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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1864
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:06 pm 
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April 29, 1864 Friday
On the Red River yet another skirmish broke out at Grand Ecore, Louisiana. In Arkansas the Federal retreat from Camden involved skirmishing on the Ouachita River and near Saline Bottom.

Major General Taylor, CSA, seeking to take full advantage of the vulnerable position of Rear Admiral Porter's gunboats above the Alexandria rapids sought "to convert one of the captured transports into a fire ship to bum the fleet now crowded above the upper falls." This date, however, Union Army and Navy commanders accepted a daring plan proposed by Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Bailey to raise the water level of the Red River and enable the vessels to pass the treacherous rapids. Bailey's proposal was to construct a large dam of logs and debris across the river to back up water level to a minimum depth of seven feet. The dams would be broken and the ships would ride the crest of the rushing waters to safety. Work on the dam commenced early the next day. Porter later wrote: "This proposition looked like madness, and the best engineers ridiculed it, but Colonel Bailey was so sanguine of success that I requested General Banks to have it done . . . two or three regiments of Maine men were set to work felling trees . . . every man seemed to be working with a vigor seldom seen equalled. . . . These falls are about a mile in length, filled with rugged rocks, over which at the present stage of water it seemed to be impossible to make a channel."

Elsewhere, action included skirmishes in the Sni Hills, Missouri; and in Berry County, Tennessee; a Federal reconnaissance from Ringgold toward Tunnel Hill, Georgia; and a Union expedition from Newport Barracks to Swansborough, North Carolina. James Dearing, CSA, was appointed to Brigadier General.

The U.S. Congress by a joint resolution raised all duties 50 per cent for sixty days, later the rate was extended until July 1.

U.S.S. Honeysuckle, commanded by Acting Ensign Cyrus Sears, captured blockade running schooner Miriam, west of Key West, Florida, with assorted cargo. Sears had boarded Miriam on 28 April, thought her papers in order, and released her. Keeping her under surveillance however, he found that she was not on her predicted course and boarded her again. This time upon inspection of the ship's cargo he discovered mail for the Confederate States and seized the vessel.

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Gen Ned Simms
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Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1864
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:50 pm 
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April 30, 1864 Saturday
President Jefferson Davis again wrote Gen Polk that “Captured slaves should be returned to their masters on proof and payment of charges.” Then personal tragedy struck – five year old Joe Davis died after falling off the high veranda of the Confederate White House in Richmond. Thus while in the service of their countries, both Presidents lost sons.

Others died on the battlefield: at Whitmore’s Mill and Jenkin’s Ferry, part of the ill-fated Federal Camden, Arkansas Expedition; at Decatur, Alabama; and in an expedition by Federals from Memphis, Tennessee to Ripley, Mississippi that lasted until May 9. Three blockade runners escaped form Galveston, Texas under cover of night and rain. Mosby Monroe Parsons, CSA, was appointed to Major General. Brigadier General William Read Scurry ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Read_Scurry ), CSA, dies from bleeding to death after refusing being taken from the battlefield during the Battle of Jenkins' Ferry, Arkansas. Brigadier General Samuel Allen Rice ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_A._Rice ), USA, is mortally wounded during the Battle of Jenkins' Ferry, Arkansas. His ankle bone, shattered by a Confederate minie ball, does not heal, and he dies at his home in Oskaloosa, Iowa, on July 6, 1864. U.S.S. Conemaugh, commanded by Lieutenant Commander James C. P. De Krafft, captured schooner Judson 18 miles east of Mobile with cargo of cotton. U.S.S. Vicksburg, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Daniel L. Braine, seized blockade running British schooner Indian at sea east of Charleston. She carried a cargo of only one hogshead of palm oil.

President Lincoln wrote Gen Grant to express his “entire satisfaction with what you have done up to this time, so far as I understand it.” ( http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/te ... oln7%3A719 ) President Lincoln discusses with O. H. Browning and former Sen Thomas Ewing (Ohio) case of Commodore Charles Wilkes ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Wilkes ) guilty of unauthorized publication of letters of Sec Welles, and case of Capt Samuel Black.

President Lincoln "pardon[s]" and frees twenty-five "Indian prisoners now in confinement at Camp McClellan near Davenport Iowa." The men represent a portion of the Indians who have been confined since November 1862, as a result of the August 1862 Dakota uprising. Missionary Thomas S. Williamson and Special Commissioner to the Indians George E. H. Day wrote to Lincoln and urged him to release the prisoners. Day wrote, "[I]n the name of humanity [I] beg that you will . . . order them released and sent to take care of their starving families now perishing for want of food."

Secretary Mallory reported on existing Confederate naval strength on the East Coast. In the James River, under Flag Officer French Forrest, eight ships mounting 17 guns were in commission, including school ship Patrick Henry; under Commander Robert F. Pinkney on the inland waters of North Carolina there were two commissioned ships mounting 4 guns; and on the Cape Fear River, under Flag Officer William F. Lynch, there were three ships and a floating battery in commission mounting a total of 12 guns.

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Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1864
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:43 pm 
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May 1, 1864 Sunday
The first day of May saw action primarily west of the Mississippi River. As the Red River Campaign drew to a close with the Federal withdrawal to Alexandria, Louisiana Confederates captured U.S. transport Emma at David’s Ferry and there were four days of skirmishing at Gov Moore’s plantation. Elsewhere in Louisiana skirmishing broke out at Clinton and Ashton, and an affair took place at Berwick. In Arkansas skirmishes occurred at Pine Bluff and Lee’s Creek. Far off in California an affair at Booth’s Run marked the Humboldt River Indian operations. At Stone Church, Georgia near Chattanooga, a skirmish presaged the increase in scouting, which culminated in Sherman’s move against J.E. Johnston. Brig Gen John P. Hatch ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_P._Hatch ) assumed command of the Federal Department of the South, relieving Maj Gen Q.A. Gillmore. U.S.S. Fox, commanded by Acting Master Charles T. Chase, captured sloop Oscar outbound from St. Marks, Florida, with cargo of cotton.

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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1864
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 12:25 pm 
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Gen Simms, great job in this, I very much enjoy it. I had a question though, with the great amount of good info in these posts, why not have every year on a Sticky? eg 1861, 62, 63, and 64. Crowd the forum board?

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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1864
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 5:01 pm 
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Thank you and I'm glad that you are enjoying it. I'm having a delightful time doing it. As for a sticky for each year, I thought that it was gracious of them to keep the current year near the top. At least I find fewer typos that way.

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Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1864
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 5:04 pm 
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May 2, 1864 Monday
Skirmishing continued along the Red River as Confederates harassed Federals at Wells’ Plantation, Wilson’s Landing, and Bayou Pierre, Louisiana. In California there was a skirmish at Kneeland’s Prairie; in Tennessee a skirmish at Bolivar and a ten-day Union scout in Hickman and Maury counties; in Missouri an affair on Bee Creek. To the nineteenth Federal expeditions operated against the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad in southwestern Virginia, a land of resources for the Confederates now being invaded by the foe. In Georgia, near Tunnel Hill and Ringgold Gap, outposts of Johnston and Sherman skirmished.

In Richmond the first session of the Second Confederate Congress gathered. President Davis in his message again condemned the “barbarism” of the Federals in their “Plunder and devastation of the property of noncombatants, destruction of private dwellings, and even of edifices devoted to the worship of God; expeditions organized for the sole purpose of sacking cities, consigning them to the flames, killing the unarmed inhabitants, and inflicting horrible outrages on women and children.” He saw no immediate hope for foreign recognition, but about military and other matters he was optimistic.

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Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1864
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 6:16 pm 
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What is the difference between a skirmish and an affair?(the military kind)

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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1864
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 8:23 pm 
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I don't know but I have an opinion. A skirmish is a minor or small scale fight, usually out ahead of two opposing main bodies. I'm voting that an affair is of lesser volatility, maybe even with no shots fired or a fight wasn't even involved because one side overpowered the other (e.g. lynch mob or a newspaper office burned or ...). Now if you really want to muddy the waters, lets throw an engagement and/or action into this mix. They may be just the word that the author felt comfortable with at the moment.

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Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1864
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 6:36 pm 
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May 3, 1864 Tuesday
The orders went out from Gen U.S. Grant through Maj Gen George G. Meade that the Army of the Potomac was to move across the Rapidan River next morning, march around the right flank of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, and head toward Richmond once more.

There was a minor Federal raid on Bulltown, West Virginia. In the West the defeated Federal column of Frederick Steele arrived back at Little Rock from the Camden Expedition. Also in Arkansas skirmishing broke out near the mouth of Richland Creek. Skirmishes occurred between Bayous Redwood and Olive Branch near Baton Rouge, Louisiana and between Federals and Indians at Cedar Bluffs, Colorado Territory. Along Chickamauga Creek, at Catoosa Springs and at Red Clay the Georgia Campaign became more lively as skirmishing increased. U.S.S. Chocura, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Bancroft Gherardi, captured blockade running British schooner Agnes off the mouth of the Brazos River, Texas, with cargo of cotton. Later that same day, Chocura overhauled and captured Prussian schooner Frederick the Second, also laden with cotton, which had run the blockade with Agnes. U.S.S. Virginia, commanded by Acting Lieutenant C. H. Brown, captured schooner Experiment off the Texas coast and destroyed her after removing the cotton cargo.

The Federal Cabinet and President Lincoln discussed the alleged atrocities committed by Confederates during the attack on Fort Pillow, Tennessee.

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Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1864
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 6:39 pm 
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May 4, 1864 Wednesday
“Soon after midnight, May 3d-4th the Army of the Potomac moved out from its position north of the Rapidan River, to start upon that memorable campaign.” So wrote Gen Grant. It was the beginning of the big Federal push in Virginia that culminated in the siege of Petersburg and finally Appomattox. From now on the pressure would not be relaxed. By late in the day Grant had 122,000 men present for duty. He positioned the Second Corps of Hancock, the Fifth Corps of Warren, and the Sixth Corps of Sedgwick across the river via Germanna and Culpeper Mine fords, and Burnsides’ Ninth Corps was coming up. Grant moved quickly around Lee’s right, and the Army of Northern Virginia, some 66,000 present for duty, rushed up from the Orange Court House – Gordonsville area to meet him. Ewell led the Confederates, followed by A.P. Hill and Longstreet. However, only a brief skirmish near burned-out Chancellorsville showed the battling to come.

Other Federal advances marked the day. Following Grant’s many-pronged strategy to weaken the thin Confederate defense, Ben Butler’s Army of the James assembled in transports in Hampton Roads. The army would move up the James River to operate against Richmond from the south side. At first almost nothing barred his way.

Farther south, along Albemarle Sound, North Carolina skirmishing flared on the Trent Road and south of the Trent River, and Federals lost an outpost at Croatan to attacking Confederates. C.S.S. Albemarle, the powerful iron-clad ram built on the Roanoke River, presented a real menace to the Federal position in North Carolina and a challenge was expected soon. May 4-21 a Federal expedition from Vicksburg to Yazoo City included skirmishing.

On a fourth front Gen Sherman prepared to move his 98,000 men from the Chattanooga area toward Atlanta. Light skirmishing continued in Georgia with a fight at Varnell’s Station. Major General Frank P. Blair, Jr. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_P._Blair,_Jr. ), USA, assumes command of the Federal 17th Army Corps. On Louisiana’s Red River Confederates destroyed a U.S. steamer and captured two others May 4-5 during an engagement at David’s Ferry, and a skirmish took place at Ashwood Landing. There was skirmishing also at Doubtful Canyon, New Mexico Territory and an affair at Callaghan’s Station, Virginia. The Federal House passed the controversial and radical Wade-Davis Reconstruction Bill 73 to 59.

Steamers U.S.S. Sunflower, commanded by Acting Master Edward Van Sice, and Honduras, commanded by Acting Master John H. Platt, and sailing, bark J. L. Davis, commanded by Acting Master William Fales, supported the capture of Tampa, Florida, in a combined operation. The Union ships carried the soldiers to Tampa and provided a naval landing party which joined in the assault. Van Sice reported of the engagement: "At 7 A.M. the place was taken possession of, capturing some 40 prisoners, the naval force capturing about one-half, which were turned over to the Army, and a few minutes after 7 the Stars and Stripes were hoisted in the town by the Navy." The warships also captured blockade running sloop Neptune on 6 May with cargo of cotton.

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Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1864
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 2:49 pm 
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May 4, 1864, exactly 150 years ago today, is the start date of the "Campaign Scenario" of Campaign Overland, which I worked on for over five years prior to publication. Although I worked intimately with the dates of May and Jun, '64, it gives me pause on this day to contemplate what will transpire between now and next month: The awful fighting of Wilderness and Spotsylvania, the intricate maneuvers through the Tidewater, culminating in the final bloodletting at Cold Harbor on June 5, only to be followed by the long march to Petersburg and more killing yet to come. I hope we have learned that once is enough for any country, and that our current difficulties can be solved by the ballot instead of the bullet.

John Ferry
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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1864
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 6:28 pm 
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May 5, 1864 Thursday
“It is a beautiful spring day on which all this bloody work is being done,” wrote a Confederate private of the Army of Northern Virginia. In Virginia’s Wilderness Gouverneur K. Warren’s Fifth Corps faced Richard Ewell’s Second Corps on the Orange Turnpike. The first great battle of 1864 was joined ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Wilderness and http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/wi ... y5map.html ). Warren advanced, supported by some of Sedgwick’s force, but was driven back by Ewell, who also moved ahead. By late morning the two corps were in the throes of full-scale combat. In a separate afternoon engagement Hancock fought A.P. Hill, who came in for the Confederates from the Orange Plank Road. Desperate but indecisive fighting proved to the Federals that the enemy opposed them in force and to the Confederates that they had to attack Grant’s full army. Both armies entrenched east of the Germanna Plank Road during the night and anxiously awaited the morrow. Brigadier General Leroy Augustus Stafford ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leroy_Augustus_Stafford ), CSA, is mortally wounded while leading his men during the Battle of the Wilderness, dying three days later, May 8, 1864. Brigadier General John Marshal Jones ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_M._Jones ), CSA, is killed as his brigade opened the Battle of the Wilderness, shot down from his horse while rallying his men from the initial Federal assault on the Confederate lines. Major General Alexander Hays ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Hays ), USA, is killed while leading his command near the intersection of the Brock Road and Orange Plank Road during the Battle of the Wilderness.

Southward, along the James River, Gen Butler landed some 30,000 Federals at City Point and Bermuda Hundred on the south side of the river, aiming at Richmond via Petersburg. Butler’s proposed night march on Fort Darling on the James River was turned down by his officers. May 5-11 Federal cavalry raided toward Petersburg and the Weldon Railroad with several skirmishes.

In North Carolina Confederate attempts to retake New Berne were defeated. C.S.S. Albemarle, Commander Cooke, with Bombshell, commanded by Lieutenant Albert G. Hudgins, and Cotton Plant in company, steamed into Albemarle Sound and engaged Union naval forces in fierce action off the mouth of the Roanoke River. Bombshell was captured early in the action after coming under severe fire from U.S.S. Sassacus, and Cotton Plant withdrew up the Roanoke. Albemarle resolutely continued the action. Sassacus, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Roe, gallantly rammed the heavy ironclad but with little effect. Sassacus received a direct hit in her starboard boiler, killing several sailors and forcing her out of action. Side-wheelers U.S.S. Mattabesett, commanded by Captain M. Smith, and U.S.S. Wyalusing, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Walter W. Queen, continued to engage the Southern ram until darkness halted the action after nearly three hours of intensive fighting. As Assistant Surgeon Samuel P. Boyer, on board Mattabesett, wrote: "Shot and shell came fast like hail." Albemarle withdrew up the Roanoke River and small side-wheelers U.S.S. Commodore Hull and Ceres steamed to the river's mouth on picket duty to guard against her reentry into the sound. The ironclad had returned to her river haven, but she had given new evidence that she was a mighty force to be reckoned with. Captain Smith reported: "The ram is certainly very formidable. He is fast for that class of vessel, making from 6 to 7 knots, turns quickly, and is armed with heavy guns. . . ." And Lieutenant Commander Roe noted: ". . . I am forced to think that the Albemarle is more formidable than the Merrimack or Atlanta, for our solid 100-pounder rifle shot flew into splinters upon her iron plates." Albemarle's commander was more critical of her performance. Three days later he wrote Secretary Mallory that the ram "draws too much water to navigate the sounds well, and has not sufficient bouyancy. In consequence she is very slow and not easily managed. Her decks are so near the water as to render it an easy task for the enemy's vessels to run on her, and any great weight soon submerges the deck." For the next five months Union efforts in the area focused on Albemarle's destruction.

Federal cavalry under William W. Averell ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Averell ) set out from Logan Court House, West Virginia on another expedition against the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. Confederate troops raided the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad between Bloomington and Piedmont, West Virginia. Federal scouts in Craighead and Lawrence counties, Missouri lasted five days. On the Red River skirmishing at Graham’s Plantation and at Natchitoches, Louisiana marked the slow Federal withdrawal after the campaign. In Georgia skirmishing at and near Tunnel Hill lasted three days; in Kentucky Federals scouted in Meade and Breckinridge counties.

While Rear Admiral Porter's fleet awaited the opportunity to pass over the Red River rapids, the ships below Alexandria were incessantly attacked by Confederate forces. This date, wooden steamers U.S.S. Covington, commanded by Acting Lieutenant George P. Lord, U.S.S. Signal, commanded by Acting Lieutenant Edward Morgan, and transport Warner were lost in a fierce engagement on the Red River near Dunn's Bayou, Louisiana. On 4 May, Covington and Warner had been briefly attacked by infantry, and the next morning the Confederates reappeared with two pieces of artillery and a large company of riflemen. Warner, in the lead, soon went out of control, blocked the river at a bend near Pierce's Landing, and despite the efforts of Lord and Morgan was forced to surrender. Signal also became disabled and although Covington attempted to tow her upstream, she went adrift out of control and came to anchor. The gunboats continued the hot engagement, but Lord finally burned and abandoned Covington after his ammunition was exhausted and many of the crew were killed. After continuing to sustain the Confederate cannonade alone, the crippled Signal was finally compelled to strike the colors. The Southerners then sank Signal as a channel obstruction.

President Davis informed Gen Lee of Butler’s landings on the James River and it appeared in Richmond that two major drives were heading toward the capital.

Chief Engineer Henry A. Ramsay of the newly established Confederate Navy Yard, Charlotte, North Carolina, advised Commander Brooke, Chief of the Naval Bureau of Ordnance, that because of difficulties in recruiting skilled workers and a shortage of mechanics he was unable to operate some of the equipment for arming Southern ironclads; nor could he repair the locomotives assigned to that station by Secretary Mallory. He added: "I understand from you that the iron-clad Virginia [No. II] at Richmond is now in readiness for action except her gun carriages and wrought-iron projectiles, which are being made at these works. If we had a full force of mechanics this work would have been finished in one-half the time. . . ." Two days later, Lieutenant David P. McCorkle wrote Brooke in a similar vein from the Naval Ordnance Works at Atlanta, Georgia. This chronic shortage of skilled workers combined with the material shortages occasioned by the blockade could not be surmounted by the Confederacy.

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Gen Ned Simms
1/1/XIV Corps/AotC
Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
VMI Class of '00


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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1864
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 7:24 pm 
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May 6, 1864 Friday
The entrenched armies of Grant and Lee awaited each other in the dawn of the Wilderness.

On the Federal right along the Orange Turnpike, Sedgwick and Warren drove westward early in the morning. To the south, on the Federal left, Hancock’s men inched ahead on the Orange Plank Road. Sedgwick and Warren made little or no progress against Ewell, and Hancock was in trouble in his fight against A.P. Hill. At first Hancock made some advance, but troops of Longstreet and another division of Hill’s came up. For most of the morning the firing rolled on with no great advantage won by either side. Toward noon part of Longstreet’s corps struck the Federal line on its left flank and rear. Hancock’s men reeled back and more Confederates drove in, but Longstreet was severely wounded ( http://www.civilwarhome.com/jlongstreetwilderness.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Longstreet ). Brigadier General Micah Jenkins ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micah_Jenkins ), CSA, is mortally wounded during the Battle of the Wilderness, dying from a Federal minie ball that lodged in his brain. .

In late afternoon another Confederate attack by Longstreet’s men was halted at the Union breastworks. Horsemen fought this day also, with Sheridan’s troops opposing Stuart’s near Todd’s Tavern. Toward sunset Gen John B. Gordon’s brigade swept the Federal right flank, proceeding rapidly and successfully until darkness, but without real support, despite Gordon’s pleas to Ewell for full attack. However, “the great fight of the Wilderness” was over. At headquarters, Gen Grant coolly smoked a cigar and whittled. Gen Lee rode among his men and was shouted to the rear by his protective troops. No one supposed it was over – somewhere soon it would start up again, unless of course the Federals pulled back over the river as they had done in the months gone by.

The casualties were staggering. Of over 100,000 Federals engaged, 2246 were killed, 12,037 wounded, and 3383 missing for a total of 17,666; Confederates numbered something over 60,000; losses are uncertain but probably totaled more than 7500. Major General James Samuel Wadsworth ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_S._Wadsworth ), USA, is mortally wounded from a Confederate minie ball lodging in his brain, while he rode his horse leading his troops during the Battle of the Wilderness. He dies two days later, May 8, 1864.

On the James River, Butler’s men saw the steeples of Petersburg seven miles to the southwest. Richmond lay about fifteen miles to the north. There were fewer than 10,000 Confederates in a fifty-mile area around Richmond and Petersburg to oppose the Army of the James, numbering nearly 39,000. Butler ordered troops of his two corps, commanded by W.F. Smith and Quincy A. Gillmore, to break the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad. Smith sent one brigade, Gillmore none. Gen Pickett, no longer with Lee, gathered what men he could. After modest skirmishing, the Federals returned to camp; the first of numerous half-hearted attempts at Petersburg, Richmond, and the lines of communication in between had failed.

Far from the Wilderness, guns sputtered as always. On the Red River there were skirmishes at Bayou Lamourie and at Boyce’s and Wells’ plantations, Louisiana. Skirmishing at Princeton, West Virginia marked the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad expedition. Other skirmishes broke out on the Blackwater River in Virginia; at Tampa, Florida (temporarily occupied by Federals); near Boynton’s Prairie, California; and Morganfield, Kentucky. Federals scouted from Bloomfield and Patterson, Missouri. Confederates staged a raid on Napoleonville, Louisiana. In Georgia skirmishing continued at Tunnel Hill. James Samuel Wadsworth, USA, was appointed to Major General; and appointments to Brigadier General were made for John Bratton, CSA; Samuel Jameson Gholson, CSA; and Stand Watie, CSA.

U.S.S. Commodore Jones, commanded by Acting Lieutenant Thomas Wade, was destroyed by a huge 2,000-pound electric torpedo in the James River while dragging for torpedoes with U.S.S. Mackinaw and Commodore Morris. From the Norfolk Naval Hospital, Wade later reported that the torpedo "exploded directly under the ship with terrible effect, causing her destruction instantly, absolutely blowing the vessel to splinters." Other observers said that the hull of the converted ferryboat was lifted completely out of the water by the force of the explosion which claimed some 40 lives. A landing party of sailors and Marines went ashore immediately and captured two torpedo men and the galvanic batteries which had detonated the mine. One of the Confederates, Jeffries Johnson, refused to divulge information regarding the location of torpedoes under interrogation, but he "signified his willingness to tell all" when he was placed in the bow of the forward ship on river duty, and Johnson became the war's "unique minesweeper."

Early in the evening, C.S.S. Raleigh, Flag Officer Lynch, steamed over the bar at New Inlet, North Carolina, and engaged U.S.S. Britannia and Nansemond, forcing them to withdraw temporarily and enabling a blockade runner to escape.

U.S.S. Granite City, commanded by Acting Master C. W. Lamson, and U.S.S. Wave, commanded by Acting Lieutenant Benjamin A. Loring, were captured by Confederate troops in Calcasieu River, Louisiana. Steamer Granite City and tinclad Wave had been dispatched to Calcasieu Pass to receive refugees on 28 April and both ships carried out this duty until the morning of the captures, landing a small army detachment on shore as pickets. The Southerners, with artillery and about 350 sharpshooters from the Sabine Pass garrison, overwhelmed the Union landing party, and took the ships under fire on the morning of 6 May. After an hour's engagement, Granite City surrendered; upon receiving shot in her boiler and steam drum, Wave shortly followed suit.

U.S.S. Grand Gulf, Commander George M. Ransom, captured blockade running British steamer Young Republic at sea east of Savannah with cargo of cotton and tobacco.

Conscious of the double threat to Richmond from the north and from the southeast, President Davis wired Gen Beauregard, commanding south of the capital, “I hope you will be able at Petersburg to direct operations both before and behind you, so as to meet necessities.”

_________________
Gen Ned Simms
1/1/XIV Corps/AotC
Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
VMI Class of '00


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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1864
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 8:53 pm 
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May 7, 1864 Saturday
In Virginia the great armies paused in the Wilderness. Grant had long since decided to continue toward Richmond and Lee, anxious not to face superior numbers of Federals out in the open, preferred to fight in the scraggling woods. By midevening Grant’s troops were on their way toward Spotsylvania Court House to the southeast. Lee, aware of his opponent’s move, ordered Maj Gen Richard Heron Anderson ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_H._Anderson ), commanding in place of the wounded Longstreet, to march by night for the same place. Spotsylvania Court House was important only because roads went through it to Chancellorsville, Wilderness Tavern, and Fredericksburg. Confederate cavalry slowed the Federal advance by cutting down trees and harassing the columns.

Gen Grant had instructed Sherman to move against Johnston and head into the interior of Georgia. There is controversy over just whose idea it was, but nevertheless, the task was now begun. At Dalton Johnston was soundly entrenched along a high ridge with only a few gaps. Toward Atlanta were more barriers, the roads were poor, the country rough. Sherman’s force of nearly 100,000 men was divided into the Army of the Cumberland under Thomas near Ringgold; the Army of the Tennessee under McPherson at Lee and Gordon’s Mills on the Chickamauga field; and the Army of the Ohio under Schofield north of Dalton. To oppose the Federals, nearly 60,000 Confederates held a fine defensive position.

Sherman found the main position too strong to assault and so he determined to turn Johnston’s left flank. McPherson, with cavalry in front, headed toward Snake Creek Gap; Thomas’ army demonstrated against Tunnel Hill and Rocky Face Ridge, Johnston’s main position. There was skirmishing at Varnell’s Station and near Nickajack Gap, Georgia.

Once more Butler’s men moved forward south of the James River. Some 8000 Federals seized the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, held a section briefly, and retired again. The opposition force numbered less than 2700. Soldiers began to call the campaign a “stationary advance.”

Meanwhile, skirmishing occurred at Stony Creek Station, Virginia; near Florence, Alabama; and on the Red River at Bayou Boeuf. Ironclad ram C.S.S. Raleigh went aground and had to be destroyed, but not until she had engaged two blockaders on the sixth and four Federal vessels off the mouth of the Cape Fear River, North Carolina on this day. Edward Richard Sprigg Canby, USA, was appointed to Major General; Oliver Edwards, USA, and August Valentine Kautz, USA, were appointed to Brigadier General.

At a marine band concert in Washington the President declined to make a speech but proposed three cheers for Grant “and all the armies under his command.”

U.S.S. Shawsheen, commanded by Acting Ensign Charles Ringot, was disabled, captured and destroyed by Confederates in James River. Shawsheen, a 180-ton side-wheel steamer, had been ordered to drag the river for torpedoes above Chaffin's Bluff, and had anchored near shore shortly before noon so that the crew could eat, when Confederate infantry and artillery surprised the gunboat. A shot through the boiler forced many sailors overboard to avoid being scalded. Lieutenant Colonel W. M. Elliott, CSA, reported that Shawsheen was completely disabled and "though reluctantly, she nevertheless hauled down her colors and displayed the white flag in token of surrender. A boat was dispatched to enforce the delivery of the prisoners on board, the enemy's boats being made available to bring them off. The officer was also instructed to fire the vessel, which was effectively done, the fire quickly reaching the magazine, exploding it, consigning all to the wind and waves."

_________________
Gen Ned Simms
1/1/XIV Corps/AotC
Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
VMI Class of '00


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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1864
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 4:28 pm 
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May 8, 1864 Sunday
Through the night men had marched in Virginia’s Wilderness and when Warren’s Union column neared Spotsylvania Court House in what they thought was a move around Lee’s right flank, there they found that Anderson’s corps had beaten the Federals to the Court House area ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_ ... ourt_House ). Fighting revealed the new line. Other troops came in on both sides and in late afternoon Federals of Warren and Sedgwick assaulted the entrenched Confederates of R.H. Anderson and Ewell. The attack failed and during the night both sides established new lines. Grant ordered Sheridan with the cavalry to move around Lee, hit railroads and supply lines, and then join Butler on the James River. A prime object would be to divert Stuart’s Confederate cavalry from Grant. The various fights of the day went by the names of Todd’s Tavern, Corbin’s Bridge, Alsop’s Farm, and Laurel Hill. Maj Gen Jubal Early ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jubal_Early ) took temporary command of A.P. Hill’s corps, as Hill was sick. Thus, with Longstreet and Hill gone, two of Lee’s three corps had new commanders in the midst of battle. On the south side of the James River, Federal cavalry skirmished at Jarratt’s Station and White’s Bridge.

Sherman’s army in Georgia continued its movement with demonstrations against Rocky Face Ridge and fighting at Buzzard Roost or Mill Creek Gap and Dug Gap. McPherson was penetrating into Snake Creek Gap on the right in his attempt to swing past Johnston’s occupied army.

Sporadic action elsewhere included an affair at Halltown near Harper’s Ferry and a skirmish at Jeffersonville, West Virginia on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad; skirmishing near Decatur, Alabama; near Maysville, Arkansas; and at Bayou Robert on the Red River.

A disturbed President Lincoln awaited the news in Washington.

_________________
Gen Ned Simms
1/1/XIV Corps/AotC
Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
VMI Class of '00


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