Monthly Archives: April 2011

April 30, 1861: Drawing the battle lines near Cairo

With the status of Missouri still in doubt, both Union and Confederacy were trying to gain control of the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers at Cairo, IL. Union troops from Illinois were attempting to prevent the flow of … Continue reading

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April 29, 1861: Lyon seizes the St. Louis Arsenal

Nathaniel Lyon The confusing situation in Missouri was coming to a head. Secessionist state militiamen were massing in St. Louis, and the St. Louis Arsenal, the largest repository of arms west of the Mississippi, was increasingly endangered. The small arsenal … Continue reading

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April, 1861: All men are brothers, but some need to be slaves.

James D. B. Debow I have drawn material several times from DeBow’s Review, a bastion of slavery apologetics in the deep South. In the April, 1861 issue, DeBow gives a glowing review of a book: The testimony of modern science … Continue reading

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April 27, 1861: “Colored” Troops in New Orleans

The Louisiana Native Guard From the West Baton Rouge, LA Sugar Planter: Good!—Fifteen hundred colored men have enrolled themselves into volunteer companies in New Orleans for active service when called upon.  The units of free blacks in New Orleans were … Continue reading

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April 26, 1861: Strong in life, and in death still stronger — Bad Beef in Pensacola

General Bragg’s camp seen from Ft. Pickens (Harper’s Weekly, June 15, 1861) The Union garrison holding Fort Pickens was receiving supplies from ships in the port of Pensacola. Apparently the Confederate troops besieging the fort weren’t doing so well. MEMPHIS … Continue reading

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April 25, 1861: Troops reach Washington — Butler commands Annapolis

Washington was feeling increasingly besieged, and waited anxiously for troops from the loyal states. Secessionists in Baltimore threatened the troops attempting to pass through Maryland. General Butler was given command of Annapolis, the closest port by which troops could reach … Continue reading

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April 24, 1861: Butler offers to put down slave insurrection

A little reminder from the New York Times that the Union didn’t plan to abolish slavery in the existing states. Benjamin Butler would later change his mind about this. REPORTED NEGRO INSURRECTION. PHILADELPHIA, Wednesday, April 24. A gentleman has arrived … Continue reading

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April 23, 1861: Martial law in Baltimore?

Riots in Baltimore were threatening the capitol, or at least the ability of Unionist troops to reach it. From the New York Times: THE VERY LATEST FROM BALTIMORE. PHILADELPHIA, Tuesday, April 23. It is reported by arrivals from Baltimore at … Continue reading

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April 22, 1861: Two calls to arms in Missouri

From Missouri, two calls to arms. First, from the secessionist Governor Fox: From the Springfield, MO library: Headquarters Adjutant-General’s Office Jefferson City, Mo., April 22, 1861 (General Orders No. 7) I. To attain a greater degree of efficiency and perfection … Continue reading

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April 21, 1861: Lyon authorized to muster troops

After considerable wrangling back and forth with the authorities, Nathaniel Lyon managed to get official permission to enlist Unionist Germans into the Army to protect the St. Louis Arsenal. Again, check out Damned Yankee: The Life of General Nathaniel Lyon … Continue reading

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