg from there, as he has intended, then—as senior corps commander—the field command will fall to McClernand. That is unthinkable. “Nothing was left, therefore,” Grant will write later, “but to assume the command myself.” Lincoln lets McClernand down gently, writing him, “for my sake, & for the country’s sake, you give your whole attention to the better work.”

Meanwhile, Grant renews his attempt to cut a canal across “Swampy Toe” opposite Vicksburg in an effort to move boats and men around the fortress city.

There is little fighting except a skirmish in Pocahontas County, West Virginia.
#15152133
January 23, Friday

Another severe winter storm continues to buffet Virginia as General Burnside’s Federal army pulls back to Fredericksburg, the famed “mud march” a miserable failure. Predictably, Burnside’s officers condemn their commander for the fiasco. General Hooker outdoes them all, telling a newspaper correspondent that Burnside is incompetent and the Administration feeble. The country needs a dictator, Hooker says, and the sooner the better. Burnside feels, with some justification, that his subordinates have betrayed him, and Hooker’s outburst is more than he can stand. The enraged general writes out General Order No. 8, one of the most remarkable and intemperate documents in the annals of the US Army.

Burnside opens with a bitter indictment of Hooker. In nonstop legalistic language, Burnside charges the general with “unjust and unnecessary criticisms of the actions of his superior officers, and of the authorities, and having, by the general tone of his conversation, endeavored to create distrust in the minds of officers who have associated with him, and having, by omissions and otherwise, made reports and statements which were calculated to create incorrect impressions, and for habitually speaking in disparaging terms of other officers.” Burnside recommends that Hooker be dismissed from the service, “as a man unfit to hold an important commission during a crisis like the present, when so much patience, charity, confidence, consideration and patriotism are due from every soldier in the field.” Moreover, Burnside writes, Generals Franklin and Smith, and various other officers critical of his leadership—in particular Newton and Cochrane, whom Burnside has by now identified as the generals who had gone to Lincoln and stopped his initial beginning of this campaign—should be relieved, or dismissed from the service.

Of course, Burnside doesn’t have the authority to dismiss anyone from the Army without a court-martial—only the President does. An aide suggests to Burnside that Lincoln should see the inflammatory document before it is published.

There is skirmishing at Carthage, and on Bradyville Pike near Murfreesboro, Tennessee; and a scout by Federals January 23-27 from Fayetteville to Van Buren, Arkansas. Meanwhile, a Union expedition moves until February 1 from Beaufort, South Carolina, up the St. Mary’s River, in Georgia and Florida.

President Lincoln begins to draw up orders returning General Butler to New Orleans in place of General Banks. They will never be completed, and the action never taken.
#15152372
January 24, Saturday

The soggy Army of the Potomac settles back into its winter quarters across from Fredericksburg while the arguing, bickering, and quarreling increase.

There is a skirmish at Woodbury, Tennessee, and a scout in Fauquier County, Virginia.

Lincoln confers with Halleck on the military situation and awaits the arrival of Burnside.
#15152653
January 25, Sunday

President Lincoln confers early in the day with a furious General Burnside, who has hurried to Washington to give Lincoln both the order he has written calling for the dismissal of many of his subordinates, and his resignation; the President, Burnside says, must accept one or the other. Lincoln concludes that the situation cannot be saved, and regretfully prepares orders relieving Burnside of command. But the President insists that Burnside’s services are needed elsewhere and refuses to accept his resignation from the Army. Burnside yields. The order relieving Burnside also reassigns all three of his grand division commanders. Franklin is relieved and later given a minor command in Louisiana. Sumner, although he has not criticized Burnside, is relieved at his own request and ordered to duty in Missouri; the stalwart old soldier goes north for a rest before assuming his new command, but will take sick and die in Syracuse. The last general mentioned in the order is the obstreperous Joseph Hooker; to him goes command of the Army of the Potomac. The choice is a surprising one, in view of Hooker’s intemperate remarks about his predecessor and about the need for a dictator at the country’s helm. But Lincoln has to name someone, and he knows that among the various candidates Hooker has one compelling asset—a reputation in the discouraged, defeat-weary Union as a fighting general.

In military action Marmaduke’s raiding Confederates reach Batesville, Arkansas; there is a skirmish near Mill Creek, Tennessee; a Union reconnaissance from Murfreesboro to Auburn, Tennessee; and a Yankee scout between Bolivar, Tennessee, and Ripley, Mississippi.

The organization of the first regiment of Union Black South Carolina soldiers is completed on the Carolina coast.
#15152819
January 26, Monday

Major General Joseph Hooker proudly takes command of the Federal Army of the Potomac at Fredericksburg. A West Point graduate, Hooker served in the Mexican War, during which he was brevetted for gallantry three times. Yet in the same conflict he earned the undying enmity of General-in-Chief Winfield Scott for conspiring to have him removed, and became known for hard drinking and high living. Like many of his colleagues Hooker left the Army after the Mexican War, and later failed miserably as a farmer in California. When the Civil War came, Hooker headed for Washington. For a time he couldn’t get a US Army commission because General Scott remembered his insubordinate ways in the Mexican War. After watching the Federal debacle at the first Battle of Bull Run, the brash young civilian called on Lincoln at the White House and blurted out to the President with characteristic immodesty, “It is no vanity in me to say that I am a damned sight better general than any you, sir, had on that field.”

The President decided to give him an opportunity to prove his contention, and Hooker was commissioned a brigadier general of volunteers. He earned a reputation as an aggressive commander in the campaign on the Peninsula, at Second Bull Run, and at Antietam, and came to be known as “Fighting Joe”—at least partly because of a typo. During the Peninsular Campaign, a typesetter for a New York newspaper labeled a story about the action around Williamsburg: “Fighting—Joe Hooker.” The tag was only to identify the story at the newspaper and was not for publication; it meant simply that fighting was going on and that Hooker was involved. But the title was printed, inadvertently and without the dash, appearing as “Fighting Joe Hooker.” The sobriquet will stick for the rest of his life. Hooker hates it, he thinks the name makes him seem like “a hot-headed, furious young fellow, accustomed to making furious and needless dashes at the enemy.”

Still, Lincoln knows that Hooker can be arrogant and impulsive; he wants to impress on the general that he will be expected to overcome such shortcomings, and fulfill the promise of his better qualities. Today the President offers some stern advice in a remarkable letter to the new army commander:

“General, I have placed you at the head of the Army of the Potomac. Of course I have done this upon what appears to me to be sufficient reasons, and yet I think it best for you to know that there are some things in regard to which I am not quite satisfied with you. I believe you to be a brave and skilful [sic] soldier, which, of course, I like. I also believe you do not mix politics with your profession, in which you are right. You have confidence in yourself, which is a valuable, if not an indispensable quality. You are ambitious, which, within reasonable bounds, does good rather than harm. But I think that during General Burnside’s command of the army, you have taken counsel of your ambition, and thwarted him as much as you could, in which you did a great wrong to the country, and to a most meritorious and honorable brother officer.

“I have heard, in such a way as to believe it, of your recently saying that both the army and the government needed a dictator. Of course, it is not for this, but in spite of it, that I have given you the command. Only those generals who gain successes can set up dictators. What I now ask of you is military success, and I will risk the dictatorship. The government will support you to the utmost of its ability, which is neither more nor less than it has done and will do for all commanders. I much fear that the spirit which you have aided to infuse into the army, of criticizing their commander, and withholding confidences from him, will now turn upon you. I shall assist you as far as I can to put it down. Neither you, nor Napoleon, if he were alive again, could get any good out of an army, while such a spirit prevails in it.

“And now, beware of rashness. Beware of rashness, but with energy and sleepless vigilance, go forward, and give us victories.

“Yours very truly, A. Lincoln.”

Hooker carries the letter around in his pocket and reads it to his friends. “He talks to me like a father,” he says of the President. “I shall not answer this letter until I have won him a great victory.”

Skirmishing occurs at Township, Florida; Mulberry Springs, Arkansas; Grove Church near Morrisville, Virginia, and near Fairfax Court House and Middleburg, Virginia.

On the high seas CSS Alabama seizes another vessel off San Domingo.
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