Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 31, 1862

March 31, 1862:  Gen. David Hunter arrives in Port Royal, So. Carolina, to assume command of the Department of the South, replacing Thomas Sherman.  Hunter is tasked with continued operations against Savannah and Charleston.

---The Chicago Times publishes a story about Union troops making a raid in western Tennessee:

Col. Buford, of the Twenty-seventh Illinois, accompanied by his regiment, the Forty-second Illinois, the Douglas Brigade, Col. Roberts, and four hundred of the Fifteenth Wiconsin, Col. Heg, (Scandinavian,) all from Island No. Ten, and two companies of the Second Illinois cavalry, Colonel Hogg, and a detachment of artillery, the last two from Hickman, Ky., made a reconnoissance [sic] in force and descent upon Union City, Tenn; and after a forced march of twenty-four hours, discovered a large force of rebel cavalry and infantry, under the notorious Clay King. The cavalry dashed into the place at a furious rate. The utmost consternation seized the rebels, and they fled in every direction. Several of them were killed, and about one hundred taken prisoners; one hundred and fifty horses were captured, a large amount of forage and spoils, and several secession flags. The National forces returned to Hickman after destroying the tents and other property they could not carry away.

---Surgeon Alfred L. Castleman, serving with McClellan’s army on the Peninsula, notes his skepticism of McClellan’s strategy in his journal:

31st.—To-day, whilst all were expecting orders to move forward, I received orders to build a log hospital. — What can this mean? The weather is beautiful, roads good, troops in fine condition, warm weather coming on, and here we are preparing as for a summer’s stay. God help us and our little General, but put it into his heart not to remain here till the enemy, whom we have found, has time to fortify against our approach. We have been a long time accomplishing nothing. Although the weather is fine, and it is now first of April, not a forest tree has started its buds. I am disappointed, for I expected by this time, in this climate, to be as in midsummer. But even the trees, and nature, seem to linger, and we should not blame our General.

---Lt. Cyrus Hardaway, of the 1st U.S. Sharpshooters (Berdan’s Sharpshooters), serving with the Army of the Potomac, now on the Peninsula, writes home to his mother, expressing the optimism common among the soldiers concerning the coming campaign:

I have been here just a week to day, and have been on picket three times. it suits me exactly we take three or four prisoners every day and sometimes shoot at some when they are so far off that we cant hurt them any. One of the Massachusetts boys got paid last night for not shooting straight enough, a rebel scout crawled up and shot him in the leg but did not hurt him verry bad I have just had a good dinner, out of a secesh pig that the boys killed this morning we lay violent hands on every pig that comes in the way, they have to go a good ways to keep out of the way we get some turkeys and chickens and sometimes oysters and Clams. I spent part of one day in looking over the ruins of Hampton that the rebels burnt last summer. I think it must have been one of the most beautiful towns in the United States before it was burnt. One of the Oldest Churches in America was standing there and that was burnt with the rest The rebels have dug at every corner of it for the corner stone expecting to find some treasure but whether they did or not I cant tell. The town was well fortified on three sides with earth breast works but it seems that it did them no good as they were obliged to leave without making a stand.
You need not be surprised if you hear of Richmond being ours in one more week They will probably not give fight untill they get there. I do not think they can hold that long, there is enough Artillery here now to knock Richmond all to pieces in one day and they keep bringing in more everyday I thought I knew what it was to be a soldier when I left Washington but I find that I did not know anything about it at all We do not have any tents only what we make of our rubber blankets stretched over a stick that keeps the rain off and we keep warm the best way we can it is verry warm and pleasant during the day but the nights are verry cold

Thursday, March 29, 2012

March 29, 1862

March 29, 1862: Eastern Theatre, Peninsula Campaign. Gen. Samuel Heintzelman, commander of the 3rd Corps of the Army of the Potomac, on Gen. McClellan’s instructions, pushes a reconaissance in force up the James Peninsula, toward Yorktown, to acsertain the Confederate strength there. In his report, he tells McClellan that Gen. Magruder has only about 8,000 troops for sure, and calculates that Magruder cannot have any more than 18,000.

—Union soldier Oliver Willcox Norton of the 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry, writes home about their advance on the Peninsula and capture of Great Bethel:

The main body of rebels had left in the morning. They have gone to Yorktown. We have orders to have three days’ cooked rations on hand, so I think we shall be after them soon. When we came back we burned all the log barracks and brush houses at the forts. All the houses here are burned and the whole country is a desert. It is one of the most beautiful sections, naturally, I have ever seen. The soil is very rich and the surface perfectly level.

—Western Theatre. Gen. Don Carlos Buell, with his Army of the Ohio, has finally set out for the link-up with Grant’s Army of the Tennessee at Pittsburg Landing. After weeks of being held up at the Duck River, the bridges having been destroyed, the water level falls rapidly. Gen. William "Bull" Nelson’s division wades across the river on this date, to push on toward the rendezvous.

—Gulf Theater: William C. Holton, of the U.S. Navy, on board the USS Hartford, Farragut’s flagship, writes in his diary of a scouting sortie by Farragut’s fleet up to Forts Jackson and St. Philip: 
March 29th. Nothing of importance is occurring now-a-days to mark one day from another. Yesterday, Capt. Bell, with the gunboats Kennebeck, Wissahickon and Winona, ascended the river to the forts, when Fort Jackson opened fire on them, and after firing about one hundred rounds at us our vessels hauled off. They discovered the position of the defenses, also a chain stretched across the river just below Forts Jackson and St. Philip, on eight schooners anchored between the forts. Our squadron is still gradually collecting. Capt. Porter’s mortar fleet is already here, but our large ships are not all over the bar.

—Union soldier Luman Harris Tenny writes in his journal: 

"March 29th. Had a good bath in the creek, and washed my clothes—new experience. Very warm and sultry."

—Lt. Charles Wright Wills, of the 7th Illinois Cavalry in southwest Missouri, writes about the possibility of a naval battle at Island No. 10, and muses for a while on what would happen if the Southern naval fleet broke through, and steamed up into Union territory:
About the worst feature of the case would be the Southern officers sparking our girls as we do theirs now and the worst yet is, there is no doubt the girls would take to it kindly, for they do here, and I’m satisfied there is no difference in the feminines of the two sections, except that ours do not say "thar" and "whar." I see that it requires a good many "ifs" and "theirs" to arrange a case of this kind, but I assure you that it is not out of the range of possibilities. How’d you like to see a "Captain St. Clair de Monstachir" with C. S. A. on his buttons, making calls in Canton?

—The Richmond Daily Dispatch publishes an editorial excoriating those who are engaging in the illicit trade of cotton across enemy lines to Northern buyers:
We are sorry to hear, upon what we consider a reliable source, that a brisk trade in cotton has been going on from a principal Southern seaport, as many as twenty vessels being engaged in the illicit traffic, that a large amount has found its way over Texas to Mexico; that a new device has been lately hit upon of selling it to Union men in East Tennessee, who are accumulating the article in that region to be disposed of to the Yankees, and that disloyal men in North Alabama are openly selling it to the invaders. Such conduct as this is infamous. It is meaner and falser than Yankeeism a thousand times, because Yankeeism, although engaged in invasion, and not in defence, will not, with all its love of money, sell us a single article we need, whilst we, who are defending all that men hold dear, for the sake of base greed and Inure, sell that which is the very life-blood of our country.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March 28, 1862

March 28, 1862: Trans-Mississippi Theater, New Mexico Campaign – THE BATTLE OF GLORIETA PASS, New Mexico. The Union forces re-group at Kozlowski Ranch, at the far eastern end of the pass through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains: the 1st Reg. of Colorado Volunteers, a detachment of the 2nd New Mexico Inf., detachments of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd U.S. Cavalry Regiments, 5 companies of the 5th U.S. Infantry, and a company of the 2nd Reg. of Colorado Volunteers—about 1,300 total, under the command of Col. John Slough. The Confederate forces, encamped at the far west end of the pass, at Johnson’s Ranch (Apache Canyon), consist of a battalion of the 2nd Texas Mounted Volunteers (under Maj. Pyron), four companies of the 5th Texas (under Maj. Shropshire), nine companies of the 4th Texas, five companies of the 7th Texas, and five field pieces (cannons)—about 1,100 troops under the field command of Lt. Col. William Scurry of the 4th Texas. This morning, both forces march toward the other, when Scurry’s advance force chases off the Union advance (1). The Texans then run into several companies of Coloradans under Lt. Col. Tappan, arrayed in battle line. Scurry launches an attack (2), and the larger Confederate force drives the Federals from their line, and back to Pigeon Ranch. There, Col. Slough organizes a larger line, using most of his troops, strung across the canyon, and reinforced with artillery.  As the Texans attack, the battle devolves into a sporadic series of infantry firefights all afternoon (3). 

In the meantime, Col. Slough has sent Maj. Chivington off to the left to flank the Confederates (4), but the trail leads them far afield. Lt. Col. Manuel Chaves of the 2nd New Mexico finds a trail to Johnson’s Ranch, where the Confederate wagons and supply train are. Back at Pigeon’s Ranch, Scurry sends Maj. Paguet and the 4th Texas up on the bluffs behind the Union right flank (5), where his sharpshooters lay down a fire that forces the Federals to give way and withdraw. Slough forms another line beyond Pigeon’s Ranch, but by evening is forced to withdraw (6) down the pass to his supply base. It is a Confederate tactical victory—until Chivington’s force, led by Captains William Lewis and Asa Carey and the U.S. Regulars, launches an attack down the steep bluff slopes into the Rebel supply train, where the wagons and supplies are put to the torch, and horses and mules slaughtered. As the Rebels discover this shocking attack in their rear, being completely out of supplies, the battle turns into a strategic Union victory, as the Confederates retreat out of the pass and all the way back to Santa Fe—and eventually all the way out of New Mexico, ending Confederate hopes of dominating the West; cutting communications between California and the East; capturing mining fields in Colorado, California, and Nevada; and even perhaps adding California (and her ports), Nevada, Utah, and Colorado to the Confederacy.

Union Victory.


            Killed    Wounded    Captured    Total

U.S.       51                 78           15              144

C.S.      48                 80           92              220


—Gathering at Corinth, Mississippi to form the new Army of the Mississippi (C.S.A.) are the troops under Gen. Beauregard from western Tennessee, the brigades under Gen. Polk, garrison troops from Memphis under Gen. Daniel Ruggles, the remainders of Gen. Albert S. Johnston’s command from Nashville, and some troops from Mobile under Gen. Braxton Bragg. Albert Sidney Johnston takes overall command, with Pierre G.T. Beauregard as second-in-command. The new army is organized as follows:

I Corps Mag. Gen. Leonidas Polk        2 divisions -      4 brigades      9,404 men
II Corps Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg       2 divisions -     6 brigades     16,279 men
III Corps Maj. Gen. William Hardee                              3 brigades       6,758 men
Reserve Corps Maj. Gen. George Crittenden (later replaced by John C. Breckenridge)
                                                                                                3 brigades      7,211 men
 Total                                              @40,000

—In a message to the Confederate States Congress in Richmond, Pres. Jefferson Davis calls for a military conscription system: "I therefore recommend the passage of a law declaring that all persons residing within the Confederate States, between the ages of 18 and 35 years, and rightfully subject to military duty, shall be held to be in the military service of the Confederate States, and that some plain and simple method be adopted for their prompt enrollment and organization, repealing all of the legislation heretofore enacted which would conflict with the system proposed.


—Alexander B. Downing, of the 11th Iowa Infantry Regiment—part of the First Brigade of Gen. McClernand’s Division—is camped at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, near Shiloh Church, with Gen. Grant’s Army of the Tennessee. He records in his journal:

Friday, 28th
—It is warm and dry—it is delightful. There is nothing of importance going on. Our camp is well protected on the left by the Tennessee river and by Owl creek on our right flank. Most of the camp ground lies high and just rolling enough to keep the ground dry. Our camp—the First Brigade of the First Division—lies almost due north and south, so arranged for the purpose of giving the brigade a good drill and parade ground. The camps of the different brigades, all through the woods, face in any desired direction, except the regiments out in front, which are so arranged as to be facing the enemy should they have to form a line of battle.

—Col. John Hunt Morgan, of Kentucky, and his Confederate cavalry raiding behind enemy lines, capture a train on the Louisville-Nashville railroad. They make several Union officers prisoner, and destroy the train.

—Miss M.B. Pettigrew, of Hillsborough, in central North Carolina, writes to her brother, Brig. Gen. James Johnston Pettigrew, with the Rebel army in Virginia, despondent about Jackson’s defeat at Kernstown, affairs on the Mississippi, and Yankee encroachment on the North Carolina coast nearby:

. . . Jackson’s reverse has cast down the whole community. And made us more nervous about the intelligence from the West. I trust these hordes of miserable Yankees will be kept out of the Mississippi Valley. What shall we do with our [numerous?] enemy! I hope the military men know. Surely I do not. Our reverses have roused our people more than they have been yet. The people from the West are going down in numbers to be armed for the war. It is a great happiness to think President Davis can furnish arms for all who come.
Our Albermarle country is very much changed by the fall of Roanoke Island. Brother William has moved his people to Chatham County & burned his cotton. Brother Charles is here now to forward some of his Negroes to Cherry Hill but he intends remaining on his plantation for the present. He believes his Negroes will stand by him, as they have seen enough to make them know their master is their best friend. . . .

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March 27, 1862

March 27, 1862: Trans-Mississippi Theater, New Mexico Campaign – Col. Scurry arrives with over 1,000 Texans to reinforce Maj. Pyron’s reduced number at Apache Canyon. He forms a strong line across the Santa Fe Trail, and places 4 cannon at the summit of a hill that commands the canyon and the Santa Fe Trail that runs through it toward Glorieta Pass.

---Gen. Lee, being convinced that McClellan’s move toward the James Peninsula was a serious move, and not a feint, he orders Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, near Rappahannock Station, to send 10,000 more men to the Peninsula to reinforce Gen. Magruder, who is watching the Federal build-up near Ft. Monroe.

—Two ironclad warships are being constructed at New Orleans: The CSS Louisiana and the CSS Mississippi. The Mississippi is far from finished: she still lacks her armor, heavy guns, and propeller shafts. The Louisiana is closer to completion.

—Surgeon Alfred L. Castleman, of the Army of the Potomac, notes in his journal the result of a Union advance in Virginia, and the taking of a Confederate picket post:
27th.—A day of excitement. We are near the enemy. Brigade left camp at 6 A.M.; marched ten miles along the beautiful James River. Almost every building on the route burned. Dreadful devastation. At 12 o’clock came upon the rebel pickets. They ran, leaving camp fires burning. In one tent found a boiler of hot coffee, in another a haversack of hot biscuit. Very acceptable, after a long and muddy march.

—A Union force from Gen. Banks corps in the Shenandoah Valley, having occupied Strasburg, Virginia, finds itself being shelled by four guns under the command of Col. Turner Ashby of Jackson’s army. Several shells explode in the Union camp, killing one man and wounding another. Union artillery soon chases off Ashby and his artillery.

—Major Elisha Franklin Paxton, of the 27th Virginia Inf., serving under Stonewall Jackson, writes home from camp at Mount Jackson, and mentions the fierce battle at Kernstown:

Since last Thursday, when we started towards Winchester, we have had exciting times. We were engaged on Sunday in a fiercer struggle, more obstinately maintained on our side, than that at Manassas last July. The battle between the infantry, the artillery having been engaged in firing some time before, commenced about five o’clock and ended about six o’clock, when our line gave way and retreated in disorder to our wagons, about four miles from the battle-field. Our loss in killed, wounded and missing, I suppose, may reach 400. Col. Echols had his arm broken. . . . The next morning after the battle we left in good order about ten o ‘clock, and came some seven miles in this direction, where we encamped and cooked dinner. Before we left the enemy appeared with their cannon, and as we were leaving commenced firing upon us. One of their shells burst in our regiment, killing four and wounding several more.

March 26, 1862

March 26, 1862:  Trans-Mississippi Theater, New Mexico Campaign – THE BATTLE OF APACHE PASS, New Mexico.   Early in the morning, Maj. Pyron’s Rebels are marching east through Apache Canyon toward the summit of the pass.  Maj. Chivington starts his Federals westward, and near the summit, his pickets find 30 Rebel skirmishers and capture them without a shot.  Pyron sees the Union force in the distance, and he throws out his men into line of battle and advances two mountain howtizers forward, firing shell and canister into the Union ranks.  Chivington sends some of his Coloradans around the Rebel flank (and capturing some), which makes Pyron pull his line back further.  Chivington sends 100 mounted men in a charge, which fails and returns.  Pyron falls back to his original camp at the mouth of the canyon; Chivington falls back even farther to Pecos to await the rest of Col. Slough’s Federals from Ft. Union.  The Union loses 5 killed, 15 wounded, and 5 missing.  The Confederates lose 4 killed, 6 wounded, and 70 captured, so far.

---In Missouri, pro-Union State Militia clash with Confederate troops near Hammondsville, and drive them off.  At Warrensburg, pro-Union irregulars confront another Confederate force and force them to retire.

---At Mace’s Hole, Colorado, near Pike’s Peak, U.S. Cavalry skirmish with a pro-Confederate Partisan Ranger “regiment” at their encampment, resulting in the capture of nearly 50 Rebels.

March 25, 1862

March 25, 1862:  Trans-Mississippi Theater, New Mexico Campaign – The Confederate force in New Mexico is divided into three columns---one under Col. Tom Green is moving east from Santa Fe, another under Col. Scurry is 15 miles south of Santa Fe., and the third is moving out from Santa Fe under Major Pyron (380 men) and marches toward Ft. Union.  Tonight, Pyron camps at the mouth of Apache Canyon at Johnson’s Ranch.  Col Slough, with the Union force, sends Maj. John Chivington and 400 Colorado troops ahead; by this evening, Chivington is camping 13 miles east of Pyron’s troops.  Union pickets capture several Confederate pickets, and Chivington finds out from them where Pyron’s rebels are camped, and their strength. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

March 24, 1862

March 24, 1862: In Cincinnati, Wendell Phillips, a noted anti-slavery speaker and activist, visits the Opera House to deliver a speech. Cincinnati is mostly pro-Union, and since Phillips is also pro-secession—that is, Let the South Go—he is attacked by a crowd with rocks, eggs, and other missiles of political debate.

—In the on-goiong debate over the First Confiscation Bill in the U.S. Senate, Senator Saulsbury of Delaware voices his opposition to freeing any more negroes:

"I will remark now only that if this bill passes it is to pass by the votes of Senators from the non-slaveholding States, gentlemen representing States that are not afflicted with the great curse of a free negro population. I propose this amendment: That the said persons liberated, within thirty days thereof, be transported to the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, and New York."

The vote was called on this scarcely serious measure: yeas 2, nays 31.

—William Yancey, recently returned from Europe as an envoy, has been unable to turn even one European country toward the Confederate cause. In an impromptu speech to a crowd at the St. Charles Hotel in New Orleans, Yancey states as his belief that Europe will not come to the South’s rescue, and that all European nations are hoping for the war to drag on as long as possible, in order to weaken or even collapse all of the American governments. He further encourages self-reliance in the face of the ever-strengthening Union blockade. He further acknowledges that cotton is not king at all, due to the glut in world supply.

—South of Kernstown, Virginia, Confederate troops fight a delaying action as they withdraw south on the Valley Pike, toward the crossing at Cedar Creek, where Jackson’s main force has retured. One young Virginia artilleryman, George Michael Neese, writes in his journal of the day’s action:

At about nine o’clock they came in sight. We moved about a mile south of Newtown, went in battery and fired on their vanguard. . . . At this position we had a lively and stubborn artillery duel. We held our own until we saw that the Yankee army as a whole was advancing. Then we withdrew to the next hill and opened on them again, and so we skirmished with their artillery and devilled their advance from every hilltop until we arrived on the Shenandoah side of Cedar Creek. There we found Jackson’s infantry and wagon train in camp, but were preparing to move up the Valley. The Yanks charged one of our guns to-day, but found that the fire was a little too warmish and dangerous to accomplish the capture of a live Rebel gun. The Yanks have no relish for canister.
—Capt. William Thompson Lusk, of the 2nd New York Volunteer Infantry, writes home to his mother, defending Gen. George McClellan to his detractors, and then considering the chances for peace:

My dearest Mother, it will be a sweet thing for us all to see peace once more restored, and I do not doubt that no one prays more earnestly for it than yourself. I cannot but feel that a Higher Power has guided us of late to victory and do not fear for the result, yet bloody battles must be fought in which we must all partake, before the olive-branch is possible. I hardly think that the impatient ones at home, who are clamorous as to the inactivity and want of efficiency of our army, will have in the end any reason to complain that blood enough has not been shed to compensate them for the millions they have expended on it.

—Major Rutherford B. Hayes of the Union Army, writes in a letter home:

An odd laughable incident occurred to Joe the other day. You know his fondness for children. He always talks to them and generally manages to get them on his knee. Stopping at a farm-house he began to make advances towards a little three-year old boy who could scarcely talk plain enough to be understood. The doctor said, "Come, my fine little fellow. I want to talk to you." The urchin with a jerk turned away saying something the doctor did not comprehend. On a second approach the doctor made it out "Go to Hell, you dam Yankee!" This from the little codger was funny enough. . . .

—Lt. Charles Wright Wills, of the 7th Illinois Cavalry, writes in his journal about riding in a patrol going after Jeff Thompson’s semi-regular Rebel guerillas in southeasternMissouri:

When we first saw these pickets they were tearing up a culvert. We hurried up and after each side fired four or five rounds they ran. No one hurt here, although the distance was not more than 60 yards. Andy Hulit, my sergeant major and myself were the advance guard, but I have no carbine, and did not get to shoot, but this didn’t seem to make any difference to them for they threw buckshot round me quite promiscuously. Well, we fixed up that bridge and pressed on, but they tore down so many bridges that we could go but slowly. Just before the fight I had dropped back a dozen files to get out of building any more bridges, and when our boys saw the secesh, they had just finished destroying another. The horses couldn’t cross it, but the boys dismounted and hurrying across on foot, made them take to the swamp in water waist deep, where they hid themselves behind logs, vines and a kind of high grass that grows in bunches as large as a currant bush. When they had concealed themselves to their notion, they commenced firing at us, and of the first four of our boys over the bridge (Andy Hulit led them), three were down, wounded in a minute. We then charged (on foot) right into the brush and water, some of the boys up to their armpits, and made them scoot. They did not number over 20 but their advantage was enormous. We dropped two of them certain, and— I don’t think any more. . . . We drove the Rebels clear off, and captured two horses, and all their blankets, overcoats etc. About 15 miles out we came to Little River. While the major was examining the bridge, we saw a half dozen men running through a swamp on the other side. Over the bridge we went, and into the mud and water after them. We got them all. I captured a couple in a thicket. Andy Hulit came up a few minutes after and we had work to keep a lot of boys from shooting them, while we were taking them back to the river. Well, that was a pretty rough trip and I don’t hanker after another like it, although the excitement is rather pleasant too. But being set up for a mark on a road where there is not a sign of a chance to dodge, and having the marksman completely concealed from you, and this other fix of letting them throw shells at you when your carbine won’t carry to them, sitting on horseback too, I wish it understood I’m opposed to and protest against, although I never think so until I get back to camp.

Friday, March 23, 2012

March 23, 1862

March 23, 1862: Eastern Theater, Shenandoah Valley Campaign - FIRST BATTLE OF KERNSTOWN, Virginia. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson’s small force of 3,400 troops strikes at Brig. Gen. James Shield’s division of 8,500 Federals near Kernstown, just south of Winchester. Just as Gen. Banks is leaving the Valley with his second division, leaving only Shields in place, Jackson has marched down the Valley (north) to threaten the Union position, so that he can draw away Union forces intended for reinforcing McClellan on the Peninsula. After skirmishing yesterday, Jackson moves his entire force forward, believing the Union troops in the area to be a small rear guard only. Ashby, with his cavalry, 4 companies of infantry, and Chew’s battery of horse artillery, unlimbers his guns along the Valley Pike and begins skirmishing with the Federals just south of Kernstown. Col. Nathan Kimball, with his own brigade and parts of another, sets up 16 cannon on Pritchard Hill and begins dueling with Chew’s guns. Jackson arrives with his infantry, and sends Col. Fulkerson’s brigade against Pritchard Hill, and finally adds regiments from the Stonewall Brigade, but the Rebels take heavy casualties, so Jackson moves them to a ridge to the west to a safer position, more protected from the rifled Union artillery—with the hope that he may be able to flank the Federal position. Jackson lines up 15 guns on this position, Sandy Ridge, and opens fire on Pritchard Hill. Since his regiments are spread out too far, Jackson tells Garnett and the Stonewall Brigade to hold their position, while he goes to gather up reinforcements. Kimball orders Erastus tyler’s brigade into line on the right–Tyler swings southwestward into Garnett’s line in a column of divisions, 24 lines deep, and an infantry firefight ensues. The Rebels take possession of a stone wall for defense. Parts of Tyler’s brigade begin to fall back, however, and Kimball sends in a second brigade, which strikes west at the flank of the Sandy Ridge position bending back Garnett’s right flank, and the Rebels begin to run out of ammunition. Now completely out of ammunition, and lacking orders, Garnett sees another Union assault forming, and orders a retreat, just as Jackson is coming up with Burks’ small brigade. Garnett’s retreat turns into a rout, and disrupts Burks’ advance. Fulkerson’s flank is exposed, and so his troops also withdraw, and Jackson orders a general withdrawal. The Confederate lose nearly a quarter of their entire force; the Federals lose less than a tenth of theirs. After the battle, Jackson orders the arrest of Gen. Garnett, for insubordination and dereliction of duty. Union Victory.


         Killed    Wounded    Missing or Capt.    Total

U.S.   118        450               22                             590

C.S.   139        312                286                          737

Gen. Shields sends this message to Gen. McClellan at Washington:

WINCHESTER, VA., March 23, 1862.

We have this day achieved a glorious victory over the combined forces of Jackson, Smith, and Longstreet. The battle was fought within 4 miles of this place. It raged from 10.30 o'clock this morning until dark. The enemy's strength was about 15,000; the strength of our division not over 8,000. Our loss, killed and wounded, is not ascertained, but is heavy. The enemy's loss is double that of ours. We have captured a large number of prisoners, some of their guns, and the ground is strewn with the arms they have thrown away in their flight. The cavalry is still in pursuit of the retreating enemy. The particulars cannot be accurately ascertained until daylight.

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

 A result of this battle, even though it was a Union victory, is that Lincoln cancels the movement of Banks’ corps to join with McClellan, and begins moving more troops westward toward the Valley. Banks is to work in concert with Gen. Fremont in West Virginia to destroy Jackson. Lincoln also detaches Gen. Irwin McDowell’s corps to protect Washington. McClellan protests that these depletions mean that he does not have the strength to take Richmond.

The fact that both sides grossly underestimated the strength of the enemy before them underscores the challenges of gathering battlefield intelligence without aircraft, radio, motor vehicles, or satellites.

—During the Battle of Kernstown, George Michael Neese, a young Confederate artilleryman in Chew’s Battery, and new to combat, notes in his journal his view of the fight when the Federal artillery opens up on the Rebels—and of his fascinating encounter with a Federal shell:

The Federal artillery was in position on a range of hills northwest of the town and replied to our opening shot with a vim which at once bespoke that they meant business. In the meantime a body of sharpshooters and two pieces of artillery advanced on our position from the east side of town and a little to right of our front. . . .
The first shell they fired at us from the battery on our right was a twelve-pounder, and I saw it flying in its graceful curve through the air, coming directly toward the spot where I was standing. I watched it until it struck the ground about fifteen feet in front of me. I was so interested in the sky ball, in its harmless appearance, and surprised that a shell could be so plainly seen during its flight, that I for a moment forgot that danger lurked in the black speck that was descending to the earth before me like a schoolboy’s innocent plaything. It proved to have been a percussion shell, and when it struck the ground it exploded and scattered itself in every direction around me, and threw up dirt and gravel like a young volcano. Some of the gravel struck me on the arm. Then I left that place instantly, as I did not have any inclination whatever to watch any more shell just then, and my gun had already retired. . . . The artillery fire now became terrific. Hundreds of shell went just over our heads, howling and shrieking in the air like demons on their way to deal death and destruction to Rebels. Some of their shell exploded over our heads and sowed their fragments and leaden hail in the sod around us.
And then Neese gives his impressions of the fury of the infantry fight and of battle in general:
But it is utterly astonishing and wholly incomprehensible, especially to a tyro, how men standing in line, firing at each other incessantly for hours like they did to-day, can escape with so few killed and wounded, for when Jackson’s infantry emerged from the sulphurous bank of battle smoke that hung along the line the regiments appeared as complete as they were before the fight. . . . To-day was the first time that I experienced the realities of an actual battle-field, and am willing to admit that to see two armies in battle array is an imposing sight. . . . The enchantment act transpired before the battle opened, but when the firing commenced and they began in earnest to pass the bullets, shot, and shell around promiscuously, the fascination and all its kindred suddenly took flight from me faster than forty suns can rout the most delicate morning mist. —Gen. Don Carlos Buell, commander of the U.S. Army of the Ohio, writes to Gen. Halleck, telling him that after taking precautions to garrison all strategic points in central Tennessee, that he will advance, four days from now, toward Savannah, Tennessee with nearly 25,000 to link up with Grant.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March 22, 1862

March 22, 1862: Eastern Theater, Shenandoah Valley Campaign - Kernstown. As McClellan’s command attempts a sleight-of-hand move to sidle out of the Shenandoah Valley, Gen. Alpheus Williams’ division moves out from Centreville to head for the Peninsula, and Gen. Nathaniel Banks, in the Valley, prepares to move his corps out of Winchester to take William’s place at Centreville. Gen. Shields, whose division had chased Jackson south, withdrew to Kernstown, just south and east of Winchester. Gen. Stonewall Jackson, CSA, marches north rapidly to Strasburg. Jackson’s cavalry under Turner Ashby rides ahead and probes Shields’ position, skirmishing, and unlimbers some artillery and begins shelling Shields’ supply train. As Union infantry are rushed forward to deal with the pesky Rebel cavalry, Gen. Shields finally rides forward to see for himself. As he rides into view, Ashby directs his guns to shell the Union general and his staff. A shell explodes right over their heads, and Shields is thrown from his horse by the blast, with fragments in his arm and shoulder. De facto command falls to Col. Nathan Kimball. Kimball rallies some infantry that puts Ashby to flight. Ashby returns to report only four Union regiments remain in Winchester—a gross underestimate.

—Against orders from Col. Canby, Col. John Slough, in command at Ft. Union, New Mexico, marches out from the fort with 1,400 men toward Santa Fe, hoping to meet Canby’s column somewhere along the way.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March 21, 1862

March 21, 1862: In Newbern, North Carolina, Gen. Burnside, in command of the Union occupying forces, sends a letter to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton on the problem of "contrabands" (escaping slaves) coming across Union lines in large numbers. He hints at his anxiety on dealing with this unforeseen problem:

They seemed to be wild with excitement and delight. They are now a source of very great anxiety to us. The city is being overrun with fugitives from the surrounding towns and plantations. Two have reported themselves who have been in the swamps for five years. It would be utterly impossible if we were so disposed to keep them outside of our lines, as they find their way to us through woods and swamps from every side. By my next dispatch I hope to report to you a definite policy in reference to this matter, and in the meantime shall be glad to receive any instructions upon the subject which you may be disposed to give.
I have the honor to be, sir, your very obedient servant,

Brigadier- General, Commanding Department of North Carolina.

—In Richmond, George W. Randolph, grandson of Thomas Jefferson, is installed as the new Secretary of War for the Confederacy, to replace Judah P. Benjamin, who is now Secretary of State.

—In the Shenandoah Valley, Stonewall Jackson, upon hearing that Union troops at Winchester are shifting east to join McClellan, prepares his brigades to move north.

David L. Day, of the 25th Massachusetts Infantry, in Newbern, North Carolina—recently occupied by the Federals—writes in his journal of an experience when a local citizen called him to his veranda to quiz him on whether he thought the U.S. Government would, in fact, end up winning the war. The Southern gentleman avers that the South will endure longer, and that the North cannot win. Day asks him this:

     "You think then, that with all the odds against you, you will finally succeed?"
     "I certainly do; you see you Yankees are going to tire of this thing after a spell; you are not used to roughing it, and will soon weary of the hardships and privations of a soldier’s life. You Yankees had much rather be spinning cotton, making shoes, trading, speculating and trying to make money, than following the occupation of a soldier."
      "For a choice, there are probably very few of us who would select the occupation of a soldier, but you mistake the Yankee character entirely, if you think, having undertaken anything, they tire of it very easily. That was not the class of men they sprung from. They were an enterprising, untiring class of men; if they had not been, they would never have settled down among the rocks and hills of bleak New England and made of it the richest most intelligent and powerful little piece of territory the sun shines on. But, my friend, as all things earthly have an end, this will probably prove no exception, and in the end, your people will find that they have got the least value received for the money paid out of any speculation they ever engaged in, and will still find themselves a part and parcel of the United States, subject to all the rules and conditions of the government, in common with the rest of the states."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March 20, 1862

March 20, 1862: Trans-Mississippi Theater - New Mexico Campaign: Gen. Henry H. Sibley, CSA, understands that he cannot allow his 2,500 men to be trapped between the 1,800 Federals still at Ft. Craig under Col. Edward Canby and the 1,400 Federals ahead at Ft. Union under Col. Slough. So Sibley decides to move against Fort Union first, the last Union bastion preventing Confederate domination of New Mexico and Arizona. His plan is to send three columns over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains; these columns would converge before arriving at Fort Union. On this date, Major John Shropshire of the 5th Texas Cavalry sets out from Albuquerque north with a battalion to reinforce the small garrison of Santa Fe, when they run into about 120 Federal troops who are scouting the mountain passes. The Federals prepare to charge the Rebel column, when Shropshire orders a retreat back to Albuquerque. The presence of Union troops between Albuquerque and Santa Fe is wholly unexpected. This delay to Sibley’s movement will be costly, as a regiment of Colorado volunteers is drawing near to Ft. Union.

—Maj. Gen. John Bankhead Magruder, of the Confederate Army, has been sent by Gen. Joseph Johnston down to the James Peninsula to take command of Confederate troops there and keep an eye on Union operations. Magruder sends a scouting report to Gen. Robert E. Lee, the chief of staff and military advisor to Pres. Davis, wherein he notes the increase in Federal troops at Ft. Monroe and nearby Hampton, Virginia, behind Union lines there. He suggests using the CSS Virginia to interdict the transfer of Union troops to Ft. Monroe by sea, and also recommends using derelict hulks to be sunk in the channels of both the James and York rivers, to block US Navy operations there. He also offers this shrewd assessment of McClellan’s plans, which are becoming apparent: "I think McClellan has shown his plan is to turn flanks by great detours of land and water. The falling back of our army from the Potomac gives him the power to detach largely, and I think he will never risk a defeat himself when he can devolve the risk of it upon some one of his subordinates."

—Confederate War Department clerk John Beauchamp Jones writes in his journal about the growing Federal presence on the James Peninsula, as McClellan continues moving his army to Ft. Monroe for his planned approach to Richmond: "MARCH 20TH.—There is skirmishing every day on the Peninsula. We have not exceeding 60,000 men there, while the enemy have 158,000. It is fearful odds. And they have a fleet of gun-boats."

—The newspaper Lynchburg Virginian, a notice indicates that "Seventy-seven citizens of Loudon County, Va., accused of loyalty to the Federal Government, were sent to Richmond on the central cars, and committed to one of the military prisons."

—Mary Boykin Chestnut, of South Carolina, writes in her diary of the politics on the home front:

First, Nathan Davis called. Then Gonzales, who presented a fine, soldierly appearance in his soldier clothes, and the likeness to Beauregard was greater than ever. Nathan, all the world knows, is by profession a handsome man.
     General Gonzales told us what in the bitterness of his soul he had written to Jeff Davis. He regretted that he had not been his classmate; then he might have been as well treated as Northrop. In any case he would not have been refused a brigadiership, citing General Trapier and Tom Drayton. He had worked for it, had earned it; they had not. To his surprise, Mr. Davis answered him, and in a sharp note of four pages. Mr. Davis demanded from whom he quoted, "not his classmate." General Gonzales responded, "from the public voice only." Now he will fight for us all the same, but go on demanding justice from Jeff Davis until he get his dues—at least, until one of them gets his dues, for he means to go on hitting Jeff Davis over the head whenever he has a chance.
     "I am afraid," said I, "you will find it a hard head to crack." He replied in his flowery Spanish way: "Jeff Davis will be the sun, radiating all light, heat, and patronage; he will not be a moon reflecting public opinion, for he has the soul of a despot; he delights to spite public opinion. See, people abused him for making Crittenden brigadier. Straightway he made him major-general, and just after a blundering, besotted defeat, too." . . .
     Lady No. 1 (as I sit reading in the drawing-room window while Maum Mary puts my room to rights): "I clothe my negroes well. I could not bear to see them in dirt and rags; it would be unpleasant to me."
     Lady No. 2: "Yes. Well, so do I. But not fine clothes, you know. I feel—now—it was one of our sins as a nation, the way we indulged them in sinful finery. We will be punished for it." . . .
     Last night, Mrs. Pickens met General Cooper. Madam knew General Cooper only as our adjutant-general, and Mr. Mason’s brother-in-law. In her slow, graceful, impressive way, her beautiful eyes eloquent with feeling, she inveighed against Mr. Davis’s wickedness in always sending men born at the North to command at Charleston. General Cooper is on his way to make a tour of inspection there now. The dear general settled his head on his cravat with the aid of his forefinger; he tugged rather more nervously with the something that is always wrong inside of his collar, and looked straight up through his spectacles. Some one crossed the room, stood back of Mrs. Pickens, and murmured in her ear, "General Cooper was born in New York."
     Sudden silence.

—In the U.S. Senate, Sen. Willey of Virginia (West Virginia, soon to be) argues against the considered Confiscation Act that would seize the slaves belonging to rebels as "contraband": 

The people of the South have been taught to believe that the object and design of the Republican party was to abolish slavery in all the States. These bills will be seized upon as evidence of this intention. They will say: `Look at their unconstitutional confiscation law. Look at the bill to make slaves free in the District.’ Especially will they point to sweeping resolutions of the great apostle of abolition, Senator Sumner, which by one dash of the pen, deprives every southern man of his slaves.
     Mr. President, is it desired to make this a war of total extermination? Let us beware how we drive our friends in the South into the ranks of our adversary! One year's experience has taught us that a divided South was no contemptible foe. What will it be united? Seven hundred thousand square miles of fruitful territory, full of natural resources, inhabited by six millions of united, desperate people, may not be easily overcome and brought back to their allegiance. . . .
     Mr. President, I ask Senators to consider what must be the practical effects of emancipation. What then will be the effect upon the slave? Suppose they are emancipated; what then? Are they freemen in fact? Will they have the rights of freemen? Sir, such an idea is utterly fallacious. It will practically amount to nothing. You cannot enact the slave into a freeman by act of Congress. The servile nature of centuries cannot be eradicated by the rhetoric of Senators. . . .

Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19, 1862

March 19, 1862: Eastern Theater, Shenandoah Valley Campaign - On this date, just south of Strasburg in the Shenandoah Valley, Turner Asbhy, the cavalry wizard of the Shenandoah, with only 700 horsemen and a battery of artillery, stymies Union Gen. James Shields and his advance south all day, by stopping and firing several artillery salvoes at the advancing Union lines, then falling back while the Union line advances again. By day’s end, the Yankees have advanced only five miles. Shields gives up in disgust and withdraws to Strasburg at dusk.

—Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, now restored to his command over the Army of the Tennessee, orders all of his divisions to concentrate at Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee River, just 30 miles from the Confederate base at Corinth, Mississippi.

—Troops from Albert Sidney Johnston’s army begin to arrive at Corinth, Mississippi, where he and Gen. Beauregard are attempting to concentrate the Confederate forces in the area.

---From her plantation at Mulberry, not very far from the South Carolina state capital at Columbia, Mary Boykin Chestnut offers these rather perceptive observations in her diary concerning the Confederate war effort:
March 19th.—He who runs may read. Conscription means that we are in a tight place. This war was a volunteer business. To-morrow conscription begins—the dernier ressort. The President has remodeled his Cabinet, leaving Bragg for North Carolina. His War Minister is Randolph, of Virginia. A Union man par excellence, Watts, of Alabama, is Attorney-General. And now, too late by one year, when all the mechanics are in the army, Mallory begins to telegraph Captain Ingraham to build ships at any expense. We are locked in and can not get "the requisites for naval architecture," says a magniloquent person.
Henry Frost says all hands wink at cotton going out. Why not send it out and buy ships ? "Every now and then there is a holocaust of cotton burning," says the magniloquent. Conscription has waked the Rip Van Winkles. The streets of Columbia were never so crowded with men. To fight and to be made to fight are different things.
To my small wits, whenever people were persistent, united, and rose in their might, no general, however great, succeeded in subjugating them. Have we not swamps, forests, rivers, mountains—every natural barrier? The Carthaginians begged for peace because they were a luxurious people and could not endure the hardship of war, though the enemy suffered as sharply as they did! "Factions among themselves" is the rock on which we split. Now for the great soul who is to rise up and lead us. Why tarry his footsteps ?

—The Richmond Daily Dispatch posts a short piece about the excess of idle men in the city, echoing a common anxiety in the Confederacy about the will and patriotism of the people:

Wharf Rats.
Despite the industry of the militia officers for the past two days in hanting up delinquents, there are hundreds of men in the city liable, who are either hiding, or resorting to other means equally as despicable, to escape exposing their precious persons to even remote danger. Independent of the above, the city is just now infested with a large number of persons, with similar ideas of patriotism, who have ignobly left various southern cities to avoid military duty. Some of them set up stores and pretended to be merchants, while many linger around the street corners with dubious and uncertain looks. It may be accepted as a truth, that if able-bodied men are not willing to fight at this particular juncture they are not very good citizens, and their antecedents should be inquired into.

—George Templeton Strong of New York, writes in his journal: "A brief article in the Christian Remembrancer read tonight at the Society Library made me tingle. ‘On the whole, justice is on the side of the rebellion. Slavery has nothing to do with the war. That arose from selfish legislation by Northern majorities on questions of tariff and protection.’ . . . The moral tone of the South is exalted, while the North is base altogether. . . . And so on. So talks the organ of what is best and most hopeful in England. . . ."

—Thirteen mortar schooners under the command of Capt. David D. Porter arrive at Pilottown in the Delta, to join Farragut’s squadron, where he is building up an invasion fleet to capture New Orleans. David Glasgow Farragut—a Southerner who elected to stay with the Union—writes from Ship Island about the Southern cause in disparaging tones in his journal:

March 19, 1862
None of our vessels have yet arrived. I sent over to Biloxi yesterday, and robbed the post-office of a few papers. They speak volumes of discontent. It is no use—the cord is pulling tighter, and I hope I shall be able to tie it. God alone decides the contest; but we must put our shoulders to the wheel.
I see that Yancey has made a speech in New Orleans, the substance of which was that "all Europe wished to see was, the total destruction of this country." That was the truth, and what a comfort it must have been to him to think that he had been one of the greatest instruments in the consummation of their designs! He has returned home disgusted with England. His whole speech went to show the desperation of "the cause."

March 18, 1862

March 18, 1862: Eastern Theater, Shenandoah Valley Campaign – Gen. Shields, with a division of 6,000 Federal infantry, marches south from Winchester, while on a parallel road, Col. John Mason, with a regiment of infantry and a regiment of cavalry, also marches south. As Mason turns to join Shields, near Strasburg, they find Turner Ashby with 700 Rebel cavalry, at the bridge where the Valley Turnpike crosses Cedar Creek. Ashby sets fire to the bridge, and impudently fires a dozen rounds of cannon fire at Mason’s column, and withdraws. As Shields columns come up, and find that they cannot cross Cedar Creek that night, they bivouac near Middletown, several miles north. Strasburg, south of the burnt bridge, is safe for the night, although Shields sets engineers to building a flimsy temporary bridge for the morrow.

---William Howard Russell, the famed and influential correspondent for the London Times, writes about recent developments on the warfront:

The greatest results have been obtained in the capture of Fort Donaldson and Fort Henry, by Commodore Foote’s flotilla co-operating with the land forces. The possession of an absolute naval supremacy, of course, gives the North United States powerful means of annoyance and inflicting injury and destruction on the enemy; it also secures for them the means of seizing upon bases of operations wherever they please, of breaking up the enemy’s lines, and maintaining communications; but the example of Great Britain in the revolutionary war should prove to the United States that such advantages do not, by any means, enable a belligerent to subjugate a determined people resolved on resistance to the last.

—Jeremiah Stetson, an infantryman in the 23rd Massachusetts with Burnsides’s Coastal Division, writes home about his participation in the battle, and the spoils afterward:

I stuck to it til a vile ball struck me on my brest plate the brest plate glanced the ball away it gave me quite a clip but did not hirt me I fired my gun twice more and a cannon ball struck a pine tree a gunk of pine timber flew and struck me on the side nocked me down carryed up my ramrod burst a hole in my coat but did not hurt me much we drove them out in about 2 hours they had a battery flung up a mile and a half long to fight behind and we had nothing but a little woods which did us much hirt as good Gen Burnsides sais he could take bulls run forty times with the men he has got here but he sais they have dun fighting enough so we expect to stay here to garison the place it is a very pleasant place they left the city for life we live well now we have chickens gess ducks pigs hogs fat cattle sweet potatoes eggs and every thing the boys can git hold of . . .

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March 17, 1862

March 17, 1862:  Today, Surgeon Alfred L. Castleman of the Army of the Potomac writes in his journal when his division is once again told to stand down and go back to camp:

March 17th.--To-day our sick, instead of being put into General Hospital, are marched from depot to the camp. McDowell’s Division is ordered back to Arlington Heights. We are sending to Washington for our tents. Our General Smith is building stables, and it looks as if we were again settling down. What does it mean? Is there another change of programme? and are we not to embark after all? Have we discovered the muzzle of another wooden gun, which we must besiege for nine months? Many of the troops begin to question McClellan’s claim to infallibility.

Friday, March 16, 2012

March 16, 1862

March 16, 1862: Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, with his small Army of the Shenandoah, continues his retreat south, away from Gen. Nathaniel Banks’ large Union force now at Winchester. After stopping at Strasburg, Jackson continues south, up the valley, to Mount Jackson. He wants to build his force and re-supply, and this is closer to his base of supply at Staunton, at the southern end of the valley. He also wants to be closer to the railroad junction at Staunton so that he can quickly go east if he is called upon to quickly reinforce Gen. Joseph Johnston with the main army at Rappahannock Station. He knows that Gen. Banks has detached Gen. James Shields with a reinforced division of 9,500 men to hunt him down.  Shields is moving south, cautiously.

Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson

—George Templeton Strong, of New York City, writes in his journal:

Sunday* came the news that Banks had occupied Leesburg, and a few minutes later the disastrous tidings that the Merrimac was on the rampage among our frigates in Hampton Roads, smiting them down like a mailed robber baron among naked peasants. General dismay. What next? Why should not this invulnerable marine demon breach the walls of Fortress Monroe, raise the blockade, and destroy New York and Boston? And are we yet quite sure that she cannot? The nonfeasance of the Navy Department and of Congress in leaving us unprotected by ships of the same class, after ample time and abundant warning, is denounced by everyone.

*Here, Strong is making up a whole week of missed journal writing in this entry, and no doubt is referring to Sunday, March 9, rather than Sunday, March 16, a week late.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March 15, 1862

March 15, 1862: Gen. Ulysses S. Grant is restored to command of the Army of the Tennessee. He immediately begins to consolidate his divisions (under Sherman, Wallace, C.F. Smith, McClernand, and Hurlbut) around Savannah, Tennessee, where his troops have been engaged in destroying bridges and flushing out pockets of Rebel resistance. Sherman and Hurlbut have taken their troops by steamer to Pittsburg Landing, on the west bank of the Tennessee River, near the Mississippi state line.

—Surgeon Albert L. Castleman, of the Army of the Potomac (U.S.), notes in his journal:

Vienna, March 15th.—Did not lie down last night, but worked in separating and disposing of my sick. Most of them I have brought to this place to embark such as cannot march to Alexandria, by rail. The Brigade did not meet me here, as I expected, and I got to it at Flint Hill (where I left it) last night. I cannot look upon our possession of this place [Mannasas Junction] and the railroad without deeply feeling how much we have been outwitted. Here we have been held still with 150,000 to 200,000 men, since July last, by a little village mounting wooden guns. Poor McClellan, I fear a wooden gun will be the death of him yet, though his failure here may be attributable to the interference of others. I will not hastily condemn him.

—Private Daniel L. Day of the 25th Massachusetts Inf., with Burnside at New Bern, No. Carolina, the morning after the battle, writes in his journal: "Some enterprising party has hoisted the old flag on the spire of the church on Pollock street. There let it proudly wave; let it catch the first beams of the morning, and let the last rays of the setting sun linger and play amid its folds; let it gladden the hearts of every lover of liberty and loyalty, and let it be a notice to these deluded and ill-advised people around here, that it will never again give place to their traitorous rag of secession."

—Henry Adams, with his father Charles Francis Adams, Sr. in London, writes to his brother Charles, Jr., an officer in the cavalry with the Federal occupying forces at Port Royal, So. Carolina: "

The English on hearing of Fort Donnelson and the fall of Nashville, seem to think our dozen armies are already over the St. Lawrence and at the gates of Quebec. They don’t conceal their apprehensions and if we go on in this way, they will be as humiliated as the South itself. The talk of intervention, only two months ago so loud as to take a semiofficial tone, is now out of the minds of everyone. . . . The blockade is now universally acknowledged to be unobjectionable. Recognition, intervention, is an old song. No one whispers it. But the navy that captured Port Royal, Roanoke and Fort Henry, and that is flying about with its big guns up all the rivers and creeks of the South, is talked of with respect.

March 14, 1862

March 14, 1862:  BATTLE OF NEW BERN, North Carolina - Gen. Burnside, with 11,000 men in three brigades, having landed the evening before, faces Gen. Lawrence O’Bryan Branch, with 5,000 men.  The Confederate earthworks, including Ft. Thompson, are elaborate but unfinished.  Burnside deploys Foster’s brigade on the right, along the river, and Reno on the left, with Parke’s brigade bringing up the rear in reserve. 

Branch’s line is anchored on Ft. Thompson on the river, along high ground with swamp in front.  Foster attacks first, but the heavy guns in the fort force him to pull his brigade back.  Reno moves his men forward and strikes at the center of the Rebel line, and breaks through, but the Confederate right flank pours fire into his line.  The Federals capture a Rebel battery, but a counterattack with fresh Southern reinforcements re-capture it.  Reno/s troops are caught in a crossfire.  At this point, Gen. Parke hurries his brigade forward and plunges into the Confederate center, followed by Foster’s brigade storming Ft. Thompson.  The Southern left and center break and withdraw toward the rear, and formerly their right collapses, with many being capture by the Union troops.  As the Rebel troops withdraw into the town, Commander Rowan’s Union gunboats fire on their flank.  Branch sees that they cannot hold the town, and so orders his troops to burn the town.  Union Victory.

                        Killed         Wounded       Captured           Total

U.S.                  90               390                     1                   481

C.S.                  64               101                 413                   578
The Storming of Ft. Thompson
---Gen. Halleck sends a letter to Gen. U.S. Grant, who is reinstated to command over the Army of the Tennessee.

---Gen. John Pope’s troops occupy the river port of New Madrid.

---The Richmond Daily Dispatch publishes a letter written by the Rev. O. R. Blue, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which he wrote to relatives, about his determination to give us his ministry and join the army:

I have done all . . . to help the country ever since the war began, but now that the cloud grows dark, and the perils increase, I feel that I must give myself to the holy cause. Had we continued to gain ground and met with no reverses, I could have gone on in the usual course and given encouragement, money, and prayers, as heretofore; but now I feel that personal sacrifices and peril must be added. I am not acting under a hasty impulse, but calmly and in the fear of God, and I trust life and all in His hands, who has never ceased to be gracious to me. A calm survey of all my connections in this revolution brings up nothing of regret, nothing that I would not do again; and I determined from the first that it should cost me something, and, if needs be, everything; and that resolve I mean to keep I find, too, every day since it has been known here that I am going, that others are influenced to go with me.

     I have a first-rate Sharpe’s rifle, one hundred ball cartridges, and the same number of rifle- shell, none of which, I hope, shall be wasted I shall take a good supply of testaments, also, and hope never to forget my ministerial calling, though not going as a chaplain. How long I shall be gone I am not able now to say, but I hope until our land is free from the trend of the invader, and our eternal separation from the infamous Yankee nation a fixed fact. And if in the providence of God I shall not come back, I trust I shall not die in vain.