Friday, November 22, 2013

October 13 - 19, 1863

Compiled by Jim Hachtel, President 

Gen. William T. Sherman Memorial Civil War Roundtable

October 13, 1863 - Elections in Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, and Pennsylvania resulted in Republican governors being elected. Governor Curtin of Pennsylvania was pro war and a staunch Lincoln ally while Peace Democrat Clement Vallandigham, running in Ohio, was defeated and exiled to Canada.

October 13, 1863 - President Jefferson Davis approves the transfer of General Daniel H. Hill out of Braxton Bragg's command. Bragg asked for this approval during President Davis's recent visit to Georgia.

October 14, 1863 - General A.P. Hill discovers the rear guard of General Meade's Army fording the Broad Run at Bristoe Station near Warrenton, Virginia. He decides to attack and commits two brigades of General Heath's division to attack General George Sykes' V Corps. Unknown to either General Hill or General Sykes, the entire II Corps of General Gouveneur K. Warren is in wait behind a railroad embankment, positioned at a right angle to the Confederate line. A continuous artillery and musket attack led to a one-sided slaughter. When Hill tried to explain the huge death toll, General Lee curtly replied, "Bury these poor men and let us say no more about it."

October 15, 1863 - The experimental submarine 'CSS Hunley' flounders for a second time in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. This just one day prior to the planned use of the Hunley in combat. All seven crewmen, including the inventor of the craft, Horace L. Hunley, died. General Beauregard ordered the vessel raised and prepared for service.

October 16, 1863 - President Lincoln sends a message through General Halleck's office urging General George Meade to attack General Robert E. Lee's force. Meade again resists any suggestion regarding troop use. General Lee moves to a strong defensive position behind the Rappahannock.

October 16, 1863 - General Ulysses S. Grant takes control of the new Military Division of the Mississippi which is a combination of the old Departments of the Ohio, the Cumberland, and the Tennessee. Grant now controls military operations from the Appalachians to the Mississippi River.

October 17, 1863 - A call for 300,000 additional volunteers is issued by President Lincoln.

October 17, 1863 - General Lee marches his Army of Northern Virginia away from Bull Run. To mask this move, General J.E.B. Stuart divides his cavalry command, sending General Wade Hampton's brigade through Gainesville and Haymarket while General Fitzhugh Lee moves his brigade toward Manassas Junction and Bristoe Station.

October 17, 1863 - General Rosecrans is formally relieved from the Army of the Cumberland at Chattanooga. General George Thomas takes command and declares "We will hold this town till we starve."

October 18, 1863 - Confederate divers locate the CSS Hunley and begin recovery operations.

October 18, 1863 - Major John S. Mosby leads his men to capture 100 horses, prisoners, and equipment near Annandale, Virginia. General John Imboden's Confederates capture 250 men of the 9th Maryland at Charles Town, West Virginia.

October 18, 1863 - Near Groveton, Virginia, General Stuart encounters General Hugh Kilpatrick's Union Cavalry. Stuart withdraws to wait for General Fitzhugh Lee's second brigade. Once the forces unite, they decide to wait until morning, then attack Kilpatrick's left flank and rear as Kilpatrick attempts to cross the Broad Run.

October 19, 1863 - General Stuart's cavalry attacks General Kilpatrick's calvary forces at Warrenton. Kilpatrick sends General Custer's Michigan brigade into the trap of Lee's 2nd Virginia cavalry secretly posted at Buckland Mills near Broad Run. Custer is routed and flees. Kilpatrick orders a retreat and the Confederates give chase. A five mile pursuit finally ends with 150 prisoners taken and 8 wagons captured. The Southern horsemen hereafter called this engagement the "Buckland Races."

October 19, 1863 - General Robert E. Lee was unsuccessful in luring General Meade into battle but the Union forces were pushed back about 40 miles from the Rappahannock River. General Lee established a defensive position along the Rappahannock River with bridgeheads at Kelly's Ford and Rappahannock Station. The Bristoe Campaign ended with 1,381 Confederates lost and 2,292 Union dead, missing, or wounded.