Here is a belated look at events of the Civil War 150 years ago this week in September, 1862.
William Allan in his “Army of Northern Virginia” (reference 11, at the bottom of this page), sums up the Eastern Theater succinctly in Chapter L:
A long rest followed the battle of Sharpsburg – a rest demanded by the condition of both armies. The operations of the year had been active and exhausting to both combatants, and little time had been allowed since the opening of the campaign in the spring for rest and recuperation. . . .
For the next two posts in this series, let’s allow the two armies to rest for a bit and recuperate. There was plenty of action going on in Kentucky and the Western Theater.
Battles: Blockade Operations/Louisiana and Texas: The First Battle of Sabine Pass starts.
Military events: Confederate Heartland Offensive: General Crittenden’s division of Buell’s Army of the Ohio reaches Louisville, Kentucky, and is warmly welcomed. (2) (Some sources say this happened on the 25th – I stuck with the “L&N Railroad” source throughout for consistency.) His forces are swelled by tens of thousands of volunteers that were raised earlier during CS General Heth’s approach to Cincinnati. (18)
General Grant confers with General Samuel R. Curtis in St. Louis. (8)
Emancipation: In Altoona, Pennsylvania, 14 loyal state governors declare allegiance to President Lincoln and approval of the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln will reply on the 26th. In reply to a large public gathering and music fest celebrating the proclamation, Lincoln says, “What I did, I did after very full deliberation, and under a very heavy and solemn sense of responsibility. I can only trust in God I have made no mistake.” (5)
Other: President Lincoln suspends the writ of habeus corpus. (5)
Battles: Blockade Operations/Louisiana and Texas: The First Battle of Sabine Pass ends.
Military events: Confederate Heartland Offensive: There is a small Confederate raid on a Louisville intersection, but Bragg is not massing for an attack. General Buell realizes he is going to have to go out and track the Confederates down. He reorganizes his army, giving the First Corps to General Alexander McDowell McCook, one of the 15 Fighting McCooks of Ohio; the Second Corps to General Thomas L. Crittenden, whose own family history reflected the brother-versus-brother nature of the war; and the Third Corps first to General William “Bull” Nelson and then, after Nelson is killed by US General Jefferson Davis (no relation to the Confederate president), to one of Nelson’s staff officers, Captain Charles C. Gilbert, who now becomes a general (a veteran of Shiloh, Nelson had him performing many of a general’s functions anyway, due to the chaotic nature of the war around him). Gilbert has a new division officer, General Philip Sheridan. (2, 18)
Grant’s headquarters are moved to Jackson, Tennessee. (8)
Battles: Iuka/Corinth Operations: Skirmish at Iuka, Mississippi. (17)
Military events: Confederate Heartland Offensive: Most of the Army of the Ohio now is in Louisville. In Bardstown, General Bragg tells General Nathan Bedford Forrest to raise a force under his command at Murfreesboro. (2, 4)
General Grant is in Columbus, Kentucky. (8)
The Confederate Congress passes the Second Conscription Act, authorizing the President to draft men between the ages of 35 and 45. (6) The people call it the “Twenty Negro Law.”
In Union-occupied New Orleans, the 1st Regiment, Louisiana Native Guard, becomes the first all-black regimen to be officially mustered into the US Army.
Military events/Other: Confederate Heartland Offensive: At Bardstown, General Bragg leaves his army in the hands of General Leonidas Polk in order to joint General Kirby Smith at the inauguration of Confederate Governor Richard Hawes at Frankfort on October 4th. Bragg has begun to realize that Kentuckians are not going to rise up to his case and is now telling President Davis that “we must abandon the garden spot of Kentucky” unless things change. (18)
Iuka and Corinth Operations: The armies of CS generals Sterling Price and Earl Van Dorn unite at Ripley, Mississippi. (19)
Military Events/Other: General George Thomas offered command of the Army of the Ohio. He refuses, unaware that Abraham Lincoln had made the offer after receiving a plea for Thomas from 20 officers in the Army of the Ohio. (6)
General Grant returns to Corinth, Mississippi. (8)
(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.
(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.
(14) The Strategy of Robert E. Lee, by J. J. Bowen (1914).
(18) Antietam timeline.
Categories: American Civil War