Monday, April 15, 2013

April 14, 1863

April 14, 1863

---Stoneman’s troopers make the attempts to cross the Rappahannock River, but rains have swelled the rivers to make most of the fords unusable.  By morning of the 15th, only one of the mounted divisions has crossed, and Hooker is telling Stoneman that he may need to leave his artillery behind.

---The CSS Queen of the West, an armored river ram that the Confederates had captured from the Union Navy some weeks ago, is caught in the Atchafalaya Bayou by three Federal gunboats---the Arizona, the Calhoun, and the Estrella.  Queen of the West is battered until the cotton bale armor on deck catches fire, and the ship burns to the waterline and sinks.

---Sergeant Alexander G. Downing, of the 11th Iowa Infantry with Grant’s army, records in his journal another frustration to the many schemes to bypass Vicksburg---and in doing so, he hits upon the scheme that finally will enable Grant to get into the dry land rear of that city in the weeks to come:

It is reported that the expedition that was trying to find a way to get the army past Haines’s Bluff on the Yazoo river has been forced to give it up on account of the floods. The river is flooded for a hundred miles up from the mouth, and four miles on either side. It is thought that they will have to run the fleet past the batteries at Vicksburg and march the army down the Louisiana side and then across the river on high ground below Vicksburg.

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