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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 7:18 pm 
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February 15, 1865 Wednesday
Fairly heavy skirmishing at Congaree Creek, Savannah Creek, Bates’ Ferry on the Congaree River, Red Bank Creek, and Two League Cross Roads near Lexington, South Carolina marked the Federal march toward Columbia. They made rapid progress despite harassing opposition, still difficult swamps, mud, rivers, burned bridges, and blocked roads. Scouting from Nashville, Tennessee on the Nolensville Pike and from Fairfax Court House to Aldie and Middleburg, Virginia are the only other recorded Union operations.

U.S.S. Merrimac, commanded by Acting Master William Earle, was abandoned in a sinking condition at sea off the coast of Florida in the Gulf Stream. The tiller had broken in a gale, the pumps could not keep the ship free of water, and two boilers had given out. Having fought for 24 hours to save his ship, Earle finally ordered her abandoned. The mail steamer Morning Star, which had been standing by the disabled gunboat for several hours, rescued the crew.

Steamer Knickerbocker, aground near Smith's Point, Virginia, was boarded by Confederates, set afire, and destroyed. U.S.S. Mercury, commanded by Acting Ensign Thomas Nelson, had thwarted a previous attempt to destroy the steamer.

_________________
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 1865
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:47 pm 
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February 16, 1865 Thursday
Federal soldiers sighted the capital of South Carolina. Sherman’s men arrived on the south bank of the Congaree River opposite Columbia. People, including a few Confederate cavalry, could be seen running about the streets in confusion. Some Union shells were fired into the city, allegedly at the enemy cavalry and the railroad depot. Some skirmishing occurred about the city as the various Federal units practically surrounded Columbia. Beauregard left the city by late afternoon after wiring Lee that he could not prevent its capture. At Charleston Hardee hurriedly sent out what war materiel he could preparatory to evacuation. Sherman’s army had marched and waded its way to the first objective of the campaign and left even more destruction than in Georgia.

Virginia was quiet again as the siege continued. Widely scattered actions took place at Bennett’s Bayou and Tolbert’s Mill, Arkansas; Gurley’s Tank, Alabama; and Cedar Keys, Florida. Confederates attacked the garrisons of Athens and Sweet Water, Tennessee. Federal scouting until the twentieth was carried out in Ozark County, Missouri; Marion County, Arkansas; and, until the twenty-first, from Fort Larned, Kansas. Indiana, Nevada, and Louisiana ratified the Thirteenth Amendment. Milledge Luke Bonham, CSA, is appointed to Major General and Isaac Munroe St. John, CSA, to Brigadier General.

U.S.S. Penobscot, commanded by Lieutenant Commander A. E. K. Benham, forced blockade running schooners Mary Agnes and Louisa ashore at Aransas Pass, Texas. Two days later the runners were destroyed by a boat crew from Penobscot.

As the combined operation to capture Wilmington vigorously got underway, ships of Rear Admiral Porter's fleet helped to ferry General Schofield's two divisions from Fort Fisher to Smithville, on the west bank of the Cape Fear River. Fort Anderson, the initial objective for the two commanders, lay on the west bank mid-way between the mouth of the river and Wilmington. On the morning of the 17th, Major General Jacob D. Cox led 8,000 troops north from Smithville. In support of the army advance on the Confederate defenses, the monitor Montauk, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Edward E. Stone, and four gunboats heavily bombarded Fort Anderson and successfully silenced its twelve guns. Unable to obtain other monitors for the attack, Porter resorted to subterfuge and, as he had on the Mississippi River, improvised a bogus monitor from a scow, timber, and canvas. "Old Bogey", as she was quickly nicknamed by the sailors, had been towed to the head of the bombardment line, where she succeeded in drawing heavy fire from the defending Southerners.

Ships of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, including U.S.S. Pawnee, Sonoma, Ottawa, Winona, Potomska, Wando, J. S. Chambers, and boats and launches from these vessels supported the amphibious Army landing at Bull's Bay, South Carolina. This was a diversionary movement in the major thrust to take Charleston and was designed to contain Confederate strength away from General Sherman's route. Such diversions had been part of Sherman's plan from the outset as he took full advantage of Northern control of the sea. A naval landing party from the fleet joined the troops of Brigadier General Edward E. Potter in driving the Confederates from their positions and pushing on toward Andersonville and Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

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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 1865
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:33 pm 
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February 17, 1865 Friday
The mayor of Columbia, South Carolina and a delegation of officials rode out in carriages to meet the Federal invader and to surrender the city. As Sherman’s troops entered the capital as an army of occupation, remnants of Confederate cavalry fled. Some burning cotton bales were found, supposedly set fire by Wade Hampton’s men. The blue-clad troops were met by jubilant released Federal prisoners and Negroes. Soon liquor supplies were found, with resulting depredations put down by the provost guard set up by Sherman. In the new state Capitol building roisterous Northern soldiers held a mock session of the “state legislature.”

Sherman and his officers took up headquarters in some of the elegant mansions of this tree-shaded, quiet rural capital. And then it happened. That night much of Columbia burned. And ever since the argument has raged almost as violently as the flames as to who burned Columbia. Sherman was quick to blame Wade Hampton’s cavalry, who had allegedly set fire to the cotton bales these blazes said to have been fanned by the high winds that blew all day. Others believed the culprits were drunken Negroes, soldiers, and released prisoners, for the fires sprang up at many places both in the center and in outlying neighborhoods. Confederates charged that Sherman deliberately burned the city as part of his destructive policy, or that at the very least it was his uncontrolled looters. The burning of Columbia soon became to the South the symbol of the Federal invasion, the epic depredation of the war.

At the same time, Charleston was evacuated. Proud birthplace of secession, spiritual capital, in a sense, of the whole South, Charleston with its Fort Sumter battered to rubble had stood defiant and unconquerable for nearly four years. But now, its defenders in danger of being penned up, Hardee reluctantly and belatedly pulled out and headed for Cheraw, South Carolina. He took with him movable guns and much materiel but sacrificed heavy guns and other supplies, plus the irreplaceable symbol that was Charleston. With its fall something of the heart of the Confederacy departed. Columbia in flames and Charleston deserted – this was indeed a tragic day in the Southland. The Southern ironclads Palmetto State, Chicora, and Charleston were fired and blown up prior to the withdrawal, but C.S.S. Columbia, the largest of the ironclads at Charleston, was found aground and abandoned near Fort Moultrie and was eventually salvaged.

Lieutenant Commander J. S. Barnes later wrote that the occupation forces also captured several "David" torpedo boats, one of which had damaged U.S.S. New Ironsides off Charleston on 5 October 1863. She was subsequently taken to the Naval Academy, Barnes wrote, "where she is preserved as one of the relics of the war. These vessels were built of boiler iron, and were of the shape known as 'cigar shape.' They presented but a very small target above the surface, but were usually clumsy and dangerous craft in a seaway. Under full steam they could attain a speed of seven knots per hour."

The steamers Lady Davis, Mab, and Transport were taken after the evacuation. U.S.S. Catskill, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Edward Barrett, seized blockade runner Celt, which had run aground trying to get out of Charleston on the night of the 14th; Catskill also took the British blockade runner Deer. The steamer had been decoyed into Charleston that night by the same ruse--keeping the Confederate signals lighted--employed at Wilmington. Deer ran aground and on being boarded her master told Barrett: "Well, we give it up; she is your prize. Strange we did not smell a rat, as we could not make out your signal on Fort Marshall." Also in the aftermath of the fall of Charleston, U.S.S. Gladiolus, commanded by Acting Ensign Napoleon Boughton, captured blockade runner Syren in the Ashley River where she had successfully run in through the blockade the night before.

The capture of these blockade runners underscored Dahlgren's letter to Rear Admiral Porter: "You see by the date of this that the Navy's occupation has given this pride of rebeldom to the Union flag, and thus the rebellion is shut out from the ocean and foreign sympathy." To Secretary Welles, Dahlgren added: "To me the fall of Charleston seems scarcely less important than that of Richmond. It is the last seaport by which it can be made sure that a bale of cotton can go abroad. Hence the rebel loan and credit are at an end." Learning of the fall of Charleston a week later in Nassau, Lieutenant Wilkinson, the daring Confederate sea captain, agreed: "This sad intelligence put in end to all our hopes. . . ." At last the city that had symbolized the South's spirit was in Union hands.

Fighting took second place this day to fire and defeat. Action included a skirmish in Washington County, Arkansas; Union scouting from Pine Bluff, Arkansas to the Arkansas River; a Federal expedition until Feb 22 from Plaquemine to The Park, Louisiana; and skirmishing near Smithville, North Carolina. Yankee expeditions moved from Eastport to Iuka, Mississippi and from Whitesburg to Fearn’s Ferry, Alabama.

The United States Senate voted to repudiate all debts by Confederate governments.

U.S.S. Mahaska, commanded by Lieutenant Commander William Gibson, seized schooner Delia off Bayport, Florida, with cargo of pig lead and sabers.

_________________
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.
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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:22 pm 
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February 18, 1865 Saturday
The holocaust at Columbia, South Carolina was burning itself out, but Sherman added to its toll by destroying railroad depots, supply houses, and other public buildings he deemed of military significance. Meanwhile, the citizens probed the wreckage of their homes, cursed the Federals, and began again to take up their disrupted lives. At Charleston the evacuation continued until early morning. About nine o’clock Northern troops of Brig Gen Alexander Schimmelfennig ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Schimmelfennig ) entered the city and it was surrendered by the mayor. Some cotton and other supplies were fired; a Northern reporter called it “A city of ruins, - silent, mournful, in deepest humiliation….The band was playing ‘Hail Columbia,’ and the strains floated through the desolate city, awakening wild enthusiasm in the hearts of the colored people….”

Federal naval units bombarded Fort Anderson on the Cape Fear River as the combined land and sea forces began their campaign for Wilmington itself. There also was land action at Fort Anderson and Orton Pond, North Carolina as Federals probed the land defenses below Wilmington. Confederate raiders attacked Fort Jones near Colesburg, Kentucky. There was a Union scout in Prince William County, Virginia and a two-day Federal expedition from Camp Averell near Winchester into Loudoun County, Virginia. C.S.S. Shenandoah left Melbourne, Australia after a refit. The following appointments are made to Brigadier General: Collett Leventhorpe, CSA; William Raine Peck, CSA; Galusha Pennypacker, USA; and Reuben Lindsay Walker, CSA. Major General John M. Palmer ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_M._Palmer_(politician) ), USA, assumes command of the Federal Department of Kentucky. Major General Gordon Granger ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Granger ), USA, is assigned command of the newly created Federal 13th Army Corps, based on the Reserve Corps, Military Division of West Mississippi. Major General Andrew J. Smith ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Jackson_Smith ), USA, is assigned command of the newly created Federal 16th Army Corps, based on troops transferred from the Army of the Cumberland.

Rear Admiral Semmes assumed command of the Confederate James River Squadron. "My fleet," he wrote, "consisted. of three iron-clads and five wooden gunboats." The ironclads, each mounting four guns, were C.S.S. Virginia No. 2, Richmond, and Fredericksburg. The wooden ships included C.S.S. Hampton, Nansemond, Roanoke, Beaufort, and Torpedo; all mounted two guns except Torpedo which was armed with one. Semmes noted: "The fleet was assisted, in the defence of the river, by several shore batteries, in command of naval officers. . . ."

Vote on recognition and admission of the restored state of Louisiana to Congress was postponed in the U.S. Senate. The move was blocked by the Radicals, who opposed the President’s Louisiana reconstruction plan.

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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 1865
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:13 pm 
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February 19, 1865 Sunday
Federal troops under Jacob D. Cox were on their way to outflank Fort Anderson and the Confederate defense line on the west side of the Cape Fear River in the Union drive toward Wilmington, North Carolina. By evening the Federals had marched about fifteen miles in a detour around the enemy works and fought several skirmishes, including one at Town Creek. In front of Fort Anderson the infantry had demonstrated and the fleet had cannonaded. During the night the Confederates pulled out toward Wilmington and they also fell back on the east side of the Cape Fear River.

At Columba, South Carolina Sherman’s men continued to destroy the arsenal, railroad installations, machine shops, foundries, and railroad lines. Meanwhile, the march north toward North Carolina began. There were, in addition, Federal expeditions from Barrancas to Milton, Florida and, until the twenty-second, from Helena, Arkansas to Friar’s Point, Mississippi. For several days Confederate and Federal troops in Mississippi and Alabama engaged in considerable operations from Eastport, Mississippi to Russellville and Tuscumbia, Alabama. Federals were obviously aiming toward Selma, Alabama.

The Confederate steamer A. H. Schultz, used as a flag-of-truce vessel to carry exchange prisoners between Richmond and the Varina vicinity on the James River and as a transport by the Southern forces below the Confederate capital, was destroyed by a torpedo near Chaffin's Bluff on the James River. Ironically, she met the fate intended for a Union ship. The torpedo was one laid by Lieutenant Beverly Kennon of the Torpedo Service that had drifted from its original position. When torpedoed, Schultz was returning to Richmond after delivering more than 400 Federal prisoners; because of an administrative error, there were no Confederate prisoners ready to be taken on board at Varina. Thus, the loss of life was considerably minimized. Had the steamer struck the torpedo going downriver or picked up the Southern soldiers to be exchanged as expected, the casualties might well have been frightful.

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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 1865
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:14 pm 
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February 20, 1865 Monday
Federal troops marched rapidly toward Wilmington, North Carolina. They had outflanked the defenders on the west bank of the Cape Fear River, but still faced opposition on the east bank. Action occurred at Fort Myers, Florida and Centre Creek, Missouri. Federals carried out expeditions from Nashville to Pine Wood, and to Greenville and Warrensburg, Tennessee. Brigadier General John S. Morgan, USA, is assigned command of the Federal District of Arizona.

President Lincoln wrote Gov Thomas C Fletcher of Missouri ( http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/te ... oln8%3A650 ) that, while there was no organized military force of the enemy in the state, “destruction of property and life is rampant every where.” He called for citizens to control the situation. The Confederate House of Representatives authorized use of slaves as soldiers, after long debate.

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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 1865
PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:59 pm 
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February 21, 1865 Tuesday
The Union forces in North Carolina were close to Wilmington, with shaky resistance inn front of them. Columns of smoke rose in the city as the Confederates began destroying their stores. Braxton Bragg arrived and ordered evacuation in order not to jeopardize what forces he had left. Skirmishing broke out at Eagle Island and Fort Strong, North Carolina. To the south Sherman’s men were moving into northern South Carolina; Slocum’s corps reached Winnsborough. Confederates raided Cumberland, Maryland. Operations around St Marks, Florida lasted until Mar 7, and a Federal scout moved from Pine Bluff to Douglas’ Plantation, Arkansas. William Flank Perry, CSA, and William Paul Roberts, CSA, are appointed to Brigadier General. Brigadier General Douglas H. Cooper ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_H._Cooper ), CSA, is assigned command of the Confederate District of the Indian Territory.

A dispirited Jefferson Davis in Richmond wrote Mobile editor John Forsyth, “It is now becoming daily more evident to all reflecting persons that we are reduced to choosing whether the negroes shall fight for us or against us….” The Confederate Senate postponed debate on the House bill authorizing use of slaves as soldiers. Gen Lee wrote Sec of War John C. Breckinridge of his plan to abandon the army’s position on the James River if necessary. Lee hoped to unite the army about Burkeville, Virginia and maintain communications south and west with other Confederate forces. He asked that Gen Joseph E. Johnston be ordered to report for duty, as he was not certain of the health of Gen Beauregard, now commanding in the Carolinas. To his wife, Lee sounded more discouraged. He expected Grant “to move against us soon,” and Sherman in South Carolina and Schofield in North Carolina “are both advancing & seem to have everything their own way….” Nevertheless, he vowed “to fight to the last.”

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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 1865
PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:13 pm 
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February 22, 1865 Wednesday
The last major port of the South was now lost. The Federals entered Wilmington without opposition ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Wilmington ). Gen Bragg had withdrawn the last of his troops before daylight. With cooperation from the Weldon and Wilmington Railroad the Confederates got off their most important stores; much of the rest was destroyed. The two-pronged Union attack, a force operating on each side of the Cape Fear River, had been successful under overall command of Maj Gen John M. Schofield. Union losses from Feb 11 to the fall of the city had been about 200 total casualties, and they captured some 66 pieces of light and heavy artillery.

Official orders from Gen Lee assigned Gen Joseph E. Johnston to the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida and the Department of Tennessee and Georgia. He was ordered to concentrate available forces, including those slowly coming in from the West. Beauregard was ordered to report to Johnston for assignment. This was one of the principal acts of Lee’s command of the Confederate armies, for Johnston had long been a subject of contention. It was well known that Davis disapproved of many of his previous actions, but the President was fully aware now that no talents could be neglected. Beauregard had been in ill health, but he felt aggrieved at being displaced, although he did cooperate fully with Johnston. The Confederates now had a formidable group of generals in the Carolinas: Johnston, Beauregard, Hardee, Hampton, Bragg. What they lacked were men.

Skirmishing near Camden and on the Wateree River marked Sherman’s advance north of Columbia, South Carolina. Railroad destruction and desolation of much of the country continued as the Twentieth Corps reached Rocky Mount, South Carolina on the Catawba River. Also, there were skirmishes at Smith’s Creek and Northeast Ferry, North Carolina. It appeared that Sherman was moving on Charlotte, North Carolina but actually that was a feint; the main drive aimed generally toward Goldsborough farther east. The usual Union scouts and expeditions continued, with one Feb 22-24 from Barrancas to Milton, Florida. Fighting broke out at Douglas Landing near Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

Tennessee voters approved the new state constitution which included the abolition of slavery and abrogation of all Confederate debts. Meanwhile, Kentucky rejected the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery.

Gen Lee, worried over the disintegrating prospects of the Confederacy wrote Gen Longstreet of possible military strategy inn view of Grant’s expected movements. If forced to retreat through Amelia Court House to Burkeville, the Army of Northern Virginia could perhaps strike Grant or Sherman before they could unite.

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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 1865
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:17 pm 
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February 23, 1865 Thursday
Union troops at Wilmington consolidated their gains, while Sherman’s Twentieth Corps crossed the Catawba River in South Carolina, getting closer to the North Carolina line. There was a skirmish near Camden. But heavy rains now set in, causing delays until the twenty-sixth, although some movement continued. Federal troops carried out a small expedition from Yorktown to West Point, Virginia; and other Union scouts moved until Mar 2 from Salem and Licking, Missouri to Spring River Mills, Arkansas.

Gen Lee told President Davis that, unfortunately, troops in South Carolina were scattered “but by diligence & boldness they can be united.” He informed Davis that he had put Johnston in command in the Carolinas and expressed confidence in him. He again mentioned the possibility of having to abandon the line of the James River. Minnesota ratified the Thirteenth Amendment.

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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 1865
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:20 pm 
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February 24, 1865 Friday
The heavy rain holding up Sherman’s advance also hindered Confederate concentration, but there was a skirmish at Camden, South Carolina. In the Trans-Mississippi action included an affair at Switzler’s Mill, Missouri and a Northern scout from Helena to Clarke’s Store, Arkansas. Lee once more wrote the War Department concerned over the “alarming number of desertions that are now occurring in the army.”

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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 1865
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:59 pm 
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February 25, 1865 Saturday
Gen Joseph E. Johnston assumed command of the Army of Tennessee, now in the Carolinas, and all troops in the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Meanwhile, there was a skirmish at West’s Cross Roads, and Federal troops occupied Camden on the Wateree River, South Carolina. Cavalry and other detached units were operating over a wide expanse of South Carolina. Gen Johnston, at Charlotte, North Carolina pointed out to Lee the difficulties of concentrating his Confederates and stressed that, including cavalry, militia, and units no recently heard from, he had between 20,000 and 25,000 men to oppose Sherman. “In my opinion, these troops form an army far too weak to cope with Sherman.” He urged that his force join Bragg in North Carolina. In Kentucky a skirmish broke out at Piketon.

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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:00 pm 
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February 26, 1865 Sunday
Sherman’s Twentieth Corps reached Hanging Rock, South Carolina but other movements were slowed by the incessant rain. Skirmishing occurred at Lynch’s Creek and near Stroud’s Mill, South Carolina. A Federal expedition from Pine Bluff to McMilley’s Farm, Arkansas lasted three days.

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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 1865
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:34 pm 
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February 27, 1865 Monday
The Shenandoah Valley was coming alive again. Sheridan’s force of some 10,000 cavalry under immediate command of Wesley Merritt left Winchester, Virginia heading south. Sheridan had orders from Grant to destroy the Virginia Central Railroad and James River Canal, take Lynchburg, and then either join Sherman or return to Winchester. Early, in front of him, had only two weakened brigades and a few pieces of artillery, his other troops being employed elsewhere. In the Carolina Campaign, minor skirmishing flared near Mount Elon and Cloud’s House, South Carolina. The only other actions were near Sturgeon, Missouri and Spring Place, Georgia.

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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day 1865
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:24 pm 
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February 28, 1865 Tuesday
Near Rocky Mount and Cheraw, South Carolina skirmishes marked the inexorable march of Sherman. Meanwhile, Johnston tried to gather some sort of an army to oppose the Federals. On the whole, the Confederate military position by the end of February looked precarious indeed.

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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 1865
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:36 pm 
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March 1, 1865 Wednesday
As the month of March opened, General Grant was preparing for a massive spring attack against General Lees lines defending Richmond. Throughout the North optimism ran high and the feeling prevailed that the offensive would be the final thrust and that Grant would take Richmond. It was widely believed that the Confederacy was on the threshold of defeat. Since the beginning of the new year, Charleston and Wilmington had fallen, scaling off the South from the sustaining flow of supplies from Europe. Moreover, General Sherman's army had devastated the heart of the Confederacy in its march through Georgia and South Carolina; by the end of February Sherman was preparing to enter North Carolina. The Union's confidence was further fed by the wide spread knowledge that General Lee and Confederate officials were openly grappling with the problem of desertions. During the winter these had become considerable as men became concerned about their families in areas invaded by the Union armies. Finally, Lee further revealed his hardpressed position by appealing to the civilian population to search their households for any spare guns, cutlasses, equestrian gear and tools.

The Southern spirit, on the other hand, remained unshaken by what was regarded in the North as portents of defeat. The Richmond Daily Examiner editorialized on March 1: "We cannot help thinking that 'our friends, the enemy,' are a little premature in assuming the South to be at their feet. There are Southern armies of magnitude in the field, and Richmond, the capitol, is more impregnable at this hour than it has been at any period of the war."

A week later the Richmond Daily Dispatch expressed its confidence in the Confederate cause by comparing the South's position in the spring of 1865 with that of the American patriots in 1781. "In the American Revolution," wrote the editor, "three-fourths of the battles were gained by the British [and they] held all the major seaports and cities. They marched through South Carolina, precisely as Sherman is doing now. They had the most powerful empire in the world at their back; had the aid of armed tories in every county; they excited the blacks to insurrection; and let loose the scalping knife of the Indian. . . . What is there in our condition as gloomy, as terrible, as protracted, as the long and dreary wilderness through which they marched to freedom and independence?"

The cavalry of Philip Sheridan, moving rapidly south in the Shenandoah Valley in pursuit of remnants of Jubal Early’s force, skirmished near Mount Crawford, Virginia. Sherman pushed slowly but firmly ahead in South Carolina, with skirmishing at Wilson’s Store. Federal troops moved out from Baton Rouge until Mar 12 to Jackson and Clinton, Louisiana; another expedition operated from Gravelly Springs to Florence, Alabama until Mar 6. A skirmish occurred near Philadelphia, Tennessee. Alexander William Campbell, CSA, and Ellison Capers, CSA, are appointed to Brigadier General. Brigadier General Douglas H. Cooper ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_H._Cooper ), CSA, assumes command of the Confederate District of the Indian territory, and the superintendency of Indian Affairs. Brigadier General Benjamin H. Grierson ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Grierson ), USA, is assigned command of the Federal Military Division of West Mississippi. Major General Jacob D. Cox ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Dolson_Cox ), USA, assumes command of the Federal District of Beaufort, South Carolina.

The Thirteenth Amendment was still a prime subject in the North. Wisconsin ratified the amendment, but New Jersey rejected the measure to abolish slavery constitutionally.

President Jefferson Davis sent a Resolution adopted by the Confederate Congress to Mr. John Lancaster of England thanking him for his gallant and humane conduct in the rescue of Captain Raphael Semmes and 41 of his officers and men after the sinking of C.S.S. Alabama by U.S.S. Kearsarge (see 19 June 1864). It was particularly gratifying to the Confederacy that Lancaster's yacht Deerhound had sailed for England with the rescued Confederates rather than turning them over to Kearsarge as would have been customary under international law. This incident became even more galling for the Union Navy after Semmes and his officers were socially lionized during their stay in England.

Rear Admiral Dahlgren, upon receiving the report that his naval forces had occupied Georgetown, South Carolina, decided to proceed there and have a personal "look at things." He inspected the formidable but evacuated Fort White and the four companies of marines which held Georgetown. This date, Dahlgren's flagship Harvest Moon was steaming down Georgetown Bay enroute Charleston; the Admiral was awaiting breakfast in his cabin. "Suddenly, without warning," Dahlgren wrote in his diary, "came a crashing sound, a heavy shock, the partition between the cabin and wardroom was shattered and driven in toward me, while all loose articles in the cabin flew in different directions. . . . A torpedo had been struck by the poor old Harvest Moon, and she was sinking." The flagship sank in five minutes, but fortunately only one man was lost. The Admiral got off with only the uniform he was wearing.

_________________
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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