Saturday, March 8, 2014

Civil War - 150 Years ago this week - March 9-15,1864

March 9,1864-Recently promoted General Ulysses S. Grant succeeds General Henry W. Hallack as army general in chief. Hallack becomes Grant's chief of staff. General George Meade remains as the commanding officer of the Army of the Potomac, currently located near Brandy Station, Virginia.

March 9,1864-General Sherman is put in command of all Union armies in the West.

March 9,1864-In retaliation for the ambush and killing of Colonel Ulric Dahlgren, Union Cavalry led by General Hugh Kilpatrick burn a grain mill and other property near Carlton's Store in King and Queens County, Virginia.

March 10,1864-General Grant completes a conference with General Meade and departs for Nashville(by rail)for meetings with General Sherman.

March 10,1864-A large Union force pushes skirmishers of Colonel Mosby's Raiders back through Charlestown and Kabletown, Virginia.

March 10,1864-General Nathaniel Banks plans to start the Red River expedition by moving 10,000 men commanded by General Andrew Smith down the Mississippi River to the mouth of the Red River. These troops are on loan from General Sherman's force at Vicksburg. General Frederick Steele leaves Little Rock to advance a column of troops on Shreveport from the west. By seizing Shreveport, he can move on the Texas interior and stop Confederate supplies from moving eastward.

March 11,1864-General Banks is delayed in leaving New Orleans as he must turn over military leadership of Louisiana to the newly appointed Governor, Michael Hahn. General Smith departs as the unit commander with his troops aboard Army transports.

March 12,1864-Admiral Porter leads his armada of 13 ironclads, four tinclads, and four wooden gunboats up the Red River, Louisiana. He pauses to bombard Fort De Russy, Louisiana into submission.

March 13,1864-After receiving a signed petition from African Americans in Louisiana asking for the right to vote, President Lincoln encourages Governor Hahn to draft a new state constitution.

March 14,1864-Federal gunboats remain behind the rest of Admiral Porter's fleet to further reduce Fort De Russy. When General Smith's forces arrive, the fort is seized along with 325 prisoners and 12 cannons.

March 15,1864-Newly elected Governor Hahn of Louisiana receives power to form a civilian authority. The powers previously reserved for military control slowly revert back to politicians. Similar authority transfer was the basis of much of Southern reconstruction after the war ended.