Sunday, July 6, 2014

Civil War - 150 Years ago this week - July 6-12, 1864

July 6,1864-The Union presence at Monocacy Junction is increased with the arrival of the 8th Illinois Cavalry. At Baltimore, the 3rd Division, VI Corps arrives to aid in the defense of the city.

July 6,1864-Claiming depredations committed by the Union in the Shenandoah Valley, General Jubal A. Early demands $200,000 be paid to Confederate forces occupying Hagerstown, Maryland.

July 7,1864-General Grant, concerned with the Confederate thrust into Maryland, sends the VI Corps troops of General James B. Ricketts from Baltimore to Monocacy Junction to join General Lew Wallace and his 3,000 men.

July 7,1864-The bombardment of Fort Sumter continues with another 784 rounds fired. Union troops are forced off of James Island, Charleston Harbor with 330 casualties. Southern losses total 163.

July 8,1864-At Soap Creek, Georgia, General Schofield's Union troops cross the Chattahoochee River and flank General Johnston's defensive position. General Joseph E.Johnston begins a move all the way to the outskirts of Atlanta. President Jefferson Davis is displeased by this move and sends General Bragg to consult with Johnston. General Sherman accumulates supplies, now being sent from Montgomery, Alabama to Columbus, Georgia via rail lines recently controlled by Union forces.

July 9,1864-The hastily assembled forces of General Lew Wallace initially stop General Early's Confederate forces at Monacacy Junction but Southern forces soon rout Wallace's unprepared and untrained force. General Early moves on toward Washington, pausing in Frederick, Maryland to demand $200,000. Army recruits,  volunteers, and civilians man the forts on the edge of Washington City.

July 10,1864-President Lincoln calls for calm in Washington. General Early moved through Rockville, Maryland and approached Fort Stevens, lightly held by about 200 inexperienced artillery soldiers. Union reinforcements are sent from several directions and arrive before an attack can be organized.

July 11,1864-General Robert E. Rode's Confederate division marches to Fort Stevens but General Early pulls his exhausted troops back after the hot forced march. The delay allowed Union reinforcements to be in place by the late afternoon when Early decides to attack. General Early learns of the increased defense force and again delays, a move still questioned on several levels.

July 12,1864-General Early withdraws from Washington and is pursued by General Horatio Wright's Federal troops. General Rode's Confederates are chased but they escape. President Lincoln is visiting the parapets and Oliver Wendell Holmes (young officer and later a Supreme Court Judge) shouts "Get down, you fool".

July 12,1864-Leaving Washington City, the Confederates burn down the house of Postmaster General Montgomery Blair.