Friday, November 22, 2013

April 21 - 27, 1863

Compiled by Jim Hachtel, President
Gen. William T. Sherman Memorial Civil War Roundtable

April 21, 1863 - A Confederate foray led by General William E. Jones plans to attack the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in the portion of Virginia that will become the new state of West Virginia in June. General Jones is to meet up with General John Imboden near Oakton and Grafton.

April 21, 1863 - In Mississippi, Union Cavalry under Colonel Benjamin Grierson skirmish with Confederates near Palo Alto with additional Southern cavalry units closing on the position. Grierson splits his command and sends Colonel Edward Hatch of the 2nd Iowa Cavalry to threaten the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, and then retreat back to La Grange, Tennessee. The Confederates mistakenly follow the Iowa Cavalry troop and Grierson is free to gallop through the heart of Mississippi virtually unopposed.

April 21, 1863 - A second convoy of army transports pass the batteries at Vicksburg at night under heavy fire. Of the six vessels, the steamer 'Tigress' is sunk while the 'Empire City' and the 'Moderator' are damaged. The rest of the vessels reach New Carthage where U.S. Grant now can move his Army across the river en masse.

April 22, 1863 - General John Pemberton at Vicksburg is urged by President Jefferson Davis to launch "fire rafts" to float downriver to disrupt Federal activity.

April 23, 1863 - The northern blockade of Wilmington, North Carolina harbor is broken when the Confederate steamers Merrimac, Charleston, Margaret and Jesse enter the harbor.

April 24, 1863 - President Lincoln authorizes General Order #100, also known as the Lieber Code. This code standardizes law pertaining to war. Written by Frances Lieber, it has 10 sections from Court Martial to Rebellion and has 157 Articles. (It is available online.)

April 24, 1863 - The Confederate Congress imposes a 10 percent tax on all produce harvested. Resentment grows in the farm-producing segment as they already are subject to direct requisition of the crops for war use.

April 24, 1863 - General Grant begins to transport the Army of the Potomac from Hard Times Plantation, Louisiana to the Mississippi side of the river, near Bruinsville.

April 24, 1863 - General Grierson's Union Cavalry seizes an arriving ammunition train at Newton Station, Mississippi and tears up miles of track belonging to the Southern Mississippi Railroad. They are less that 100 miles from Vicksburg and General Pemberton orders infantry and artillery Regiments at Jackson, Mississippi to intercept them.

April 24, 1863 - The Confederate Raiders CSS Alabama under command of Captain Raphael Semmes captures the Union whaler "Nye" off Brazil, and the CSS Florida, under Lieutenant John Maffitt sinks the Union ship "Oneida" at sea. Union success on this date includes the capture of the Confederate schooners 'Martha Ann' and 'A. Carson' off Horn Harbor, Virginia; the sloops 'Jane Adelie' and 'Bright' plus the schooners 'General Prim' and 'Rapid' in the Gulf of Mexico; and the schooner 'Joe Flanner' at sea.

April 24, 1863 - Admiral David Porter stations gunboats in the Mississippi River at the mouth of the Big Black River. This isolates the Confederate batteries at Grand Gulf, Mississippi.

April 25, 1863 - Cherokee Indians, followers of Colonel Stand Watie, and Confederate sympathizers skirmish with Union troops at Webber's Fall, Indian Territory. Apache Indians attack Federal troops near Fort Bowie, Arizona Territory.

April 26, 1863 - The mule riding infantry led by Colonel Abel Streight moves from Tuscumbia, Alabama, to Rome, Georgia to destroy the Western and Atlantic Railroad.

April 26, 1863 - Confederate Cavalry commanded by General John Imboden rides from Beverly, West Virginia toward Buchannon but are forced back by Union reinforcements.

April 26, 1863 - The CSS Alabama burns the Union ship 'Dorcus Prince' near Natal, Brazil.

April 27, 1863 - About 75,000 men from the Army of the Potomac under General Joseph Hooker leave Falmouth, Virginia. They deploy south of the Rappahannock River near the area known as the Wilderness, 10 miles behind Confederate line. General John Sedgwick remains at Fredericksburg with 40,000 troops and threatens General Lee's Army, holding Lee in place. Hooker enjoys the largest numerical superiority over Southern forces so far in the war.