No Rest and Little Celebration for Christmas 1861

December 25, 1861 (Wednesday – Christmas) For some, the first Christmas of the war was a time of rest, where drills and military formalities took a short day off. Around Washington, the mood was full of apprehension and gloom over the Trent Affair, as well as gloom, if the past year was considered in theRead More

Stonewall Waits for Loring, Plans Attack Anyway; Floyd to Kentucky

December 24, 1861 (Tuesday, Christmas Eve) Since the Battle of Allegheny Mountain, a week and a half ago, Confederate General William Loring’s Army of the Northwest had been slowly filtering into Winchester, Virginia to fortify General Stonewall Jackson’s numbers for a winter campaign towards Romney. During the long wait, an anxious Jackson again attempted toRead More

Davis Has Empty Words for Sterling Price; Wise Has a New Job

December 21, 1861 (Saturday) In Missouri, General Sterling Price had not been feeling very loved by the Confederate Government. His command, the Missouri State Guards, was still an independent command and in great need of reinforcements. The closest troops were under General Ben McCulloch, whom he had fought with at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek.Read More

Stonewall Jackson’s Winter Plan; Kentucky Secedes (Sort Of)

November 20, 1861 (Wednesday) Just south of Winchester, Virginia, Stonewall Jackson, now reunited with the brigade that bore his name, was planning a winter campaign. Union reports of the time asserted that Jackson had as many as 26,000 men. Jackson, on the other hand, supposed Union forces poised to invade the valley were around 40,000.Read More

Mason & Slidell to Remain Prisoners; Floyd Beaten, but Not Destroyed

November 16, 1861 (Saturday) Washington, DC was awash in the rumors that the Confederate envoys to Europe, James Mason and John Slidell, had been captured en route to England. Captain Charles Wilkes, who had seized and was delivering the diplomats to New York, had dispatched a messenger, Captain Albert Taylor, to meet with Naval SecretaryRead More

The Wildcat Stampede and the Irate Senator

November 14, 1861 (Thursday) William Tecumseh Sherman, Union commander of the troops in Kentucky and Tennessee, was thought to be insane. During an October 17 meeting with Secretary of War Simon Cameron, he suggested that he needed 200,000 troops to hold Kentucky. When it hit the press that the request was insane, it quickly devolvedRead More

Panic, Politics and Rebellion Against Rebellion

November 12, 1861 (Tuesday) “Civil war has broken out at length in East Tennessee,” wrote the eccentric attorney from Jonesborough, A.G. Graham, to Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Writing in a panic over the recent spat of bridge burnings undertaken by local Unionists, Graham was sure that they were just as strong as the Unionists inRead More