150 Years Ago This Week

150 Years Ago This Week: “This administration will not be re-elected.”

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After a fierce bombardment by land batteries, three ironclad monitors and other Union naval vessels on Sunday, Aug. 22, Fort Morgan, the last major Confederate post at the entrance to Mobile Bay, Ala., fell to the Federals.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The guns of August

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On the high seas of Monday, Aug. 15, the Confederate commerce raider CSS Tallahassee captured six Union merchant schooners off the coast of New England, widening the panic in the North into the far northeastern states.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Sheridan in the Shenandoah

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Furious at President Abraham Lincoln for his pocket veto of their punitive reconstruction bill, Radical Republicans Rep. Henry Winter Davis of Maryland and Sen. Benjamin Wade of Ohio issued what became known as the Wade-Davis Manifesto on Aug. 7.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Battle of Mobile Bay

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Confederates entered Pennsylvania once more, on Saturday, July 30. In the morning, Confederate cavalry under command of Brig. Gen. John McCausland rode into Chambersburg, where he threatened to burn the town to the ground.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The world explodes

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Marching north on the Valley Turnpike (Route 11 today), Lt. Gen. Jubal Early’s entire Confederate army was headed to Kernstown, just south of Winchester, where Gen. George Crooke’s Federal troops were posted.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Bloody summer

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In Georgia on Saturday, July 16, Maj. Gen. William Sherman’s major move across the Chattahoochee River and out around the north side of Atlanta toward Decatur on the east got underway, though not without delays.
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150 Years Ago This Week: President Lincoln under fire

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On Sunday, July 10, Lt. Gen. Jubal Early’s Confederate troops marched closer to the environs of Washington, D.C. There was some minor fighting at Rockville, Md., and at the Gunpowder River bridge north of the city.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Battle at Monocacy

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In Charleston Harbor, S.C., the Federals renewed assaults against the city and Fort Sumter on Sunday, July 3. Landing in barges, a Union assault force from Morris Island failed in a dawn attack on Fort Johnson, and lost 140 men as Confederate prisoners.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Prelude to an invasion

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As June of 1864 drew to a close, the Union Army of the Potomac laid siege to Petersburg, south of Richmond. Southerners viewed Lt. Gen. Ulysses Grant’s overland campaign a failure, since the Union troops had not captured Richmond or conquered Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army.
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150 Years Ago This Week: CSS Alabama sunk

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By June 18, Lt. Gen. Ulysses Grant realized that the Union assaults against Petersburg were accomplishing very little besides losing large numbers of soldiers in the fighting. He came to a decision: Petersburg could not be taken by assault. The siege was on.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Siege at Petersburg begins

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As the second week of June 1864 closed, Maj. Gen. Nathan Forrest and his Confederate cavalry were located at Brice’s Crossroads, south of Corinth, when they attacked Union infantry commanded by Maj. Gen. Samuel Sturgis.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Battle of Piedmont

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Far to the west of the armies at the gates of Richmond, Brig. Gen. William W. Averell’s Union cavalry set out from Bunger’s Mills in Greenbrier County, W. Va. to aid Maj. Gen. David Hunter and his plans to lay waste to the Shenandoah Valley.
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150 Years Ago This Week: 7,000 killed in 20 minutes

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Another race was on between the Union Army of the Potomac and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia after the two days of fighting at the North Anna River north of Richmond. Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army was protecting the capital at Richmond.
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150 Years Ago This Week: North Anna and New Hope Church

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With some of the bloodiest fighting of the war done at Spotsylvania Courthouse, the two great armies of Gen. Robert E. Lee and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant continued to try to outflank the other. In another race of time, Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill marched south to the North Anna River near Hanover Junction.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The world is on fire

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As of the middle of May 1864, there was fighting on all fronts of the Confederacy. In Virginia, the armies of Gen. Robert E. Lee and Lt. Gen. Ulysses Grant were engaged in some of the most savage fighting of the war in and around Spotsylvania Courthouse.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Deaths of Sedgwick and Stuart

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After fighting savagely for two days in the tangled underbrush and heavily wooded battleground that became known as the Wilderness, Gen. Robert E. Lee and most of his officers believed that the Federals would do as they had always done: Stay where they were and lick their wounds.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Into the Wilderness

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During the first couple of days in May, 1864, fighting between opposing troops took place primarily west of the Mississippi River. Confederates captured the U.S. river transport Emma at David’s Ferry, followed by four days of skirmishing at former Governor Thomas O. Moore’s plantation.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Death in the White House

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On Monday, April 25, Maj. Gen. Robert Ransom was assigned to command the Department of Richmond. That same day, following the capture of Plymouth, N.C., on April 20, the Confederates began evacuating nearby Washington, N.C.
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150 Years Ago This Week: ‘In God We Trust’ first appears

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At Knoxville, Tenn., Union military governor Andrew Johnson vigorously supported emancipation at a large pro-Union meeting. In Richmond, the Examiner expressed editorial concern about the forthcoming military campaign in Virginia.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Controversy at Fort Pillow

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Heavy spring rains fell on most of Virginia at the end of the second week of April, 1864, washing out or damaging a number of bridges and keeping military operations at bay. Farther southwest, in Louisiana, Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks pulled his Union forces on the Red River back towards Grand Ecore.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Gen. Grant dictates war strategy

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Beginning on the night of Sunday, April 3, Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, S.C., underwent four consecutive nights of brisk mortar shelling from Union batteries. Still, the crumbling fortress refused to surrender.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Major confrontations north and south

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About 100 Copperheads vented long pent-up feelings by attacking Union soldiers at home on furlough in Charleston. The fighting was quelled by troop reinforcements, leaving five men dead and more than 20 injured. It was the worst anti-war outbreak since the New York City draft riots in July 1863.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Two intense (snowball) fights

The Great Snowball Battle near Fredericksburg in February 1863.

On the high seas on Sunday, March 20, the Confederate raider Alabama arrived at Cape Town, South Africa, on a respite from attacking Union commerce and warships. In Louisiana, the Red River campaign was well underway; at Bayou Rapides, Union and Confederate troops clashed.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The Red River campaign

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President Abraham Lincoln received word from Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler at his headquarters on the Peninsula below Richmond that two ladies had appeared there with a request to pass through the Union lines and go to southern Maryland.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Grant assumes command

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On the last day of February, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln approved the congressional act reviving the grade of lieutenant general in the army — the highest rank since George Washington.
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150 Years Ago This Week: ‘Jefferson Davis must be killed.’

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Following his meeting in Washington with President Abraham Lincoln two weeks before, Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick had returned to his headquarters at Rose Hill and begun laying plans for a raid on Richmond to free the Union prisoners of war in the lightly defended Confederate capital.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Major battle in Florida

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Before the First Congress of the Confederate States adjourned its fourth session, it suspended the writ of habeas corpus until Aug. 2 to meet resistance to the conscription laws and other disloyal activities.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Meridian falls and Hunley sinks

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On Friday, Feb. 12, President Jefferson Davis advised Gen. Joseph Johnston that the Federal advance in Mississippi “should be met before he reaches the Gulf and establishes a base by which supplies and reinforcements may be sent by sea.”
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150 Years Ago This Week: Lincoln signs his death warrant?

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Federal forces commanded by Maj. Gen. William Sherman left Mississippi’s capital city at Jackson on Saturday, Feb. 6, and headed east toward their objective: The important railroad center at Meridian.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Mississippi again a battleground

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Acting under the congressional conscription act, President Abraham Lincoln ordered that 500,000 men be drafted on March 10 to serve for three years or the duration of the war. Further, the president ordered Secretary of War Edwin Stanton to send a transport to Ile a Vache.
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150 Years Ago This Week: A nasty war was developing

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President Abraham Lincoln approved a policy on Saturday, Jan. 23, whereby plantation owners in the South would recognize the freedom of their former slaves and hire them by fair contracts to re-commence the cultivation of their plantations. He urged the military authorities to support such a free-labor system.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The Confederacy begins to unravel

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Union forces under Maj. Gen. John Parke advanced on Dandridge, Tenn. on Saturday, Jan. 16, along the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad, forcing Confederate troops commanded by Lt. Gen. James Longstreet to withdraw.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Federal troops protect a U.S. Consul

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On Saturday, Jan. 9, President Jefferson Davis warned his military commanders in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi of reports that Adm. David Farragut was preparing to attack Mobile and attempt to pass Fort Gaines and Fort Jackson at the mouth of Mobile Bay as he had done in New Orleans.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Armies at rest

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The Confederate Congress confirmed Sen. George Davis of North Carolina as Attorney General on Saturday, Jan. 2, 1864, allowing him to succeed Wade Keyes, who had served as interim Attorney General since September, 1863.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Spending the holidays at war

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Dec. 26, 2013
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On Saturday, Dec. 19, marking the beginning of the week before Christmas, several skirmishes in Virginia and West Virginia resulted from the long-continuing Federal cavalry raids on the railroads connecting southwest Virginia and West Virginia with the eastern seaboard.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Joseph E. Johnston takes command

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John A. Seddon, the Confederate Secretary of War, submitted his annual report to President Jefferson Davis on Saturday, Dec. 11. In it, he admitted serious military defeats and reduced military effectiveness.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Lincoln’s preliminary plans for Reconstruction

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Dec. 12, 2013
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Lt. Gen. James Longstreet pulled his troops out of the Knoxville area in Tennessee on Friday, Dec. 4, and, on their return to Virginia, got as far as Greenville, where they set up winter quarters.
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150 Years Ago This Week: More fighting in Virginia and Tennessee

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Dec. 5, 2013
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The major fighting at Chattanooga was over by Thursday, Nov. 26. Maj. Gen. George Thomas and Maj. Gen. William Sherman with their respective Union armies pursued Gen. Braxton Bragg’s army into north Georgia.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The battle above the clouds

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Nov. 28, 2013
Heavy fog made the Battle of Lookout Mountain a tough fight.

On Nov. 21, Maj. Gen. William Sherman moved up his Union troops and crossed the Tennessee River at Brown’s Ferry. His objective was to recross the Tennessee and attack the north end of Missionary Ridge.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The two-minute address at Gettysburg

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Nov. 21, 2013
President Lincoln awaits his turn to speak at Gettysburg.

Four Union divisions of Maj. Gen. William Sherman’s troops were at Bridgeport, on the Tennessee River on Sunday, Nov. 15, when Gen. Sherman went into Chattanooga to confer with Maj. Gen. Ulysses Grant; he looked over the ground before moving his troops closer to the city.
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