Saturday, March 1, 2014

Civil War - 150 Years ago this week - March 2-8, 1864

March 2,1864-Ulysses S. Grant is elevated to the rank of lieutenant general by the U.S. Senate.

March 2,1864-In King & Queen County, Virginia, Colonel Ulric Dahlgren's 100 man Union detachment is ambushed. Colonel Dahlgren is killed and 92 of his men are captured. The Confederates recover papers outlining a plot to burn Richmond and assassinate President Jefferson Davis. The U.S. Government and Union General George Meade deny the scheme.

March 2,1864-At the mouth of the Red River in Louisiana, Admiral David Porter's Mississippi Squadron begins to move toward Shreveport and east Texas. One worry for Porter is the decreasing water levels on the river. The squadron proceeds as planned.

March 3,1864-General Grant is ordered to Washington D.C. for an official promotion ceremony.

March 4,1864-Andrew Jackson is promoted to Tennessee Governor by the U.S. Senate. Pro-Union governor Michael Hahn is sworn into office at New Orleans, Louisiana.

March 4,1864-Advanced units of General Sherman's army begins to arrive back at Vicksburg after the Meridian Campaign. There are about 5,000 slaves and 3,000 draft animals with the Army, all having traveled 360 miles since leaving Meridian on February 22nd.

March 5,1864-All Southern vessels are force to donate half of their cargo capacity to government shipments as supplies were running short in the field. This move could also reduce wartime profiteering by the ship owners.

March 6,1864-Confederate gunboats fire on Union forces occupying Yazoo City, Mississippi, forcing the Union troops to vacate the city.

March 6,1864-General Andrew J. Smith is appointed to lead Army elements in the Red River expedition. General Sherman instructs General Smith to fully cooperate with Admiral Davis D. Porter in this joint operation.

March 6,1864-On the North Edisto River, North Carolina, a Confederate torpedo boat rams the USS Memphis twice but the spar torpedo fails to detonate. The spar entered the Memphis eight feet below the water line but the vessels was able to float away.

March 7,1864-General Longstreet was again urged to resume offensive operations in Kentucky or Tennessee by President Davis.

March 8,1864-In a White House Ceremony, General Grant accepts the high honor of being the only general to attain such a lofty rank and the first ever Four Star General. (George Washington retired as a lieutenant general with 'Three Stars' after the Revolutionary War and therefore was outranked by later four and five star generals. This was repaired on October 11, 1976 when Washington was posthumously  promoted "General of the Armies of the United States" with no officer of the United States Army outranking Washington on the Army list.)

March 8,1864-A Union expedition led by General Grenville Dodge to Moulton and Courtland, Alabama nets supplies, ammunition, and provisions. General Franz Sigel is ordered to clear Confederate units out of the Shenandoah Valley immediately after he was appointed commander of the new Department of West Virginia.

March 8,1864-About 100 Copperheads (Northeners sympathetic to the Confederacy) kill five Union soldiers on furlough in Charleston, Illinois.