150 Years Ago This Week

150 Years Ago This Week: Controversy at Fort Pillow

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April 17
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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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April 10
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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

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March 27
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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March 20
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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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March 13
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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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150 Years Ago This Week: President Lincoln watches his assassin

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Nov. 14, 2013
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In a maneuver against Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Confederate forces in Virginia, Maj. Gen. George Meade sent Union forces across the Rappahannock River at Kelly’s Ford and Rappahannock Station, though neither attack moved the Southerners.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Lincoln gets an invitation

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Nov. 7, 2013
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Attention at the beginning of November, 1863, turned from the mid-summer fronts on the Mississippi River and in Virginia and Pennsylvania to Tennessee, and specifically Chattanooga.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Rare night battle at Wauhatchie

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Oct. 31, 2013
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In an effort to supply the besieged Army of the Cumberland in the environs of Chattanooga, Maj. Gen. Ulysses Grant and Maj. Gen. George Thomas conducted a personal inspection for a proposed supply line between Chattanooga and the railroad at Stevenson, Ala.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Major changes in Union command

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Oct. 24, 2013
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The Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley sank for a second time in Charleston Harbor, S.C. in the middle of October; her inventor and namesake, Horace Lawson Hunley, and seven crew members perished in a practice dive. Hunley would be raised by Confederates yet again to fight another day.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Engagement at Bristoe Station

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Oct. 17, 2013
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In an effort to learn of the intentions of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, the Federals of Maj. Gen. George Meade’s Army of the Potomac began probing the Rapidan River area of Culpeper County on Saturday, Oct. 10.
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150 Years Ago This Week: David takes on Goliath

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Oct. 10, 2013
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Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler and his Confederate cavalry raided the countryside around Chattanooga as October of 1863 opened, worsening the siege of the city where Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans and his Union Army of the Cumberland were entrenched.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Blame for defeat at Chickamauga

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Oct. 3, 2013
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Several days after the Battle of Chickamauga, President Lincoln and members of his Cabinet were dismayed when they learned that the New York Post had revealed the movement of Union troops going to reinforce Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans’ Army of the Cumberland at Chattanooga.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Bloodiest battle in the west

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Sept. 26, 2013
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The Union Army of the Cumberland gathered its 58,000 troops along the west side of Chickamauga Creek in northwest Georgia, not far south of Chattanooga, Tenn., across the stream from Gen. Braxton Bragg and his 66,000-strong Confederate Army of Tennessee.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Showdown in north Georgia

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Sept. 19, 2013

Still another important Confederate center was taken by the Federals when Southerners evacuated Little Rock, Ark. Federal occupation now severely threatened Lt. Gen. Kirby Smith’s entire Trans-Mississippi area, already under attack by Brig. Gen. Frederick Steele’s Union expedition.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Confederate ironclads detained in London

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Sept. 12, 2013
One of the former Confederate ships off Plymouth, England in 1865.

For some time, Federal authorities in Britain and Washington had been apprehensive over official British quiet approval of the construction of Confederate ironclad vessels in shipyards in Liverpool. With two of the ships close to completion, American ambassador to Britain Charles Francis Adams wrote that their release could mean war.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Confederates attack bandits in Mexico

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Sept. 5, 2013
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The month of August 1863 closed with the Confederates at Fort Sumter digging their cannons out of the rubble and moving them into the city of Charleston, S.C. in an anticipated defense of the city.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The rockets’ red glare in Charleston 

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Aug. 29, 2013
The bombed-out remains of Fort Sumpter.

By its sixth day of sustained Federal bombardment, Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, S.C., was feeling the impact. When five U.S. Navy monitor ironclad vessels made a night attack that evening, only two of Fort Sumter’s guns returned fire. There was still no indication that the fort would surrender.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The Sacking of Lawrence, Kansas

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Aug. 22, 2013
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Federal troops of the Army of the Cumberland under Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans started marching in Tennessee from Tullahoma toward the Tennessee River and Chattanooga on Sunday, Aug. 16.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Another offensive at Charleston

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Aug. 15, 2013
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Federal troops under Maj. Gen. Frederick Steele marched from Helena, Ark., toward the state capital at Little Rock on Monday, Aug. 9. Maj. Gen. Ulysses Grant’s huge army at Vicksburg, Miss., began to disperse.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Gen. Lee offers to resign

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Aug. 8, 2013
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August, 1863 saw the beginning of a relatively quiet month in all theaters of the war. In the east, Federal forces began gathering outside of Charleston Harbor in South Carolina for another assault on Fort Wagner and Fort Sumter.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Britain reinforces her neutrality

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Aug. 1, 2013
150 Years Ago This Week: Britain reinforces her neutrality

As the month of July drew to a close, John Hunt Morgan and his Confederate cavalry roamed at will through the state of Ohio, fighting skirmishes at Steubenville and Springfield . . .
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150 Years Ago This Week: Fighting at Battle Mountain

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July 25, 2013
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At Elk Creek near Honey Springs in the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), Union Brig. Gen. James G. Blunt attacked Confederate troops commanded by Brig. Gen. Douglas Cooper. Included in the combatants were Federal black soldiers fighting against Confederate Indians.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The U.S. Navy takes on Japan

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July 18, 2013
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As Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army finally retreated on July 11 across the Potomac River, the first names in the new Federal draft law had been drawn in New York City. The names appeared in the newspapers on Sunday, July 12.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Twin disasters for the Confederacy

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July 11, 2013
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After three days of heavy fighting in the fields, hills and rocks around Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, Gen. Robert E. Lee’s battlefield successes on the first two days were dashed following Maj. Gen. George Pickett’s unsuccessful frontal assault on the third day.
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