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 IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862

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Date d'inscription : 29/06/2006

MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Jeu 17 Mai - 6:31

Halleck Reorganizes, Grant Made Second-in-Command; Farragut Finishes in New Orleans

April 30, 1862 (Wednesday)



Union General Henry Halleck, commanding the Department of the Mississippi, had taken a steamer from his headquarters in St. Louis to the battlefield at Shiloh, where the Army of the Tennessee and Army of the Ohio, commanded by Generals Grant and Buell, respectively, had been victorious. In the span since the battle, both armies had been joined by the also victorious Army of the Mississippi, under General Pope. Together, they totaled over 100,000 men.

Upon his arrival on April 10th, Halleck immediately set his mind to not only reorganizing and revitalizing the three armies, but also combining. Finally, on April 28th, he released his Special Field Orders, No. 31. The three armies would become corps of one large army. General Grant’s Army would become the First Corps and Halleck’s right wing. Buell’s force would make up the center, while Pope’s would hold the left.

The order also urged discipline, the distribution of ammunition and limiting wagons to thirteen per regiment. As the sick lists were growing larger, Halleck also ordered that before each meal, the food be inspected by a company officer. In fact, of the five paragraphs contained in Special Field Orders, No. 31, the one concerning food was the largest.1

It was the first paragraph, however, that was of primary importance, and on this date, it was expounded upon. In two days, Grant went from command of the right wing to Halleck’s second-in-command. General George Thomas’ Division was moved from the Army of the Ohio to the Army of the Tennessee. Thomas replaced Grant as wing commander. Sort of.


The role as Halleck’s second-in-command was only temporary during the coming move upon the Rebels at Corinth. Grant would still retain command of the Army of the Tennessee.2

While the changes would be enacted the following day, General Buell was already feeling slighted as Thomas’ Division had been part of his command. The move left him with only three divisions, while Thomas, formerly Buell’s subordinate, now commanding the right wing, had five. “You must excuse me for saying that,” wrote Buell to Halleck upon reading the new orders, “as it seems to me, you have saved the feelings of others very much to my injury.”3


Though Buell might protest, the change is most remembered as a slight to Grant, though at first, it didn’t seem so. Grant had been promoted from commander of a third of the army to second-in-command of the entire army. Halleck thought it best that, with the new position, Grant move his headquarters closer to his own (Halleck’s). This led Grant to believe that the promotion would have real battlefield uses.4 Grant’s only gripe thus far was that neither Buell nor Pope had sent the reports from their commands through him, but rather sent them straight to Halleck. In consequence, Grant refused to send in any reports at all. Halleck said that he understood, but really just wanted to get all of the reports off to Washington before moving the entire army south. Grant capitulated and the drama was, so far, averted.

Moving south was, of course, the goal. Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard and roughly 40,000 troops were hunkered down in Corinth, Mississippi, two day’s march away. Since the Battle of Shiloh, the roads south had been improved and reconnoitered. Though parts of the army, mainly Pope’s forces, had moved out, the main body would move in two days.5

__________________

Farragut Puts an End to His Drama

While drama was averted near Shiloh, it was amping itself up in New Orleans. The Mayor had refused to take down the Louisiana state flag, and so Flag Officer David Farragut threatened to bombard the city. In turn, the Mayor reasoned that if he could easily destroy a city, he could more easily take down a flag. Also, he accused Farragut of wanting to murder the city’s women and children.

Having had about enough of this Mayor fellow, Farragut cut him off. Of the accusation, Farragut replied that the Mayor thought it “proper to construe into a determination on my part to murder your women and children, and made your letter so offensive that it will terminate our intercourse.” In short, Farragut was finished.


General Benjamin Butler had returned to his men, stationed near the recently-surrendered Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and would soon be bringing them to New Orleans. When Butler arrived, Farragut planned to “turn over the charge of the city to him and assume my naval duties.”6

There was also another bit of drama that Farragut needed to clear up. When he threatened to bombard the city, the foreign consuls of at least nine different countries, including England, France, and Spain, protested, telling him that it wouldn’t look so good on the world stage if he bombarded a city that had no military to defend it.

The consuls accused Farragut of threatening to bombard the city without cause. Farragut replied that he had expressed no such idea. He was merely trying to protect his men. Also, he “would not permit any flag opposed to my Government to fly in the city while I had the power to prevent it.”

The previous day, he had sent 250 marines with two pieces of artillery into New Orleans to remove the offending flag from City Hall, while running up a United States flag over the Custom House. “It is with great pleasure,” Farragut assured the consuls, “that I anticipate no further difficulty or inconvenience to your families from my acts.”

The drama was abated, insisted Farragut. All he wanted was for the state flag of Louisiana to be hauled down. “The authorities confessed their inability to do it, and I did it for them.”7

*Here’s a little quiz. The story behind Grant’s portrait is a fun one. Can you tell us what it is? The only prize is one pat on the back, which you will have to administer to yourself, if and only if, you get the correct answer. It’s not much, but it’s better than a slap on the belly with a wet trout.


Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 10, Part 2, p138-139. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 10, Part 2, p144. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 10, Part 2, p143. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 52, Part 1, p245. [↩]
Personal Memoirs by Ulysses S. Grant, C.L. Webster & Co., 1885. There are several dates given by authors for the start of Halleck’s move south. While it started earlier, the full army wasn’t on the move until May 2nd that things really got moving. Most authors just haze over it, picking up again sometime during the march. [↩]
Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p236. [↩]
Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p240-241. [↩]


Related posts:

Running Out Of Time, Halleck Orders Grant to Take Fort Henry

Henry Halleck and His Growing German Problem; Grant Steps Off

General Grant Removed from Command for Insubordination!

General Grant Officially Restored to Field Command; Sherman All Wet

Rebel Flags Hauled Down in New Orleans; Plans in the Shenandoah

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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Jeu 17 Mai - 6:28

Rebel Flags Hauled Down in New Orleans; Plans in the Shenandoah

April 29, 1862 (Tuesday)



Union Flag Officer David Farragut was again taking his title quite literally. He had threatened to bombard the city of New Orleans if United States flags were not flying over City Hall, the Mint and the Custom House by the following day. The city was without military defenses, and the Mayor proposed that since New Orleans was undefended, couldn’t Farragut simply remove the offending flags, replacing them with the stars and stripes himself? Certainly, if an army could level a city, they could much more easily run up a handful of banners.

While considering the Mayor’s position, Farragut admitted that he knew little of international law. When he informed the Mayor of the ultimatum, he also sent a letter to the foreign consuls within the city, letting them know that New Orleans could be bombarded at any time. Though the Flag Officer was unaware of international law, the foreign consuls were well versed on the matter.

Together, consuls from England, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Russia, Portugal, and Brazil, wrote to Farragut demanding an audience with the Union officer “before you proceed from the threat of a bombardment to the realization of such an unheard of act against a town of open commerce without military defenses of any kind and virtually surrendered by the municipal authorities.”


To make matters even worse, France had dispatched the gunboat Milan to New Orleans so that the French interests in the city could be protected. She arrived just after Farragut, and with his threat to bombard the town, her commander, George-Charles Cloué, was irate.

Of the forty-eight hours notice Farragut gave to the Mayor, Cloué had little nice to relate. “I venture to observe to you that this short delay is ridiculous, and, in the name of my Government, I oppose it,” wrote the French captain to Farragut. “If it is your resolution to bombard the city, do it; but I wish to state that you will have to account for this barbarous act to the Power which I represent.”1

With threats and grumblings from a whole slew of European countries, Farragut was counting the hours until General Benjamin Butler and his 5,000 troops showed up. Butler had spent the night with the fleet, but had went back down the river to fetch his men. They would be along the following day.

Probably growing tired of waiting for them, and definitely wanting the whole flag problem to disappear, Farragut sent ashore 250 marines and two howitzers to formally take control of the city. As they marched to the Custom House, the crowds flung insults and epithets at the Federals troops. But when they drew into line, flanked by their two artillery pieces, they fell silent.

Three officers entered the building, walked up the stairs to the flagstaff, and ran up the flag of the United States. They then marched to City Hall, where they gave the Mayor the opportunity to lower his own state flag, but he declined. The Federal officers made quick work as thousands clamored around them. They did not, however, replace it with the United States flag, as City Hall was not United States property. They do not appear to have visited the Mint.

A detachment of Marines were left behind to guard the flag at the Custom House until Butler arrived with his troops.2

__________________

Plans in the Shenandoah

This late April day in the Shenandoah Valley was one of speculation and wonderment as both Union General Nathaniel Banks and Confederate General Stonewall Jackson contemplated their next move. For each General, their ideas said much about their character.


General Banks, commanding 19,000, had been absolutely certain that Jackson had left the Valley. Jackson, commanding almost 8,000, was hiding out at Swift Run Gap, and knew the exact location of Banks.

In the days since his absolute certainty, General Banks had retreated to a more believable position that Jackson was about to leave. He even went as far as to divide up the Valley between his command and the command of General John C. Fremont, ten or so miles outside of Staunton. If Jackson was not already leaving, then Banks could make him leave or destroy him.

In truth, all of this would take time. Fremont’s army, based out of the Mountain Department of Western Virginia, was scattered. Only around 3,000 troops were near Staunton, the rest were spread thin throughout the mountains, though Fremont was quickly gathering them up.3

In an even greater truth, Stonewall Jackson had no plans to retreat. On this date, he proposed three different actions that he could take. Of the three, none proposed the abandonment of the Shenandoah Valley. While Jackson’s force of 8,000 held Swift Run Gap, an equal number under General Ewell were on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, within a day’s march of Jackson. Over 3,000 troops under General “Allegheny” Johnson held Staunton to the southwest. The Union troops held Harrisonburg to the north.

As Banks had suspected Jackson would make no offensive moves, Jackson believed Banks would never attack him. It was up to Jackson to bring on the battle.

Jackson’s first idea was to call Ewell west, across the Blue Ridge, while he (Jackson) reinforced Johnson at Staunton, where he’d whip Fremont’s troops, as Ewell kept Banks in check. The second was to allow Johnson to keep Fremont in check, while Jackson and Ewell combined in attacking Banks where he stood. His third idea, which made no mention of either Johnson or Ewell, was to move north and threaten Winchester, which would draw Banks out of the deeper portions of the Valley.

Of the three, Jackson preferred the first. If he and Johnson defeated Fremont, they could combine with Ewell (and hopefully some reinforcements from Richmond) to fall upon Banks. Once that was accomplished, they could leave the Valley to continue their victorious ways.4

Jackson wrote out the plans for General Robert E. Lee, in Richmond, but must have already had his preference in mind, as Ewell’s force was currently making their climb over the Blue Ridge Mountains. They would arrive at Swift Run Gap at evening the following day.5


Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p238-239. Farragut wrote separately to the English Consul. [↩]
Battles and Leaders, Vol. 2, p93-94. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 12, Part 3, p112-114. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 12, Part 3, p872. [↩]
Make Me A Map Of The Valley by Jedediah Hotchkiss, Southern Methodist University, 1973. [↩]


Related posts:

Hunting Jackson in the Shenandoah

Preparing to Attack and Defend New Orleans

New Orleans Not Quite Surrendered to the Union

The City is Yours by the Power of Brutal Force: Still No Surrender at New Orleans

The Surrender of Forts Jackson and St. Philip; New Orleans Still Holds Out

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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Jeu 17 Mai - 6:23

The Surrender of Forts Jackson and St. Philip; New Orleans Still Holds Out

April 28, 1862 (Monday)


Half of his men had deserted. The guns had been spiked and many of the gunboats destroyed. Confederate General Johnson Duncan, commander of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, was a beaten man. Those soldiers who remained at the forts were completely demoralized. Before the Union fleet, under Flag Officer David Farragut, had run past the forts towards New Orleans, they had been subjected to days of days of fiery bombardments. Since the enemy fleet reached New Orleans, rumors of its fall spread through the garrison.

On the morning of this date, General Duncan called together his officers. He first met with Captain Mitchell, commander of the Confederate Navy near the forts. Mitchell, who now commanded only the feared, but never fully completed ironclad, CSS Louisiana, was indignant. He claimed that the Louisiana would possibly be ready to move on her own power later in the day. If the forts were surrendered, he and his crew would be without support. Disgruntled, Mitchell returned to his craft.

Next came the officers from Fort St. Philip. Though none of their men had revolted, it was pretty clear that the possibility was there. With the situation appearing grim, they agreed that there was nothing more to do but surrender. With that, Duncan sent word to Captain David Porter, Union commander of the mortar boat fleet just south of the forts.1

“Upon mature deliberation it has been decided to accept the terms of surrender of these forts under the conditions offered by you in your letter of the 26th instant, viz, that the officers and men shall be paroled, officers retiring with their side-arms. We have no control over the vessels afloat.”2


The control over the vessels afloat was, of course, Captain Mitchell’s. While Duncan and the officers from Fort St. Philip were deliberating, he met with his officers aboard the Louisiana. In his report, which differs greatly from Duncan’s, Mitchell claimed that the letter offering surrender had already been sent by the time he first met with Duncan. Furious over the offer, he and his officers decided that there was nothing else to do but destroy the Louisiana. She couldn’t be driven under her own power, but even is she could be made ready, the Federals controlled the river to the south and to the north. There was no escape.3

As Mitchell and his men were preparing their ship for the torch, Captain Porter received Duncan’s message and was steaming towards the fort in the USS Harriet Lane. The Federals sent a ship for Duncan and his officers (which did not include Mitchell). They gathered in the cabin of Porter’s flag ship to work out the details of the surrender. One of the points that Duncan made sure was clear from the beginning was that the naval ships weren’t to be included in the surrender. No ships, or anything of a naval nature were included in the official document.

As the articles of capitulation were put on paper and signed, an officer came below and told Porter that the Rebels had set the Louisiana on fire. Duncan and the other Rebel officers protested, telling Porter that they weren’t responsible for anything the naval officers were up to.


Soon, and not surprisingly, the fire burned through the tethers lashing her to the shore and she began to drift down river, towards the Union fleet. They prepared for the worst, as the Louisiana floated towards them, the heat of the flames touched off her sixteen guns, which had been mysteriously loaded. As the fully-engulfed craft moved closer, if also pushed towards Fort St. Philip, where it exploded in a massive fury, sending shreds of iron into the fort, killing one of the Confederates.


After the meeting adjourned, the flags of both forts were lowered and the United States flags raised aloft. The officers and men of the forts were taken to New Orleans over the next couple of days.

With the surrender in the books, Porter turned to the capture of Captain Mitchell, who was still near the landing where the Louisiana had, until recently, been docked. He and his crew were quickly arrested and offered only an unconditional surrender.4

Sixty miles north, in New Orleans, Flag Officer Farragut looked out over the city and saw the flag of the State of Louisiana still floating above City Hall. Farragut had ordered that the flags over not just City Hall, but the Mint and the Custom House be replaced with United States flags. In writing to the mayor, he threatened to unleash his artillery upon the city, focusing upon the levees, which would flood the streets, causing immeasurable damage. Farragut gave him forty-eight hours to either replace the flags or remove the women and children.

Once he received Farragut’s demand, he countered with a bit of logic: “If it is deemed necessary to remove the flag now floating from this building, or to raise United States flags on others, the power which threatens the destruction of our city is certainly capable of performing those acts.”


“Sir, you can not but know that there is no possible exit from this city for a population which still exceeds in number 140,000, and you must therefore be aware of the utter insanity of such a notification. Our women and children can not escape from your shells if it be your pleasure to murder them on a question of mere etiquette; but if they could, there are but few among them who would consent to desert their families and their homes and the graves of their relations in so awful a moment. They would bravely stand the sight of your shells rolling over the bones of those who were once dear to them, and would deem that they died not ingloriously by the side of the tombs erected by their piety to the memory of departed relatives.”

Farragut did not reply to either of the letters, allowing his threat to bombard the city within forty-eight hours stand on its own.5

He was also still waiting on General Benjamin Butler and his force of infantry. They had moved a few miles north of the forts and set up camp, but he had heard nothing of them since. Around 1pm, Butler arrived in New Orleans, his troops being left behind. He met with Farragut and even stayed the night.6

While they talked over the incidents that had occurred since the Federals unofficially captured New Orleans, Farragut told Butler about the man who tore down the United States flag that a few naval officers had run up over the Mint.

“I will make an example of that fellow by hanging him,” exclaimed Butler.

Farragut smiled and said, “You know, General, you will have to catch him before you can hang him.”

“I know that,” replied Butler, “but I will catch him, and then hang him.”7


Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p532. Duncan’s Report. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p544. [↩]
Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p299. Mitchell’s Report. [↩]
Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p369-371. Porter’s Report. Also, the articles of capitulation can be found in Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p544-545. [↩]
Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p232-235. [↩]
Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p697. [↩]
Battles and Leaders, Vol. 2. p93. [↩]


Related posts:

Preparing to Attack and Defend New Orleans

Forts Jackson and St. Philip Bombarded by Union Gunboats!

Unable to Co-operate, the Rebels Try to Prepare for the Union Attack on Fort Jackson

New Orleans Not Quite Surrendered to the Union

The City is Yours by the Power of Brutal Force: Still No Surrender at New Orleans

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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Mar 15 Mai - 22:28

Mutiny at Fort Jackson! Stonewall Expects too Much of his Foes

April 27, 1862 (Sunday)

Way down south, at Forts Jackson and St. Philip, the Rebels had not yet surrendered to Captain David Porter, who commanded the fleet of mortar boats on the lower Mississippi River. Porter had demanded the surrender of the forts on April 24th, just after Farragut had steamed his fleet towards New Orleans. General Johnson Duncan declined the offer.

Inside the forts, there was much confusion. All communication with New Orleans had been cut off, and so everyone was in the dark over whether the city had fallen (it had not, at least, not officially). The Federal guns were silent on the 25th and 26th, as the Rebels made repairs and modifications to their defenses.

Around noon on this date, General Duncan saw a gunboat under a flag of truce steam towards the forts. It contained another demand for surrender (oddly dated the 26th). In it, Porter informed Duncan that New Orleans had fallen (a half-truth) and that the Confederate forces inside the forts were completely cut off.


“No man could consider it dishonorable to surrender under these circumstances, especially when no advantage can arise by longer holding out, and by yielding gracefully he can save the further effusion of blood,” assured Porter. “You have defended the forts gallantly, and no more can be asked of you.”

Duncan replied, through his second-in-command, that he had heard nothing official from New Orleans, and until he had, there was no way that he could surrender.1

There was also no way that anything official could get through from New Orleans. By this date, the forts were entirely invested. Though Porter’s word wasn’t enough for Duncan, it appeared to have leaked out and been enough for the troops garrisoning Fort Jackson.

The thought of being cut off from the city and being at the mercy of the Federals sent them into a mutinous frenzy. Seeing that he was about to lose control of his men, most of whom were of foreign blood and were believed to not really care one way or the other about the war’s outcome, Duncan jotted down some words of encouragement (mostly adverbs), hoping to quell their unrest:

“You have nobly, gallantly, and heroically sustained with courage and fortitude the terrible ordeals of fire, water, and a hail of shot and shell wholly unsurpassed during the present war. [...] Your officers have every confidence in your courage and patriotism, and feel every assurance that you will cheerfully and with alacrity obey all orders and do your whole duty as men and as becomes the well-tried garrisons of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip. Be vigilant, therefore, and stand by your guns, and all will yet be well.”2


At first, it seemed to be working. The men returned to a bit of quiet and, as the evening passed into night, Duncan and his officers must have breathed a hearty sigh of relief.

At midnight, however, all hell broke loose. The garrison revolted, almost to a man. They reversed some of the artillery pieces, spiked the rest, grabbed their guns and simply walked out of the fort. The men knew it was hopeless. They believed that New Orleans had fallen, that the forts were surrounded, and that their officers were too stubborn to surrender until the very end, which would prove to be mere butchery.

Though several tried to stop them, nearly half of the garrison of Fort Jackson left. With them, they took not only the hope of defeating the Federals, but also the small boats used to communicate with Fort St. Philip. With Union troops above and below the forts, and so few of his men left, Duncan finally realized that his only course of action was to wait until dawn and surrender.3


__________________

Confusion in the Shenandoah Valley


General Stonewall Jackson’s army of 8,000 were still squirreled away behind Massanutten Mountain, at Swift Run Gap. Union General Nathaniel Banks, who had been absolutely certain that Jackson had left the Shenandoah Valley, was beginning to think otherwise. To deal with Jackson, something Banks hadn’t really done since the battle of Kernstown, well over a month ago, he wished to co-operate his army of 19,000 with that of General John C. Fremont’s, 20,000-strong.4

General Fremont’s Army of the Mountain Division, had moved from Western Virginia towards Staunton, which was held by 3,000 Rebels under General “Allegheny” Johnson. To deal with Johnson, Fremont sent 6,000 of his men under General Robert Milroy, holding back his main force for a possible link up with Banks.

There was, of course, a problem. President Lincoln was growing increasingly worried about matters to the front of Washington. General Banks had reported again and again that Jackson had left the Valley. With Jackson supposedly on the loose and General Ewell’s 8,000 Rebel troops somewhere east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Banks might just be a bit too far south.



“In the present state of things it is not the desire of the President that you should prosecute a farther advance toward the south,” wrote Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. “You are requested to consider whether you are not already making too wide a separation between the body of troops under your immediate command and your supporting force.” That was indeed a possibility. Banks was the only force in the Shenandoah Valley. And though Fremont was close by, he had his own supply lines to worry about. “It is possible that events may make it necessary to transfer the command of General Shields to the Department of the Rappahannock,” warned Stanton in closing.5

Banks received the dispatch on this date and replied. He had two brigades at Harrisonburg, a brigade between Harrisburg and New Market, and the rest of his army at New Market itself. Previously, Banks had complained that his supplies were not coming through like he had hoped, but, perhaps to put a better light on how far south he’d traveled, he assured Washington that, “our supplies are in improving condition.”6

General Fremont, who didn’t know that Washington was contemplating a pull back by Banks, was eager to link up. “The movement is right,” he wrote Banks, “the force could be rapidly concentrated.” Like Banks, who had believed Jackson had left his front, Fremont believed that there were “no troops of the enemy in or about Staunton.” At this point, they both probably believed that Johnson was falling back to reinforce Jackson.7


But that was not the case. Though Lee had suggested that Johnson fall back towards Jackson, his troops were still holding Staunton. On the 26th, the advance Union pickets had pushed back Jackson’s pickets, causing him to suspect that Banks might attack. In case of this eventuality, he ordered General Ewell to advance his troops closer to the mountains and thus closer to Jackson. Dispatches were having a hard time getting over the pass to Ewell, and so Jackson wrote him at least three different times that he should encamp on the western side of Standardsville, and move as close to Swift Run Gap as possible, without overtaxing his men. Johnson’s command at Staunton would be unaffected by this move.8

So, as Jackson prepared for an attack, Banks prepared for the possibility of a retreat. As Fremont (via Gen. Milroy) advanced towards Staunton, he suspected nothing at all in his front.




Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p531; 543-544. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p544. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p531-532. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 12, Part 3, p106. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 12, Part 3, p106-107. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 12, Part 3, p110. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 12, Part 3, p112. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 12, Part 3, p868; 871. [↩]

Related posts:
Albert Sidney Johnston Expects Too Much From His Foes
Fort Henry Falls to the US Navy; Stonewall Jackson Un-Resigns
Stonewall Jackson and the Mennonites Who Could Not Be Made to Aim
Forts Jackson and St. Philip Bombarded by Union Gunboats!
Unable to Co-operate, the Rebels Try to Prepare for the Union Attack on Fort Jackson
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Mar 15 Mai - 22:23

The City is Yours by the Power of Brutal Force: Still No Surrender at New Orleans

April 26, 1862 (Saturday)

“The city is yours by the power of brutal force and not by any choice or consent of its inhabitants,” wrote New Orleans’ Mayor John Monroe to Union Flag Officer David Farragut, whose eleven war ships lay off the city, and whose public had whipped themselves into an absolute fury. “I beg you to understand that the people of New Orleans,” he continued, “while unable at this moment to prevent you from occupying this city, do not transfer their allegiance from the government of their choice to one which they have deliberately repudiated, and that they yield simply that obedience which the conqueror is enabled to extort from the conquered.”1

Earlier that morning, Flag Officer Farragut (who was apparently taking his rank quite literally on this date), sent a letter demanding not only the surrender of New Orleans, but that no other flag but the flag of the United States be permitted to fly over the City Hall, the Mint or the Custom House, all previously-owned Federal property. Farragut upped his ante in another letter shortly following his first. He demanded that all displays of flags that aren’t the United States flag “may be the cause of bloodshed” if allowed to fly in the presence of his fleet. 2

To write such sentiments was one thing, but to deliver them through a blood-thirsty mob, was entirely something else. Farragut sent the dispatches with Captain Albert Kautz, a midshipman, and twenty marines. Before leaving, Kautz was assured by Farragut that if they were fired upon, he would open all the guns of his fleet upon the town, leveling it.


When the disembarking marines caught the reddened eyes of the throng, a roar went up, and cries of “shoot, you damned Yankees, shoot!” were thrown at the Federals. Hoping to clear the way, the marines leveled their guns, taking aim at the widening mob. With hundreds or thousands before them, the marines prepared to fire. The body of citizens before them begged the troops to open. In the crowd, Captain Kautz saw an officer of the city police force. He pulled him aside and told him that they were trying to get to the mayor’s office to deliver a demand to surrender. The officer agreed to usher them through, but only if he left the marines behind. Kautz agreed, as he and the midshipman were ran through the masses.

While all this was happening, or perhaps a little before, Farragut ordered one of his officers to raise a United States flag over the Mint, as it was United States property and conveniently located near his fleet. A few Federals did so without the mob paying too much attention. The thong, instead focused upon City Hall, towards which Captain Kautz was headed.

Finally, Kautz arrived at City Hall and met with the mayor, who refused to surrender, but allowed that New Orleans was already occupied “by the power of brutal force.” During the discussion, a United States flag, torn apart and mutilated, was hurled into the window of the city council chambers. Kautz had no idea what to make of it. Nobody at the time did.

This flag hurled through the window just happened to be the same flag just unfurled above the Mint. Though it had been craftily drawn up the staff, several citizens took notice of it almost immediately. Led by New Orleans citizen, William Mumford, the flag was just as quickly drawn to the ground and shredded.3 The following day, the press boldly stated his name, and wrote of his daring actions. This revelation, however, would come to haunt him.4


The crowd demanded blood and escaping from City Hall might not be as simple as it had been the previous day. Again, the Federal officers were hurried out the back, escorted by the mayor’s secretary, Marion Baker, who had been acting as a go between for Farragut and Mayor Monroe. They boarded a carriage and sped away, but not before the multitude could take notice. Though the mayor had poked his head out the window to try and distract the crowd, a good number of them pursued the carriage anyway.

But even the heartiest of New Orleans’ citizenry couldn’t keep up with a horse-drawn carriage for long, and the riders soon arrived safely at the wharf.

That night, the mayor called upon the European Brigade, a city militia unit made up of foreign elements, to keep order in the streets. A 9pm curfew was enforced and martial law was ordered over New Orleans by the mayor, now apparently the leader of the city’s military.5




Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p231-232. [↩]
Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p230-231. [↩]
Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol. 2 edited by Robert Underwood Johnson, Century Co., 1887. Report of Captain Albert Kautz. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p505. From Butler’s report. [↩]
Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol. 2 edited by Robert Underwood Johnson, Century Co., 1887. Report of Marion Baker. [↩]

Related posts:
The Short Battle of Elizabeth City, NC
Preparing to Attack and Defend New Orleans
Fire Rafts and Circuses: A Strange Day on the Mississippi
Unable to Co-operate, the Rebels Try to Prepare for the Union Attack on Fort Jackson
New Orleans Not Quite Surrendered to the Union
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Mar 15 Mai - 22:21

New Orleans Not Quite Surrendered to the Union

April 25, 1862 (Friday)


In the mid-morning of the previous day, New Orleans was abuzz with the rumor, entirely true, that the Union gunboats of Flag Officer David Farragut had steamed past Forts Jackson and St. Philip and were on their way to the Crescent City, sixty miles upriver. The Rebels in the forts were able to get off just one telegram of warning before the Federals cut the wires strung to the north.

Immediate precautions were taken. Nearly 30,000 bales of cotton were put to the torch, as were stores of rations. Unknown quantities of sugar, corn and other edibles were dumped into the Mississippi River. Neither wishing to see the goods fall into Yankee hands nor be needlessly destroyed, the city turned into a free-for-all, with citizens grabbing what they could before it was destroyed by the officials.

In the harbor was the ironclad CSS Louisiana‘s sister ship, Mississippi. She was to be a formidable vessel when completed, but at this stage, was far from finished. Gunless and without all of her propellers, there was little that could be done to ready her for defense. Throughout the night of the 24th, two tugboats heaved and pulled in an attempt to tow her away from the city, with no luck at all. Finally, on the morning of this date, it was realized that any attempt to save her would be fruitless. Even if they could move her, the faster Union ships would overtake and capture the Mississippi without even a fight.


There were such high hopes for the ironclad Mississippi. She could have single-handedly destroyed the wooden Union fleet and gone a long way to breaking the blockade of the Gulf. But rather than have her fall to the Federals, she was set on fire and allowed to float down river towards the coming Union ships.

Farragut’s fleet, consisting of eleven ships (he left two behind, five miles north of the forts), made their way up the river. They passed a Rebel battery that put up a formidable fight, but were still no match for ships that had little desire to engage the foe. They also passed the burning hulk of the Mississippi, as it bobbed with the current.


By 1pm, they anchored off New Orleans, Farragut sending Captain Bailey and Lieutenant Perkins to meet with Mayor John T. Monroe to demand the surrender of the city. Greeting them at the docks was a crowd, growing angrier and larger every minute. Their chants went from “Hurrah for Jeff Davis!” to “Hang them!” in very little time. The Federal officers were whisked away to city hall nowhere they were told by Mayor Monroe that since the city was under martial law, he had no authority to surrender anything.

That authority, said Monroe, was Confederate General Mansfield Lovell, who was called for. When Lovell arrived, he absolutely refused to surrender anything. This was because, as he informed the Federals and the mayor, he and his small force were leaving New Orleans, so it wasn’t really up to him to surrender anything, anyway. The mayor, having the hot potato tossed back into his tender hands, told the Federals that he would have to meet with the city council before giving a definite answer.


Meanwhile, the crowd had grown ferocious, trying to kick down the front doors of city hall, while demanding the two Union officers be lynched. Mayor Monroe had tried to find them a military escort, but the militia refused. Finally, General Lovell diverted the mob’s attention at the front by telling them that he refused to surrender (probably leaving out the bit about his near immediate egress), while the two Union officers were hurried out the back door. By the time the General left the city, the army had already gone south towards the unsurrendered Fort Jackson and the Union officers were back on their ship.

As the officers explained the lack of surrender to Farragut, Mayor Monroe explained to the council that he still had no authority to surrender the city. After all, he was just the mayor. His suggestion was that, being unable to defend themselves, they yield to the Union military power, but refuse to surrender their allegiance to the Confederate government.

The council decided to sleep on it as their city flew into a nightmare of panic, and as eleven enemy gunboats anchored in their harbor.1




__________________

The Fall of Fort Macon

Following the battle of New Bern, North Carolina, Union General Ambrose Burnside set his sights upon Fort Macon, on the Outer Banks. Less than a week after the battle, the first Union troops arrived, demanding the surrender of the fort. Col. Moses White, commanding the fort, refused.


Over the following weeks, General Burnside brought up troops, gunships and artillery. Entrenchments were dug, batteries were placed, and by mid-April, the fort was completely cut off. The Union investing force brought well over 3,000 troops, ten times the number of Rebels inside the fort. When surrender was again demanded on April 23, Col. White again refused.

Two days later, on this date, Union artillery opened upon Fort Macon, which replied in kind. Neither side’s fire was very accurate or effective. The Rebel fort was never made to defend itself against a land attack. However, when the four ships of the Union flotilla appeared in the waters before them, they were driven back by Rebel fire after only an hour.

Towards afternoon, the Federal land batteries had found their range and the toll began to tell upon the Confederates. In all, the doomed fort had 1,150 shells hurled at it. Nearly half hit their mark, disabling a nearly-unbelievable nineteen of Macon’s fifty-six pieces.


Col. White knew by the middle of the afternoon that he was beaten and ran a white flag up on the staff. With the firing stopped, White sent two officers to ascertain the conditions of the surrender. When he learned that the Federals wanted only an unconditional surrender, White refused.

The truce, however, held throughout the night, until the next morning, after General Burnside had reconsidered his demand. The next day, he allowed for the Confederate soldiers to be paroled and to return to their homes until formally exchanged. They were permitted to take all of their personal items and bedding from the fort.

The ceremony took place on the 26th, and the Union troops occupied Fort Macon the same day.2




The Night the War was Lost by Charles L. Dufour, University of Nebraska Press, 1960. As any of you who read the footnotes know, I hate just using one secondary source. But after days of long hours of primary research, I needed to take a little break and write was is basically a summary, using a book and author that I trust. [↩]
The Civil War in North Carolina by John G. Barrett, University of North Carolina Press, 1963. [↩]

Related posts:
Confederate Fort Hatteras Surrendered
Battle of New Bern, NC, a Stunning Union Victory
Preparing to Attack and Defend New Orleans
Forts Jackson and St. Philip Bombarded by Union Gunboats!
Unable to Co-operate, the Rebels Try to Prepare for the Union Attack on Fort Jackson
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Mar 15 Mai - 22:17

Farrugut Runs the Gauntlet!

April 24, 1862 (Thursday)

“You are assuming a fearful responsibility if you do not come at once to our assistance with the Louisiana and the fleet,” wrote Confederate General Johnson Duncan in the predawn, to Captain John K. Mitchell, commander of the Rebel navy at Forts Jackson and St. Philip.1 Duncan had spent much of the previous day trying to convince Mitchell to move the ironclad ship into a position to protect the fort should the Union fleet under Flag Officer David Farragut make a move to attack.

Through the darkness, Duncan could make out huge bulks moving towards the fort. The mortar boats, often slacking in fire through the night hours, began a barrage like no other. The Union attack had come.2 The CSS Louisianna, though unfinished and unable to move on her own power, was needed as a floating battery below the fort. Even Captain Mitchell’s superior in New Orleans had strongly suggested that it be moved, but again Mitchell declined. First, he cited the drunken state of troops on one of the tugboats which was to pull the ironclad, and then reiterated his old complaint that the Union fleet would just destroy the ship anyway, so why bother?3


Mitchell had also been ordered to light fire barges, but failed to do even that. If used properly, they would not only illuminate the darkened Mississippi, allowing the Rebel gunners at the forts to better aim their pieces, but could also wreak havoc on the wooden vessels of the Union fleet.4

But there was no light. The first Union ship slipped through the broken chains and obstructions placed across the river by the Rebels, but recently opened by the Federals. The first went unnoticed, but as the second steamed through, the guns of both forts opened upon the fleet in a great tumult of iron and fire.5


The seventeen ships of the Union fleet under Flag Officer Farragut was sectioned into three divisions. As the first, consisting of eight vessels, made their way through the break in the boom, they pulled towards the Fort St. Philip side of the river, delivering broadside after broadside of grapeshot and canister into its walls. When the first division was clear of the boom, the second, personally commanded by Farragut, and made up of three larger crafts, made its way through, firing into Fort Jackson. To bring up the rear, the third division was to follow.6

Though the Louisiana was useless and unmoving in its original location above the forts, there were other Confederate gunboats on the scene, all above the ironclad. As the second division steamed towards Jackson, they descended upon the first ship of the first division, the USS Cayuga, which had already cleared St. Philip, much ahead of her sisters. Out of the watery darkness came three Rebel steamers with what appeared to be every attempt to board the Union Cayuga. With their 11-inch Dahlgren gun, they so damaged the first craft that it grounded itself and was set ablaze. The second was driven off in a similar manner, while a third seemed almost certain to board the ship.7


As the crew aboard the Cayuga prepared to repel the enemy in hand-to-hand battle, two Union ships came to her rescue, guns blazing, driving off the Rebels. “I had more rebel steamers engaging me than I could attend to without support, when Lee and Boggs came dashing up, delivering a refreshing fire,” reported the Captain of the Cayuga of those who saved him that morning. “The enemy were so thick that it was like duck shooting; what missed one rebel hit another. With their aid we cleared the kitchen.”8

The kitchen, however, wasn’t yet entirely cleared. The Confederate ram, CSS Manassas, had slipped through the maelstrom and attempted to butt the USS Brooklyn, of the second division. The Brooklyn’s sides, however, were well protected and the attempt failed. Seeing this, the USS Mississippi, a large paddle frigate, gave chase, but the Manassas, being smaller and faster turned the tables, swung around and rammed a nice hole in the side of the Union vessel. It did no damage, but the Mississippi backed off. After all, they were not here for a battle, but to steam past the forts as quickly as possible.9


The Manassas was all throughout the Union fleet that early morning. She nearly took out Farragut’s flag ship, the Hartford by pushing a fire raft (which Mitchell finally found time to light) into her side. It was only through some quick thinking, and spare artillery ammunition, that the Hartford was saved. The flames from the raft were about to catch the ship on fire, when an officer dropped a few shells into the burning mass, exploding the raft and sending it to the bottom of the river.10

The CSS Louisiana, the feared ironclad, took only pot shots at the Union fleet as it passed by. According to General Duncan, who was incredibly unamused by her lack of service, the Louisiana fired only twelve shots during the whole of the battle.11

Having passed the forts, the bulk of the Federal ships could focus upon clearing their way through the Rebel fleet. This proved to be a fairly simple task. Only a few attempted any defense, and they were brushed aside with small skirmishes here and there. The Union fleet reassembled five miles north of the forts. Farragut discovered that he had lost four ships. The Varuna had been sunk by a Confederate ram, but the other three had turned back as the sun rose, making them too easy of targets for the Rebel forts.


He would anchor there for the rest of the day, before moving on New Orleans, sixty-miles upriver, the next morning. As for Forts Jackson and St. Philip, they were still very much under the control of the Confederates. General Duncan had no mind to surrender.

Farragut had suffered one ship lost, thirty-seven killed and 147 wounded. The Rebels faired worse, losing eight ships, some destroyed by their crews to avoid capture, with over seventy killed on the water and eleven killed in the forts.12




Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p541. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p547. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p541. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p547. [↩]
Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p754. [↩]
The Life of David Glasgow Farragut by Loyall Farragut, D. Appleton and Company, 1879. [↩]
Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18 p171. [↩]
Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18 p150. [↩]
The Night the War Was Lost by Charles L. Dufour, University of Nebraska Press, 1960. I’ve turned to this book a lot for clarity, etc. [↩]
The Life of David Glasgow Farragut by Loyall Farragut, D. Appleton and Company, 1879. And The Night the War Was Lost by Charles L. Dufour, University of Nebraska Press, 1960. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p528. [↩]
The Night the War Was Lost by Charles L. Dufour, University of Nebraska Press, 1960. [↩]

Related posts:
Halleck Throws Down the Gauntlet in Missouri
Preparing to Attack and Defend New Orleans
Forts Jackson and St. Philip Bombarded by Union Gunboats!
Fire Rafts and Circuses: A Strange Day on the Mississippi
Unable to Co-operate, the Rebels Try to Prepare for the Union Attack on Fort Jackson
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Mar 15 Mai - 22:14

Unable to Co-operate, the Rebels Try to Prepare for the Union Attack on Fort Jackson

April 23, 1862 (Wednesday)


Things were not going well for the Confederates at Forts Jackson and St. Philip, guarding the mouth of the Mississippi River, seventy miles south of New Orleans. They had endured a near ceaseless bombardment for the past five days, which had caused great destruction, fires, loss of quarters, supplies, ammunition and several guns. Much of the damage had come from the twenty-one Union mortar boats, just out of reach of Fort Jackson’s range. General Johnson Duncan, Rebel commander of the forts, knew that his men could hold out for weeks, but also knew that if the mortars continued to fall, they may not have nearly that long to wait.

There was, however, a small sliver of light. The Confederacy was building two ironclads, the Mississippi and Louisiana, in New Orleans. The ships of the Union fleet, commanded by Flag Officer David Farragut, were wooden and stood no chance against two ironclads. The catch was that neither the Mississippi nor the Louisiana were completed. Originally, they had both been slated to move north, away from the Union fleet, to assist at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, but the Confederate government finally saw that Farragut meant business and that New Orleans was in grave danger of falling to the enemy.

Also, in their unfinished states, neither ship had the power to steam upstream, so floating them downstream was the only option if they wanted to use them at all. And there was the rub. While the Louisiana was on the way south, being pulled by two tugboats, the Mississippi languished in port, deemed too unfinished to be useful by her builders. General Duncan, figuring that, while two ironclads would be great, one ironclad was still better than none at all. 1


The Louisiana arrived at Fort Jackson on the night of the 22nd. The following day, Duncan met with her commander, Captain John K. Mitchell, who told him that his craft had no motive power of her own and it wasn’t likely that she would be ready any time soon. “As an iron-clad invulnerable floating battery, with sixteen guns of the heaviest caliber,” concluded Duncan with resignation, “she was then as complete as she would ever be.”2

Throughout the day, Duncan tried, several times in writing to convince Captain Mitchell to use the Louisiana as a floating battery. “It is of vital importance that the present fire of the enemy should be withdrawn from us,” pleaded Duncan, “which you alone can do.”3

Mitchell refused. That night, he gathered about him all the naval officers he could find, and together they agreed to continue their refusal. The next day (on this date), Mitchell formally replied to Duncan’s pleas. “I feel, and I believe that I know,” affirmed Mitchell, “the importance to the safety of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip and the City of New Orleans of having this vessel in proper condition before seeking an encounter with the enemy.”


He explained that if Farragut’s Union fleet steamed pass the forts, then the Louisiana would most certainly fly into action “however unprepared I may be.” Until then, however, Duncan was on his own.4

Being on his own, he wired his superior in New Orleans, General Mansfield Lovell, who dropped in on Commander W.C. Whittle, Mitchell’s superior in New Orleans, to see what could be done about this sticky situation. Whittle, at first, echoed Mitchell’s views that since the ship wasn’t ready, she shouldn’t be brought under the guns of the Union fleet.

This was sound advice, but not really the point. General Lovell assured Whittle that nobody had any intension of sending the Louisiana into the enemy fleet. All that was wanted was to place her in a position, as a floating battery, to drive off the Union mortar boats doing so much damage to the forts, reminding the Commander that it was better to lose a single vessel than the entire city of New Orleans.5 Whittle begrudgingly agreed. “Can you not occupy a position below Fort St. Philip,” requested Whittle, falling short of giving an order, “so as to enfilade the mortar boats of the enemy and give time to the garrison to repair damages at Fort Jackson?”6


General Duncan’s concern was quickly turning from making repairs on the fort to the increasing probability of an all out Union attack. First, he believed that the Union mortar boats had to be running low in ammunition, so an attack was bound to come. Also, he had seen a boat placing small white flags along the banks, and figured that these would be used to align the ships of the fleet to make their advance.7

Duncan was absolutely right. Farragut had realized that mortar fire alone could not neutralize the forts and wanted to steam past them to New Orleans. Many of his officers believed that the wooden ships would be blown to pieces by the guns of the forts, but Farragut was unmoved. He had issued orders for the fleet to be ready to move out when the signal was given,8 and spent much of the afternoon moving from ship to ship to make sure everyone was on the same page. Each of the ships readied themselves as best they could, covering sensitive and prone parts of their vessels with bags of sand, clothes and even hammocks – anything that could deaden the blow of a 100lbs. projectile. Some ships whitewashed their decks to make it easier to see under the moonlight.

They would advance upon Forts Jackson and St. Philip at 2am.9




The Night The War Was Lost by Charles L. Dufour, University of Nebraska Press, 1960. This was often referred to as a guide. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p526. [↩]
Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18. p370. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p537. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p569. [↩]
Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p329. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p539; 540. [↩]
Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p141. [↩]
Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p155-156. [↩]

Related posts:
Union Generals Disobey Grant’s Orders and Attack at Fort Donelson
Rebels Nearly Attack, Union Flotilla Destroyed at Fort Donelson
Rebels Prepare to Attack Grant; McClellan Loses His First Corps
Preparing to Attack and Defend New Orleans
Forts Jackson and St. Philip Bombarded by Union Gunboats!
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Mar 15 Mai - 22:11

General Banks Loses Jackson, Absolutely Certain He Fled the Shenandoah Valley

April 22, 1862 (Tuesday)


Union General Nathaniel Banks was in a fog. Following the brief scrap with Stonewall Jackson’s cavalry at the Columbia bridge on the 19th, he became convinced that Jackson’s entire army had left the valley, slipping through the passes to Rappahannock Station, on his way to reinforce General Joe Johnston on the Peninsula.

If true, this made Banks’ job quite simple. He was tasked with holding the Department of the Shenandoah, encompassing the namesake valley. His belief that Jackson slipped out of the Department of the Shenandoah to the Department of the Rappahannock, unburdened him of having to deal with the illusive Stonewall Jackson. The only troops remaining, he believed, were perhaps some cavalry, home guards and maybe a few regiments near Staunton, but even those fell under General John C. Fremont’s Mountain Department.

On the 19th, Banks wrote to Washington that he believed “Jackson left the Valley yesterday.” In reality, Jackson’s men had just arrived at Swift Run Gap, behind Massanutten Mountain. The next day, Banks wrote that Jackson’s flight “from the Valley by the way of the mountains, from Harrisonburg toward Stanardsville and Orange Court-House, on Gordonsville is confirmed this morning by our scouts and prisoners.”

The scouts, no doubt, “confirmed” Jackson’s flight simply by not finding him where they were looking. Of course, the inability to find something doesn’t mean that it’s taken flight, which was why Banks also relied upon prisoners, who apparently told a few tall tales, satisfying the mind of the General. Meanwhile, Jackson’s force was still at Swift Run Gap.

By this day, with Jackson still at Swift Run Gap, the Fifth Corp, along with General Banks, slogged steadily southward from New Market towards Harrisonburg. In order to secure the northern portion of Luray Valley, adjacent to the main Shenandoah Valley, he sent detachments to Alma and Luray. Not even scouts ventured farther south. If they had, they might have stumbled upon Jackson’s camp.


“Jackson has abandoned the valley of Virginia permanently,” wrote Banks in his almost daily letters to Washington, “en route for Gordonsville, by the way of the mountains.” Traveling from the Shenandoah Valley to Gordonsville, one would have to cross the Blue Ridge Mountains at Swift Run Gap. If Banks had bothered to send a scout to actually ensure that Jackson’s troops had exited in that direction, he would have learned a great deal about his foe. But, he did not, and was all the more ignorant in his certainty.1

All the while, Jackson was watching the Federals. The previous day, he had sent Jedediah Hotchkiss to reconnoiter the Federals near the Columbia Bridge and in Milham’s Gap, which led from New Market to Gordonsville. Through sleet and blinding rain, Hotchkiss rode thirty-five miles (due to a miscommunication with Jackson), while exploring Milham’s Gap and the road leading to the Columbia Bridge.

Finding no Federals in the gap, he rode towards the bridge. Discovering their camp nearby, he made his own, not three miles away. On the morning of this day, he climbed a high knob in the Blue Ridge Mountains and peered over their camp again. Noting their position, he rode back to Swift Run Gap and General Jackson.2


Within a march of a day or so from Jackson were two additional Confederate forces. The 8,000 troops under General Richard Ewell were just on the other side of the Blue Ridge, while 3,000 under General “Allegheny” Johnson were just west of Staunton. While Jackson had Ewell in a holding pattern, he was waiting to see what was coming from Western Virginia to meet Johnson.3

Through the horrendous weather of the past couple days, Jackson was beginning to get a true handle on the situation in the Valley. This was greatly aided by General Robert E. Lee, President Davis’ military advisor and de facto Secretary of War. In a letter to Jackson, Lee quickly explained the Virginia theater of war. He had no doubt that the Federals had designs upon Fredericksburg. They had already moved about 5,000 troops to Falmouth, across the river, and it was clear to Lee that they wished to use it as a base of operations, effectively linking up with General McClellan on the Peninsula.

The Confederate force defending Fredericksburg was small and couldn’t be reinforced without weakening the Peninsula line. While Lee thought it best, under the circumstances, to reinforce Fredericksburg with Ewell’s 8,000, he was leery about the small size of Jackson’s force when put up against the 19,000 Federals under General Banks.


And so, Lee left the entire decision to Jackson. After all, it was Jackson and not Lee who was in the Shenandoah Valley. “If you can use General Ewell’s division in an attack on General Banks, and to drive him back, it will prove a great relief to the pressure on Fredericksburg,” wrote Lee to Jackson, “but if you should find General Banks too strong to be approached, and your object is to hold General Ewell in supporting distance to your column, he may be of more importance at this time between Fredericksburg and Richmond.”

Holding Fredericksburg was the key. Lee hoped that Jackson could do this, with or without Ewell, by keeping Banks in check. Most importantly, it was up to Jackson. In closing, Lee wanted Jackson’s input on the matter.4

With the information gained from Jeb Hotchkiss’ scouting, along with Lee’s letter (which would arrive the following day), Jackson was about to formulate a plan of operation against Banks, who had no idea that Jackson was still in the Valley.




Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 12, Part 1, p445-446. [↩]
Make Me a Map of the Valley; The Civil War Journal of Stonewall Jackson’s Topographer by Jedediah Hotchkiss, edited by Archie P. McDonald, Southern Methodist University, 1973. [↩]
Shenandoah 1862 by Peter Cozzens, University of North Carolina Press, 2008. [↩]
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 12, Part 3, p859-860. [↩]

Related posts:
Jackson is Victorious, but Everything Went Wrong
Hunting Jackson in the Shenandoah
Stonewall Jackson and the Mennonites Who Could Not Be Made to Aim
Rebels Prepare to Attack Grant; McClellan Loses His First Corps
Forts Jackson and St. Philip Bombarded by Union Gunboats!
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Mar 15 Mai - 22:08

New Mexico Rebels’ Week-Long Waterless Retreat

April 21, 1862 (Monday)


Nearly a week had passed since General Sibley’s Confederate Army of New Mexico slipped away from the battlefield at Peralta. By this date, they had lost much more than the campaign, abandoning supplies, equipment, guns, clothes and ammunition in a struggle to survive the scorched and dehydrated desert.

Following the April 15th battle, Sibley’s Army was caught between Col. Edward Canby’s Union force of 2,500, just across the Rio Grande, occupying Peralta, and Kit Carson’s 800 men in Fort Craig, 100 miles down the river. As the Rebels retreated, Canby’s column followed them on the opposite side of the river. There was some slight rear guard action, but otherwise, no contact. However, whenever the Confederate Army would halt, the Federals would do the same. The next day, this odd escort was again relived.

In camp that night, the Confederate officers met to decide what to do. Since both Federal columns were on the river, Sibley accepted the idea of a detour away from the water, proposed by one of his officers. It would require a dangerous march away from the life-giving waters of the Rio Grande, behind the Magdalena Mountains and east of the San Mateo range. This path (as it could hardly be called a road), would bypass Fort Craig, swinging twenty miles west.


That night, Sibley’s Army again slipped away from Canby, leaving the Rio Grande for the mountains. Every bit of clothing not deemed essential was burned. Any ammunition that could not be carried met the same fate. Blankets and rations were stuffed into the few remaining supply wagons, as over thirty other wagons, containing the sick and wounded, were left behind.

By morning of the next day, they had made fourteen fairly easy miles, but stopped where no water could be found. By the 19th, just two days into the march, the unquenchable thirst was maddening. Hunger soon followed and then discipline. Regiments and companies no longer existed. The deepening sands swallowed the wagons up to their hubs. Throughout the night, stragglers wandered into camp, exhausted and near death.

The 20th offered little more, as morale simply disappeared. By this date, the 21th, the leading elements of the Rebel column saw both Fort Craig and the Rio Grande in the far distance. The former of no danger and the latter of no sustenance, ten miles away.


When the Rebels had left Peralta, they were, more or less, a fairly viable fighting force, at least upon the defensive. By this date, nothing could be farther from the truth. Though the vanguard had seen the river and the fort, the stragglers were as many as fifty miles back.1

All the while, Canby’s Federals held to their own road. They were well supplied, well rested and, most importantly, not dying of thirst in the desert. As Sibley’s men shuffled along, Canby had scouts trailing them, reporting back their location and condition. Holding close to the river, he had little opportunity to chase down Rebel stragglers, but before long, the deserters were coming to him. On this date, he was a day’s march from Fort Craig, probably the same distance away from the fort as the lead elements of the Confederate column were.

Canby would go no farther south than Fort Craig. He wouldn’t have to. The Rebel army, so bold and dashing not two months previous, was utterly defeated, Sibley’s New Mexico Campaign was all but at an end.2




Blood & Treasure by Donald S. Frazier, Texas A&M University Press, 1995. [↩]
Sibley’s New Mexico Campaign by Martin Hardwick Hall, New Mexico University Press, 1960. [↩]

Related posts:
Rebels in New Mexico Plan to Capture a Fort; First Battle in Arkansas
Grant Eyes Nashville, Halleck Still Worries; Kit Carson Rides Against New Mexico Rebels
Deep Sand and Exploding Mules in New Mexico; Halleck Wants Command
Rebels in New Mexico Begin their Campaign in Earnest
Rebels Begin their Long, Treacherous Retreat from New Mexico
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Lun 14 Mai - 15:11

Fire Rafts and Circuses: A Strange Day on the Mississippi

April 20, 1862 (Easter Sunday)


Along the darkened, muddy banks of the Mississippi River stood a dripping, filthy man hailing the mortar schooner Norfolk Packet, which had been lobbing shells at Confederate Forts Jackson and St. Philip for two days. It must have been a strange sight. The area had been swept by Federal pickets before the mortar boats were anchored along the bank and the appearance of any stranger, especially one dressed in what appeared to be the garb of a Confederate, was, no doubt, shocking.

Realizing this was bigger than himself, Lt. Smith, commander of the Norfolk, sent the man, named Amos Bonney, to Commodore David Porter’s flag ship, the Harriet Lane.1 Bonney seemed to be a very intelligent man. He claimed, in what was anything but a Louisiana drawl, that he was from Pennsylvania. He had been traveling with Dan Rice’s traveling circus, which was at that time every bit as popular as P.T. Barnum.2 Since Rice himself had been rumored to be a spy, and even rumored to have started his own pro-Confederate “Dan Rice’s Zouaves,” it wouldn’t have been surprising if Porter tossed this “Pennsylvanian” into the Mississippi for being one of Rice’s Rebel tentacles.3


Spy or not, Bonney, claimed to know the position of every gun in Fort Jackson. He told of the destruction in the fort, how the shells would bury themselves up to twenty feet into the ground before exploding, heaving up the earth, and greatly demoralizing the men. Fort Jackson itself was also greatly suffering. The deserter related that hundreds of such shells had fallen into the fort, buring the citadel, destroying the casemates and generally causing chaos. The catch was that the men, though demoralized, had provisions to last them two months, as well as a multitude of ammunition to go with their multitude of woes and discomfort.

Believing in (or at least enlivened by) Bonney’s tale, Porter renewed this day’s fire with vigor as he sent the man along to Admiral Farragut.4 To Farragut, he again related his tale, recalling that one of Fort Jackson’s Columbiad guns had been dismounted and that the furnace for making “hot shot” had been destroyed.5 But Bonney’s information wasn’t entirely accurate. While he could give first hand accounts of what was happening inside the fort, he also told what he had heard about the rest of the war. According to the deserter, Fort Pulaski had surrendered and Island No. 10 had been neutralized. While all of this was true, he also told of how the Union army was defeated at Corinth, Mississippi, a glaring untruth, probably originating from General Beauregard’s insistence that the Battle of Shiloh was a Confederate victory.6


Turning his eyes towards the matters at hand, Admiral Farragut could see that while the bombardment was doing a good bit of damage, the enemy was in no mind to surrender. The forts would probably fall, but only in the eventual. Something, thought Farragut, had to be done immediately.

Across the river, the Confederates had strung a boom consisting of two heavy chains fastened to six hulks of schooners moored in the river. Calling his officers together at 10am, he decided that while Porter continued the bombardment, he would not wait for the forts to surrender, but would take his fleet past the forts towards New Orleans.


The discussion was lively, with Commodore Porter, via a proxy, cautioning against cutting the boom. It was the mortar boats’ only protection against the Confederate Navy, as the boom not only kept the Union boats from steaming north, it stopped the Rebels boats from steaming south. By Porter, the Federal fleet must not move past the forts until they were surrendered.

Farragut, however, had already made up his mind. The fleet moving north would provide all the protection needed by the relatively defenseless and powerless mortar boats, which had to be towed in and out of position. Also in this plan were General Benjamin Butler’s infantry, which he wanted to land both below and above the forts, enveloping them.7


That night, in order to disassemble the boom, two gunboats, the Pinola and the Itasca, quietly steamed up the river under the cover of the mortar boats, still pounding away. To do the damage, a man named Julius Kroehl, an apparent expert in submarine explosions, was along for the ride with five 180-pound barrels of powder.

After thirty minutes, the Pinola arrived at the first hulk, but as they came under fire from both forts, they decided to try a hulk that was farther from the Rebel batteries. Kroehl and his crew placed the “torpedoes” at the fore and aft of the sunken ship, but the Pinola got its anchor entangled in the boom. During the struggle to free it, the wires running to the galvanic batteries that would ignite the charges came loose and the attempt was a pointless failure.8


Meanwhile, the Itasca had come upon a different hulk, finding the chains about it easy to slip off. During this operation, a small passage was made for the fleet, but the Itasca became grounded and the Pinola had to be sent to tow her out. After two failed attempts to free her, the Pinola had some unsuspected success. As she pulled the Itasca from the mire, one of the boom chains got caught up and tore the passage even wider open.9

Even with the passage open and the gunboats safely back with the fleet, the night was not yet at an end. Around 3am, a large fire raft, launched by the Rebels, was seen floating downriver towards the fleet. As it floated between the flagship Hartford and the Richmond, the flames reached as high as the masts. The men on deck, hoping and praying it would miss them, could not look directly at the inferno, it burned so bright. But all of the worry was for naught as smaller boats were able to steer it towards the bank where it burned itself out, giving a surreal end to an already strange day.10


1.Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p399; 405. Also, the book Mutiny at Fort Jackson: The Untold Story of the Fall of New Orleans by Michael D. Pierson, Univ of North Carolina Press, 2008, gives us his name, but claims that he was from upstate New York. [↩]
2.Testimony of Major-General Godfray Wietzel, February 7, 1865, before the Joint-Committee for the Conduct of the War. Taken from Reports of the Committees, Second Session of the Thirty-Eighth Congress, p76 of the Fort Fisher Expedition. [↩]
3.The Life of Dan Rice by Maria Ward Brown, 1901. The New York Tribune accused Dan Rice of such things, but there was no truth in the matter. By this time in 1862, most of those rumors had abated. [↩]
4.Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p358, 365, 367. [↩]
5.Official Naval Records Series 1, Vol. 18, p135. [↩]
6.The Life of David Glasgow Farragut by Loyall Farragut, D. Appleton and company, 1879. From a private letter written on April 21, 1862. Also, Corinth was the largest city near Shiloh (which was a relatively unknown place). So when Bonney spoke of Corinth, he undoubtedly meant Shiloh. Beauregard’s assertion that Shiloh was a Confederate victory was related in P.G.T. Beauregard; Napoleon in Gray by T. Harry Williams, LSU Press, 1955. [↩]
7.Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p694-695. [↩]
8.Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p429. [↩]
9.Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p813. [↩]
10.Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p738. Also, The Night the War Was Lost by Charles L. Dufour came in handy for clarification purposes. [↩]

Related posts:
US Ship Fired Upon By South; Mississippi Secedes!
Open Fire In One Hour
The Strange and Unconditional Surrender of Fort Donelson
Preparing to Attack and Defend New Orleans
Forts Jackson and St. Philip Bombarded by Union Gunboats!
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Lun 14 Mai - 15:08

Stonewall Burns His Bridges, Hides Behind a Mountain

April 19, 1862 (Saturday)


It was an incredibly rainy day in the Shenandoah Valley as General Stonewall Jackson’s army of 8,000 began another pre-dawn retreat south. They had slogged nearly 100 miles in the past month, following their dismantling at the Battle of Kernstown, the Federal cavalry nipping at their heels incessantly.

The Confederate cavalry, under Turner Ashby, had recently failed Jackson, twice being surprised, with a great number captured. To make good this day’s retreat from just south of Harrisonburg, he needed to burn a couple bridges over the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. This would keep the Federals out of the Luray Valley, which was important, since that is where Jackson was heading.


South of Harrisonburg, the Shenandoah Valley widened, leaving no place to make any sort of defensive stand. Fourteen miles southwest of Harrisonburg, however, was Swift Run Gap. This controlled not only the Luray Valley, but also covered Harrisonburg. This meant that if the Federals pushed south, beyond Harrisonburg, he could fall upon their rear. With the flooded South Fork to his front and the heights of the Blue Ridge Mountains for his fortifications, Jackson’s position was indeed a fine one.1

Having lost faith in his cavalry, Jackson dispatched Jedediah Hotchkiss, his topographer, to lead the horsemen to the bridges that needed to be fired. While the main body stepped off at 2am, Hotchkiss set out to find the cavalry. Before long, he found them at the Shenandoah Iron Works, “many of them under the influence of apple-jack.” With the men still drunk, Hotchkiss moved them north, leaving a company at the Red Bridge, with orders not to ignite it until he had time to make it to Honeyville to fire the Columbia bridge.

After securing both the Red and Columbia bridges, Hotchkiss set his mind on a third bridge, the White House Bridge, near Massanutten. The latter would cut off all travel between New Market (to where the Federals had advanced), and Luray.


Shortly following the egress of the company sent to fire the White House Bridge, they quickly came galloping back, hotly pursued by the enemy. Hotchkiss somewhat succeed in forming the still-sobering men at the Columbia bridge into a line of battle, but they did not hold long enough to even fire. When the blue coated horsemen drove near, they scattered. Abandoned by his men, Hotchkiss made his own escape back to Red Bridge, where he formed the company he left behind into a line. The enemy, however, had broken off the chase.

Unable to put either the Columbia or White House bridges to the torch, Hotchkiss managed to burn the Red bridge before returning to Jackson’s new headquarters at Conrad’s Store, the main body hidden by the Massanutten Range.2


__________________

Catching Up with Beauregard, Halleck and the West


Here’s to Toussaint Beauregard,
Who for the truth has no regard,
In Satan’s clutches he will cry,
I’ve got old Satan, Victori!


Following the Battle of Shiloh, Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard claimed that his defeated Army of Mississippi had, in fact, been victorious. When he and his bloodied men returned to Corinth, Mississippi, he asserted that it was a planned withdrawal. Most of the public, including Richmond, turned out to be a bit more pragmatic. Losing over 10,000 men, nearly a quarter of the force taken into battle, was no victory. The enchanted star over Beauregard, the hero of Fort Sumter and Manassas, was fizzling out.3

Expecting the Federal Army left behind at Shiloh to make a speedy descent upon Corinth, Beauregard wasted little time in organizing his force. General Earl Van Dorn’s Army of the West, dragging itself across Arkansas following their defeat at Pea Ridge, had crept into the picture too late to help out at Shiloh, but was now in the fold, adding 14,000 to the rosters.

Around Corinth, they were arrayed to cover the important railroads entering and exiting the town. General Van Dorn’s newly arrived troops from Arkansas and Missouri held high ground on the right. General Hardee’s Corps held the right-center, while Bragg held the dead center. General Polk held the left and the Mobile & Ohio Railroad. All totaled, nearly 50,000 held this significant railroad hub.4


Unlike the ground around Pittsburg Landing and Shiloh Church, which was, more or less, a good of a place as any to hold a slaughter, Corinth, Mississippi was of great strategic importance. If Corinth fell to the Federals, it would effectively sever communications and supplies coming from Atlanta. If the Confederates wished to retake Tennessee, Corinth had to be held.

Likewise, if the Federals wished to drive the Rebels fully out of Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky, sacking Corinth went a long way towards making this a reality.5

Though a Federal victory, the Battle of Shiloh had taken away 13,000 from the Armies of the Tennessee and the Ohio, commanded by Generals Grant and Buell, respectively. Grant’s Army, hit especially hard, needed to be reorganized. The overall commander, General Henry Halleck, in control of the Department of the Mississippi, oversaw quite a bit more of the west than the name might imply.

Halleck let only four days pass after the smoke had drifted from the battlefield to make his appearance. Having literally written the book on the military arts, General Halleck insisted that the troops, especially Grant’s were in no shape to even defend themselves. He prescribed drill, discipline and supply lines.6


Halleck’s reach stretched not just over Grant and Buell’s Armies, but over the Army of the Mississippi, commanded by General John Pope. Fresh from their victories at New Madrid and Island No. 10, Halleck had wanted Pope to continue on to Fort Pillow, a Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi, held by General Beauregard’s men. Though Shiloh was a Union victory, Halleck realized that it easily could have gone South. Wishing this possibility to never become a reality, he called Pope to join Grant and Buell at Shiloh. With Pope nearly at hand (he was, on this date, leaving Cairo, Illinois), Hallack had a much larger reorganization in mind.7




1.Stonewall Jackson by James I. Robertson, MacMillan, 1997. [↩]
2.Make Me a Map of the Valley; The Civil War Journal of Stonewall Jackson’s Topographer by Jedediah Hotchkiss, edited by Archie P. McDonald, Southern Methodist University Press, 1973. [↩]
3.P.G.T. Beauregard; Napoleon in Gray by T. Harry Williams, LSU Press, 1955. [↩]
4.The Army of Tennessee by Stanley F. Horn, University of Oklahoma Press, 1941. [↩]
5.The Darkest Days of the War; The Battles of Iuka & Corinth by Peter Cozzens, University of North Carolina Press, 1997. [↩]
6.Nothing But Victory; The Army of the Tennessee 1861-1865 by Steven E. Woodworth, Random House, 2005. [↩]
7.General John Pope by Peter Cozzens, University of Illinois Press, 2000. [↩]

Related posts:
Stonewall Jackson Takes Romney; Grant and Curtis Step Off
Hunting Jackson in the Shenandoah
Turner Ashby Takes the Yankees for a Ride; Grant Consolidates
Stonewall Jackson and the Mennonites Who Could Not Be Made to Aim
Stonewall Jackson Rounds Up Pacisfists and Unionists
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Lun 14 Mai - 15:05

Forts Jackson and St. Philip Bombarded by Union Gunboats!

April 18, 1862 (Friday)


Flag Officer David Farragut, commanding the Union’s West Gulf Blockading Squadron, had made every arrangement to assail Confederate Forts Jackson and St. Philip, guarding the lower Mississippi and New Orleans.

Over the past week, Lt. David Porter had selected the best spots for his twenty-one mortar boats, and just after dawn, they were placed. Most hugged the bank of the river, but all had a clear view of their targets, over two miles distant.

Once placed, around 9am, they opened fire, splitting the air with iron. With terrible accuracy, the shells fell everywhere in and outside of Fort Jackson, the main target.1 Both forts, under the command of General Johnson Duncan, replied with as many guns as could be pointed at the Union fleet. At first, the Confederate fire was inaccurate, but as the bombardment grew, they found their range. With rapid fire from a multitude of guns, the Rebels quickly made it hot for the Union Navy, whose mortars fired only once every ten minutes.2


Though not rapid, the Union mortars hit their mark. Before long, the Confederate living quarters inside and outside Fort Jackson caught fire and burned. The citadel inside the fort had been touched by flames, but, thus far in the fight, the Rebels had been able to control it.3

While they weren’t busy fighting the fires, the Confederate cannoneers were beginning to find their range. Lt. Porter sent to Farragut, asking him to divert the forts’ armaments with the gunboats. At least four gunboats came, adding their rifled artillery to the mix, expending their fuses by noon with rapid fire at closer range.

As the day echoed on, two mortar boats were hit by the guns of Fort Jackson. Though neither were sunk, they were both damaged near the waterline. Much to the protests of their crews, Porter moved them away from the galling Rebel fire.4


The citadel inside Fort Jackson had again caught fire, but the conflagration was too terrific to be so quickly stifled. And so it burned out of control. General Duncan had urged the Confederate Navy to release “fire rafts,” which would, he hoped, float on the current towards the Union fleet, igniting one or more of the Federal vessels. This was a failure, as the Rebels released their fire rafts too early, and they were stopped short, coming aground in front of the forts.5

This was not a complete loss, however. Lt. Porter mistook the raging fire inside Fort Jackson to be yet another fire raft gone astray. As darkness fell, he ordered the mortars to cease for the day. Had he known that the flames near Fort Jackson were actually inside of Fort Jackson, he would have continued the shelling throughout the night. After learning the truth of the matter, Porter stated that this was the “only mistake that occurred during the bombardment.”6


__________________

Confederates Retreat in Northern Virginia

Things on the Peninsula had more or less ground to a halt, with McClellan’s Army of the Potomac digging in for a siege of Yorktown. Meanwhile, the Rebels effortlessly reinforced themselves, ready to defend the ground southeast of Richmond, between the York and James Rivers. Though the Confederates were pulling in as many men as possible, three other bodies of troops remained north of their capital.


The most remote was under General Edward “Allegheny” Johnson, whose 3,000 troops were guarding the passes west of Staunton. General Richard Ewell, and his 8,000 men, were near Brandy Station. With a nominal command over both, General Stonewall Jackson’s 6,000 were at Mt. Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley.

While Johnson remained out of regular contact with Jackson, Ewell had been ordered to march on the 17th to Swift Run Gap. The destination changed several times, winding up with Ewell heading towards Harrisonburg. As Ewell was moving south on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge, Jackson was moving south on the western.


Having encamped at Mount Jackson for two weeks, it was becoming clear that the Union forces under General Nathaniel Banks were edging closer and closer. On the 15th and 16th, they had surprised Turner Ashby’s Rebel cavalry, driving them from the field. By the 17th, they were moving around Mt. Jackson to cut off the Confederate retreat.

Jackson picked up his army and moved them south towards New Market. He had hoped to make a stand there, but again the Federals were flanking him, so he continued south. By the night of this date, Jackson’s men encamped five miles south of Harrisonburg.7


Making matters north of Richmond more interesting was the appearance of the Union First Corps, under General Irvin McDowell, which had been withheld from McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign in order to protect Washington. They had made forced marches from Washington to arrive across the Rappahannock River from Fredericksburg in the morning of this date.

They had wanted to seize the town, but, realizing that the Federals would soon arrive, a Confederate brigade from Ewell’s command, under General Charles W. Field, had fallen back across the river, burning all the bridges before moving out of town. For now, General McDowell’s movements were stopped with a wide river between the two sides.8




1.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p525. [↩]
2.Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p364. [↩]
3.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p525. [↩]
4.Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p364; 693. [↩]
5.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p525. [↩]
6.Official Naval Records, Series 1, Vol. 18, p364. [↩]
7.A combination of both Stonewall Jackson by James I. Robertson, and Shenandoah 1862 by Peter Cozzens. [↩]
8.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 12, Part 1, p427-428; 434. [↩]

Related posts:
Florida Leaves the Union – Still More Forts Fall!
Stonewall Jackson Bids a Tearful Good-bye
Federal Gunboats Test Forts Donelson and Henry in Tennessee
Battle of New Bern, NC, a Stunning Union Victory
Johnston Wants to Abandon Peninsula, Fight Union Army Near Richmond
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Lun 14 Mai - 15:01

Preparing to Attack and Defend New Orleans

April 17, 1862 (Thursday)


When last we left General Benjamin Butler, he had been sent home to New England to recruit youthful Democrats into the army. Butler had noticed, upon returning to his northerly home, that the bulk of the privates in the army were Republicans. Fearing, as he later wrote, “a division of the North,” he went through New England, raising upwards of 5,000 men.

As he was raising the troops, Washington was plotting a way to control the Mississippi River. While General Halleck in Missouri was attacking down the river, to attack up the river, the city of New Orleans had to be taken.

Soon, it was decided that Butler’s men were to go to Ship Island, off the gulf coast, equidistant from both the Crescent City and Mobile, Alabama, the latter of which, Butler professed to be the target. By the end of February, after some politicking in Washington, Butler and his expeditionary force were on their way to the Gulf. 1

Once upon Ship Island, they set about readying themselves to take New Orleans. The city, however, could not be taken by land. First, the forts protecting it must be reduced by naval artillery. This is where the West Gulf Blockading Squadron under Flag Officer David Farragut came into play.

Farragut had arrived on Ship Island right before Butler, but was itching to assail New Orleans as quickly as possible. He spent late February and much of March waiting for Lieutenant David Dixon Porter, who was to bring along with him a flotilla of mortar boats. He prepared his fleet, working out a way to get the heavier gunboats over the bar into the Mississippi River. By mid-March, Porter and his mortars had arrived.


Meanwhile, New Orleans, seventy miles upriver, was in a panic. Commanded by General Mansfield Lovell, the Confederate force protecting the city had been depleted, losing over 5,000 men, sent to the defense of Fort Donelson. At first, Lovell had no idea that the United States Navy was involved in General Butler’s expedition. He had no fear of being attacked by Butler, as he believed a Republican administration would never entrust a Democrat to such an important task as taking New Orleans.

When Lovell’s men began to reinforce their comrades in Tennessee, many in the city accused him of sending troops away so that New Orleans would fall. By that time, he, and the rest of the population, were well aware of the presence of the Union Navy in the lower Mississippi River. At the time that Porter was arriving with his mortar boats, Lovell declared martial law, requiring all white males to swear an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy.


Much of Lovell’s naval force had also been ordered north. However, two ironclads, the CSS Louisiana and Mississippi, feared by the US Navy just as much as the CSS Virginia (Merrimack) was feared, were nearly finished and, if the Union held off their attack long enough, could be used to great effect. Though the Union Navy could not know this, the Louisiana, which was nearest to completion, had been ordered to be sent north, when ready, rather than south, towards the Union fleet gathering below New Orleans.

Before New Orleans could be reached, the Union fleet had to first neutralize Forts Jackson and St. Philip, under the command of General Johnson Duncan. When Duncan arrived at the forts in early March, he immediately began to improve them. Water was pumped out of the casemate on Jackson, while sandbags were used for both forts to lessen the damage that could be done by Union mortars.

As March ended and April began, the Union fleet under Farragut edged ever closer to the Rebel forts. By the second week of April, the USS Harriet Lane, Lt. Porter’s flag ship, had twice engaged the batteries of Fort Jackson. The expeditions provided Farragut with the ranges needed to fully bombard the fortifications. Other coast survey parties were also dispatched to bring back information on where Porter should place his twenty-one mortar boats.

On April 15, Porter moved three of these vessels into place and fired a few shots to get the range. Enjoying their work, they continued it while Farragut readied his fleet.

On this date, Lt. Porter was ordered to move his mortar boats into place. The vessels, most of which were to be placed near the banks of the river, were disguised with branches and leaves. While they could see both forts from their position, they could not so easily be detected from the forts, being camouflaged, small and far away.2

Louisiana’s Governor Thomas Moore was beginning to think that sending the CSS Louisiana north rather than south was an incredibly bad idea. So bad, in fact, that as Porter was aligning his mortars, Moore wired President Jefferson Davis in Richmond.

After telling the President that none of the forts’ guns would reach the Union guns that had already bombarded the fort, he argued that the ironclad was “absolutely a necessity at the forts for the safety of New Orleans, and that it is suicidal to send her elsewhere.”


Davis soon replied. “The wooden vessels are below; the iron gunboats are above,” reasoned the President, referring to the wooden vessels of Farragut’s fleet and the iron gunboats of Commodore Andrew Foote in Tennessee. “The forts should destroy the former if they attempt to ascend. The Louisiana may be indispensable to check the descent of the iron boats.”

Though Moore had told him that the forts’ guns could not reach the Union position, Davis seemed completely unaware of there being any danger at all from the growing Union fleet in the lower Mississippi. Davis would be proven unbelievably wrong in a few short hours.3




1.Autobiography and Personal Reminiscences of Major-General Benj. F. Butler, A. M. Thayer, 1892. [↩]
2.The Night the War Was Lost by Charles L. Dufour, University of Nebraska Press, 1960. [↩]
3.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p878. [↩]

Related posts:
Both Armies to Attack Across Bull Run!
Floyd Hopes to Ditch Wise; Benjamin Butler Doesn’t Plan an Attack
Union Navy, Army and Marines Attack Cape Hatteras!
Fremont Defends His Proclamation; Lee Plans an Attack
Union Generals Disobey Grant’s Orders and Attack at Fort Donelson
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Lun 14 Mai - 14:59

Lincoln Frees the Slaves in Washington; Davis Signs Conscription Act

April 16, 1862 (Wednesday)


When Abraham Lincoln first entered Washington, DC, as a Representative from Illinois in 1847, he was shocked at the amount of slave trading going on in the capital. In his youth, he had seen slavery firsthand in his travels, and had witnessed it in his wife’s hometown. But the volume of trade in human chattel in the nation’s capital was alarming.

A few blocks from his apartment was an auction block where human beingofs would be sold to the highest bidder. On the grassy mall, large holding pens kept slaves locked up awaiting sale. All throughout the city, black slaves were herded, chains rattling, as they shuffled along.

While in office, Lincoln introduced a bill that would gradually free Washington’s slaves. However, congress was not yet ready for such a scheme as this.1

While the slave trade was banned in Washington in 1850, by 1862, there was still nearly 3,000 slaves within the confines of the city. No doubt remembering the bill he proposed in 1849, on this date, Lincoln signed a new bill, emancipating the slaves within the boundaries of Washington DC.

The abolitionists saw it as a step in the right direction, while the South largely viewed it as a dark, foreshadow of things to come.2

They were, of course, correct. By this time, it was obvious that leaving the Congress in the hands of the Republicans meant that slavery would be attacked. Three days prior to this, Lincoln had signed into law another bill, forbidding soldiers and officers in the Union Army from returning runaway slaves to their masters.

This is not to say that the Republicans and remaining Democrats lit candles, held hands and sang “John Brown’s Body” together. There was, in fact, a large gulf between the two parties. The Democrats, even from New England, such as Senator Jacob Collamer from Vermont, referred to blacks as “dirty negroes” during one of his anti-confiscation speeches. “The white man shall govern and the nigger never shall be his equal,” exclaimed Collamer to wild applause.


Many Republicans would hardly disagree with these claims, but still wished for slavery to be abolished. It was only the radical Republicans who believed that black people were equal to whites.

The Republicans held sway over the vote, passing one anti-slavery law after another. By the time their session ended in July, twenty-six such laws had been passed.3


__________________

Davis Signs Conscription Act

While the Union President was giving people their freedom, the Confederate President was taking freedom away, signing the new nation’s first conscription act. The law gave President Jefferson Davis the power to call upon every white male, age eighteen to thirty-five, to give three years of his life to the Confederate Army. It also required all men currently enlisted to be reenlisted.

This act exempted nobody, but it did allow for substitutions, if one could find another, older than thirty-five, who wanted to fight for the South and had not already enlisted.

All of this was a bit short-sighted. If all of the able-bodied white males were grafted into the army, who would work all of the jobs that slaves were not allowed to do? Who would operate the telegraphs, teach in colleges, and deliver the mail? Such exemptions, and many, many more, were soon to be made.4

__________________

McClellan’s First Jab at the Rebels

In what was practically a world apart from such politics, General George McClellan believed he had found a weakness in the Rebel lines on the Virginia Peninsula. The Confederates had erected a one-gun battery near Dam No. 1, up the Warwick River from Lee’s Mill. He called upon General “Baldy” Smith to force the Rebels to stop work on the battery. However, he cautioned that no general battle should be brought on. If Smith could simply get the Confederates to stop making improvements to their works, McClellan would be thrilled.


Between Smith’s Division and the Confederates was a large mill pond. Throughout the day, Union artillery bombarded their foes, who had ducked down behind their works for cover. Unable to see the Rebels, a Federal lieutenant crossed the pond, which was up over his waist, crawled to within fifty yards of the Confederate works. The only thing he could see behind them was wagons carrying away supplies.

Believing the works could be taken, Smith crossed over four Vermont companies, who dodged the enemy skirmish fire and took the Rebel works. Though the rifle pits had been taken, neither Smith nor General McClellan, who had dropped by to see how it was going, seemed to know what to do next.

The captain who led the raiding party had been mortally wounded and three brigades worth of Confederates were regrouping to retake their works. The Rebels through one regiment forward, but the sharp defense by the 200 Federals drove them back.

The Vermonters called twice for reinforcements, but none came. After forty long minutes in the Rebel trenches, the Union troops retreated back across the pond.

McClellan saw little need for more, having reached his objective, stopping the Rebels from working on the one-gun battery. He took leave of Smith, figuring that Smith would continue to throw artillery rounds into the Rebel position.

Smith, however, wanted to retake the position. He believed that he could do so, while still not bringing on a general engagement.


Around 5pm, Smith sent two regiments across the river. The 4th Vermont crossed on the dam, stopping short of attacking to create a diversion, while the 6th Vermont crossed upstream through water that was neck-deep.

The 6th rushed the works and took them, but became embroiled in a two-hour struggle with the swampy ground and the Rebels. In the trenches, they were exposed to both enemy infantry and artillery fire. When they could withstand no more, the Vermonters retreated.

Smith ordered the artillery to cease fire and the day was at an end. The second attack was pointless, but McClellan’s objective was met.5




1.The Lincolns; Portrait of a Marriage by Daniel Mark Epstein, Ballantine Books, 2008. [↩]
2.Fugitive slaves (1619-1865)by Marion Gleason McDougall, Ginn & Co., 1891. [↩]
3.From Property to Person: Slavery and the Confiscation Acts, 1861-1862 by Silvana R. Siddali, Louisiana State University Press, 2005. [↩]
4.Public Laws of the Confederate States of America, First Congress 1862, edited by James Muscoe Matthews, Richmond, 1862. [↩]
5.Army of the Potomac; McClellan’s First Campaign by Russel H. Beatie, Savas Beatie, 2007. [↩]

Related posts:
Washington Cut Off and Surrounded by Rebels?
Lincoln Doesn’t Quite Free the Slaves; Lee in WV
Fremont Makes Freemen of Slaves, Declares Martial Law
The Unionists of Chincoteague; Fremont in Hot Water; Lincoln Nearly Arms the Slaves
Lincoln Bows to Political Pressure, Depletes Mac’s Army
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Lun 14 Mai - 14:55

One Last Battle of New Mexico

April 15, 1862 (Tuesday)


Every great campaign of the war seems to end with a small and hardly-remembered battle following the major one. As we will see, the Antietam Campaign will have Shepherdstown, the Gettysburg Campaign will have Williamsport, and even Bermuda Hundred has its Ware Bottom Church. And so, Sibley’s New Mexico Campaign had Peralta.

Following the Rebel retreat from Albuquerque, General Henry Sibley and his victorious, though thoroughly whipped Army of New Mexico, now, but 1,800-strong, was marching south on either side of the Rio Grande. In pursuit was the Union force under Col. Edward Canby, numbering 2,400.

The presence of the Federals was unknown to the Rebels until a detachment of Union cavalry attacked seven remaining Southern wagons, which carried the last of the Army’s supplies (as well as some household items from a fleeing secessionist family). The mules pulling the wagons had refused to move and so the small train was left behind with a guard of thirty-four men under Lt. James Darby, to catch up later.


Union Col. Canby, seeing the vulnerability of the situation, dispatched some of his men to take them as they traveled down the eastern shore of the river. When Lt. Darby saw them coming, he circled the wagons and prepared to defend them, thinking that his commander, Col. Tom Green, would notice he was being attacked and help out.

The Union cavalry dismounted and advanced with a crouch, laying down flat to fire, until they were withing fifty yards of the Rebels. Then, with a woop, they charged the wagons, stopping when a dozen Rebels hoisted a dirty white rag on a ramrod, signaling their surrender. Four Rebels had been killed and six were wounded. The Federals made off with the wagons, the provisions, fifteen horses, seventy ornery mules and one field howitzer.

This, however, was not the battle of Peralta.

When the fleeing Rebels found their way to Col. Green, commanding one of the two columns, he was in the town with his force of 550 men. Reaching the place the previous evening, he had set up his headquarters in the house of Governor Henry Connelly, a Unionist from Virginia, appointed to the post by President Lincoln. Connelly was safely in Las Vegas, northeast of Santa Fe. With the news of the nearby Federals, Green sent a message to General Sibley for assistance.


Canby’s command had found the Rebels the previous evening and were waiting until morning to strike. After some brief reconnoitering, he began lobbing shells into the town, surprising the Confederates. Some were preparing their breakfasts, while other still slumbered as the Union infantry prepared to assault their camp.

The plan was for two Federal columns to sweep around the town, along the river, cutting off the ford and dividing the Rebel army. The columns, along with two pieces of artillery, moved towards the water, stopping now and then to throw a few shells into the Confederate camp. The Rebel gunners, having taken a fine defensive position, replied with great accuracy, keeping the Federal column stepping.

To get some idea of what Canby was about, Green placed two men up the church spire to get a better view. As the Federals manouvered, the lookouts would call down to Green their new location. Green would then shift troops to meet the coming threat. Soon, the Federals discovered the tower and hurled several shots at the house of worship. The first two missed, but the third struck it, sending the Rebels scurrying for ground.


When Col. Canby arrived on the field, he saw that making an attack would be pointless. The town of Peralta was crisscrossed by irrigation canals and checkered with adobe walls, giving the Rebels an impromptu fortress, complete with moats.

Fearing that an attack would come, Green, outnumbered nearly five-to-one, kept an eye on the ford across the Rio Grande, hoping to soon see the rest of the army coming to his rescue. While he waited, he continued to shift troops, ordering some to take a particular wall or hold a certain canal. The fighting meandered about the town, flowing from yard to yard, wall to wall. All while the artillery blasted away.

Sibley, upon receiving Green’s message, hurried along the bulk of his force, leaving behind only a scant command to guard their camps and wagons. The reinforcements made a hasty march to the ford, waded through the river with icy water up to their armpits, guns and cartridge boxes held aloft. They appeared on the other side with a cry, ready to fight with their comrades.


Seeing the Rebels crossing, Union cavalry swung into action, riding hard to get to the ford. General Sibley had just crossed the river and was about to take command of his entire force when the Federals were upon them. With bullets singing by their ears and lathered horses charging, the Confederate commander was cut off and had to recross the river to avoid being captured.

Around noon, Col. Canby called for a halt to allow his troops to get some rest and to eat. They had gone over a day without either. Some Federals, however, were sent to find other approaches into Peralta and received neither respite nor sustenance.

When they returned, Canby worked out a new plan of attack. Before he could put it into action, however, the winds blew, kicking up great clouds of dust, blinding the men and rendering the army useless. With no other choice, Canby called off the attack.

That night, with the winds still up, Green’s Confederates slipped across the Rio Grande, uniting the Army of New Mexico with their commander at Los Lunas. By 4am, they had all escaped, reporting only two men wounded. The Federals probably lost several men in the aborted attacks.

Sibley would continue his march south, not wishing to tangle again with the Federals. Canby would follow along on the opposite bank, acting almost as an escort, keeping them moving, but from a respectful distance.1




1.The two trusty books on the campaign told very different stories of this affair. I did my best to weave the two together. Sibley’s New Mexico Campaign by Martin Hardwick Hall, and Blood & Treasure by Donald S. Frazier. [↩]

Related posts:
Rebels in New Mexico Plan to Capture a Fort; First Battle in Arkansas
Deep Sand and Exploding Mules in New Mexico; Halleck Wants Command
Confederate Victory in New Mexico
Rebels in New Mexico Begin their Campaign in Earnest
Rebels Begin their Long, Treacherous Retreat from New Mexico
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Lun 14 Mai - 14:50

Johnston Wants to Abandon Peninsula, Fight Union Army Near Richmond

April 14, 1862
(Monday)

Confederate General Joe Johnston had very little faith that his Army of Northern Virginia could hold the defenses across the Peninsula against the Union Army of the Potomac. After being placed in command of all troops gathered there (the bulk of which had been made up of his old Confederate Army of the Potomac), he examined for himself the works. Finding them not up to his liking, he met with President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee and the new Secretary of War, George Wythe Randolph.

Not only were the defenses inadequate, the Rebel artillery was out-gunned. The fortifications around Yorktown and Gloucester, across the York River, were armed with older, smooth-bore guns, while the Union artillery had newer, rifled cannons, which had a much greater range. From beyond the throw of the Confederate artillery, their Union counterparts could pick apart their batteries.

Defending the Peninsula merely delayed the Union approach at the cost of untold lives. Johnston believed that he had a better plan. He wanted to gather together all the forces down the Confederate coast, uniting them before Richmond, drawing out McClellan’s Army of the Potomac and surprising them as they were about to lay siege to the city. Once defeated, they would be 100 miles away from their nearest base (Fortress Monroe) and could reasonably be annihilated. This battle, believed Johnston, would decide the war.


While Davis listened, Lee and Randolph were not convinced that Johnston’s plan was sound. Lee believed that pulling troops from the coast would lead to the fall of Charleston and Savannah. Randolph, who had been a naval officer before the war, thought that giving up the Navy Yard at Norfolk (on the Peninsula) a particularly bad idea.

Johnston countered that whatever loss that might first occur was merely temporary and would surely be regained once the army was victorious.

The discussion ebbed and flowed, the details coming and going. They had been joined by Generals James Longstreet and G. W. Smith, who sometimes added their own opinions and sometimes said nothing. This went on for nearly seven hours, until they broke for dinner. At 7pm, they met again in Davis’ house, where they debated until after midnight.

Slowly, Johnston’s plan lost favor with the President, who sided with General Lee. Johnston was to leave at once for Yorktown and defend it against McClellan’s Army of the Potomac. Without the extra troops from Georgia and the Carolinas, the Army of Northern Virginia could field only 70,000, or roughly two-thirds of the Union forces on the Peninsula.

Though he obeyed, he had no faith that his army could hold and fully expected to find himself at the gates of Richmond before too long.1


__________________

Rebel Artillery Not as Shabby as First Supposed

Johnston was absolutely correct in his assessment of the Union artillery pointed at the Confederate defenses in and around Yorktown. After deciding that he couldn’t carry the Rebel positions at Yorktown with infantry, Union General George McClellan called for a siege. This required the digging of trenches and artillery positions. It also required artillery to fill these positions. Most importantly, all of this required time.


It did not take long for McClellan to begin to gather his guns. While the Confederates had mostly smooth-bores, along with the twenty 8″ and 10″ siege mortars, he also had twenty rifled guns. From the five 100 lbs Parrots to the ten 4-1/2 inchers, his artillery could safely fire upon the Rebels with little risk to his own men.2

All of this firepower, however, didn’t mean that the Rebels were defenseless. Johnston believed that the Union Navy could take out the batteries at Gloucester and Yorktown and land behind the Confederate lines. But taking out those artillery positions wasn’t so simple.

Flag Officer Louis Goldsborough, commander of the Union Navy around Fortress Monroe (and thus the Peninsula), had no real desire to attack Gloucester and Yorktown. He believed that his first priority was to protect the fleet against the ironclad CSS Virginia, which had been lately poking around. This freed up only seven wooden gunships to aid the infantry.

The USS Monitor, which had previously fought the Virginia to a tactical draw, was believed by the Navy to be vulnerable, and they refused to rely upon it to defend against the Rebel monstrosity.

While Goldsborough’s seven available gunboats had plenty of firepower, the Rebel’s land-based guns were given a three-to-one advantage over ship-based guns. The heavy artillery in the forts, being secure on the ground, were more accurate. They had the decided advantage of knowing the range of the targets before them.

The attacking ships would either have to fire on the move, which greatly reduced their accuracy, or stop to fire, which left them susceptible to the Confederate gunners. Goldsborough also considered that he would be attacking not just one fort, but two, one on either side of a 1,200 yard stretch of water. It was true that the smooth-bore guns were less accurate than rifled guns, but with each fort needing to cover only 600 yards, the accuracy of the thirty-three pieces covering the narrow channel wasn’t really an issue.

To make matters even worse for the Union Navy, some of the Rebel fortifications were elevated twenty-five to seventy feet above the York River. The artillery aboard the gunboats couldn’t be elevated enough to hit such targets.


McClellan had repeatedly tried to coax the Navy into steaming past Yorktown under the shroud of night so he could land troops behind the Rebel lines, but Goldsborough refused. Seeking a different plan, he turned to the infantry. Scouts on the Union left flank had reported a weakness in the Rebel lines near Lee’s Mill.

McClellan, after studying maps, selected the location for the attempted breakthrough and ordered that the reserves from General Keyes’ Corps be brought up, though nobody seemed to know where they (the division of Silas Casey) were. Once found, and once Keyes’ Corps was ready, McClellan would order the attack.3




1.Narrative of Military Operations by Joseph E. Johnston, D. Appleton and Co., 1874. [↩]
2.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 11, Part 3, p97-98. [↩]
3.Army of the Potomac; McClellan’s First Campaign by Russel H. Beatie, Savas Beatie, 2007. [↩]

Related posts:
Union Army Prepares to Move on Richmond!
The Union to Eastern Tennessee? Richmond Stirs at Stonewall’s Conduct
Union Forces Occupy Winchester as Rebels Retreat South Without a Fight
McClellan’s Army Begins Move to Peninsula; Foote Loses More than a Battle
McClellan’s Plan Discovered! Johnston Ordered to Reinforce the Peninsula
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Lun 14 Mai - 14:45

Rebels Begin their Long, Treacherous Retreat from New Mexico

April 13, 1862 (Sunday)


Union Col. Edward Canby was poised to take Albuquerque, defended by no more than 200 Rebels. His force, 1,100-strong, could have captured the city, but he was unsure just when the rest of the Confederates, moving south from Santa Fe, under the command of General Henry Sibley, would arrive. When combined, the Rebels would outnumber him two-to-one.

He had bombarded the town for two days and then slipped out with the Confederates none the wiser, moving to San Antonio, twenty miles east of Albuquerque, and then to Tijeras, a bit closer.

In Albuquerque, the Rebels, who had been reinforced with a portion of Sibley’s main force, were surprised to find that Canby had quietly fluttered away. It now seemed that their worst fears were about to be realized.


During the battle of Glorieta Pass, the Confederates tangled with the Federal troops from Fort Union. Though beaten, the 1,100 or so were still out there and probably trying to link up with Canby, who had a similar number. Sibley had wanted to defeat each of the Union forces in turn, but now he was faced with one larger, combined force.1

He was also faced with the very real prospect of starvation. Right after the firing at Glorieta had died, Federal cavalry had burned the bulk of their supply wagons, leaving them with little provisions. Sibley was nearly 250 miles from home. He hadn’t the sustenance or ammunition to stay, and faced a march through a barren desert that could stretch on for weeks. But once back in Mesilla and Fort Fillmore, he could restrengthen and return.

On the 12th, Sibley began his evacuation. He and his men burned whatever they couldn’t carry with them, but managed to make off with their three howitzers and two other guns captured at Val Verde. By this date, the Confederates had split their forces, marching on either side of the Rio Grande. Col. Surry took his column down the west side, while Cols. Green and Pyron moved down on the east.2


Meanwhile, the Federals from Fort Union, now under the command of Col. Gabriel Paul, were making a forced march to join Canby’s men at Tijeras, roughly fifteen miles east of Albuquerque. At 2am on this date, their march from Galisteo began. With breakfasts half finished, they took to the road, over winding hills and flattened plains. They marched through dawn, through noon, into evening, mile after mile with little rest. As the sun slid behind the mountains, Paul’s exhausted force had tramped forty miles. They collapsed in Tijeras, among their comrades under Col. Canby, who now commanded the entire Federal force in New Mexico, 2,400-strong.

Knowing that the Rebels were hurting, depleted of around 600 men from their march to Santa Fe, Canby was determined to strike them before he missed his opportunity.3


__________________

On the Peninsula: Bad News for the Rebels, Good News for the Yankees


In numbers far overshadowing those in New Mexico, the Union and Confederate armies on the Virginia Peninsula were gathering. General George B. McClellan’s Union Army of the Potomac was upwards of 101,000 present for duty, and outnumbered the Rebels nearly two-to-one. This separation in numbers, however, was lost upon General McClellan, who believed to Rebels to total 100,000 or more.

While that was a preposterous figure, it was true that the Confederate forces occupying the line across the Peninsula, from Yorktown to Warwick Creek, was growing. On the 12th, General Joe Johnston, commanding the Confederate Army of the Potomac, was ordered by Richmond to take over for General John Magruder on the Peninsula.4

Magruder’s Army of the Peninsula, 15,000-strong, was absorbed into Johnston’s numbers. The Confederate Army of the Potomac then became the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Magruder now commanded the left wing, at Yorktown.

The majority of Johnston’s army had left their defenses along the Rappahannock River and Fredericksburg and were either on the Peninsula or en route.


On this date, Johnston traveled from Richmond to examine the defenses of his new command. Upon arrival, he found the works to be incomplete. They were constructed by engineers who had no wartime experience and it showed. Johnston had no reason to suspect that McClellan wouldn’t come with an all out assault. He felt that the works would never be able to hold. Besides, even if they held, attempting to defend a peninsula meant that the enemy could simply sail around the flanks and land in the rear.

Discouraged and seeking another line of defense closer to Richmond, Johnston set off for the capital after dark to deliver the bad news.5

On the other side of the fortifications, General McClellan had received some rather good news. After learning that President Lincoln was keeping not only General Blenker’s Division, but also the entire First Corps of his Army of the Potomac, he had somehow convinced Washington to give him General William Franklin’s Division.

McClellan had been repeatedly pleading to have Franklin’s Division with him on the Peninsula.6 Until he finally received word that Franklin and his 11,000 men were his. Granted, he had wanted both Franklin and McCall’s Divisions, but was willing to make do with one. McClellan was overjoyed, or at least not as displeased as he had been. “I am confident as to results now,” he said to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, upon learning that he was getting what he wanted.7

By this date, Franklin had left Baltimore and was to arrive at Fortress Monroe in the next day or so. “We shall soon be at them, and I am sure of the result,” said McClellan to Stanton.8

More good news was coming from the skies. The weather, which had been rainy and rather horrible, was clearing up. The roads were returning to a slightly more solid state, allowing scouts to get a better look at the Rebel right flank near Lee’s Mill and the Warwick River. A weakness was found, but it would take a couple days for them to report it.9




1.Sibley’s New Mexico Campaign by Martin Hardwick Hall, University of New Mexico Press, 1960. [↩]
2.Blood & Treasure by Donal S. Frazier, Texas A&M University Press, 1995. [↩]
3.by Martin Hardwick Hall, University of New Mexico Press, 1960. [↩]
4.To the Gates of Richmond by Stephen W. Sears, Mariner Books, 1992. Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 11, Part 3, p97 gives the exact figure of 100,970 as “present for duty”. [↩]
5.Narrative of Military Operations by Joseph E. Johnston, D. Appleton and Co., 1874. [↩]
6.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 11, Part 3, p71, 74, 86. [↩]
7.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 11, Part 3, p86, 87. [↩]
8.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 11, Part 3, p94-95. [↩]
9.Army of the Potomac; McClellan’s First Campaign by Russel H. Beatie, Savas Beatie, 2007. [↩]

Related posts:
Rebels in New Mexico Plan to Capture a Fort; First Battle in Arkansas
Grant Eyes Nashville, Halleck Still Worries; Kit Carson Rides Against New Mexico Rebels
Union Forces Occupy Winchester as Rebels Retreat South Without a Fight
Rebels in New Mexico Begin their Campaign in Earnest
Lincoln to McClellan: “You Must Act”
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Lun 14 Mai - 14:39

The Great Locomotive Chase!

April 12, 1862 (Saturday)


The General, a steam locomotive pulling two passengers cars, a mail car and three boxcars, left Atlanta, Georgia at 4am, chuffing north on its way to Chattanooga. By the schedule, she would reach the Tennessee city in a little less than twelve hours. In most respects, it was a typical day aboard the Western & Atlantic Railroad, with two notable exceptions. First, Anthony Murphy, locomotive foreman (basically the conductor’s boss), was on board. Second, Union spy, James Andrews, and nineteen others, mostly Ohio soldiers, planned to steal the engine when it stopped for breakfast and refueling at Big Shanty.

“Now,” said Andrews to his crew, before they made their way to the Marietta depot, “I will succeed or leave my bones in Dixie.”

They boarded the cars and the train pulled out, eight miles from Big Shanty. The conductor, a young Bill Fuller, took their tickets, paying the raiders little mind. They were dressed as country folk, and he assumed they were on their way to join the Rebel army.

At Big Shanty, most of the passengers, as well as the crew, detrained and entered the hotel for breakfast. Andrews and William Knight, an engineer before the war, made their way towards the front of the train, and found the cab empty. Knight decoupled the mail and passenger cars and climbed inside the General. The rest of the men took their places in the boxcars. On Andrews’ signal, Knight pulled the throttle wide and she slowly, but not quietly, began to leave the station.

The sound of steam and iron pricked up the ears of the foreman, Anthony Murphy, who looked up in time to see it passing by the window. “Someone is running off with your train!” he exclaimed to the conductor, Bill Fuller. Supposing that the thieves were merely Confederate deserters, the owner of the hotel mounted a horse and rode south to Marietta, the nearest telegraph station, to alert Atlanta, even farther south. Not knowing what else to do, Fuller, the conductor, chased after the train on foot. Murphy and the engineer, E. Jefferson Cain, quickly followed. The race was on!


Andrews and his stolen train were ahead of schedule, which would arouse suspicions and create possible problems. The first problem came quickly. Only two and a half miles into what was supposed to be a 110 mile trip, an unsuspecting work crew was repairing a switch. The General stopped long enough for them to clear the track. The locomotive’s new engineer, Knight, “borrowed” a crowbar from the workers before resuming their run. Not far after, the Union spies stopped again to inspect the engine and cut some telegraph wires.

When starting back up, Andrews cautioned Knight to keep the speed at the normal sixteen miles-per-hour, not wanting to draw attention. After passing Allatoona, twelve miles north of Big Shanty, Andrews stopped again. This time they tore up the tracks, hoping to stop any train from following them. It was no easy task, especially without tools, but they managed to pry up a rail and loaded it onto one of the boxcars. They moved on feeling more secure.


A few more miles up the line, near Etowah, they passed a yard engine, the Yonah, which was working on a siding. Andrews had not expected to see another locomotive already under steam and ready to give chase, should she be commandeered by those in pursuit.

Meanwhile, Fuller, Murphy and Cain were still giving chase after the General, having found a hand car among the repair crew at the switch. This gave them hope and greatly increased their speed.

Andrews and his crew, after refueling at Cassville, and telling the station agent that they were heading for Beauregard’s Army with ammunition, were halted at the “Y” in Kingston to wait for a southbound freight to clear the line. It came through with bad news. Union General Mitchel had taken Huntsville and was moving on Chattanooga. All rail traffic was being sent south. They waited for over an hour and a half. They were prepared, if needed, to shoot their way out.

This was all avoided when the southbound train finally passed and Andrews was able to resume his northern run.

Back near Etowah, after a harrowing tumble when their handcar met the missing rail, Fuller, Murphy and Cain commandeered the Yonah. They made the fourteen miles to Kingston in just fifteen minutes. But the traffic at Kingston slowed their progress as well. The Yonah was beat, and so they grabbed another engine, the William R. Smith.

At Adairsville station, sixty-nine miles from Chattanooga, Andrews learned that an unscheduled southbound express was fleeing Mitchel’s forces. Though he risked a collision, he and the General continued on, telling Knight “let’s see how fast she can go.”

It was all or nothing now as Andrews’ train, under full steam, stormed northward, passing station after station, nearly colliding with a southbound at Calhoun. They believed they were clear enough to begin their true mission, that of burning as many bridges behind them as they could.


Fuller and Murphy (having left Cain behind at the break in the tracks), flagged down a southbound train pulled by the Texas, rather than fix the missing rail pulled up near Adairsville. Though they had to run it backwards, they lost little time and were catching up to the unsuspecting Andrews. At Calhoun, they picked up eleven Confederate infantrymen, who loaded themselves into the tender. Now, the chase was truly on.

A mile and a half north, Andrews had stopped yet again to pull up more track, hoping to buy the General even more time. As before, without the proper tools, this was a difficult task. As the men were working – as Andrews himself was prying up the rail – they heard the whistle of a coming, northbound train. Looking up, they saw her screaming towards them. Leaving their work, as well as a boxcar, behind, they took off towards Resaca.

The Texas, running backwards, was hardly slowed by the boxcar. It was just coupled to the tender and away they went, chasing the Yankees, whose plan to burn the bridges was quickly be cut short.


The General was running low on water and wood, so at Tilton, they stopped to refuel, throwing wood into the tender at a furious rate until they saw the Texas coming fast behind them. Not half finished, they pulled out for the “Y” at Dalton. After a short bit of banter, they figured out which line to use and steamed north, the Texas about two miles to their rear.

The Union raiders passed through Tunnel Hill, but it was clear that they were still low on fuel and water. Andrews ordered the last boxcar to be set ablaze, but due to the rain, now heavily falling, it would not catch.

Slower and slower, the General struggled on, to Ringold, where she finally died after a run of eighty-nine miles. “Jump off and scatter!” yelled Andrews to his crew. “Every man for himself!” The Texas was in sight, just two hundred yards behind.

They scattered, but had no real idea where they were. Three or four were caught almost immediately, being of a stature not fit for speedy travel on foot. Confederate soldiers had been alerted and soon arrived on the scene, aiding the chase. Over the course of the following week, a posse rounded up the rest.

Andrews and Knight, captured after a few days, had nearly escaped. They were taken not a dozen miles from the Union lines near New England, Georgia. All were held in Chatanooga and awaited a court martial, and, for some, death.

The Great Railroad Chase had closed, quickly becoming an American legend.1


__________________






1.Though it seems sort of ridiculous to do so, this accounting was gleaned from one source. It was, however, a trusted source, which used many firsthand accounts. Stealing the General by Russell S. Bonds, Westholme, 2007. If you chance upon it, give it a good read. It’s well worth it. [↩]

Related posts:
Send the Creole to Charleston, Flag Treachery and Cameron vs. Chase
The Great Bloodless War in the East; Preparing for Blood in the West
The State of Kanawha is Formed; Fighting and Proclamations in WV and MO
My God! We Are Attacked! Disorganized Surprise at Shiloh Church
Fort Pulaski with Huge, Gaping Holes Surrenders! Some Yankees Spy a Train
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Lun 14 Mai - 14:36

Fort Pulaski with Huge, Gaping Holes Surrenders! Some Yankees Spy a Train

April 11, 1862 (Friday)

Just after dawn, the Confederate and Union guns in and opposing Fort Pulaski opened upon each other once again. The duel of the previous day had yielded some promising results for the Federals, breaching one of the walls of the Rebel fort. This morning, however, the Confederate gunners were firing with much greater accuracy and rapidity, perhaps knowing that they had to do everything in their power to hold the fort.

Whatever accuracy the Rebels could bring to the fight was met with a similar precision by Union gunners. The breach in the nine-foot thick walls was targeted and enlarged to nearly ten square feet, and another breach was started, and the projectiles picked away at the mortar. By noon, after five hours, the entire wall collapsed. An adjoining wall soon followed, allowing the shots and shells to pass directly into the fort.

It seemed inevitable that soon the entire southeastern portion of the fort would be disintegrated, allowing the infantry to easily storm the works. Boats and scaling ladders were readied for the purpose, though it wasn’t supposed that any attempt would be made until two additional days of bombardments.


Such an inevitability must have been obvious to the Rebels as well. Around 2pm, with their fort in shambles, a white flag was hoisted above the parapet, as the Confederate flag was slowly grounded.

The firing was ceased and the terms demanding the surrender of the garrison and all of the weapons were prepared for delivery. Union General Quincy Gillmore, who had first conceived of reducing Fort Polaski with the use of new rifled guns, took a small boat to the fort to accept the surrender.1

The terms were unconditional surrender. The garrison was taken prisoner, but allowed to take with them personal items, though not side arms. The officers were sent north, while the soldiers were paroled. Fort Pulaski contained forty-seven guns, ample ammunition, 40,000 barrels of gunpowder, and abundant supplies, all of which fell into Union hands.


The fall of a fort was nothing new. But the expeditious fall of such a fort as Pulaski was surprising. Three years earlier, before the use of rifled guns, it would have been impossible to take it in but a day and a half of shelling. General Gillmore, and other officers, realized that, just as the battle of the Monitor and Virginia had signaled a new beginning in naval warfare, so did the fall of Pulaski symbolize the future of artillery and fortifications.


Gillmore was most impressed with the 42-lbs. James rifle, which fired an eighty-four pound solid shot. These shots penetrated the wall of the fort twenty-six times during the short bombardment. Two lighter James rifles also performed well. This was all new information, and Gillmore went on for pages in his report, musing over the results, with suggestions how to make the rifled guns even more effective. If he could do it all again, pondered Gillmore, “the eight weeks of laborious preparation for its reduction could have been curtailed to one week, as heavy mortars and columbiads would have been omitted from the armament of the batteries as unsuitable for breaching at long ranges.” From here on out, when it came to bombarding forts, Gillmore wanted only rifled guns, like the James and Parrott. 2

Though the Union would hold Fort Pulaski through the end of the war, no attempt would soon be made to take Savannah, only fourteen miles up river. Its fall did, however, close its port.

__________________

Andrews and His Raiders About to Strike!

The Union spy, James Andrews, had concocted a plan to steal a locomotive on a Confederate-held railroad, drive it north, burning bridges as he went. He had approached General Ormsby Mitchel, commanding near Shelbyville, Tennessee, who not only approved the plan, but helped in its finer details. If successful, it would leave the door open to Memphis. The raid was to happen on April 11, and Mitchel agreed to capture Huntsville, Alabama on the same day as the raid, with designs then upon Chattanooga.

In the five days that had passed since Andrews and Mitchel talked, twenty-three men, mostly soldiers from Ohio regiments (though one was a civilian), had been selected to take part in the raid. They split up, planning to meet in Marietta, Georgia, 200 miles south, on April 10. Traveling such a distance in four days was quite a feat, especially considering that the first ninety had to be on foot.

Most traveled in groups of two or three. They had changed from their uniforms into civilian clothes, most claiming to be recruits headed for Southern armies. They lathered thick “Kaintuck” drawls over their Ohio accents. “We’re bound fo’ Geo’gia, sir,” one of the raiders told a Confederate picket, “to Ma’ietta, Geo’ria, sir, to jine the Confede’ate a’my.” They had come from “Kaintucky, sir, left thar to git rid o’ Yankess rule, sir.” Andrews himself rode a horse, so as to travel ahead of the group, making preparations for the heist.

Two of the raiders were captured by Rebels. Rather, they were questioned, and coaxed into the Confederate Army. The picket, who didn’t believe that two boys from “Kaintuck” would travel to Georgia to “jine the Confede’ate a’my,” when there were plenty of fine Rebel units nearby. They were placed in an artillery company defending Chattanooga.

The raid was supposed to begin on the 11th, but on the 9th, Andrews decided that due to the deluge of rain, Mitchel and his division would probably be delayed a day, and so he postponed his adventure for twenty-four hours.

Meanwhile, General Mitchel and his division had trudged through the mud, wind and rain like it was nothing. Huntsville was his at dawn on the 11th. Mitchel seized the post office, telegraph office, fifteen locomotives, whatever rolling stock was at the station and several hundred Rebels. He now waited for Andrews and his crew to arrive on the stolen locomotive, bridges burned behind them.


But Andrews had delayed his mission by a day, and the raiders were merely in Chattanooga, boarding a train south to Marietta as Mitchel took Huntsville. Around midnight, they arrived in Marietta, taking up quarters at a hotel run by Henry Cole, a New Yorker and fellow Union spy.

As the Union raiders slept, in Atlanta, engineer E. Jefferson Cain and fireman Andrew Anderson, readied their engine, the General, for her morning run on the Western & Atlantic. Tagging along would be foreman, Anthony Murphy. Ironically, both Cain and Murphy hailed from Pennsylvania, coming south in 1854 and 1857, respectively. The General was scheduled to disembark at 4am, making the 138-mile trip to Chattanooga in a little less than twelve hours.

The first stop after Marietta was the station at Big Shanty. This is where Andrews and his raiders would make their move. But for the time being, the engineer and fireman readied the General, as the Union men caught a few short hours of sleep.3




1.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p136-137; 159. [↩]
2.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p134; 163-165. [↩]
3.Stealing the General by Russell S. Bonds, Westholme Publishing, 2007. [↩]

Related posts:
Jeff Thompson Arrives Early, Burns a Bridge, Kills Some Yankees
Union Generals Disobey Grant’s Orders and Attack at Fort Donelson
Rebels Nearly Attack, Union Flotilla Destroyed at Fort Donelson
Turner Ashby Takes the Yankees for a Ride; Grant Consolidates
Union Bombardment of Fort Pulaski: “They Cannot Breach Your Walls at that Distance”
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Lun 14 Mai - 13:35

Union Bombardment of Fort Pulaski: “They Cannot Breach Your Walls at that Distance”
April 10, 1862 (Thursday)

In the five months since the fall of Port Royal, the Confederates had more or less abandoned the coast south of Charleston, South Carolina. The notable exception to this was Savannah, Georgia, which was guarded by Fort Pulaski.

Finished in 1847, Pulaski was a five-sided, brick fortification on an island fourteen miles down the river from Savannah. It controlled both channels of the river and, because of its eleven foot thick walls, was believed to be impenetrable to cannon fire. Robert E. Lee, then a young engineer fresh out of West Point, took part in its construction during the 1830s. After leaving Western Virginia, during the winter of 1861-62, Lee returned to the fort, ensuring that it could withstand a Union attack.

“Colonel, they will make it pretty warm for you here with shells,” Lee ensured the fort’s commander, Col. Charles H. Olmstead, “but they cannot breach your walls at that distance.”1


What Lee was referring to as “that distance,” was Tybee Island, located across the southern channel of the Savannah River. According to Lee, the batteries that the Federals erected upon Tybee Island, would have to lob shells one to two miles to merely hit the fort, let alone do any damage. Most siege artillery lost its ability for destruction after 700 yards.

Traditionally, forts were assailed by gunboats, which would be able to get no closer to the Pulaski due to its forty-eight guns. Also, landing troops on Pulaski’s island to assault the fort was out of the question, as the island was most mostly marshland. The Rebels appeared to have a nearly impenetrable position.


However, not everyone agreed. Captain Quincy Gillmore, Union engineer, believed Pulaski to be vulnerable. When the fort was built, through the 1830s and 1840s, rifled artillery was not yet in use. The technology was so new, in fact, that it wasn’t until 1859 that it was used in the United States Army. Gillmore was convinced that the fort could be reduced, not by siege guns, but but rifled artillery.

Over the winter, Gillmore oversaw the construction of eleven batteries along the northern shore of Tybee Island. Many of the batteries used mortars, while others used Columbiads. Two of the embrasures closer to the fort contained Parrot and James rifles. Parrots were also used on two nearby islands to aid in the coming attack.2

Finally, on April 9, everything was ready. Gillmore, now a Brigadier-General, gave orders to each battery when to attack, how long to cut their fuses and which type of ammunition to use.3


Union General David Hunter, commanding the Department of the South, composed a letter to Confederate Col. Olmstead, demanding “the immediate surrender and restoration of Port Pulaski to the authority and possession of the United States.” The attack, warned Hunter, was ready. “The number, caliber, and completeness of the batteries surrounding you leave no doubt as to what must result in case of your refusal,” continued Hunter, “and as the defense, however obstinate, must eventually succumb to the assailing force at my disposal, it is hoped you may see fit to avert the useless waste of life.”

Sending the demand to the fort under flag of truce at dawn of this date, Hunter gave Olmstead thirty minutes to reply.4

And quickly it came: “In reply I can only say that I am here to defend the Fort, not to surrender it.”5

With Olmstead’s refusal to surrender, the bombardment began at 8:15am. All eleven batteries opened upon the Confederate fort, one after the other in slow succession, so that by 9am, every gun was pounding away at the fort. The Rebel gunners replied, but with little success at first, being only able to target two of the Union batteries.


As they were fired, three of the Union Columbiads had blown themselves off their carriages by their own recoils. Two were fixed, but one was taken permanently out of the action. More bad news came in when it was discovered that the larger mortars were not able to land their shells inside the fort.

The Federals continued their fire, hoping and assuming the best. Through the use of a telescope, General Gillmore could see that the rifled guns would probably be able to breach Pulaski’s walls. With each shot, the shells blew away more and more of the brick, giving the works the appearance of a honeycomb.


Throughout the day, the fort was slowly being reduced, but the mortars remained fairly ineffectual. By evening, they had been at it for over ten hours, finally breaching the southeastern corner of Fort Pulaski.

With night upon them, there was little the Federals could do. Four pieces (three mortars and a Parrot) kept up a steady fire throughout the night, hoping to dissuade the Rebels from making any repairs to their works. Throughout the day, over 3,000 shells had been lobbed at the Confederate fortification. Union casualties were light and no guns had been hit by enemy fire.6

Both sides would resume fire at dawn.




1.Tybee Island: The Long Branch of the South by Robert A. Ciucevich, Arcadia Publishing, 2005. No, not really a great source, but I’m lacking in coastal sources and I needed something with a decent overview. [↩]
2.Journal of the United States Artillery, Vol. 40, p210-212. [↩]
3.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p157. [↩]
4.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p134-135. [↩]
5.Rebellion Record, Vol. 4, edited by Frank Moore, p452. [↩]
6.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 6, p157-159. [↩]

Related posts:
The Bombardment of Fort Sumter
Complete Union Victory at Roanoke Island
Union Generals Disobey Grant’s Orders and Attack at Fort Donelson
Rebels Nearly Attack, Union Flotilla Destroyed at Fort Donelson
Union Navy Begins Fruitless Bombardment of Island No. 10
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Lun 14 Mai - 13:31

Lincoln to McClellan: “You Must Act”
April 9, 1862 (Wednesday)



While the Battle of Shiloh raged for two days in the west, General George McClellan’s Army of the Potomac moved not an inch. Four long days has passed since McClellan learned that the Confederates had fortified across the entire Virginia Peninsula. He had expected them to retreat to Yorktown, which he felt could easily be taken. The same day, he discovered that President Lincoln was withholding General McDowell’s First Corps, keeping it near to Washington.

McClellan had decided to besiege Yorktown. This siege would take time. Lincoln was growing increasingly short on such a commodity. On the sixth, Lincoln had wired McClellan, urging him to move. “You now have over 100,000 troops with you,” reasoned the President, “I think you better break the line from Yorktown to Warwick River at once.”

McClellan argued that he had only 85,000 men (of which only 53,000 were on hand). When McClellan first landed on the Peninsula, by his own calculations, the enemy before him consisted of no more than 15,000. Things on that end, however, seemed to have changed. As he took in Rebel prisoners, he heard again and again that General Joe Johnston’s Confederate Army of the Potomac (very soon to use the moniker “Army of Northern Virginia”) had left their works along the Rappahannock to reinforce their comrades on the Peninsula.

This meant, according to McClellan, that the enemy now had “probably not less than 100,000 men, probably more.” Since the loss of Blenker’s Division and McDowell’s First Corps (a loss he somehow totaled to the sound of 50,000 men), his force “was probably less than that of the enemy.”1


Writing to his wife that evening, McClellan complained that Lincoln “thought I had better break the enemy’s lines at once! I was much tempted to reply that he had better come & do it himself.”2

The truth was that many of Johnston’s Rebels had come to Yorktown. However, the prisoners McClellan relied upon for information greatly exaggerated things. Manning the Confederate defenses, they had few more than 34,000, doubling the original Army of the Peninsula, commanded by General “Prince” John Magruder, who was blissfully surprised that McClellan had not yet attacked.3

Also surprised, though less than blissful, was President Lincoln, who, upon this date, donned his lawyer’s cap and sent McClellan a very stern note, arguing why the General had to pick up the pace. With all the skill of a master attorney, Lincoln deftly punched holes in each of McClellan’s complaints and excuses.


Lincoln’s biggest concern was that Washington be left protected. McClellan originally placed General Banks’ Corps at Manassas to do the job, but then moved them to the Shenandoah, leaving nothing in their place. “And allow me to ask,” jabbed Lincoln, “do you really think I should permit the line from Richmond via Manassas Junction to this city to be entirely open except what resistance could be presented by less than 20,000 unorganized troops?”

As McClellan claimed to have only 85,000 men, Lincoln wondered how that could be so. According to McClellan’s own returns, he had 108,000 men total. “How can the discrepancy of 23,000 be accounted for?”

Lincoln was not finished. He figured that however many men McClellan had en route to the Peninsula had already arrived. The enemy, however, would only grown stronger. While Lincoln ultimately approved McClellan’s Peninsula plan, it was not his first choice. “You will do me the justice to remember I always insisted that going down the bay in search of a field, instead of fighting at or near Manassas, was only shifting and not surmounting a difficulty,” explained the President, “we would find the same enemy and the same or equal intrenchments at either place.”


Now was no time for regrets. It was time for action. Several places throughout the letter, Lincoln insisted that McClellan do something. “I think it is the precise time for you to strike a blow,” penned Lincoln only two lines before he wrote: “And once more let me tell you it is indispensable to you that you strike a blow.”

He concluded in much the same manner: “I beg to assure you that I have never written you or spoken to you in greater kindness of feeling than now, nor with a fuller purpose to sustain you, so far as, in my most anxious judgment, I consistently can. But you must act.”4


__________________

Federals Slip Away from Albuquerque

Union Col. Edward Canby had hoped to take Confederate-held Albuquerque, holding it until he could form a junction with the troops coming south from Fort Union. Combined, with a force of 2,200, he planned to defeat the Rebel Army of New Mexico, commanded by General Henry Sibley, roughly 2,000-strong.


Canby and his column arrived before Albuquerque the previous day, but had met with a stiff resistance put up by the 120 Rebels left in town. Sibley, who had concentrated most of his force to the north, at Santa Fe, was currently doing everything he could to rush them back to Albuquerque.

The Federals spent most of this day skirmishing with the Confederates. No casualties were recorded, but the fire, including artillery, was kept up for hours. At dusk, Canby ordered that his men build campfires and that his drummer boys and buglers remain behind while the rest of his force moved east under the shroud of nightfall.

The deception worked, and not a day too soon. The first elements of Sibley’s Rebels began to arrive at 10pm. South of their position, they saw the Federal camp, lit with fires, and could hear the bugle strains and beats of the drum. Meanwhile, Canby slipped to Carnuel Pass, near San Antonio. There, he would wait for the troops from Fort Union, under Col. Gabriel Paul.5




1.Official Records, Series 1, Vol 11, Part 1, p14; 11-12. [↩]
2.Lincoln and McClellan; The Trouble Partnership Between a President and His General by John C. Waugh, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. [↩]
3.To the Gates of Richmond by Stephen W. Sears, Mariner Books, 1992. [↩]
4.Official Records, Series 1, Vol 11, Part 1, p15. [↩]
5.Sibley’s New Mexico Campaign by Martin Hardwick Hall, University of New Mexico Press, 1960. [↩]

Related posts:
McClellan Refuses to Divulge His Plan (If He Even Has One) to Lincoln
McClellan Finally Submits an Official Plan, Counters Lincoln
Lincoln Bows to Political Pressure, Depletes Mac’s Army
Rebels Prepare to Attack Grant; McClellan Loses His First Corps
General McClellan and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Lun 14 Mai - 13:27

Times are Tough for New Mexican Rebels
April 8, 1862 (Tuesday)

Since their tactical victory/strategic defeat at Glorieta Pass, New Mexico, the Confederates under General Henry Sibley had been celebrating/lamenting in Santa Fe. By the 4th of April, Sibley’s entire army, which had been scattered before the battle, was finally whole. The problem (and what turned the victory into a defeat) was that the bulk of the Army’s supply wagons had been torched by Federals after the battle.

To help make ends meet, Sibley ordered his quartermaster to seize the New Mexico treasury, which was bizarrely left unsecured by the retreating Federals before Sibley arrived nearly a month ago. The coffers offered little, and the already barren landscape had been picked clean by weeks of various troops encamping nearby.1

Though seemingly victorious, a dark cloud fell over the Rebel army. They knew they were in trouble, far from home and cut off from their supply line. There was also a grave danger of the Union armies, Col. Edward Canby to the south, and Col. Slough to the east, uniting and trapping them in Santa Fe.

Sibley had requested and expected to receive reinforcements from Texas, and wanted to wait for them near the village of Manzano, southeast, and across the Manzano Mountains from Albuquerque. This wasn’t such a bad idea. It sidestepped the route that the Union troops under Canby would be taking from Fort Union and was far enough away from the other Union troops that the Rebels just defeated, now at Fort Craig.

As Sibley was making up his mind, however, Canby was quickly moving north upon Albuquerque, still held by a Confederate rear guard. The Confederates were daily receiving word that the Federals from Fort Union were moving upon Albuquerque. On the 6th, a column of Rebel cavalry under Col. Tom Green, left Santa Fe in hopes of arriving in time to beat Canby and rescue the garrison of 120 men guarding the armory.2


While all this was taking place, the supposedly defeated Federals had retreated back to Fort Union, north of Las Vegas (New Mexico). There, Col. Slough, who had no real business leading men into battle, turned the entire command over to Col. Gabriel Paul and wished to completely resign from the army, effective April 9. Probably elated, Paul, a military man who had originally commanded at Fort Union, reorganized his force and set out to meet up with Canby. By this date, he was at Bernal Springs, forty-five miles southwest of Fort Union.

Col. Canby and his 1,200 men and four pieces of artillery, had spent a week marching the 120 miles from Fort Craig to Albuquerque. On the afternoon of this date, they found themselves on its outskirts. Knowing they were coming, the scant Confederate rear guard had placed their own artillery, hoping to hold off the Yankees, but realizing they would be greatly outnumbered. The rest of the Confederates were just now leaving Santa Fe and wouldn’t arrive until the 9th or 10th.

Canby unlimbered his guns in a ditch south of town and sent some of his cavalry forward to find out where the Rebels were. The Confederates put up a good scrap, firing upon the Federals and even dusting off their own cannon, attempting to duel with the Union battery.

Each side pounded away, but did no damage to the other. The wild firing of the Federals did, however, damage some houses, causing the citizens to sneak across the lines to inform Canby that they were endangering the lives of civilians.

Canby silenced his guns, but the Rebels continued, lobbing a shot towards the Federals every now and then, while small arms fire peppered the afternoon.

Eventually, as night was coming, Canby ordered his men back. There had been no casualties on either side, except one. During the artillery duel, a Major in Canby’s army had been sitting upon his horse when he saw a Confederate artillery shot coming towards him. He tried to get out of its way, but ended up losing his balance and fell off his horse.

The Federals fell back two miles, believing Albuquerque to be too heavily defended to take on this day.3


__________________

Forrest Escapes the Union Pursuit

The two-day battle at Shiloh had left the ground strewn with over 3,400 dead from both sides. Thousands of rotting horses, exploded caissons, destroyed wagons and all the paraphernalia of war were scattered about at random.


The defeat had cost the Rebels nearly a quarter of their men, leaving General Beauregard with little more than 25,000 troops under arms. The Union forces, while suffering greatly, were concentrating. General Buell’s Army of the Ohio, which had reinforced General Grant’s Army of the Tennessee on the second day of the battle, was now fully up. General Pope’s Army of the Mississippi, fresh from their victory at Island No. 10 was also on their way.

Following the Rebels on their twenty-five mile retreat back to Corinth, was General Sherman with two infantry brigades and some cavalry. Sent to protect the rear of the Rebel column, Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest spied the pursuing Federals. Though he had only 350 troopers, he charged Sherman’s skirmishers, sending them running.

Giving chase, Forrest again charged, this time into the Union cavalry, driving them into the gathering infantry. Forrest’s men reloaded and once again attacked, their sheer audacity shocking the Federals, as they fired shotguns into the blue ranks. With the barrels empty, the Rebels turned to their sabers, cutting their way in and out of the Union lines.

The first Federal brigade fell back upon the second. Forrest somehow wound up charging the entire brigade by himself. Once among them, they clamored to grab him, shoot him or knock him down. In the confusion, they could do little as Forrest fired his revolver and hacked away with is saber. Two balls had already wounded his horse, and others were buzzing by his head.

Completely surrounded, one of the Federals stuck his musket into Forrest’s gut and fired. The ball entered just above his left hip, ripped through his back muscles before lodging against his spine. Reeling, but still conscious, he dashed away from the enemy and back to his own line, ordering his men to retreat. They took with them over forty Union prisoners.

Having gained a healthy respect for the wounded Confederate army, Sherman made no further moves against them. Union losses were probably fifteen killed and twenty-five wounded. Forrest probably lost about as many. Though this skirmish was slight, especially compared to the bloodletting at Shiloh, both armies would need time to recover.4




1.Sibley’s New Mexico Campaign by Martin Hardwick Hall, University of New Mexico Press, 1960. [↩]
2.Blood & Treasure; Confederate Empire in the Southwest by Donald S. Frazier, Texas A&M University Press, 1995. [↩]
3.Sibley’s New Mexico Campaign by Martin Hardwick Hall, University of New Mexico Press, 1960. [↩]
4.Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862 by O. Edward Cunningham, Savas Beatie, 2007. [↩]

Related posts:
Rebels in New Mexico Plan to Capture a Fort; First Battle in Arkansas
Grant Eyes Nashville, Halleck Still Worries; Kit Carson Rides Against New Mexico Rebels
The Death of a General, but Move of an Army; Rebels Take Albuquerque
Rebels in New Mexico Begin their Campaign in Earnest
Buell and Grant Surprise the Rebels at Shiloh; Island No. 10 Falls
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Lun 14 Mai - 13:23

Buell and Grant Surprise the Rebels at Shiloh; Island No. 10 Falls
April 7, 1862 (Monday)

General Grant tried to sleep, first under a tree near his men and then in a cabin that he found already occupied with the wounded. Through the night, Union transports and reinforcements arrived at Pittsburg Landing, bringing 25,000 much-needed men. Grant was certain that his line could withstand a Confederate attack. In fact, he was so certain, that he wanted to go on the offensive.

Meanwhile, General Beauregard, now the sole commander of the Confederate Army of Mississippi, slept in General Sherman’s tent, the former owner vacating it as the Rebels attacked the previous day. He had reported to President Davis a “complete victory,” but gave no clue as to how he would follow it up come morning. He had no idea that Union General Buell’s Army of the Ohio had joined Grant’s Army of the Tennessee. His army was scattered, disassociated and worn out. His plan must have been to attack as he took no precautions to defend against a Union assault. He believed he had Grant exactly where he wanted him. And he was wrong.

As the rains fell over friend and foe alike, Grant arrayed his men. He did not, however, command the entire Union force. General Buell retained command of his army, while Grant retained commander over his own troops. There were strained relations between the two, and so, agreeing to agree, both decided to attack. Buell would take the left, Grant the right.

At dawn, General Nelson’s Division, holding the extreme Union left, stepped off. The Rebels had pulled back a half-mile or so and Nelson’s only orders were to “find the enemy and whip him.”


The scattered foe consisted of only 20,000 – less than half of the morning’s Union force could field. Holding the Confederate right was the remnants of General Breckinridge’s Corps. They were the first to be surprised by the dawn attack. Before long, they were joined by the rest of Buell’s Army, now a single blue line, over a mile long. Tipped off by Nelson, the Rebels quickly formed a stiff defense, ready to repel the Federals. For a time, the Confederates halted Buell’s advance as fighting waxed and waned, erupting into furious, but often short, battles.

On the Union right, General Grant had easily moved to Buell’s right, brushing aside several Rebel batteries in the process. They met no serious Confederate resistance until they covered a mile and a half of ground. By noon, Buell’s men had retaken the Hornets Nest and were pressing the Rebels farther and farther back.

The Rebels counterattacked, hoping to stop the swell, as their artillery shelled the enemy infantry. Through thick woods and thicker smoke, both sides fired blindly at faint muzzle flashes. As the Confederates would counter, they fell back, giving up more and more ground.


General Beauregard realized by noon that he could not win. Still, he held out hope that General Earl Van Dorn’s Army of the West, rebuilt since its defeat at Pea Ridge a month ago, would appear on the field. They were, however, no closer than Memphis, having abandoned Arkansas and Missouri to the Union, and would be no help. Finally understanding this, Beauregard ordered a withdraw.

He placed elements of Breckinridge’s Corps on the hills overlooking Shiloh Church as the rest of the Army of Mississippi filed behind them, moving back to Corinth. The cold rain, falling on and off throughout the day, turned to sleet and sometimes hail. Neither Grant nor Buell ordered their respective Union armies to follow and were more than content to see the Rebels leave Shiloh.


Grant had been taken completely unaware in one of the most brilliant surprise attacks of the war. The Confederates had overplayed their hand, however, and were unable to secure victory on the first day. Buell’s arrival on the second sealed their fate and they were sloshing the twenty-five miles back to their base.

The losses on both sides were unbelievable. The Union suffered 1,754 killed, 8,408 wounded and 2,885 captured or missing. The Confederates lost a similar amount with 1,728 killed, 8,012 wounded and 959 missing. One Rebel brigade, that of General Patrick Cleburne, went into the fight with 2,750 men. Two days later, only 58 remained. 1


__________________

The Fall of Island No. 10

The Union Army of Mississippi, commanded by General John Pope, had besieged Island No. 10 in the Mississippi River. They had taken New Madrid several weeks back and the navy, under Commodore Andrew Foote, had bombarded the island with no results.

Pope wanted to cross his army over from the Missouri side of the river, and wanted the Navy to cover him. Foote was convinced that the Rebel batteries near Island No. 10 would destroy his fleet. After a failed attempt at building a canal to bypass the island, Foote finally agreed to attempt to slip past the Rebels under cover of fog and darkness.

They, and the weather, waited until April 4th to make their first attempt. Without a moon, and through sheets of rain, the Carondelet quietly steamed within what would have been normal sight of the Rebel batteries. Due to having rerouted the steam in order to muffle it, the soot in the smokestacks ignited, sending a five foot high jet of fire into the air. Somehow, the Rebels missed this, but when the second smokestack followed suit, they sounded the alarm and began to fire upon the Carondelet.

Discovered, the Federals made a run for it. With the support of other Union ships upriver, she made it to New Madrid and safety.

Pope was itching to cross, but when Foote promised him another boat on the night of the 6th, he decided to wait. The Pittsburgh, through another storm of both rain and artillery, tied up at New Madrid, having successfully run the Rebel gauntlet.


On the morning of the 7th (this date), the two ships engaged the Rebel batteries downriver from New Madrid, at Watson’s Landing, where Pope wished to disembark his men. By 11am, transport steamers carried the 3,000 Federals to the landing. They encountered only a slave, who informed them at there was nobody there but him. The Rebels had retreated south to

Nearly 400 Confederates deserted through the Union lines before General William Mackall, Rebel commander, offered his surrender. That night, what was left of the garrison on the island surrendered to Commodore Foote. The Mississippi River was now open all the way down to Fort Pillow.

Through the formal surrenders the following day, Federal forces bagged roughly 4,500 Rebels and the island that had proven so impenetrable.2




1.Just like yesterday, I had several books open and lying around me. They were (in no particular order): Army of the Heartland; The Army of Tennessee 1861-1862 by Thomas Lawrence Connelly, The Army of Tennessee by Stanley F. Horn, Northing But Victory; The Army of the Tennessee 1862-1865 by Steven E. Woodworth, Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862 by O. Edward Cunningham, Grant Rises in the West; The First Year, 1861-1862 by Kenneth P. Williams. I also used Pea Ridge by William L. Shea & Earl J. Hess; Days of Glory; The Army of the Cumberland, 1861-1865 by Larry J. Daniel; and All for the Regiment; The Army of the Ohio, 1861-1862 by Gerald J. Prokopowicz. [↩]
2.Island No. 10 by Larry J. Daniel and Lynn N. Bock. [↩]

Related posts:
Burnside Poised to Strike Roanoke Island
Pillow to Get His Wish as Grant Surrounds Donelson; Rebels Abandon Springfield
Grant Pleads His Case; Beauregard Gets an Army; Rebs Advance in New Mexico
Rebels Prepare to Attack Grant; McClellan Loses His First Corps
My God! We Are Attacked! Disorganized Surprise at Shiloh Church
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Lun 14 Mai - 13:20

My God! We Are Attacked! Disorganized Surprise at Shiloh Church
April 6, 1862 (Sunday)


The Confederate Army of Mississippi was exhausted. After three treacherous days of marching through cold mud and rain, all 40,000 of them lay quiet, flat against the soaked ground waiting for dawn and the call to attack. As the dawn cast its first light slivers across the eastern horizon, Generals Albert Sidney Johnston and P.G.T. Beauregard, first and second in command of the army, listened to the incipient tenors of battle developing cautiously in their front. Johnston sent word for a general advance and rode to lead his men. Beauregard remained to organize the corps as they filed into the attack.

The commander of the Union Army of the Tennessee, General Ulysses S. Grant, was ten miles north and across the river in Savannah. He was unaware that the Rebels had marched twenty-five miles to give him battle, as he rose and read his mail. He was unaware that General Buell of the Union Army of the Ohio had arrived from Nashville, as he sat down for breakfast. His second in command, General William Tecumseh Sherman, was on the field, within site of the prostrated Confederates, but was no more aware of them than Grant until the first guns were sounded in the dark light of dawn.


The armies themselves were oddly arranged for a battle. The 36,000 men of the Union army lay clumped about in dislocated camps. No attempts or plans to fortify or even defend the ground had been discussed. Scarce infantry outposts were its only protection. The Rebels, having days to prepare for an assault, seemed to do little to prepare. Johnston wanted to first turn Sherman’s left flank, cutting off access to the Tennessee River, but did little to discover where the flank in question rested. The Confederate corps were stacked up, one on top of the other, to be fed into the slaughter.

General Sherman, now alerted that something was amiss, had roused his men and was riding the lines, stopping here and there to peer through his field glass at the thick woods to his front. Halting near an Ohio regiment, he scanned the woods again – “General, look to your right!” exclaimed an Ohio officer. To Sherman’s right, a terrible enemy battle line emerged from the woods, stopped, aimed and fired. “My God!” yelled Sherman, throwing up his arms as if to swat away the lead, “we are attacked!”

They came, screaming with wails and bawling, roaring through cracked lips and voices shrieking till hoarse. These Rebels filled the daybreak, their fusillade shattering the natural silence with its wretched, rolling thunder.


Unable to find the Union left, which actually overlapped his right, General Johnston’s flank attack became an all out frontal assault. As the Rebels poured in, the single battle of Shiloh divided into scores of smaller battles, each effecting the next and nearby.

The structure of the Confederate command did little to aid their cause. Johnston played the role of a brigade commander, microscopically placing regiments here and there. Beauregard was only slightly more helpful, ordering two corps, nearly half the army, to advance towards the sound of the heaviest fighting. Up and down the line, the corps and division commanders echoed the orders.


Though separate, the smaller battles first pushed in Sherman’s left, and then his right. His entire division was driven from its position, the men from their camps near Shiloh Church. The cost, however, was staggering. One Rebel division lost fifty percent of its men when it tangled with Union artillery on Sherman’s right. A Mississippi regiment lost 300 of its 425 men.

As Sherman’s men retreated, Johnston ordered a corps to reinforce the battered, but victorious left flank. Beauregard did as ordered, but soon countermanded Johnston, sending most of the corps, plus additional troops to the right to assault the Union left, the original objective, seemingly forgotten.

In the center, one Union division, under General Prentiss, fell back only to give stiff, suicidal resistance. The entire Rebel advance was stalled in what would soon be forever known as the Hornet’s Nest. Eleven times, the Confederates charged, but through several hours of blood and carnage, Prentiss’ frantic and dying men could not be moved.

These hours saved the battle by giving General Grant time to arrive, order reinforcements and visit each of his division commanders. It allowed Grant to take command of his army.


As the balls flew like hornets, General Johnson wrested himself command of the corps attacking in this small, but savage, battle. While hastening his men forward, he was struck in the leg. At first, he believed it of little concern, but soon, as he reeled in the saddle, as blood flowed from his boot, he was laid upon the ground. The ball had severed an artery and the commander of the Army of Mississippi was dead.

After a bit of delay, General Beauregard assumed command and ordered a general assault on the Hornets Nest, surrounding Prentiss’ division, which surrendered its remaining 2,200 men. The Union resistance gone, the thoroughly exhausted Rebels finally turned their attention to Pittsburg Landing and the Tennessee River.

But aside from a few assaults on the new Union position, the fight was over. General Grant had established a strong defensive line, dappled with artillery and aided by gunboats, that could not be broken. Beauregard called an end to the attacks.


The Union army held. They had been pushed from their camps, but still safely clung to the west shore of the Tennessee. Though Grant had but one fresh division, General Buell’s Army of the Ohio was arriving, giving him as many as 25,000 additional troops. He was in fine shape and planned a counter attack at dawn.

The Confederates staggered back to the Union camps, victorious, but ragged and nearly crippled. They were disorganized, demoralized and exhausted. The commanders found it impossible to gain control of their own men. There was no attempt to defend their new, variously scattered positions. All through the night, the Union gunboats kept up a continuous fire, while the heavens let loose lightening and rain.

Still, General Beauregard was confident that a renewed attack the next morning would push Grant into the Tennessee.1

_________________

The Plan to Steal the General

That night, 200 miles east of Shiloh and its bloodletting, the division of Ormsby Mitchel was sleeping in its camps near Shelbyville, Tennessee. A scout (some would say “spy”) by the name of James Andrews entered the camp. Andrews was well known in the Army of the Ohio, and so quickly gained an audience with General Mitchel.

Andrews had a plan. He wanted to cross through enemy lines and head nearly to Atlanta, where he would steal a train and take it north, burning bridges, cutting telegraph lines and destroying track as he went. But Andrews’ plan did not end there. Upon reaching Chattanooga, he would head west, doing much the same and leaving the door open for the Union forces to capture Memphis.

All Andrews needed was permission, twenty-four men and a hefty salary to pull it off. Mitchel agreed, and they both spent the night combing through the details of the plan. The raiders would meet the following day. By April 11, they would make history.2




1.As I wrote this, I had several books open and lying around me. They were (in no particular order): Army of the Heartland; The Army of Tennessee 1861-1862 by Thomas Lawrence Connelly, The Army of Tennessee by Stanley F. Horn, Northing But Victory; The Army of the Tennessee 1862-1865 by Steven E. Woodworth, Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862 by O. Edward Cunningham, Grant Rises in the West; The First Year, 1861-1862 by Kenneth P. Williams. [↩]
2.Stealing the General by Russell S. Bonds. [↩]

Related posts:
Rebel Surprise Attack Defeated by Rebel Surprise Retreat at Fort Donelson
Confederates Abandon “Gibraltar of the West”
Hunting Jackson in the Shenandoah
Turner Ashby Takes the Yankees for a Ride; Grant Consolidates
Rebels Prepare to Attack Grant; McClellan Loses His First Corps
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MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Aujourd'hui à 12:30

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