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The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865
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Author:  nsimms [ Fri May 15, 2015 8:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

May 16, 1865 Tuesday
President Davis, his family, and Confederate officials captured with him at Irwinville, Georgia, on the 10th were taken down the Savannah River to Port Royal. They were placed on board the steamer William P. Clyde, Master John L. Kelly, Shipmaster. The steamer was escorted on her passage to Hampton Roads by U.S.S. Tuscarora, Commander James M. Frailey.

Author:  nsimms [ Sun May 17, 2015 12:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

May 17, 1865 Wednesday
Maj Gen Philip H. Sheridan was assigned to general Federal command west of the Mississippi River and south of the Arkansas River. With his reputation for destruction in the Shenandoah Valley, this appointment angered many Southerners. May 17-20 scattered Confederate troops in Florida surrendered to Brig Gen Israel Vogdes ( ). The new Federal Department of the Gulf is created, consisting of the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and the District of Key West and the Tortugas. Major General Nathaniel P. Banks, USA, is relieved of command of the Federal Department of the Gulf and Major General Edward R. S. Canby, USA, assumes command.

Author:  nsimms [ Sun May 17, 2015 4:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

May 18, 1865 Thursday
A Yankee scout operated from Lebanon to Warsaw, Missouri.

Author:  nsimms [ Mon May 18, 2015 9:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

May 19, 1865 Friday
The escape of the ram C.S.S. Stonewall from Ferrol, Spain, and Lisbon, Portugal, which created a great deal of excitement at the time, did not lead to battle. The ironclad put into Havana on the 11th without having spoken a single Union ship enroute from the Canary Islands. Upon learning of Stonewall's arrival, Rear Admiral Cornelius K. Stribling, commanding the East Gulf Blockading Squadron, dispatched a squadron, led by U.S.S. Powhatan and commanded by Commander Reed Werden, to cruise off Havana and engage the Confederate ram when she departed. However, Captain T. J. Page, Stonewall's commander, learning of the collapse of the Confederacy, delivered the ship over to the Governor General of Cuba and in turn received $16,000--the amount of money Page required to pay off his officers and crew. Subsequently the ship was turned over to the United States and was ultimately sold to Japan.

There was a Federal scout until May 22 from Kingsville, Missouri. Major General John A. Logan ( ), USA, is assigned command of the Federal Army of the Tennessee. Major General William B. Hazen ( ), USA, is assigned command of the Federal 15th Army Corps. James William Forsyth, USA; Joseph Eldridge Hamblin, USA; Richard Henry Jackson, USA; and William Wells, USA, are appointed to Brigadier General.

Author:  nsimms [ Tue May 19, 2015 7:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

May 20, 1865 Saturday
A board appointed by Secretary Welles and headed by Vice Admiral Farragut began a comprehensive investigation and review of the Naval Academy. Its normal functioning, like almost everything in the nation, had been greatly disrupted by the war. The Academy had suffered especially through the enforced move to Newport of staff and students in Constitution early in the war and the telescoping of the academic course. The Board had been commissioned to report its findings and make recommendations for improving the school as a training institution for naval officers. The study and the resulting report covered the material condition and adequacy of the buildings, grounds and training ships; administration and finance; sanitation and medical care; system of appointments and entrance requirements; and the quality of classroom and shipboard instruction.

The Board's studies and the changes that followed achieved the goals. In the ensuing years the Academy would produce some of the nation's great leaders. These not only included those who led the Navy, adapted it to the changing times and directed it in the great task of world leadership that swiftly flowered for the United States in the next century. They also included some of the nation's famous leaders in industry, engineering, education, science. Within little more than a decade, Albert A. Michelson, Class of 1873, would conduct the first of his notable experiments on the speed of light at Annapolis. Returning as a young officer from sea duty to teach, he developed the apparatus and conducted the experiments with midshipmen associates.

Secretary Welles indicated the Navy Department's continuing concern about blockade running from Galveston in his order to Rear Admiral Thatcher: "Seven large steamers have arrived abroad from Galveston in nine days. As this is the only port in the United States where traffic can be carried on to any extent, it is desirable that the majority of vessels and the best officer you have should be on duty as senior officer off that port."

Former Secretary Mallory was arrested at the home of Benjamin H. Hill in La Grange, Georgia, and charged with "treason and with organizing and setting on foot piratical expeditions." He was taken to New York and imprisoned at Fort Lafayette, where he remained until paroled in March 1866. Mallory was the last Confederate cabinet officer to gain his freedom. Returning to Pensacola he entered into law practice with Augustus E. Maxwell and wrote newspaper articles attacking the reconstruction policies. Mallory died in November 1873.

Steadily breasting northward, C.S.S. Shenandoah, commanded by Lieutenant Waddell, sighted the Kuriles "covered with snow".

What little military action continued involved Federals versus guerrillas on the Blackwater River, near Longwood, Missouri.

Author:  nsimms [ Wed May 20, 2015 5:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

May 21, 1865 Sunday
C.S.S. Shenandoah entered the Sea of Okhotsk "and ran along the coast of Kamchatka under sail. Charles Hale Morgan, USA, is appointed to Brigadier General.

Author:  nsimms [ Thu May 21, 2015 6:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

May 22, 1865 Monday
President Johnson removed commercial restrictions on Southern ports except Galveston, La Salle, Brazos Santiago or Point Isabel, and Brownsville, Texas. There was a minor skirmish at Valley Mines, Missouri. President Davis was imprisoned in a cell at Fort Monroe.

Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury arrived in Havana in S.S. Atrato and learned of General Johnston's surrender. Realizing the futility of his intended efforts, he abandoned plans to proceed with his electric torpedo equipment to Galveston for the defense of that harbor. He placed the material ashore in custody for Commander Bulloch. As he wrote later to his wife: "I left $30,000 or $40,000 worth of torpedoes, telegraphic wire, etc. which I bought for the defense of Richmond. Bulloch paid for them but they were left in Havana at the breakup, subject to my orders. I write by this mail directing that they be turned over to Bulloch. Now they don't belong to him, neither do they to me. But it is quite a relief to get rid of them by transferring them to a man who I am sure will make the most proper use of them. I did not want any of the $10,000 or $20,000 which they will bring, though some one will get it who has no more right to it than I have."

Author:  nsimms [ Fri May 22, 2015 7:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

May 23, 1865 Tuesday
The Grand Armies of the Republic passed in a last review ( ). From the Capitol to the White House crowds lined the streets, children sang patriotic songs, and the men marched. In the bright summer air the Army of the Potomac had come home to the appreciation of the nation. For the first time since that sad April day the flag at the White House was at full staff. Regiment by regiment, brigade by brigade, division by division, corps by corps, the conquerors came. There were the dashing horsemen of the cavalry, the long lines of blue-clad infantry, the cries of the crowd for their heroes. There were the engineers and pioneers with “the implements of their branch,” the Irish Brigade with sprigs of green in their hats, the ambulances, the artillery, the Zouaves in their flashy uniforms. It was a march of victory and triumph; yet unseen thousands of others were there – those who had fallen on ten thousand fields. The war was over.

The pro-Union government of Virginia was established now in Richmond. There was a minor skirmish near Waynesville, Missouri; Union scouting from Thibodeaux to Lake Verret, Louisiana; a scout until May 26 from Warrensburg, Missouri to the mouth of Coal Camp Creek; and until the twenty-seventh a scout from Pine Bluff to Monticello, Arkansas. U.S.S. Azalea, commanded by Acting Master F. W. Strong, seized British brig Sarah M. Newhall, attempting to put into Savannah with a cargo of West Indies produce. She had cleared from Inagua, Bahamas, ostensibly for New York.

Author:  nsimms [ Sat May 23, 2015 6:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

May 24, 1865 Wednesday
For the second straight day the troops paraded in review in Washington. This time it was the men of the West. Sherman’s men were more ragged, more loose in their marching, more rough-cut than those of the Army of the Potomac. In the rear of some units were the typical “Sherman’s bummers,” complete with mules laden with camp equipage and the spoils of foraging. Negro followers joined in with camp pets, adding a less formal air to the Grand Review. Evidence seems firm now that Gen Sherman, halting at the White House reviewing stand, shook hands with President Johnson but refused the hand of Sec of War Stanton because of their disagreement over the surrender of Gen Johnston.

Sporadic shooting still went on, mainly Federals against guerrillas, as near Rocheport, Missouri. There was a Union scout from Napoleonville to Bayou St Vincent, Louisiana.

The blockade runner Denbigh, once described by Admiral Farragut as "too quick for us", was found aground at daylight on Bird Key Spit, near Galveston. She had attempted to run into the Texas port once again under cover of darkness. She was destroyed during the day by gunfire from U.S.S. Cornubia and Princess Royal, and later boarding parties from Kennebec and Seminole set her aflame. Prior to the capture of Mobile Bay, Denbigh had plagued Farragut by running regularly from Mobile to Havana. He narrowly missed taking her on 7 June 1864, and Farragut expressed his feelings in a letter to Rear Admiral Theodorus Bailey: "We nearly had the Denbigh; she has not moved from the fort [Morgan] yet, so she must have been hit by some of the shots fired at her; but he is a bold rascal, and well he may be, for if I get him he will see the rest of his days of the war in the Tortugas." William Watson, a Confederate blockade runner who shipped on Rob Roy and other elusive runners, later wrote of Denbigh: "I may safely say that one of the most successful, and certainly one of the most profitable, steamers that sailed out of Havana to the Confederate States was a somewhat old, and by no means a fast, steamer, named the Denbigh. This vessel ran for a considerable time between Havana and Mobile; but when the latter port was captured by the Federals she ran to Galveston, to and from which port she made such regular trips that she was called the packet. She was small in size, and not high above water, and painted in such a way as not to be readily seen at a distance. She was light on coal, made but little smoke, and depended more upon strategy than speed. She carried large cargoes of cotton, and it was generally allowed that the little Denbigh was a more profitable boat than any of, the larger and swifter cracks." Nevertheless, in the end she met the same fate as hundreds of her sister runners.

U.S.S. Cornubia, commanded by Lieutenant John A. Johnstone, captured and destroyed C.S.S. Le Compt off Galveston. The Confederate schooner, which had been used as a port guard ship, was abandoned by her crew as Cornubia approached her station. Le Compt drifted ashore, bilged, and next day was reported "a total wreck."

Author:  nsimms [ Sun May 24, 2015 8:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

May 25, 1865 Thursday
With the reviews over in Washington, troops dispersed and most of them hurried home. Confederates evacuated Sabine Pass, Texas and there was an expedition by Federals from Bayou Beouf to Bayou De Large, Louisiana until the twenty-seventh. Twenty tons of captured Confederate powder “shook the foundations” of Mobile, Alabama when it exploded in a warehouse being used as an arsenal. The powder blast set off numerous other explosions. Boats at the dock, warehouses, and other buildings were left in ruins. Possibly three hundred people were casualties. Property loss was put at $5,000,000 ( and ... 85512.html ). Francis Channing Barlow, USA, is appointed to Major General.

Author:  nsimms [ Mon May 25, 2015 7:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

May 26, 1865 Friday
At New Orleans Lieut Gen S.B. Buckner, acting for Gen E. Kirby Smith, Confederate commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department, entered into a military convention with Federal Maj Gen Peter J. Osterhaus, representing Maj Gen E.R.S. Canby. Under the terms of the surrender all resistance would cease, and officers and men would be paroled under terms similar to those of the Appomattox surrender. Gen Smith approved the convention June 2 at Galveston. Thus the last significant army of the Confederacy surrendered. Some troops, including part of Jo Shelby’s command, refused the terms and scattered to Mexico, the Far West, or just went home. Gershom Mott, USA, is appointed to Major General.

Author:  nsimms [ Tue May 26, 2015 5:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

May 27, 1865 Saturday
Very minor skirmishing was reported in Chariton County, Missouri particularly at Switzler’s Mill. President Johnson ordered most persons imprisoned by military authorities to be discharged. Benjamin Henry Grierson, USA, is appointed to Major General.

Rear Admiral Stribling, commanding the East Gulf Squadron, reported to Secretary Welles the surrender to his forces of C.S.S. Spray. The gunboat had been stationed in the St. Marks River guarding the water approaches to Tallahassee, Florida. Spray's commanding officer, Lieutenant Henry H. Lewis, surrendered the vessel upon learning that the troops at Tallahassee had capitulated.

C.S.S. Shenandoah, commanded by Lieutenant Waddell, captured whaling bark Abigail near Shantarski Island in the northwestern reaches of the Sea of Okhotsk. Abigail's master, Ebenezer Nye, had been captured earlier in the war by C.S.S. Alabama. One of Nye's mates turned to him and said, "You are more fortunate in picking up Confederate cruisers than whales. I will never again go with you, for if there is a cruiser out, you will find her." The following day, after taking on a stove from Abigail to warm Waddell's cabin, a large quantity of liquor found on board the prize to warm the men, and winter clothing essential to continued operations in these northern waters, the whaler was burned. Waddell proceeded southward along the Siberian Coast and Sakhalin.

Author:  nsimms [ Wed May 27, 2015 5:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

May 28, 1865 Sunday
Brevet Brigadier General George Spalding, 12th Tennessee Cavalry, USA, assumes command of the Federal District of North Missouri.

Author:  nsimms [ Thu May 28, 2015 6:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

May 29, 1865 Monday
By presidential proclamation Andrew Johnson granted amnesty and pardon to all persons who directly or indirectly participated in “the existing rebellion,” with a few exceptions. All property rights were restored except as to slaves and in special cases. Of course an oath was required that such persons would “henceforth” fully support, protect, and defend the Constitution and abide by the laws. This oath was opposed by the Radicals, who wanted an oath that could be taken only by those who had never directly or indirectly voluntarily supported the Confederacy. Johnson’s proclamation followed the pattern laid down by Lincoln except that persons who participated in the rebellion and had had taxable property of over $20,000 were excluded from amnesty. Others excepted were those who held civil or diplomatic offices; those who left U.S. judicial posts; officers above the rank of colonel in the Army or lieutenant in the Navy; all who left Congress to join the South; all who resigned from the U.S. Army or Navy “to evade duty in resisting the rebellion”; all those who mistreated prisoners of war; all who were educated in the U.S. military or naval academies; governors of states in insurrection; those who left homes in the North to go South; those engaged in commerce destroying; and those who had violated previous oaths. But any person belonging to these excepted classes could apply to the President where “such clemency will be liberally extended as may be consistent with the facts of the case and the peace and dignity of the United States.” Johnson was liberal in granting such clemency. The proclamation set the tone of the President for a moderate reconstruction policy. In another proclamation William W. Holden was appointed provisional governor of North Carolina.

There were operations in Texas and on the Rio Grande by the Federal Army for most of the rest of 1865 against guerrillas and former Confederates escaping into Mexico. Also there were scattered operations in Johnson County, Missouri. The Federal Military Division of the Southwest is created, consisting of the area of the Trans-Mississippi south of the Arkansas River, with Major General Philip H. Sheridan, USA in command. The District of East Louisiana is created, consisting of the District of Baton Rouge, District of Port Hudson, and the Military Post of Clinton, Louisiana, with Brigadier General Michael K. Lawler, USA in command. Brevet Major General John E. Smith, USA, assumes command of the Federal District of West Tennessee.

Charles Francis Adams, American Minister to Great Britain, claimed that the cruiser policy England had encouraged during the war had destroyed the United States thriving merchant marine. In a letter to the British Foreign Minister, Adams held English policy directly responsible for the 110,000 tons of American shipping burned or sunk then went on to broaden the indictment by adding that "the action of these British built, manned and armed vessels has had the indirect effect of driving from the sea a large portion of the commercial marine of the United States." Although the American flag disappeared from the sea the merchant ships that had flown it (except for the destroyed prizes) did not. More than 800,000 tons of American owned shipping was either transferred to foreign registry or sold to foreign ship owners in order to gain the shelter of a neutral flag. Prior to the Civil War, the United States had become the world's leading maritime carrier measured by both tonnage of bottoms and value of cargo. The Civil War cost the nation this number one position.

Author:  nsimms [ Fri May 29, 2015 11:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

May 30, 1865 Tuesday
The Federal 4th Army Corps is transferred from the Department of the Cumberland to the newly created Military Division of the Southwest.

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