Monthly Archives: April 2012

April 30, 1862: Union forces attack Cumberland Gap

General Kirby Smith Union forces under George Morgan attacked the Cumberland Gap, the main route connecting Virginia with the west. Here Confederate general Kirby Smith orders reinforcements to oppose them. From the official record: KNOXVILLE, TENN., April 30, 1862. GENERAL: … Continue reading

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April 29, 1862: Is not the Negro a man?

A letter from the Kingston Argus, dated April 29, 1862, from a Union correspondent at Fredericksburg. One of the “contrabands” described here would have been John Washington, who crossed Rappanhannock to freedom in the to the Union lines on April … Continue reading

Posted in Abolitionism, Contrabands, Slavery, Virginia | 1 Comment

April 28, 1862: Organization of the Union armies at Shiloh

One thing you can say for Halleck, he was organized. Here he gives orders organizing the army corps at Shiloh for the southward movement, taking into account everything from ammunition to wagons to proper food preparation. From the Official Record: … Continue reading

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April 27, 1862: Confederates order cotton destroyed

The repulse at Shiloh pushed the Confederate line entirely out of Tennessee, and the fall of Island No. 10 opposite New Madrid, MO opened the Mississippi to Union gunboats, probably south almost to Vicksburg, MS. Beauregard, via Van Dorn, ordered … Continue reading

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April 26, 1862: The Dispatch reports Breckinridge’s casualties

John C. Breckinridge The Richmond Daily Dispatch reported casualties in Breckinridge’s “Orphan Brigade,” so called because it was composed of Kentuckians whose state had stayed in the Union, and was under the command of John Cabell Breckinridge, former Vice President … Continue reading

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April 25, 1862: The distribution of Southern sentiment in Missouri

Slave Population in Missouri, 1860 The Richmond Daily Dispatch reports strong Confederate sympathies in Missouri, except for the “German and emigrant Yankee population”. It is a peculiarity of Missouri geography that northern (or at least central) Missouri sentiment was more … Continue reading

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April 24, 1862: An incident at Shiloh, from the Richmond Daily Dispatch

Fame inscribes the deeds of soldiers at Shiloh (Iowa monument designed by Frederick Triebel) The battle at Pittsburg Landing resulted in more American casualties (over 23,000) than all previous wars combined. Such a harrowing experience by so many people naturally … Continue reading

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April 23, 1862: Buell dithers over Mitchel

Ormsby M. Mitchel After his “Great Locomotive Chase” escapade (see the Civil War Daily Gazette for details) came to a bad end, General O.M. Mitchel had taken Huntsville, Alabama and was prepared to hold it as a base for further … Continue reading

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April 22, 1862: Cautiously advancing on Corinth

Henry Halleck Halleck took over general command after Shiloh, and he was determined not to repeat Grant’s error of being insufficiently cautious. He would take months to advance the 20 miles to Corinth, Mississippi. PITTSBURG LANDING, April 22, 1862. Major … Continue reading

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April 21, 1862: Getting the ammunition straightened out

One of the many difficulties encountered by both sides at the battle of Shiloh was the lack of standardization of small arms. Many units had men armed with such a variety of rifles and muskets that it was nearly impossible … Continue reading

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