Here are some of the events of the Civil War that were happening 150 years ago this week. Sources are numbered according to the list at the bottom of this post.
This week’s time line is a bit abbreviated and without pictures, just so I could get it up by Friday. I had a bit of heat exhaustion earlier in the week and only today have been able to get to this.
Military events: Western Theater: General Halleck has been called by Lincoln to Washington to be general-in-chief. Before leaving, Halleck gives General Grant command of the districts of Cairo and Mississippi, the Army of the Mississippi, and the Army of the Tennessee, as well as the District of West Tennessee. (8)
Morgan’s First Kentucky Raid: CS General John Hunt Morgan wires General E. Kirby Smith: “”Lexington and Frankfurt … are garrisoned with Home Guard. The bridges between Cincinnati and Lexington have been destroyed. The whole country can be secured and 25,000 to 30,000 men with join you at once.” (6)
Military events: Western Theater: General Grant sends the division of General George H. Thomas to Buell. (8)
Other: President Lincoln signs “An act to suppress insurrection, and to punish treason and rebellion, to seize and confiscate property of rebels, and for other purposes,” together with joint resolution explanatory of act, and draft of Message stating objections to bill before it becomes law. He also approves an act amending the Militia Act of 1795 and subsequent amendments to allow the call-up of more men, as well as to enable the use of African Americans in any military capacity, including as soldiers. (5)
Military events: Tennessee: General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his cavalry set out for Lebanon, where a 500-man Union cavalry detachment is said to be stationed. (4)
Battles: Morgan’s First Kentucky Raid: Battle of Cynthiana, Kentucky and capture of Paris, Winchester, and Richmond, Kentucky. (2)
Military events: Bedford’s cavalry reach Lebanon but find the Union cavalry was forewarned and has left for Nashville. (4)
Northern Virginia Campaign: CS General Jackson’s divisions arrive at Gordonsville, Virginia; Pope halts his forward movement. (14)
Military events: General Sherman assumes command in Memphis (the position held by General Grant before he was promoted). (8)
Tennessee: Bedford’s cavalry reaches The Hermitage, where the Confederate soldiers are given an hour to look around the historic grounds. Shortly after leaving The Hermitage, word comes that a Union force of some 3500 men, mostly infantry, is in pursuit. (4)
Battles: Northern Virginia Campaign: A Union cavalry force led by Colonel Hugh Judson Kilpatrick destroys the Beaver Dam Station depot on the Virginia Central railroad. (14)
Battles: Forrest’s cavalry skirmishes around Nashville and other places (4 – read pages 177-178 for a summary of some of the activity through August 10).
Military events: General Bragg telegraphs President Davis that he will move his army in force from Tupelo, Mississippi to Chattanooga, Tennessee. (6)
Emancipation: President Lincoln reads the Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet and invites comment. Only one cabinet member opposes it, on the grounds that it will cost the Republicans control of Congress in the fall elections. Secretary of State Seward approves it but advises the president to hold it until the Union has had a significant military victory, saying that otherwise the country might regard it as the “our last shriek, on the retreat” (as indeed the emancipation move of the Confederacy in 1865 was). Lincoln is impressed by this argument and agrees to hold the proclamation until there is a battlefield victory. (3, 5)
(3) Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson
(4) The Campaigns of Lieut.-Gen. N.B. Forrest, and of Forrest’s Cavalry by Thomas Jordan, J. P. Pryor
(5) The Lincoln Log timeline.
(6) Blue and Gray Timeline.
(7) Henry Halleck’s War: A Fresh Look at Lincoln’s Controversial General-In-Chief, by Curt Anders
(8) Grant Chronology, Mississippi State University.
(9)”The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government” (Vol. II), Jefferson Davis.
(10) Civil War Home’s “The Eastern Theater: 2nd Manassas, Antietam and Fredericksburg.”
(11) The Army of Northern Virginia in 1862, by William Allan (1892)
(12) Conquest of the Lower Mississippi. BrownWaterNavy.org.
(15) A Year of Glory, July 1862.
Categories: American Civil War