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RE: Civil War 150th

 
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RE: Civil War 150th - 11/27/2012 8:44:02 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Near Aquia Creek, Virginia, President Lincoln had a day-long conference with General Ambrose Burnside on board the steamer Baltimore. Burnside's plan to move across the Rappahannock River before Lee could react had failed. Lincoln instead proposed a plan for the Army of the Potomac to hold Lee's force in place, while two smaller forces crossed the river miles to the north and south, thus opening the way to Richmond. Burnside argued against it, and for once was supported by General-in-Chief Henry Halleck. The necessary river transports could not be assembled in time before the winter weather began in earnest, they said. Lincoln eventually agreed -- but there was no counter-plan.


In the middle of the continent, a holding action was put into play. The Union had failed to take the capital of Arkansas, but there were still far too many Yankee troops in the state by the Confederate way of thinking. Confederate General Thomas C. Hindman had managed to assemble an army of 11,000 soldiers at Fort Smith, Arkansas. This was more than any of the individual Union forces in the state. Hindman selected the Yankees under Kansas General James Blunt, which were in the north-west corner of the state, for his first attack.

The trouble was that the two armies were separated by the oddly-named Boston Mountains. (It was a long way from Massachusetts, after all.) Hindman knew he would be vulnerable while marching his infantry and artillery through the passes. He therefore sent 2,000 cavalry, under one John Marmaduke, to engage and hold the northern troops where they were while he brought up the rest of the Rebel forces.

But Blunt (below) had "cut his teeth" during the struggle over slavery in Kansas, and was an aggressive commander. His force was already on the move from where the Confederate scouts had reported it.




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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 #: 721
RE: Civil War 150th - 11/28/2012 5:12:57 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

The Confederate scouts had lost track of James Blunt's force in northwestern Arkansas, but Blunt had an excellent idea of the movement of the southern troopers. Therefore, it was the cavalry rather than the infantry who were surprised. Blunt's 5,000 bluecoats attacked John Marmaduke's 2,000 troopers at what is known as the Battle of Cane Hill or the Battle of Boston Mountains. With rifled muskets, foot-soldiers now had the advantage over cavalry even without the advantage of surprise. The Southern horsemen made a hasty retreat back towards the hills where the terrain favored them. After nearly nine hours of pursuit and skirmish, they made it. Casualties were remarkably light for the duration and numbers involved: the Union lost 41 men killed or wounded, while the Confederates lost 45.

Although the Yankees had got the best of the encounter, they were now in a vulnerable spot. Their advance had left them somewhat separated from the other Union forces in the area, and the Confederates still had 9,000 fresh men not too far away.

_____________________________

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 #: 722
RE: Civil War 150th - 11/29/2012 5:35:24 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

General John B. Magruder ("Prince John") assumed command of the Confederate forces in Texas. It might have seemed a promotion to independent command. But for practical purposes, Magruder had been exiled to the hinterlands by Robert E. Lee. Although Magruder's theatrics had delayed McClellan's advance on Richmond, and quite possibly saved the Confederacy, Lee did not want defensive-minded generals. In his mind, the enemy army had to be destroyed -- if it was merely stopped, sooner or later it would start moving again.




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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 #: 723
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/1/2012 4:42:54 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

The U. S. Congress re-convened, and received Lincoln's second annual message. Unlike the State of the Union Address of modern times, the missive was delivered in written form, and read by a clerk. The full text is available at
http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=1065
but it's about fifty thousand words in length.

One of the amusing parts to read is Lincoln's speculation on the population growth of the United States once the South had been brought back into the Union, though it was likely dull at the time. Few people were thinking as far ahead as 1930. There were parts to make the assembled Senators, Representatives, and spectators sit up and listen, however. Lincoln wanted to keep the process of emancipation going, but had to take into account the slave states still in the Union. Therefore, after preliminary points, he asked for three constitutional amendments:

Our national strife springs not from our permanent part; not from the land we inhabit: not from our national homestead. There is no possible severing of this but would multiply and not mitigate evils among us. In all its adaptations and aptitudes it demands union and abhors separation. In fact, it would ere long force reunion, however much of blood and treasure the separation might have cost. Our strife pertains to ourselves——to the passing generations of men——and it can without convulsion be hushed forever with the passing of one generation.

In this view I recommend the adoption of the following resolution and articles amendatory to the Constitution of the United States: Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two—thirds of both Houses concurring), That the following articles be proposed to the legislatures (or conventions) of the several States as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which articles, when ratified by three—fourths of the said legislatures (or conventions ), to be valid as part or parts of the said Constitution, viz:

ART.——. Every State wherein slavery now exists which shall abolish the same therein at any time or times before the 1st day of January, A. D. 1900, shall receive compensation from the United States as follows, to wit:

The President of the United States shall deliver to every such State bonds of the United States bearing interest at the rate of per cent per annum to an amount equal to the aggregate sum of ____ for each slave shown to have been therein by the Eighth Census of the United States, said bonds to be delivered to such State by installments or in one parcel at the completion of the abolishment, accordingly as the same shall have been gradual or at one time within such State; and interest shall begin to run upon any such bond only from the proper time of its delivery as aforesaid. Any State having received bonds as aforesaid and afterwards reintroducing or tolerating slavery therein shall refund to the United States the bonds so received, or the value thereof, and all interest paid thereon.

ART.——All slaves who shall have enjoyed actual freedom by the chances of the war at any time before the end of the rebellion shall be forever free; but all owners of such who shall not have been disloyal shall be compensated for them at the same rates as is provided for States adopting abolishment of slavery, but in such way that no slave shall be twice accounted for.

ART.——Congress may appropriate money and otherwise provide for colonizing free colored persons with their own consent at any place or places without the United States.


(Lincoln believed that blacks and whites could not live in true equality, and therefore advocated that the blacks emigrate to a country where they could have full rights. The black community was split: some had experienced the tremendous racism of the Northern cities, and agreed with Lincoln. But others maintained they were Americans as much as the whites, and had no intention of leaving the land they were born in.)

After the proposed amendments, the message became less involving -- for a while. But as the clerk reached the end, those present found themselves listening intently to some of the most famous and eloquent words Lincoln ever wrote:

...still the question recurs, "Can we do better?" The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.

Fellow-citizens, we can not escape history. We of this Congress and this Administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation. We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We, even we here, hold the power and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free——honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve. We shall nobly save or meanly lose the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just——a way which if followed the world will forever applaud and God must forever bless.






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(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 724
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/4/2012 8:42:47 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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Early December, 1862:

Robert E. Lee viewed the situation at Fredericksburg with confidence, and with a united Army of Northern Virginia. Stonewall Jackson had performed yet another rapid march with his "foot cavalry", bringing his corps from the Shenandoah Valley to the south side of the Rappahannock River. Although the Confederates were still outnumbered by the Union troops on the river's north side, they had the edge in position, troop experience, and above all in generalship. Lee and Jackson even started debating whether they should pull back so that the Northern supply trains could cross the river and be captured after the Southern victory.


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


Confederate generalship was not so strong in the west. In fact, it can be plausibly argued that Lee was the only truly competent theater commander on the Southern side. (Albert Sydney Johnston was killed before he could establish enough of a record.) Since both sides were democracies, to be a successful army commander and still more to be a theater commander a man needed the diplomacy to work with the President (his commander-in-chief) and also with other senior government members such as the Secretary of War and the leaders of Congress. Joseph E. Johnston was a gifted soldier when it came to strategy and tactics, but he was as thin-skinned as Jefferson Davis in his way, and the relationship between the two never recovered from Johnston's being made fourth in the seniority list at the start of the war.

Nonetheless, Johnston was now the theater commander in the west, which covered the vast area from Georgia to the Mississippi River. As U. S. Grant was finding out on the other side, it should have been larger still, and incorporated the west bank of the Mississippi. Johnston set up his headquarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee, studied the maps, and realized that there were not enough Rebel troops under John Pemberton to hold off Grant's advance towards the crucial city of Vicksburg. Since there was a major threat in the east, and the Southern army in northern Tennessee was menaced by another large Union army, it seemed the best place to get reinforcements was from Thomas Hindman's army in Arkansas. Which was, of course, out of Johnston's jurisdiction.

Johnston therefore sent to President Davis, requesting the force in Arkansas. His proposal would not be favorably received. And indeed Hindman would need all of his men, for reinforcements were on the way for the Northerners opposing him.


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< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 12/5/2012 4:55:36 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 #: 725
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/7/2012 5:19:06 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy, but the Battle of Prairie Grove / Fayetteville carried it to extremes. Confederate commander Thomas Hindman was deploying his 11,000 man force to attack James Blunt’s 5,000 men in a pincer move. The Yankees had wisely called on reinforcements, which were 100 miles away. This did not stop Union general Francis "Frank" Herron. In an extraordinary march of just three days, Herron brought his force to the scene. Half of his men straggled, unable to keep the pace, but it was the remainder who first encountered the Southerners.

Surprised, the Confederates decided to close up to receive the Union attack. They even sent a small cavalry brigade to distract the other Northerners under Blunt. (This worked, but only for a short time.) In the meanwhile, Herron’s Yankees piled in, but were repelled, and had to hold off a counter-attack from Rebels who outnumbered them over three to one. Somehow, as tired as they were from marching and fighting, they defended their position almost until sundown.

As Herron reluctantly started to consider surrender, he turned out to be the one rescued. Blunt’s Northerners had figured out that the sound of the guns was too much for mere cavalry, and came marching to the aid of their comrades. The Southerners turned to meet this new assault, and just managed to drive it back, ending the day’s fighting.


Casualties were heavy, and nearly even for the two sides. The Union lost about 1,250 men, and the Confederates 1,300. (There does not seem to be a breakdown of killed, wounded, and missing.) However, the Northern ranks were increased that night by the men who had fallen behind in the punishing three-day march. The Southerners, on the other hand, discovered that they had fired away nearly all of their ammunition during the battle. A retreat was in order.


In Tennessee, the Confederates did rather better. John Hunt Morgan, probably the third best Southern cavalryman after Stuart and Forrest, was on another raid. His force engaged the Union garrison at Hartsville, catching them by surprise in the early morning hours. The Yankees never managed to rally, and after losing over a third of their numbers killed and wounded, two or three hundred scattered and the rest surrendered. Morgan and his 1,300 troopers had virtually wiped out a force of about 2,400 men. They lost only 140 in return.

It was a brilliant feat, and upon Morgan's return to Murfreesboro he was personally promoted to brigadier general by President Davis, who happened to be visiting the area.


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< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 12/8/2012 12:43:03 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 #: 726
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/8/2012 5:08:44 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

In the aftermath of the battle of Prairie Grove, the Confederates discovered they needed more time to pull back. They had spent much of the night doing things like wrapping the wheels of their cannon with blankets so as to be able to move out quietly, but the lack of forage for the draft animals slowed matters considerably. Southern commander Hindman decided to ask for a truce to bury the dead and recover the wounded -- and to cover the retreat of his guns and wagons.

James Blunt, who was now in overall command of the united Northern forces, suspected the ruse immediately. But the reasons given were sound: wounded men were not only dying of blood loss but freezing to death in the December weather. Also, pigs from nearby farms were now wandering into the area between the lines and eating the corpses. The Union general allowed a short time -- one record says twenty minutes, but the six hours given elsewhere is more likely -- for both sides to care for their fallen.

Throughout the war, the Confederates took care to glean the battlefields for useful items like muskets, cartridge boxes, canteens, and above all the shoes that they were badly short of. The Yankees were having none of it this time, however: the Rebels who tried it were arrested and sent north as prisoners. General Hindman did not protest, for six hours of daylight was all he needed to evacuate his force. The Union cavalry had lost heavily the day before, and so would not be able to mount an effective pursuit.

_____________________________

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 #: 727
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/11/2012 5:02:22 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Not to be outdone by John Hunt Morgan, Nathan Bedford Forrest left Columbia, Tennessee, with a raiding force of cavalry. His objective: Ulysses S. Grant's line of communication and supply.


Union engineers finally began the construction of the long-delayed pontoon bridges at Fredricksburg. General Burnside had decided to attack straight-on into the town after flanking movements had been blocked, calculating that Lee would not expect it. Lee indeed had not expected such a move because it was so clearly foolish -- but that did not mean he hadn't prepared for it. His Army of Northern Virginia was well entrenched in the heights outside the town, and there was even a brigade of Mississippians in the houses of the town proper who opened a deadly fire of musketry on the bridge-builders. Even at 400 yards (366 m), man after man was shot down, and the construction came to a halt.

The Northern commander ordered his artillery to open fire on the town, reasoning that the Confederates would be forced to evacuate the houses they were firing from. After two hours and 8,000 shells, much of Fredericksburg was in flaming ruins. But when the bridge-building resumed, it was met with more bullets from behind the rubble. Finally, a group of volunteer Yankees crossed the river in boats, and engaged the Rebels hand-to-hand in the streets. Slowly the Southerners fell back, and the bridges were completed at dusk. The Army of the Potomac began to cross.





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 #: 728
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/11/2012 8:10:24 AM   
nicwb

 

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A nice ominous build up to the tragedy that is to follow......

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Post #: 729
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/12/2012 5:19:26 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

One wing of the Army of the Potomac occupied Fredericksburg. Shamefully, a number of Union soldiers broke into the houses left standing and began a rampage of looting and vandalism. Happily, most of the civilian population had evacuated by this time. Still, the level of destruction shocked a number of calmer Northern officers and men -- and nearly all of the Confederates watching from the heights beyond the town. The Southerners now had scores to settle.

Meanwhile, the left wing of the Federal army crossed on another set of pontoon bridges to the southeast of the town. They established themselves more quietly, but they were still under close observation by the section of the Confederate army under Stonewall Jackson. Union general Burnside surveyed the situation and came up with a plan -- but did not write it down in clear form and transmit it to his division commanders.


On the Yazoo River, the ironclad USS Cairo was steaming towards Haines Bluff, Mississippi. She went over a hidden mine or "torpedo". Confederates hidden behind a riverbank sent a signal through the wires, and the torpedo detonated. The Cairo took twelve minutes to sink, allowing all the officers and crew to get off safely, but the ironclad was lost -- the first warship to be sunk by an electrically fired mine.






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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 nicwb)
Post #: 730
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/13/2012 4:01:35 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

The day in Fredricksburg, Virginia, began cold and foggy, which would have been an excellent opportunity for the Federals to advance without major losses from Southern artillery. But the main attacks did not begin until 11:00, by which time the fog had mostly lifted.


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

At about 1:00 pm, a division of the left wing of the Union army charged Stonewall Jackson's line to the south of the town. There was an unforseen gap in the defenses: a patch of swampy woods where it had not been obvious that the Confederate lines did not meet. The bluecoats managed to find the gap and temporarily broke through the first Rebel line. But the commander of the Union wing, William B. Franklin, failed to commit further troops, though he had more than a full corps in reserve. Instead, Southern reinforcements piled in, including a force led by Jubal Early, who disobeyed Jackson's orders and put his men where he knew they were most needed. (Neither Jackson nor Lee paid any attention to the breach of discipline; in their eyes, a Confederate general could do little wrong marching his men to the sound of the guns.) The Northerners were driven back in disorder, and the Confederate counter-attack was only stopped by Union artillery.

Meanwhile, the Northern soldiers on the right wing in Fredricksburg proper had been trying to gain Marye's Heights on the far side of the town. But that part of the Southern army, under James Longstreet, was in a near-perfect defensive position. (Although they did not have Stonewall Jackson, they had an actual stone wall and a sunken road to fight behind, and plenty of artillery support.) After the first two assaults had failed, more Union troops began massing for another. Robert E. Lee was worried whether the heights could be held, but Longstreet assured him, "General, if you put every man on the other side of the Potomac on that field to approach me over the same line, and give me plenty of ammunition, I will kill them all before they reach my line."



Nonetheless, the Federals attacked again, and yet again. Men who had disgraced themselves the day before looting the houses of Fredricksburg now rose to the heights of bravery. For sheer willingness to face death, the charges at Fredricksburg were unsurpassed in the Civil War. Charge after charge was mounted into the storm of bullets and grapeshot, and all failed. Finally, after mounting an amazing total of 14 charges in all, falling darkness and the pleas of his subordinates convinced Ambrose Burnside to call off the fighting.

A reporter for the Cincinnati Commercial summed it up perfectly when he wrote, "It can hardly be in human nature for men to show more valor or generals to manifest less judgment, than were perceptible on our side that day."

Many historians consider Fredericksburg to be the worst battlefield defeat ever sustained by the U. S. Army. The Federal losses are given as 12,653 men: 1,284 killed, 9,600 wounded, and 1,769 missing or captured. The Confederate losses were less than half, though still serious enough: 5,377 total, of which 608 killed, 4,116 wounded, and 653 missing or captured.





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< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 12/13/2012 4:06:53 AM >

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Post #: 731
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/14/2012 3:57:04 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

A tiny Union victory was won by a force of 10,000 men under General John G. Foster. This force was marching inland from the Northern beach-head on the North Carolina coast, on its way to the railroad bridge at the town of Goldsboro. The Yankees drove back 4,000 Rebels at Kinston in Lenoir County, inflicting 525 casualties while losing 260 of their own.


But all eyes were still on Fredricksburg, Virginia, where both armies remained in place, watching the other. Union commander Burnside wanted to mount one more massed attack at Marye's Heights, and to lead the charge personally. This was such a plainly lousy idea that even "Fighting Joe" Hooker spoke against it, in strong and insubordinate language. Finally, more diplomatic subordinates talked Burnside out of the plan.

Meanwhile, a Confederate Sergeant named Richard Rowland Kirkland was so appalled by the suffering of the Northern wounded in front of him that he gathered some canteens and went out in open daylight to give water. He had no flag of truce, for his commander had refused to grant it, fearing another Union move. But the Yankees saw plainly what Kirkland was doing and held their fire.



Eventually it became clear that the Northerners would do no more attacking, and the Southerners (with the exception of Stonewall Jackson) were content to hold their line. The Union command requested a truce to recover the wounded and bury the dead, which Lee granted.

The news of the Federal disaster reached Washington, causing confidence in the Lincoln administration to plummet. When the President was told the story of the carnage, he was distraught. "If there is a worse place than Hell," he said, "I am in it."



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< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 12/14/2012 8:30:28 PM >

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Post #: 732
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/16/2012 2:00:35 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Abraham Lincoln had incorporated into his cabinet three men who had believed in 1860 that they should be President rather than Lincoln. Simon Cameron had proved unequal to being Secretary of War, and had been dispatched as Ambassador to Russia. Secretary of State William Seward had become entirely loyal to Lincoln; in fact, he would never seek another office after he finally left his position in 1869. But Secretary of the Treasury Salmon Chase's ambition was undiminished.

Apparently jealous of the close relationship that now existed between Lincoln and Seward, Chase had been spreading rumors that Seward was the "power behind the throne", and that Lincoln depended so much on him that he was failing to consult the rest of the Cabinet. (Seward had attempted to occupy just such a position during the Fort Sumter crisis, but it would seem that a year and a half of war had convinced him he did not want the awful responsibility.) With the news from Fredricksburg convincing many that a major change was needed, Chase had an opportunity to remove his rival. On this date, a caucus was convened by the "Radical Republican" Senators, who voted 13-11 to for a resolution calling for Seward's resignation. The Cabinet crisis of 1862 had begun.




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 #: 733
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/17/2012 4:53:06 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

General John Foster's force of 10,000 Yankees reached the important railroad bridge at Goldsboro, North Carolina. Although the alarm had been raised by the fight at Kinston three days before, there was still only a small confederate garrison there. The Northerners easily drove the defenders away, and burned down the bridge.


Ulysses S. Grant put a stain upon his record. He had been maddened by the trading in cotton and other items in his theater, and he determined to do something about it. Noting that many of the traders were Jews, he had an order issued that would have had the effect of expelling all Jews from his entire department:


GENERAL ORDERS No. 11.
HDQRS. 13TH A. C., DEPT. OF THE TENN.,
Holly Springs, December 17, 1862.

The Jews, as a class violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department and also department orders, are hereby expelled from the department within twenty-four hours from the receipt of this order.
Post commanders will see that all of this class of people be furnished passes and required to leave, and any one returning after such notification will be arrested and held in confinement until an opportunity occurs of sending them out as prisoners, unless furnished with permit from headquarters.
No passes will be given these people to visit headquarters for the purpose of making personal application for trade permits.

By order of Maj. Gen. U.S. Grant:
JNO. A. RAWLINS,
Assistant Adjutant-General.


General-in-Chief Henry Halleck would rescind the order under President Lincoln's direction in January. (Grant repudiated the order later on, claiming that he had meant only Jewish "pedlars" and that his adjutant had made the order overly broad.)

_____________________________

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 #: 734
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/18/2012 5:11:43 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

The "Radical" Republican Senators sought not only to get rid of Secretary of State Seward, who they believed to be lukewarm on the abolition of slavery, but to bring President Lincoln more into line with their ideas of running the war. They selected a "Committee of Nine" to go to Lincoln and demand a re-organization of the Cabinet -- meaning that Seward was to be dismissed and that great questions would be decided by a majority vote of the Cabinet rather than by Lincoln alone. During a three-hour evening meeting at the White House, Lincoln sought to reassure the nine that "there had never been serious disagreements" among the Cabinet members, and that the rumors of Seward's exceptional influence were not true.

As the Senators finally left, Lincoln conveyed the feeling that he was pleased with the "tone and temper" of the conversation. In truth, it seems most likely that he knew he had only bought a little time. He had not revealed that Seward, not wishing to cause a rift between the President and the Senate, had already submitted his written resignation -- which Lincoln was hoping not to use. He would need to move quickly, however.


In Oxford, Mississippi, U. S. Grant got some bad news. Although the War Department had not wished him to learn of it, he had found out that Major General John McClernand was coming to Grant's area to take command of an expedition against Vicksburg. McClernand was a political general, and Grant regarded him as unqualified to lead such a move. (Grant was not alone in this judgement.) So, Grant had ordered W. T. Sherman to collect a force of about 35,000 men, sail down the Mississippi River with the help of the U. S. Navy's river squadron, and seize a lightly held Vicksburg while Grant engaged the Confederate army under John Pemberton as close to Oxford as could be managed. He hoped to do this before McClernand arrived on the scene. But on this date Grant received definite orders from Washington.

The directions were to divide his army into four corps, and give the largest one to McClernand, when he showed up, rather than Sherman. Grant was not at all happy about either the command arrangements or the delay, but orders were orders. He promptly wrote the necessary dispatches to Sherman and McClernand. However, the telegraph lines had not been extended to Oxford as yet, so the messages had to be sent by courier to the telegraph office further north.

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 12/18/2012 8:29:59 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 #: 735
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/19/2012 4:47:38 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

President Lincoln held a morning meeting with all members of the Cabinet except Seward. He told them of the Secretary of State's resignation letter, and the meeting with the Committeee of Nine. Saying that he "could not afford to lose" any of them, he proposed a joint meeting with the Committee of Nine later in the day. Secretary Chase objected, since such a meeting was likely to expose the rumors he had been spreading about Seward. But the remainder of the Cabinet agreed, and so the meeting was set.

Chase's fears came true. The evening meeting ran five long hours -- until 1 a.m. -- as nearly all the Cabinet members stated that they were generally working well together. (Secretary of War Stanton remained silent.) Lincoln even managed to get Chase to concede that Seward had suggested a change to strengthen the Emancipation Proclamation, which disproved the story that Seward was not really against slavery. At the end of the meeting, Lincoln asked the Committee of Nine whether they still wanted Seward to resign. Four still did, which was now a minority, but not small enough to end the Radical Republican agitation. More, Seward's written resignation was about to become public, and people would want to know why Lincoln had not yet either accepted or refused it.


At Memphis, Sherman and the first part of his force boarded their ships and headed down the Mississippi, escorted by acting Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter and his gunboat fleet. They had not received Grant's message informing them of the change of command.


< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 12/19/2012 8:34:38 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 #: 736
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/20/2012 2:07:14 AM   
Missouri_Rebel


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Such a remarkable thread. Fantastic job Capt.

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**Those who rob Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul
**A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have-Gerald Ford

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Post #: 737
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/20/2012 4:51:57 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Secretary of State Seward had a considerably better day. He received supportive visits from three of the other Cabinet members, including Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles, who had previously disliked him. But now the Cabinet was rallying round its own, for it had occurred to several that if the Senate could demand the dismissal of the Secretary of State, none of their jobs were safe.

Meanwhile, the "Committee of Nine" Republican Senators were now aware that Salmon Chase had been duplicitous. They gave the Secretary of the Treasury a grilling, and by the middle of the day he was feeling so put-upon that he wrote out his resignation and offered it to Lincoln. Lincoln all but snatched it out of his hands, announcing that the note "cuts the Gordian knot. I can now dispose of this subject without difficulty." As soon as Chase, left, the President wrote to both Chase and Seward:

Gentlemen:
You have respectively tendered me your resignations, as Secretary of State, and Secretary of the Treasury of the United States. I am apprised of the circumstances which may render this course personally desireable to each of you; but, after most anxious consideration, my deliberate judgment is, that the public interest does not admit of it. I therefore have to request that you will resume the duties of your Departments respectively.
Your Obt. Servt.
A. LINCOLN.



In the western theater, General Earl Van Dorn had not done well as an army leader, but he now showed himself an able cavalry commander. With 2,500 troopers, he got behind Grant’s lines and descended upon the main Union supply depot at Holly Springs. The garrison, commanded by an incompetent and frightened Colonel, soon surrendered.

Van Dorn and his men went through the standard procedure for capturing Union supply centers. First, the liquor was poured out onto the ground to prevent drunkenness among the men. Then, the Southerners helped themselves to the clothing, weapons, and ammunition, transforming themselves from threadbare to some of the best-equipped horse soldiers in America in short order. After taking what they could carry, the rest of the supplies along with the storage buildings were put to the torch or blown up. (There was no shortage of gunpowder for the work.) The one omission Van Dorn made was not to take the medical instruments and medicines. The value of what was destroyed came to over 1.5 million dollars, a staggering sum at the time.

On the same day, Nathan Bedford Forrest and another force of Confederate horsemen were doing work less spectacular but almost as damaging to the Union cause. They got onto the railroad to the north, and not only tore up miles of track but cut the telegraph lines as well. In Grant’s words:

"This cut me off from all communication with the north for more than a week, and it was more than two weeks before rations or forage could be issued from stores obtained in the regular way."
--The Personal Memoirs of General U. S. Grant


His first advance towards Vicksburg was at an end. Now it was a question of keeping his army from starving.




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 Missouri_Rebel)
Post #: 738
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/20/2012 6:03:48 AM   
nicwb

 

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quote:

["This cut me off from all communication with the north for more than a week, and it was more than two weeks before rations or forage could be issued from stores obtained in the regular way."

--The Personal Memoirs of General U. S. Grant
/quote]

I wonder how much of this influenced Grant's final approach to taking Vicksburg ?

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 739
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/22/2012 4:57:21 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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quote:

I wonder how much of this influenced Grant's final approach to taking Vicksburg ?


Quite a bit. And that conveniently leads to the next events, as described in Grant's memoirs:

I determined, therefore, to abandon my campaign into the interior with Columbus as a base, and returned to La Grange and Grand Junction destroying the road to my front and repairing the road to Memphis, making the Mississippi river the line over which to draw supplies. Pemberton was falling back at the same time...

(By which Grant meant that the Confederate army he had hoped to hold in place was now retreating back to Vicksburg -- and Grant had no way to warn Sherman.)

... my next order was to dispatch all the wagons we had, under proper escort, to collect and bring in all supplies of forage and food from a region of fifteen miles east and west of the road from our front back to Grand Junction, leaving two months' supplies for the families of those whose stores were taken. I was amazed at the quantity of supplies the country afforded. It showed that we could have subsisted off the country for two months instead of two weeks without going beyond the limits designated. This taught me a lesson which was taken advantage of later in the campaign when our army lived twenty days with the issue of only five days' rations by the commissary. Our loss of supplies was great at Holly Springs, but it was more than compensated for by those taken from the country and by the lesson taught...

...The news of the capture of Holly Springs and the destruction of our supplies caused much rejoicing among the people remaining in Oxford. They came with broad smiles on their faces, indicating intense joy, to ask what I was going to do now without anything for my soldiers to eat. I told them that I was not disturbed; that I had already sent troops and wagons to collect all the food and forage they could find for fifteen miles on each side of the road. Countenances soon changed, and so did the inquiry. The next was, "What are WE to do?" My response was that we had endeavored to feed ourselves from our own northern resources while visiting them; but their friends in gray had been uncivil enough to destroy what we had brought along, and it could not be expected that men, with arms in their hands, would starve in the midst of plenty.

--The Personal Memoirs of General U. S. Grant


< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 12/22/2012 4:59:29 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 nicwb)
Post #: 740
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/23/2012 7:53:17 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Although Benjamin Butler was no longer running New Orleans, the Southern wrath against him had not cooled. For one thing, his enlistment of "colored troops" was seen as an intolerable threat: the idea of armed blacks was anathema to to the Southern way of life. President Davis therefore took pen in hand and issued:

The following proclamation of the President is published for the information and guidance of all concerned therein:
By THE PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES.
A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas a communication was addressed on the 6th day of July last (1862) by General Robert E. Lee, acting under the instructions of the Secretary of War of the Confederate States of America, to General H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief of the U. S. Army, informing the latter that a report had reached this Government that William B. Mumford, a citizen of the Confederate States, had been executed by the U. S. authorities at New Orleans for having pulled down the U. S. flag in that city before its occupation by the forces of the United States,

[...]

And whereas the silence of the Government of the United States and its maintaining of said Butler in high office under its authority for many months after his commission of an act that can be viewed in no other light than as a deliberate murder, as well as of numerous other outrages and atrocities hereafter to be mentioned, afford evidence only too conclusive that the said Government sanctions the conduct of said Butler and is determined that he shall remain unpunished for his crimes:

Now therefore I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, and in their name do pronounce and declare the said Benjamin F. Butler to be a felon deserving of capital punishment. I do order that he be no longer considered or treated simply as a public enemy of the Confederate States of America but as an outlaw and common enemy of mankind, and that in the event of his capture the officer in command of the capturing force do cause him to be immediately executed by hanging; and I do further order that no commissioned officer of the United States taken captive shall be released on parole before exchange until the said Butler shall have met with due punishment for his crimes.

And whereas the hostilities waged against this Confederacy by the forces of the United States under the command of said Benjamin F. Butler have borne no resemblance to such warfare as is alone permissible by the rules of international law or the usages of civilization but have been characterized by repeated atrocities and outrages,

[...]

And finally the African slaves have not only been excited to insurrection by every license and encouragement but numbers of them have actually been armed for a servile war-a war in its nature far exceeding in horrors the most merciless atrocities of the savages . . . And whereas the President of the United States has by public and official declaration signified not only his approval of the effort to excite servile war within the Confederacy hut his intention to give aid and encouragement thereto if these independent States shall continue to refuse submission to a foreign power after the 1st day of January next, and has thus made known that all appeals to the laws of nations, the dictates of reason and the instincts of humanity would be addressed in vain to our enemies, and that they can be deterred from the commission of these crimes only by the terms of just retribution:

Now therefore I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America and acting by their authority, appealing to the Divine Judge in attestation that their conduct is not guided by the passion of revenge but that they reluctantly yield to the solemn duty of repressing by necessary severity crimes of which their citizens are the victims, do issue this my proclamation, and by virtue of my authority as Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of the Confederate States do order-

1. That all commissioned officers in the command of said Benjamin F. Butler be declared not entitled to be considered as soldiers engaged in honorable warfare but as robbers and criminals deserving death, and that they and each of them be whenever captured reserved for execution.

[...]

3. That all negro slaves captured in arms be at once delivered over to the executive authorities of the respective States to which they belong to be dealt with according to the laws of said States.

4. That the like orders be executed in all cases with respect to all commissioned officers of the United States when found serving in company with armed slaves in insurrection against the authorities of the different States of this Confederacy.

In testimony whereof I have signed these presents and caused the seal of the Confederate States of America to be affixed thereto at the city of Richmond on this 23d day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two.

[L. S.]
JEFF’N DAVIS.

By the President:
J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of State.


This represented a counter-move to part of the Emancipation Proclamation. The penalty for an armed slave insurrection throughout most of the South was death for both the blacks in revolt and any whites who assisted them. (This was the offense for which John Brown had been hanged.) A number of people began to wonder: would Lincoln follow through with Emancipation, if it meant death for captured Union officers? There was just over a week to go until it took effect.

_____________________________

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 #: 741
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/26/2012 5:24:20 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

The Union Army of the Cumberland under General William Rosecrans marched forth from Nashville, Tennessee. Lincoln had been urging Rosecrans to invade the eastern part of the state, where there were many supporters of the Union. But Rosecrans was a cautious general and had taken time to reorganize and re-supply his forces. Now, with nearly 82,000 men, he knew he had to move against the roughly 38,000-man Army of Tennessee under Braxton Bragg, or lose his job.

It was slow going, because Confederate cavalry harassed his supply lines. John Hunt Morgan, by now a veteran raider, was at work. This meant that the Northerners had to leave strong garrisons at each supply stop along the way, and their advantage in numbers decreased the more they advanced. Their destination was the city of Murfreesboro, almost exactly in the center of Tennessee, where Bragg was hoping to encamp his army for the winter. It was not the best place for a defensive position; further south would have given the advantage of being behind rivers. But Bragg was also under heavy political pressure: Richmond felt that too much of Tennessee had been yielded to the Federals already. He would not withdraw further without a fight.


Still hoping to seize Vicksburg quickly, William T. Sherman landed three divisions at a place called Johnson's Plantation on the Yazoo River. Much of the area surrounding Vicksburg was marsh or swamp, and the few paths to approach the city had been well fortified by the Confederates. With little ability to maneuver, Sherman hoped to smash through the defenses by weight of numbers.
map by Hal jespersen, www.posix.com/CW




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 12/26/2012 5:36:41 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 #: 742
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/29/2012 3:33:12 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

The time had come for W. T. Sherman to make the assault on the defenses leading to Vicksburg:

I determined to make a show of attack along the whole front, but to break across the bayou at the two points named, and gave general orders accordingly. I pointed out to General Morgan the place where he could pass the bayou, and he answered, "General, in ten minutes after you give the signal I'll be on those hills." He was to lead his division in person, and was to be supported by Steele's division. The front was very narrow, and immediately opposite, at the base of the hills about three hundred yards from the bayou, was a rebel battery, supported by an infantry force posted on the spurs of the hill behind. To draw attention from this, the real point of attack, I gave instructions to commence the attack at the flanks.
I went in person about a mile to the right rear of Morgan's position, at a place convenient to receive reports from all other parts of the line; and about noon of December 29th gave the orders and signal for the main attack. A heavy artillery-fire opened along our whole line, and was replied to by the rebel batteries, and soon the infantry-fire opened heavily, especially on A. J. Smith's front, and in front of General George W. Morgan. One brigade (DeCourcey's) of Morgan's troops crossed the bayou safely, but took to cover behind the bank, and could not be moved forward. Frank Blair's brigade, of Steele's division, in support, also crossed the bayou, passed over the space of level ground to the foot of the hills; but, being unsupported by Morgan, and meeting a very severe cross-fire of artillery, was staggered and gradually fell back, leaving about five hundred men behind, wounded and prisoners...


Grant, who was Sherman's close friend, wrote later that Sherman's failure needed no explanation. But evidently Sherman felt that it did:

This attack failed; and I have always felt that it was due to the failure of General G. W. Morgan to obey his orders, or to fulfill his promise made in person. Had he used with skill and boldness one of his brigades, in addition to that of Blair's, he could have made a lodgment on the bluff, which would have opened the door for our whole force to follow. Meantime the Sixth Missouri Infantry, at heavy loss, had also crossed the bayou at the narrow passage lower down, but could not ascend ...

The men of the Sixth Missouri actually scooped out with their hands caves in the bank, which sheltered them against the fire of the enemy, who, right over their heads, held their muskets outside the parapet vertically, and fired down. So critical was the position, that we could not recall the men till after dark, and then one at a time. Our loss had been pretty heavy, and we had accomplished nothing, and had inflicted little loss on our enemy. At first I intended to renew the assault, but soon became satisfied that, the enemy's attention having been drawn to the only two practicable points, it would prove too costly...
-- The Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman


Union losses were 208 killed, 1,005 wounded, and 563 captured/missing, while Confederate losses were only 63 killed, 134 wounded, and 10 missing. Vicksburg had now repelled attempts by water and by land. The description "The Gibraltar of the West" was looking more and more accurate.


_____________________________

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 #: 743
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/30/2012 3:17:14 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Off the North Carolina coast, the USS Rhode Island was towing the ironclad USS Monitor to Beaufort, to reinforce the Union blockading squadron. As happens in the Atlantic in December, the weather turned hostile. By evening the two ship were in gale conditions. The Monitor had never been designed to be an ocean-going vessel, and took on water faster than the pumps could deal with it. When the water began to drown the boiler fires, it was clear the ship was losing the battle to stay afloat. The distress signals went out to the Rhode Island.


In Tennessee, William Rosecrans' Union army had arrived at a place a little to the northwest of the town of Murfreesboro. The move was no secret to Confederate commander Braxton Bragg, who got his Army of the Tennessee ready to engage the Northerners. By an interesting coincidence, both Rosecrans and Bragg had come up with mirror-image battle plans. Come the morning, each would attack on the enemy's right, hoping to break through and get into their opponents' rear.

The two opposing forces camped as close as 700 yards (640 m) away, within shouting distance, or as it turned out, battle-of-the-bands distance. The Union musicians played "Yankee Doodle" and "Hail, Columbia", and the Confederates responded with "Dixie" and "The Bonnie Blue Flag". At last, one band started playing "Home Sweet Home", and the others joined in, followed by thousands of Northern and Southern soldiers singing across the lines.




Map by Hal Jespersen, www.cwmaps.com

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 12/31/2012 4:43:46 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 #: 744
RE: Civil War 150th - 12/31/2012 4:42:06 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Off the North Carolina coast, the rescue operation was underway for the crew of the USS Monitor. In the teeth of the gale, the boats from the USS Rhode Island embarked 46 officers and men, but the remaining sixteen were swept away and lost. At about 1:30 AM, the Monitor disappeared beneath the waves. Neither of the ships of the famed Monitor vs. Virginia (AKA Merrimac) fight had survived the year of 1862.



In Washington, President Lincoln signed the act approving the admission of West Virginia into the United States. Less attention was paid than would have been expected, because the act was conditional on the new state's Constitution being revised to abolish slavery. More, the talk of the town was whether Lincoln would actually go through with the Emancipation Proclamation. Northern morale was still despondent after the debacle at Fredricksburg. The Army of the Potomac was in poor shape, with desertions mounting and the state of its equipment surprisingly bad.


Nathan Bedford Forrest, at the head of 1,800 Rebel cavalrymen, was returning to southern Tennessee. The raid had cut off both railroad and telegraph communications for Grant's army, but superior Yankee forces were starting to converge. On this date, Forrest and his men ran into a Union infantry brigade under Colonel Cyrus L. Dunham at a place called Parker's Crossroads.

Forrest got the initiative. The Rebels unlimbered their horse artillery and drove the Northerners back. When the bluecoats found a place to make a stand, Forrest sent his troopers to hit their flanks. Matters were looking grim for the Union force, when a second infantry brigade showed up and the Southerners found themselves engaged from the front and the rear. "Charge 'em both ways," Forrest directed, and the Confederates did, opening up enough space to make their escape south towards Lexington, Tennessee. However, they sustained 500 casualties of all kinds (over a quarter of their force), while the Union lost about 240 men. Both sides claimed the encounter as a victory.


At Mufreesboro, Tennessee, much depended on which side moved first. Braxton Bragg was one of the most unpopular army leaders, but those under him at least knew that his orders were to be obeyed. He had his men armed and in formation before sunrise, and the Confederates launched a massive attack while most of the Federals were just preparing breakfast. For more than three hours the Battle of Stones River went fairly well for the South; the Union lines were pushed back three miles (5 km), and 28 guns and over 3,000 men were captured.

This time, however, the Yankees had three effective commanders on their side: Philip Sheridan, who would presently rise even higher, had suspected a Confederate attack and was one of the few division commanders who had his division awake and ready. At a tremendous cost in casualties, they slowed the Southern advance, which allowed William Rosecrans to give perhaps his finest performance as he rode along the lines, ordering men to where they were needed. His uniform was spattered with blood from cannonball having beheaded an aide near him, but his presence seemed to rally the Northerners. And George Thomas gave an early showing of why he may well have been the best defensive battlefield general on either side, folding his lines back almost like a jacknife and preventing the Southerners from getting into Rosecrans' rear. The breakthrough that Bragg wanted was not materializing.

The hinge of the "jacknife" was at a spot astride the railroad and turnpike called the Round Forest. Bragg believed that if the Northerners at this point could be broken, the entire defensive position would unravel. In the afternoon, he called up a division commanded by John C. Breckinridge, who had been Vice President under James Buchanan and a candidate for President in 1860. Breckinridge's men made a valiant attack, but were driven back but Union musket fire so intense that many soldiers plucked cotton from the nearby fields and stuffed it in their ears. The Southern momentum had been stopped.



Map by Hal Jespersen, www.cwmaps.com

The night of New Year's Eve brought a halt to the combat. Yankee and Rebel had fought with amazing determination: on a percentage basis, Stones River would be the bloodiest major battle of the entire Civil War. Though different accounts give different numbers, both sides seem to have lost about 30 percent of the men engaged, about 13,000 casualties for the North and 11,000 for the South. The Confederates had a slightly better claim to victory at the end of this day, for they had lost fewer men in absolute terms, and had taken possession of much of the contested ground. Bragg wired to Richmond: "The enemy has yielded his strong position and is falling back. We occupy [the] whole field and shall follow him … God has granted us a happy New Year.”

At a night-time council of war, some of the Union generals shared Bragg's belief, arguing for a retreat. However, George Thomas and Major General Thomas Crittenden argued strongly in favor of holding their ground, and Rosecrans agreed.

Attachment (2)

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 12/31/2012 4:47:53 AM >

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 745
RE: Civil War 150th - 1/1/2013 4:58:04 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

At the Stones River battlefield in Tennessee, very little happened. The Confederate commanders realized that the costly carnage of the day before had pushed the Federal army into a more compact defensive position, where they had the advantage of interior lines. They spent the day getting reports from cavalry and trying a probe or two, looking for a good place to attack the Yankees, but nothing recommended itself. As for the Northerners, they had prepared to receive an attack rather than to deliver one. They pushed forward one division on the Confederate right, but that ground was now unoccupied.


The day had arrived for Abraham Lincoln to either finalize or revoke his Emancipation Proclamation. Throughout North and South, and indeed much of the Western world, there was considerable doubt which way he would go. But not among those who knew him well. As Lincoln said, "I am a slow walker, but I never walk backwards."

The first copy of the Proclamation proved to have a printing error. It had to be sent back to the State Department for correction. In the meantime, Lincoln had a New Year's Day reception to attend. It was not until 2 p.m. that all was ready, and when he first sat down, Lincoln hesitated. Not because he was unsure: "If my name ever goes into history it will be for this act, and my whole soul is in it," he declared. But because his arm was so weary from hours of shaking hands, he had trouble keeping it steady. "If my hand trembles when I sign the proclamation, all who examine the document hereafter will say 'He hesitated'." He rested for a moment and then took up the pen again, slowly and carefully writing his name.

By the President of the United States of America:

A Proclamation.


Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

"That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

"That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States."

Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth), and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.

By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.



In Boston, Frederick Douglass was waiting for the news at Tremont Temple, not certain that Lincoln would keep his word. Nearby at the Music Hall, a crowd including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., was equally anxious. Nine o'clock in the evening came and went, and rumors began to fly that Mary Lincoln, who came from a slave-holding family, had convinced her husband to relent. (This was entirely untrue.) Finally, the word came from the telegraph office, "It is coming! It is on the wires!" At both the Temple and the Music Hall, the crowd erupted with shouts of joy, and celebrated through the night.

Some historians have written that since the Proclamation only applied where the Union could not enforce it, it did not actually free a single slave. This is not correct; the proclamation immediately changed the legal status of at least 20,000 "contrabands" on the Northern-held islands off the Eastern seaboard to free men and women. But whatever others might think, in the eyes of the black population of the South, the flag of the Union was now the flag of freedom. Wherever it advanced, it would liberate slaves. They were now willing to take the risk of telling Northern soldiers what they knew about local roads and nearby Confederate troops.


On this particular date, however, the Union lost ground. Major General "Prince John" Magruder had been effectively exiled from Virginia to Texas, but he was still determined to do his part for the Southern cause. He put together one of the Confederacy's very few combined land and sea assaults against the Union forces occupying the port of Galveston. Two Rebel "cotton-clads", the CSS Bayou City and the CSS Neptune, engaged the Northern squadron of six gunboats. In the meantime, a force of Texas Rangers and other Confederate infantry attacked the Union land garrison.

The Neptune was quickly put out of action, and eventually sank. But the Bayou City went alongside the Union gunboat USS Harriet Lane, boarded, and captured her. While manuevering, the USS Westfield ran aground on a sandbar. Panicking lest he suffer two captured ships, Union Fleet Commander William B. Renshaw ordered the Westfield to be blown up. The powder detonated prematurely, killing Renshaw and several others.

The explosion seems to have convinced the Yankees ashore that they were being abandoned, and they surrendered. With the shore batteries now in Confederate hands, and their leader dead, the remaining four Northern gunboats turned the suspicion into fact, and set sail for New Orleans.

Galveston would remain in Southern hands for the rest of the war.





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Post #: 746
RE: Civil War 150th - 1/2/2013 2:24:11 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Near Vicksburg, Sherman and his men had heard trains arriving with more reinforcements for the Southerners. Sherman hoped that Grant's army was following closely, and that the Northerners would soon have Vicksburg surrounded. But on this date he got word that General John McClernand had arrived in the area to take over command. Sherman boarded a tug-boat, met with McClernand, and learned of the Union disaster at Holly Springs and Grant's pulling back. And yes, McClernand was taking over, on the authority of Lincoln himself.

For the moment it made little difference. McClernand had got his position by politics rather than military experience, but even he could read a map. Both generals saw that the Union forces had no chance to successfully attack in that area against anything like equal numbers.


At Stones River, Tennessee, Confederate commander Braxton Bragg decided that the Union advance of the day before would have to be corrected. Once again General John Breckinridge and his men were the unlucky force selected to attack. Breckinridge objected at first, believing that the assault would be suicidal, but was eventually persuaded that the potential gain was worth the risk.

Breckinridge did not do things by halves. It took until 4:00 in the afternoon, but he put together a well-coordinated and powerful charge that pushed the Yankees off the hill they had occupied. But then the Rebels found that they were exposed to the fire of four dozen Northern cannon, perfectly sited and manned by expert artillerymen. After nearly half an hour of pounding, the Southerners could not withstand a counter-charge from the Union infantrymen. The Confederates ended up back where they started, minus 1,800 casualties. Especially hard-hit was a brigade from Kentucky, referred to as the "Orphan Brigade" because Kentucky was now firmly in Northern hands. Breckinridge was devastated by the losses, and he and his fellow officers grew to detest Bragg even more.



Map by Hal Jespersen, www.cwmaps.com


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< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 1/2/2013 8:32:45 PM >

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Post #: 747
RE: Civil War 150th - 1/3/2013 8:48:11 PM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 4218
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
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150 Years Ago Today:

Near Stones River, Tennessee, Confederate commander Braxton Bragg had two conflicting reports. His cavalry told him that the opposing Union army was receiving reinforcements, and that eventually he might be outnumbered by three to one. But a general who had been on the front lines strongly denied it: if there were more Yankees coming in, they were only a trickle.

Both were partly right. A large wagon train guarded by 1,500 bluecoats, too strong for the Rebel cavalry to disrupt, had indeed arrived. Those were the only new soldiers, and 1,500 men were scarcely enough to affect the balance between the Union and Confederate forces. But what the wagon train had brought was almost as important: food and ammunition. Morale in the Union ranks went up enough so that even the opposition could notice it. In the meantime, the tremendous losses of the fighting sank in for the Confederates. A muster-roll showed that only three out of Bragg's twenty infantry brigades were still fit for further action.

Bragg decided to retreat. And which side retreated was considered to be the ultimate standard by which battles were judged lost or won. The North could now claim a victory, and, in the wake of the uproar over the Emancipation Proclamation, seldom would it need one more. In a letter to general Rosecrans that August, Lincoln would write "I can never forget whilst I remember anything, that about the end of last year and the beginning of this, you gave us a hard-earned victory, which, had there been a defeat instead, the nation could hardly have lived over. Neither can I forget the check you so opportunely gave to a dangerous sentiment which was spreading in the North."

_____________________________

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 #: 748
RE: Civil War 150th - 1/4/2013 8:33:49 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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From: Los Angeles
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150 Years Ago Today:

A Jewish merchant named Cesar Kaskel had found himself turned out from his business and home by Grant's shameful General Order No. 11, expelling all Jews in his department. Kaskel had sent a telegram of protest to the War Department in Washington, which had suffered the usual bureaucratic fate of being stuck in a pile of papers and then ignored. Guessing this, Kaskel went to Washington personally, gathering several other Jewish supporters along with him.

On this date, Kaskel and his delegation were received at the White House, and saw President Lincoln in person. The story, which has very likely been inflated, goes that Kaskel concluded his appeal with, "and that is why we have come unto Father Abraham’s bosom, asking protection.”

"And this protection they shall have at once." Lincoln is alleged to have replied. But even if the words actually spoken were more prosaic, Lincoln did indeed act promptly. He ordered to General-in-chief Halleck to in turn order Grant to immediately revoke the order. The telegram went out the same day.




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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 #: 749
RE: Civil War 150th - 1/5/2013 8:31:51 PM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 4218
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
150 Years Ago Today:

W. T. Sherman was not happy about having a new boss in the person of Major General John McClernand, but for the moment they both agreed that it would be a shameful waste for the force of over 30,000 men to go all the way back to Memphis without having accomplished anything. News had arrived that a Confederate gunboat had seized a Yankee supply vessel on the Mississippi, and taken it up the Yazoo river to a place called Arkansas Post. Here the Southerners had built a substantial fort, and the one man who had escaped from capture reported (correctly) that there were thousands of Rebel troops posted there. Here was a threat to the rear that it would be wise to eliminate, and potential fame to be won.

Just after midnight on this date, Sherman and McClernand met with Admiral Porter to discuss if an expedition against the fort was practical. Porter was curt at first, and Sherman took him aside for a few minutes and learned that Porter and McClernand had met in Washington, and Porter had quickly acquired a strong dislike of the political general. Sherman implored Porter to be civil for the sake of the Union cause, and Porter said that he would try. Porter's ironclads were low on coal, but if they could be towed up the Yazoo, they had plenty of shells for their guns. However, Porter was not willing to trust his ships under those conditions to a subordinate, so he offered to command the naval part of the expedition in person. Sherman had expected to be sent up the Yazoo independently, but McClernand was anxious to win glory for himself. It was finally agreed that all three would go, and bring nearly the entire army and fleet with them.

One problem which was apparently not discussed was that of authority. McClernand had at first been given an independent command, but Grant had wired to Washington and put a stop to that, ensuring that McClernand was under him. McClernand's authority was to operate against Vicksburg. He had no orders to go into Arkansas, and indeed even Grant himself would not have had the authority, because Arkansas was on the other side of the Mississippi and in the department of one Samuel Curtis. If the expedition failed, McClernand and Sherman might well be court-martialed. It was a high-stakes gamble, and there were some fairly large egos ready to make trouble.




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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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