The American Civil War, day by day - Page 37 - Politics | PoFo

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March 22, Saturday

As General Jackson hurries north toward Winchester, Virginia, Colonel Turner Ashby is fighting. Prowling with 280 cavalry in the afternoon, he clashes with General Shields’s pickets just south of Winchester. Shields, who has hurried to the scene, is wounded and carried into town; his command goes to Colonel Nathan Kimball, another veteran of the Mexican war and a physician in peacetime. Though in pain, Shields keeps his wits about him. He directs that one part of his division be moved south of Winchester during the night. Another brigade marches north, as if it is abandoning Winchester, but soon halted and remains ready to move to the scene as soon as it receives word that Jackson is approaching the town. This same night, Confederate loyalists from Winchester mistakenly tell Ashby that Shields has left behind a rear guard of only four regiments, and that even these unites are under orders to depart for Harpers Ferry on the morrow.

Other fighting is on the Post Oak Creek and at Little Santa Fe, Missouri.

The ostensibly British ship Oreto, destined to become CSS Florida, sails from Britain for Nassau in the Bahamas.

The Federal government creates the Middle Military Department with headquarters at Baltimore and commanded by Major General John A. Dix.

In New Mexico Territory, the bulk of the Union troops—Coloradans, Regulars, and New Mexicans, totaling 1,342 men—march out of Fort Union southwestward on the road to Santa Fe.
March 23, Sunday

At a chilly, windy 2 pm at the village of Kernstown, Virginia, a few miles south of Winchester in the Shenandoah Valley, “Stonewall” Jackson’s Confederates arrive to meet Confederate cavalry under Turner Ashby and the happy news of the enemy’s supposed weakness. Jackson now faces a dilemma. His men are weary, having already left 1,500 stragglers along the trail as they marched 25 miles yesterday and 16 more today. Even more distressing, it’s Sunday—a day Jackson takes so seriously that he won’t even post a letter if he thinks it might be in transit on the Sabbath. On the other hand, he has been looking all along for an opportunity to pounce upon an isolated fragment of Banks’s host—and he will never have a better chance than this. Quickly overcoming his doubts, and without further reconnaissance, Jackson decides on his deployment. To his right front, east of the Valley Turnpike, the enemy appears to be concentrated in an open wheat field; they are supported by two Federal batteries placed on a knoll west of the highway. An assault on the right would be hard going, so on that side nothing more than a holding action will be attempted; the assignment falls to Ashby’s cavalrymen, supported by a small brigade. The left looks better—much better. There, perhaps two miles west of the turnpike and roughly paralleling it from southwest to northeast, runs a low, wooded ridge that appears virtually empty of hostile troops. If Jackson can seize that ridge, his men can sweep along its spine beyond the enemy’s right flank, then swing down to the east and cut the Federal force off from Winchester. Two brigades, including the Stonewall Brigade minus its largest regiment, will make the assault. The 5th Virginia will act as Jackson’s reserve.

At about 3:30 the troops begin to move along the cowpaths that crisscross the areas. Artillery opens the battle, one Confederate battery sending a shell smashing into a barn filled with Federals. Federal guns reply with unexpected strength, and under cover of the artillery duel the Confederates run for the key ridge. Brigadier General Garnett, coming up behind with his Stonewall Brigade, is already having problems: Orders that sometimes conflict with his own are being sent by Jackson directly to regimental commanders. Swarming onto the ridge, the lead Confederate regiments approach a clearing bisected by a stone wall. Just then Federal appear at the far end of the field, and the two sides race for the barrier. The Confederates win the race, crouching behind the wall and leveling a deadly fire at the onrushing enemy. The Federals fall back, then another Federal regiment appears out of the woods to the north and rushes toward the stone wall only to also be repulsed. Observing from a nearby hill, Jackson is pleased—for a brief while. But the enemy troops keep pouring out of the woods and, having twice been beaten back by the Confederate left, they now aim their assault at the center, where Garnett’s Stonewall Brigade has taken position in line. Increasingly aware that he is facing no mere rear guard, Jackson belatedly sends an aide to reconnoiter. The officer soon reports that he estimates 10,000 Federals are on Jackson’s front. “Say nothing about it,” Jackson says. “We are in for it.”

Pulling six regiments from his left, where Ashby clearly poses little threat, the Union’s Colonel Kimball hurls wave after wave against the Stonewall Brigade, fighting of the hardest sort that rages for better than two hours. But the Federals keep coming, and the Stonewall Brigade is running out of ammunition. Garnett awaits orders from Jackson, but none arrive—Jackson is busy trying to hurry his reserve, Harman’s 5th Virginia, into battle. At last, calculating that he has no other choice, Garnett orders the Stonewall Brigade to retire. An enraged Jackson tries to order the retreating men to rally without the slightest effect on the flood of men to the rear, and they are now joined by the Confederates at the first stone wall. Jackson has one more hope, his reserve, but will later learn to his enduring displeasure that Garnett has ordered Harman to form a line of battle and cover the retreat. In that assignment Harman performs ably, holding back the enemy while Jackson collects his wounded.

This evening, while Jackson warms himself at a campfire four and a half miles south of the battleground, he is approached by a soldier with more courage than sense. “The Yankees don’t seem willing to quit Winchester, General,” he says. Jackson replies, “Winchester is a very pleasant place to stay in, sir.” The young man persists, “It was reported that they were retreating, but I guess they’re retreating after us.” Without turning his face from the fire, Jackson answers, “I think I may say I am satisfied, sir.” Jackson may well be simply trying to save face or keep morale up. He has suffered 80 killed, 375 wounded, and 263 missing, total 718, to the Federals’ 118 killed, 450 wounded, and 22 missing for 590. By almost every standard, his performance at Kernstown has been imperfect: he unquestioningly accepted Ashby’s secondhand report of the enemy’s weakness, threw his tired troops into combat without ordering an adequate reconnaissance, his tactics were shrewd but flawed in execution by confused and even conflicting orders, and his reserve arrived too late to turn the tide.

But in spite of Jackson’s mistakes and shortcomings, Kernstown has its effect: General J.E. Johnston has directed Jackson to divert Federal attention from his main army and keep troops from the gathering Army of the Potomac. Jackson does so by attacking. Washington, fearing a threat to Harper’s Ferry and Washington, orders Banks and his Federal troops to return to the valley and others that have been heading for the Peninsula are withdrawn from McClellan’s command. The threat also influences Lincoln to keep Irvin McDowell’s large corps south of Washington, instead of sending it by sea to the Peninsula, for Lincoln has discovered that McClellan has not fully honored his agreement to protect Washington properly. Finally, Lincoln removes the Valley district from McClellan’s overall command, forestalling any claims that McClellan might make on the forces under Banks and leaving Banks answerable to the President himself. Clearly, Lincoln intends to become an active participant in the game of wits being played with Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley. Thus, what will become known as the First Battle of Kernstown is a small battle with large results. For the remainder of March, Jackson will withdraw up the Shenandoah, protected by Ashby’s cavalry, while Banks and his Federals slowly pursue as far as Strasburg.

Elsewhere there is an affair at Smyrna, Florida, and a Federal expedition from Point Pleasant, near New Madrid, Missouri, to Little River.

Fort Macon is a brick fort on a long, narrow, sandy island near the town of Beaufort, North Carolina, which has been garrisoned by a small command of Confederates. Burnside, as part of his attempted Federal conquest of North Carolina, orders Brigadier General John G. Parke to move against the old-style fortification. Now Parke and his command arrive at the fort and demand surrender, which is refused. The Federals then institute siege operations.
March 24, Monday

The Federal Congress is still discussing the possibility of compensated emancipation. Lincoln, in a letter to Horace Greeley regarding his proposed gradual compensated emancipation, says, “we should urge it persuasively, and not menacingly, upon the South.”

Abolitionist Wendell Phillips, attempting to lecture in Cincinnati, is hissed and pelted with eggs and rocks. Finally the meeting breaks up in a wild fist fight, with Phillips taken away by friends.

There is a skirmish at Camp Jackson, Tennessee.

At Corinth, Mississippi, Albert Sidney Johnston’s army is completing its movement from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, preparing to oppose Grant, who is some twenty miles away at Pittsburg Landing.
March 25, Tuesday

It is a day of Federal expeditions, with a three-day reconnaissance from Murfreesboro to Shelbyville, Tullahoma, Manchester, and McMinnville, Tennessee; a four-day expedition in Moniteau County, Missouri; a reconnaissance to Agnew’s Ferry, Tennessee; and a skirmish at Mount Jackson, Virginia.

Colonel Slough’s small Federal army marching toward Santa Fe is approaching Glorieta Pass, a high, narrow corridor through the southern tip of the pine-covered Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Slough’s advance guard of 400 men, led by Major John M. Chivington, approaches Glorieta Pass after dark, stopping near a ranch owned by Martin Kozlowski, a Polish immigrant. During the night some of Chivington’s pickets capture four Confederate scouts and learn that the enemy is not far off.
March 26, Wednesday

Early in the morning, Major Chivington orders the advance guard he commands to move into Glorieta Pass looking for the Confederates from Santa Fe he’s heard are in the area. By 2 pm they’ve reached the summit of the pass and, while descending its western slope, surprise and capture a scouting party of 31 Texans. One of the captors rushes back to Chivington’s main camp shouting the news. Flinging aside knapsacks and other extra equipment, Chivington’s men hurry forward on the double-quick, entering a narrow, rocky defile at the western end of Glorieta Pass called Apache Canyon. Turning a bend where the canyon widens into a long, open space, the come face to face with the vanguard of General Sibley’s Confederates under the command of one of the heroes of Valverde, Major Pyron. Momentarily startled, the Texan horsemen nevertheless manage to unlimber two small mountain howitzers and begin firing. The grapeshot and shells send the Union troops running for cover, but Chivington soon restores order, dispatching his infantry and some dismounted cavalry up the wooded mountainsides where their flanking fire forces the Confederates to retreat. Withdrawing to a point where the canyon narrows again, the Texans cross over and destroy a log bridge over a 15-foot-wide arroyo. The howitzers are placed beyond the arroyo to command the narrow road while men scramble up the rocky slopes on both sides of the defile to support the gunners. Chivington’s troops soon advance. Most of the infantry and dismounted cavalry climb still higher up the rocky slopes to get above the Confederate riflemen while the rest except for a reserve of Colorado cavalry find what protection they can and open a frontal fire on the road. While the Federals in the center inch forward, their comrades on the mountainsides gradually force the Confederates down to the road. At this point Chivington calls on the Colorado cavalry in reserve, who charge down the road, leap the arroyo, and crash into the Texans’ crowded flanks. The ferocity of the attack stuns the Confederates. With his troops in disorder, Pyron orders another retreat, Chivington ends his pursuit as darkness approaches, and the Confederates get away with their howitzers intact while the Federals fall back to Klozowski’s ranch.

The engagement in Apache Canyon, although small in scale, is the first Union victory in the New Mexico Territory. The Confederates have suffered losses of 32 killed, 43 wounded, and about 70 taken prisoner. The Federals’ casualties are only five killed and 14 wounded. The battle, however, hadn’t involved the main force on either side. At the start of the fighting, Pyron sent a message asking for help from the Confederates under Colonel Scurry at the town of Galisteo, 16 miles away. Scurry marched immediately.

Elsewhere, farther east, there is action at Humansville, on the Post Oak Creek at the mouth of the Brier, and near Gouge’s Mill, Missouri.

President Davis writes General Albert Sidney Johnston at Corinth, Mississippi, “You have done wonderfully well, and now I breath easier in the assurance that you will be able to make a junction of your two armies.” By this the Confederate President means Beauregard’s and Johnston’s meeting so they can face the Federals moving on the Tennessee River before more Yankees arrive from Nashville.

Over the three days since its defeat at Kernstown, General “Stonewall” Jackson’s small army in the Shenandoah Valley has been retreating slowly and grudgingly to the vicinity of Mount Jackson. Before the tent stakes are firmly planted, the general summons one of the army’s most recent recruits, Jedediah Hotchkiss. He is a 34-year-old schoolmaster transplanted from New York who has successfully founded two schools in the Valley, with the rare hobby of making maps. Despite his opposition to secession and detestation of slavery his affections lie with the South, and last year he worked as a civilian topographical engineer under General Robert E. Lee in northwestern Virginia until he was invalidated home with typhoid. After recovering he hooked up with a militia regiment that joined the Valley army just three days before the recent battle. Now Jackson questions him closely about his experience, then gives a directive: “I want you to make me a map of the Valley, from Harpers Ferry to Lexington, showing all the points of offense and defense.” The newly-promoted captain added to Jackson’s staff will prove invaluable, feeding Jackson vital information about the Valley’s roads, rivers, mountains and passes that will enable him to plan the maneuvers that will make the coming months a model for future generations of military men.

On the other hand, a Federal commander invading the Valley is a stranger in alien territory. He lacks reliable charts to guide him. His eyes are his inexperienced cavalrymen, many riding mediocre mounts. The Federal army will be nearly blind as it gropes its way southward through the hostile Valley. The Union’s General Nathaniel Banks is quick to sense the dangers lurking ahead. After the victory at Kernstown, Banks has followed Jackson only gingerly. His advance units have gotten no further than Tom’s Brook, a scant four miles south of Strasburg. There they have been brought up short by Turner Ashby’s horsemen on the far side of the little stream, and there Banks will remain for a week, trying to figure out the terrain and complaining that Jackson’s “pickets are very strong and vigilant.”
March 27, Thursday

Colonel Scurry arrives at Major Pyron’s camp at Johnson’s ranch in Apache Canyon, about 3 am. When the expected Federal attack fails to materialize, Scurry orders his and Pyron’s commands, between 600 and 700 effectives, to advance up the canyon. They are to beat back the Federals who have blocked Pyron’s way and take Fort Union. So as not to impede his movements, Scurry leaves his large supply train at Johnson’s ranch, watched only by a small guard. Major Chivington also is reinforced late in the day when Colonel Slough’s main column reaches Kozlowski’s ranch. Eager to capitalize on Chivington’s victory the day before, Slough at once makes plans to push ahead.

In Richmond General Joseph E. Johnston is ordered to reinforce the Confederates on the Peninsula under John Bankhead Magruder, now about to be seriously threatened by McClellan’s Army of the Potomac moving from Fort Monroe, Virginia.

There are minor operations in the vicinity of Middleburg and White Plains, Virginia, and a reconnaissance on Santa Rosa Island, Florida.
March 28, Friday

By dawn Colonel Slough has dispatched Major Chivington with seven companies—almost one third of his force—with orders to cross the mountains by a circuitous route. Coming out at Apache Canyon, they are to occupy the heights above the canyon and, if possible, harass the enemy’s rear. With the remainder of his troops, fewer than 900 men, Slough then enters Glorieta Pass and marches cautiously as far as Pigeon’s ranch—so named because its owner, a Frenchman, is said to resemble a pigeon when he dances the fandango. Slough’s men have scarcely paused when pickets rush back with word that Texans are advancing in force through a stand of pine and cedar about 800 yards ahead. A partially wooded depression lies between the two forces, and Slough sends a cavalry unit into it to try to locate the Texas artillery. The Federal horsemen come under fire and dismount, seeking shelter at the foot of a small hill. Meanwhile, Slough establishes a battle line below the brow of a ridge, with two batteries of four guns each in the center. He then sends two companies forward on the right and left with orders to climb the wooded hills bordering the battlefield and flank the Texans.

Scurry counters by disposing his dismounted cavalry in three columns with the artillery attached to the central column on a slight elevation. Once begun the fighting is ferocious. Slough’s company on the right moves first, rushing forward to flank the Texans’ left. Scurry’s man reply by charging into the Federals, “pistol and knife in hand,” driving them back with heavy losses. Confederate pressure on the opposite side of the line forces the Federals there to withdraw as well, relinquishing their ridgetop positions to the Texas artillery. The Union howitzers are soon set up again, however, and this time the gunners manage to get the range with deadly precision and the Texas battery soon slackens its fire until it almost ceases. Though Scurry’s troops have now lost most of their artillery support, he launches several head-on attacks. When these are thrown back, he sends troops up some rocky ledges on the Federal right with orders to flank the Union line. The move succeeds, gaining the ledges and beating off attempts to dislodge them. Scurry then combines his columns and orders a general charge against the Federal guns. Fierce fire from Union artillerists and their supporting infantry halt Scurry’s charge and five more that stubbornly follow. On the sixth charge the Federals counterattack with bayonets. A wild melee ensues, with Scurry twice wounded by grazing shots. But enfilading fire from one of the Confederate detachments holding higher ground on the Union right again forces the Federal artillery and infantry to withdraw. As the Federal line pulls back to a new position below Pigeon’s ranch, the Texans charge yet again. The Federals manage to beat back the assault, but Slough has had enough. Shortly after five in the afternoon he breaks off the engagement, ordering his battered units back to Kozlowski’s ranch. Both armies are exhausted. They have fought without interruption for six hours. As Slough’s Federals trudge away from the Glorieta battlefield, they are sure that they have lost the day. But a Confederate ambulance flying a white flag soon catches up with them. Its occupant, the former Secretary of New Mexico Territory, asks for a truce until the following noon. Slough agrees.

At 10 pm the reason for the Confederate request becomes clear, when Major Chivington and his 430 men return to the Union camp with a stunning report. Guided by a New Mexican who knows the area, they circles 16 miles through the mountains to a wooded precipice directly overlooking Johnson’s ranch, where Scurry left his supply train. Lowering themselves over the cliff, Chivington’s men stormed the ranch, drove away the guards, and burned the entire train of 73 wagons: all of Scurry’s ammunition, food, baggage, saddles, tents, clothing, and medical supplies—everything the Texans need to continue their campaign. They also found and bayonetted 500 horses and mules—mostly mounts left behind by Scurry’s cavalry—corralled in a ravine about a half-mile from the ranch.

Chivington’s exploit means that Glorieta Pass, far from being a Union defeat, has been a debacle for Sibley’s Texans, ending at a stroke Confederate aspirations of conquering the Southwest. The dismayed Texans are forced to fall back to Santa Fe, leaving their wounded at Pigeon’s ranch. At Santa Fe he will be joined by six companies of the 5th Texas and General Sibley, who had been at Albuquerque throughout the action at Glorieta. The Confederates had about 1,100 men in the fight, with 36 killed, 60 wounded, and 25 missing; the Federals, 1,342 men in all, 31 killed, over 50 wounded, and 30 missing.

Elsewhere there is a Confederate expedition in Scott and Morgan counties, Tennessee. There are several days of skirmishes on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad in Virginia.

Brigadier General George W. Morgan is assigned to command the Seventh Division of the Federal Army of the Ohio with an important object in mind: he is to capture Cumberland Gap, vital mountain pass at the junction of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia.
March 29, Saturday

At Corinth, Mississippi, the Confederate armies of Kentucky and the Mississippi are consolidated under General Albert Sidney Johnston. P.G.T. Beauregard is second-in-command, with corps under Leonidas Pollk, Braxton Bragg, William J. Hardee, and George Bibb Crittenden. The gathered army numbers nearly 40,000 soldiers.

For the Federals, Major General John Charles Fremont takes command of the Mountain Department in western Virginia from William S. Rosecrans.

Since receiving word of General Sibley’s invasion of New Mexico Territory, those loyal to the Union in California have been preparing the California Column, a force of 1,500 well-drilled and disciplined men to help in pushing the invaders back into Texas. That relieving force is now ready to march, and its vanguard of 272 men encounter a small detachment of Confederates burning the hay stockpiled at Stanwix Station for the California Column’s animals. After a brief exchange of gunfire with the much larger Federal force, the Confederates retreat. It is an extremely minor skirmish, with only one Union trooper wounded, but the success of the Confederate detachment in burning the hay at Stanwix Station and five other stagecoach stations along the Gila River east of the California-New Mexico Territory border delay the California Column’s march while the Confederate detachment brings word of its coming to Tucson (declared the seat of the western district of the Confederate Territory of Arizona) and Mesilla (the seat of the eastern district and capital of the declared Confederate territory of Arizona).

There is an affair on Edisto Island, South Carolina, and a skirmish on the Blackwater near Warrensburg, Missouri.
March 30, Sunday

Federals descend upon Union City, Tennessee; there is skirmishing near Clinton, Missouri; and a couple of days of fighting on Wilmington and Whitemarsh island, Georgia.
March 31, Monday

The month ends with no major warfare, but armies are poised east and west. Action includes the Federal capture of Union City, Tennessee; skirmishes at Deep Gully, North Carolina; and on Purdy Road near Adamsville, Tennessee; and at Pink Hill, Missouri.

At Island No. 10 and New Madrid Bend on the Mississippi, Confederate Brigadier General William W. Mackall supersedes Major General John Porter McCown in command. This is the main exception to the concentration of Confederate troops at Corinth, Mississippi, for the surprise attack on Grant’s army, with a 5,000-man garrison.

In the Federal Department of the South at Hilton Head, South Carolina, Major General David Hunter assumes command.

President Lincoln, fearing for the safety of Washington and pressured by those accusing General McClellan of deserting the capital, orders back a large division under Louis Blenker to join Frémont in the Mountain Department. He tells McClellan he has done so “with great pain, understanding that you would wish it otherwise.”
April 1, Tuesday

The transfer of the huge Northern Army of the Potomac from near Alexandria, Virginia, to Fort Monroe via the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay since March 17 continues—nearly 400 vessels shuttling back and forth along the 200-mile route to Fort Monroe. The fleet has transported 121,500 men, 14,592 animals, 1,150 wagons, 44 batteries of artillery, and 64 ambulances, along with pontoon bridges, telegraph wire, and everything else needed to sustain an army. The headquarters of the army also shifts, as General George B. McClellan himself today boards his steamer, the Commodore, and sails down the Potomac for Fort Monroe.

In the Shenandoah Valley, Banks’s Federals, now considerably strengthened, push from Strasburg to Woodstock and Edenburg while “Stonewall” Jackson, guarded by his cavalry, falls back up the valley southward. Jackson orders that the commander of the Stonewall Brigade, Richard Garnett, be relieved and arrested for ordering a withdrawal at the Battle of Kernstown. Garnett’s removal comes as a stunning blow to the Stonewall Brigade, Garnett has trained and treated his men well and is extremely popular with them. And their dismay sharply increases with the arrival of the new commanding officer, Brigadier General Charles Sidney Winder. Winder, 32 years old, is a West Pointer who has fought valiantly against the Spokane Amerinds in Washington. But he is also a Maryland aristocrat and a stiff-backed commander who enforces regulations as strictly as Jackson does.

Skirmishing takes place at Salem, Virginia; on the Little Sni and at Doniphan, Missouri. There is a Federal expedition by gunboats from Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, to Eastport, Mississippi, and Chichasaw, Alabama, on the Tennessee River. On the Mississippi at Island No. 10, soldiers land stealthily from small boats, quickly brush aside the Confederate guards, spike six guns, and return safely.

The congregation of the Second Baptist Church of Richmond, having contributed their bell to be cast into cannon, also agrees to purchase enough metal to provide what will be called the Second Baptist Church Battery.

At Fort Craig in the New Mexico Territory, Union Colonel Canby, unaware of the Federal victory at Glorieta Pass, running low on supplies himself, and concerned that the impetuous Coloradans have left Fort Union exposed, has sent a messenger to Colonel Slough, ordering him to return at once to protect that post. Canby now sets out from Fort Craig with 1,210 men to try to join the northern forces.
April 2, Wednesday

General McClellan’s steamer, the Commodore, anchors off Fort Monroe, and McClellan gets his first glimpse of the battleground he has chosen. The Peninsula, about 50 miles long and nowhere more than 15 miles wide, is low, flat, sandy country, sparsely populated and heavily wooded and dissected with innumerable streams. McClellan’s plan is to move rapidly up the Peninsula and make his base near West Point, at the head of the York River. Between West Point and Richmond, he expected “a decisive battle” to be fought. The principle roadblock in the approach to West Point appears to be at Yorktown, 20 miles up the York River from Fort Monroe. According to McClellan’s best information, the Confederates have surrounded the town with earthworks, building upon the 80-year-old fortifications erected by the British during the Revolutionary War. Here and at Gloucester Point, 1,000 yards across the river, the Confederates reportedly maintain a garrison of about 15,000 men and have mounted heavy naval guns that command the approaches by both land and water.

As soon as General McClellan arrives at the Peninsula he visits the command ship of Flag Officer Louis M. Goldsborough to talk over plans for a combined naval and land attack, with the Federal Navy concentrating all available warships in the assault, only to learn that the Navy cannot spare the gunboats; practically every warship in the area has been assigned to Hampton Roads to neutralize the Virginia. The Navy knew nothing of his plans for the gunboats, he will have to go ahead without them. (Navy officials will later say that the gunboats would have been of little help in any case. The batteries at Yorktown and Gloucester are placed on bluffs too high for the gunboats’ cannon to reach at their effective range.)

General Albert Sidney Johnston, in command of the newly organized Confederate army at Corinth, Mississippi, receives word late in the evening that the Union army under General Buell marching from Nashville to join General Grant’s force at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, has cleared the worst obstacles and is moving rapidly. After a quick consultation with his corps commanders, Johnston issues orders for the movement and attack against Grant’s Federals at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee. The Confederates are to move early on April 3. One day’s march, of about 20 miles, will put them in position to attack at dawn on April 4.

In the Shenandoah Valley, Union General Nathaniel Banks’s men finally slog their way across Tom’s Brook and plod south. After a ten-mile march they arrive by nightfall at Stony Creek, only to again find Turner Ashby’s cavalry on the other side. The position has been recommended to Jackson by Jedediah Hotchkiss, who surveyed the area and found it a good one for a delaying action—Stony Creek is wide with steep banks, and swollen by spring rains. And Ashby has burned the only bridge across the stream. Banks pauses at Stony Creek to worry, just as he did at Tom’s Brook. Ashby remains aggressive; Stony Creek poses a substantial hazard; the wretched early-April weather, heavy rains and slushy snowfalls, is hardly conducive to military operations; and despite the overwhelming numerical superiority of the Federal force, Banks is puzzled and worried by the nature of the land south of the stream. Banks will dither here for several weeks.

At Pittsburg Landing, not far from Shiloh Church or Meeting House, there is a brief skirmish.

At Socorro, 30 miles north of Fort Craig, New Mexico Territory, Colonel Canby learns of the Texans’ disaster and withdrawal from Glorieta Pass. Instantly changing his plans, Canby comes up with a scheme to force the Confederates from Santa Fe, then from Albuquerque, and finally from New Mexico. He sends an order to the Coloradans, who by now have returned to Fort Union, to march once more toward Santa Fe and an eventual rendezvous with him. He starts his own force toward Albuquerque, hoping to lure Sibley’s troops south from Santa Fe. After uniting his troops with the Coloradans, Canby intends to attack Sibley at Albuquerque, forcing the Confederates to abandon the town and continue their retreat southward.

Elsewhere in the West there is a skirmish near Walkersville, and a Federal reconnaissance from Cape Girardeau to Jackson, Whitewater, and Dallas, all in Missouri.

Severe tornadoes hit Cairo, Illinois, and New Madrid, Missouri.

The notorious Mrs. Rose Greenhow, Confederate spy in Washington, and two other persons are ordered sent into Virginia beyond the Union lines.

The US Senate passes a House resolution proposed by Lincoln whereby the United States will give states financial aid if they adopt gradual, emancipation. None of the Northern states will ever take action on this proposal, so strongly urged by President Lincoln.
April 3, Thursday

The Confederate army under Albert Sidney Johnston sets out toward the Tennessee River for its attack on Grant’s army near Pittsburg Landing and Shiloh Church, Tennessee. But for some reason Major General William J. Hardee refuses to march without written orders and doesn’t receive them until afternoon. Since his corps is slated to lead the march, clearly there will be no attack on the 4th. Late in the day, a cold rain begins to fall.

There is a small skirmish near Monterey, Tennessee, between Corinth and Pittsburg Landing. However, despite occasional light action, Grant’s encamped force is generally unaware of the approaching Confederates.

Meanwhile, Federal gunboats carry out reconnaissance from Savannah, Tennessee, to Eastport, Mississippi, and Chickasaw, Alabama.

There is a skirmish at Moorefield, western Virginia, and a two-day Federal expedition from Ship Island to Biloxi and Pass Christian, Mississippi.

Federal seamen accept the surrender of Apalachicola, Florida.

President Lincoln, discovering that fewer than 20,000 troops have been left by General McClellan to defend Washington, despite his directions to the contrary, instructs Secretary of War Stanton to retain one corps which is under orders to go to McClellan on the Peninsula. McDowell’s corps is kept back and immediately McClellan protests that he has been shortchanged, albeit he soon has 100,000 troops on the Peninsula. Furthermore, Lincoln orders that “Gen. McClellan commence his forward movement from his new base at once.” Still, despite McClellan’s protests he feels confident. This night he writes to his wife: “I hope to get possession of Yorktown day after tomorrow.”

The US Senate votes to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, 29 to 14.
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