Monthly Archives: May 2011

May 11, 1861: Sherman describes the St. Louis riots

Sherman As the Civil War Daily Gazette has mentioned, William T. Sherman was president of the St. Louis Railroad, a streetcar company, for a few months in 1861. He was in St. Louis during the Camp Jackson incident, and witnessed … Continue reading

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May 10, 1861: The Camp Jackson affair

The Camp Jackson riot On May 10, 1861, the situation in St. Louis finally came to violence. Nathaniel Lyon’s troops had taken control of the St. Louis Arsenal on April 29, shipping most of its contents to safety in Illinois. … Continue reading

Posted in Missouri, Nathaniel Lyon | 3 Comments

May 9, 1861: Zouaves in Washington

Fire Zouaves saving Willard’s Hotel Among the many troops suddenly descending on Washington D.C. were the colorfully uniformed “Fire Zouaves” of New York. Recruited by Elmer Ellsworth from New York City firemen and clad in bright red pants, they were … Continue reading

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May 8, 1861: Moving from the “City of Dogs and Dust?”

The capitol, Richmond, VA Montgomery, the provisional capital of the Confederacy, was extremely unpopular with most of the Eastern legislators. They found it to lack the culture and comforts of more established Southern cities, and were anxious to move. From … Continue reading

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May 7, 1861: The Knights of the Golden Circle

George W. L. Bickley In 1859, at the age of 40, George Bickley had already been a practicing physician; written a history of Tazewell County, Virginia, as well as a novel; edited a couple of magazines; served as a professor … Continue reading

Posted in George Bickley, Kentucky | 2 Comments

May 6: More states secede

Alexander Stephens In Montgomery on May 7, 1861, Alexander Stephens had an optimistic report on the progress of secession. The New York Times reported on it: ANOTHER SPEECH BY A.H. STEPHENS. RESULT OF HIS MISSION TO VIRGINIA — FURTHER DESIGNS … Continue reading

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May 5: Correspondence from Fort Defiance

From the New York Times: CAMP DEFIANCE, CAIRO, Ill., Sunday, May 5, 1861. While no actual event has come to our knowledge tending to elucidate the plans of the rebels in reference to this point, there is still a growing … Continue reading

Posted in Abolitionism, Illinois | 2 Comments

May 4: “Let him come.”

Cairo, Illinois in 1861: Guns at Fort Prentiss, later renamed Fort Defiance. [This spot is underwater at the moment; how deep depends on what the Corps of Engineers has decided to do.][Update: The Corps of Engineers blew the levee at … Continue reading

Posted in Gideon Pillow, Illinois, Tennessee | 1 Comment

May 3: More on the Anaconda Plan

Ol’ Fuss and Feathers From the OR S.I, V. 51, pp. 369-370 HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, May 3, 1861. Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN, Commanding Ohio Volunteers, Cincinnati, Ohio: SIR: I have read and carefully considered your plan for … Continue reading

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May 2, 1861: Winfield Scott’s Anaconda Plan

General Winfield Scott criticized McClellan’s battle plans (from an April 27 letter) and proposed a plan to essentially besiege the entire Confederacy by controlling the coasts and the Mississippi. This “Anaconda Plan” was much derided at the time, at least … Continue reading

Posted in George McClellan, Winfield Scott | 3 Comments