Saturday, February 21, 2015

Civil War - 150 Years ago this week - February 22-28, 1865

February 22,1865-Kentucky, a neutral border state, rejects the 13th Amendment while Tennessee voters approve a new state constitution abolishing slavery.

February 22,1865-General Joseph E. Johnston is appointed commander of the Department of South Carolina by General Robert E. Lee.

February 22,1865-Fort Strong on the Cape Fear River comes under Union command when Confederate forces evacuate. Admiral David D. Porter personally runs up the Stars and Stripes.

February 22,1865-General Sherman's army approaches Rocky Mount, South Carolina after an intense skirmish at Camden. The march direction suggests the target is Charlotte but Sherman's intent is to join General Schofield at Goldsborough.

February 23,1865-Minnesota ratifies the 13th Amendment.

February 23,1865-The XX Corps of General Sherman's Army crosses the Catawba River, South Carolina and approach the North Carolina state line.

February 24,1865-General Sherman complains to General Wade Hampton concerning the murder of Union foragers by Southern troops. Hampton responds that his order is to kill anyone engaged in burning homes or barns. General Hampton sends this note to General Sherman; "This order shall remain in force so long as you disgrace the profession of arms by allowing your men to destroy private dwellings".

February 25,1865-General Joseph E. Johnston arrives in Charlotte, North Carolina to take command of the combined forces left from the Army of Tennessee and Confederate force from South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. The men represent about 25,000 hungry, ragged, and worn out soldiers, many of them deserters rounded up by General Johnston. Johnston's sentiments were recorded; "In my opinion, these troops form an army far too weak to cope with Sherman".

February 25,1865-General Innis N. Palmer, commander of Union forces at New Bern, North Carolina is ordered to rebuild all railroad tracks in the direction of Goldsborough.

February 26,1865-A day of heavy rain hampers all plans. General Winfield S. Hancock assumes command of the Department of West Virginia.

February 27,1865-10,000 cavalry troops under Generals Phillip Sheridan and Wesley Merritt move down the Shenandoah Valley toward Lynchburg, Virginia. General Thomas C. Devlin commands the 1st Cavalry Division and General George H. Custer commands the 3rd Cavalry Division. Their task is to sever the Virginia Central Railroad and the James River Canal.

February 27,1865-Commodore John H. Tucker lands 350 Confederate sailors and officers at Fayetteville, North Carolina with orders to march to Richmond and form the core of a naval brigade.

February 28,1865-The most severe fighting in South Carolina took place at Rocky Mount and Cheraw, near the North Carolina border. General Sherman is slowed here for several days before Confederates are forced across the Pee Dee River and the Union Army enters North Carolina.