Friday, November 22, 2013

January 20 - 26, 1863

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

January 20, 1863 - The infamous "mud march" begins with General Ambrose Burnside leading the Army of the Potomac in an attempted march around the left flank of the Army of Northern Virginia, then cross the Rappahannock River to force a battle in the open. Burnside planned this ill-fated march as a way to bolster his flagging reputation. Rain and knee-deep mud lead to the ultimate abandonment of the attempt within two days and more questions about General Burnside's leadership abilities.

January 20, 1863 - Confederate troops under General John S. Marmaduke capture Patterson, Missouri.

January 21, 1863 - General Ulysses S. Grant's infamous General Order #11, the so called "Jew Order" which was rescinded by General Halleck's order of January 4,1863, reaches the president's desk. President Lincoln endorses the revocation stating " proscribed an entire religious class, some of whom are fighting in our ranks."

January 21, 1863 - President Lincoln endorses the court martial and dismissal of General Fritz John Porter.

January 21, 1863 - Confederate President Jefferson Davis sends General Joseph E. Johnston to Manchester, Tennessee to discuss the abandonment of Murfreesboro (Stone's River) with General Braxton Bragg. President Davis lacks confidence in General Bragg's ability to lead. This was brought on by complaints from Bragg's senior subordinates.

January 22, 1863 - General Burnside ends his attempt to flank the Southern Army and falls back to the camp at Falmouth, Virginia. The entire wagon train is mired in mud to the axles.

January 22, 1863 - Army of the Tennessee commander General John McClernand is reduced to commander of the XIII Corps and General Grant takes charge of all forces in Arkansas. Grant begins construction of a canal opposite Vicksburg, Mississippi to allow Union shipments of men and supplies to safely bypass Vicksburg's cannon fire.

January 23, 1863 - The soggy, demoralized Army of the Potomac settles into winter quarters at Falmouth, Virginia, directly across from Fredericksburg. General Burnside issues General Order #8 which strips Generals Joseph Hooker, Edwin Sumner, and William Franklin of their commands. General Burnside then rides to Washington to confer with the president.

January 24, 1863 - In an attempt to flank Vicksburg via the Yazoo River, Admiral David Porter arrives back at the mouth of the swampy Yazoo.

January 25, 1863 - The 54th Massachusetts Infantry, composed entirely of African Americans led by a white officer, is authorized by Massachusetts Governor John A. Andrews.

January 25, 1863 - General Ambrose Burnside is removed as commander of the Army of the Potomac. One of General Burnside's loudest critics, General Joseph Hooker, is named to the command of this army. Generals Edwin Sumner and William Franklin must await a board of inquiry to determine their futures.

January 25, 1863 - Lieutenant John S. Mosby leads the Virginia Partisan Rangers as they skirmish with Federal troops at Fairfax Court House, Virginia.

January 25, 1863 - General Marmaduke completes his raid into Missouri and returns to Batesville, Arkansas.

January 26, 1863 - President Lincoln announces the appointment of General Joseph "Fighting Joe" Hooker as the new commander of the Army of the Potomac. He further names the following Generals as Division Commanders: Darius Couch, Right Grand Division; George Mead, Central Grand Division; and Oliver O. Howard, Left Grand Division.

January 26, 1863 - The Confederate raider "Alabama" continues her success under the leadership of Captain Raphael Semmes. The Union ship "Golden Rule" is burned near Haiti.