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.

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