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The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865
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Author:  nsimms [ Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

January 31, 1865 Tuesday
With an outburst of enthusiasm from the gallery and the floor, the U.S. House of Representatives passed by two thirds the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery. There were 119 in favor, 56 opposed, and 8 not voting to send the amendment, long since approved by the Senate, to the states for ratification. On Feb 1 Illinois ratified the amendment, but it was not until Dec 18, 1865, that two thirds of the states had given their approval, and it became a part of the Constitution. President Lincoln had vigorously backed the measure and had gone to great efforts to see it past the House, where it had failed previously. There were reports of political deals involving Democrats who had been opposed to the amendment in 1864. The debate had been furious and lengthy. Radicals such as Thad Stevens of Pennsylvania had declared that states could not “return” to the Union, but had to be admitted as new states, a view opposed by the Administration. But at least on the abolition of slavery President Lincoln and the Radicals temporarily agreed. The vote confirmed what had been evident for a long time: one result of the war would be the end of slavery. Also, it put on a constitutional level the Emancipation Proclamation of the President, which he maintained was strictly a war measure.

President Davis recommended to the Confederate Senate, and it promptly approved, the appointment of Gen Robert E. Lee as General-in-Chief of the Confederate Armies. Often urged, the measure came too late to have any real effect. Lee continued primarily as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia.

In Washington President Lincoln issued instructions for Sec of State Seward to go to Fort Monroe to confer with the Confederate commissioners “on the basis of my letter to F.P. Blair, Esq., on Jan. 18, 1865.” This means that the President was willing to confer on restoration of the national authority throughout all states, but would not recede from his position on slavery, and there could be no cessation of hostilities short of an end of the war and disbandment of hostile forces. Of course, he would only treat the problem as that of one nation, whereas President Davis would carry on discussions as between two nations.

The last day of January had been important politically and socially, but on the military front there was only a Union expedition from Morganza to New Roads, Louisiana and a two-day Federal expedition from Fort Pike to Bayou Bonfouca, Louisiana.

President Davis told Lee of his attempt to bring Confederate troops east from the Trans-Mississippi to defend against Sherman. Davis pointed out that Congress had not adopted his manpower measures, and asked Lee for suggestions “in this, our hour of necessity….”

The Federal Department of North Carolina is created, consisting of the State of North Carolina. Major General John M. Schofield ( ), USA, is assigned command of the newly created Federal Department of North Carolina. Major General David S. Stanley ( ), USA, assumes command of the Federal 4th Army Corps.

Author:  nsimms [ Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

February 1, 1865 Wednesday
After about two weeks of preliminary movements and extensive preparations, William T. Sherman today actively began his march into South Carolina from Savannah, Georgia and Beaufort, South Carolina. The troops of the Seventeenth and Fifteenth Corps moved ahead despite felled trees and burned bridges. The Federal Pioneer battalions were well trained and quickly cleared the way. As Gen O.O. Howard’s right wing advanced, Gen Henry Slocum’s left wing struggled with the flooded Savannah River at Sister’s Ferry, but soon got across. Sherman was attempting still to confound the enemy as to his aim – Charleston, South Carolina or possibly Augusta, Georgia. Actually, the first goal was Columbia, South Carolina, capital of the state. In front of them Hardee had his battered troops from Savannah, units of militia, and various others. Efforts of course were being made to send the Army of Tennessee, and calls were made in every direction. Few troops responded. Confederate cavalry harassed the edges of the advance, which in no wise hindered the Federal march. There were skirmishes at Hickory Hill and Whippy Swamp Creek, South Carolina.

For most of February Union soldiers operated against Indians about Fort Boise, Idaho Territory. A minor skirmish occurred in McLemore’s Cove, Georgia and a Federal scout probed from Warrensburg to Wagon Knob, Tabo Creek, and other spots in Missouri. The Union Navy made what turned out to be a final foray against Southern salt works at St Andrews Bay, Florida.

Illinois became the first state to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery. President Lincoln signed a resolution submitting the amendment to the states even though his signature was not required. Later he responded to a serenade, “The occasion was one of congratulations to the country and to the whole world.” Now the task was to get the amendment approved. The President announced the Illinois legislature’s approval and thought “this measure was a very fitting if not an indispensable adjunct to the winding up of the great difficulty … this amendment is a King’s cure for all the evils (Applause.) It winds the whole thing up.”

Early in the day a cipher to Gen Grant at City Point, Virginia from Lincoln read, “Let nothing which is transpiring, change, hinder, or delay your Military movements, or plans.” By this the President meant that the forthcoming conference with Confederate leaders or other possible peace overtures should not interfere with the military phase of the war.

President Davis, with considerable reluctance, accepted the resignation of Sec of War James A. Seddon, long the subject of much criticism and controversy. A Virginia delegation in the Confederate Congress had even called for relieving all the Cabinet. Davis defended the right of the President to choose his own advisers.

Stephen Thomas, USA, is appointed to Brigadier General. Major General John Bankhead Magruder ( ), CSA, assumes command of the Confederate District of Arkansas.

Author:  nsimms [ Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

February 2, 1865 Thursday
Sherman’s right wing was on the Salkehatchie River. The rivers and swamps were as much obstacles to the Federal advance into South Carolina as the Confederate cavalry and other troops trying vainly to block the way. Severe skirmishing took place at Lawtonville, Barker’s Mill on Whippy Swamp, Duck Branch near Loper’s Cross Roads, and Rivers’ and Broxton’s bridges on the Salkehatchie. There was a skirmish on St John’s River, Florida. Operations against the Indians lasted until Feb 18 on the North Platte River in Colorado and Nebraska territories, after Indians attacked the Overland Stage Station at Julesburg, Colorado Territory.

Rhode Island and Michigan joined Illinois in ratifying the constitutional amendment abolishing slavery.

President Lincoln left Washington for Hampton Roads, Virginia where the three Confederate commissioners were already gathered. They were Vice-President Alexander Stephens, Asst Sec of War and former U.S. justice John A. Campbell, and Sen and former Confederate secretary of state R.M.T. Hunter. In the evening the President arrived at Fort Monroe and boarded River Queen, where Sec of State William H. Seward already had his headquarters. The Confederate commissioners had hoped to go to Washington, but they had been halted at Fort Monroe.

U.S.S. Pinola, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Henry Erben, captured blockade running British schooner Ben Willis at sea in the Gulf of Mexico with cargo of cotton.

Author:  nsimms [ Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

February 3, 1865 Friday
Five men sat in the salon of River Queen in Hampton Roads off Fort Monroe, Virginia discussing the fate of the United States and the Confederate States of America. On one side President Lincoln and Sec of State William H. Seward; for the other Alexander H. Stephens, John A. Campbell, and R.M.T. Hunter. After some pleasantries and reminiscences, President Lincoln gave firm understanding that the national authority of the United States must be recognized within the rebellious states before anything else could be considered. There was talk again of a movement by the states of the two nations against Mexico and French intervention in North America. President Lincoln said this could not be entertained as no treaty with the Confederate States was possible, for they were not a country in the eyes of the North.

Armistice was suggested but the President said this was impossible before reestablishment of the United States. The Confederates asked what manner of reconstruction would be effected if the Union were restored. The President said that troops must be disbanded and national authorities would resume functions. Lincoln and Seward did say courts would determine rights of property and that Congress would no doubt be liberal. As to slavery, Congress had passed the Thirteenth Amendment and it as being ratified by the states. In summation, the Confederate commission said that the terms seemed to be unconditional submission. Mr Seward said the word had not been used or implied and President Lincoln said that if the matter was left in his own hands he would be liberal in his policies but he could not answer for Congress. President Lincoln told a few stories, everyone was reasonably friendly, but nothing came of it or could come of it, considering the Federal demand for unconditional restoration of the Union and the Confederate demand for terms between two independent nations. The Confederate commissioners reported to President Davis, and thus ended the last and only real effort at peace before surrender.

Maryland, New York, and West Virginia ratified the Thirteenth Amendment. On the war fronts, Sherman’s right wing, with the Seventeenth Corps, forced its way across three miles of swamp, sometimes shoulder-deep, along the Salkehatchie River, South Carolina. After crossing the river the troops cleared the Confederate defenders in an action at Rivers’ Bridge with other skirmishing at Dillingham’s Cross Roads or Duck Branch. From the Salkehatchie Sherman’s troops pressed on quite rapidly in an almost straight northerly direction into South Carolina toward Columbia. Over in Hog Jaw Valley, Alabama a skirmish occurred at Ladd’s House, and an affair broke out at Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. Union scouts operated Feb 3-8 in La Fayette County, Missouri and Feb 3-8 from Fort Larned to the south fork of Pawnee Creek and Buckner’s Branch, Kansas.

Brigadier General Marcus J. Wright ( ), CSA, is assigned command of the newly District of North Mississippi and West Tennessee. Brigadier General Wirt Adams ( ), CSA, is assigned command of the newly District of South Mississippi and East Tennessee.

U.S.S. Matthew Vassar, commanded by Acting Master George E. Hill, captured blockade running schooner John Hale off St. Marks, Florida, with cargo including lead, blankets, and rope.

Author:  nsimms [ Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

February 4, 1865 Saturday
President Lincoln returned home from the unsuccessful Hampton Roads conference and reported to the Cabinet. Lincoln again told Grant through Stanton that “nothing transpired, or transpiring with the three gentlemen from Richmond, is to cause any change hindrance or delay, of your military plans or operations.”

Skirmishing at Angley’s Post Office and Buford’s Bridge, South Carolina marked the now full advance of Sherman’s four corps. Slocum and the left wing had had considerable difficulty crossing the swollen Savannah River but now were completing the operation. Federal troops made a three-day expedition from Winchester, Virginia to Moorefield, West Virginia. There was slight action at Mud Springs, Nebraska Territory. Maj Gen John Pope assumed command of the Military Division of the Missouri. Robert Lowry, CSA, is appointed to Brigadier General.

Discouraged by Federal advances in South Carolina, President Davis wrote Gen Beauregard at Augusta, Georgia that things were worse than he expected, and that Beauregard should take over-all command in Georgia and concentrate all the troops possible.

U.S.S. Wamsutta, commanded by Acting Master Charles W. Lee, and U.S.S. Potomska, commanded by Acting Master F. M. Montell, sighted an unidentified blockade runner aground near Breach Inlet, South Carolina; on being discovered, the runner's crew fired and abandoned her.

Author:  nsimms [ Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

February 5, 1865 Sunday
Grant was active again after the months of siege at Petersburg. The Federal Second and Fifth Corps plus cavalry again headed toward the Boydton Plank Road and Hatcher’s Run. Despite inclement weather they reached the Boydton Plank Road with little difficulty. The movement was in line with the obvious strategy of Grant to extend the Federal lines south and west of Petersburg to weaken the already strained defensive positions of Lee. The Confederates did move out troops but were unable to do much against the Federal cavalry and infantry. The Battle of Hatcher’s Run ( ) was also known as Dabney’s Mill and included Armstrong’s Mill, Rowanty Creek, and Vaughan Road.

In South Carolina there was skirmishing at Duncanville and Combahee Ferry, as Sherman’s four corps continued crossing the various streams and swamps of the southern part of the state. In addition, fighting occurred at Charles Town, West Virginia; Braddock’s Farm near Welaka, Florida; and near McMinnville, Tennessee.

President Lincoln had not given up his plan for compensated emancipation. He read to the Cabinet a proposal to pay $400,000,000 to the slave states if they abandoned resistance to the national authority before April 1. One half would be paid upon the ending of hostilities and the remainder upon approval of the constitutional amendment abolishing slavery. But the Cabinet unanimously disapproved the measure which would never have passed Congress.

Blockade runner Chameleon, commanded by Lieutenant Wilkinson, attempted to run through the blockade of Charleston to deliver desperately needed supplies for General Lee's troops but was unsuccessful. Having run into the Cape Fear River the previous month only to find Fort Fisher in Union hands, the bold Wilkinson had returned to Nassau and learned on 30 January that Charleston was still held by the South. He departed on 1 February, evaded U.S.S. Vanderbilt after a lengthy chase, but found that the blockade of Charleston had been augmented by so many ships from the Wilmington station that he could not get into the harbor while the tide was high. "As this was the last night during that moon, when the bar could be crossed during the dark hours," Wilkinson later wrote, "the course of the Chameleon was again, and for the last time, shaped for Nassau. As we turned away from the land, our hearts sank within us, while the conviction forced itself upon us, that the cause for which so much blood had been shed, so many miseries bravely endured, and so many sacrifices cheerfully made, was about to perish at last!"

U.S.S. Niagara, under Commodore Thomas T. Craven, learned that "the pirate ram" Stonewall was repairing at Ferrol, Spain. He departed Dover, England, for Spain next day but because of foul weather did not reach Coruña, Spain, some nine miles from Ferrol, until 11 February. He requested assistance in blockading the ironclad from U.S.S. Sacramento but found that she was at Lisbon repairing and would not be ready for sea for ten days. Craven himself put into Ferrol on the 15th and maintained a close watch on Stonewall.

U.S.S. Hendrick Hudson, commanded by Acting Lieutenant Charles H. Rockwell, reported locating the sunken wreck of U.S.S. Anna, commanded by Acting Ensign Henry W. Wells, south of Cape Roman, Florida. Anna had departed Key West on 30 December and had not been heard from since. Apparently, an accidental explosion had ripped the schooner apart. Rockwell found no survivors.

Author:  nsimms [ Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

February 6, 1865 Monday
President Jefferson Davis named capable Maj Gen John C. Breckinridge ( ) as Confederate Secretary of War, replacing James A. Seddon. A Kentuckian, Breckinridge had served in the U.S. House, the Senate, and as Vice-President, and as a prominent Confederate general. The Senate approved the appointment the same day. Gen Robert E. Lee received orders to assume the duties of General-in-Chief of the Armies of the Confederate States, following the act of the Confederate Congress approved by President Davis Jan 23. While important posts, these two appointments came too late in the war to have much bearing on the outcome.

President Davis also submitted to Congress the report of the Confederate commissioners at Hampton Roads, and told Sen Benjamin H. Hill that “Nothing less would be accepted than unconditional submission to the government and laws of the United States….” To Congress he told of the amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery, and added, “the enemy refused to enter into negotiations with the Confederate States, or with any one of them separately, or to give our people any other terms or guaranties than those which the conqueror may grant….”

On the Petersburg front, fighting at Dabney’s Mill or Hatcher’s Run increased. Southern Brig Gen John Pegram ( ), commanding a division, was killed trying to halt the Union advance to Hatcher’s Run. Federal troops held the Boydton Plank Road without much difficulty, and pushed on to Hatcher’s Run, thus extending their lines substantially. However, Warren’s Fifth Corps was forced back in some confusion when Confederate reinforcements came in.

Sherman’s troops fought with Confederates trying to delay the Federal advance at Fishburn’s Plantation near Lane’s Bridge on the Little Salkehatchie, and at Cowpen Ford, and near Barnwell, South Carolina. There were three days of Union operations in Ozark County, Missouri; a Northern scout from Fairfax Court House to Brentsville, Virginia; and an affair at Corn’s Farm, Franklin County, Tennessee.

Author:  nsimms [ Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

February 7, 1865 Tuesday
Maine and Kansas got on the bandwagon of states hurriedly approving the Thirteenth Amendment; in Delaware the amendment failed to receive the necessary votes.

The fighting at Hatcher’s Run ended with Federals abandoning the Boydton Plank Road but fortifying their new lines to Hatcher’s Run at the Vaughan Road Crossing, some three miles below Burgess’ Mill. The Confederate army of around 46,000 now had to defend some 37 miles of Richmond-Petersburg lines. This was the last principal Federal move to extend its lines prior to the final push in late March and early April. About 35,000 Federals were at least partly engaged Feb 5-7, with 170 killed, 1160 wounded, and 182 missing for 1512; there were about 14,000 Confederates involved and casualties are not clear.

Sherman’s four corps, plus Kilpatrick’s cavalry, continued their march in South Carolina against very light Confederate resistance. They encountered more difficulty with geographical obstacles such as swamps and rivers. Skirmishing took place at Blackville, the Edisto River Bridge, and there was a Federal reconnaissance to Cannon’s Bridge on the South Edisto River. There were four days of Union scouting from Morganza to Fausee River and Grossetete Bayou, Louisiana; and a Federal scout on the Hernando Road, Tennessee.

Brigadier General John Henry Winder ( ), CSA, dies in Florence, South Carolina, of mental fatigue which overwhelmed him because of his role during the war.

Boat expedition under Acting Ensign George H. French from U.S.S. Bienville, assisted by a cutter from U.S.S. Princess Royal, entered Galveston harbor silently at night intending to board and destroy blockade runner Wren. Because of "he strong current and wind . . ., and the near approach of daylight", French and his daring men were unable to reach Wren but did board and take schooners Pet and Annie Sophia, both laden with cotton.

Author:  nsimms [ Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

February 8, 1865 Wednesday
The Federal House of Representatives passed a joint resolution declaring that the states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee were not entitled to representation in the electoral college. President Lincoln signed the resolution but disclaimed he had thus expressed any opinion as he also disclaimed any right to interfere in the counting of votes.

In the South Carolina Campaign, skirmishing erupted at Williston, White Pond or Walker’s or Valley Bridge on the Edisto, and at Cannon’s Bridge on the South Edisto. In Kentucky action occurred at New Market and Bradfordsville. In Arkansas there were two days of Federal operations on the Arkansas River near Little Rock, and a six-day Union scout from Helena to Madison. Fighting against Indians on the North Platte River near Rush Creek, Nebraska Territory lasted for a couple of days. Massachusetts and Pennsylvania ratified the Thirteenth Amendment. George Baird Hodge, CSA, is appointed to Brigadier General.

The first troops of General Schofield's Twenty-Third Army Corps were landed at Fort Fisher. By mid-month the entire Corps had moved by ocean-transport from Alexandria and Annapolis to North Carolina. The protection of the Federal Navy and the mobility of water movement had allowed the redeployment of thousands of troops from Tennessee to the eastern theater for the final great struggles of the war.

Author:  nsimms [ Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

February 9, 1865 Thursday
The daily, relatively light skirmishing along the edges of Sherman’s advance into South Carolina continued, with action at Binnaker’s Bridge on the South Edisto and at Holman’s Bridge, South Carolina. In addition action included skirmishing near Memphis, Tennessee and a Yankee scout until Feb 19 from Pine Bluff to Devall’s Bluff, Arkansas. In Union command changes, Maj Gen Quincy A. Gillmore ( ) took over the Department of the South, replacing Maj Gen John G. Foster ( ), and John M. Schofield assumed command of the Department of North Carolina. The advance of Schofield’s Twenty-third Corps at Fort Fisher prepared for attacking Wilmington and eventually pushing inland to join Sherman in North Carolina. Brigadier General Elias S. Dennis ( ), USA, assumes command of the Federal District of South Alabama. The Federal Northern Division of Louisiana is created, to consist of the District of Baton Rouge; District of Port Hudson; and the Port of Morganza, Louisiana. Major General Francis J. Herron ( ), USA, is assigned command of the newly created Federal Northern Division of Louisiana. James Isham Gilbert, USA, is appointed to Brigadier General.

Robert E. Lee took his duties as Confederate General-in-Chief, saying he would rely on the field commanders and that manpower was a paramount necessity. He proposed a pardon to deserters who reported within thirty days. President Davis approved this measure. Virginia unionists ratified the Thirteenth Amendment.

Author:  nsimms [ Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

February 10, 1865 Friday
Action around Charleston Harbor included skirmishing on James Island and at Johnston’s Station, South Carolina as Confederates guarded against attack both from Sherman’s invading column and from the sea. A skirmish broke out at Kittredge’s Sugar House near Napoleonville, Louisiana; a Federal scout from Friar’s Point, Mississippi also involved a skirmish. Union expeditions operated from Brashear City to Lake Verret, Louisiana for two days, and from Thibodeaux to Lake Verret, Louisiana for four days. An affair occurred near Triune, Tennessee and there was a skirmish in Johnson’s Crook, Georgia. The Federal Department of Kentucky is created, consisting of the State of Kentucky and Major General John M. Palmer ( ), USA, is assigned command. The Federal Department of the Cumberland is redefined, to consist of the State of Tennessee and those parts of northern Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi occupied by Federal troops under the command of Major General George H. Thomas. All Federal troops in the Departments of Kentucky and the Cumberland were declared subject to the orders of Maj Gen Thomas except for posts protecting the Mississippi River. The Federal Department of the Gulf is redefined to consist of the States of Louisiana and Texas. The Federal Department of Mississippi is redefined to consist of the State of Mississippi as was occupied by troops of the Federal Military Division of West Mississippi on the Mississippi River.

President Lincoln, like President Davis, reported to his Congress on the Hampton Roads conference ( ... oln8%3A592 ). Writes Alexander H. Stephens (Vice-Pres of C.S.A.): "According to our agreement, your nephew, Lieut. Stephens, goes to you, bearing this note. Please, in return, to select and send to me, that officer of the same rank, imprisoned at Richmond, whose physical condition most urgently requires his release." This is due to the special request made by Mr Stephens at the Hampton Roads conference. Capt Raphael Semmes ( ) was named Rear Admiral, C.S.A., and put in command of the James River Squadron. Ohio and Missouri ratified the Thirteenth Amendment.

Boat expedition from U.S.S. Princess Royal and Antona led by Lieutenant Charles E. McKay boarded and destroyed blockade runner Will-O-The Wisp, a large iron screw steamer hard aground off Galveston.

Author:  nsimms [ Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

February 11, 1865 Saturday
Sherman’s men, now on the railroad lines from Midway to Johnson’s Station, South Carolina, divided the Confederates who were in Branchville and Charleston on the east and near Aiken and in Georgia near Augusta on the west. There were actions at Aiken, Johnson’s Station, near Sugar Loaf, and on Battery Simkins, as well as about Orangeburg, South Carolina. In Arkansas minor skirmishes occurred at Clear Creek and near Pine Bluff. In Virginia there was an affair at Williamsburg and Federals carried out a five-day expedition from Bermuda Hundred to Smithfield. President Davis wrote Hardee that if the army had concentrated sufficiently, Davis was hopeful Sherman could be defeated at Charleston. On the other hand, Beauregard urged evacuation, for the Confederates could not afford to lose an army. Of course, Sherman did not intend to attack Charleston but to bypass and cut it off.

U.S.S. Keystone State, Aries, Montgomery, Howquah, Emma, and Vicksburg engaged Half Moon Battery, situated on the coastal flank of the Confederate defense line which crossed the Cape Fear Peninsula six miles above Fort Fisher. This bombardment contained General Hoke's division while General Schofield's troops moved up the beach and behind their rear. Deteriorating weather, however, prevented the landing of the pontoons, and Schofield withdrew his troops to the Fort Fisher lines. Porter's gunboats also engaged the west bank batteries.

U.S.S. Penobscot, commanded by Lieutenant Commander A. E. K. Benham, captured blockade running British schooner Matilda in the Gulf of Mexico with cargo of rope, bagging, and liquors.

Author:  nsimms [ Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

February 12, 1865 Sunday
The electoral vote was taken and Lincoln was officially elected with 212 votes to 21 for McClellan. Lincoln was still concerned by reports that Missouri provost marshals were selling confiscated property.

Sherman’s troops swept enemy opposition from the Orangeburg Bridge on the North Edisto as the march continued in South Carolina. Other skirmishing was recorded near Columbia and Macon, Missouri; Lewisburg, Arkansas; and Waterloo, Alabama. Union operations until Feb 20 took place about Forts Riley and Larned, Kansas.

The blockade runners Carolina, Dream, Chicora, Chameleon, and Owl, with supplies desperately needed by General Lee's army, lay at anchor in Nassau harbor. During the day the five captains, including Lieutenant John Wilkinson and Commander John Maffitt, held a conference and formulated plans for running the blockade into Charleston. After putting to sea that night, the five ships separated and stood on different courses for the South Carolina port. Only Chicora, Master John Rains, Shipmaster, got through and became the last blockade runner to enter and leave Charleston prior to its evacuation during the night of 17-18 February. Two and a half months later Owl, under Commander Maffitt, slipped past 16 Federal cruisers and entered the harbor at Galveston. After off-loading his cargo, Maffitt again evaded the blockaders and safely reached Havana on 9 May, where after coaling his ship he continued to give Union warships the slip on his return voyage to Nassau and ultimately to Liverpool.

Captain T. J. Page, C.S.S. Stonewall, wrote Commander Bulloch from Ferrol of the arrival of U.S.S. Niagara, under Commodore T. T. Craven, at Corunna the preceding day. "I wish with all my heart we were ready now to go out," Page said. "We must encounter her, and I would only wish that she may not be accompanied by two or more others." Craven was equally apprehensive about a possible engagement. "The Stonewall," he wrote at month's end, "is a very formidable vessel, about 175 feet long, brig-rigged, and completely clothed in iron places of 5 inches in thickness. Under her topgallant forecastle is her casemated Armstrong 300-pounder rifled gun. In a turret abaft her mainmast are two 120-pounder rifled guns, and she has two smaller guns mounted in broadside. If as fast as reputed to be, in smooth water she ought to be more than a match for three such ships as the Niagara. . . ."

Author:  nsimms [ Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

February 13, 1865 Monday
For the Confederates in South Carolina prospects were dark. Beauregard had only remnants of troops to defend Augusta, Georgia and Hardee waited for the possible time when he must abandon Charleston and Fort Sumter. Wade Hampton ( ) had been sent from the Virginia front to his home state to command cavalry, but he had not been able to do anything significant. Minor fighting continued at Station Four, Florida and in Mississippi County, Missouri. A Federal expedition against raiders operated until Feb 17 from Camp Russell near Winchester to Edenburg and Little Fort Valley, Virginia. Major General Samuel R. Curtis ( ), USA, assumes command of the Federal Department of the Northwest.

A west Tennessee group objected to military interference in civil affairs. President Lincoln told officers in the area that “the object of the war being to restore and maintain the blessings of peace and good government, I desire you to help, and not to hinder, every advance in that direction.”

In Richmond and elsewhere there was increasing clamor for Joseph E. Johnston to be put in over-all command in the Carolinas, but Gen Lee wrote Vice-President Stephens that Beauregard should be retained at present and that continual command change was unwise, although he held a high opinion of Johnston.

In London Lord Russell protested to Federal commissioners against the St Albans raid of Oct 19, 1864, its aftermath in Canada, and activity on the Great Lakes.

General Sherman's on-rushing army approached the Congaree River, South Carolina. The soldiers would cross it on the 14th, heading for Columbia. With the fall of Columbia assured and with the supply route to Augusta, Georgia, already cut, General Hardee speeded up his preparations to evacuate Charleston and to take the troops he brought from Savannah to North Carolina where he planned to join Generals Joseph E. Johnson and Beauregard. Since Charleston would have to be abandoned and the Confederate naval squadron there scuttled, Commodore John R. Tucker, detached 300 men and officers from C.S.S. Chicora, Palmetto State, and Charleston, as well as the Navy Yard, and dispatched them, under the command of Lieutenant James H. Rochelle, to assist in the final defense of Wilmington. This naval detachment was assigned to Major General Robert F. Hoke's division which held the defensive line across the peninsula between Fort Fisher and Wilmington.

Author:  nsimms [ Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865

February 14, 1865 Tuesday
Troops of Sherman in South Carolina pushed across the Congaree River and the whole army turned more toward Columbia “without wasting time or labor on Branchville or Charleston,” as Sherman reported. Skirmishing flared at Wolf’s Plantation and Gunter’s Bridge on the North Edisto. President Davis again advised Hardee to hold Charleston as long as prudent before evacuation, but said it was up to Beauregard and Hardee to decide military strategy. Until Feb 18 Federal expeditions moved from Donaldsonville to Grand Bayou and Bayou Goula, Louisiana. Wade Hampton, CSA, is appointed to Lieutenant General. Major General Francis J. Herron ( ), USA, assumes command of the Federal Northern District of Louisiana. Major General George Stoneman ( ), USA, is assigned command of the Federal District of Tennessee. Brigadier General Thomas J. McKean ( ), USA, is relieved of command of the Federal District of West Florida and Brigadier General Alexander Asboth ( ), USA, assumes command. The blockade runner Celt ran aground while attempting to run the blockade from Charleston harbor.

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