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.”
#15111635
August 6, Wednesday

The Federal ironclad Essex and four other vessels attack Arkansas at Baton Rouge; as happened the day before, Arkansas’s engines fail, making her an easy target. Badly damaged, Arkansas fights back despite a raging fire on board. The crew is ordered to abandon ship and she is blown up. The Confederate will not again attempt to put formidable warships on the Mississippi. In twenty-three days C.S.S. Arkansas has carved a career that will become legend in the river war. When Breckinridge learns of the Arkansas’ destruction, he pulls back a few miles north and begins to seriously fortify Port Hudson on the bluffs. Baton Rouge remains in Union hands.

There is more skirmishing at Malvern Hill and around Thornburg, Virginia; Beech Creek, Pack’s Ferry on New River, western Virginia; and Kirksville, Missouri.

War meetings are held in many Northern cities to stimulate enlistments.

Brigadier General Robert L. McCook, of the famous McCook clan of Ohio, dies from wounds after being attacked by a party of Confederate guerrillas while he is riding ill in an ambulance from Athens, Alabama, to Decherd, Tennessee.
#15111783
August 7, Thursday

General Stonewall Jackson’s plan to move against General Pope is a good one. There is only one problem—he has failed to tell his generals what he has planned to do. General Ewell, who was driven to distraction by distraction by Jackson’s inscrutable ways in the Valley Campaign, is asked by a junior officer what Jackson has in mind, and he has to confess: “I do not know whether we march north, south, east or west, or whether we march at all. General Jackson has simply ordered me to have the division ready to move at dawn.” Leaving Gordonsville today, Jackson’s command marches on back roads to Orange Court House and bivouacs for the night. While the troops sleep, Jackson issues orders for the march along the main road to Culpeper. He wanted Ewell’s division to lead off, followed by Hill’s, and then his own division, under General Winder. But during the night Jackson changes his mind and tells Ewell to take a different route, one that veers west before rejoining the Culpeper road to the north. In his usual mystifying way, Jackson fails to inform Hill or Winder.

In New Mexico Territory near Fort Fillmore Federals under E.R.S. Canby defeat the Confederate forces retreating from Santa Fe.

There is other fighting at Rocky Bluff in Platte County and near Montevallo, Missouri; Wolftown, Virginia; Decatur, Alabama; and at Wood Springs near Dyersburg, Tennessee. August 7-9 there is a Union Scout from Ozark to Forsyth, Missouri, and from the seventh to the tenth a Federal reconnaissance from Pensacola to Bagdad and Milton, Florida.

Federal forces on the Peninsula of Virginia withdraw once more from Malvern Hill.

At Blackburn, England, a public meeting once more advocates the recognition of the Confederate States of America because “it is impossible for the North to vanquish the South.”
#15111919
August 8, Friday

In Virginia, General Hill and his men are waiting patiently as other Confederate troops begin to pass by, but thanks to General Jackson’s change of plans the previous night those troops are General Winder’s rather than General Ewell’s. Hill is furious, and also in a quandary over what to do. So as not to mix the units, he decides to hold back his division until all of Winder’s men and wagons have passed. The result is a costly delay. Winder’s men make only four miles this day, and Hill’s division, after finally getting on the road and marching two miles, is ordered back to Orange Court House for the night. Ewell, having escaped the mix-up due to Jackson ordering him to take a different route, has easily made eight miles, but except for that the day has been wasted. Jackson blames Hill for the delay; Hill blames Jackson.

This contretemps turns out to be less damaging that it might have been. General Pope’s Union army of Virginia is still strung out for 20 miles along the road from Sperryville, at the foot of the Blue Ridge, to a point just south of Culpeper. His cavalry is stretched from Madison Court House to Rapidan Station. One of General McDowell’s divisions remains at Fredericksburg to guard the approaches to the Federal supply base at Aquia Landing, where Burnside’s corps is soon to arrive. Sigel, who has been ordered to march rapidly from Sperryville, has misread his maps and led his corps off track. Another of McDowell’s divisions is at Culpeper. In the vanguard of Pope’s army, about eight miles south of Culpeper, is the corps commanded by General Nathaniel Banks. This situation has made the Union General-in-Chief, General Halleck, exceedingly nervous. He has wired Pope, “Do not advance so as to expose yourself to any disaster, unless you can better your line of defense, until we can get more troops upon the Rappahannock.” Yesterday he also prodded General McClellan, still on the James River south of Richmond, having just begun the ponderous withdrawal of his Army of the Potomac, with a wire: “I must beg of you, general, to hurry along your movement. Your reputation as well as mine may be involved in its rapid execution. I cannot regard Pope and Burnside as safe until your reinforce them.”

Skirmishing continues from Missouri to Virginia with fighting on Panther Creek, near Newtonia, and new Stockton in Macon County, Missouri; Slaughter’s House and near Madison Court House, Virginia.

The Federal War Department issues orders to prevent evasion of military duty and for suppression of disloyal activities. At Baltimore arrests are made to prevent those seeking to evade the draft from leaving the area.

At Huntsville, the Federal authorities order that ministers and leading churchmen who have been active secessionists be arrested and one each day placed on board the trains.

British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston states at a banquet that Britain will continue to preserve “a strict and rigid neutrality.”
#15112118
August 9, Saturday

In Virginia General Stonewall Jackson’s Confederates move north, with Ewell’s division in the lead, followed by Winder’s. Hill pushes his men hard to close the gap created by the confusion yesterday. Once the three divisions link up, they form a column of 24,000 men and 1,200 wagons stretching for seven miles. The cavalry screens the march, steadily pushing back Federal cavalry scouts. It is hot even in the early morning hours. As the temperature rises to near 100 degrees, many men drop of sunstroke. Winder has been taken ill, but is carried on an ambulance alongside his men.

Shortly after noon, a courier informs Jackson that the head of the column has encountered Federals “in strong force” on the Culpeper road. Jackson rides forward to confer with Ewell. As he does so, Federal artillery opens up on Ewell’s lead brigade. This unit, under the command of Brigadier General Jubal A. Early, is currently marching along the western slope of Cedar Mountain, a low, mile-long ridge. Jackson, moving quickly to secure the dominant terrain of Cedar Mountain, orders Ewell to anchor his artillery on the northern end of the mountain. Ewell deploys Early’s brigade to face the center of the Federal line, arrayed behind a ridge to the north of Cedar Run. On the far right, at the foot of Cedar Mountain, Ewell stations his other two brigades. Next to come up is Charles Winder, who leaves his ambulance against doctor’s orders and positions his division to the left of Ewell, covering what appears to be the Federal right. In a potentially fatal oversight, two Union brigades go undetected opposite the Confederate left flank. The Federals are concealed in thick woods beyond a wheat field northwest of the Culpeper road. Since Jackson anticipates action to his right, the Confederates along the road are facing southeast—away from the unseen enemy. By midafternoon, Ewell’s and Winder’s lines stretch from the northern tip of Cedar Mountain to the woods along the Culpeper road. To the rear lies Hill’s Light Division, ready to move in any direction.

At this juncture, the Federals are greatly outnumbered by Jackson’s command. Only one complete Federal corps, Banks’s, is on hand to meet the threat. On his left, facing Ewell, Banks has three brigades. On the Federal right, across the road, are two more brigades. Brigadier General Samuel W. Crawford’s 1,700 men, concealed in the thick woods beyond the wheat field, are the closest to the enemy, with more troops to their right and rear. Though other units are coming up, the Federals have no more than 9,000 men immediately available—about 12,000 less than the Confederates. Yet in spite of that, orders were issued that lead to a Federal attack. Early this morning, General Pope had dispatched one of his aides, Colonel Louis Marshall—a nephew of Robert E. Lee—with verbal orders for Banks at his Culpeper headquarters. According to Banks, Marshall gave his instructions to “assume command of all the forces in the front, deploy his skirmishers if the enemy approaches, and attack him immediately as soon as he approaches.” Banks then left Culpeper for the field, and his artillery went into action as soon as Jackson’s vanguard came within range.

By 4:30 in the afternoon, cannon fire on both sides has intensified. Ewell’s batteries at the mountain and Winder’s on the left draw heavy and accurate fire from the ridge north of Cedar Run. Winder’s chief of artillery is hit and gravely wounded as he tries to move some smoothbores toward the front. Winder himself is standing behind one of his batteries, selecting targets for his gunners, when a bursting shell mangles his left arm and rips open his left side. As Winder’s staff officers try frantically to get him medical aid, a rider gallops through the trees with an urgent message from Early; a Federal column has been spotted on their extreme left. Winder is carried to the rear; the brave and talented Marylander will die in the evening of his wounds. Command of his division devolves upon Brigadier General William Taliaferro, who is ignorant of Jackson’s battle plan.

When Jackson is informed of Winder’s mortal wound, he hurries to Garnett’s brigade, the northernmost Confederate unit. The general warns Garnett to watch out for his exposed left flank. Taliaferro receives no warning, but he spots the Federal column to his left and makes a desperate attempt to pivot his defense line to face the threat from the northeast. Suddenly, at 5 pm, Crawford’s Federals emerge from the far woods and charge through the newly cut wheat field, dotted with neat shocks. Although Taliaferro’s brigade is not yet prepared to make a strong stand against the onrushing enemy, Garnett’s Confederates to the north manage to unleash some deadly volleys. Still, three of Crawford’s regiments cross a rail fence, charge into the woods along the road, and cave in three successive Confederate lines. Hand-to-hand fighting rages through the woods, with little quarter asked or given. Before long, all three of the brigades along the Culpeper road are routed, including the vaunted Stonewall Brigade. Confederate artillerymen limber up their guns and gallop to the rear to escape capture. The entire left flank of Jackson’s command has been outflanked and unhinged.

At almost the same time, Early’s brigade is being turned by Federals who have moved down the Culpeper road and deployed in open fields opposite the Confederate right. A rider races back to Jackson with the grim news. Alarmed, Jackson gallops to the front through heavy cannonading and past shattered regiments streaming to the rear. He jerks a battle flag from a color-bearer’s hand, waves it above his head, and shouts for the men to rally. Returning the flag to the color-bearer, he reaches down to draw his sword. As it happens, Jackson so rarely draws his sword that it has rusted into its scabbard. No matter, Jackson quickly unhooks the scabbard, waves the sheathed sword over his head, and leads his men forward.

As defeated units rally and their officers regain control, Jackson gallops back to the rear to urge A.P. Hill’s division, acting as the reserve, into the battle. He first encounters troops commanded by Brigadier General Lawrence O’Bryan Branch and orders him to push forward. Branch’s men, already in a line of battle, advance and within one hundred yards encounter the routed Stonewall Brigade. Pushing on, they soon run into some of Crawford’s Federals in hot pursuit and after a brief melee push them back through the woods along the road and into the open wheat field. By now, the rest of Hill’s 12,000-man division is reaching the front and advance into battle, brigade by brigade. Though Federal reinforcements are on the way from Culpeper, they will arrive much too late to save Crawford’s brigade. By the time the survivors disengage, it has lost nearly 50 percent of its strength—494 men killed or wounded and 373 missing. One regiment, the 28th New York, has lost 17 of its 18 officers.

Despite the terrible toll, some Federals on Banks’s crumbling right flank still beat desperately against the Confederate counterattack. Brigadier General George Bayard orders a squadron of cavalry to charge straight into Branch’s oncoming battle line. Of the 164 Federal horsemen, all but 71 are killed or wounded. But their bravery buys enough time for the infantry and artillery to fall back, rally, and resume the fight. The Union’s General Gordon advances his brigade into the wheat field to cover Crawford’s retreat. Most of Gordon’s units are driven back, but the men of the 2nd Massachusetts hold. Outnumbered 3 to 1, they put up a stiff fight until one of Hill’s brigades strikes the regiment’s right flank and they are caught in a deadly crossfire. Their heavy losses notwithstanding, the 2nd Massachusetts is one of the last Federal units to retreat this day.

Late in the afternoon, General Hill prepares to lead the final Confederate assault. He takes off his jacket, revealing the red battle shirt that identifies him to his troops. Then he draws his saber and waves his men forward all along the line from the woods north of the wheat field to the Culpeper road. The Federal line crumbles and gives way. By 6:30, after little over an hour of bloody action, the victory is complete. Jackson still is not satisfied; he orders Hill to continue the chase. But darkness and exhaustion slow the Confederates, and at last, as they advance to within seven miles of Culpeper, their drive is brought to a halt by a fresh division of Federal troops. Sometime after 11 pm, Jackson decides to hazard no more in the darkness and orders the troops to bivouac on the ground. He himself rides back through the field just fought over and now silent except for the groans of the wounded, finds a little grass plot, and falls asleep on a spread cloak.

Cedar Mountain, also known as Slaughter Mountain, Cedar Run, Cedar Run Mountain, or Southwest Mountain, is an ugly little battle, badly mismanaged on both sides. It costs Jackson 1,341 casualties of his 16,800 men. Banks suffers 314 killed, 1,445 wounded, and 622 missing for 2,381 of the 8,000 engaged—nearly 30 percent of his corps. Banks later denies that he ordered the costly premature attack. General Pope claims that he intended for Banks to remain on the defensive until General Sigel’s corps arrived. In any case, Pope has contributed heavily to the confusion by sending Colonel Marshall to Banks with verbal orders that were easily misunderstood. General Jackson has not done much better himself. His orders have been vague, and the day lost in the confused march from Gordonsville gave Banks a chance to improve his position. Once the battle was joined at Cedar Mountain, Jackson failed to anticipate the danger on his left and made a faulty disposition of his forces; his men had to fight furiously to redeem the situation against a greatly outnumbered foe.

Still, Lee’s cautious but opportunistic leadership is beginning to produce results. Though his army is still being reorganized, he has indeed taken the fight to the enemy.

In Missouri there are skirmishes at Walnut Creek, Sears’ Ford on the Chariton River, and at Salem; in Louisiana at Donaldsonville.

In Knoxville, Tennessee, Confederate General Kirby Smith begins to put his plan to invade Kentucky into effect. Ostensibly describing his implementation of the agreement he made with General Bragg during their meeting on July 31, he details his preparations for moving against Morgan. Then comes at artful qualification: “I understand General Morgan has at Cumberland Gap nearly a month’s supply of provisions. If this be true then the reduction of the place would be a matter of more time than I presume you are willing I should take. As my move direct to Lexington, Kentucky, would effectually invest Morgan and would be attended with other most brilliant results in my judgment, I suggest I be allowed to take that course.” Bragg, reluctant to countermand Kirby Smith, accedes with a minor reservation. “It would be unadvisable, I think, for you to move far into Kentucky, leaving Morgan in your rear, until I am able to fully engage Buell and his forces on your left.” With these words, Bragg loses control of his campaign before it begins.

Recruiting in the North continues at a rapid pace although there are reports of individuals mutilating themselves to avoid the proposed militia draft and others attempting to flee to Canada.
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August 10, Sunday

Skirmishing continues at Cedar Run, Virginia, on a quiet Sunday. Other fighting is at Switzler’s Mill and Lin Creek, Missouri; Nueces River near Fort Clark, Texas; Bayou Sara and Donaldsonville, Louisiana. On this day and the eleventh there is a Federal reconnaissance from Brownsville, Tennessee, toward the mouth of the Hatchie River.

The Confederate steamer General Lee is captured near Fort Pulaski, Savannah, Georgia.
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August 11, Monday

Confederate guerrillas capture Independence, Missouri, in a daring raid.

Stonewall Jackson announces a victory and withdraws his corps from the north of the Rapidan River to the vicinity of Gordonsville, Virginia., and the vital Virginia Central rail line that connects Richmond with the ripening harvest in the Shenandoah Valley. The Federals’ John Pope, who also claims a victory at Cedar Mountain, does not follow at once.

There is more skirmishing in Missouri at Compton’s Ferry or Little Compton, Grand River, and Taberville. Other fighting is near Helena, Arkansas; Brown’s Plantation, Mississippi; Velasco, Texas; and Saulsbury, Kinderhook, and Williamsport, Tennessee.

General Grant from Corinth, Mississippi, orders that fugitive slaves coming into his lines be employed in various departments.
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