Friday, November 22, 2013

October 6 - 12, 1863

Compiled by Jim Hachtel, President 

Gen. William T. Sherman Memorial Civil War Roundtable

October 6, 1863 - Confederate raiders attack Union positions at Humansville, Missouri. General James R. Chambers commands. General Joseph Selby's Confederate Cavalry skirmishes near Coldwater River, Mississippi, and Union General Robert B. Mitchell's 2nd Cavalry Division drives General Joseph Wheeler's cavalry to the banks of the Duck River before they escape.

October 6, 1863 - At Baxter Springs, Kansas, Confederate guerrilla leader William C. Quantrill attacks Union troops. Quantrill is surprised when 90 men of the 2nd Kansas Colored Infantry and the 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry repel his attack on what he thought was an isolated post. A second column of Quantrill's raiders attack General James G. Blunt's troops as they move from Fort Scott to Fort Smith, Arkansas. The guerillas are dressed in captured blue uniforms and move close to Blunt's unit before they start firing. Only one-third of the Union force escapes. One casualty is the son of General Samuel R. Curtis, and Blunt is ultimately dismissed from the Army for negligence.

October 7, 1863 - Robert E. Lee plans to strike the right flank of the Army of the Potomac now located south of the Rapidan River. Lee is aware that two corps of the Union Army have detached to Chattanooga. 

October 9, 1863 - General Lee moves across the Rapidan River and marches toward Washington, D.C. Lee's army is also short handed as one corps has been sent to Tennessee. Lee musters the II Corps of Ewell's Army and the III Corps of Ambrose P. Hill's forces, plus J.E.B. Stuart's Cavalry to bolster his force. 

October 9, 1863 - General Joseph Wheeler continues to be successful in the West. At Muscle Shoals, Alabama, he captures more Union supplies and men bringing his total for the week to 2,000 Union casualties, 1,000 wagons captured, five bridges burned, miles of track destroyed, and millions of dollars of Union equipment captured or destroyed. The Army of the Cumberland, already short of supplies in Chattanooga, goes on half rations due to this largest destructive raid of the war.

October 10, 1863 - The War Department orders additional gunboats in support of General W.T. Sherman at Eastport, Tennessee.

October 10, 1863 - General Meade informs a disappointed President Lincoln that he is falling back behind the Rappahannock River to stay between General Lee's army and Washington D.C. General Lee takes the offensive and moves toward Meade's Army of the Potomac.

October 10, 1863 - Confederate authorities attempt to suppress mounting Union sentiment at Elizabeth City and Edonton, North Carolina by sending 1,000 southern troops to support conscription efforts.

October 10, 1863 - President Jefferson Davis arrives in Chattanooga, Tennessee to confer with General Braxton Bragg over military strategy. Unrest between Bragg and his senior subordinates was most likely the major topic of discussion.

October 11, 1863 - Heavy skirmishing erupts near the Rapidan and Rappahannock Rivers as the Confederate Army occupies Culpeper, Virginia. General A.P. Hill moves his III Corps around the Union right while General Ewell moves along the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. 

October 12, 1863 - Confederates at Fort Morgan, Mobile Bay, Alabama fire on the USS Kenawha and Eugenia as they chase a Confederate steamer.