Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November 28, 1862

November 28, 1862: The Battle of Cane Hill, Arkansas - When Gen. Thomas Hindman of the Confederate Army had sent Gen. Marmaduke and 2,000 troopers 50 miles north of Ft. Smith to "nudge" the Yankees back up into Missouri, he did not expect that the Yankees were as numerous as they were, or that the reinforcements under Gen. Herron in Springfield, Missouri were not so out-of-reach as he had supposed. Marmaduke’s assignment was either to force the Yankees out of the state or to hold them there until Hindman could come up from the south with the rest of his 11,000-man army. On this date, however, Brig. Gen. James Blunt of the Union army advances his 5,000 troops south to catch the Rebels unprepared. Marmaduke and his riders are caught by surprise: after some skirmishing and trading artillery duels, Marmaduke sees that he is badly outnumbered, and so assigns Col. Jo Shelby to fight a delaying action while the rest of the Rebels escape. However—Blunt is now more than 100 miles from reinforcements and very isolated. Gen. Marmaduke begs Hindman to bring up the rest of the army.

Casualties are light: each side loses about 50 men. Union Victory.


—Of this battle, a young Union officer named Luman Harris Tenny, serving in Blunt’s army, writes this in his journal:
Friday, 28th. Started out at 5 as advance, but soon were ordered back, as rear guard. Division moved by another road. While at Rhea’s Mills we could hear the cannon roar. How aggravating. Moved on to Cane Hill. Learned that quite a battle had taken place there and on the mountain beyond. Went to a house and got some provisions. Built fires and rested, after some fresh pork and meal cakes.

—Capt. William Thompson Lusk, a Connecticut man serving in a New York regiment, receives his long-expected promotion to Major in his regiment, making him the third-highest rank therein. He writes home in jubilation to his mother:
My dear Mrs. Lusk:
You will rejoice with me on hearing that the Postman has just brought me a large envelope stamped with the State Seal, containing a Commission for Major W. T. Lusk! Hurrah! And Hurrah a second time, because I was too much for his honor, Lt.-Col. Morrison!
I surmised he would play Will a shabby trick and recommend another, and I was ready for him. I wrote to the Gov.’s secretary that he might nominate a fellow named More, but that Farnsworth, I was pretty sure, preferred Capt. Lusk. Sure enough!

—Charles Francis Adams, Jr., of the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry Reg., writes home to complain of the conditions for bivouac and campaigning for the Army of the Potomac near Fredericksburg, and how a winter campaign is out of the question:
A winter campaign here, by the way, is just impossible, no more and no less, and you who sit so snugly at home by the fire and round the hearth, and discuss our laziness in not pressing on, may as well dry up. We will allow everything to please you, waste of life, loss of labor, extreme exposure without tents, existence in a foodless country and all you will, and yet any movement is just simply impossible on account of mud. Horses can’t walk, artillery can’t be hauled, and ammunition can’t be carried through this country after this season. Of course, we don’t expect to get any forage, rations or tents through, but it is simply impossible to go ahead and carry the arms and ammunition to enable us to fight, though we should consent to starve and freeze cheerfully.

—Cavalry skirmishing between Rebel cavalry and a detachment of the 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry ends with the Federals being beaten off and losing some prisoners, near Falmouth. Jeb Stuart with Lee’s cavalry are beginning to harry and probe the Union encampment and positions.


—According to the New-Albany Ledger, Gen. A.P. Hovey, with nearly 7,000 Federal infantry and cavalry, are ferried over the Mississippi River to Delta, near the confluence of the Yazoo and Coldwater Rivers, where the force landed and camped. The aim of this expedition is to threaten the western flank of Gen. Price in northern Mississippi while Sherman from Memphis and Grant from La Grange threaten the Rebel front. Hovey’s troops are inteded to march across the Yazoo country, aiming for Grenada, Mississippi.


—The State of Georgia, abetted by the irascible Governor Joe Brown, issues a proclamation which declares that military conscription by the Confederate government is illegal and unconstitutional.

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