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RE: Civil War 150th

 
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RE: Civil War 150th - 8/5/2012 4:38:51 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

In Virginia, the Union army tried again to re-take Malvern Hill. This time their guides found the correct route, and "Fighting Joe" Hooker's men brushed aside light Confederate opposition and overran the top of the hill. But because it had been decided in Washington to evacuate the army from the Virginia Peninsula, they would leave the next day.


In Louisiana, the Confederate ironclad Arkansas was trying to get to Baton Rouge to support the Southerners' attempt to re-capture the city. But her engines kept breaking down, and eventually she had to anchor for the night just four miles (6 km) away to make repairs. The crew could hear the sound of the guns from the Rebel assault, but there was nothing they could do.

And the Arkansas had been badly needed. Confederate general John Breckinridge had only been able to bring about half of his original 5,000 men into position, which almost exactly matched the number of Union defenders. Nonetheless the Southerners attacked vigorously, and one of the fiercest urban combats of the war broke out. (Fighting was especially heavy around one of the city's main cemeteries.) Union commander General Thomas Williams was killed in action, and the defenders fell back.

However, Colonel Thomas Cahill took over command of the Yankees, and led a withdrawal in good order to prepared positions near the Penitentiary, and close to the Mississippi river. Now the Union Navy lent a hand, and the Confederate troops came under fire from the several Northern gunboats. With Arkansas out of action and no further prospect of naval support, Breckinridge knew he could not attack the Union positions successfully, and withdrew his men. Final casualties were 371 total for the Union, 478 total for the Confederacy

As a consolation prize, the Confederates were able to re-occupy Port Hudson, which they held for almost another year. This returned the section of the Mississippi between Port Hudson and Vicksburg to Southern control. The Confederacy was able to ship cotton through Texas and smuggle it into Mexico, and with the proceeds smuggle guns back along the same route.




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< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 8/5/2012 4:41:03 AM >

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 631
RE: Civil War 150th - 8/6/2012 5:09:42 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

In Kirksville, Missouri, Confederate Colonel Joseph Porter had been recruiting men for the South, with considerable success given that the town is in the northern part of the state. On this date, Union Colonel John McNeil and about a thousand men finally tracked Porter down. The Southerners are believed to have had twice the number of men, but they were raw recruits and many did not even have muskets yet. The Yankees had all three arms; cavalry, artillery, and infantry. The Rebels managed a stiff fight, but in three hours were overwhelmed.

The aftermath was a grim example of the viciousness that was becoming all too common in Missouri. Fifteen Confederates were quickly court-martialed and shot for violating parole agreements, which was within military law, but rarely done. Lt. Colonel Frisby McCullough was also tried and shot as a "bushwacker" (non-uniformed guerrilla), even though he was wearing a Confederate uniform and carrying letters authorizing him as a Southern recruiter.


A day too late, the CSS Arkansas got her engines working again and headed towards the Union squadron at Baton Rouge. Soon she came in sight of the Northern ironclad Essex, her old opponent from the battles at Vicksburg, plus three other wooden gunboats. Arkansas' officers unanimously agreed to attack. But in moments, both engines failed again, fatally put out of alignment by the ramming at Vicksburg. Arkansas drifted helplessly ashore.

The Essex stayed out of range for the moment, but the men aboard Arkansas knew it was only a matter of time before they were shelled to ruin, or worse still, boarded and captured. They opened the magazine doors, scattered shells around the decks, and as a final touch, loaded and ran out the guns. Then they set her afire, evacuated, and pushed the ship back into the current. Arkansas drifted slowly down the Mississippi, her guns going off one by one as the fire reached them. Just before noon the flames reached the magazine and she blew up, echoing the fate of CSS Virginia and CSS Louisiana.

Arkansas' career had lasted only 23 days, but in that time she had done more fighting than most warships see in a lifetime. And she inflicted one more Union casualty: the career of William "Dirty Bill" Porter, the skipper of the Essex. Porter had wisely kept his ship clear of the burning Arkansas, but then unwisely claimed that it was his ship's guns that had sent the Rebel ironclad to the bottom. (The image below was based on the false story.) There were too many witnesses to what had actually happened however, and he was kicked upstairs to the rank of Commodore but assigned shore duty in New York until he died of heart failure in 1864.




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< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 8/6/2012 8:33:43 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 #: 632
RE: Civil War 150th - 8/9/2012 5:46:56 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Stonewall Jackson was never the man to simply wait for trouble to find him. He marched his force out of Gordonsville, hoping to defeat the various scattered pieces of Union commander John Pope's Army of Virginia. But Jackson was always a man to keep his plans as secret as possible, and he informed only a handful of his subordinate officers exactly what he intended to do after he made contact.

Just before noon, a brigade under Gneneral Jubal Early encountered Northern cavalry and artillery occupying a ridge to the north-west of Cedar Mountain. The Southerners unlimbered their guns and an artillery duel began. It lasted for five hours, while messengers on both sides ran to bring up more men. A little before 5:00 p.m. Confederate Brig. Gen. Charles Winder was hit by a cannon shell which took off his left arm and left him mortally wounded. As a result, the leader on the spot became William Taliaferro, who had not been privy to Jackson's battle plan. Before the Southern reinforcements could be properly formed up, the Northerners launched an attack of their own.

At first, the Yankees carried all before them. Even the Stonewall Brigade was temporarily swept aside by the Northerners before it had a chance to react. At the crucial moment, however, Jackson personally rallied his men, waving his sword and scabbard in the air when he found it had become too rusted for the blade to be drawn. More Confederate artillery came into action, the Rebels counter-charged, and the Union right promptly collapsed. The Union left wavered, and then was broken by a charge down Cedar Mountain by a fresh Rebel brigade.

By 7 p.m. the Northern troops were in full retreat. In one final attempt to stop the Southern advance, Union General Nathaniel Banks sent 164 cavalrymen charging in. They were met with murderous fire from the Confederate troops, and only 71 returned. The Rebel infantry and cavalry closely pursued the Federals in turn, capturing hundreds and nearly including Banks himself. At last, at 11 p.m., three Union artillery batteries opened up to cover the retreat of their comrades.

The Union had lost 314 killed, 1,445 wounded, and 594 captured or missing, while the Confederates had lost 231 killed and 1,107 wounded. Cold assessment by later historians indicates that Jackson had not fought one of his better battles. But at the time, what North and South both saw was another page in the Stonewall legend.


Map by Hal Jespersen, www.cwmaps.com




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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 #: 633
RE: Civil War 150th - 8/9/2012 5:49:43 PM   
planner 3

 

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Ah. yes ! The mighty battle cry, " Rally round the sword and scabbard, men".

YEE HAW !

_____________________________

"As Pogo said, 'We have met the enemy and he is us' "

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Post #: 634
RE: Civil War 150th - 8/12/2012 6:45:59 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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Early August, 1862:

The idea of shutting off all exports of cotton so that the European nations would intervene on behalf of the South had so far been a failure. Although the mills in England had fallen on hard times, Her Majesty's Government had discovered that food is even more important than clothing, and Northern wheat and corn was needed even more than Southern cotton. A Yankee named Hiram Merrill had even composed a song about the situation:

Up among the Granite mountains,
By the Bay State strand,
Hark! the paean cry is sounding
Thro’ all Yankee land.
Wave the stars and stripes high o’er us,
Every freeman sing,
In a loud and joyful chorus:
Brave young Corn is King!

CHORUS
Join, join, for God and Freedom!
Sing, Northmen, sing:
Old King Cotton’s dead and buried,
Brave young Corn is King!


But Merrill was exaggerating somewhat. Cotton was not being entirely ignored; it was being obtained in different ways. New fields in India and the Nile delta in Egypt had been planted. More importantly, cotton was now being smuggled out of the South in significant quantities. Some went through Texas and Mexico, some went by blockade runners out of the numerous harbors in the Southern coastline -- and some went North with the encouragement of the Union government.

To their intense disgust, Grant and other western commanders received orders to obtain all the cotton they could in the areas they occupied. The Union needed uniforms, tents, and other articles, and the idea was also that cotton could be at least somewhat controlled in Northern hands rather than Southern. Since pro-Union farmers were suspicious of "greenbacks" and pro-Southern farmers rejected them entirely, the Union generals were even authorized to pay in gold. Grant knew perfectly well that a goodly amount of this gold would make its way to the Confederate treasury, but orders were orders.

So the mills in England did not need to shut down entirely. Nonetheless, pro-Southern sentiment in London was rising. The Confederacy had seemed on the verge of being eliminated in May, but now it was coming back. Popular opinion would not tolerate direct of support of slavery, but the Union had declared that it was fighting to put down rebellion, and not to wipe out slavery. And of course, more than one slave slate was fighting on the Union side. Confederate commissioner James Mason now found he was welcome at more upper-class social function, and he lost no opportunity to spread his opinion that the South could never be conquered. The idea of intervention on humanitarian grounds to stop the bloodshed (and incidentally restore commerce and prosperity) began to gain ground.

_____________________________

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 #: 635
RE: Civil War 150th - 8/15/2012 1:48:13 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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April 14, 1862:

George McClellan had been waging an argument by telegraph with General-in-Chief Halleck to try to keep his Army of the Potomac where it was in the Virginia Peninsula. (McClellan was being ordered to join John Pope's Army of Virginia in the northern part of the state, where McClellan would be a subordinate.) On this date, the debate having been lost, McClellan embarked the first two infantry corps at Harrison's Landing to head north.

But Lee was moving even faster. McClellan's effort to keep his movement secret had failed, partly due to an Englishman who had enlisted in the Union army but deserted to the Confederates. The Army of Northern Virginia was already commencing the march northwards to join Stonewall Jackson. Lee had, of course, thoughtfully left behind two divisions of infantry and a brigade of cavalry with but one command: "I deem no instructions necessary beyond the necessity of holding Richmond to the very last extremity". As it turned out, they would not be necessary. But the stage was being set for tremendous battles up North, and one of the most extraordinary events in history.

_____________________________

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 #: 636
RE: Civil War 150th - 8/16/2012 5:32:54 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:


The situation in Missouri was now slowly swinging back towards the Confederate side. Repeated murders and arsons by the Jayhawkers, and especially the "Red Legs", was arousing the pro-Southern spirit of many residents. A significant number joined guerilla bands to fight the Unionists, including one William Clarke Quantrill. A mixed force of Confederate soldiers and partisans had captured the town of Independence and its Union garrison of 344 men early in the month.

Attempting to push back against the gathering Rebel strength, Major Emory Foster and his force of 740 attacked a Confederate camp and put the Southerners there to flight. But he had unlimbered his cannon during the skirmish, and there were a rather larger number of Confederates nearby who heard them. The Union troops retired to the town of Lone Jack, Missouri.

At daylight on this date, a force of from 1,500 to 3,000 Southerners attacked the town. The Federals believed that Quantrill's men were present, and that prisoners would be shot or otherwise brutalised, and fought furiously. Especially determined were the attempts to capture the Northern cannon, which changed hands several times. During the final recapture of the guns by the Yankees, Major Foster was badly wounded.

Shortly afterwards, Confederate reinforcements appeared on the other side of the town, and the Northern second-in-command ordered a retreat. The cannon were hastily spiked, and the Union troops managed a withdrawal in good order. They had, however, taken heavy casualties. The official report was 43 killed, 154 wounded, and 75 missing or captured, 34% of the force, and there is reason to believe at least 65 were killed. The Confederates lost 110 men or more, of whom at least 47 were killed.





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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 #: 637
RE: Civil War 150th - 8/18/2012 3:57:17 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

For once, the Union cavalry manged to score a point on "Jeb" Stuart. In the company of John Singleton Mosby (who would become famous in his own right) and his staff, Stuart had ridden ahead of the the main body of his cavalry. He had planned to meet with a returning squadron of Confederate troopers led by Fitz Lee. But Lee was late, and Stuart decided to take a nap on the porch of a farmhouse.

When Mosby heard approaching horsemen, he rode out to meet them. But what came out of the morning mists was a group of Union cavalry. Mosby sounded the alarm, and Stuart and his staff just had time time leap into their saddles and ride off into the woods. The Yankees, knowing that more Southern troopers were on the way, grabbed what they could of what had been left behind. This included dispatches and Stuart's by-now-famous plumed hat. The bluecoats quickly departed, and made all speed to report to Union commander John Pope.

The loss of the dispatches was serious enough: they tipped Pope off to a planned attack on his left, and he decided to pull back his forces across the Rappahannock River. But Stuart was absolutely determined to to get payback for his hat.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

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 #: 638
RE: Civil War 150th - 8/19/2012 6:45:37 AM   
nicwb

 

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quote:

The loss of the dispatches was serious enough: they tipped Pope off to a planned attack on his left, and he decided to pull back his forces across the Rappahannock River


That must be one of the few times during the conflict that captured dispatches were thought to be anything but a trick !


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RE: Civil War 150th - 8/20/2012 8:24:19 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Ratcheting up the already considerable pressure on the issue of slavery, Horace Greely published "The Prayer of Twenty Millions". He was at this time the most influential newspaper publisher in America, and he took full advantage of that with an open letter in his New York Tribune :


To ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States:

DEAR SIR:

I do not intrude to tell you –for you must know already– that a great proportion of those who triumphed in your election, and of all who desire the unqualified suppression of the Rebellion now desolating our country, are sorely disappointed and deeply pained by the policy you seem to be pursuing with regard to the slaves of the Rebels. I write only to set succinctly and unmistakably before you what we require, what we think we have a right to expect, and of what we complain.

I. We require of you, as the first servant of the Republic, charged especially and preeminently with this duty, that you EXECUTE THE LAWS....

II. We think you are strangely and disastrously remiss in the discharge of your official and imperative duty with regard to the emancipating provisions of the new Confiscation Act....

III. We think you are unduly influenced by the counsels, the representations, the menaces, of certain fossil politicians hailing from the Border States....

IV. We think the timid counsels of such a crisis calculated to prove perilous and probably disastrous....

V. We complain that the Union cause has suffered and is now suffering immensely, from mistaken deference to Rebel Slavery. Had you, Sir, in your Inaugural Address, unmistakably given notice that, in case the Rebellion already commenced were persisted in, and your efforts to preserve the Union and enforce the laws should be resisted by armed force, you would recognize no loyal person as rightfully held in Slavery by a traitor, we believe that the Rebellion would have received a staggering, if not fatal blow....

VI. We complain that the Confiscation Act which you approved is habitually disregarded by your Generals, and that no word of rebuke for them from you has yet reached the public ear....

VIII. On the face of this wide earth, Mr. President, there is not one disinterested, determined, intelligent champion of the Union Cause who does not feel that all attempts to put down the Rebellion and at the same time uphold its inciting cause are preposterous and futile–that the Rebellion, if crushed out to-morrow, would be renewed within a year if Slavery were left in full vigor–that the army of officers who remain to this day devoted to Slavery can at best be but half way loyal to the Union–and that every hour of deference to Slavery is an hour of added and deepened peril to the Union, I appeal to the testimony of your Ambassadors in Europe. It is freely at your service, not at mine. Ask them to tell you candidly whether the seeming subserviency of your policy to the slaveholding, slavery-upholding interest, is not the perplexity, the despair of statesmen of all parties, and be admonished by the general answer.

IX. I close as I began with the statement that what an immense majority of the Loyal Millions of your countrymen require of you is a frank, declared, unqualified, ungrudging execution of the laws of the land, more especially of the Confiscation Act....We cannot conquer Ten Millions of People united in solid phalanx against us, powerfully aided by the Northern sympathizers and European allies. We must have scouts, guides, spies, cooks, teamsters, diggers and choppers from the Blacks of the South, whether we allow them to fight for us or not, or we shall be baffled and repelled. As one of the millions who would gladly have avoided this struggle at any sacrifice but that of Principle and Honor, but who now feel that the triumph of the Union is indispensable not only to the existence of our country, but to the well-being of mankind, I entreat you to render a hearty and unequivocal obedience to the law of the land.

Yours,

HORACE GREELEY.

NEW YORK, August 19, 1862.


(Note Greely had written his missive the day before, but the Tribune hit the stands on the 20th.)




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

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 #: 640
RE: Civil War 150th - 8/21/2012 8:17:07 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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quote:

That must be one of the few times during the conflict that captured dispatches were thought to be anything but a trick !


As the saying goes, you ain't seen nothin' yet. We are less than a month away from the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction affair of Lee's Special Orders No. 191.

_____________________________

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 #: 641
RE: Civil War 150th - 8/21/2012 10:34:49 PM   
planner 3

 

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Capt. Harlock: I'll bet you have that "All Wrapped Up" ?

_____________________________

"As Pogo said, 'We have met the enemy and he is us' "

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Post #: 642
RE: Civil War 150th - 8/22/2012 5:34:24 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

"Jeb" Stuart had come up with a way "to make the Yankees pay for that hat". He proposed a raid around the right flank of the Union army to a spot called Catlett's Station, where there was a key railroad bridge. Lee approved, and Stuart took off with a thousand of his horsemen at daybreak. They rode nearly the entire day, and learned from a pro-Southerner that General John Pope, the Federal area commander, had his headquarters tent at Catlett's Station.

Night came early, accompanied by a thunderstorm, but this was all to the good for keeping undetected. The Rebel cavalry descended on the Union camp like the thunderbolts lighting up the sky, scattering Northerners in all directions. The raid did fail in its original purpose. Since it truly was a dark and stormy night, the bridge was too wet to burn. The damp timbers also put up a resistance to chopping, and Stuart's men did not have time for extensive labors. The bridge stayed in place, but what the Confederate horsemen took with them more than made up for it.

For a start, they paid back the loss of Stuart's hat in full by capturing Pope's full-dress coat. (Stuart wrote to Pope and suggested a "fair exchange of the prisoners", returning the coat for his hat, but he was ignored.) The coat, however, was only the beginning. Stuart's men also carried off the paychest for the Union army, stuffed with $350,000 in greenbacks. This was a gigantic sum at a time when a family of four could be fed for a week for under seven dollars -- adjusted for inflation, it was possibly the largest cash robbery in American history. But even that was not as valuable as Pope's dispatch book, containing a copy of every important message Pope had sent and received for a week. Now Lee had a priceless insight into Pope's forces and dispositions.


Also on this date, Lincoln replied to Horace Greely's "Prayer of Twenty Millions". He did not mention that he had a preliminary proclamation of emancipation drafted, but he subtly laid the groundwork for it, since it would go even beyond the Confiscation Act that Greely complained was not being sufficiently enforced:

Executive Mansion,
Washington, August 22, 1862.

Hon. Horace Greeley:
Dear Sir.

I have just read yours of the 19th. addressed to myself through the New-York Tribune. If there be in it any statements, or assumptions of fact, which I may know to be erroneous, I do not, now and here, controvert them. If there be in it any inferences which I may believe to be falsely drawn, I do not now and here, argue against them. If there be perceptable in it an impatient and dictatorial tone, I waive it in deference to an old friend, whose heart I have always supposed to be right.

As to the policy I "seem to be pursuing" as you say, I have not meant to leave any one in doubt.

I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.

I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free.

Yours,
A. Lincoln.





Attachment (1)

_____________________________

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 planner 3)
Post #: 643
RE: Civil War 150th - 8/25/2012 10:05:23 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Secretary of War Edwin Stanton took a quiet but major step into turning the war into a war against slavery. After General David Hunter had been stopped from arming "contrabands" because of the violent reaction it would provoke, General Rufus Saxton had been sent to oversee the camps in which the escaped slaves were housed. Saxton was not long in finding out the situation was serious.

Wherever there were white communities nearby, (e.g. Pensacola, Florida) the blacks were at great risk. Kidnappers could make fat profits from re-capturing the ex-slaves, and the violence typical of the Ku Klux Klan after the war was ready to break out at any provocation. Upon reading Saxton's report, Secretary Stanton knew better protection was needed and he could see only one way to get it. He wrote back:

In view of the small force under your command and the inability of the Government at the present time to increase it, in order to guard the plantations and settlements occupied by the United States from invasion and protect the inhabitants thereof from captivity and murder by the enemy, you are also authorized to arm, uniform, equip, and receive into the service of the United States such number of volunteers of African descent as you may deem expedient . . . The persons so received into service and their officers to be entitled to and receive the same pay and rations as are allowed by law to volunteers in the service.

(Note that last part would not be honored for some time.) This was a risky move indeed. There was nothing the South feared more than an armed slave revolt. Memories of Nat Turner's rebellion were still strong, and John Brown's raid had explicitly aimed towards arming blacks. To many Southern minds, giving guns to runaway slaves was the prelude to massacre, never mind whether they wore uniforms or not. Only a few days before, Jefferson Davis had declared that any captured Union officer involved in organizing, training, or leading black troops "shall not be regarded as a prisoner of war but held in close confinement for execution as a felon at such time and place as the President shall order.”

_____________________________

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 #: 644
RE: Civil War 150th - 8/26/2012 4:57:31 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Robert E. Lee knew that the Union army facing him was about to receive massive reinforcements. He had to attack now or never, and characteristically, he chose now. He sent Stonewall Jackson's troops on a swing around the Union right, as Stuart's raid had done earlier. It was a bold move, but Jackson and his "foot cavalry" were the men for the job.

On this date, Jackson's force seized the rail junction at Bristoe Station. One Yankee train got away, but the Southerners wrecked two others, and cut one of the key communication lines for the Union army.



Jackson also had some actual cavalry with him, commanded by Fitzhugh Lee. Lee's tardiness had been partly responsible for the loss of "Jeb" Stuart's hat. Now he was moving as fast as could be desired: accompanied by some infantry, his men rode on from Bristoe Station and around midnight, overran the main Union supply depot at Manassas Station. (For a second time, a place of woe for the Northerners.) There they found what promised to be the richest haul yet of all kinds of stores. They also found two hundred "contrabands", whom they promptly re-enslaved.



Map by Hal Jespersen, www.posix.com/CW

Attachment (3)

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 8/27/2012 4:53:18 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 #: 645
RE: Civil War 150th - 8/27/2012 4:52:25 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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From: Los Angeles
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150 Years Ago Today:

Hearing of the success at Manassas Junction, Stonewall Jackson marched his main body towards it. They were intercepted by four New Jersey regiments totaling about 1200 men. This was totally inadequate to deal with the Confederates, who were on short rations and highly motivated to get to the stores waiting for them. But Jackson kept complete discipline. He stopped his men, set up a curved defensive line, and even had time to place his artillery. The Northerners marched right into the killing zone, and the Rebels opened up.

Canister fire from the artillery and bullets from the infantry shredded the Union ranks. Amazingly, the battle became so one-sided that the normally stern Jackson rode out onto the field, waving a white handkerchief and calling on the Federal troops to surrender. A Union soldier very unwisely fired at Jackson, missing him, and the battle was on again. By 11:00 a.m. the Northerners broke. Their commander, General George Taylor, was mortally wounded, and as he was being carried off, cried out, "For God's sake, prevent another Bull Run!" He had lost 135 killed and wounded and a further 300 captured.

A short time later, the Rebel troops arrived at Manassas Junction. What awaited them was beyond anything they had dared to hope for: no fewer than 100 freight cars and any number of sheds bulging with everything an army might want. Jackson placed a guard over the vital medical supplies and ordered any captured whiskey to be poured on the ground. Otherwise he turned a blind eye to his men helping themselves. (He missed the stocks of wine, and a number of the troops gorged on wine and lobster salad meant for the officers.)

In the afternoon, Jackson received word that much of the Union army had finally started to concentrate, marching towards him to avenge the loss of their supplies. He ordered everything that could not be taken to be put to the torch. As the Southerners left, the stocks of ammunition began to explode, lighting up the night sky for miles. Both Union and Confederate men were able to see the display. Union Commander Pope now had a good fix on Jackson's location -- but he was in the dark about Lee and the rest of the Southern army.

_____________________________

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 #: 646
RE: Civil War 150th - 8/28/2012 4:58:20 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Just north of Chattanooga, Braxton Bragg finally got his Army of Tennessee on the march into central Kentucky. With Krby Smith's force going into the eastern part, the Confederacy now had a full-scale two-pronged invasion of a Union state.


In Virginia, Union forces under James Ricketts were flanked by Southern units, and Ricketts withdrew from his blocking position at Thoroughfare Gap. This allowed the other half of the Army of Northern Virginia to march through and support Jackson. This in turn would have crucial consequences very soon.

Stonewall Jackson himself did not retreat from Manassas Junction, but instead marched to the northeast, and then waited. It was nearly 6:00 in the evening by the time his patience was rewarded; a Federal column came marching into view. Jackson ordered an attack on the Northerners' flank.

The famous Stonewall Brigade opened up with a volley from 150 yards (140 m), but the 2nd Wisconsin was unbroken and replied with a volley of its own. Both sides advanced until the lines were only 80 yards (73 m) apart, trading volley after volley. Each side seemed to think retreating from a relatively even fight was shameful, so for more than two hours there was no real attempt to maneuver or take cover. Reinforcements were fed in as soon as they could be brought up. (Stonewall Jackson personally took charge instead of going through division commander Richard Ewell.) Darkness fell, making things difficult for the new arrivals, and there were vicious but piecemeal attacks in the woods on the periphery.

Finally, Confederate horse artillery came on the scene and opened up from less than 100 yards (91 m). It was no disgrace to retreat from cannon, and the Northerners fell back, though they kept good order. Since pursuits in the dark were risky, the Confederates elected to remain on the battlefield and gather the muskets and shoes from the Union dead.

In the Battle of Groveton or Brawner's Farm, both sides had taken heavy casualties: the Union lost over 1,150 men and the Confederates at least 1,250. The 2nd Wisconsin had suffered over 60% casualties and two Georgia regiments had taken 70%. Overall, it is estimated that one man in three of those engaged was killed or wounded. Confederate Brig. Gen. William Taliaferro (himself wounded) would later write, "It was a question of endurance and both endured." But it was still only the beginning of the fighting to come.



Map by Hal Jespersen, www.posix.com/CW

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 8/28/2012 8:32:54 PM >

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 647
RE: Civil War 150th - 8/29/2012 5:18:39 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Union commander John Pope now believed he had Jackson’s command isolated, and this morning he was mostly right. The trouble was that the Union army was taking some time to pull together, and George McClellan's army was still too far away to be of any use. Jackson just had time to place his men behind an unfinished railroad grade. Beginning at 10:00 a.m., Pope launched a series of fierce but uncoordinated attacks against the Rebel lines. One after another, the assaults were repulsed, though not without heavy losses to both sides.

A little after noon, Longstreet’s corps arrived and took up a position near Jackson’s right. Yet it made no move on this date, for Longstreet argued that the position of the Union army should be determined before committing the entire Confederate army, and after consideration Lee agreed. Only about 2500 men were finally sent to reinforce Jackson, and they were barely enough to tip the scales. (Some of the Rebels had been reduced to throwing rocks and clubbing with their musket butts.) Night fell and put a temporary end to the fighting. But neither side had any intention of leaving the area.



Map by Hal Jespersen, www.posix.com/CW

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 9/2/2012 4:50:53 PM >

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Post #: 648
RE: Civil War 150th - 8/30/2012 8:41:12 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

A decisive battle took place outside Richmond -- but it was Richmond, Kentucky. Interestingly, the armies of both sides in this encounter were called "the Army of Kentucky", and in numbers, the two were fairly evenly matched: 6,500 men on the Northern side against 6,850 on the Southern side. In experience, however, Kirby Smith's Confederates had the edge. The result was a disaster for the Yankees. After an opening artillery duel and skirmishing, a spirited Rebel attack on the Northern right caused the green Union troops to flee. The Confederate pursuit captured 4,300 men, and with 206 killed and 844 wounded, the Union Army of Kentucky had effectively ceased to exist.

Civil War historian Shelby Foote would describe it as "the nearest thing to a Cannae ever scored by any general, North or South, in the course of the whole war." The Confederates had sustained only 451 casualties in all, and the way to northern Kentucky was open.


In Virginia, during the night, Stonewall Jackson had pulled his men back a short distance to re-form his lines. John Pope believed that Jackson had abandoned his position entirely and sent his bluecoats forward. They were quickly undeceived by both Southern infantry and artillery.

As if the carnage of the previous day was only a distant memory, the Federals charged the Confederate lines. And on this day they went in with more coordination. Jackson's men made a heroic defense, but they began to give way. For once, Jackson asked for help. James Longstreet gave plenty of help, but he did it his way. First he brought up his cannon and pounded the Union troops in open field, and when he was quite ready, sent every infantry division in his command forward. A full 28,000 Rebels, one of the greatest mass attacks of the war, hit the Union left. The Northern advance was completely broken, and when Jackson's men advanced in turn, some of the Yankees couldn't even tell from which direction they were being fired upon.

The Union army might have been destroyed as completely as its counterpart in Kentucky, but two things saved it. First, Jackson's wing was spent in both energy and ammunition, and could not pursue effectively. Second, Pope finally displayed courage and competence, gathering his reserves and personally leading them to make a stand on Henry House Hill, the exact place that Stonewall Jackson had won his nickname at the First Battle of Bull Run or Manassas. This gave the Northerners time for an orderly retreat.

In the two days of the Second Battle of Bull Run or Manassas, the Union lost 10,000 killed and wounded, while the Confederates lost 1,300 killed and 7,000 wounded. Lincoln's draft of the Emancipation Proclamation still sat in his desk drawer awaiting a victory, but it can well be argued that August 30, 1862, was the North's darkest day of the Civil War.



Map by Hal Jespersen, www.posix.com/CW

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 9/1/2012 5:02:43 PM >

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Post #: 649
RE: Civil War 150th - 9/1/2012 3:55:46 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

It is one of the classic principles of warfare that more casualties can be inflicted on a retreating army than on one standing and fighting. The Confederates attempted to cut off as much of the Union Army of Virginia as they could. But the Northerners still outnumbered the Southerners overall, and the weather was poor.

Still, Union General Isaac Stevens was being very foolish when he mounted a counter-attack with his division. At that location, he had only 6,000 men, while the wing of the Army of Northern Virginia opposite him numbered about 20,000. The Yankees pushed the Rebels back for a time, but then Stevens was killed by a shot through the temple and the Confederate defense stiffened. New Jersey's most famous general, Philip Kearny, appeared and took over command of the Union forces. But he mistakenly rode into a group of Confederates and was shot dead trying to ride away.



To top everything off, a thunderstorm broke out. Ammunition on both sides became wet and useless. The Federals decided enough was enough and pulled back. The Confederates could not see the movement in the driving rain, assumed the lack of firing was because of wet powder, and so did not pursue. Different sources claim different numbers of losses for this Battle of Chantilly, some saying both sides lost about 500 men and others giving Union casualties at 1,300. There is no doubt, however, that the North had lost two generals, while none had fallen during Second Bull Run.

There was one other injury on this date: to Robert E. Lee himself. He tripped while reaching for the reins of his horse, and both arms had to be put in splints. It was a serious inconvenience, for he had one of the biggest decisions of the war to make.


Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 9/1/2012 5:05:05 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 #: 650
RE: Civil War 150th - 9/1/2012 8:19:18 PM   
parusski


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Capt., time to thank you again for this wonderful thread.

_____________________________

"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

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 651
RE: Civil War 150th - 9/2/2012 4:34:33 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

The Union army falling back to Washington was not a broken force, but it was a beaten one. Morale was in the depths. The troops faced Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, and it had been made very clear during the past week's fighting that John Pope and his sub-commanders were entirely outmatched. In the White House, the opinion was the same, but there was strong disagreement about what to do about it.

Lincoln proposed putting George McClellan back in overall command. Most of the Cabinet was firmly against it. Secretary of the Treasury Chase and Secretary of War Stanton were especially appalled; they believed that McClellan had deliberately been slow to bring his army to reinforce Pope so that just such a debacle would happen. But Lincoln again showed his political mastery by not only making the decision but getting others to accept it. Admitting that McClellan "has acted badly in this matter", Lincoln pointed out, "We must use what tools we have. There is no man in the Army who can lick these troops of ours into shape half as well as he . . . If he can't fight himself, he excels in making others ready to fight."

McClellan received his orders making him overall commander, and for once he showed no sign of "The Slows". He galloped out to meet Pope, who received the news of his effective demotion without a word, but a simple salute. The response of the troops, however, was all Lincoln could have wished. As a veteran wrote later:

"Enlisted men caught the sound! ... From extreme sadness we passed in a twinkling to a delirium of delight. A Deliverer had come ... Men threw their caps high into the air, and danced and frolicked like school-boys ... shout upon shout went into the stillness of the night; and as it was taken up along the road and repeated by regiment, brigade, division, and corps we could hear the roar . . ."




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

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 parusski)
Post #: 652
RE: Civil War 150th - 9/3/2012 6:00:42 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

“The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat, but they are no less difficult.” – Winston Churchill

Robert E. Lee would have agreed with Churchill. Remaining where he was was not really an option. A civil war army that stayed in the same place without a major supply route such as a railroad or river was much like a plague of locusts. Wood, whether in the form of fences or still growing trees, was rapidly consumed for fires. Everything that could be eaten by man or draft animal soon disappeared, which had largely already taken place in northern Virginia at that date. And unless there was a large river or lake nearby, the shear volume of excrement produced by humans and horses led to both low morale and serious outbreaks of disease -- the real killer of the Civil War.

On the other hand, a direct march to the east to attack Washington was out of the question. The Union army, though beaten for the moment, was still formidable in size, and was already being reinforced. Even worse, the Federals would have the advantage of the fortifications around Washington. Going to the west or south would be a retreat, and the Confederacy badly needed further advances if it was to be recognized by Great Britain. The only way seemed to be north -- in other words, an invasion of Maryland. It was a high-stakes gamble, for Lee's army was short on wagons for supplies and shoes for the men. But if Maryland could be turned into a Confederate state, it could quite possibly win the war. And Maryland had many Confederate sympathisers; it had been kept in the Union in no small part by the arrest of most of the pro-Southern leaders, and few had forgotten the tragedy of the Baltimore riot.

So, on this date, Lee gave the order for the march north. James Longstreet expressed misgivings, for he was fully aware of the difficulties and risks. Stonewall Jackson, on the other hand, was enthusiastic, and hurried off to give his sub-commanders their orders.

In Washington, General-in-Chief "Old Brains" Halleck had for once lived up to his nickname. He looked at the maps and came to the same conclusion as Lee. Orders were sent out to McClellan that his army needed to be ready to move out in two days' time.


In Kentucky, E. Kirby Smith's Confederates occupied Frankfort, the capital of Kentucky, the pro-Union legislature having understandably fled to Louisville. The Rebels had not brought a Confederate national flag with them, so they had to make do with hoisting the banner of the 1st Louisiana Cavalry over the state house. Then they turned to the business of creating a pro-Southern state government.

What with this and Braxton Bragg's much larger Confederate army in central Kentucky, panic spread north. Cincinnati's mayor George Hatch ordered all business closed, and Union Major General Lew Wallace declared martial law. They called up every man they could into a hasty militia, eventually totaling 60,000. Among the groups organized were the Black Brigade, a volunteer force of free men of color. Although not armed, the Black Brigade was given a flag and paid $13 for one month's service (the same pay given to privates at that time).

The regular Union army under Don Carlos Buell seemed to be completely befuddled. Buell was naturally clamoring for more troops, and a frustrated Ulysses S. Grant obeyed orders from Washington and dispatched them, but Buell had little idea of where to march when he got them. It was probably just as well, because Bragg had reached an excellent position to strike at the Northerners' flank if they moved out. But in the meantime, Grant did not have enough troops to take the offensive himself -- and at that point he was one of the very few Union generals who wanted to.


_____________________________

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 #: 653
RE: Civil War 150th - 9/5/2012 5:49:45 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

On the Potomac River, at a place called White's Ford, the Army of Northern Virginia began to enter Maryland. Cavalry and mounted officers could ride across in reasonable comfort, but the enlisted men had to wade up to their waists. There was considerable straggling, and only 40,000 men entered Maryland on the first day. They received a respectful welcome from the locals, but very few volunteered to join the Rebel ranks. (Although one pro-Southerner gave Stonewall Jackson a horse to compensate for Jackson's favorite "little Sorrel" having wandered off.)



Map by Hal Jespersen, www.posix.com/CW

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 9/6/2012 8:25:19 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 #: 654
RE: Civil War 150th - 9/6/2012 8:23:08 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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What Did *Not* Happen 150 Years Ago:

Upon entering the town of Frederick, Maryland, Stonewall Jackson's column supposedly passed by the house of an elderly lady named Barbara Freitchie. Noticing a Union flag flying from a second-story window, Jackson ordered the staff shot away. But as soon as this was done, Freitchie allegedly leaned out the window, grabbed the staff before it fell, and continued to wave it in defiance of the Rebel troops. The story was immortalized by abolitionist poet John Greenleaf Whittier:
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Barbara_Frietchie

But your humble amateur historian believes Whittier did an injustice to Stonewall Jackson. While there does seem to have been an actual Barbara Freitchie, there is no historical record of Jackson passing by her house. Also, while he had deserters shot on several occasions, a study of Jackson's character strongly suggests he would have drawn the line at shooting up private civilian property.





Attachment (1)

_____________________________

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 #: 655
RE: Civil War 150th - 9/6/2012 11:00:48 PM   
planner 3

 

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Your ruining (just kidding) the History of my home county Capt. And the federals still owe us re-imbursment for the ransom, called "protection" money that was paid out to protect Frederick city property. If we hadn't spent all that money then, Barbara could have opened up her restaurant that much sooner. Bad rebel soldiers, tsk, tsk.

Just to add about Whites Ferry, courpes of union soldiers floated down river to Washington DC for three days. It was a union slaughter as they tried to climb the rise on the Va. side of the ferry, not once but I believe they tried three times to cross, yet their were other places they could have crossed and not into a hail of lead.

_____________________________

"As Pogo said, 'We have met the enemy and he is us' "

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Post #: 656
RE: Civil War 150th - 9/6/2012 11:27:59 PM   
nicwb

 

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I could well imagine Jackson ordering the flag to be taken down but shooting it seems a little excessive and an angered Mrs Freitchie protesting.

I suppose someone could have misinterpreted the order as well. But the story seems to have something of a "Betsy Ross" style quality which would have appealed to the North.

(in reply to planner 3)
Post #: 657
RE: Civil War 150th - 9/9/2012 4:07:31 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

After a council of war the previous day, Robert E. Lee formalized his plans. The Union garrison at Harpers Ferry had been increased to 12,000 men. This was no match for the Army of Northern Virginia in a straight fight, but such a force of Yankees in Lee's rear could completely cut his supply line. On the other hand, if such a number could be captured with all their guns and equipment, it would be a powerful boost to the campaign. And Lee had a major advantage in Stonewall Jackson, who had commanded the Confederate occupation of the place at the beginning of the war. He knew (and so did anyone familiar with the geography of the place) that Harpers Ferry was essentially indefensible to a force commanding the heights surrounding the town.

Therefore, Lee directed that a substantial part of his army would be broken off and converge on Harpers Ferry, enveloping it from three directions. He dictated the instructions to his adjutant, Robert H. Chilton:

SPECIAL ORDERS No. 191.

HDQRS. ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
September 9, 1862.

I. The citizens of Fredericktown being unwilling, while overrun by members of his army, to open their stores, in order to give them confidence, and to secure to officers and men purchasing supplies for benefit of this command, all officers and men of this army are strictly prohibited from visiting Fredericktown except on business, in which case they will bear evidence of this in writing from division commanders. The provost-marshal in Fredericktown will see that his guard rigidly enforces this order.
II. Major Taylor will proceed to Leesburg, Va., and arrange for transportation of the sick and those unable to walk to Winchester, securing the transportation of the country for this purpose. The route between this and Culpeper Court-House east of the mountains being unsafe will no longer be traveled. Those on the way to this army already across the river will move up promptly; all others will proceed to Winchester collectively and under command of officers, at which point, being the general depot of this army, its movements will be known and instructions given by commanding officer regulating further movements.
III. The army will resume its march tomorrow, taking the Hagerstown road. General Jackson's command will form the advance, and, after passing Middletown, with such portion as he may select, take the route toward Sharpsburg, cross the Potomac at the most convenient point, and by Friday morning take possession of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, capture such of them as may be at Martinsburg, and intercept such as may attempt to escape from Harper's Ferry.
IV. General Longstreet's command will pursue the main road as far as Boonsborough, where it will halt, with reserve, supply, and baggage trains of the army.
V. General McLaws, with his own division and that of General R. H. Anderson, will follow General Longstreet. On reaching Middletown will take the route to Harper's Ferry, and by Friday morning possess himself of the Maryland Heights and endeavor to capture the enemy at Harper's Ferry and vicinity.
VI. General Walker, with his division, after accomplishing the object in which he is now engaged, will cross the Potomac at Cheek's Ford, ascend its right bank to Lovettsville, take possession of Loudoun Heights, if practicable, by Friday morning, Keys' Ford on his left, and the road between the end of the mountain and the Potomac on his right. He will, as far as practicable, co-operate with Generals McLaws and Jackson, and intercept retreat of the enemy.
VII. General D. H. Hill's division will form the rear guard of the army, pursuing the road taken by the main body. The reserve artillery, ordnance, and supply trains, &c., will precede General Hill.
VIII. General Stuart will detach a squadron of cavalry to accompany the commands of Generals Longstreet, Jackson, and McLaws, and, with the main body of the cavalry, will cover the route of the army, bringing up all stragglers that may have been left behind.
IX. The commands of Generals Jackson, McLaws, and Walker, after accomplishing the objects for which they have been detached, will join the main body of the army at Boonsborough or Hagerstown.
X. Each regiment on the march will habitually carry its axes in the regimental ordnance wagons, for use of the men at their encampments, to procure wood, &c.

By command of General R. E. Lee:
R. H. CHILTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General.


But now Stonewall Jackson committed a major security breach. By section VII, General D. H. Hill and his divison would be detached from Jackson's command. As it happened, Hill was Jackson's brother-in-law, being married to the sister of Jackson's wife. To make sure Hill understood the situation as soon as possible, Jackson himself thoughtfully wrote a copy of Special Orders 191, and had it immediately sent by courier.

For the Confederacy, good intentions would indeed pave the road to hell.

Map by Hal Jespersen, www.cwmaps.com




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

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 #: 658
RE: Civil War 150th - 9/12/2012 4:47:57 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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Early September, 1862:

While Confederate Generals Braxton Bragg and E. Kirby Smith invaded Kentucky, Gernerals Earl Van Dorn and Sterling Price combined their western forces and marched into Mississippi with an eye towards re-capturing the key city of Corinth. Ulysses S. Grant scrambled to put together a mobile force from the troops he could spare after being required to send much of his command to Kentucky and eastern Tennessee. Robert E. Lee was established in Maryland and considering going into Pennsylvania, and then swinging around and back to the south and threatening Baltimore. He had the edge on McClellan, who was trying to find the Rebels but was handicapped both by his cautious nature and the need to cover Washington. To add one last touch, a Southern force was preparing to move into West Virginia to attempt to re-take control from the North and quash the new state. The Union had managed to lose the initiative almost everywhere, and the Confederacy was putting together something much like a coordinated strategic offensive.

News of this was going across the Atlantic. A combined European force had invaded Mexico to collect debts the Mexican government was unwilling/unable to pay. After getting the money, most of the combined force left, but the French troops remained, for Napoleon III had proposed his relative Maximillian (below) as Emperor of Mexico. he had been offered Southern cooperation in return for his recognition of the Confederacy. But Napoleon did not want to act alone. As it had been from the start, Britain was the key. And the opinion of the British government was also shifting, though slowly, in favor of the South. Military success commanded respect.





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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 #: 659
RE: Civil War 150th - 9/13/2012 5:24:57 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Sterling Price's Confederate Army of the West entered Iuka, Mississippi. The town had been used as a headquarters by William Rosecrans up to a few days before, and therefore still had a goodly amount of supplies. The Union garrison commander ordered the supply warehouse to be set on fire, and then hastily evacuated his regiment. The Confederates rushed in, doused the flames, and helped themselves to the supplies. The Union commander was promptly relieved of duty by Rosecrans.


In Maryland, the Union army marched towards Frederick, though the Confederates had already decamped. It was a warm and humid day in late summer, so even before noon, four men of the 27th Indiana decided to take a short break in an open field. After they sat down, Private Barton Mitchell noticed a large envelope on the ground near him. It proved to contain three cigars rolled up in a sheet of paper. The other men were naturally interested in the cigars, but Mitchell had a look at the paper. It was nothing less than one of the original copies of Lee's Special Orders No. 191.

(It seems likely that this was the copy meant for D. H. Hill, who had received Stonewall Jackson's copy first and so the original had been discarded as an unnecessary duplicate.)

Michell and Sergeant John Bloss immediately realized what they had and scrambled back to their commander to get the priceless document on its way to General McClellan. However, they were met with understandable skepticism. Surely it was some sort of fake -- such a windfall was too good to be true.

And now a second stroke of luck occurred which no fiction writer would have dared to invent. Robert Chilton, Lee's adjutant, had served in the U. S. Army in Michigan before the war and had been responsible for depositing the regimental funds at the Michigan State Bank. At that bank had been a teller named Samuel Pittman, who was now a Union Captain who happened to be on the spot. And so, he was able to verify Chilton's signature. With this assurance, the envelope was quickly passed up the chain of command to McClellan. (Although someone apparently pocketed the three cigars along the way.) The intelligence bonanza caused celebration at Union headquarters. "Here is a paper," declared McClellan, "with which, if I cannot whip Bobby Lee, I will be willing to go home." He then brought out his maps and began to make his plans.

A few days before, McClellan had assured Halleck that "As soon as I find out where to strike, I will be after them without an hour's delay." But in fact it was eighteen hours before his army moved out (he wanted his men to get a good night's sleep), and every hour had been valuable. A Maryland civilian with Southern sympathies had been at McClellan's headquarters and overheard the excitement when Special Orders 191 had been brought in. Unlike the Union commander, the civilian had lost no time riding to find Stuart's cavalry, who in turn hastily passed the news to Lee. Now it was a race whether Lee could pull his command together before the much larger Northern army attacked.

(The "Lost Order" was eventually donated to the Library of Congress by McClellan's son.)





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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 #: 660
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