Friday, November 22, 2013

March 24 - 30, 1863

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

March 24, 1863 - General John Pegram's Confederate Cavalry reaches Danville, Kentucky and skirmish against Union soldiers in a minor event.

March 24, 1863 - Admiral Porter successfully returns to Black Bayou, Mississippi after being trapped on Deer Creek by Confederate Infantry soldiers since March 20th.

March 25, 1863 - General Horatio Wright is moved from the Department of the Ohio back to the Army of the Potomac as a division commander. General Ambrose E. Burnsides becomes commander of the Department of the Ohio.

March 25, 1863 - At Brentwood, Tennessee, General Nathan B. Forrest leads his cavalry troops against the 22nd Wisconsin and a small detachment from the 19th Michigan. General Forrest had cut Union telegraph lines prior to the raid and successfully surrounds and captures both Union detachments. Union General Green C. Smith, leading a cavalry troop nearby, recaptures some Union wagons and supplies but General Forrest escapes with 700 captives.

March 25, 1863 - Unusually brisk Union naval activity records these successes: The USS 'State of Georgia' and 'Mount Vernon' capture the Confederate 'Rising Dawn' schooner off New Inlet, North Carolina. The USS Fort Henry captures the schooner 'Ranger' at Cedar Keys, Florida. The USS Kanawha captures the schooner Clara, off Mobile, Alabama, and the USS Wachusett captures the British blockade runner 'Dolphin' off St. Thomas in the Caribbean.

March 25, 1863 - Confederate successes include the CSS Alabama burning of the Union ships 'Charles Hill' and 'Nora', off the Brazilian coast and, at Vicksburg, shore batteries engage and sink the USS Lancaster with 30 hits and damage the USS Switzerland as they attempt to run past the shore defenses. The planned assault against Warrenton is postponed.

March 26, 1863 - Voters in the new state of West Virginia approve gradual emancipation of all slaves.

March 26, 1863 - The Confederate Congress authorizes government agents to seize slaves and supplies to support the Confederate Military. Many government officials and private citizens condemn the practice due to waste and abuse and call for the repeal of this legislation, which was called the "Impressment Act."

March 27, 1863 - American Indian leaders meet with President Lincoln at the White House. The president implores them to engage in agriculture saying "I can see no way in which your race is to become as numerous and prosperous as the white race except by living as they do, by the cultivation of the earth."

March 27, 1863 - Admiral Farragut, on board his flagship USS Hartford, orders the bombardment of Confederate defenses at Warrenton, Mississippi, below Vicksburg.

March 28, 1863 - The gunboat USS Diana, a former Confederate ship seized in April 1862 and re-fitted by the Union, is attack from the riverbank near Pattersonville, Louisiana on the Atchafalaya River. Union troops from the 160th New York and the 12th Connecticut are onboard and are driven from the deck. Ship Captain Thomas Peterson is killed and the Diana loses steering after a three-hour battle. Run aground and stuck, 120 Union soldiers are captured. The ship eventually re-enters Confederate service commanded by General Richard Taylor.

March 29, 1863 - General Grant begins to break from his supply base at Memphis by dispatching General John McClernand, with troops, to Milliken's Bend, Louisiana. These troops are to march south to New Carthage on the west bank of the Mississippi River. All attempts to take Vicksburg from a northern or westerly approach are abandoned.

March 29, 1863 - The USS Albatross joins the Hartford in bombarding Confederate batteries at Warrenton, Mississippi.

March 29, 1863 - Confederate troops, in a surprise attack on Fort Magruder at Williamsburg, Virginia, fail to displace the Union force occupying the site.

March 30, 1863 - The USS Monticello captures the British blockade runner 'Sue' near Little River, North Carolina.

President Lincoln announces a national day of fasting and prayer to take place April 30,1863.