Thursday, September 6, 2012

September 6, 1862

September 6, 1862:  Eastern Theater, Maryland Campaign - As Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia invades Maryland, they have several political and military goals.  The hope is that a Southern victory on Northern soil---and even threatening an industrial center such as Baltimore or Washington---would demonstrate the viability of the Confederacy, at the tail of a string of impressive victories, and perhaps prompt one of the European powers to weigh in with an alliance and a call for a mentored peace process.  Lee and Pres. Davis also see that taking the war to the North will give Virginia a rest right at harvest time from the famished hordes of three armies.  Lee also hopes that such an invasion and a convincing battlefield victory for the South would sway Maryland, a slave state, to join the Confederate cause, and allow recruiting as well as isolate Washington. 

Meanwhile, Gen. McClellan puts his troops into shape to move west to intercept Lee.  His return to command is controversial amongst capital circles.  Lincoln offers this argument in favor of reinstating Little Mac:  "We must use what tools we have. There is no man in the Army who can man these fortifications and lick these troops of ours into shape half as well as he. If he can't fight himself, he excels in making others ready to fight."  The Young Napoleon organizes six corps made up of 16 divisions, most of which come from Pope’s army and other smaller theater troops, making altogether about 86,000 men; he leaves over 70,000 to guard the defenses of Washington.  Charges brought by Pope against Generals Porter, Franklin, Griffin, and others are suspended for the present crisis.

---Gen. Pope is issued orders to proceed to Minnesota and take care of the Dakota uprising that is still sowing panic in Minnesota.

---A committee of prominent Kentuckians in Congress calls upon Pres. Lincoln to address concerns about the Confederate invasion of Kentucky and protecting loyal citizens.

---At Capacon Bridge, Virginia, Confederate troops under Col. John Imboden attack troops under a Col. McReynolds, who put the rebels to flight and capture their artillery and vehicles. 

---Olathe, Kansas is sacked and raided by William Quantrill and his guerillas, resulting in several civilians being murdered.

---Captain Walter Waightstill Lenoir, a Confederate officer in Company A of the 37th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, writes home to his brother Rufus Lenoir of his wounds at the Battle of Chantilly:

I lost my right leg below the knee in the heavy skirmish on Monday 1st inst. and am now at Middleburg, Loudoun County, Va. at the residence of Mr. Richie, a methodist minister, who lives not far from the Episcopal Church where the Hospital of Branch’s Brigade has been established under charge of Dr. Gibbon. The Drs. say my wound is doing just right, and I can say that I feel a perceptible improvement in my condition but Oh Brother I have had a hard fight with death, and my vital & nervous energies are for the present almost overcome. I can say now, though, that I hope to recover, though I feel how slight a cause might prevent it. Tom Norwood is with me, shot through the [heel?] with a minie ball. He fought as only heroes fight, firing twenty firm rounds after he was wounded. My company had dwindled to 15 going into action of wherein only three came out without being wounded, none was killed.

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