Monthly Archives: January 2014

January 31, 1864: A union spy in the south

A unionist paper prints a perhaps somewhat one-sided account of the tribulations of the south. DAILY TIMES [LEAVENWORTH, KS], January 31, 1864, p. 2, c. 5 A Union Spy in the South. Condition of the Cotton States. A correspondent of … Continue reading

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January 30, 1864: Instructions to McPherson

Sherman continues preparations for the Meridian expedition. Here he instructs McPherson to take infantry inland, in cooperation with Porter on the rivers, to harry the secessionists and destroy transport. Official Records: HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, Vicksburg, Miss., January 30, … Continue reading

Posted in David Porter, James B. McPherson, Mississippi, William Tecumseh Sherman | Leave a comment

January 29, 1864: You may be poor, but at least you’re white

The Charleston Mercury editorializes in the familiar key of white unity in the south. Abolition can have one of three results for the poor white — being murdered by free blacks, murdering the free blacks, or (worst of all) mixing … Continue reading

Posted in Racism, Slavery | 3 Comments

January 28, 1864: No more furloughs

Grant needs his troops, and the furloughs promised to soldiers who reenlist are threatening to reduce his strength at a critical moment. He orders that furloughs will have to wait until Longstreet is out of Tennessee. Official Records: SAINT LOUIS, … Continue reading

Posted in Edwin M. Stanton, James Longstreet, Ulysses S. Grant | Leave a comment

January 27, 1864: Sherman’s orders to Sooy Smith

Sooy Smith **************************************** Sherman instructs Sooy Smith on his upcoming raid into the interior of Mississippi. He wants him to destroy all the railroads and use up the resources in the area. Official Records: HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, Memphis, … Continue reading

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January 26, 1864: Ice

While we’re having a cold winter this year, it doesn’t really compare with the conditions of 1864 — the Mississippi and Ohio rivers were both closed to navigation due to ice, even down to St. Louis. A low of -24 … Continue reading

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January 25, 1864: Escaped prisoner is an armchair general

A self-styled Union man, escaped from rebel imprisonment, gives Grant some very detailed military advice. Official Records: NASHVILLE, TENN., January 25, 1864. Major General U. S. GRANT, Commanding Grand Division of Mississippi: A refugee from Alabama, having escaped out of … Continue reading

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January 24, 1864: Grant wants Longstreet out of Tennessee

James Longstreet J. G. Foster ********************************************* My impression is that Grant wasn’t really convinced by Halleck’s concerns over sending troops out of Tennessee, but he took it seriously enough to want to get rid of Longstreet permanently. He orders troops … Continue reading

Posted in Chattanooga, George Thomas, Tennessee, Ulysses S. Grant | Leave a comment

January 23, 1864: How about going up the Red River?

Gen. Frederick Steele ************************************************************ Sherman advises Steele that a Red River expedition would be a good idea, especially while the water level stays high – till June or so usually. Official Record: HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, Memphis, January 23, … Continue reading

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January 22, 1864: New telegraph cipher. Let’s keep it secret.

The telegraph operators of the army were under central authority, and independent of the generals. I think that one of the operators assigned to Grant’s command gave his cipher to one of Grant’s officers, and leaks resulted. Halleck had a … Continue reading

Posted in Henry Halleck, Ulysses S. Grant | Leave a comment