Thursday, May 2, 2013

April 30, 1863

April 30, 1863

---Chancellorsville Campaign – Having crossed the two rivers, Hooker’s Federals are moving into the Wilderness.  Slocum and Howard move down to the Germanna Ford across the Rapidan, while Meade crosses at a ford further east, and all three corps advance southeast along the road to Fredericksburg.  Couch’s II Corps moves across the U.S. Ford, and Sickles’ III Corps moves off from Falmouth to follow Couch.  One of Couch’s divisions, however, remains in a bend of the Rapidan to keep an eye on Banks Ford and Scott’s Ford, and Richard Anderson’s division of Confederates beyond it.  Lee has McLaws and then Early with their divisions along Marye’s Heights above Fredericksburg.  On the hills south of the town, Stonewall Jackson commands the divisions of Colston, A.P. Hill and Robert Rodes.  Jackson comes to confer with Lee, and Lee decides that the real action is behind them, and that Sedgwick and Reynolds’ demonstration against Fredericksburg is a feint. 

Meade and other officers want to push ahead, but the chance today for an attack on the Rebels is called off by Hooker.

Hooker's Flank March, April 30, 1863

---Vicksburg Campaign – After having failed to make a beachhead at Grand Gulf, Grant orders his troops to march south along the west bank until opposite of Bruinsburg.  Porter shells Grand Gulf again, while the transports steam downstream and then ferry troops across the river.  Grant is the first to step onto the east bank, followed by the 24th and 46th Indiana Infantry Regiments.  In rapid succession, the entire XIII Corps and part of the XVII Corps are ferried across---over 17,000 troops---with no opposition.  After so many months, this landing is nearly anticlimactic.  Early in the evening, Grant puts the troops on the march on the Rodney Road, heading for Port Gibson.


---Grierson’s Raid – Grierson continues his ride, burning railroad track and trestle bridges as he goes.  The raiders burn the train depot nad 15 cars at Bogue Chitto Station, and at Summit destroys a huge store of sugar and 25 freight cars.

---Sarah Morgan of Louisiana is despondent after having arrived in comparative safety in Union-occupied New Orleans, because the Federal occupiers have since ordered out any people who have not taken a loyalty oath to the U.S. Government:

To-day, thousands of families, from the most respectable down to the least, all who have had the firmness to register themselves enemies to the United States, are ordered to leave the city before the fifteenth of May. Think of the thousands, perfectly destitute, who can hardly afford to buy their daily bread even here, sent to the Confederacy, where it is neither to be earned nor bought, without money, friends, or a home. Hundreds have comfortable homes here, which will be confiscated to enrich those who drive them out. “It is an ill wind that blows no one good.” Such dismal faces as one meets everywhere! Each looks heartbroken. Homeless, friendless, beggars, is written in every eye. Brother’s face is too unhappy to make it pleasant to look at him. True, he is safe; but hundreds of his friends are going forth destitute, leaving happy homes behind, not knowing where the crust of bread for famishing children is to come from to-morrow. He went to General Bowens and asked if it were possible that women and children were included in the order. Yes, he said; they should all go, and go in the Confederacy. They should not be allowed to go elsewhere. Penned up like sheep to starve! That’s the idea! With the addition of forty thousand mouths to feed, they think they can invoke famine to their aid, seeing that their negro brothers don’t help them much in the task of subjugating us.

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