Monday, April 21, 2014

Civil War - 150 Years ago this week - April 20-26, 1864

April 20,1864-Confederates capture Plymouth, North Carolina. Led by General Robert F. Hoke, a three day siege ended with the capture of 2,800 Union soldiers and a large store of supplies. Key to the Confederate success was the arrival of the Confederate ram, CSS Albemarle.  

April 20,1864-Due to reports of mistreatment of Union prisoners in Southern prison camps, the U.S. Government reduced rations to prisoners held in the North.

April 20,1864-General James H. Wilson's Union cavalry captures Macon, Georgia.

April 20,1864-General Frederick Steele receives some supplies from Pine Bluff but is soon confronted by General Edmund Kirby-Smith's forces near Camden, Arkansas. The Confederates maneuver to come between Steele and the capital at Little Rock.

April 21,1864-General Nathaniel Banks withdraws from Grand Ecore, Louisiana back to Cloutiersville while pursued by Confederate cavalry.

April 21,1864-The Federal gunboat USS Eastport, repaired and re-floated, moves down the Red River. Over the next five days, the vessel grounds itself eight time to make further repairs. The make only about 60 miles in five days.

April 22,1864-The first coins to have the "In God we trust" inscription are minted per act of congress.

April 22,1864-General Leonidas K. Polk confers by mail with President Jefferson Davis about how to treat African American prisoners. President Davis writes "If the negroes are escaped slaves, they should be held safely for recovery by their owners. If otherwise, inform me".

April 23,1864-During General Banks' retreat from Grand Ecore, Louisiana, the ford at Cane River Crossing is contested. As the only fordable point on the river, Confederate cavalry led by General Hamilton Bee seize the only ferry. Union forces counterattack and force General Bee to withdraw. General Bee is criticized for his inept operation and the Union forces lay a pontoon bridge to escape. Light losses on both sides.

April 23,1864-General Steele has a wagon train on the way to Pine Bluff to obtain supplies. Confederate General James F. Fagan sends a large cavalry force to intercept.

April 24,1864-General Steele's wagon train continues to Pine Bluff, Arkansas guarded by 500 Iowa cavalrymen. They are accompanied by about   300 escaping former slaves. Confederate forces are nearby.

April 25,1864-General Nathaniel Banks forces begin to straggle into Alexandria, Louisiana, ending the ill-fated Red River Campaign.

April 25,1864-Confederate troops under General Edmond Kirby-Smith capture 211 of General Steele's wagons at Mark's Mills, Arkansas. About 1,700 Union prisoners are taken. Enraged Southerners murder 150 African-American slaves. General Steele abandons the campaign.

April 25,1863-The CSS Alabama commanded by Captain Raphael Semmes captures the Federal vessel 'Rockingham' west of the Cape Verde Islands and sinks the Rockingham with cannon fire. The CSS Alabama has undergone an overhaul and is active after several months of slow action.

April 26,1864-Following the fall of Plymouth, North Carolina, General Ulysses S. Grant orders troops to evacuate Washington, North Carolina.

April 26,1864-General Banks enters Alexandria, Louisiana and awaits the arrival of Admiral Porter's gunboat fleet. When the Mississippi Squadron arrives, they have a running fight while passing shore batteries. The USS Cricket has heavy pump damage and the pump steamer 'Champion No 3' is crippled, drifts and is captured. The badly damaged gunboat USS Eastport is scuttled after being grounded yet again.

April 26,1864-General Steele slips his forces past the Confederate troops of Generals Kirby-Smith and Sterling Price and march back to Little Rock.