150 Years Ago This Week

150 Years Ago This Week: Battle of Nashville

In mid-December 1864, the Civil War ends in the west with a decisive battle at Nashville, while in Savannah, Gen. Sherman demands the surrender of the city from Confederate Gen. Hardee, in this week’s 150 Years Ago.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The burning in Loudoun County

Winter did not impede military operations in December 1864, while, in Washington, Congress was about to consider the thorny issues of reconstruction and abolishing slavery.
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150 Years Ago This Week: A dark day in American history 

On Nov. 1864, Union and Confederate ships were destroyed, fighting continued in Tennessee and the Mid-Atlantic, and Federal troops massacred Indians in New Mexico territory.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The men who tried to burn New York

Harper’s Weekly (Dec. 17, 1864) depicted a Confederate agent setting a fire in Room 108 of the Tammany Hotel, one of many venues targeted for arson by the Confederates on Nov. 25.

In late November, Sherman’s army continued to burn and loot its way through the South and arsonists hired by Confederate agents set fire to multiple venues in New York, while the Booths were onstage together for the first time in “Julius Caesar.”
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150 Years Ago This Week: March to the sea, and eloquence misplaced

Alexander Hay Ritchie engraving via U.S. Library of Congress

On Monday, Nov. 14, 1864, Maj. Gen. William Sherman and his 62,000 men were in and around Atlanta, preparing to depart for the Atlantic coast, while the cavalry was already on the move.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Lincoln re-elected

150 Years Ago This Week

This week 150 years ago, Abraham Lincoln was re-elected president of the United States, with Andrew Johnson of Tennessee as vice president, while the Second Congress of the Confederate States met in Richmond for what was destined to be the last time.
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150 Years Ago This Week: A terrible scene at sea

The Australian packet Royal Standard narrowly escaped destruction following a collision with an enormous iceberg off Cape Horn.

As November 1864 unfolded, a wartime election and a vessel's collision with a huge iceberg off South Africa were in the news.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The battle of Westport

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At the close of the third week in October, C.S.S. Shenandoah was commissioned into the Confederate States Navy as a commerce raider. In Washington, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation establishing the national holiday of Thanksgiving.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Cedar Creek and St. Albans

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During the third week of October, fighting in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia continued in earnest between the Union forces, commanded by Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan, and the Confederate forces, commanded by Lt. Gen. Jubal Early.
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150 Years Ago This Week: ‘Greater love hath no man’

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Some of Lt. Col. John Mosby’s Rangers attacked a Union train of ambulance wagons on Sept. 23, 1864, near Front Royal, before being driven off by the approach of Union cavalry under Col. Charles Lowell on the road from Luray.
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150 Years Ago This Week: ‘Hold the fort. We are coming.’

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As October 1864 opened, the significance of the capture of Atlanta by the Federals in September was obvious to both North and South. To the North, it was helpful to Abraham Lincoln’s campaign for re-election; to the South, it was an intolerable incursion.
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150 Years Ago This Week: ‘The Burning’

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In response to Lt. Gen. Ulysses Grant’s August orders to eliminate the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia as a source of supply to the Confederacy, Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan ordered his men to begin destroying in earnest barns, mills, crops and livestock throughout the Valley.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Battles at Milford and Luray

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On Sunday, Sept. 18, Lt. Gen. Jubal Early moved a portion of his Confederate force in the Shenandoah Valley from Bunker Hill, W. Va., north to Martinsburg, and drove away Federal cavalry, but returned to Bunker Hill in the evening.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The Great Beefsteak Raid

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In Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday, Sept. 10, Maj. Gen. William Sherman received a wire from Lt. Gen. Ulysses Grant in Virginia, urging him to leave Atlanta and begin a new drive against Gen. John Hood’s Confederate Army of Tennessee.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The Battle of Berryville

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At about 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3, Union troops commanded by Brig. Gen. George Crook under Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan were moving south from Charles Town, West Va., into Clarke County, Va., to slow or stop the advance of Confederate troops.
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150 Years Ago This Week: “Fairly won.”

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On Sunday, Aug. 28, in Charleston Harbor, S.C., the Union forces made an attempt to “shake” the remaining walls of Fort Sumter to pieces by sending a raft loaded with powder across the waters to the fort.
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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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