The American Civil War, day by day - Page 45 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15109781
July 26, Saturday

Fighting this day is near Orange Court House, Virginia; Mill Creek near Pollocksville, North Carolina; Spanger’s Mill near Jonesborough, Alabama; and Tazewell, Tennessee. July 26-29 there are operations in southeastern Missouri with skirmishes July 28 at Bollinger’s Mill; and from Newport to Young’s Cross Roads, North Carolina.
#15109926
July 27, Sunday

With Union General Banks’s advance against Gordonsville stalled and General Pope still gathering his forces, General Lee at Richmond turns even bolder. By now he has made the reasoned guess that General McClellan will continue to sit by harmlessly at Harrison’s Landing, and so Lee orders A.P. Hill’s Light Division—so called for its speed of march—to join Jackson. Lee is more than a little concerned that Jackson’s secretive, lone-wolf ways will anger the impetuous, hot-tempered Hill. So Lee in his most tactful manner writes Jackson: “A. P. Hill you will find a good officer whom you can consult and by advising with your division commanders as to their movements much trouble can be saved you.” Unfortunately, Jackson will choose not to heed Lee’s suggestions.

The lead elements of General Bragg’s 35,000 infantrymen complete their journey by train, ferry, and steamboat to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Minor fighting continues at Bayou Bernard near Fort Gibson, Indian Territory; Madisonville and Covington, Louisiana; Brown’s Soring, Missouri; Flat Top Mountain, western Virginia; and near Toone’s Station or Lower Post Ferry, Tennessee. July 27-29 there are operations from Rienzi to Ripley, Mississippi; July 27-30 from Woodville to Guntersville, Alabama, with several skirmishes; and in Carroll, Ray, and Livingston counties, Missouri.
#15110077
July 28, Monday

The governors of Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana write to Jefferson Davis requesting a commanding general, money, arms, ammunition, for “without them we cannot use our strength, nor fully develop the mighty power of resistance that is in our midst.”

Fighting is at Cross Timbers and Fulton, Missouri; Stevenson, Alabama; Humbolt, Tennessee; Culpeper to Racoon Ford, Virginia; and July 28-31 in Pettis County, Missouri; and from Helena to Old Town and Trenton, Arkansas.

The office of the St. Croix Herald in St. Stephens, New Brunswick, Canada, a pro-Union paper, is attacked by a mob and the equipment wrecked.
#15110224
July 29, Tuesday

Since the Trent Affair at the end of the previous year, tensions between the United States and Great Britain have been building again, this time over the Confederate commerce raiders under construction in British yards. After delivering the Fingal and its cargo to Savannah last November, James Bulloch returned to England to oversee the construction of the Oreto and of a second steamer known as the No. 290 and then, when launched on May 15th, as the Enrica. Thomas H. Dudley, the aggressive American consul in Liverpool, discovered that funds to pay for the Oreto’s engines came from Fraser, Trenholm & Company—already widely recognized as agents of the Confederacy. Dudley passed his information on to Minister Charles Francis Adams, who presented the Foreign Office with a protest against violations of neutrality. But Dudley and Adams met with obdurate Foreign Office bureaucrats, who struck Adams as “discourteous in their indifference and insolent in their disregard of truth.” Russell’s reply to the evidence Dudley provided was to send customs officers to examine the Oreto. The officers disregarded the gunports cut into the ship’s sides, which were in fact legal constructions so long as no guns were installed, and reported that “she had no warlike stores of any kind on board.” Under the circumstances, explained Lord Russell, he had no legal grounds for detaining the ship. It appeared that Bulloch had not permitted any incriminating evidence aboard; he was taking no chances.

On March 22nd, Bulloch invited a group of guests, including a few women, to come aboard the Oreto for a trial run. The ship left port under a British flag and a British captain. After cruising around the harbor area, she lowered several small boats and sent the women and all but one of the male guests back to shore. The remaining passenger was John Low of the Confederate Navy. The Oreto put out to sea headed for Nassau. Traveling mostly under sail in light winds, the Oreto arrived in the Bahamas 37 days later. She made rendezvous at a small island on the edge of the Great Bahama Bank with a schooner loaded with military supplies. The Oreto took on ammunition and four 7-inch rifled guns, hoisted the Confederate flag, and put out to sea again as the commerce raider Florida.

Bulloch now stepped up work on the No. 290. Thwarted in their efforts to stop the Oreto, Adams and Dudley were determined to prevent this new ship, which Bulloch correctly judged to be “superior to any vessel of her date in fitness for the purposes of a sea rover.” Dudley got an oral statement from the foreman that the 290 would carry eleven guns. Waterproof ammunition magazines had already been built into her, and platforms had been screwed into her decks for pivot guns. This testimony was dismissed by the Commissioners of Customs in Liverpool as insufficient evidence, and the 290 was launched as Enrica on May 15th.

Convinced that Liverpool Customs is Confederate oriented, Adams takes two additional steps to prevent her departure. He asks that the Federal warship Tuscarora, currently in British waters, move into position to intercept the Enrica if she actually puts to sea. He then seeks an opinion from Robert Porrett Collier, who as Judge Advocate of the British fleet is England’s top authority on maritime law. Collier’s reply is unequivocal: There can hardly be a “stronger case of infringement of the Foreign Enlistment Act.” Adams takes this opinion to Lord Russell, who at last is persuaded to ask the Queen’s Advocate, Sir John Harding, to review the case. In sending the evidence to Harding, Lord Russell stresses that he needs a quick legal opinion. What no one knows is that Harding has just suffered what is most likely a stroke. By the time Lord Russell learns that Harding is in no condition to give an opinion, five critical days have elapsed. Lord Russell immediately sends out orders to detain the Enrica, but he is too late. Early this morning the Enrica sails from Liverpool with a civilian crew for the island of Terceira in the Azores. The Tuscarora fails in its mission to intercept her at sea.

Major General John Pope leaves Washington to make his headquarters in the field with his Army of Virginia. He is still having trouble concentrating his forces between Culpeper and Warrenton, in Virginia. More than half of General McDowell’s 30,000-man corps is still at Fredericksburg. General Sigel’s 13,000-man corps is slowly making its way from the Shenandoah Valley across the Blue Ridge. Only General Banks, with 11,000 men, is in position.

There is fighting or reconnaissance at Arrow Rock, Bloomfield, and Saline County, Missouri; Orange Court House, Virginia; Harrison’s Landing to St. Mary’s Church, Virginia; Russellville, Kentucky; Hatchie Bottom, near Denmark, Tennessee; and Federal naval forces attack Fort McAllister on the Ogeechee River near Savannah, Georgia.

A woman named Belle Boyd is captured near Warrenton, Virginia, by Federals. She is accused of being a Confederate spy and mail courier and is sent to the Old Capital Prison at Washington.
#15110420
July 30, Wednesday

Though on the 23rd General Halleck was less than forceful in conveying President Lincoln’s message of the restrictions on his reinforcements, McClellan has sensed that the tide has turned against him and begun negotiating desperately, modifying his demands for more troops and eventually agreeing to attack toward Richmond with whatever reinforcements Lincoln can give him at once. But it is too late. Halleck orders General McClellan to remove his sick and wounded from Harrison’s Landing. The intention is to eventually move the whole army from the James toward Washington and northern Virginia.

Confederate Major General Theophilis Holmes assumes command of the Trans-Mississippi Department.

There are military operations at Clark’s Mill in Chariton County, Missouri, and a reconnaissance from Harrison’s Landing to Jones’ Ford, Chickahominy River, Virginia.

In Boston, bells which have been contributed by Southern churches and individuals to be cast into cannon are sold at auction. General Butler had confiscated them at New Orleans.
#15110571
July 31, Thursday

President Davis writes to General Lee that on July 22nd a cartel for exchange of prisoners was signed, but that shortly afterward the Federal authorities “commenced a practice changing the character of the war, from such as becomes civilized nations into a campaign of indiscriminate robbery and murder.” He is referring to the orders of seizure of private property without compensation, the threats that citizens will be shot as spies if found in or near Pope’s lines, and the seizure of citizens as hostages. Therefore Davis issues orders that any commissioned officers captured from Pope’s army be treated as felons rather than prisoners of war, for, he says, they have put themselves in the position “of robbers and murderers.” He regrets having to threaten retaliation on the officers, but lays the blame upon the United States.

General Bragg may have moved his 35,000 infantrymen to Chattanooga, but he still has to decide what to do with them. He tells the War Department, rather tentatively, that he hopes, in conjunction with Major General Kirby Smith, to gain the enemy’s rear and so cut off his supplies and divide his forces. But Bragg’s natural indecisiveness is accentuated by his feeling that he is an interloper in Smith’s Department of East Tennessee. Instead of taking command of their combined operations, Bragg treats Smith as an equal and independent command. In a meeting today, as Bragg will later explain to his superiors in Richmond, they “arranged measures for mutual support and effective cooperation”—a time-honored prescription for military disaster.

The course of action on which they agree is simple and sound enough, as far as it goes: Since Bragg’s mounted units have not yet arrived, he cannot take the field; Smith will move immediately against Morgan’s Federals in the Cumberland Gap. If Morgan is driven off and if by the time Bragg’s wagon trains have arrived, the two generals will combine their forces and move into central Tennessee to cut off Buell. The strategy is left vague enough to satisfy both generals—Bragg, whose objective is Buell’s army, and Smith, who has never wavered from the course he has charted into Kentucky.
#15110786
August 1, Friday

Union General Buell has spent June and July feeling sorry for himself, bemoaning what he will later call “the crippling of an invading army by a successful war upon its too long and inadequately protected communications.” Now, the sorely distracted general has been told that General Bragg has arrived in Chattanooga with 80,000 to 100,000 men for an assault on Nashville. Buell plans to withdraw from his exposed position along the south bank of the Tennessee River as soon as he is sure of Bragg’s intentions. In the meantime, he manages to persuade General in Chief Henry W. Halleck to send him two divisions from General Grant’s army.

Fighting on the first day of the month consists of skirmishes at Ozark, Grand River, and Carrollton, Missouri, and at Barnett’s Ford, Virginia.

A Federal official in South Carolina announces the issuance of papers indicating their freedom to Black soldiers, not yet legally enlisted.
#15110909
August 2, Saturday

Elements of the Army of Virginia under John Pope advance on Orange Court House and skirmishes with Confederates. Other skirmishing is on Clear Creek, near Taberville, Missouri; Jonesborough, Arkansas; near Totten’s Plantation, Coahoma County, and at Austin, Tunica County, Mississippi August 2-8. Federal forces from Harrison’s Landing reoccupy Malvern Hill, Virginia. Other operations are August 2-5 from Meadow Bluff to the Greenbrier River, western Virginia; Cumberland Gap and near Tazewell, Tennessee, August 2-6; and about Wyoming Court House, western Virginia, August 2-8.

General Kirby Smith pleads for more reinforcements from General Bragg, who obligingly sends two of his best brigades. Bragg now has only 27,000 men to confront General Buell’s entire Union army threatening Chattanooga, while General Smith has in excess of 20,000 men to take on General Morgan’s lone division in the Cumberland Gap. Bragg tries to redress the imbalance by ordering that Major General John C. Breckinridge’s division be detached from Van Dorn’s department and sent east to him.

Federal Secretary of State Seward instructs Minister to Great Britain Charles Francis Adams to neither receive nor discuss any offers of mediation of the war by Great Britain.
#15111061
August 3, Sunday

General Halleck orders General McClellan to move his Federal Army of the Potomac from the Peninsula north to Aquia Landing near Fredericksburg and to Alexandria. McClellan is to aid in the defense of Washington and in opposing the Confederate offensive against Pope’s Army of Virginia. McClellan protests vehemently against this order, maintaining that he should remain on the Peninsula. “The order will prove disastrous to our cause. Here, directly in front of this army is the heart of the rebellion. Here is the true defense of Washington; it is here on the banks of the James.”

General Lee receives news in Richmond that tells him the time is right for his limited offensive. A promising young cavalry lieutenant named John Singleton Mosby has recently arrived from Fort Monroe at the tip of the Peninsula; he has been released by the Federals in an exchange of prisoners. Mosby tells Lee that Major General Ambrose Burnside and 14,000 Federal troops, having reached the Peninsula from the Carolinas, has been ordered to move farther north by water. Mosby concludes, and Lee agrees, that Burnside is heading up Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac to reinforce General Pope’s troops at Aquia Landing and nearby Fredericksburg. Since that implies that General McClellan is no longer a threat to Richmond, Lee gives General Stonewall Jackson a mandate to strike before Pope does. Jackson determines to march his forces to Orange Court House on August 7, cross the Rapidan the next day, and attack Pope’s advance units near Culpeper.

Skirmishing increases, with action at Chariton Bridge, Missouri; L’Anguille Ferry, Jackson, and Scatterville, Arkansas; Greenbrier River, western Virginia; Morganfield, Kentucky; Nonconah Creek, Tennessee; on the south side of the James River and at Sycamore Church, Virginia.

The British vessel Columbia, carrying twelve pieces of artillery, several thousand Enfield rifles, and other munitions, is captured after a seven-hour chase off the Bahamas by the Federal steamer Santiago de Cuba. Another blockade runner is taken off Charleston as the effectiveness of the Federal blockade steadily increases.
#15111188
August 4, Monday

Though the US government is oblivious, things are heating up in Minnesota. The Eastern, or Santee, Sioux had roamed the great game-filled forests and prairies of Minnesota for centuries. But in 1851 the government forced them to cede their ancestral villages and hunting grounds—24 million acres in all—and move onto a narrow strip of land 20 miles wide that extends for 150 miles along both sides of the upper Minnesota River. In return, the Santee, who were expected to settle down and become farmers, were promised annuities in the form of cash and provisions. Almost immediately the government’s graft-ridden system of managing Amerind affairs gave the Santee cause for resentment. In the following years, the traders diverted money promised the Santee into their own pockets to settle debts that the traders claimed—often falsely—the Sioux owed them. Treaty goods and provisions sent to the Amerinds frequently turned out to be shoddy or rotten, or were stolen by traders and other unscrupulous Whites. Even the well-meaning missionaries who established churches on the reservation caused trouble. Santees who clung to their old beliefs and customs despised those Sioux who accepted Christianity, became farmers, and adopted the Whites’ clothing, haircuts, and frame houses. Then in 1858 the settlers flooding into the area induced the government to invite Little Crow, the most influential Santee spokesman, and several other chiefs to Washington, where they were browbeaten into giving up half of the already cramped reservation. The chiefs were promised $266,880 ($8,574,573 in 2020 dollars) for 889,600 acres, but the bulk of the money appropriated by Congress went to the traders.

Frustrated and angry, the Sioux are nevertheless held in check by Little Crow and the other chiefs. Little Crow is the hereditary chief of only one of the villages, but he possesses oratorical power that has won him disproportionate influence over his people. Recognizing the power of the Whites, he has professed warm friendship for them, cut his hair to shoulder length, and lives in a two-story frame house. Although not a Christian, he often attends services. But even Little Crow is losing his patience this summer, thanks to a newly appointed government agent, Thomas J. Galbraith, who appears determined to starve his people. Most of the Amerinds’ crops failed last year, and many of their villages are in dire straits. Despite the crisis, Galbraith announced that the annual distribution of government provisions and annuities, scheduled for June, would be delayed. Congress, debating whether to make Amerind payments this year in gold or the new wartime greenbacks, has held up delivery of $71,000 due the Santee. To simplify his bookkeeping, Galbraith has decided to keep the provisions locked up in his warehouses until the money arrives and then distribute everything at once.

Now, seething with resentment, some of the famished Amerinds storm the warehouse at the more northerly of the two government posts, the Upper Agency, looting sacks of flour. Order is restored only when the commander of the infantry detachment overseeing the distribution persuades the stubborn Galbraith to issue some provisions and annuity goods. Little Crow, present at the altercation, asks Galbraith to make a similar preliminary distribution to the half-starved Amerinds of the Lower Agency. Galbraith agrees, but will go back on his word.

President Lincoln orders a draft of 300,000 militia to serve for nine months, unless discharged sooner. This draft will never be put into effect. The President also orders the military to get rid of incompetent persons holding commissions, and to promote worthy officers.

Burnside’s Federal corps from North Carolina arrives at Aquia Creek to assist Pope in defending against Lee’s advance into northern Virginia.

In New Orleans General Benjamin F. Butler, commanding the Federal occupation forces, issues an order assessing “secessionists” a total of $341,916 to provide for the poor of the city.

There is skirmishing at Gayoso and on White River, near Forsyth, Missouri. Other operations include a Federal reconnaissance from Coggins’ Point beyond Sycamore Church, Virginia, August 4-5; an attack by Confederates on Union pickets near Woodville, and a Union reconnaissance from Woodville to Guntersville, Alabama, August 4-7; an expedition of Confederate General Jeb Stuart from Hanover Court House to near Fredericksburg, Virginia, 4-8; a Union scout on Sinking Creek, Missouri, August 4-11; a Federal expedition from Helena to Clarendon, Arkansas, August 4-17.

In New Mexico Territory additional units of the California Column reach Mesilla on the Rio Grande, removing any slim possibility that remained of Texas making another attempt on capturing the territory.

Lincoln tells a delegation of “Western gentlemen” who offer two Black regiments from Indiana that he is not prepared to enlist Blacks as soldiers, although he suggests employing them as laborers.
#15111193
But even Little Crow is losing his patience this summer, thanks to a newly appointed government agent, Thomas J. Galbraith, who appears determined to starve his people. Most of the Amerinds’ crops failed last year, and many of their villages are in dire straits. Despite the crisis, Galbraith announced that the annual distribution of government provisions and annuities, scheduled for June, would be delayed. Congress, debating whether to make Amerind payments this year in gold or the new wartime greenbacks, has held up delivery of $71,000 due the Santee. To simplify his bookkeeping, Galbraith has decided to keep the provisions locked up in his warehouses until the money arrives and then distribute everything at once.

Now, seething with resentment, some of the famished Amerinds storm the warehouse at the more northerly of the two government posts, the Upper Agency, looting sacks of flour. Order is restored only when the commander of the infantry detachment overseeing the distribution persuades the stubborn Galbraith to issue some provisions and annuity goods. Little Crow, present at the altercation, asks Galbraith to make a similar preliminary distribution to the half-starved Amerinds of the Lower Agency. Galbraith agrees, but will go back on his word.

Incredible. Was Galbraith deliberately trying to provoke an uprising? In the middle of the Civil War? What was he thinking? And it's interesting that it took the intervention of a military man to make him relent. He must have understood the danger that Galbraith was flirting with.
#15111207
Potemkin wrote:Incredible. Was Galbraith deliberately trying to provoke an uprising? In the middle of the Civil War? What was he thinking? And it's interesting that it took the intervention of a military man to make him relent. He must have understood the danger that Galbraith was flirting with.


The starvation tactic was an old tactic with Indian reservation issues Potemkin. That was a normal mode of operating. That is why they killed millions of buffalo on the Dakota plains so that the Lakota and Sioux would starve to death or give up the fight because contrary to popular belief, the Indian people were good at getting away from government authorities at the time.

Waste millions of pounds of meat. Let it rot in the summer sun. Kill all of the animals or as many as humanly possible. Rip out their tongues and some hide and have the buffalo hunters sell it for profit. And then let vast amounts of the meat rot and kill pregnant female buffalo the most. That way you can make sure there is nothing for them to live off of in the winter and you got the Indians begging the white government for some white flour that is low nutrition. They get sick. They get desperate.

How humane all this is? All because of GREED for the land and for gold in them there hills. Can't have some Indians impeding progress and civilization. The people who are so civilized with such wasteful disrespectful behavior? They are still here. Pouring milk, vegetables and so on by the tons in order to keep up with capitalist markets. Fuck the people who don't have enough to eat in the world and trying to save the food for them. No, the dollar is more important than the needs of the vast group of humans remaining without calories for the day.

All that horrible history sickens me. It does Potemkin.
#15111213
@Potemkin More often than not, it was the military authorities that understood and respected the Amerinds—not that they liked Amerinds, many officers hated them; but they understood them. Many of the officers had been posted to the West and Far West for years, and it’s a good idea to have some knowledge of the people that may be trying to kill you.

The civilian authorities, OTOH, were often men that had never been out west, got their appointments through political patronage, and had no clue who they were dealing with. Even when they weren’t corrupt and out to milk their positions for all the loot they could manage, they often confused ignorance (by their standards) with stupidity and so treated the tribes as so many children. Settlers were often no better, if probably less corrupt.

On a side note, when we get to the battle of Antietam it is going to be huge! I’ll have to break it up into three large posts—one for each section of the battlefield—it’s that big. But that won’t be for another six weeks yet, we have to get through Pope’s idiocy first. :eek:
#15111355
August 5, Tuesday

Confederate forces once more control the Mississippi north and south of Vicksburg from Helena, Arkansas, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Moving southward toward Baton Rouge, Major General John C. Breckinridge and about 2,600 men attack 2,500 Federals under Brigadier General Thomas Williams. Breckinridge, a former Vice President of the United States and one of Lincoln’s opponents in the 1860 presidential race, plans to trap the Federal garrison between his troops, attacking from the east, and the ironclad ram Arkansas, which is steaming downriver from Vicksburg to neutralize the Federal gunboats at Baton Rouge. His troops, however, are not in the best of shape: “They marched in straggling order, many of them lank, bent individuals, seemingly hardly able to support the burden of their blanket rolls and haversacks, but their rifles were clean and shining,” one Confederate officer will write. Alerted by rumors of the advance, Federal Brigadier General Thomas Williams has ordered his men into battle positions. Although better equipped than the Confederates, Williams’ troops are in little better condition; almost half the garrison of 4,000 is on the sick list.

The Confederates attack early in the morning. Aided by a dense fog that shields their movements, they drive back the enemy’s left flank, taking a heavy toll among the Federal officers. Williams gallops into the thick of the fighting, shouting, “Boys, your field officers are all gone. I will lead you.” Moments later he takes a rifle ball to the chest and falls, mortally wounded. But then the tide turns. The Arkansas arrives too late to be of help due to continual breakdown of her faulty engines, and so the unchallenged Union gunboats soon blunt the Confederate onslaught. The Federals succeed in driving the Confederates back, and the fighting is over by midmorning. Losses for the Federals are 84 killed (among them Lieutenant A.H. Todd, President Lincoln’s brother-in-law), 266 wounded, and 33 missing for 383; Confederate losses are also 84 killed, 315 wounded, and 57 captured or missing for 456.

There is a light engagement at Malvern Hill and a skirmish at White Oak Swamp Bridge on Virginia’s Peninsula, as well as one at Thornburg or Massaponax Church, Virginia. Elsewhere the fighting is at Montevallo and near Cravensville, Missouri; Wyoming Court House, western Virginia; Sparta, Tennessee; and New Market, Alabama. There is a Federal expedition August 5-8 from Fredericksburg to Frederick’s Hall Station, Virginia, and another at the same time by Union troops from Helena to the mouth of White River, Arkansas.

Recruiting for old and new regiments proceeds briskly in the North after Lincoln’s call for 300,000 more men.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis writes of some of the problems of his administration, stating, “Revolutions develop the high qualities of the good and great, but they cannot change the nature of the vicious and selfish.”
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