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RE: Civil War 150th

 
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RE: Civil War 150th - 5/27/2012 4:35:39 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

About ten miles (16 km) north of Richmond along the Virginia Central Railroad lay the town of Hanover Court House. George McClellan received a report that this town was occupied by a substantial Confederate force. This posed a potential problem, because Irwin McDowell's 41,000 strong army would probably use the route when marching to McClellan's aid. McClellan therefore sent V corps (12,000 men) under Maj. Gen. Fitz John Porter to deal with the situation.

The resulting engagement was a classic example of bad intelligence on both sides, not too surprising because the day had heavy rainfall. The Northerners drove the advance Southern troops back towards the town, and the Union commander mistakenly assumed he would find the main Confederate body there. Three regiments were left to guard the New Bridge and Hanover Court House Roads intersection. However, the bulk of the 4,000 Rebel troops were outside of Hanover Court House, and now attacked this rear guard under the mistaken belief in turn that it was the main Union force.

The first Rebel attack was repulsed, but a second attack with artillery support began to inflict heavy casualties on the Federals. Messengers reached General Porter with the news of the engagement, and he hastily dispatched fresh Union regiments to the rescue. Once on the scene, the reinforcements turned the tide, and the Southerners had to retreat, leaving both the crossroads and the town in Northern hands. Estimates of Union casualties range from 355 to 397. The Confederates are known to have lost 200 dead on the field and 730 were captured, with an unknown number of wounded

McClellan wrote that Hanover Court House was a "glorious victory over superior numbers" and was "one of the handsomest things of the war." In reality, the Northerners had outnumbered the Southerners about three-to-one, and both sides made mistakes. Most importantly, now a substantial portion of the Union army was north of the Chickahominy River, while the city of Richmond was to the south.

And in Washington, orders were flying that would prevent most of those 41,000 reinforcements, which McClellan wanted so badly, from joining him. With Stonewall Jackson running wild in the Shenandoah Valley, the Northern War Department had decided the troops couldn't be spared after all.



_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to vonRocko)
Post #: 571
RE: Civil War 150th - 5/29/2012 4:57:14 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

In the Shenandoah Valley, Stonewall Jackson's men had profited from two days' rest and the abundant supplies at Winchester. But Jackson was not a man to rest on his laurels; he marched north and on this date appeared near the outskirts of Harpers Ferry. Beyond was Maryland, and then to the east was Washington D.C.

Lincoln reacted sharply to the threat. Telegrams went forth, ordering forces under Generals John Fremont and James Shields to block Jackson's troops and then surround them. Altogether over 50,000 Yankees were being ordered in, while Jackson had only 16,000 men. But they were 16,000 of the fastest-marching troops in America.


General Henry Halleck and his massive Northern army had finally arrived at the outskirts of Corinth, Mississippi, and was preparing to besiege the city. However, they never truly surrounded it, and Southern commander Beauregard had wisely decided to evacuate. (Among other things, the annual fever season was beginning.) During the night, the Confederate army moved out. They had the use of a railroad to move the sick and wounded, the heavy artillery, and much of their supplies. They set up dummy "Quaker Guns" along their fortifications, kept their camp fires burning, and buglers and drummers played. When a train arrived, the troops cheered as though reinforcements were arriving.

This appears to have fooled General Halleck, but a number of Union men in the lower ranks had railroad experience. By putting their ears to the rails of a spur line, they could tell that it was the departing trains that were loaded, and the arriving trains that were empty. But no Union commanders took action, and the Southern army successfully withdrew to Tupelo, Mississippi.




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< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 5/29/2012 8:38:09 PM >


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 572
RE: Civil War 150th - 5/30/2012 5:08:38 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Union patrols entered Corinth in the morning, finding the Confederate army gone. General Pope set out with his force in pursuit, but foot soldiers had no real chance of catching the retreating Rebels. What did have a chance was cavalry. A force of Yankee troopers engaged at a place called Booneville, tearing up tracks, burning storehouses of weapons and ammunition, and taking hundreds of prisoners. This otherwise minor affair boosted the career of a colonel in the Michigan Cavalry named Philip Sheridan.

In the meantime, General Halleck decided the Confederates would not allow him to keep Corinth. He gave orders for entrenchments to be built around the city, big enough to hold his entire army. But this meant he would not be moving further into Southern territory.


One of the men involved in tearing down the first flag that Farragut's men had raised in New Orleans was William B. Mumford. He had unwisely worn a shred of the flag in his lapel, and General Butler had him arrested and charged with "high crimes and misdemeanors against the laws of the United States, and the peace and dignity thereof and the Law Martial." On this date, he was tried before a military tribunal and convicted, and sentenced to hang.

Technically, the city had not been occupied and martial law had not yet been declared when the flag had been destroyed. The Southerners would point this out repeatedly, but to no avail.





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< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 5/30/2012 8:16:18 PM >


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 573
RE: Civil War 150th - 5/30/2012 5:41:29 AM   
appydavid1

 

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Interesting thresd..

Thanks to sharing..

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Post #: 574
RE: Civil War 150th - 5/31/2012 5:01:32 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

In the Virginia Peninsula, General Joseph Johnston spotted the problem with the Union position. Spring rains had swollen the Chickahominy River and washed out several of the bridges, making it difficult for the two wings of the Federal army to reinforce each other. Johnston determined to attack one wing. The resulting Battle of Seven Pines (North) or Battle of Fair Oaks (South) was a confused and bloody affair. Although Johnston was one of the South's best generals, on this occasion he developed a plan that was probably too complex for his army to carry out, since it was composed of a number of hastily assembled units which had not previously marched or fought together. Then Johnston virtually guaranteed mix-ups by giving some of his most important orders verbally instead of in writing. The Union side had its own problems: McClellan was sick in bed with a flare-up of malaria.

The attack had been scheduled to start at 8:00 a.m. , but part of the Confederate force took the wrong road, and the rest waited. After five hours, General D. H. Hill became impatient and sent his brigades forward to assault the Northern position opposite him. News of the fighting traveled slowly to the two commanders. Not for the last time in the Civil War, the phenomenon of "acoustic shadow" appeared. The sounds of musketry and cannon fire carried over some nearer areas, though they could be heard further away, and so not many of the closer units could "march to the sound of the guns".

Later in the afternoon, reinforcements from both sides began to come in. The additional weight of Confederate troops successfully pushed back the Federals at Seven Pines, which is why that's the Southern name for the battle. At Fair Oaks, however, Union soldiers hurried over one of the few remaining bridges over the Chickahominy (which collapsed shortly after the last man had crossed) and stopped the Rebel advance. Johnston himself had brought fresh Southern troops to the spot, but near dusk, a Union rifleman and a Union artilleryman fired shots that changed history. Johnston was struck in the shoulder by a bullet, and the next moment in the chest by a shell fragment. Unconscious from the wounds, he was carried off the field. The Army of Northern Virginia would need a new commander.



Map by Hal Jespersen, www.cwmaps.com.

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< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 8/8/2012 5:08:02 AM >

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RE: Civil War 150th - 5/31/2012 9:26:51 AM   
nicwb

 

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quote:

The Union side had its own problems: McClellan was sick in bed with a flare-up of malaria.


Capt Harlock are you sure that was a problem for the Union forces ?

Have to laugh -one of the few Union successes that McLellan presided over and he was flat on his back ill !

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Post #: 576
RE: Civil War 150th - 5/31/2012 3:28:26 PM   
t001001001

 

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quote:

After five hours, General D. H. Hill became impatient and sent his brigades forward to assault the Northern position opposite him.


Adherence to Mission: If you don't know what to do, or get bored - find a enemy unit and attack

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Post #: 577
RE: Civil War 150th - 6/1/2012 5:50:13 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

The Confederates renewed their attempt to drive the Union army back from Richmond. As the next in line, General G. W. Smith took over command from the badly wounded Johnston, and although this time the Southerners' attack was better coordinated, the Northerners had reinforced and entrenched during the night. The Rebels made little headway, and then a counter-attack nearly broke their lines. By 11:30 am, the Confederates withdrew, and the battle was over.

Although the Union had actually engaged fewer troops (34,000 vs. 39,000) they had slightly lower losses. The butcher's bill was 790 killed, 3,594 wounded, 647 captured or missing for the North and 980 killed, 4,749 wounded, 405 captured or missing for the South. Jefferson Davis happened to be just behind the lines, along with Robert E. Lee, now his chief military adviser. The Southern President was not impressed with General Smith's performance, and that very day appointed Lee as the new leader of the Army of Northern Virginia.

It was not as easy a decision as it appears to modern readers. Lee was still under a cloud for the loss of West Virginia, for which he was called "Evacuating Lee" by the Southern newspapers. He had spent much of the months since then supervising the construction of fortifications on the Atlantic coastline, for which the unsympathetic papers had then dubbed him the "King of Spades". And the work had not been very successful at preventing Union amphibious assaults from capturing several islands and harbors. But Jefferson Davis knew Lee still had the necessary aggressive streak in him. And so Davis made quite possibly the best decision of his presidency.



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< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 6/1/2012 8:17:02 PM >

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Post #: 578
RE: Civil War 150th - 6/2/2012 3:04:23 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

In the Shenandoah Valley, Stonewall Jackson had reversed course. Knowing that Union troops were closing in, he marched away from Harpers Ferry and headed south down the main turnpike. Nonetheless, the Northerners deemed it wise to leave an 8,000-man garrison in Harpers Ferry. (In months, Jackson would demonstrate that this was none too many.)

A Northern army under General John Fremont might have engaged Jackson's army, but Fremont was too slow, and the Southerners evaded him. Now the best hope was a 10,000-man force under General James Shields. Shields was the one man not overawed by the new size of Jackson's army, in fact, he recommended that the rest of Irwin McDowell's corps be sent to George McClellan as previously decided. By this time, however, the corps had been split into three other units besides that of Shields, to guard the approaches to Washington.

On this date, Shields' force was marching parallel to Jackson's but on the other side of the Shenandoah River. Late in the afternoon, Shields’ division was in position to cross the river and intercept Jackson. What would have happened then is not clear, for Jackson still had 16,000 men and would likely have beaten Shields, but the time would have allowed the other Federal forces to bring him to bay. As it happened, both bridges that Shields had been planning to use had been thoughtfully burned. Now, instead of helping to close a trap, his force was in a stern chase.




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_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 579
RE: Civil War 150th - 6/3/2012 2:53:06 PM   
A7V_U


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Dear Captain Harlock,

thank you very much for posting these very interesting stories from the civil war. As a German I usually side with the underdog (Germany, Japan, Confederates) and follow your story already for a while.
At the moment I read Shelby Foote´s narrative of the Civil War (and not for the first time...) and have already passed the present date. I am in May 1863 and the battle in the wilderness has just begun. I´m only a few pages away from the death of one of the greatest generals of the CSA
Btw my favorite generals of the confederates are Jackson, A.P. Hill and Forrest. I have a good friend in Alabama who´s grandgrandfather, coming originally from Texas, rode with Forrest at the end of the war and he is very proud of that.

Best regards and please continue with your great story

Rainer

edit: I DO know that the word is please...

< Message edited by A7V_U -- 6/5/2012 8:05:44 PM >

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Post #: 580
RE: Civil War 150th - 6/4/2012 5:20:20 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

The loss of Corinth, Mississippi, to the Union exposed other Confederate positions. In particular, the blocking of the railroad meant that Fort Pillow on the Mississippi River could no longer be supplied. General Beauregard therefore telegraphed to the fort's commander to evacuate, destroying everything that could be useful to the enemy.

The work was done with a will. Every structure inside the fort's walls was torched, and all the guns were over-charged and blown apart. As the sun rose, the fort had been reduced to a hollow ruin, and the 3,600-man garrison was on their way south.

The next position blocking the Union advance down the river was the city of Memphis, Tennessee, whose primary defense would be on the water instead of on land. A Confederate River Defense Fleet of eight "rams", which had been sent up from New Orleans before its fall, stood ready.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to A7V_U)
Post #: 581
RE: Civil War 150th - 6/4/2012 5:42:29 PM   
parusski


Posts: 4591
Joined: 5/8/2000
From: Wyoming, Even Liberals Welcome
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quote:

ORIGINAL: A7V_U

Dear Captain Harlock,

thank you very much for posting these very interesting stories from the civil war. As a German I usually side with the underdog (Germany, Japan, Confederates) and follow your story already for a while.
At the moment I read Shelby Foote´s narrative of the Civil War (and not for the first time...) and have already passed the present date. I am in May 1863 and the battle in the wilderness has just begun. I´m only a few pages away from the death of one of the greatest generals of the CSA
Btw my favorite generals of the confederates are Jackson, A.P. Hill and Forrest. I have a good friend in Alabama who´s grandgrandfather, coming originally from Texas, rode with Forrest at the end of the war and he is very proud of that.

Best regards and pleas continue with your great story

Rainer


Nothing beats the Civil War by Foote. I have read the trilogy four times and listened to the unabridged audio(134 HOURS) FIVE times.

_____________________________

"I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast."- W.T. Sherman

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RE: Civil War 150th - 6/5/2012 8:33:32 AM   
nicwb

 

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+1

I found it to be one of the most easily readable military histories. I like the small bits of detail Foote includes. Despite being a "Southern boy", he seems to have a real respect for the individual courage of the ordinary soldiers on both sides.

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Post #: 583
RE: Civil War 150th - 6/5/2012 8:22:09 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Early in the morning, the Union river fleet showed up at the remains of Fort Pillow. The fleet was an odd mix of five ironclads commanded by Captain Charles Davis, and four unarmored but speedy "rams" commanded by Colonel Charles Ellet. Ellet had been a civilian engineer who had converted the rams from riverboats under the direct authority of Secretary of War Stanton. Since there was a separate Department of the Navy, Stanton had given Ellet an army rank.

Captain Davis was, not surprisingly, unhappy about this, and even less happy that the confederates had gotten away while the fort had been reduced to smoldering ruins. But the big prize, the city of Memphis, was now in reach. After leaving a company of infantry to clean up what they could, the Northern commanders put aside their differences and sailed downriver. By afternoon they had arrived at a point just north of the city, and they spent much of the night getting ready for the battle with the Confederate fleet that was sure to happen.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to nicwb)
Post #: 584
RE: Civil War 150th - 6/6/2012 4:58:51 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Near Harrisonburg, Virginia, the 1st New Jersey Cavalry attacked Stonewall Jackson's cavalry, commanded by Turner Ashby. The Union troopers did not have the horse experience of their western counterparts, and Ashby's veterans soon drove them off. But a little later, Northern infantry appeared, and Ashby's horse was shot from under him. Ashby went ahead on foot, cheering his men, but within moments he was shot through the heart. He had been promoted to brigadier general just ten days earlier.


On the Mississippi River at Memphis, Tennessee, a crowd of spectators turned out to watch the battle between the two fleets. Union Captain Davis preferred to take a slow approach and shell the Rebel vessels, trusting to his ships' armor to give him the advantage. But Charles Ellet and his brother Alfred, commanding the Northern rams Queen of the West and Monarch respectively, decided to charge in.

Unnerved, the captain of the Rebel ram Lovell tried to evade, but wasn't fast enough. Queen of the West nearly cut her opponent in two. This turned out to be a problem as the two ships stuck together. The Confederate ram General Beauregard solved this by ramming Queen of the West, shaking her loose but also heavily damaging her. Coming on deck to inspect the damage, Charles Ellet was hit in the leg by a pistol bullet.

He was the only Union casualty of the day. Alfred Ellet's Monarch had a field day, ramming General Price, General Beauregard, and forcing the Confederate flagship Little Rebel aground. A shell from a Yankee ironclad hit General Jeff Thompson and the resulting fire blew up her magazine. Seeing this, two more Southern vessels hoisted the white flag, and only General Van Dorn managed to escape downriver.

The aftermath was an echo of the farce at New Orleans. Four men from the Northern rams marched to the Mayor's office to demand the surrender of the city, but Mayor John Park claimed that he was a civilian and surrender was a military matter. The four raised the Union flag over the Post Office, where they were quickly surrounded by an angry mob. Realizing that the Union fleet would likely shell the city if the men were harmed, Mayor Park went to the docks to personally guide a rescue force of Marines to the Post Office.

Charles Ellet went into the hospital for his gunshot wound, where he would contract measles and die a dozen days later. This allowed Captain Davis to claim much of the credit for the nearly complete victory, helped by the many confused accounts of the battle.




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_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 585
RE: Civil War 150th - 6/7/2012 5:33:57 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Just before midday in New Orleans, William Mumford was taken to be hanged on a gallows erected in the courtyard of the Federal Mint. A number of people came to watch, and Mumford was permitted to give a last speech. He spoke of his allegiance to the Confederacy, and his love for what he considered the true meaning of the U.S. flag, which he had fought under in the Mexican-American War. This secured his place as a martyr for the Confederate cause, and an outraged South agreed as one man that Benjamin "Beast" Butler was a war criminal.

In Atlanta, by a grim coincidence, James Andrews was hanged for being the ringleader of the Great Locomotive Chase. His fiancée, Elizabeth Layton, apparently never recovered from the loss and died two years later.




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_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 586
RE: Civil War 150th - 6/8/2012 5:14:18 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Stonewall Jackson's army had now arrived at a useful place. They held the only remaining serviceable bridge on the south fork of the Shenandoah River, which separated the two Union armies of John Frémont and James Shields. On this date, Jackson decided to hold for a while, giving Frémont the chance to bring his 11,000 bluecoats into action.

Against them were 6,000 Confederates led by Jackson's subordinate General Richard Ewell. They put up a stiff fight, costing one New York regiment 50% casualties. Frémont apparently was cowed by the early repulses, and committed only four more of his 24 infantry regiments. He then tried an artillery bombardment, cheerfully returned by the Rebels, and accomplishing nothing in particular. Eventually Frémont withdrew, leaving the field and the victory of the Battle of Cross Keys to the Southerners. Overall casualties were low: Union 684, Confederate only 288.

Now Jackson could turn his attention to the Northern force under Shields.

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 6/8/2012 5:19:47 AM >


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 587
RE: Civil War 150th - 6/8/2012 7:34:03 AM   
mankatha

 

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its really hard to play.. and eating more time too

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RE: Civil War 150th - 6/8/2012 3:06:11 PM   
planner 3

 

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An old message: "It is easier for a Spammer to enter the gates of MATRIX, then to get your old sign in name and password to work on the forums" CONFUSION

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Post #: 589
RE: Civil War 150th - 6/9/2012 2:29:41 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

It was Stonewall Jackson's turn to attack, and run into heavy opposition. He sent the Stonewall Brigade forward against James Shields' Union forces, but early morning fog had masked the fact that the famed brigade was facing twice its number. As the Southerners fell back, Northern artillery fire began to come from a spur known as the Coaling. Jackson ordered an assault on the position, only to find the Federals were in strength there too.

Jackson ordered his units on the far side of the river facing John Fremont to join him, and then burn the bridge behind them. During the delay, two more Confederate attempts were made on the Coaling, finally succeeding. The Yankees drew reinforcements for a counter-assault, but just as they were moving forward, Jackson's own reinforcements appeared. Now the Southerners had the artillery advantage, with Jackson's subordinate General Richard Ewell himself enthusiastically serving a cannon. The Union troops reluctantly began to withdraw.

The Southerners had the advantage of superior numbers at the point of contact: 3,500 Yankees had faced 6,000 Rebels. Losses were a little closer: 1,002 for the Union and 816 for the Confederates. It wasn't the sweeping victory that Jackson had in mind, but it was a victory nonetheless. Jackson expected Frémont to cross the river and attack him on the following day, but with the bridge burned, during the night the timid Frémont withdrew his force back towards the town of Harrisonburg.

Jackson's valley campaign had gone from success to success. He had prevented his command from being crushed between two Union armies, and he had kept the way open to march to the aid of Richmond.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

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Post #: 590
RE: Civil War 150th - 6/9/2012 11:04:12 AM   
shunwick


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This has been a very interesting thrread. I thank you for it.

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Post #: 591
RE: Civil War 150th - 6/12/2012 7:37:29 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

At the ungodly hour of 2:00 a.m., "Jeb" Stuart and 1,000 of his cavalrymen mounted up and rode out of the Confederate lines near Richmond. One of the first things Robert E. Lee had done was to request a reconnaissance of the Union right wing. Stuart had counter-proposed a spectacular feat: to ride completely around the Northern army of over 110,000 men, possible burning supply depots as they went. After some thought, Lee had given Stuart unspecific orders, telling him to exercise "due caution". Stuart interpreted this as a green light.

As daylight broke, Stuart and his troop veered toward the north, giving the impression he was going to support a march of Stonewall Jackson's forces from the Shenandoah Valley. He also picked up 200 more troopers, including Colonel Fitz Lee, who was Robert E. Lee's nephew. When no further Yankees could be seen, they veered east, and rode for the rest of the day without incident. After sundown, they bivouacked without campfires. So far, Stuart was following Lee's original request, and had not revealed his plan to the rest of his officers.




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_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

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Post #: 592
RE: Civil War 150th - 6/13/2012 4:58:12 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Jeb Stuart's troopers broke camp and rode out early in the morning. Shortly after they were on their way, Stuart revealed Lee's orders and his own plan to his sub-commanders. And not too much later, the Southerners made their first contact with Union cavalry.

Stuart ordered about half his force to make a frontal attack, and the remainder to attempt to flank the Yankees. However, the Union leader quickly saw the danger, and retreated his men. Since they were falling back in the direction he wanted to go, Stuart and his men pursued. Union reinforcements arrived and the Northerners made a stand, but were soon put to flight by the more experienced and more numerous Rebel horsemen. In this area Stuart got the information that Robert E. Lee wanted: the right wing of the Union army was "hanging", that is, unsupported by any natural barrier such as a river or hill.

Stuart pressed on. A little later his force overran Tunstall's Station, a stop on the railroad line serving the main Union supply depot. The Rebels quickly put a wooden barricade across the tracks and attempted to stop the next Northern train. However, when the engineer saw the barrier, instead of slamming on the brakes he went to full throttle. It cost him his life, for the Southerners opened up with their revolvers on the train, and he was shot dead. The fireman took over, and the train smashed through the barricade. As it happened, the train was carrying Federal infantry, most of whom hugged the floor as Confederate bullets went through the windows, but a few of whom fired back. With the alarm given, Stuart decided not to attack the supply depot.

The Southerners continued on their grand tour of the Union rear, which caused total confusion among the Northern generals. By evening, Stuart's force had reached the Chickahominy river, and a bridge which the retreating Confederate army had burned some days before on their way towards Richmond. Happily, there was a barn nearby, and Stuart gave orders to tear loose a number of planks for a hasty re-build in the morning.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 593
RE: Civil War 150th - 6/14/2012 8:48:17 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Jeb Stuart's men planked over the un-burned supports of the bridge across the Chickahominy River with the speed of men who know that their lives depend on the job. Happily for them, the Union forces had no idea where they were at that point. To make things even more difficult for the Northerners, Brigadier General Philip St. George Cooke, who was in charge of most of the Yankee cavalry and also happened to be Stuart's father-in-law, had been ordered not to engage a superior force. His reports suggested Stuart could have as many as 5,000 men (instead of the actual 1,200), making him doubly cautious.

Once the Confederate troopers were over the bridge, they set fire to it again. The resulting smoke finally attracted some Union cavalry, but too few to do more than skirmish for a short time with Stuart's rear guard. From then on, the Southerners had a clear ride. There was no serious force of Yankee cavalry on that side of the Chickahominy, and they could outrun any force of infantry. By late afternoon, they were approaching the Confederate lines to the south of Richmond. At this point they could afford to slow down, so they bagged several dozen Northern prisoners. Stuart knew his primary duty was to report what he had learned to Lee without delay, so he rode on ahead, and reached Lee that evening.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 594
RE: Civil War 150th - 6/16/2012 11:59:37 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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From: Los Angeles
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150 Years Ago Today:

Two Union divisions attempted to overrun the north end of James Island, from which they could threaten Charleston. However, they ran into a well-laid-out Confederate fort equipped with cannons. Blasts of canister shot tore into the charging Yankees, and soon the attack was called off as a failure.

Tragically, Northern commander Brigadier General Henry Benham had mounted the assault against his orders. He had been instructed to hold the south end of the island only. Your humble amateur historian's guess is that from the north of James Island he could threaten Charleston, which after the fall of New Orleans was second only to Richmond itself in prestige as the "Cradle of the Rebellion". Whatever Benham's motives, this Battle of Secessionville cost the Union 683 casualties (107 dead), against only 204 (52 dead) for the Confederates.



After successfully riding around the entire Union Army of the Potomac, J.E.B. Stuart's force of cavalry made a triumphant entry into Richmond. They were given a classic heroes' welcome, with some ladies even throwing flowers into the streets along their way. Stuart was lionized as "Beauty" Stuart, and his fame almost approached that of "Stonewall" Jackson. It began to look as though the Confederacy was not in its final days after all -- but something still had to be done about the massive Union army and its siege guns.

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 6/17/2012 12:51:44 AM >


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 595
RE: Civil War 150th - 6/17/2012 5:54:03 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Some command re-shuffling started on both sides. In the North, the commands of Generals John Fremont and Nathaniel Banks were consolidated under John Pope. The ambitious but under-performing Fremont would soon resign.

In the South, Jefferson Davis was exceedingly unhappy with General P.T.E. Beauregard's loss of Corinth and other set-backs. He began the process of replacing Beauregard with General Braxton Bragg, who had already acquired a reputation as a strict disciplinarian. (He suffered from rheumatism, dyspepsia, nerves, and severe migraine headaches, which made him less than pleasant to deal with.)

In the years of political conflict before the war, no issue caused more trouble than slavery in the Territories. Those, like Stephen Douglas, who had argued that things would be fine if the slave and free states simply respected each other, were confounded by the issue of whether or not there would be slaves in areas that were not states but were on the way to becoming states. Because the number of states held the balance in the Senate and the Presidential elections, neither side had been prepared to give an inch on the question. On this date, with the Republicans now having strong majorities, the U.S. Congress passed a law forbidding slavery in all Territories.

On the White River in Arkansas, the Federals attempted to open up a better supply route to General Samuel Curtis' army, the victors of the battle of Pea Ridge. A small fleet of Union gunboats including the "Pook Turtle" Mound City dueled the Confederate batteries blocking the way. The action turned tragic when a Rebel shell hit the Mound City's boiler, and the resulting explosion killed 125 men of the 175 on board, many by scalding. (Quite likely the most deadly single shot fired during the war.) Appalled, the Union flotilla withdrew.

But the Yankees were not done. They had also embarked the 46th Indiana Infantry, which was landed and deployed for a ground assault. The Confederate guns were mounted on a bluff, which protected them well from gunboats, but they had not extensively fortified their position. The Union troops soon managed to flank the batteries, putting the cannoneers to flight, and the way was opened. The Mound City was towed back to Memphis, where she would be repaired.





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< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 6/17/2012 5:58:17 PM >


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 596
RE: Civil War 150th - 6/19/2012 4:28:20 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Abraham Lincoln signed into law the act of Congress forbidding slavery in all the Territories. It is worth noting that Lincoln had campaigned as an anti-slavery moderate: instead of calling for immediate and complete abolition, he had argued that preventing slavery from expanding would eventually lead to its demise. Two years before this, he might well have regarded the act as the crowning achievement of his life. Now, it was a mere historical footnote. Stronger measures would be needed.


After issuing orders to be ready to march but telling no one where they were going, Stonewall Jackson led his force out of the Shenandoah Valley and to the relief of Richmond. He left behind Union forces still confused about the size of his army and where he was going. Some years later, Von Moltke would remark that he didn't study the American Civil War, because it had consisted of armed mobs chasing each other around the countryside, from which nothing could be learned. Jackson had indeed lead the Yankee forces on a chase up and down the valley. But his Valley Campaign is studied to this day as a premier example of what mobility and knowledge of the terrain can do against enemy forces several times that of one's own.



Map by Hal Jespersen, www.cwmaps.com.

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< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 8/8/2012 5:08:55 AM >


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 597
RE: Civil War 150th - 6/19/2012 1:30:19 PM   
nicwb

 

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quote:

Some years later, Von Moltke would remark that he didn't study the American Civil War, because it had consisted of armed mobs chasing each other around the countryside, from which nothing could be learned


Interesting quote. I guess it goes to show that how short sighted people can be given that the American Civil War was the one of the first wars where technology would dominate battlefields, concepts of "total war" would start to be experimented with and the Wilderness and Petersburg Campaigns would herald the trenches of WW1.

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 598
RE: Civil War 150th - 6/23/2012 5:55:27 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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From: Los Angeles
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150 Years Ago Today:

In a two-story house about a mile and a half northeast of Richmond, Robert E. Lee held his first council of war as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. Present were two Major General Hills: D. Harvey and Ambrose Powell or "A.P.". Also there was James Longstreet, and having ridden 52 miles in 14 hours, Stonewall Jackson.

Lee laid out his plan. He would take almost three-quarters of his army to attack the northern flank of the Union army, which Jeb Stuart had discovered was vulnerable. It would expose the Confederate capital to a direct attack, but Lee believed he had no choice. The Yankees were already only six miles away from Richmond, close enough for the advance to hear the church bells in the city. And the Northern siege guns were being brought up. They had to be driven back -- but even with Jackson's 18,000 men as reinforcements, the Southerners were still outnumbered. They would have to rely on tactics.

But Lee was not the only one planning an attack. For one of the few times in the war, McClellan would get his blow in first.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to nicwb)
Post #: 599
RE: Civil War 150th - 6/25/2012 4:30:55 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
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150 Years Ago Today:

Near Richmond, McClellan wanted to advance his siege artillery about a mile and a half closer to the city. To lay the groundwork, he ordered an attack at Oak Grove, which had seen considerable fighting during the Battle of Seven Pines and numerous clashes between pickets since.

The advance stepped off on schedule, but McClellan had decided to stay to the rear and manage the battle by telegraph. The usual "fog of war" soon developed, partly because of heavy woods and partly because one of the Confederate units was wearing "Zouave" uniforms, which were also popular in the Union army. At a key point in the engagement, the 25th North Carolina regiment, though it was their first time in combat, delivered a volley worthy of veterans against the Yankees. The 71st New York regiment went into a panicked retreat.

McClellan received word over the telegraph and at 10:30 a.m. ordered a withdrawal back to the Union entrenchments. He sent a message that he would be arriving on the scene in person, but it took him two-and-a-half hours to get there. Finally at 1 p.m., seeing that many other Northern units remained ready for further action, he launched a second attack to take the same ground. The resulting fighting lasted until nightfall.

The final tally of losses was 68 killed, 503 wounded, 55 missing for the Union and 66 killed, 362 wounded, 13 missing for the Confederacy. For this cost, the Yankees had advanced a mere 600 yards (550 m) nearer to the city of Richmond. It was the closest McClellan would ever get.




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_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
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