The American Civil War, day by day - Page 60 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15158373
February 26, Thursday

The Cherokee Indian National Council repeals its ordinance of secession, abolishes slavery, and vigorously proclaims for the Union.

There is an affair near Germantown, Virginia.

General Longstreet assumes command of the Confederate Department of Virginia and North Carolina.

President Davis writes General T.H. Holmes in the Trans-Mississippi of his concern for the area and the need for full crops and military success to preserve that section for the Confederacy.

Near Woodburn, Tennessee, Confederate guerillas halt, capture, and burn a Federal freight train with merchandise, government stores, and 240 mules.

The Union river fleet has paid dearly for its Red River depredations, and Admiral Porter is momentarily taken aback. But he is never at a loss for long. What he does next suggests that he is an ingenious and irrepressible man with a sense of humor. He has put his sailors to work on an old coal barge attached to the fleet. They extend its length to 300 feet with a raft of logs, build a deckhouse of canvas atop it, construct two phony smokestacks out of barrels, and furnish the dummy vessel with a number of imposing-looking log cannon. When the task is done, the converted barge, built at a cost of $8.63 ($178.35 in 2020 dollars), resembles a huge gunboat. Porter provides the vessel with smoke by lighting pitch fires in iron pots under the false smokestacks, and sets it adrift above Vicksburg.

Porter hopes that his fraudulent warship will divert the Confederates from their attempt to salvage the beached Indianola. The results must exceed his fondest wishes. As the great apparition floats majestically down the Mississippi, the Vicksburg guns open up on her. But the shot and shell have no apparent effect, and she proceeds disdainfully on her way. Below the town she encounters Queen of the West, en route to Vicksburg to get a pump for the crew working frantically to salvage the Indianola. The Confederates aboard the Queen take one look at the monster bearing down on them and instantly turn tail. As they speed south, they alert the three other vessels that helped attack the Indianola, and all four hasten to safety. Left behind, the salvage crew aboard the Indianola stare as Porter’s dummy sweeps down the river, headed directly for them. Then the barge strikes a sandbar and halts, dark and forbidding. The Confederate salvagers endure the looming, fearsome presence as long as they can, then they set fire to the Indianola and take to their boats.
#15158412
The Union river fleet has paid dearly for its Red River depredations, and Admiral Porter is momentarily taken aback. But he is never at a loss for long. What he does next suggests that he is an ingenious and irrepressible man with a sense of humor. He has put his sailors to work on an old coal barge attached to the fleet. They extend its length to 300 feet with a raft of logs, build a deckhouse of canvas atop it, construct two phony smokestacks out of barrels, and furnish the dummy vessel with a number of imposing-looking log cannon. When the task is done, the converted barge, built at a cost of $8.63 ($178.35 in 2020 dollars), resembles a huge gunboat. Porter provides the vessel with smoke by lighting pitch fires in iron pots under the false smokestacks, and sets it adrift above Vicksburg.

Porter hopes that his fraudulent warship will divert the Confederates from their attempt to salvage the beached Indianola. The results must exceed his fondest wishes. As the great apparition floats majestically down the Mississippi, the Vicksburg guns open up on her. But the shot and shell have no apparent effect, and she proceeds disdainfully on her way. Below the town she encounters Queen of the West, en route to Vicksburg to get a pump for the crew working frantically to salvage the Indianola. The Confederates aboard the Queen take one look at the monster bearing down on them and instantly turn tail. As they speed south, they alert the three other vessels that helped attack the Indianola, and all four hasten to safety. Left behind, the salvage crew aboard the Indianola stare as Porter’s dummy sweeps down the river, headed directly for them. Then the barge strikes a sandbar and halts, dark and forbidding. The Confederate salvagers endure the looming, fearsome presence as long as they can, then they set fire to the Indianola and take to their boats.

:lol: :lol: :lol:
#15158419
Potemkin wrote::lol: :lol: :lol:

:D Yeah, that’s definitely one of the great psych-ops of the war!
#15158483
February 27, Friday

As morning dawns, south of Vicksburg the big black apparition that frightened the Confederates attempting to salvage the Indianola into setting it on fire and fleeing still sits on its sandbar midriver, doing nothing. A party of Confederates gingerly sets forth to get a closer look. As they near, they can see Porter’s dummy for what it is. At her bow flies the pirate ensign, the skull and crossbones. On the canvas housings over her nonexistent sidewheels is printed a message in yard-high letters: “Deluded people, cave in!”

President Davis calls for a day of fasting and prayer on March 27.

Confederate Major General Sterling Price is ordered to the Trans-Mississippi Department.

There is a skirmish near Bloomington on the Hatchie River in Tennessee; a Federal expedition from Fort Pillow, Tennessee; and a two-day scout from Centreville to Falmouth, Virginia.
#15158487
As morning dawns, south of Vicksburg the big black apparition that frightened the Confederates attempting to salvage the Indianola into setting it on fire and fleeing still sits on its sandbar midriver, doing nothing. A party of Confederates gingerly sets forth to get a closer look. As they near, they can see Porter’s dummy for what it is. At her bow flies the pirate ensign, the skull and crossbones. On the canvas housings over her nonexistent sidewheels is printed a message in yard-high letters: “Deluded people, cave in!”

:lol:

David Dixon Porter is now one of my favourite characters from the American Civil War :up: :)
#15158493
@Potemkin, yup, Porter did know how to have fun with his war. :D
#15158625
February 28, Saturday

The Federal monitor Montauk, under command of J.L. Worden of Monitor fame, moves up the Ogeechee River south of Savannah, aided by other vessels, and destroys CSS Nashville, a commerce raider grounded near Fort McAllister. Nashville, now the Southern privateer Rattlesnake, is struck numerous times and set afire.

In the Indian Territory a skirmish occurs near Fort Gibson.

President Lincoln convenes the US Senate for March 4 in a special session to act on a backlog of appointments and promotions.

General Lee announces to his army the various achievements of the winter by detachments of the Army of Northern Virginia.
#15158734
March 1863

The first glimmerings of spring after a winter of bitter weather brings with them increased worries in the South and hope mingled with discontent in the North. In Virginia Hooker continues to prepare to move against Lee. In Tennessee Rosecrans and Bragg are doing little; grumbling swells on both sides. Northern citizens are critical even of Grant, who is apparently spasmodically trying one thing after another on the Mississippi in futile attempts to take Vicksburg. The Confederate government see the signs that Vicksburg will soon be attacked in earnest, and extensive efforts are being made to save it.

March 1, Sunday

Sunday is broken by skirmishing at Bradyville and Woodbury, Tennessee, with other action March 1-2, near Bloomville, Missouri. A Federal expedition March 1-6 from New Berne to Swan Quarter, North Carolina, is marked by several skirmishes.

The Federal Congress is preparing to end its session.

President Lincoln confers with Secretary of War Stanton and other officers about military appointments.
#15158892
March 2, Monday

Skirmishing occurs at Eagleville and Petersburg, Tennessee; Neosho, Missouri; and Aldie, Virginia. There is a two-day Federal scout from La Grange, Tennessee, to Hudsonville and Salem, Mississippi, and Saulsbury, Tennessee. Federals begin an expedition from New Orleans to the mouth of the Rio Grande that will last until the 20th.

The Federal Congress confirms the appointment of four major and nine brigadier generals for the Regular Army, as well as forty major and two hundred brigadier generals of volunteers. Thirty-three US Army officers, found guilty by court-martial of various charges, are dismissed from the service.
#15159076
March 3, Tuesday

President Lincoln signs “An Act for enrolling and calling out the National Forces, and for other purposes.” This, the first effective Federal draft, imposes liability on all male citizens between twenty and forty-five with the exception of the physically or mentally unfit, men with certain types of dependents, those convicted of a felony, and various high Federal and state officials. Draft quotas for each district will be set by the President on the basis of population and the number of men already in the service. A drafted man can hire another as a substitute or purchase his way out for $300. Despite its many defects, the measure increases volunteering. For the entire war only 162,535 men, or about six percent, will be raised by the draft. Of these 46,347 will be held to personal service and 116,188 will furnish substitutes. An additional 86,724 will pay commutation.

Other acts approved by the President as Congress nears the end of the session are: an act to prevent and punish frauds on revenue; an act to turn over to the Treasury in trust all captured and abandoned cotton, sugar, rice, and tobacco in states in insurrection; a loan to the government authorizing $300 million (current value $6.359 billion) for 1863, and $600 million (CV $12.718 billion) for 1864; an act fixing the number of Supreme Court Justices at ten; authorization for the President to suspend the privilege of writ of habeas corpus in any necessary case during the war; issuance of not more than $50 million ($1.06 billion) in fractional currency to replace postage stamp currency; a measure making Idaho a territory; and one naming Jay Cooke as government agent to direct the campaign to popularize the sale of US bonds.

Rear Admiral Du Pont orders still another Federal naval attack on Fort McAllister below Savannah, Georgia, by three monitors. Although the ships come under heavy fire and are hit repeatedly, they suffer little injury. Yet neither do they do much harm. The fort withstands everything the ironclads can throw at it, despite eight hours of bombardment.

Confederates raid Ganby, Missouri, and there is skirmishing near Bear Creek, Tennessee. Federal expeditions operate for six days each from Murfreesboro to Woodbury, Tennessee, and from Belle Plain to Coan River and Machodoc Creek, Virginia. Still another Union expedition, of four days, is from Concord Church to Chapel Hill, Tennessee.
#15159251
March 4, Wednesday

The Federal Congress adjourns.

There is fighting at Unionville, Tennessee, and at Independent Hill in Prince William County, Virginia. Federal forces from Franklin move toward Thompson’s Station or Spring Hill, Tennessee. Surrounded by Van Dorn and Forrest, the Federal cavalry escapes, but the Union infantry will be forced to surrender on March 5 after a heavy engagement. A ten-day Federal expedition from Murfreesboro begins operating in the same area, with several skirmishes.
#15159438
March 5, Thursday

Federals continue digging a canal opposite Vicksburg despite occasional shells thrown their way by the Confederate batteries in the city.

Federal soldiers acting on their own badly damage the offices of an allegedly pro-Southern newspaper, the Columbus, Ohio, Crisis.

There is a skirmish opposite Fort Smith, Arkansas. March 5-12 a Federal expedition operates from Helena up the St. Francis and Little rivers with a skirmish at Madison, Arkansas. Another Federal operation is carried out March 5-13 in Newton and Jasper counties, Missouri.
#15159646
March 6, Friday

A skirmish on the White River, Arkansas, and three expeditions feature a quiet day. March 6-8 there are forays by Federals from New Berne to Trenton and Swansborough, North Carolina, and also demonstrations on Kinston, North Carolina. March 6-10 troops operate from Helena to Big and Lick creeks, Arkansas.
#15159757
March 7, Saturday

On the Mississippi, General Banks’ Federal force moves north from New Orleans to Baton Rouge and toward Port Hudson in its operations to cooperate with Grant’s activities against Vicksburg to the north.

For the Confederacy, Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith assumes command of all forces west of the Mississippi River.

There is a skirmish at Green Spring Run, West Virginia. Expeditions, scouts, reconnaissances continue at accelerated pace. March 7-9 there is a Federal reconnaissance from Suffolk to near Windsor, Virginia; March 7-10 from Newport Barracks to Cedar Point, North Carolina; and March 7-14 an expedition from New Berne to Mattamuskeet Lake, North Carolina.

In Baltimore the Federal army forbids the sale of “secession music” and confiscates all such song sheets.
#15159887
March 8, Sunday

The work on the Federal canal seeking to cut behind Vicksburg, Mississippi, that was started at the end of January has been messy work. The January rains were the worst in memory; the Mississippi has kept rising, threatening not only the labor but the laborers. General Sherman, in charge of the effort, is living in a house on high ground that can only be reached by planks laid from a levee over surrounding water, and the men are living on the levee itself, trying to stay dry. In all that dampness insects thrive, and one soldier complains that the air is simply “a saturated solution of gnats.” There are those—Sherman included—who have doubted that the canal will ever serve its intended purpose. The upstream end is situated on an eddy of the Mississippi, and the river is not likely to flow readily into the canal. The downstream end looks right into the muzzles of Confederate guns across the river; the first boat to go through would surely be blown out of the water. Still, the President has apparently wanted it, and the army has done its best. The shape of the canal’s mouth has been changed to capture more of the reluctant river, dredge boats have been brought in to speed the digging, and the canal’s dimensions have been enlarged as ordered.

Then, just as plans are made to cut the temporary dam at the upstream end and let the Mississippi in, the river arrives unbidden. There is a new onslaught of torrential rains, the water rises, and the dam gives way. The Mississippi rushes through, but instead of scouring out the canal as expected it overflows the banks, flooding the surrounding fields and threatening the soldiers on the levees. That doesn’t end the trouble: When the water subsides and the Federal crews return to the canal, the Confederates begin shooting at the dredges from across the river. That is enough for Grant. He calls off the project. The canal might someday be used by boats at night, he says, but that is all.

It is a quiet night at Fairfax County Court House, Virginia, where Brigadier General Stoughton and his garrison lie in bed. Twenty-nine men under Captain John S. Mosby stealthily enter the town and reach the general’s headquarters, and his bedroom. The startled general, himself looking for the “rebel guerrilla” Mosby, is captured ignominiously in bed. The loot of the daring raid includes General Stoughton, two captains, thirty other prisoners, fifty-eight horses of high quality, and arms and equipment. Mosby’s band and his captures evade numerous Federal outposts and camps on their departure from Fairfax County Court House. A chagrined North and jubilant South see this adventure of war in different lights.

Two four-day Federal expeditions operate from La Grange to near Covington, and from Collierville, Tennessee. March 8-16 Confederate forces operate against New Berne, North Carolina, with several skirmishes, but are driven off.
#15160044
March 9, Monday

In Charleston, South Carolina, James Louis Petigru dies at seventy-four. Admired and known throughout the country as a jurist and a loyal unionist in the midst of secession, Petigru was the outstanding pro-Northern advocate in the Confederacy. Full of pithy and sarcastic statements, Petigru nevertheless maintained the respect and friendship of Charlestonians despite his political views.

At Vicksburg a second “Quaker” or fake ironclad made of logs with pork barrels for funnels drifts down past the city and is subjected to fire from the Confederate batteries.

There is a skirmish at Hazle Green, Kentucky; a skirmish near St. Augustine, Florida; an affair at Fairfax Court House, Virginia; and skirmishes on the Comite River at Montesano Bridge near Port Hudson, Louisiana. A Federal expedition operates March 9-15 from Bloomfield, Missouri, to Chalk Bluff, Arkansas, and to Gum Slough, Kennett, Hornersville, Missouri; while in Tennessee from this day to the fourteenth a Union reconnaissance operates from Salem to Versailles.
#15160255
March 10, Tuesday

Federal troops, mainly Black, reoccupy Jacksonville, Florida, without difficulty. There is a skirmish near Murfreesboro, Tennessee; and three days of fighting near Plymouth, North Carolina; as well as, March 10-16, a Federal scout to La Fayette and Moscow, Tennessee.

President Lincoln issues a proclamation of amnesty to soldiers absent without leave if they report before April 1; otherwise they will be arrested as deserters.

President Davis questions General Pemberton at Vicksburg over Federal progress.
#15160375
March 11, Wednesday

As Federal gunboats and troops move through the tangle of bayous and overgrown waterways from Yazoo Pass off the Mississippi, they learn that General Pemberton has more in mind than just slowing them down with obstructions. At a point ninety miles from Vicksburg where another stream, the Yalobusha, enters the main river, the Confederates have blocked the river by sinking old ships in the channel and have hastily constructed a fortification of cotton bales and sandbags. Cannon have been mounted over the improvised parapets, and 1,500 soldiers are manning the fort they have named Fort Pemberton. And however crude it appears, it is in fact a formidable obstacle. It is located at a passage so narrow that only one or two boats can approach at a time, and it is surrounded by terrain so marshy that no foot soldiers can get to it at all. It is also half hidden by a bend. Thus the Union invaders, creeping down the river, come upon it unexpectedly. The Federal naval force is led by Lieutenant Commander Watson Smith, and he is in no condition to deal with surprises. A nervous and cautious officer, Smith has been showing signs of strain for some time. His progress down the river has been painfully slow. If his gunboats had moved faster, they might have taken Fort Pemberton before its defenders were ready. But Smith has anxiously held the whole force to the speed of the transports, and has grown more and more worried as his force moved deeper into enemy territory. Suddenly confronted by Fort Pemberton, Smith stops all his boats to consider the situation.

There is a mild affair near Paris, Kentucky.

The Confederates begin work on gun emplacements at Grand Gulf, Mississippi, downriver from Vicksburg.

In Baltimore a Federal commander prohibits the sale of pictures of Confederate generals and statesmen.
#15160519
March 12, Thursday

The Federal force under Gordon Granger that has been operating to the Duck River in Tennessee returns to Franklin, after several skirmishes. March 12-16 Northern troops scout from Camp Piatt through Boone, Wyoming, and Logan counties of West Virginia; and March 12-20 there is a Federal expedition from Columbus, Kentucky, to Perryville, Tennessee.
#15160738
March 13, Friday

In front of Fort Pemberton ninety miles north of Vicksburg, Mississippi, Lieutenant Commander Smith has spent the past two days summoning his courage. Now he finally sends two gunboats forward. They are instantly blasted by the Confederates, and have great difficulty bringing their own guns to bear. After a hard day of fighting, the fort still stands between them and Vicksburg.

There is a skirmish at Rover and an affair near Charlotte, Tennessee.

An explosion at the Confederate Ordnance Laboratory in Richmond kills or injures sixty-nine, including sixty-two women. A friction primer accidentally ignited.
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