Saturday, March 7, 2015

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

March 8,1865-With a 9-8 vote, the Confederate Senate authorized African-American slaves to bear arms for military service.

March 8,1865-General Braxton Bragg attacks General Jacob D. Cox's Union forces near Kinston, North Carolina. General Bragg had been reinforced and now has about 8,500 men. Cox has about 13,000 in his camp. Fighting continues most of the day. Both side bring up more forces at nightfall.

March 8,1865-The Union army commanded by General W.T.Sherman crosses the South Carolina/North Carolina state line.

March 8,1865-General Sheridan moves east from the Shenandoah Valley toward Duguidsville, Virginia enroute to join Union forces at Petersburg, Virginia.

March 8,1865-Confederate General Edmund Kirby-Smith offers to resign from the Trans-Mississippi Department when a letter in Southern newspapers criticize his actions. President Jefferson Davis does not accept his resignation.

March 9,1865-Secretary of the Interior John P. Usher resigns and President Lincoln names Assistant Secretary William Otto to succeed him.

March 9,1865-Vermont ratifies the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

March 9,1865-General R.E.Lee writes "Unless the men and animals can be subsisted, the army cannot be kept together, and our present lines must be abandoned". This was sent to Confederate Secretary of War John C. Breckenridge.

March 9,1865-The Battle of Kinston, North Carolina resumes. With nearly all of the men on both sides engaged, General Bragg is unable to dislodge the Federals. Unable to destroy the Union XXII Corps, Bragg orders his men to cross the Neuse River, back into Kinston. Union losses are 57 killed, 264 wounded, 935 captured,(1,257). Confederate losses are 11 dead, 107 wounded, and 16 captured,(134).

March 9,1865-General Wade Hampton's Confederate cavalry rides north to Monroe's Cross Roads, North Carolina. The 5th Kentucky cavalry blunders into Hampton's pickets with 16 troops and their commander captured. From the Kentucky officer, Hampton learns that General Hugh J. Kilpatrick awaits in ambush, widely dispersed. Hampton also learns that Colonel George E. Spencer of Kilpatrick's unit has not posted pickets to avoid being detected. Hampton is resolved to attack and turn the tables on his antagonist. The two forces are evenly matched with about 4,000 on each side.

March 10,1865-General Bragg, having failed to destroy Jacob Cox's army, withdraws toward Goldsborough, North Carolina to link up with General Joseph E. Johnston.

March 10,1865-Confederate forces under Wade Hampton and Joseph Wheeler attack the Union troopers of General Kilpatrick at Monroe's Cross Roads. Kilpatrick escapes clad only in his undershirt. The Confederates stop to plunder the Union camp and Wheeler's unit bogs down in swampy terrain. Kilpatrick rallies his troops and counter attacks using horse cavalry and rapid-fire carbines. Both the North and South named this "The Battle of Kilpatrick's pants".

March 11,1865-President Lincoln declares amnesty for all army and navy deserters returning to their units within two months.

March 11,1865-At Fayetteville, North Carolina, General Sherman calls a five-day rest spell for his troops. The first unit to arrive is a company of cavalry under Captain William R. Duncan. The rear guard of General Wade Hampton's Confederates rout the unit, killing 11 and capturing 12, including Captain Duncan. General Giles A. Smith arrives with his 4th Division, XVII Corps and pushes Hampton over the Cape Fear River. The town mayor, Archibald McLean, surrenders Fayetteville to the Federals.

March 12,1865-A Federal Army sweep through Loudoun County, Virginia fails to find and subdue General John S. Mosby's Confederate Partisan Raiders.

March 12,1865-As the Union Army recuperates at Fayetteville, they keep busy torching railroads, storage facilities, and factory equipment. Gun making tools and dies that were transferred from Harper's Ferry early in the war are discovered and destroyed.

March 13,1865-The "Negro Soldier Law" allowing African Americans to serve in the Confederate Army is signed by President Jefferson Davis. The law implies that slaves that serve will be freed at a later date with the "owners consent".

March 14,1865-In England, Lord Palmerston meets with Confederate envoys James M. Mason and Duncan F. Kenner who are seeking diplomatic recognition for the Confederacy. With the war all but over within weeks, Lord Palmerston informs them that the possibility is lost.