Monthly Archives: January 2012

January 31, 1862: Grant’s ready to go

Halleck ordered Grant to take Fort Henry. As was typical for Grant, and atypical for most of the Union higher-ups in the area, when Grant was told to move, he moved. The day after receiving his order, he was putting … Continue reading

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January 30, 1862: Halleck orders Grant to take Fort Henry

While it might seem more obvious that the Union would want to take control of the Mississippi — and of course they did — the Tennessee and Cumberland had strategic priority. First, they both flow northward rather than southward. This … Continue reading

Posted in George McClellan, Henry Halleck, Tennessee, Ulysses S. Grant | 1 Comment

January 29, 1862: Cotton-seed coffee

Cotton seeds The Richmond Daily Dispatch shares yet another recipe for a coffee substitute (or extender). Man, the blockade was making people desperate. Cotton Seed Coffee. –We have been favored by a friend with a sample of Cotton Seed Coffee, … Continue reading

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January 28, 1862: Johnson’s Burlesque Opera Troupe

It’s peculiar to me that, in the South where genuine African-Americans were in ample supply, there were blackface “minstrel shows” starring white “negro delineators” even during the Civil War. From the Memphis Daily Appeal: Odd-Fellows’ Hall! Johnson’s Burlesque Opera Troupe! … Continue reading

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January 27, 1862: Buell can’t get to east Tennessee

Don Carlos Buell Buell’s back to being unable to move, after Thomas’ success at Mill Springs. Knowing the region, it’s not hard to believe that the roads would have been impassable at this time of year. Once again, Lincoln’s desire … Continue reading

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January 26, 1862: An expedition after Jeff Thompson

M. Jeff Thompson A correspondent identified as “Galway” reports to the New York Times about events in Cairo. First, he describes an expedition after Jeff Thompson, who apparently had repeated his exploit of the previous August, taking the high ground … Continue reading

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January 26, 1862: Experiences of a released prisoner

Union and Confederate officers have a drink after a prisoner exchange A Union soldier from New York describes his time in Richmond. He had the good luck to meet an Irishwoman from New York, who had some kind feeling for … Continue reading

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January 25, 1862: Grant is looking for boatmen

General Grant, back from his successful diversion south in Kentucky, reports on the action, including C.F. Smith’s reconnaissance up the Tennessee River almost to Fort Henry. He also notes that he’s looking for men to crew his river gunboats, which … Continue reading

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January 24, 1862: The Richmond Daily Dispatch, on the death of Zollicoffer

Felix K. Zollicoffer The editor of the Richmond Daily Dispatch laments the death of Zollicoffer at Mill Springs, and calls for renewed resolve against the Union: The Defeat in Kentucky –Let it Rouse the South from its Lethargy. The defeat … Continue reading

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January 23, 1862: Thomas declines to go into East Tennessee

General Thomas had routed the Confederate forces at the battle of Mill Springs, killing Zollicoffer, and now he needed to follow up on the victory. Although the President was pushing hard for a Union venture in support of partisans in … Continue reading

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