Sunday, December 22, 2013

Civil War - 150 Years ago this week - December 22-28, 1863

December 22,1863-Confederate General Leonidas K. Polk becomes commander of the Department of Mississippi and Louisiana.

December 23,1863-Admiral David G. Farragut announced to Navy Secretary Gideon Wells that his flagship, the USS Hartford, is ready to depart. Admiral Farragut is eager to resume active duty but a shortage of crew members delayed his departure.

December 24,1863-Union cavalry leader General William W. Averall concludes his third railroad and bridge raid of the year and returns to Beverly, West Virginia. Confederate General Samuel Jones was unable to intercept Averall's smaller force and was ultimately dismissed as commander of the Western Department.

December 24,1863-Captain Semmes is still active aboard the CSS Alabama, this time capturing and burning the Union bark 'Texan Star'  in the Straits of Malacca, Dutch West Indies.

December 25,1863-Major John S. Mosby's partisan raiders encounter a small Union force near Leesburg, Virginia and several raiders are captured.

December 25,1863-In an unexpected bombardment, the USS Marblehead is hit by 20 rounds from Confederate batteries at Lagareville, South Carolina on the Stono River. Landing parties from the nearby USS Pawnee and USS C.P. Williams drive the Confederate raiders off.

December 26,1863-In the Straits of Malacca, the CSS Alabama's crew captures and burns the Union barks Sonora and Highlander.

December 27,1863-President Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton visit Confederate prisoners at Point Lookout, Maryland as a goodwill gesture.

December 27,1863-General Joseph E. Johnston arrives in Dalton, Georgia to take command of the battered Confederate Department of Tennessee,  recently defeated at Chattanooga. General Johnston replaces General Bragg.

December 28,1863-The Confederate Congress abolishes the practice of allowing hired substitutes to replace drafted men.