Friday, November 22, 2013

October 27 - November 2, 1863

Compiled by Jim Hachtel, President 

Gen. William T. Sherman Memorial Civil War Roundtable

October 27, 1863 - General Ulysses S. Grant directs General W. T. Sherman to move quickly toward Chattanooga from Meridian, Mississippi where Sherman's army was resting after the Vicksburg victory. General in Chief Halleck previously had ordered Sherman to repair rail lines while in route.

October 27, 1863 - General Joseph Hooker moves to re-open the Tennessee River to Union supply lines into Chattanooga. Hooker moves the XI and XII Corps from Bridgeport, Alabama toward Brown's Ferry and directs General John Geary's XII Corps to guard Union lines of communication. This large Union presence forces General Evander M. Law's division of Confederates to abandon Raccoon Mountain and move to the west side of Lookout Mountain.

October 28, 1863 - General Longstreet is ordered to mount an attack on the Union bridgehead at Brown's Ferry by General Braxton Bragg. General Longstreet instead sends General Micah Jenkins' division to Wauhatchie Station to attack the Union rearguard. After becoming lost at night, Jenkins is late to attack and General Geary mounts a strong defense of his position.

October 29, 1863 - In a series of bombardments of Fort Sumter, the Union expends 2,691 rounds, killing 33 Confederate guards. The defenders still refuse to yield.

October 29, 1863 - President Davis continues his morale building tour in the Deep South with a stop in Atlanta, Georgia. He agrees to allow General Nathan B. Forrest to detach from the Army of Tennessee after a long running feud with General Bragg, Forrest's Commanding Officer. Forrest now operates as an independent command in northern Mississippi.

October 29, 1863 - General Micah Jenkins' division is held off by General Geary's Federal troops once again with causalities in both armies. The fragile supply line into Chattanooga remains secure.

October 30, 1863 - Unionists gather at Fort Smith, Arkansas to elect representatives to the U.S. Congress.

October 30, 1863 - The Army of the Cumberland is re-supplied when the Federal transport 'Chattanooga' docks at Chattanooga on the Tennessee River.

October 30, 1863 - The USS Lexington, Hastings, Key West, Cricket, Tobb, Romeo, and Peosta steam from the Mississippi River into the Tennessee River in support of General William T. Sherman.

October 31, 1863 - Shelling of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina resumes with an additional 768 rounds fired over the next two days.

November 1, 1863 - The attempt to reach Sabine Pass, Texas, via the Bayou Teche is abandoned when General William B. Franklin withdraws from Opelousas, Louisiana back to New Iberia.

November 1, 1863 - Additional Union steam transports arrive at Brown's Ferry, Tennessee ending Braxton Bragg's siege of Chattanooga. The hungry troops at first get mainly hard tack, leading to the new route being called the "Cracker Line."

November 2, 1863 - The Gettysburg Union Cemetery committee invites President Lincoln to speak at the dedication ceremony scheduled for November 19. Lincoln accepts the invitation, surprising the committee members.

November 2, 1863 - President Davis visits Charleston, South Carolina where he witnesses another 793 rounds of Union artillery against Fort Sumter. President Davis states, "I did not believe Charleston would ever be taken."