Sunday, January 4, 2015

Civil War - 150 Years ago this week - January 4-10, 1865

January 4,1865-The build-up of forces to assault Fort Fisher at Wilmington, North Carolina continues. General Alfred Terry lands 8,000 Federal troops at Bermuda Landing, Virginia. Admiral David D. Porter's strategy to reduce Fort Fisher is to use a brigade of naval infantry and U.S. Marines to storm the front of the fort while the army troops hit the rear.

January 4,1865-At Pond's, Mississippi, General Benjamin Grierson completes his raid against the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. He has recorded 20,000 feet of bridge and roadway destruction plus 20 miles of telegraph wire removed and 14 locomotives, 95 rail cars, and 300 army wagons destroyed.

January 5,1865-To "unofficially" encourage peace negotiations, President Lincoln allows James Singleton to pass through Union lines and enter the Confederacy. Singleton, a Virginia born resident of Illinois was active in the Morman Wars, served as a militia officer in Illinois, an Illinois State Representative, and was active in Canadian/United States discussions throughout the Civil War.

January 6,1865-Representative J.M. Ashley of Ohio renews a drive to approve the 13th Amendment by declaring "If slavery is wrong and criminal, as a great body of Christian men admit, it is certainly our duty to abolish it".

January 6,1865-President Davis claims that a "whispering campaign" against him is undermining Confederate morale. He sends a caustic letter to Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens stating "I assure you that it would be to me a source of the sincerest pleasure to see you devoting your great and animated ability exclusively to upholding the confidence and animating the spirit of the people to unconquerable resistance against their foes."

January 7,1865-General Edward O.C. Ord replaces General Benjamin Butler as commander of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina. By seniority rank in the Union Army, Butler is next in line to succeed Grant in overall command. General Grant is the driving force for this move citing Butler's recent blunders.

January 7,1865-The Union XIX Corps moves more of their soldiers to Savannah from the Shenandoah Valley.

January 7,1865-Admiral David Farragut meets with President Lincoln and Navy Secretary Gideon Wells at the White House.

January 7,1865-French Emperor Napoleon III sells the French built ironclad Sphinx directly to the Confederacy where she is christened CSS Stonewall and is probably the most powerful Confederate vessel during the war.

January 8,1865-Admiral David Porter and Army General Alfred Terry finalize the Fort Fisher assault plans when they meet off shore near Beaufort, North Carolina.

January 8,1865-General John A. Logan resumes command of the Union XV Corps in Tennessee.

January 8,1865-General Thomas Rosser and his 300 Confederate Cavalrymen begin a 75 mile ride from Staunton to Beverly, West Virginia through wind driven snow to raid a well stocked Union encampment. The Confederate cavalrymen are near starvation.

January 9,1865-Secretary of War Stanton is sent to Savannah by President Lincoln. Reports of mistreatment of African-American refuges by General Sherman's men is the topic. This springs from the Ebenezer Creek incident that occurred back on December 9,1864, when Union General Jefferson C. Davis ordered the pontoon bridge removed before all of the ex-slave camp followers were able to cross.

January 9,1865-New York Democratic Representative Moses Odell endorses a constitutional amendment to outlaw slavery by saying "The South by rebellion has absolved the Democratic party at the North from all obligation to stand up longer for the defense of it's cornerstone".

January 10,1865-The Constitutional amendment debate continues and becomes heated. New York Representative Fernando Wood supports a no vote arguing that passage of the amendment will negate any chance for peaceful reconciliation with the South.

January 10,1865-General Rosser's Confederate cavalry reaches Beverly, West Virginia and prepares to storm the Union position at dawn.