Friday, November 22, 2013

October 7 - 13, 1862

Compiled by Jim Hachtel, President 

Gen. William T. Sherman Memorial Civil War Roundtable

October 7, 1862 - The III Corps of the Army of the Ohio suffers in the heat as they move on the Springfield Road toward Perryville, Kentucky. General Charles C. Gilbert orders General Phillip Sheridan's brigade to take a watering hole held by General Hardee's Confederates while General Braxton Bragg moves his Army of Mississippi into line for an attack. Bragg is unaware that two more Union Corps of General Don C. Buell's command are nearby and 32,000 more Union troops are within marching distance.

October 7, 1862 - General George B. McClellan issues an order reminding disgruntled officers of their legal obligation to respect civilian authority. This is in reaction to the release of the Emancipation Proclamation, a position McClellan opposes.

October 7, 1862 - The CSS Alabama captures and burns the Union bark 'Wave Crest' and the brig 'Dunkirk' off Nova Scotia. This begins an active era for the 'Alabama' and Captain Raphael Semmes.

October 7, 1862 - General Gordon Granger becomes commander of the Union Army of Kentucky.

October 8, 1862 - James N. McPherson is promoted to major general, U.S. Army.

October 8, 1862 - General Don C. Buell deploys his 25,000 Union men for battle near Perryville, Kentucky. General Leonidas Polk advanced to meet the Union force, estimated to be a single Corps, but is forced into a defensive position when he learns he is outnumbered. General Bragg arrives on the front midmorning and orders an attack on the Union right, Gen. Thomas Crittenden's II Corps. Fighting continues with the Union left being pushed back in confusion before the line is reformed. General Buell remains in his tent behind the line with the "acoustic shadow" phenomenon again preventing battle noise from being heard. Fighting continues until dark when Bragg orders a withdrawal back toward Harrodsburg. Losses are heavy on both sides with Confederate loss at 3,405 killed, wounded, and missing, and Union causalities at 4,211. The Confederates suffered a 20% loss; the Union slightly less.

October 8, 1862 - The CSS Alabama captures the USS Tonawanda, a packet ship that is released under bond.

October 9, 1862 - As word of the Perryville battle spreads, Kentucky is more strongly in the Union fold and Bragg's once promising campaign into Kentucky is ended.

October 9, 1862 - James Longstreet and Edmund Kirby-Smith are promoted to lieutenant generals, C.S.A.

October 10, 1862 - The Confederate Congress is encouraged by President Davis to draft 4,500 African Americans to build fortifications around Richmond.

October 10, 1862 - General J.E.B. Stuart begins what becomes his second circuit around McClellan's Army as he enters Pennsylvania at Black Creek, Maryland. His orders are to destroy the Cumberland Valley railroad bridge near Chambersburg.

October 10, 1862 - The Confederate Congress and President Davis promote John B. Hood and George E. Pickett as major generals and William Hardee, Thomas J. Jackson, John C. Pemberton, and Leonidas Polk to lieutenant generals, C.S.A.

October 11, 1862 - President Davis modifies Confederate draft law to exempt anyone holding 20 or more slaves. This invites a charge that politicians are waging "a rich man's war and a poor man's fight."

October 11, 1862 - Chambersburg is captured and held briefly by J.E.B. Stuart. The bridge is not destroyed but 300 Union prisoners are captured and paroled, and 500 horses are taken. The cavalry moves on to recross the Potomac at White's Ferry near Emmitsburg, Maryland. The entire route covered 180 miles in two days and resulted in 1200 horses seized, all without serious Union resistance.

October 11, 1862 - General Bragg continues to retreat southward. Harrodsburg, Kentucky is re-occupied by Union forces.

October 11, 1862 - The raider CSS Alabama captures the USS Manchester and finds New York newspapers reporting a U.S. Navy search for the Alabama. The Manchester is burned.

October 12, 1862 - J.E.B. Stuart returns to Virginia, completing another famous circuit. Military significance of the raid is minimal but General McClellan is discouraged and becomes more cautious than usual.

October 12, 1862 - Oceanographer and commander Matthew F. Maury slips past the Union blockade at Charleston, South Carolina and sails to Britain to purchase warships for the South.

October 13, 1862 - The second session of the First Confederate Congress adjourns in Richmond.

October 13, 1862 - General McClellan refuses to resume offensive movement. President Lincoln's telegram; "Are you not being overcautious when you assume that you cannot do what the enemy is constantly doing?"

October 13, 1862 - Generals Braxton Bragg and Edmund Kirby-Smith file through the Cumberland Gap back into Tennessee. The Confederate 'high spot' in Kentucky concludes.