Monday, February 9, 2015

Civil War - 150 Years ago this week - February 8-14, 1865

February 8,1865-A U.S. House resolution declaring that the eleven states in rebellion will not enjoy representation in the electoral college when the war ends is signed by President Lincoln.

February 8,1865-General Joseph E. Johnston complains to General Sherman that many private homes and properties are being destroyed. General Sherman writes to Johnston that he "doesn't want them destroyed but do not much care to preserve them".

February 8,1865-General Schofield's troops reach Fort Fisher, Wilmington, North Carolina following their transfer from Nashville, Tennessee after defeating General Hood.

February 9,1865-General Schofield deploys his XXIII Corps at Fort Fisher, Wilmington, North Carolina. He orders his troops, including the Department of North Carolina also under his command, to forage inland, take Wilmington, and strengthen the supply line to the main army, currently entering South Carolina.

February 9,1865-With dwindling troops available in the South, Jefferson Davis enacts a pardon for all Confederate deserters if they return to their units within 30 days. General-in-chief Robert E. Lee suggested this action.

February 10,1865-Captain Raphael Semmes is elevated to rear admiral, C.S.N. for his success as commander of the CSS Alabama. Rear Admiral Semmes is assigned to the James River Squadron, Virginia.

February 10,1865-The Union Army continues to create new departments as most soldiers are in South Carolina or Virginia. General John M. Palmer from Kentucky commands the Department of Kentucky and General George H. Thomas commands the Department of the Cumberland.

February 11,1865-Lieutenant Charles W. Read leads a party of 100 Confederate sailors from Drewry's Bluff, Virginia to City Point, where Grants headquarters are located. They plan to capture several Union vessels, outfit them with spar torpedoes, and sink Union ironclads. Southern control of the James River would severely hinder Union ship movement necessary to supply the men at Petersburg.

February 12,1865-President Lincoln's re-election is confirmed as the Electoral College final vote is 212 to 21.

February 12,1865-Lieutenant Charles Read's naval mission is abandoned due to worsening weather and fear of a Union ambush. The 100 sailors march back to Richmond where every man in the volunteer unit requires medical attention due to exposure.

February 12,1865-Confederate guerrilla captain Jeff Williams of Lewisburg, Arkansas is killed at his home when 100 Union soldiers surround and attack the house.

February 12,1865-As the Union soldiers march through South Carolina, they become more vengeful as they blame South Carolina for starting the Civil War. When they approach Confederate forces commanded by P.T.G. Beauregard, the commanding officer when Fort Sumter was bombarded on April 12,1861, Beauregard moves across the Edisto River and concentrates at Cheraw. In effect, to preserve his army, Beauregard abandons the center of the state.

February 13,1865-When the U.S. Navy adds to the fleet in the Great Lakes after the Confederate raid on St. Albans, Vermont, Lord John Russel informs diplomats in London that the 1817 Rush-Bagot Agreement is being violated. U.S. response is that the St. Albans attack October 18,1864 originated from British Canada so there is no violation.

February 13,1865-The plan for General Jacob D. Cox's division, XXII Corps, to flank and attack Fort Anderson, North Carolina, halts due to heavy rain and poor marching conditions.

February 14,1865- Leaving Orangeburg, South Carolina, General Sherman crosses the Congaree River and advances toward Columbia with both wings of his army. General Beauregard flees and orders General Hardee to escape being encircled and captured.