Friday, November 22, 2013

April 7 - 14, 1862

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

April 7, 1862 - The struggle at Shiloh resumes as the reinforced Union pushes the Confederate forces back across the Union campsite of two nights ago. Losses in killed, wounded, and captured were a shock to both sides. The Confederate leaders were staking the entire West on the campaign at Shiloh and never regained strength in the area.

April 7, 1862 - Great Britain and the U.S. Government enter an agreement to aggressively suppress slave trade. 

April 7, 1862 - The Federal ironclads USS Pensacola and Mississippi enter the Mississippi River over the sandbars at the Passes.

April 7, 1862 - On the Mississippi River, the Federal gunboat USS Pittsburgh passes Island #10 and joins the USS Carondelet. Commodore Andrew Foote receives the thanks of Congress as his squadron can now cover General Pope's move to the Tennessee side of the river, where General Pope plans to invade Island #10. 

April 8, 1862 - As pro-Union demonstrations continue in east Tennessee, President Jefferson Davis declares Martial Law in that area. 

April 8, 1862 - The Confederate garrison on Island #10, commanded by General William W. Mackall is surrendered. In addition to 4,500 men, 109 heavy cannons, four steamers, and large quantities of military supplies are taken. The Union now controls the Mississippi as far south as Fort Pillow, Tennessee.

April 8, 1862 - General Pope receives the thanks of President Lincoln for the victory at Island #10 and is promoted to command the Army of Virginia in the East. 

April 8, 1862 - At Shiloh, General Sherman pursues the Confederate forces but the Confederate rear guard commanded by General Nathan B. Forrest stops the Union force. 

April 8, 1862 - More Federal ships cross the sandbars at the Passes and join the vessels earlier assembled. Commodore David G. Farragut has 24 warships with 200 large caliber guns plus 19 mortar schooners under Commander David D. Porter in his fleet. Next points of resistance on the way to New Orleans are Forts Jackson and St. Philip. New Orleans is some 80 miles away. 

April 9, 1862 - President Lincoln, agitated by General McClellan's continuing lack of movement, meets with his cabinet. The President then suggests several lines of attack. He tells General McClellan that his lack of movement "is but the story of Manassas repeated" and closes his telegraph message to McClellan saying, "But you must act."

April 10, 1862 - A joint congressional resolution to gradually emancipate black slaves is signed by President Lincoln. This move is primarily to keep Border States neutral and offers aid to the states for voluntary compliance. 

April 10, 1862 - General Joseph E. Johnston is appointed to lead the Confederate forces in the Peninsula District of Virginia. Johnston has 34,000 troops and believes that he is facing an estimated 100,000 northern army. 

April 10, 1862 - At Savannah, Georgia, Fort Pulaski on Cockspur Island is surrounded by Union artillery placements. A command to surrender the fort is answered with "I am here to defend this fort, not to surrender it," from Colonel Charles Olmstead. Captain Quincy A. Gilmore begins shelling at 8:15 A.M. and reduces the fort throughout the day. 

April 11, 1862 - The U.S. House of Representatives vote 93-39 to include the District of Columbia in the gradual abolishment of slavery. 

April 11, 1862 - A detachment from the USS Wabash joins General David Hunter, overall commander of the operation against Fort Pulaski, in the capture of the fort. This removes a major port used by the southern blockading force. 

April 11, 1862 - General Henry W. Halleck removes General Grant from overall command at Pittsburg Landing. General Grant retains command of the District of West Tennessee and General George H. Thomas assumes command of the Army of the Tennessee. 

April 11, 1862 - The repaired CSS Virginia ironclad returns to Hampton Roads and fails to bring on a second dual with the USS Monitor. 

April 12, 1862 - Confederate troop strength in the Peninsula grows with the addition of three divisions. General John B. Magruder's forces at Yorktown, now under General Johnston's overall command, are estimated to be about half as large as the Army of the Potomac. 

April 12, 1862 - The Confederate locomotive "General" and three freight cars are stolen from the water/wood supply stop at Big Shanty, Georgia by Major James J. Andrews and 22 Union volunteers. The "General" steams north toward Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the Union crew destroys track and bridges along the route. They have little success due to rain and the Confederate chase. After 90 miles, out of steam, the "General" is abandoned. Andrews and his men flee to the woods but only eight escaped. Andrews and seven others are executed as spies and the rest are eventually exchanged. This episode became known as the "Great Locomotive Chase." 

April 12, 1862 - Navy Secretary Gideon Wells urges President Lincoln to forbid export of anthracite coal. The blockade running ships of the Confederacy captured some of the outbound coal and used this nearly clean-burning fuel to power their ship, thereby being harder to detect than smoke belching steamers. 

April 13, 1862 - At Fort Pulaski in Savannah harbor, General David Hunter declares the area free of slavery and begins to free all slaves in the area of his control. 

April 13, 1862 - A coastal party begins to map the approaches to Forts Jackson and St. Philip below New Orleans. 

April 13, 1862 - Federal gunboats USS Tyler and Lexington transfer Union troops from Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee to Chickasaw, Alabama where a bridge of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad is destroyed.

April 14, 1862 - A joint attack by the Union army and navy captures Newbern, North Carolina. The area remains under Union control the rest of the war. 

April 14, 1862 - Commodore Foote begins bombarding Fort Pillow, Tennessee on the Mississippi River. This fort is 60 miles south of Island #10 and north of Memphis. 

April 14, 1862 - General Joseph E. Johnston meets with Confederate superiors at a high-level meeting in Richmond. General Johnston pleads for abandonment of the Peninsula position at Yorktown due to the presence of a newly estimated 112,000 Union troops. President Davis and advisor General Robert E. Lee turn down the request since abandonment of Yorktown would also cost the loss of Norfolk and its naval facility.